17 days in Switzerland Itinerary

17 days in Switzerland Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Switzerland Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly + train:  15​h 15​min
1
Bern
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Montreux
— 1 night
train:  2​h 45​min
3
Zermatt
— 3 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
4
Grindelwald
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Appenzell
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Zurich
— 4 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Cape Town

2
nights
Bern

Bern ©
The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Kindermuseum Creaviva and Schweizerisches . Take a break from the city and head to Skigebiet Metsch and Skigebiet Betelberg. There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee Center), take some stellar pictures from The Cathedral of Bern, take a stroll through UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern, and take an in-depth tour of Bernisches Historisches Museum - Einstein Museum.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Bern online travel planner .

Cape Town, South Africa to Bern is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Central European Time (CET) is minus 1 hour. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Cape Town in December: high temperatures in Bern hover around 5°C and lows are around -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Montreux.

Things to do in Bern

Winter Sports Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Lenk im Simmental
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee Center) ©
UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern ©
UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern
Kindermuseum Creaviva ©
Kindermuseum Creaviva

1
night
Montreux

Montreux ©
Mostly known for its world-renowned jazz festival, Montreux serves as a picturesque lakeside resort town on the Swiss Riviera.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Chateau de Chillon, see the interesting displays at Queen Studio Experience, appreciate the history behind Freddie Mercury Statue, then admire the landmark architecture of Marche couvert de Montreux, and finally explore the engaging exhibits at Chaplin's World.

For other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Montreux trip planning website .

Getting from Bern to Montreux by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Zermatt.

Things to do in Montreux

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Chateau de Chillon, Chaplin's World
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Chateau de Chillon ©
Chateau de Chillon
Chaplin's World ©
Chaplin's World
Queen Studio Experience ©
Queen Studio Experience

3
nights
Zermatt

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Get a sense of the local culture at Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis and Kapelle Gornergrat "Bernhard von Aosta". Escape the urban bustle at The Matterhorn and Saas Fee Ski Resort. There's still lots to do: stroll through Matterhorn Ski Paradise, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kapelle Winkelmatten "Zur Heiligen Familie", pause for some serene contemplation at Parish church of St Mauritius, and make a trip to Kapelle Riffelberg "Bruder Klaus".

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Zermatt online journey builder .

Traveling by train from Montreux to Zermatt takes 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to take a train to Grindelwald.

Things to do in Zermatt

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trip

Saas Fee Ski Resort
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
The Matterhorn ©
The Matterhorn
Matterhorn Ski Paradise ©
Matterhorn Ski Paradise
Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis ©

2
nights
Grindelwald

Grindelwald ©
As one of the country's oldest ski resorts, Grindewald serves as a prime example of a cozy Swiss ski town.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get great views at Bergrestaurant Aellfluh, get to know the fascinating history of Kleine Scheidegg, then stroll through The Eiger Trail, and finally see the interesting displays at Grindelwald Museum. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Maennlichen, then look for gifts at Molitor, then examine the collection at Talmuseum Lauterbrunnen, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Lauterbrunnen Church.

To see where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Grindelwald trip planner .

You can take a train from Zermatt to Grindelwald in 4 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel to Appenzell.

Things to do in Grindelwald

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Lauterbrunnen, Molitor, Kleine Scheidegg
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
The Eiger Trail ©
The Eiger Trail
Maennlichen ©
Maennlichen
Kleine Scheidegg ©
Kleine Scheidegg

2
nights
Appenzell

Appenzell ©
Appenzell District is a district of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden in Switzerland. On the 8th (Wed), examine the collection at Kunsthalle Ziegelhutte, pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral, take in the spiritual surroundings of St Mauritius Church, see the interesting displays at Museum Appenzell, then explore the world behind art at Kunstmuseum Appenzell, and finally see the interesting displays at Appenzeller Brachtummuseum Urnaesch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Thu): admire the striking features of Kathedrale St.Gallen, then examine the collection at Museum of Appenzell Customs, then take in the awesome beauty at Santis der Berg, and finally see the interesting displays at Henry Dunant Museum.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Appenzell travel planner .

Traveling by car from Grindelwald to Appenzell takes 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 4°C in January, and nighttime lows around -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Zurich.

Things to do in Appenzell

Museums Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Urnaesch, St. Gallen, Henry Dunant Museum
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Kunsthalle Ziegelhutte ©
Kunsthalle Ziegelhutte
Kunstmuseum Appenzell ©
Kunstmuseum Appenzell
Santis der Berg ©
Santis der Berg

4
nights
Zurich

Zurich ©
The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Old Town and Kirche St. Jakob will appeal to history buffs. Do some cultural sightseeing at Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich) and Zurcher Spielzeugmuseum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Zurich: Lucerne (Lake Lucerne, Markuskirche, & more). There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Landesmuseum, admire the masterpieces at Museum Rietberg, shop like a local with Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zürich, and pause for some photo ops at Hans Waldmann Statue.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Zurich trip planner .

Traveling by car from Appenzell to Zurich takes 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Zurich are 5°C, while nighttime lows are -1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Zurich

Museums Nature Parks

Side Trip

Lucerne
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich) ©
Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich)
Old Town ©
Old Town
Mt Pilatus ©
Mt Pilatus

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