Switzerland Trip – Zermatt and Zurich
Visiting Switzerland was the last part of our Eurotrip. A charming country with scenic landscape and incredible scenery, it was the most ideal destination to conclude our trip. Interlaken, Lucerne, Zermatt, Zurich and Geneva, these were some of the amazing cities and towns in Switzerland that we had in mind. Sadly, we only had 4 days for our Switzerland trip. That became difficult for us to decide where to go. Although Switzerland has a very efficient train system wherein one can travel easily from one place to another, my friends and I didn’t want to rush our vacation. We wanted to experience and enjoy the place without worrying too much about itineraries and activities. So we decided to just choose one or two places to visit. After checking some suggestions online – and the most possible route for us, we decided to go to Zermatt and Zurich.
It was winter season when we went to Switzerland and it happened to be the perfect time to see the Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps. This iconic mountain can be best seen from Zermatt. It is the most photographed mountain in the world. So imagine seeing it covered with snow. Going to Zermatt was the best decision for our group. We had a wonderful time in this lovely town as well in Zurich before flying out of the country. Now, let me share in detail what happened during the 4 days of our Switzerland trip, the places that we visited and why Zermatt is the best place to go during winter.
Arrival in Geneva from Paris
Since we came from Paris, we took an overnight bus to get to Switzerland. Travel time took about 7 hours. By 6:00am we were already in Geneva. That day was also our scheduled departure for Zermatt. We had 3 hours before our train leaves so we thought we could still be able to get around and see a few tourist spots in Geneva. Unfortunately, it was still dark even though it was already 6:00am. Then, I remembered it was winter season so sun rise would normally be from 7:00 to 8:00am. Since we couldn’t get around the city and most of the restaurants were still closed that time, my friends and I just went to the train station. Good thing there was a coffee shop opened already, and there we waited until our train bound for Zermatt arrived.
Three days in Zermatt
4 hours by train from Geneva, my friends and I arrived in Zermatt past 12:00pm. The train ride was very scenic and one of the best experiences I had in Europe. In fact, we were frantic all the time while inside the train because the scenery on the way to Zermatt was unbelievable. It felt like we were in a fantasy movie. When we finally arrived in Zermatt, imagine how we couldn’t contain our excitement.
Zermatt is a lovely town lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. It’s a famous mountain resort where people can go skiing, climbing and hiking. But if you’re not into these kinds of activities, Zermatt is still a best place to go in Switzerland. The town is car free zone so you can enjoy going on a leisure walk and explore the town on foot. The main street is also lined with boutique shops and local restaurant.
The highlight of our Switzerland trip, here’s how we spent our three days in Zermatt.
1. Visit some of the best Matterhorn viewpoints
When in Zermatt, you’ll never run out of best spots to see the Matterhorn. In fact, our room at the Zermatt Youth Hostel offers a stunning view of the mountain. That’s why when we checked in to our hostel on our first day, we didn’t go out anymore. We just enjoyed the incredible view of the Matterhorn from our room and took some photographs.
Another great spot in Zermatt to have a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn and the village is the Zermatt Matterhorn Viewpoint. To get to this observation deck, we walked uphill for about 30 minutes from the town center. We just followed the direction from the Google Maps and luckily we were able to locate it. The best time to visit is in late afternoon to catch the sunset and blue hour.
2. Explore the town on foot
One of the things that we also did when we were in Zermatt was we explored the town on foot. We started by visiting the neighborhood near our hostel until we reached the town center. We were also able to get to the cable car station. While we explored the town, we were also able to visit some spots to see the Matterhorn. You know, this famous mountain will always come into view.
3. Go for a hike
On our last day, my friends and I decided to go for a hike. We just followed where some of the tourists go but we weren’t aiming to finish it. We just wanted to go for a walk, enjoy the scenery and take some photographs of this winter wonderland. Our route this time was from the town center going towards the Matterhorn or where the next cable car station is. Our hike lasted for 4 hours with a lot of stops because of photo opportunities. When it was already around 3:00pm, we decided to go to back to the hostel.
A layover in Zurich
My friends and I took an evening train from Zermatt going to Geneva. Our flight to Zurich was early morning next day. Too bad, we didn’t have a chance to explore Geneva again. Because our flight was in the morning, we just decided to spend the night in an airport hotel.
We arrived at Zurich Airport around 11:00am. Our next flight bound for Hong Kong was scheduled to depart at 10:40pm that day. With about 12 hours lay over, we took this as an opportunity to explore Zurich and visit some of its tourist spots. From the airport, we took a train and was able to arrive in the city in less than 30 minutes. Upon our arrival, we looked for a place to have our lunch first. We found one near the train station. Afterwards, we started walking around. From 12:00pm to 7:00pm, here are the places that we were able to visit in Zurich.
- Bahnhofstrasse – Zurich’s Shopping Boulevard
- Church of St. Peter
- Fraumünster Church
- Zürich Opera House
- University of Zurich
- Zentralbibliothek Library
- Lindenhof Hill
Itinerary for Switzerland trip
Here’s a sample itinerary for 4 days that we have for our Switzerland trip.
- Train from Geneva to Zermatt
- Checked in at Zermatt Youth Hostel
- Explore the town on foot
- Visit some of the best Matterhorn viewpoints
- Go for a hike
- Train from Zermatt to Geneva
- Flight from Geneva to Zermatt
- Layover in Zurich
- Flight from Zurich to Hong Kong
Here are the places that we stayed during our Switzerland trip:
- Zermatt – Zermatt Youth Hostel
- Geneva – ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport
For other options for accommodation in Switzerland, please check and compare using the Agoda search box below.
Switzerland is a wonderful country home to numerous lakes, beautiful villages and the high peaks of the Alps. This amazing country is also packed with plentiful tourist attractions making it a perfect getaway destination in Europe. Experience the best of Switzerland either on your own or by joining organized tours. You may book amazing travel experiences with Klook. Find the best activities, attractions and fun things for your Switzerland trip with exclusive discounts.
Budget for Switzerland trip
To help you plan out your Switzerland trip, here’s the estimated breakdown of our expenses (per person). It excludes flight ticket from Switzerland to Manila.
- Zermatt Youth Hostel mixed dorm room for two nights – Php3,343
- ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport triple room for one night – Php4,037 (Php1,346 per person)
- Paris to Geneva bus ticket – Php1,273
- Geneva to Zermatt roundtrip train ticket – Php4,156
- Food and drinks (estimated cost for my lunch, dinner and snacks in 4 days) – Php5,000
- Other expenses – Php500
- Travel insurance – Php1,885
- Schengen visa fee – Php4,970
- Travel WiFi rental – Php1,413 ($28)
Total per person: Php23,886 ($475)
All dollar amounts are USD (US $)
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Countries to visit in Europe
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Wow! I’m happy to find out a post about Switzerland! There are various places worth to visit and view. Switzerland is a magic country with its climate and atmosphere. My dad was here but, unfortunately, I couldn’t go there that time..but I hope I will stay here in the further future.