12 days in Switzerland Itinerary

12 days in Switzerland Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Switzerland visit planner

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Route & dates

12 days in Switzerland Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  11 h 45 min
1
Zurich
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
2
Grindelwald
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
3
Lenk im Simmental
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
4
Zermatt
— 2 nights
Train:  2 h 30 min
5
Bern
— 2 nights
Train + Fly:  13 h
End: Chicago

3
nights
Zurich

Zurich ©
The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Zoo Zurich and Verkehrshaus der Schweiz. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Zurich: Lucerne (Lake Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, & more). Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Lake Zurich, get in on the family fun at Parapark Zurich, and wander the streets of Bahnhofstrasse.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Zurich trip planning site .

Chicago, USA to Zurich is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Chicago to Zurich. Expect a daytime high around 41°F in December, and nighttime lows around 30°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can drive to Grindelwald.

Things to do in Zurich

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Lucerne
Highlights from your plan
Mt Pilatus ©
Mt Pilatus
Lake Zurich ©
Lake Zurich
Lake Lucerne ©
Lake Lucerne

2
nights
Grindelwald

Grindelwald ©
As one of the country's oldest ski resorts, Grindewald serves as a prime example of a cozy Swiss ski town.
On the 20th (Fri), explore the striking landscape at Aletsch Glacier and then take in the awesome beauty at Jungfraujoch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Grindelwald-First, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Maennlichen, then tour the pleasant surroundings at The Eiger Trail, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Eiger.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Grindelwald journey builder website .

Getting from Zurich to Grindelwald by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can drive to Lenk im Simmental.

Things to do in Grindelwald

Nature Parks Tours

Side Trip

Grindelwald-Wengen-Murren-Lauterbrunnen
Highlights from your plan
Aletsch Glacier ©
Aletsch Glacier
Jungfraujoch ©
Jungfraujoch
Grindelwald-First ©
Grindelwald-First

1
night
Lenk im Simmental

Lenk im Simmental
Themed trails make vacations in Lenk im Simmental popular with winter sports lovers.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): hit the slopes at Skigebiet Metsch, then explore the landscape on two wheels at Trottiland, and then fly down the slopes at Skigebiet Betelberg.

To see ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Lenk im Simmental itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Grindelwald to Lenk im Simmental in 1.5 hours. In December, daytime highs in Lenk im Simmental are 34°F, while nighttime lows are 25°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Zermatt.

Things to do in Lenk im Simmental

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Trottiland

2
nights
Zermatt

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): enjoy some diversion at Clay Shoot Zermatt, take in the awesome beauty at The Matterhorn, take in the spiritual surroundings of Kapelle Winkelmatten "Zur Heiligen Familie", then hike along Murmelweg Wanderung, then pause for some serene contemplation at Parish Church of St. Mauritius, and finally make a trip to Mountaineers' Cemetery. Here are some ideas for day two: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Hohbalmen, then take a memorable drive along Gornergrat, then stroll through Matterhorn Ski Paradise, and finally examine the collection at Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Zermatt trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Lenk im Simmental to Zermatt. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Bern.

Things to do in Zermatt

Outdoors Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
The Matterhorn ©
The Matterhorn
Gornergrat ©
Gornergrat
Hohbalmen ©
Hohbalmen

2
nights
Bern

Bern ©
The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
On the 25th (Wed), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Tierpark Dahlholzli, get curious at Einstein House (Einsteinhaus), then get a taste of the local shopping with UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern, and finally have fun and explore at Chaplin's World. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the history behind Zahringerdenkmal monument, then take in panoramic vistas at Clock Tower - Zytglogge, and then make a splash at Bernaqua | Water Park | Fitness | Wellness.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Bern trip planner .

Getting from Zermatt to Bern by train takes about 2.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 41°F, and evening lows to 26°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Bern

Theme Parks Childrens Museums Museums

Side Trip

Chaplin's World
Highlights from your plan
Chaplin's World ©
Chaplin's World
Tierpark Dahlholzli ©
Tierpark Dahlholzli
Einstein House (Einsteinhaus) ©
Einstein House (Einsteinhaus)

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