6 DAY GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND

Such a beautiful country, lets just say it was difficult to spend just 6 days there. After doing tremendous amounts of research, the HUBS and I finally decided where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see.  We were pretty adamant about not doing too many extremely touristy things, so we set out to find the most beautiful and remote spots.  Each one was gorgeous.  Keep reading to find out where all we went! 


6 DAY GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND


 Our itinerary for 6 days.

Our itinerary for 6 days.

 

DAY ONE  LUGANO

 view of Lugano from Monté Bre

view of Lugano from Monté Bre

Before this trip, neither of us knew about this beautiful city.  It sits right on Lake Lugano on the southern border between Switzerland and Italy, and surrounded by mountains.  Its proximity to Italy lends to a very prominent Italian culture: food, wine, and architecture.  Even as we were hopping trains from Zurich to Lugano, the announcements progressively changed from German to Italian.  In fact, its one of the few cities in the country that speaks Italian. 

MONTÉ BRÉ

This is the highest peak in Lugano on the Swiss side.  Its a 3 hour hike (or 20 minute ride up the funicular) that has absolutely stunning views of the city.  You can also take bus 12 to the top and hike about another 20 minutes to the summit.  At the summit there are some restaurants and gift shops.  We just enjoyed the views.  

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  great views, funicular available if you don't want to hike, bus available in case funicular isn't available
  3. CONS:  funicular costs 25 Euros and is not included in Swiss Rail Pass

ARTÉ AL LAGO

Located in the Arté Lago Hotel, this is the only Michelin star restaurant in the entire city.  

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  great food, beautiful views, excellent service, sommelier, vegetarian friendly, amenable to allergies and dietary restrictions, tasting menu and a la carte
  3. CONS:  waterfront but inside (no outdoor seating).  
  4. NOTES:  guys must wear slacks (no shorts allowed).

 

DAY TWO INTERLAKEN

This was probably the most touristy destination of our trip.  Initially I was apprehensive about visiting, but it was just as beautiful as the rest of our destinations, and there was tons to do.

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  variety of food options, lots of adventure sports, beautiful, boating/water activities
  3. CONS:  touristy, lots of people, expensive

 

THE AARBURG

This adorable quaint hotel is right along one of the canals that run throughout the city.

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  our room had a balcony with a beautiful view of the city and Alps, breakfast is included, ensuite bathroom, and the staff (Chris) are so incredibly nice and helpful.  Out of everywhere we stayed throughout our trip in Iceland and Switzerland, this was our favorite place and favorite host.   
  3. CONS:  rooms are small so not the best for large suitcases

LITTLE THAI

We figured we would take advantage of Interlaken's variety of cuisines and try some Thai food since we had been surviving on swiss cheese and granola for too many days.  Surprisingly did not disappoint.

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. PROS: quick, better than expected, good variety of dishes, tofu friendly.
  3. CONS:  outside of the city center, not better than Thai food in the States.

SWISS PARAGLIDING

 Paragliding in Interlaken

Paragliding in Interlaken

This was an amazing experience.  Neither of us had been paragliding before, and Interlaken provided the perfect scenery.  While flying you can see the three main peaks in the region: Jungfrau, Eiger and Schilthornbahn, and both lakes Thun and Brien.

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. PROS:  great coaches, super relaxing and beautiful & perfect scenery for paragliding
  3. CONS:  super expensive $150/person plus more if you purchase the pictures.  

LADERACH CHOCOLATERIE SUISSE

Delicious.

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  officially my new favorite chocolate (previously the title belonged to Venchi Italian Chocolates), try the orange scented dark chocolate almond bark - Ah-mazing!  Better than Lindt, and you can ask to try flavors.  Can't be purchased in the States.
  3. CONS:  $$$$ (the HUBS was astounded that chocolate could cost so much).

 

DAY THREE  KANDERSTEG & LAKE OESCHINESEE

 Lake Oeschinesee #nofilter 

Lake Oeschinesee #nofilter 

It took several weeks of researching the best, most beautiful sites to see in Switzerland and constantly adding & removing destinations to decide our final itinerary.  I think we had about 10 versions before we finalized everything.  I happened upon this spot on Instagram and immediately knew I had to go.  Unfortunately, adding it meant removing something else (Mount Titlis), but I just could not get over the bright blue glacial waters.  The HUBS was really reluctant to add another destination to our already crammed schedule, but in the end he was the first one to say that it was his favorite destination by far.  If you go to Switzerland we both think its a MUST SEE. 

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS: remote, bright blue glacial water, peaceful, wonderful hike, really great strawberry vanilla soft serve, can rent boats to go out on the lake, GORGEOUS.
  3. CONS:  none.
  4. RECS:  take hiking boots, snacks (food can be $$$).
 just rowing away on Lake Oeschinesee

just rowing away on Lake Oeschinesee

Lake Oeschinesee Kandersteg Switzerland Travel Guide Charisma Shah
 the HUBS and his trademark jumping pics! :)

the HUBS and his trademark jumping pics! :)

Lake Oeschinesee Kandersteg Switzerland Travel Guide Charisma Shah

 

DAYS FOUR - SIX GIMMELWALD + MÜRREN

 Gimmelwald from above.

Gimmelwald from above.

After exploring Interlaken for two days, we moved on to Gimmelwald - this adorable mountain village at an altitude of 4000+ ft.  In fact, its one of the few towns (village really) in Switzerland that can not be reached via car - there is no road access.  Just a hiking path or gondola ride (free with the Swiss Travel Pass).  The route to Gimmelwald from Interlaken is very picturesque - passing several waterfalls and Lauterbrunnen (another cute town).  Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were there, so we don't have too many pictures from this part of our trip, but Gimmelwald was the perfect destination for someone who wants to hike and be outdoors.  

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. PROS:  beautiful village, very remote, not too touristy, lots of wonderful trails and gondolas to summits (Schilthorn & Allmendhubel), the North Face Trail, Lauterbrunnen, and Mürren are very accessible.
  3. CONS:  somewhat hard to get to (not directly on the train paths), not too many food options within Gimmelwald but many more in Mürren.
  4. RECS:  bring hiking boots, do not bring too much large luggage, you could definitely do everything in just one or two days here max.  We stayed a little too long in our opinion.

MOUNTAIN HOSTEL

  1. RATING:  ***
  2. PROS:  lots of backpackers, young professionals and college kids.
  3. CONS:  its a hostel - so you have to remove your own sheets at the end of your stay, pay 1 swiss franc for the shower, breakfast is pretty bare bones, and all guests are required to wash their own dishes.  I know this is pretty typical of hostels, but it still cost $100/night for us to stay there which seems expensive when we are doing so much ourselves and sharing a room with like 20 other strangers.  Also they have a MAJOR fly problem - like 100 flies per floor.
Gimmelwald Switzerland Travel Guide
Gimmelwald Switzerland Travel Guide Charisma Shah

THE NORTH FACE TRAIL

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. PROS:  absolutely beautiful ~ 5 mile hike (mostly downhill) from Allmendhubel to Murren/Gimmelwald.  Very picturesque, free grazing cows, so peaceful.  We went in the rain and it was still amazing.  
  3. CONS:  since there are cows there is also cow dung, not too many food options or bathrooms along the way so prepare accordingly.
  4. RECS:  Absolutely wear hiking boots. 
 view from the first part of the North Face Trail.

view from the first part of the North Face Trail.

North Face Trail Gimmelwald Murren Switzerland Travel Guide Charisma Shah

In spite of the rain, the HUBS still managed to take some beautiful drone footage of our excursions and travels throughout the country.  

If you have also been to Switzerland, what was your favorite destination?  There are so many beautiful cities we just might have to go again!  Leave us a comment below and let us know where we should travel to next!