First of all, Welcome to Switzerland and let’s explore 2 day in Switzerland itinerary! Willkommen in der Schweiz/Bienvenue en Suisse/Benvenuti in Svizzera/Bainvegni a Svizra!
That is in how many ways it is possible to say Welcome to Switzerland in this beautiful Alps country. There are 4 official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Isn’t that fascinating?
Ok, let us plan your dream trip in Switzerland which would include some big cities, some history of Switzerland, Swiss lakes, Swiss waterfalls and most important: mountains mountains mountains 🙂
Here you will find an easy to follow 2 day Switzerland itinerary there you will get to see some of the biggest cities of Switzerland, but as well some beautiful pristine Alps nature in just 48 hours.
Here I will discuss the best way to travel to Switzerland and what is better: train or car? Possible costs of your stay, what to see, what not to miss, and many other details about this trip.
One note, if you more time than 2 days, I have prepared a two days itinerary here: 3 days Switzerland itinerary.
Table of Contents
How to Get Around Switzerland
Once you land in Zürich (if you land in Geneva or Basel, you can easily follow this trip as well), you have to make a decision – rent a car OR take a train.
If you are in a group of more than two people, renting a car is a cheaper solution that offers much more flexibility and freedom. After all, don’t forget that Switzerland is home to breathtaking mountain passes and windy roads surrounded by beautiful nature.
Why train is better? You just sit and enjoy the views while traveling through this beautiful country, especially in the mountains you will want to make hundreds of pictures. But it costs more.
Swiss Train Fares
If you decide to explore Switzerland by train, you must get a Swiss train pass. Do not travel just by buying separate train tickets. Swiss train pass is a train ticket for a particular time period. As well with this pass, you will get free museum entrances, public transport in quite many cities and some more additional discounts. You can have a look at all their perks and prices here.
Unfortunately, the cheapest one is for 3 days and costs 232 CHF.
Renting a Car in Switzerland – Prices & Options
Now the car: to rent a car at the airport for two days can cost from 150 CHF (plus insurance) up to a few hundred Swiss francs (but that is for more luxury or very big cars). So a pretty decent car with insurance you can get for 200 CHF for two days.
This Switzerland itinerary has 346 kilometers in total. So if a car is not very thirsty, you will need around 21 liters of diesel for a whole trip.
That would cost you around 36 CHF. Do not forget to fill the tank in a city, not on the highway – there diesel or petrol is much more expensive.
Oh, and I must mention, that in some cities you will have to pay the parking fee (do not even waste time looking for free parking in big cities), so that can could come up to MAX 15-20 CHF for two days.
So as you see, renting a car can cost you just about 250 CHF as just one Swiss pass is 232 CHF. So if you are at least 2 persons, it is much cheaper to rent a car.
Switzerland Itinerary Map for 2 Days
First of all, let us have a look at our Swiss itinerary map below:
- Our Switzerland itinerary starts in Zurich. You can alternatively start in Bern, Lucerne, or any other place on the map above.
- From Zurich, we head to Bern, the Swiss capital, and explore the beauty of the city.
- Then we go straight to the Alps, time for mountains. We go to Grindelwald. Make a small hike or even use the train to go to the mountains.
- We spend a night in Grindelwald.
- On the second day, time for more Swiss Alps beauty: Lauterbrunnen.
- After Lauterbrunnen, we go to Lucerne. It is a beautiful city next to the crystal clear lake.
- After having dinner in Lucerne, we go back to Zürich.
As you can see, our itinerary offers a mixture of exploring nature, traditional cuisine and history, and beautiful Swiss cities.
Stop 1 – Visit Zürich
So what is on the first day on your 2 day Switzerland itinerary?
Once you land and get your car, I highly recommend visiting Zürich just for at least an hour. Zürich is the most vibrant and biggest city in Switzerland.
To make it as efficient as possible, you should park here:
Ok, so the old town is on your right, the lake is in front of you.
Let’s have a look at the Zürich walking map below:
As you see, the walking tour is pretty fast, 2,5 kilometers, 35 minutes if you walk with no stops and coffee breaks. But I think you would spend there at least an hour if you like it – 2 hours, but I wouldn’t stretch it too long, otherwise, you get to the Alps too late in the day.
If you are lucky, you may see the Swiss Alps from the Qualbrücke (from the bridge), but it must be perfectly clear weather. I was lucky just once to see it.
Once you cross the bridge, you get to the older part of the city which leads to very popular shopping streets; on the other side of the river is the old town with many nice restaurants and boutiques.
Zürich overall is a very humble city with many nice churches, museums, perfect walks by the lake and even some close decent mountains.
But as we have to hurry, let’s go back to the car and head to the capital city of Bern.
Here are more articles about Zurich:
Stop 2 – Afternoon in Bern
From Zürich to Bern it will take you around 1h 40 minutes. The road is mostly through the flat part of Switzerland, but you should get a glimpse of big mountains from time to time, especially if the weather is clear.
Once in Bern, I recommend once again to park as close to the city center as possible: Postgasshalde 50, 3011 Bern – there is City hall parking which is a minute away from the city center.
What I would suggest doing in Bern, is to stroll around the old town. This is the capital city, but it is very down to earth: no necessary luxury. If you are in Bern in summer, you can enjoy the fountain in the middle of the central square near Parliament which throws water from the ground up in the air.
You should walk through the arcs of Bern Parliament and you will get a very fine view of Bern’s old town, river and the roofs of many old buildings. It is the best view for me personally in Bern. Bern Parliament is here: Bundesplatz 3, 3005 Bern.
Once you finish admiring the views of Bern, I would suggest either go back to the car through the old town (you will see many old historical buildings) or have your lunch in the main square and just relax. It all depends how much you like the city and how much you crave for mountains 🙂
Lacking ideas for things to do in Bern? Read my Bern guide and plan your afternoon in the capital.
Stop 3 – Iconic Drive From Bern to Grindelwald
Once you leave Bern, you have another 1h 30 minutes on the road, but now you will get more and more views of the Alps. Once you reach Thun and go on the highway next to the lake, you will get idyllic views to the white peaks and the lake in the bottom.
Looking to do a quick stop in Thun? Here are awesome things to do in Thun in one afternoon.
One very popular city on the way to Grindelwald is called Interlaken – the capital of paragliding in Switzerland. If you wish, you can drive through Interlaken as well.
Once you leave Interlaken, you will get to more narrow roads and with more turns as well. You should start to see much more lovely Swiss cows and Swiss farms.
Grindelwald is situated at 1034 meters altitude, so you will have to go up a bit, but no serpentines or dangerous roads: no worries.
Stop 4 – Grindelwald
I highly suggest spending a night in Grindelwald so you can have a nice dinner up there after your hike or train tour. Grindelwald is all surrounded by huge mountains, it is one of the most popular hiking destinations in all Switzerland.
Ok, so what to do in Grindelwald?
Actually I would suggest one of the two things: do a hike OR go with a train to Kleine Scheidegg (you can hike up there as well).
I have an article about the best hikes in Grindelwald, but in my opinion, the most exciting one is to Kleine Scheidegg.
It would take you around 2-3 hours to go up and it is a pretty steep, quite exhausting hike, but very beautiful. If you are a hiking person, you must do it 🙂
You can actually do it 4 ways: hike to Kleine Scheidegg and hike back (5 hours), hike to Kleine Schedeigg and take a train back (3 hours), take a train to Kleine Scheidegg and hike back (2 hours) OR just take a train back and forth – the easiest option.
As well, Grindelwald has a very famous mountain station called Jungfraujoch. It is the highest one in Europe, it is huge, with shops, restaurants – really one of a kind. You will get to deep winter there in the summertime, there is snow all year round.
But you must consider a couple of things: you need quite a lot of time to do the whole trip, enjoy your time up there and then come back (it is reachable only by train) – maybe 5-6 hours needed. And the price: back and forth it is 190 CHF. One thing I can say – it is getting more expensive 🙂 Couple of years ago it was cheaper 🙂
As well, I can suggest taking a cable gondola up to Männlichen. It is a 2343 meters peak in a spectacular place with breathtaking views.
Once you’ve done your mountain time, it is time to relax and have a beautiful dinner with a view to the mountains or the beautiful Grindelwald wooden architecture.
Most of the restaurants are in the main street next to the train station: in Dorfstrasse. It is the best place for national Swiss meals: do not forget to try swiss cheese fondue 🙂
Hotel prices: be ready to pay about 100 CHF for a double room.
On the second day, I would love you to enjoy a bit more of the Swiss Alps.
There’s another very famous and great Swiss Alps location called Lauterbrunnen: and it is just 23 minutes away from Grindelwald. It is actually even possible to hike there from Grindelwald via Kleine Scheidegg.
If you’ve ever seen a famous postcard looking Swiss picture with big mountains all around, nice Swiss old houses and a huge waterfall pouring down – it is probably Lauterbrunnen.
Once you reach Lauterbrunnen, I suggest parking in a parking lot next to the station as it is big and you can pay with a credit card. Very comfortable.
It is a cozy little village inserted between huge mountains. There are some other famous little villages only reachable by train: Wengen and Mürren, right next to Lauterbrunnen. As an activity, you can choose to hike there. I have prepared some hiking routes for you as well: Best Lauterbrunnen hikes.
But what is Lauterbrunnen most famous for is the waterfalls: Staubbachfall and Trümmelbachfälle (meaning more than one waterfall) – are the most popular ones. They are indeed a spectacle.
Staubbachfall is right in the village, to Trümmelbach you will have to walk a bit, it is not far and the surroundings are spectacular all hike long.
What else to do in Lauterbrunnen: have a coffee and just open your jaw while viewing the mountains 🙂 You are going to love it.
Stop 1 – Drive From Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne
Lucerne is just 1h 30 minutes away from Lauterbrunnen and you are going to love all the drive: through mountains, valleys, by the lakes and so on. Full Swiss experience.
Once you go to Lucerne, I really really recommend going up to Mount Pilatus. You can reach it by gondola or train. The gondola ride is really fun and it starts in Kriens (it is on the way from Lauterbrunnen). You can spend 2-3 hours overall.
You are going to see lots of Swiss Alps, lots of Swiss cities, architecture, food, alpine roads and so on.
If you decide to even extend your adventure a bit and if you come here in summer, I really recommend visiting at least one of mountain passes: Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass, Oberalp Pass or Gotthard Pass.
These are all not that far from Grindelwald and that whole valley with the mountain range.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my 2 days in Switzerland itinerary. Share your experiences below.
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