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10-Day Switzerland Itinerary — 6 Cities Under S$2.3k with the Swiss Travel Pass

Paraglide between the scenic valleys of Lauterbrunnen, ride one of the world’s steepest open-air funiculars, and catch the sunrise against the iconic “Toblerone” Matterhorn mountain — all for under S$2.3k across six cities in Switzerland.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Majestic mountains, deep forestry and azure blue skies. Switzerland is every bit true to its name, but nothing prepared me for the sheer gorgeousness of that imagery to be multiplied by a thousand in person. I mean, could you imagine waking up to the view above every day? 😍

Switzerland is an expensive destination — a standard meal at McDonalds costs ~S$15, that says a lot eh? — but this itinerary will prove that you don’t have to be crazy rich (or asian, for that matter) to experience the best of Switzerland under a S$2.3k budget.

We’re talking about visiting the valley that inspired a scene in The Lord of The Rings movie, watching the sunrise at the Matterhorn mountain, and sliding down the Fräkigaudi Sommer with the Swiss Alps in the background, among others.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass
budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Budget Breakdown for 10 Days Across 6 Cities

Accommodation: ~S$558Activities: S$365.31Transport: S$1,057.39 (incl. Swiss Travel Pass)
Food & Miscellaneous: S$304.70

Check Flights to Switzerland

This Switzerland itinerary starts off in Zürich. Flight prices aren’t included in the budget since they fluctuate all year round, but you can check them out here:

 

Travelling with the Swiss Travel Pass

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Unless you’re renting a car to drive (petrol is crazy expensive btw!), the Swiss Travel Pass is an absolute essential for getting around Switzerland without bursting your budget.

Apart from including train rides, the Swiss Travel Pass also covers an extensive network of buses, boats and 500 museums across the country. Check out our guide to maximising the Swiss Travel Pass for more details on what’s covered and what’s not.

The Swiss Travel Pass is available in 3, 4, 8 and 15 days but for this itinerary, the 8-day pass worked best! We flew into Zürich, rented a car to cover our first day of transport to Lucerne and around, before activating the pass for Day two to nine. Once back in Zürich, you can get around the city either by walking or with the ZVV day-pass — valid for 24-hours. Using the pass only within Zürich meant that we were covering two zones, which set us back at CHF17.60/pax for the day.

Day 1 – 3: Lucerne 

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

An hour away from Zürich Airport, spend two days in the historic city of Lucerne. Explore its charismatic old town, get to the top of Mt Pilatus via the famous Golden Round Trip, enjoy a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps from Mount Rigi, and be sure to visit the Victorinox Museum to get your own personalised Swiss Army Knife!

Accommodation: Airbnb — private room in a shared apartment for three pax at ~S$178/night, 15mins from Lucerne main station
Transport: Commute via public trains with the 24-hour ZVV day-pass or rent a car from Zürich Airport and drop off in Lucerne (~CHF100/day, ~S$137).

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Lucerne Old Town

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Admire Lucerne’s medieval architecture including Europe’s oldest wood-covered bridge of Kapellbrücke, and the nine fortified towers of Musegg Wall. You could spend the afternoon enjoying coffee by the Reus riverside at Mill’feuille, or get a drink with a bird’s eye view of Lucerne at the elaborately-decorated Hotel Château Gütsch bar at night.

How to get there: Walk across the Bahnhof Luzern (main train station) to the old town area. The old town is situated along the Reus river.

Make Your Own Swiss Army Knife: Victorinox Brand Store (Brunnen)

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

While there are Victorinox stores all around Switzerland, this particular Victorinox Outlet in Brunnen is a store, museum and visitor centre all in one. But the highlight for us was getting hands-on and making our own Swiss Army Knife from scratch — the process only takes 15 minutes, and you can even get your name engraved at the end. Advanced bookings via e-mail for this experience is required.

Besides wandering around the museum, there’s also a 1.5-hour tour to learn all about the family business and its products, including a visit to the chocolate factory and winery! Go big or go home — spice up your tour experience by adding on fringe activities to the agenda. Think: A round trip on the Urnersee cruise to see Lake Lucerne, a half-day hike in historic Switzerland, or drinking brandy at the Arnold Dettling AG Kirsch Distillery tour, just to name a few.

Cost: CHF35/customised knife (~S$48) — Entrance to the museum is free Opening Hours (Visitor Center): Varies.
Address: Bahnhofstrasse 3, 6440 Brunnen Switzerland (There are a few Victorinox outlets in the area so be sure to key in the exact address!)

Visit the Highest Outdoor Lift in Europe: Hammetschwand Lift

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Located at the top of Bürgenstock mountain, the Hammetschwand lift is the highest outdoor lift in Europe and offers a panoramic view of Lake Lucerne. Unfortunately, this one’s only accessible by car but is a much cheaper option to Pilatus or Titlis (especially without the Swiss Travel Pass).

Cost: CHF13 (two-way on the lift), CHF10 (one-way) Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 6PM How to get there: Park your car at Hotel Villa Honegg and hike one hour along the Felsenweg (Rock Trail)
Address: Bürgenstock Resort, Felsenweg, 6363 Bürgenstock

Ascend to Mount Pilatus via the “Golden Round Trip”

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The famous Golden Round Trip takes you to various points of Mount Pilatus through five different modes of transport — by boat, cogwheel train, aerial cable way and cable car up, followed by a bus back to Lucerne Station. Check out the Golden Round Trip interactive map to understand how the route works (more details in our Swiss Travel Pass guide)!

At the peak, there are many hiking trails available but our favourite is the 40-minute Tomlishorn hike. A ‘low effort, high returns’ hike, this trail is an easy one with endless photogenic views that get better as you walk on. To get to the starting point, walk past the restaurant area, and you’ll see the signage to the start of the hike.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

On the descend, take the aerial cable way and get off at Fräkmüntegg station for the Fräkigaudi Toboggan (CHF8/ride) — Switzerland’s longest Summer Toboggan Run at 1,350m long. Adjust the handle to suit your need for speed as you zoom down the curves of the slide. Once at the bottom, don’t worry about lugging your Toboggan back up because you’ll get pulled back up to the top.

If you intend to take photos or videos, strap your GoPro to your body because both hands are needed to manoeuvre the Toboggan.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The total travelling time up and down Mount Pilatus takes ~2.5 hours. Factor in one hour to ride the Fräkigaudi Toboggan and extra time to explore Mount Pilatus itself, so set aside about 4-6 hours for the whole experience.

Cost: CHF108. CHF36 with Swiss Travel Pass. Transport Hours: First cogwheel ride up from Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus at 8:30AM. Last connection down to Kriens on the cableway leaves Pilatus Kulm at 5:30PM.
Starting Point: Luzern (main station) for the train or boat ride to Alpnachstad OR Kriens (take bus no.1 from Luzern main station)

Picnic With A View at Mt Rigi

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The train ride up to Mount Rigi is entirely free for Swiss Travel Pass holders, so you’ll want to visit this on the day your pass is activated. There are two routes up and down Rigi Kulm — either take the cogwheel train from Arth-Goldau (37mins) or Vitznau station (32mins).

From there, it’s a 15-minute hike to the top where you can view over 13 lakes and the whole of the Swiss Alps in a full 360-degree panoramic view. The clear skies, vast grass plains, and fresh Swiss air make for a perfect picnic!

Cost: CHF72 (Arth-Goldau to Rigi Kulm), CHF45 (Rigi Kulm to Vitznau). Free for Swiss Travel Pass holders Opening Hours: Varies
Starting Point: Arth-Goldau OR Vitznau station

Day 3 – 5: Interlaken

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Interlaken, a backpacker-friendly city and the perfect base for day trips to surrounding adventures.

What to expect: Paragliding in Lauterbrunnen — between valleys that inspired the LOTR movies, riding the Gelmerbahn — Switzerland’s steepest open-air Funicular, challenging your vertigo on the Thrill Walk — 200m-long walkway made of glass and metal wires, and last but not least, making it to Jungfraujoch — the highest train station in Europe.

Accommodation: Backpacker’s Villa Interlaken (Hostel) — CHF43/bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm, 10mins walk from Interlaken OST Station, or 5mins ride on Bus 102 (towards Interlaken West) alighting at Sonnenhof Station
From Lucerne – Interlaken: Ride the Luzern-Interlaken Express (~120mins). It departs every hour from 7:05AM to 3:05PM except 8:05AM.

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Ride Switzerland’s Steepest Open-air Funicular: Gelmberbahn

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

A cargo-railway historically built to transport heavy materials for the construction of the Gelmer dam, the Gelmer Funicular is now a funicular attraction, the steepest of its kind with an inclination of over 106 degrees. Open air and securing its passengers with only one bar across, this funicular ride is for the acrophiles out there. Queue early to get seats in the first two rows for unobstructed views as you ascend!

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

At the top, take a short five-minute hike to see the Gelmer Lake and its turquoise waters. It’s possible to hike around the whole lake (~2hrs 50mins) but the best views are probably from the right side, towards the dam and only a five-minute hike.

Once back down, continue your adventure by hiking to the Handeck Suspension Bridge. It hangs 70m above the Handeck gorge, with a view of the Handeck Waterfall.

Cost: CHF32 CHF (two-way), CHF16 (single trip) Opening Hours: 9AM – 4PM (Jun, Sep – Oct), 9AM – 5PM (Jul – Aug)
How to get there: Take the Line 470 Train from Interlaken OST, followed by Bus 171 (2hrs 17mins). Alight at the Handegg, Gelmerbahn bus stop.

*Pro-tip: Book two-way tickets three days in advance as tickets sell out quickly! If you only have a one-way ticket to the top, the only way down is a two-hour hike.

Explore Iseltwald and Lake Brienz

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The small fishing village of Iseltwald is a hidden gem with cosy holiday chalets and leisure activities like kayaking.

Walk down the quaint streets and see the Iseltwald Castle across the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz. While most people go to the Lake Brienz Station to enjoy the lake, we feel that the view from Iseltwald is more magical. Have a picnic here, and watch the sun set across the horizon!

How to get there: From Interlaken Ost station, take bus 103 to the last stop of Iseltwald Dorfplatz (15mins).

Paraglide over Lauterbrunnen

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

There are a few paragliding spots from Interlaken but nothing beats the experience of flying between the valleys of Lauterbrunnen. Running off from Mürren, we flew really close to rock faces, waterfalls, and over the scenic village huts of Lauterbrunnen, all while enjoying the Swiss Alps in the distance. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world with an experience like this.

If you’re confident, you might even get a chance to take over the flight for bit! For the daredevils, you’ll even get to enjoy their signature “roller coaster” as they spend the last minute or two making sharp drops and swerves before landing safely on the ground. Your heart is sure to get a good healthy dose of adrenaline for the day.

We signed up with Airtime Paragliding, which entitles you to a free drink (a coffee, hot chocolate or even a beer!) at the Airtime Cafe in Lauterbrunnen town.

Cost: CHF170 (~S$232). Additional CHF40 for GoPro rental. Bookings: E-mail or call +41 (0)79 247 84 63
Meeting Point: Airtime Cafe — 10-minute walk from Lauterbrunnen station

The James Bond Experience: Schilthorn

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Right next to the landing spot for paragliding is the cable car station that brings you up to Schilthorn. Swiss Travel Pass holders get to ride this cable car for free! Just show your tickets at the counter to collect your ticket.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass
Make a pit stop at Birg Station for the Thrill Walk — a 200m walkway of clear glass panels and grills overlooking plunging depths of over 2,670m. If you’re feeling lion-hearted, lie flat on the clear glass panels for the full vertigo effect!

After that, hop on the next cable car to head further up to the Piz Gloria Schilthorn Summit — the actual set of ‘James Bond: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. Walk around the James Bond museum or dine above the clouds at the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant.

Cost: CHF82.60 (roundtrip). Free with Swiss Travel Pass. Opening Hours: 7:25AM – 4:25PM
How to get there: From Lauterbrunnen, take bus No. 141 to the Stechelberg Schilthornbahn. The cable car to Mürren departs every 30mins. Alternatively, take a cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, then a train to Mürren.

Visit Europe’s Highest Train Station: Jungfraujoch

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Get 3,454m above sea level at Jungfraujoch for icy air and views of Switzerland’s 4,000m peaks. While there’s a high chance that the view above will be foggy, the ride on the Jungfrau railway is arguably one of the most scenic!

At the top, walk through the Ice Palace, Alpine Sensation and watch the Jungfrau Panorama.

Before leaving, send a postcard at Europe’s highest mailbox. Stamps can be purchased for CHF2 and postcards for CHF3, but you can bring your own postcard.

Cost: CHF197.20, CHF137.40 with Swiss Travel Pass Opening Hours: First train leaves Interlaken OST at 6:35AM (arrives every 30mins). Click here for detailed timings.
How to get there: From Interlaken OST Station, take the Bernese Oberland Railway to either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald (20/35mins). At either station, take the Wengernalp WAB cogwheel train to Kleine Scheidegg Station (30–45mins). Finally, transfer to the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch (50mins with two sightseeing stops).

Hike Grindelwald First for stunning lake views 

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Located in the heart of the Bernese Alps, Grindelwald First is an adventurer’s playground.  Be it on the way up to Grindelwald’s peak, or on the way down, — there are hiking trails and thrill-activities populating the whole area, promising non-stop alpine excitement.

Ride the gondola up to the Mount First Top Station, and start your Grindelwald Hike to Lake Bachalpsee. This is an easy hike that crosses alpine meadows to the Bernese Alps. The reward: the crystal-blue, (literally) glistening Bachalpsee Lake, with the peaks of Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn in the distance!

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Back at the Mount First Top Station station and on the way down, there are five adventure activities you can try to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie. Try out the First Cliff Walk by Tissot,  First Flyer (zipline),  First Glider (Eagle glider ride), Mountain Kart (go-kart/sled vehicle) or Trotti Bike (scooter) all the way back to the base of Grindelwald.

Wanna try everything? Go for the cheaper 4-in-1 package (Grindelwald First Top Adventure), which sets off from Zürich and gives you a full day of thrill activities and sightseeing at the same time.

Grindelwald Firstbahn Gondola Cost: CHF30 (50% discount with Swiss Travel Pass) Opening Hours: 8:30AM – 4:30PM.  Check website for updates.
How to get there: SBB Train from Interlaken OST to Grindewald (~33mins)

Day 6: Montreux

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Crossing into Montreux, you’ll first realise the stark difference between the German-speaking cities of Lucerne and Interlaken and French-speaking Montreux. Other than its French-influenced architecture, Montreux has the Swiss Alps as a backdrop and Lake Geneva at its doorstep. It’s a place to unwind due to its serene atmosphere and slower pace of life. Even getting to Montreux via the Golden Pass Line is an experience in itself. See Switzerland’s grandest castle Château de Chillon, stroll along the romantic streets of Vevey, and take a detour to the Leukerbad Thermal Baths before hitting the next city (Zermatt).

Accommodation: Airbnb — private room in a shared apartment fit for three pax — ~S$85/night, 5mins walk from Montreux main station.

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Ride the Golden Pass Line to Montreux

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

A famous route between Interlaken to Montreux is the Golden Pass Line which brings you along the dreamiest sights across Switzerland, complete with panoramic ceilings on the two-hour ride. The service runs once every two hours.

If you miss this train, there are various local trains that go from Interlaken to Montreux but via Bern instead of Zweisimmen.

Cost: CHF74. Free with Swiss Travel Pass. Schedule: Click for exact timings
Route: Interlaken – Zweisimmen – Montreux

Château de Chillon

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Château de Chillon is known as Switzerland’s grandest castle for good reason. Rich in history, the castle has been inhabited by three royal families. Take a guided castle tour or explore the highlights for yourself — be sure to check out the courtyard, great halls and chapel.

Outside, take an idyllic stroll along the riverside. There’s a small beach to the left of the castle for photo opportunities, or a quick dip in the summer.

Entrance Fee: CHF12.50. Free with Swiss Travel Pass. Opening Hours: Varies
How to get there: Take Bus 201 from Montreux station (9mins). Drop off at Chillon Station and you’ll be able to see the castle.

Day Trip to Vevey

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

A charming small town right next to Montreux, Vevey is known as one of the ‘Pearls of the Swiss Rivera’ with vineyards, holiday accommodations and alfresco restaurants all over.

Spot the Charlie Chaplin statue at the promenade as the iconic actor spent his last years there. The Nestlé Headquarters and the Alimentarium (CHF13, free on Swiss Travel Pass) — the world’s first food-themed museum — are also found here.

Look out for the “symbol” of Vevey at the promenade — the world’s tallest fork standing at 8m high!

How to get there: From Montruex, take Bus 201 to Vevey (30mins), or a train from Montreux Station to Vevey Station (10mins) and walk to the main promenade area (9mins).

Soak in the Leukerbad Thermal Baths

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

After exploring Montreux and Vevey, we stopped by the Leukerbad Thermal Baths en-route to Zermatt. It’s the largest thermal spa resort in the Swiss Alps with natural thermal waters rich in minerals — just what you need after days of hiking and adventuring. Plus point: the bus ride there is free on the Swiss Travel Pass!

Indulge in 10 thermal baths (28 – 44 degrees) at the Leukerbad-Therme while being surrounded with mountainous views — especially fairytale-like in the winter. Not many tourists know of this gem, so enjoy the bubbling jets, cold tubs and saunas undisturbed!

Entrance Fee: CHF25 for three hours. Opening Hours: 8AM – 8PM
How to get there: Train from Montreux to Leuk. Change to the LLB bus (30mins ride) to Leukerbad. The bus has sufficient luggage storage at the bottom and there will be luggage storage rooms at the spa.

*Pro-tip: Bring your own towel or you will have to rent towels at CHF5/towel.

Day 7: Zermatt

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Home to the Matterhorn, a.k.a. the “Toblerone Chocolate Mountain”, Zermatt is a car-free town that has ski slopes open all 365 days of the year. Skiing aside, Zermatt is also the gateway to some of the most beautiful hikes in the country. Plot your route around the vast Matterhorn landscape with this full map of the Matterhorn Paradise.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Highlights here obviously include seeing the Matterhorn up close, but it’s also a great place to enjoy affordable cheese fondue (Cafe Du Pont)!

Transport: Take a train from Montreux to Leuk (1hr 20mins) and stop at the Leukerbad Thermal Bath. Thereafter, take the train to Visp (~30mins). The final leg is Visp to Zermatt (~1hr).
Accommodation: Zermatt Youth Hostel — bed in shared mixed dorm at ~CHF40/night, 15mins walk from Zermatt Station *Includes a long flight of stairs just before the hostel

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Catch the Matterhorn’s beauty at sunrise

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Of all the beautiful views we saw, the Matterhorn sunrise outshone them all (pun intended). You’ll see the clearest reflection of the Matterhorn in the still water of the Riffelsee.

For this view, we took the first train at 7AM on the Gornergrat Bahn (Matterhorn Railway) from Zermatt village to Riffelboden Station. Riffelsee is only a 5-minute hike from the station.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

After sunrise, take the train to Gornergrat Peak, where Switzerland’s highest hotel, the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat stands. At the top, admire the whole range of 29 4,000m-tall peaks!

Cost: CHF49 (one-way). 50% discount with the Swiss Travel Pass. Operation Hours: First train up at 7AM (Full Schedule)
How to get there: Take the Gornergratbahn from the Bahnhofplatz Base Station (~15mins to Riffleboden, 33mins to the Gornergrat peak). The station’s located near the Zermatt train station and is easy to spot.

Go on the 5-Seenweg Hike

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

An alternative hike is the 5-Lakes Walk, where you’ll see the Matterhorn in its full glory at every turn. The five alpine lakes are Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, Leisee, and Stellisee (tongue twister much?), with Stellisee offering the clearest view of the Matterhorn.

The whole hike is ~9.3km long, and takes about four hours to complete. It’s not difficult either, manageable even for families with children!

Zermatt Bergbahnen Cost: CHF40. 50% discount with the Swiss Travel Pass. Operating Hours: (Full schedule)
How to get there: Take a funicular from Zermatt Station to Sunnegga (2,288m). Transit to the gondola up to Blauherd (2,571m). Start the hike from Blauherd downwards towards Sunnegga, then take the funicular back to Zermatt.

Day 8: Glacier Express to St Moritz 

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The Glacier Express is the queen of railways in Switzerland. The eight-hour picturesque ride is so popular that you’re advised to make reservations at least one month in advance to secure seats! (Bookings open three-months ahead)

On the trip, plug in to the train commentary for information about various stops along the route. Pre-book a meal or pack your own lunch.

Beginning from Zermatt and ending in St Moritz, highlights of the route include passing through the Oberalppass at 2033m above sea level, the Rhine Gorge (a.k.a the Grand Canyon of Switzerland), and the famous Landwasser Viaduct. Sit on the right side for the best views!

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Cost: From CHF185 (second class). Only a reservation fee of CHF33 is required with the Swiss Travel Pass
Timetable: Check schedule for specific timings

Day 9: St Moritz

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The final stop of the Glacier Express is St Moritz, a popular town with luxurious alpine resorts. From here, you can take a day trip to the town of Filisur where you can hike to the famous view point of the Landwasser Viaduct.

Accommodation: Youth Hostel — bed in six-man mixed dorm for ~CHF42/night, ~15mins bus ride from St Moritz station
How to get there: Glacier Express (8 hours)

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Landwasser Viaduct Viewpoint

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

With 65m-high pillars towering over Graubünden, the Landwasser Viaduct is one of the most photographed railways in the world. You may have glimpsed it while on the Glacier Express, but seeing it from above is a different experience.

From St. Moritz, alight at Filisur village on the Rhätische Bahn. The first viewpoint just 15 minutes from the station is a frontal view of the viaduct. But our personal favourite is the the Aussichtsplattform Landwasserviadukt, which is a 40-minute hike to see the train from above.

Cost: CHF21.80. Free with Swiss Travel Pass. Timetable: Check schedule for specific timings Coordinates (Aussichtsplattform Landwasserviadukt): 46.680606, 9.67496387237543
How to get there: Board the Rhätische Bahn between St Mortiz and Chur (arrives every hour). Choose the last cabin, specifically designed with windows you can roll down for photos. Alight at Filisur village, and walk to the viewpoint.

*Pro-tip: Use the SBB app to check train timings, so you know when to catch the train as it passes the viaduct!

Day 10: Zürich

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

A bustling city with historical charm, Zürich offers a change of pace after days spent amidst nature. We arrived in Zürich from St Moritz at night, and started the next (and last) day exploring the city. Besides taking a day trip out to see the Rhine Falls, we explored Zürich Old Town and caught the sunset at Lindenhof.

At this point, our Swiss Travel Pass had expired, so we got around either by public buses or by foot.

When leaving the city en route to the Zürich Airport, there’s a direct train from Zürich HB station (~10mins, CHF6.80) or you can opt for a private car transfer to get straight to your flight with convenience.

Accommodation: Hotel Bristol Zürich — Various room configurations are available at ~S$95/pax. 5mins walk from Zürich station.Transport: Local SBS train from St Moritz to Zürich (3hrs 6mins)

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Tour Rhine Falls

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

One of the best day trips out from Zürich is to the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall at 23m! We signed up for a half-day tour beginning with a pick up near Zürich main station.

The drive is about 40 minutes before arriving at the entrance of Rhine Falls. Ride the panoramic elevator at the top of the Laufen Castle, down to the viewing platforms. For a more intimate experience, take a boat ride to the Rhine Falls Basin to feel the full force of the falls at close proximity. Note that you’ll have to pay an extra fee for the boat ride (CHF10).

If you’d like to top your visit to the Rhine Falls with exploring Zürich City as well within the day, you can opt for an all-in, full-day tour which includes a cogwheel train ride.

Cost: ~S$72 (for the half-day tour)
Meeting Point: Zürich Central Station, Sihlquai Car Park at 8 1, 8005 Freienbach. Airport pick-ups available.

Explore Zürich Old Town

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Zürich Old Town offers a wide range of cultural, historical, and retail experiences. Look out for the twin towers of the Grossmünster (entrance fee of CHF5), one of Zürich’s most prominent historical landmarks, which you can climb up for a panoramic view of the city. Sightsee at St Peter’s Church, which houses Europe’s largest clock-face.

Stroll along Lake Zürich and enjoy views over ice-cream from Niederdorfstrasse, a shopping street filled with lively cafes. If you’re feeling fancy, head to the high street of Zürich — the Bahnhofstrasse, just to switch it up from the old town vibes.

If you’d like to experience Zürich City while learning more about its history with a guide, go for this Zürich Day Tour.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Featuring a 500m stretch of stores sitting underneath a viaduct, IM VIADUKT is a shopping concept that’ll impress the trendiest of people.

The shops here are carefully curated, gathering ‘hipster’ vendors from all over the world to create a refreshing retail experience selling everything from clothes, bags, and sneaker-fashion to household/decorative ornaments.

Opening Hours: 11AM – 7PM, 10AM – 6PM (Sat). Closed on Sun.
How to get there: First head to the main railway station (Zürich Quartierweg). Then, take the Sihlquai exit and walk in the direction of Zollstrasse. Cross Hafnerstrasse to Josefstrasse, and you’ll arrive (~20mins walk).

Visit the FREITAG Flagship Store

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

FREITAG is famous for fashionable bags made from recycled truck tarps. The flagship store in Zürich is iconic for its storefront design as the tallest shipping container structure in the world! The 26m structure is made by reclaiming shipping containers, and you can climb all the way up for a bird’s eye view of the city.

For dinner, you can head next door to the Frau Gerolds Garten, a beer garden where you can dine alfresco while exploring artsy installations.

FREITAG Store Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 7PM (Mon – Fri), 10AM – 6PM (Sat), closed on Sun.
Address: Geroldstrasse 17, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

Frau Gerolds Garten Opening Hours: 11AM – 12AM (Mon – Sat), 12PM – 10PM (Sun)
Address: Geroldstrasse 23/23a, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

Catch the sunset over Zürich at Lindenhof

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Walk up to Lindenhof Hill to see the cityscape of Zürich, particularly of the Limmat River and Niederdorf (medieval quarter). It’s a favourite spot for locals and travellers alike — sit on the ledge and catch the sun setting over Zürich city.

How to get there: Take a short uphill hike from the riverfront. The lookout point is quite easy to spot from the bottom

Budget Considerations

1) Food

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Eating out anywhere in Switzerland sets you back at least S$20 per meal. For perspective, a simple main at an inexpensive restaurant costs at least S$22, water at restaurants cost S$5 a glass, and a McDonald’s meal goes for S$19. Our wallets would have experienced a money crisis scarier than ‘The Nun’ (more like ‘The None’).

The solution: Good ol’ supermarkets of Coop and Migros, which are found all over Switzerland. There are so many picnic-worthy spots in Switzerland anyway — great excuse to enjoy supermarket food outdoors! Think CHF4 salad pastas and CHF3 tuna sandwiches. Croissants, ham, and spreads in Switzerland are fresh and delicious for breakfast and lunch.

Opt to cook dinner instead of eating out too. We were kids in a candy store (kitchen, rather) trying out different recipes!

To our surprise, we actually managed to keep to a budget of ~CHF20/day. This was spent on groceries with a few restaurant meals of Cheese Fondue in Zermatt, a traditional Swiss restaurant in Lucerne and a comforting meal of McDonald’s. To be honest, food isn’t a highlight in Switzerland so we didn’t feel like we were missing out on much!

2) Accommodation

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

The cheapest accommodation options are hostels and Airbnbs. Renting a whole Airbnb apartment can be pretty costly, but a room is usually good enough, even for the three of us!

Hostels are great because they’re not only affordable, but also often conveniently close to train station and offers access to travellers’ necessities — kitchen, laundry, and free breakfast. Plus point: You get to mingle around with other like-minded travellers as well! Hostels in general cost about S$50–70/pax per night in a shared dorm, which is considered reasonable for Swiss standards.

3) Transport in Switzerland
budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Travelling within or between cities inevitably incurs heavy expenses — one ride from Lucerne to Interlaken could easily cost S$41. We overcame this by planning our route around maximising the Swiss Travel Pass. For a flat price, we got all unlimited rides on buses, trains and even discounted entries (many up to 50%) to some attractions! After doing the math, we realised we saved a whopping total of ~S$971 with the pass. Seriously!

The cheapest and most fuss-free option is to get the E-ticket Swiss Travel Pass via Klook. Confirmation is almost immediate and you have the convenience of accessing the ticket on your phone. Not to mention, they’re also 5% cheaper than getting the physical tickets!

*Pro-tip: If you’re staying with an Airbnb host or hostel, ask for a Visitor Card. This gives you free transport within the city for the whole duration of your stay.

budget itinerary, europe, switzerland, 10-day switzerland itinerary — 6 cities under s$2.3k with the swiss travel pass

Every city and town in Switzerland was so unique from each other — and every day was a surprise. Also, travelling across the country via rail, and waking up to a new destination each time honestly felt magical. We hope this Switzerland itinerary inspires you to try out this Swiss adventure — an experience filled with unfiltered natural beauty, amazing outdoor adventures, and rich cultural offerings!

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