Back in February, before the world got turned upside down, Lyndon and I took a trip to Switzerland. Little did we know that it would be the last trip we would take together for a long while. The day we landed in Switzerland, it was also my birthday so I guess you could say it was a birthday trip of sorts. We didn’t plan it that way, but I’m not going to lie, spending my birthday in Zermatt was pretty amazing.
One thing I love doing before any of our trips is planning our itinerary. Some people hate it, but I love it. I love piecing together which cities we should go to, how many days we should spend there, and how do we get there? It gives me a glimpse of our future trip (and also feeds my Type A personality).
When planning out our trips, I love to use Google Sheets. What’s funny is that I hate Microsoft Excel and avoid it at all cost at work, but Google Sheets is simple, free, I can share it with Lyndon or whoever, and I can pull it up whenever and wherever from my phone. I will go into more detail on how I plan all our trips in a future posts for those who are interested.
When traveling to Europe or any place where we want to see multiple cities and countries, I like to start with the farthest destination first and then start making our way back. This is for when you’re arriving and departing from the same airport. Obviously, this isn’t a big deal if you’re flying into one city and leaving out of another.
In our case, we landed in Zurich and left from Zurich and since Zermatt was our farthest destination, we hopped on a train and went straight there from ZRH.
Night 1 and 2
Zermatt is this dreamy Swiss ski town where Disney meets après-ski. It’s home to the majestic Matterhorn which is pictured on Toblerone’s unique packaging, and a small replica of it can be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Zermatt was also the scenic backdrop to Hugh Laurie’s and Tom Hiddleston’s “The Night Manager” and anyone in Bachelor Nation might recognize it from Ben Flajnik’s season finale.
Since we aren’t skiers, we only spent two nights in Zermatt. I felt like that was enough time to enjoying the beautiful town and not feel “bored” especially if you’re not spending your days on the slopes. We did hike up to this great viewpoint three times during our stay, great spot to take your tripod and get some beautiful night photography in. I will hopefully post about it in the near future, a how to get there, best times to go post.
Night 3 and 4
Wengen and Lauterbrunnen
The first place that popped into my head when planning this trip was Lauterbrunnen. The picturesque village has been on my radar ever since Margo from The Overseas Escape blogged about it back in 2015.
Since we started looking at hotels only one to two months out (I usually like to book three months plus in advanced), most of the hotels in Lauterbrunnen were sold out. I knew nearby Interlaken would have more options since it’s a much bigger town, but I wanted to be in the Alps, I mean we are in Switzerland! I read some travel forums, and people really loved Wengen. I found a great hotel with amazing views and just like that, Wengen got added to our itinerary.
Getting up to Wengen (especially from Zermatt) was an adventure. We had to lug our suitcases on and off 5 different trains all while bundle up in winter coats. One minute I was freezing, the next minute I was sweating!
Night 5, 6, and 7
Lucerne and Bern
Lucerne is one of those iconic Swiss cities that sits on a lake with snowcapped mountains in the background, so obviously I wanted it on the itinerary immediately.
How we winded up in Lucerne during their crazy Carnival though was pure luck. Like I mentioned above, I like traveling farthest to closest and Lucerne landed right in the middle of our itinerary. I knew something was up when I started noticing people (young and old) in costumes on our train the closer we got to Lucerne. For our entire stay, Lucerne was one huge party and
Since Lucerne was our longest stay during our trip (three nights), I planned for our day trip to Bern during this time. It’s an hour long train ride between the two cities which gave us plenty of time to explore this beautiful medieval Swiss capital.
If I had to choose between Bern or Lucerne as our “home base” again, I would pick Lucerne 10/10 times. We really enjoyed walking by the lake in the afternoons and crossing the world’s oldest wooden bridge like it’s no big deal. Bern is beautiful as well, it’s just comes down to preference.
We finally made it back to where we started. I heard Zurich was a crazy expensive city (on top of a crazy expensive Switzerland), so I didn’t want to spend too much time there. We spent our short time in Zurich exploring Old Town, walking up and down Lake Zurich, and eating dinner in complete darkness.
I came to Switzerland with high expectations, and I left completely satisfied. It definitely lived up to the hype, and I can’t wait to post more about this incredible trip!
Have you been to Switzerland? What cities and towns did you visit?