16 days in Switzerland & Lake Maggiore (Italy & Switzerland) Itinerary

16 days in Switzerland & Lake Maggiore (Italy & Switzerland) Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Zurich, Switzerland
1
Zurich, Switzerland
— Few hours
Train:  1 h
2
Bern, Switzerland
— 2 nights
Train:  1 h
3
Interlaken, Switzerland
— 4 nights
Train:  2 h 15 min
4
Lausanne, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Train:  3 h 15 min
5
Zermatt, Switzerland
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
6
Stresa, Italy
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
7
Bellinzona, Switzerland
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
8
Stein am Rhein, Switzerland
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 15 min
9
Zurich, Switzerland
— 1 night
Fly:  13 h 15 min
End: Minneapolis, United States

few
hours
Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich ©
The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Grossmunster and then take a stroll through Old Town.

To see other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Zurich online trip builder.

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major aiports are Zürich Airport, Basel Mulhouse Freiburg and Bern Belp Airport. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in September, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a train to Bern.

Things to do in Zurich

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Old Town ©
Old Town
Grossmunster ©
Grossmunster

2
nights
Bern, Switzerland

Bern ©
The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Wed): engage your brain at Einstein House (Einsteinhaus) and then take a stroll through UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern. Keep things going the next day: browse the different shops at Central Railroad Station, look for gifts at Ambra Minerals, don't miss a visit to St. Ursenkathedrale, thenpause for some serene contemplation at Jesuitenkirche, and finally shop like a local with Federal Building (Bundeshaus).

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Bern trip planner.

Getting from Zurich to Bern by train takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Bern are 68°F, while nighttime lows are 47°F. On the 6th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Interlaken.

Things to do in Bern

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Solothurn, Ambra Minerals
Highlights from your plan
Ambra Minerals ©
Ambra Minerals
The Cathedral of Bern ©
The Cathedral of Bern
Central Railroad Station ©
Central Railroad Station

4
nights
Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken ©
Nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in the heart of the Jungfrau region, Interlaken became popular for its proximity to the mountains and lakes of the Bernese Oberland region.
Take a break from the city and head to Oeschinen Lake and Maennlichen. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Staubbach Waterfall and Galerie Wydi. Go for a jaunt from Interlaken to Engelberg to see Titlis about 1h 30 min away. There's still lots to do: admire the verdant scenery at Lauterbrunnen Village, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, take in the dramatic scenery at Trümmelbachfälle, and stop by Central Sport.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Interlaken route planner.

Getting from Bern to Interlaken by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Lausanne.

Things to do in Interlaken

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Lauterbrunnen, Maennlichen, Central Sport, Titlis, Oeschinen Lake
Highlights from your plan
Staubbach Waterfall ©
Staubbach Waterfall
Maennlichen ©
Maennlichen
Lauterbrunnen Village ©
Lauterbrunnen Village

3
nights
Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne ©
Lausanne contains several distinct neighborhoods, each offering a different side of the French-speaking Swiss town.
Step off the beaten path and head to Grottes de Vallorbe and Corniche Lavaux Vineyards. Head to Fondation de l'Hermitage and Maison de l'Etivazfor plenty of shopping. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Lausanne: Chateau de Chillon (in Veytaux), Lac d'Emosson (in Salvan) and Gruyeres Castle (in Gruyeres). There's still lots to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Place de la Palud, learn about winemaking at Maurice Neyroud, make a trip to Vieille ville, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedrale de Lausanne.

To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Lausanne trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Interlaken to Lausanne takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to take a train to Zermatt.

Things to do in Lausanne

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Chateau de Chillon, Lac d'Emosson, Maison de l'Etivaz, Corniche Lavaux Vineyards, Grottes de Vallorbe
Highlights from your plan
Chateau de Chillon ©
Chateau de Chillon
Grottes de Vallorbe ©
Grottes de Vallorbe
Corniche Lavaux Vineyards ©
Corniche Lavaux Vineyards

1
night
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
On the 13th (Fri), stop by Laderach, thenplay a few rounds at Golf Club Matterhorn, and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Matterhorn.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Zermatt online trip planner.

Traveling by train from Lausanne to Zermatt takes 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to drive to Stresa.

Things to do in Zermatt

Nature Golf Parks
Highlights from your plan
The Matterhorn ©
The Matterhorn
Golf Club Matterhorn ©
Golf Club Matterhorn
Laderach ©
Laderach

2
nights
Stresa, Italy

Stresa ©
Stresa is a town and comune of about 5,000 residents on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, about 90km northwest of Milan. On the 14th (Sat), contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Orta, thenmake a trip to Lago di Mergozzo, and then take in the exciting artwork at Palazzo Borromeo. On the 15th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Spiaggia di Cerro, thenlearn about winemaking at Azienda Vitivinicola Fontechiara, thenexplore the ancient world of Chiesa San Martino, and finally steep yourself in history at Piazza Motta.

For maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Stresa route planner.

You can drive from Zermatt to Stresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train. Expect a daytime high around 75°F in September, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Bellinzona.

Things to do in Stresa

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Orta San Giulio, Azienda Vitivinicola Fontechiara, Lago di Mergozzo, Spiaggia di Cerro, Chiesa San Martino
Highlights from your plan
Azienda Vitivinicola Fontechiara ©
Azienda Vitivinicola Fontechiara
Lago di Mergozzo ©
Lago di Mergozzo
Palazzo Borromeo ©
Palazzo Borromeo

1
night
Bellinzona, Switzerland

Bellinzona ©
Bellinzona is the capital of the canton Ticino in Switzerland. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): take an in-depth tour of Castello di Montebello, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Chiesa Collegiata dei SS Pietro e Stefano, thenstep into the grandiose world of Castelgrande, thenvisit Santa Petronilla, and finally explore the historical opulence of Castelli di Bellinzona. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Chocolat Stella, make a trip to Curzutt, and then take a memorable drive along Ponte Tibetano Valle di Sementina.

For maps, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Bellinzona online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Stresa to Bellinzona in 1.5 hours. In September, daytime highs in Bellinzona are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can travel to Stein am Rhein.

Things to do in Bellinzona

Historic Sites Scenic Drive Parks

Side Trips

Santa Petronilla, Curzutt, Ponte Tibetano Valle di Sementina
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Montebello ©
Castello di Montebello
Castelgrande ©
Castelgrande
Castelli di Bellinzona ©
Castelli di Bellinzona

1
night
Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

Stein am Rhein ©
Stein am Rhein is a historic town and a municipality in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland.The town has a well-preserved medieval centre, retaining the ancient street plan. On the 18th (Wed), explore the historical opulence of Munot, thentake a stroll through Altstadt Schaffhausen, thenget engrossed in the history at Museum Kloster Sankt Georgen, and finally look for gifts at Ihr Fabrikat & Meerhaus.

To find more things to do and more tourist information, read our Stein am Rhein trip itinerary maker site.

Traveling by car from Bellinzona to Stein am Rhein takes 3 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Bellinzona in September: high temperatures in Stein am Rhein hover around 68°F and lows are around 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Zurich.

Things to do in Stein am Rhein

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Schaffhausen
Highlights from your plan
Munot ©
Munot
Altstadt Schaffhausen ©
Altstadt Schaffhausen
Ihr Fabrikat & Meerhaus ©
Ihr Fabrikat & Meerhaus

1
night
Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich ©
On the 19th (Thu), explore the activities along Lake Zurich.

To see maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Zurich road trip planner.

Getting from Stein am Rhein to Zurich by car takes about an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Zurich

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Lake Zurich ©
Lake Zurich

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