Switzerland and Italy in Two Weeks
Switzerland and Italy are two of Europe’s most visited countries. They attract around 80 million tourists a year! But this isn’t all just down to good marketing. These countries are popular for all the right reasons – impressive cuisine, interesting history, beautiful scenery, and easy accessibility. Lucky for you, these two countries are neighbors, and they’re perfect for exploring by rail. Do you want to see Switzerland and Italy in two weeks? We have the ultimate itinerary for you.
Switzerland and Italy in two weeks
- Day 1: Zurich, Switzerland
- Days 1 – 2: Lucerne, Switzerland
- Days 2 – 4: GoldenPass and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
- Days 5 – 6: Zermatt, Switzerland
- Days 7 – 8: Glacier Express and St Moritz, Switzerland
- Days 9 – 10: Bernina Express and Milan, Italy
- Days 11 – 12: Florence, Italy
- Days 13 – 14: Rome, Italy
Day 1: Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is home to Switzerland’s busiest airport, which makes it a good starting point for a rail journey between Switzerland and Italy. Zurich may primarily be a transport, banking, and finance hub, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the views and atmosphere before continuing south.
Don’t miss: If you’re only in town for a few hours, then walk the quaint lanes of the Old Town and take in the beautiful scenes along the waterfront.
Days 1 – 2: Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne may have all the trappings of a large Swiss city, but there’s still a small town charm to this beautiful destination that makes it incredibly appealing. Like Zurich, this means that food and accommodation aren’t cheap. But when you lay eyes on this impressive lakeside setting, you’ll realise why.
Don’t miss: A walk along the city walls and up the clock towers offers the best views of the city and lake, and it’s also free!
How to get there by train: There are regular trains between Zurich and Lucerne that take approximately 50 minutes.
Days 2 – 4: GoldenPass and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Hop aboard the GoldenPass Line and prepare for the ride of your life. Interlaken may be one of the more popular cities in Switzerland, but the true magic lies just up the tracks. A lifetime may not be enough for this Swiss valley, but give yourself at least two full days. You’ll have enough time to take in some hikes, a trip up to the Jungfraujoch, a stomach-churning Alpine paraglide, or a ferry cruise along Lakes Thun and Brienz.
Don’t miss: If budget allows, then ride up to the Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn. If your finances are strained, then head for the mountains on foot. Altitude always wins, but a walk to Wengen, Müren, or even further up the valley floor is really rewarding.
How to get there by train: There are regular trains between Lucerne and Interlaken, including those on the panoramic GoldenPass carriages. Split the journey in two parts and alight at Interlaken station. From there, a small private train connects you to Lauterbrunnen – just show your Eurail Pass for a discount.
Days 5 – 6: Zermatt, Switzerland
The GoldenPass Line continues down towards the exquisite Lake Geneva. It’s an incredible destination if you have some additional days to spare. But if you’re short on time, then there are easy train connections from Interlaken to the famous town of Zermatt, in the shadow of the Matterhorn.
Don’t miss: Glacier Paradise in Zermatt might be costly, but it’s as impressive as the name suggests. If it’s out of your budget, there are dozens of hikes that can dish up magnificent views of the Matterhorn for free.
How to get there by train: Regular trains between the two cities take approximately two hours. The train between Visp and Zermatt isn’t included in your Eurail Pass, but you’ll get a discount.
Days 7 – 8: St Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz is a beautiful city. It just oozes glitz and glamour all year round. To get there, a ride on the Glacier Express is an experience you won’t forget. This popular route is completely covered by the Eurail Pass! You’ll need to pay a reservation fee to secure a seat, but consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Don’t miss: A sunrise walk or jog around Lake St. Moritz before your train departs is a great experience – and it won’t cost you a cent.
How to get there by train: The Glacier Express runs between Zermatt and St. Moritz every day. Check the website for the latest timetable.
Days 9 – 10: Bernina Express and Milan, Italy
Hitch a ride out of Switzerland in the most dramatic way possible – aboard the Bernina Express. This route, recognized by UNESCO, is easily one of the most scenic in Europe. It connects you directly to the Italian town of Tirano in just a few hours, and you can then continue on to the design and fashion capital of Milan.
Don’t miss: It would be difficult, and a mistake, to miss Milan’s Duomo. This monumental Gothic cathedral is the architectural symbol of this iconic city.
How to get there by train: Several regional trains leave from St. Moritz to Tirano, as well as daily departures of the panoramic Bernina Express. Both offer the same views, though the Express requires a seat reservation. There are also hourly trains from Tirano to Milan.
Days 11 – 12: Florence, Italy
Florence attracts visitors the world over for its food, coffee, architecture, and art. It’s the birthplace of the Renaissance. It’s also a city that’s earned top spots on many bucket lists, and in many hearts.
Don’t miss: Climb to the top of Florence’s Duomo. Purchase a combination ticket and experience the views from both the dome and the bell tower.
How to get there by train: There are regular high-speed trains between Milan and Florence.
Days 13 – 14: Rome, Italy
To wrap up Switzerland and Italy in two weeks, go to the Italian capital of Rome. It’s a city so famous that you’ll feel as if you already know it, but there’s something profoundly moving about walking her streets and soaking up the history. A day isn’t enough to take it all in, so allocate as much time as possible here before jetting out. Rome’s international airport has good connections to many international destinations.
Don’t miss: Simply walking the streets, and taking in the sights in and around the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
How to get there by train: Regular high-speed trains between Florence and Rome make it an easy connection.
This isn’t the complete guide to ticking off these two countries. If anything, this journey will only leave you wanting more! But if your goal is to schedule the Italian-Swiss rail adventure of a lifetime, then pick up a Eurail Italy-Switzerland Pass (NEW in 2017) and start planning!