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5-day trip plan for first-time visitor early July

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new member
Mar 19, 2016 - 5:20 PM

Hi there,

I'm planning a 5 day/4 night trip to Switzerland in early July and would like your thoughts on whether this is feasible or over-ambitious? Is it too much travelling? I'll be coming from Venice, Italy. This would be my first time visiting Switzerland.

3 Jul Venice to Milan (overnight in Milan)

4 Jul Milan to Tirano; Tirano to St Moritz on the Bernina Express (overnight in St Moritz)

5 Jul St Moritz to Zermatt on the Glacier Express (overnight in Zermatt)

6 Jul Spend the day in Zermatt, doing the Matterhorn (overnight in Zermatt)

7 Jul Travel by train from Zermatt to Lucerne, spend the day in Lucerne (overnight in Lucerne)

8 Jul Travel by train from Lucerne to Zurich airport (3.25pm flight)

I'm considering the above itinerary as we would like to take at least one scenic train journey, and would also like to see the mountains.

I'm actually quite torn between the Matterhorn and Jungfraujoch since both are famously gorgeous, but decided to go with the Matterhorn since it seems to fit better into the itinerary.

Should I just drop the Matterhorn and hence Zermatt, and instead just head to Lucerne from St Moritz, and spend three nights in Lucerne, which I can also use as a base to visit Jungfraujoch in a day trip?

Or is my proposed itinerary a better option?

Would appreciate any comments and suggestions you might have. Thanks!

7339 posts
expert &
Mar 20, 2016 - 9:32 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, mandapanda!

It's a bit hard to advise, as your own personal preferences are what matters most. If your aim is to experience many scenic train rides and if you want to visit several regions within a short time frame, your plans are perfectly fine. Whether or not they involve too much train traveling is up to you to decide. Did you check traveling times in the timetable, and if so, are you fine with them? Note that you can't actually visit the Matterhorn, but you will have great views of it from either Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn. It's strongly weather dependent though, since you'll have only one day (and thus one chance of clear weather) in Zermatt.

You will indeed reduce train traveling and the hassle of hopping from one base town (and hotel) to the other if you move directly towards Lucerne. Do mind that a day trip to the Jungfraujoch is quite long as well, but it's doable and no problem if you prefer the idea of spending a couple of days in the same town and hotel.

Yet another option would be to base yourself in or near Interlaken. Day trips to Zermatt and to the Lucerne region can be made from there. They'll result in long traveling days, but it may still be a good compromise as it would allow you to cover the areas you're interested in without changing bases too often.

Once your itinerary is set, you should look into rail passes. I think it's safe to assume you'll be traveling quite a lot, so you could look into a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass for July 4-7 and additional regular tickets for July 8. But it all depends on the details of your final plans. Please refer to our "How to choose" page for guidance.


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