20 days in Switzerland Itinerary

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Geneva — 4 nights

Capital of Peace

Geneva brings the world to one small city with a huge expat population and the highest number of international organizations in any one city.
Patek Philippe Museum and CERN will appeal to museum buffs. Visit Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre and Maison Tavel for their historical value. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Geneva: Lausanne (Cathedrale de Lausanne, Collection de l'Art Brut, &more). There's lots more to do: see the interesting displays at International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Geneva, kick back and relax at Plage de Port-Choiseul, and admire the local landmark of The Geneva Water Fountain.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Geneva trip itinerary planning site.

Washington DC, USA to Geneva is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You'll lose 6 hours traveling from Washington DC to Geneva due to the time zone difference. In December, Geneva is slightly colder than Washington DC - with highs of 42°F and lows of 31°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Montreux.
Museums · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 18:

Montreux — 1 night

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 19th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Queen Studio Experience, step into the grandiose world of Chateau de Chillon, then pause for some photo ops at Freddie Mercury Statue, then have fun and explore at Chaplin's World, and finally look for gifts at O'Coeur des Reves ....

To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Montreux online itinerary planner.

You can drive from Geneva to Montreux in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can drive to Zermatt.
Museums · Childrens Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 19:

Zermatt — 3 nights

Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Escape the urban bustle at Gornergrat and Matterhorn Diamonds Ski School. Visit Mountaineers' Cemetery and Intercontinental Church Society for their historical value. Next up on the itinerary: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Matterhorn, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, stop by Laderach, and explore the activities along Pollux.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Zermatt online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Montreux to Zermatt in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to take a train to Bern.
Outdoors · Nature · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 22:

Bern — 3 nights

City of Bears

The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Do your shopping at UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern and Ambra Minerals. Gruyeres Castle and Museum of Communication are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Jeunes Rives (in Neuchatel), Magdalena Hermitage (in Dudingen) and Parasailing & Paragliding (in Interlaken). The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at Zentrum Paul Klee (Paul Klee Center), see the interesting displays at Swiss Brand Museum, fly down the slopes at Grindelwald-First, and don't miss a visit to The Central Church Of Thun.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Bern day trip planner.

You can take a train from Zermatt to Bern in 3 hours. Another option is to drive. In December, daytime highs in Bern are 41°F, while nighttime lows are 26°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can go by car to Eich.
Museums · Outdoors · Shopping · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:

Eich — 2 nights

Eich is a municipality in the district of Sursee in the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland.HistoryEich is first mentioned in 1045 as Heiche. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): kick back and relax at Seebad Eich, step into the grandiose world of Schloss Heidegg, then steep yourself in history at Muri Abbey, and finally see some colorful creatures with Peakdivers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Strandbad Sursee and then get a taste of the local shopping with KKLB (Kunst und Kultur im Landessender Beromunster).

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Eich online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Bern to Eich takes 1.5 hours. In December in Eich, expect temperatures between 40°F during the day and 29°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can go by car to Zurich.
Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Zurich — 6 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Old Town and Friedhof Fluntern. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Bahnhofstrasse and Landesmuseum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Zurich: Seebad Mit Strand Am Vierwaldstattersee (in Kuessnacht am Rigi), Lucerne (Lake Lucerne, Bourbaki Panorama, &more) and Mt Pilatus (in Kriens). There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Museum Rietberg, buy something for everyone on your list at Hauptbahnhof, shop like a local with ARTBOX.GALLERY, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen.

To see reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Zurich online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Eich to Zurich takes 1.5 hours. In December in Zurich, expect temperatures between 41°F during the day and 30°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Neighborhoods
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 2:

Switzerland travel guide

Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.