Lauterbrunnen Waterfall

2 Days in Switzerland: Best Itinerary Ideas 2023

2 Days in Switzerland: A Magical Adventure for Families

You could spend a week in Switzerland, a treasure trove of stunning landscapes and charming towns. With just 2 days in Switzerland, you can create memories that will last a lifetime. This article has tips and tricks to help parents make the most of a short stay in this enchanting land.

The Perfect Swiss Itinerary for Families

Day 1: Zurich and Surroundings

 Zurich: 2 Days In Switzerland: Best Itinerary Ideas 2023

Morning: Explore Zurich

Start your adventure by exploring the beautiful city of Zurich. Take a leisurely walking tour around the city center, where you’ll find a mix of modern and medieval architecture, colorful glass windows, and picturesque Lake Zurich. While strolling through the city, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the magnificent Grossmünster church, one of Zurich’s most iconic landmarks.

Tip: Zurich offers various guided walking tours catering to families. Some even have themes like exploring the city’s history or tasting delicious Swiss chocolate.

Afternoon: Making the Most of the Bernese Oberland Region

While half a day might not be enough time to make it from Zurich to the top of the Schilthorn in the Jungfrau region, you can still visit the Bernese Oberland area and enjoy some of its highlights within that time frame. However, to fully appreciate the region’s beauty, it would be ideal for spending a whole day or even the entire two days in the Bernese Oberland.

If you’re determined to fit the Bernese Oberland into a single day, consider booking an organized day tour from Zurich. These tours typically include transportation, a cable car ride, and an itinerary that covers some of the region’s most stunning attractions. You’ll experience the breathtaking Swiss Alps and enjoy activities tailored to families.

Wengen View From Mannlichen

Tip: Be sure to pack warm clothes and sunscreen for your trip up the mountain, as the weather can change rapidly in the Alps.

When time is limited, focus on the key attractions in the area, such as the charming towns of Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. A walk through these picturesque villages will give you a taste of the region’s beauty and culture. If time permits, you can also take a cable car ride to a nearby viewing platform or mountain peak for panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Suppose your schedule allows for a longer visit. In that case, you can plan a more extensive exploration of the region, including a trip to the top of the Schilthorn and a visit to its rotating restaurant, Piz Gloria. This unique experience offers interactive exhibits like the Thrill and 007 Walk of Fame, making it a memorable stop for families.

For more info, check out our guide to the best things to do in Switzerland with kids, including Jungfraujoch.

Spending the night in Lauterbrunnen is a great choice for a scenic stay before heading to Lucerne the next day.

Lauterbrunnen Waterfall

Day 2: Lucerne and Beyond

Morning: Discover Lucerne


Start your second day by visiting the charming city of Lucerne. Stroll along the main street, with beautiful old buildings and boutique shops. Cross the historic Chapel Bridge and admire the medieval Water Tower, which once served as a prison and treasury.

While in Lucerne, visit the Jesuit Church, a stunning example of Swiss Baroque architecture. The church’s ornate interior and rich history make it a must-see for families.

For more info on Lucerne, check out our guide to visiting Lucerne in winter.

Afternoon: Boat Ride Across Lake Lucerne

Embark on a scenic boat ride across Lake Lucerne, where you’ll see the spectacular mountains and quaint villages that make Switzerland a great place to visit. You can choose between a modern motor vessel or a historic paddle steamer for your trip across the lake.

During your boat ride, consider stopping at the Richard Wagner Museum, dedicated to the famous German composer who lived in the area. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Wagner’s life and impact on music.

Top Hotels in Lucerne for Families

Securing the ideal hotel for your family vacation is essential for creating lasting memories. Lucerne is a quaint small town, so staying in the Old Town allows you to enjoy picturesque scenery while still being just a 10-minute walk away from the train station.

Here are some top-rated hotels in Lucerne that cater to families, each with a rating of 8 out of 10 or higher on

Our top choice

Hotel des Balances

Hotel des Balances is a charming 4-star hotel in the heart of Lucerne’s old town. This historic building offers beautifully designed rooms, some with views of the Reuss River. The hotel provides family rooms and a kid-friendly menu at the on-site restaurant.

Rating: 9.0/10 on

Another Great choice

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is a luxurious 5-star hotel located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The hotel features elegant rooms, a spa, and several on-site dining options.

Rating: 8.6/10 on

top Pick close to train station

Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne, is a modern 4-star hotel near the main train station and Lake Lucerne. The hotel offers spacious family rooms, an on-site restaurant with a kids’ menu, and babysitting services upon request.

The location makes it easy to drop off your luggage after arriving at the train station.

Rating: 8.3/10 on

Extra Swiss Experiences for Families

Visit St. Moritz and the Engadine Valley

St. Moritz, located in the heart of the Engadine Valley, is perfect for families to experience the Swiss Alps’ luxury and beauty. With stunning views, small towns, and luxury hotels, this is a great destination for those seeking a more exclusive Swiss experience.

While in St. Moritz, ride on the funicular railway up to Muottas Muragl. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The area also offers a variety of family-friendly hiking trails and outdoor activities, like mountain biking and horseback riding.

A Memorable Day Trip to the City of Bern

The capital city of Bern, with its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, is a must-visit for families. A short walk from the main station, you’ll find the city center’s beautiful medieval architecture, including the impressive Federal Palace and the unique Clock Tower, also known as Zytglogge.

Make sure to visit the majestic Bern Cathedral and take in the city’s best views from its platform. While exploring Bern, don’t forget to stop by the famous Bear Park, home to the city’s mascot bears. Children will love watching the bears play and swim in their spacious enclosures.

Explore the Town of Thun and the Surrounding Lakes

Thun Switzerland

Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland region, offer families a chance to enjoy various outdoor activities, such as boat rides, hiking, and even paragliding. The town of Thun, with its medieval castle and charming Old Town, is a great starting point for your adventures in the region.

Take a scenic boat trip around Lake Thun, stopping at picturesque villages like Spiez and Oberhofen, where you can visit their castles. You can also explore the majestic St. Beatus Caves, an underground wonderland filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and rushing waterfalls.

Discover the Swiss-Italian Charm of Lake Como

If you have extra time, consider a day trip across the border to Lake Como in Italy. This beautiful lake is just a short ride away from the Swiss border. It offers a different taste of the region’s beauty, with its small villages, stunning villas, and delicious Italian cuisine.

Stroll through the lovely lakeside town of Bellagio, known as the “Pearl of Lake Como.” You’ll find charming cobblestone streets, elegant boutiques, and delicious gelato shops here. Don’t miss a visit to Villa Melzi, with its beautiful gardens and museum, for a peek into the opulent lifestyle of Lake Como’s past residents.

Tips for Saving Time and Money

  • To avoid extra costs, consider using free parking options in smaller towns or staying in accommodations with free parking included.
  • If you’re planning a Switzerland road trip, remember that Swiss motorways require a vignette sticker. You can purchase one at border crossings or gas stations.
  • For families traveling in the summer months, a visit to Lake Constance offers a great way to cool off and enjoy water activities, such as swimming and sailing.
  • Don’t forget to try some traditional Swiss dishes, like fondue and raclette, to make your trip even more memorable.

The Best Way to Get Around Switzerland

Switzerland boasts an efficient and reliable public transportation system, making it easy for families to explore the country. One of the best ways to get around is by train, with regular trains connecting major cities, towns, and even the most remote mountain villages.

Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass and the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland are excellent options for travelers planning to explore Switzerland using public transportation. Each pass offers a range of benefits and discounts, making it easy to decide which one suits your itinerary best.

Swiss Travel Pass

Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass is a convenient, all-in-one ticket granting unlimited access to Switzerland’s public transportation network, including trains, buses, and boats. It also includes free admission to over 500 museums and discounts on mountain excursions. The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days, making it perfect for short and extended trips. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Unlimited travel on trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland
  • Free admission to over 500 museums
  • Discounts on mountain excursions, such as Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi
  • Free travel for children under 16 when accompanied by a parent with a Swiss Family Card

Regional Pass Bernese Oberland

Regional Pass Bernese Oberland

The Regional Pass Bernese Oberland is designed specifically for travelers exploring the Bernese Oberland region, including popular destinations like Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen. The pass offers unlimited travel on select trains, buses, boats, and cable cars within the region and discounts on various mountain excursions. It is available for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 10 days within one month, allowing flexible travel planning. Key benefits of the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland include:

  • Unlimited travel on select trains, buses, boats, and cable cars within the Bernese Oberland region
  • Discounts on mountain excursions, such as the Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn
  • Flexible travel days within one month

Ultimately, the choice between the Swiss Travel Pass and the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland depends on your travel plans and the specific areas of Switzerland you wish to explore. If you plan to visit multiple regions throughout the country, the Swiss Travel Pass may be the better option.

However, if your focus is solely on the Bernese Oberland region, the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland could provide better value for your trip.

We ultimately went with the Oberland pass for our recent Switzerland trip, which focused mainly on Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Lucerne, with day trips to places like Jungfraujoch.

Swiss Trains

Switzerland is known for having one of the world’s most efficient and extensive train systems. The train network is a great way to get around the country and an excellent option for families traveling with kids. One of the main benefits of traveling by train in Switzerland is that it is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly. Additionally, many trains are equipped with features that make them especially kid-friendly.

Swiss Train Playground

Switzerland is known for having one of the world’s most efficient and extensive train systems. The train network is a great way to get around the country and an excellent option for families traveling with kids.

One of the main benefits of traveling by train in Switzerland is that it is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly.

Additionally, many trains are equipped with features that make them especially kid-friendly.

For example, some Swiss trains have playgrounds on the upper levels, which provide a fun and safe environment for kids to play and burn off energy during long journeys.

In this picture, the upper deck had a slide that our kids spent the whole two-hour ride playing with other kids on.

These play areas often contain slides, swings, and other toys to entertain children.

Some trains also have family compartments, which offer extra space and privacy for families traveling with young children.

Swiss Train Dining Car Scenery

Another great feature of Swiss trains is that they offer stunning views of the countryside and mountains.

Kids will love watching the changing scenery from the comfort of their seats, and parents will appreciate the opportunity to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Additionally, many Swiss trains offer onboard dining options, which are convenient for families traveling with kids who may need to eat or snack during their journey.

On this journey from Interlaken to Lucerne, the train featured a dining car, though full meals weren’t served.

Must-Visit Attractions in Switzerland

During your 2-day Switzerland itinerary, visit some of the best places and experience the best things this small country offers. The Jungfrau Region is home to the famous Kleine Scheidegg, a mountain pass with breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. Take a cogwheel train ride up to the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station, for a different perspective on the majestic Swiss Alps.

In central Switzerland, don’t miss a visit to the charming city of Lucerne. Walk across the Chapel Bridge, explore the historic city center, and take a boat ride on Lake Lucerne for a truly memorable experience.

When to Visit Switzerland

The best time to visit Switzerland depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to enjoy. The warmer months, from June to September, are ideal for hiking, cycling, and enjoying the stunning lakes. Winter months, from December to February, are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.

If planning a week trip or visiting for the first time, allocate enough time to explore Switzerland’s different places. From the bustling cities of Zurich and Geneva to the picturesque towns of Thun and Interlaken, there’s much to see and do.

Discover the Bernina Express and Glacier Express

Switzerland is famous for its scenic train journeys, and two of the most popular are the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express. The Bernina Express takes you from Chur to the charming town of Tirano, Italy, through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Engadine Valley and the Bernina Pass.

The Glacier Express connects the two famous Swiss mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz, offering panoramic views of the Swiss Alps through tunnels, bridges, and viaducts.

Travel Insurance and Safety Tips

Switzerland is considered a safe destination for travelers, but it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance in case of emergencies or unforeseen events. Ensure your travel insurance covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or stolen belongings.

When exploring the country, use Google Maps or other navigation apps to plan your routes and ensure you’re on the right path. Always respect local customs and practices, like keeping a distance from Swiss Guards when visiting the Vatican in Rome.

Travel Insurance

Planning a family vacation? Don’t forget to protect your loved ones and your investment with travel insurance from Here are some key reasons to choose for your travel insurance needs:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: offers tailored policies for various needs, including medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Find the perfect balance between coverage and affordability with’s range of plans.
  3. Easy Online Process: Get a quote, compare plans, and purchase a policy effortlessly through their user-friendly website.
  4. Trusted Reputation: Rely on’s years of experience and exceptional service in the travel insurance industry.

Secure peace of mind for your family vacation by choosing travel insurance from today.

Enjoy the Swiss Culture and End Your Day with a Smile

Switzerland offers a rich and diverse cultural experience, from historic cities to remote mountain villages. Whether you’re strolling through the city center of Zurich, enjoying a late afternoon boat ride on Lake Geneva, or visiting a Catholic church nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Reflect on the incredible memories you’ve made during your 2-day Switzerland adventure. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy your time together as a family and cherish the experiences that make your trip unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular Swiss souvenirs to bring home?

Popular Swiss souvenirs include Swiss chocolate, Swiss Army knives, watches, and traditional cowbells. You can find these items in most souvenir shops and even at the airport before you leave.

What is the currency in Switzerland?

The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). While some places may accept euros, having Swiss Francs for smaller purchases and local establishments is a good idea.

How can I save money on train tickets in Switzerland?

A Swiss Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card can save you money on train tickets. Booking train tickets in advance can also help you find better deals. Additionally, you can check the SBB website for promotions and special offers.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-prepared to make the most of your 2 days in Switzerland with your family. Have a fantastic trip and cherish the memories you’ll create together!

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