How to Spend 1 Week in the Swiss Alps
A week is the perfect amount of time for a Swiss Alps getaway. Hit the ski slopes, savor the views from one of Europe’s highest peaks, enjoy a scenic train ride, and more. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
Day 1: Hop on a train
The snow-blanketed peaks and glittering glaciers of the Swiss Alps provide a magical backdrop for a train ride. Get on the Bernina Express for a journey across the Italian border, passing natural wonders such as Lej Nair Lake. To avoid the hassle of booking train tickets, join a tour that includes round-trip transfers by car and time to wander around Tirano (Italy). Or, take a full-day trip on the Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt, with views of Gotthard Pass and the Matterhorn.
Day 2: Hit the slopes
St. Moritz is one of Switzerland’s most popular resorts, and you’ll find plenty of options for skiing, snowboarding, and more. Prebook your lift pass for Corvatsch—or to escape the crowds, hire a guide and head off-piste to check out Bivio. Summer travelers can hike the area’s excellent trails.
Days 3–4: Explore Lucerne’s lakes and mountains
Plan a night or two in idyllic Lucerne. Spend your first day walking around the historic Old Town, followed by a cruise around Lake Lucerne and a cheese fondue dinner. On your second day there, do the popular Golden Round Trip, which includes a boat cruise, a ride on Europe’s steepest cogwheel railway to the summit of Mt. Pilatus, and a cable car ride back down.
Days 5–6: Have an Interlaken adventure
Known as Switzerland’s adventure sports hub, Interlaken offers ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Explore the town’s two lakes, visit Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, or try a new-to-you activity such as paragliding. The next day, ride to the “Top of Europe,” the 11,332-foot (3,454-meter) summit of Jungfrau mountain.
Day 7: Marvel at the Matterhorn
South of Interlaken, the car-free town of Zermatt is the gateway to the mighty 14,692-foot (4,478-meter) Matterhorn, one of Europe’s highest peaks. Take a cable car ride up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, then a journey on the cogwheel railway to the neighboring Gornergrat—views of the Alps the entire way. While you’re in town, pick up some Toblerone Swiss chocolate (whose logo features the Matterhorn).