4 Days in Central Switzerland (Bern and Lucerne Itinerary)

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Switzerland’s cities are magical. The Swiss Alps is stunningly unreal. As someone who has been profoundly changed by the mountains and who is fascinated by anything with a touch of old world beauty, I can’t underscore enough how a 4-day trip to Switzerland can be incredibly amazing and still leave you craving for more.

Yes… I’ll give it to you straight: 4 days in Switzerland isn’t enough. However, 4 days are is already sufficient to get a taste of what Switzerland is all about. If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Switzerland, I’d say a 4-day trip is the bare minimum to experience this stunning country.

Now, with all the beautiful places in Switzerland, from charming cities to rustic alpine villages, from idyllic valleys to eternally frozen spectacular peaks, deciding where to go during your 4-day visit is surely difficult. ‘Where should I go on my 4-day trip to Switzerland?’ — I believe it’s the ultimate question. After years of learning about Switzerland, exploring, and being obsessed with it, though, I am confident I can provide a solid answer or suggestion. It’s Central SwitzerlandBern, Bernese Oberland (Interlaken and Thun), and Lucerne.

I’ve considered Zermatt, Montreux, Saint Moritz, Lugano, the Rhone Valley, and others. However, for practical reasons, it really has to be Central Switzerland. This is the part of Switzerland where beautiful cities are less than an hour away from some of the greatest attractions of the Swiss Alps. Also, these cities are also very close to Zurich, which is often the entry and exit point for people visiting Switzerland.

Summary: Here’s what you can anticipate on a 4-day journey through Central Switzerland. (with photos)


  1. Two most beautiful cities in Switzerland (Bern and Lucerne)
  2. The fairytale lake of Switzerland (Lake Thun in Bernese Oberland)
  3. One of Switzerland’s most beautiful mountains (Mount Pilatus)
  4. The steepest railway in the world (Pilatus Railway)
  5. Some of the most notable museums in Switzerland (Bern Historical Museum and Museum of Transport in Lucerne)
  6. Some of Switzerland’s most iconic landmarks (Chapel Bridge and Zygtlogge)
  7. Magical castles beside a lake and near the Alps (Oberhofen Castle and Thun Castle)
Bern, Lucerne, Lake Thun, and Mount Pilatus, Itinerary Destinations, 4 Days in Switzerland
Bern, Lucerne, Lake Thun, and Mount Pilatus
Pilatus Railway, Bern Historical Museum, Museum of Transport, Oberhofen castle, Itinerary Destinations, 4 Days in Switzerland
Pilatus Railway, Bern Historical Museum, Museum of Transport, Oberhofen castle


  • Day 1 — Bern
    • Morning: Bern Historical Museum or Museum of Communication
    • Afternoon: Old City of Bern
    • Sunset/Evening: Rose Garden (Bern)
  • Day 2 — Bernese Oberland
    • Morning: Thun
    • Afternoon: Oberhofen Castle
    • Sunset/Evening: Harder Kulm
  • Day 3 — Lucerne
    • Morning: Old Town Lucerne
    • Afternoon: Swiss Museum of Transport
    • Sunset/Evening: Night Watchman Tour
  • Day 4 — Mount Pilatus

Note: If you prefer, you can modify the itinerary to align more closely with your interests. For example, you might arrange to explore Lucerne and Mount Pilatus on Day 1 and Day 2, then schedule your visits to Bern and the Bernese Oberland for Day 3 and Day 4. To make the most of your Swiss journey, remember that Mount Pilatus is a day’s excursion from Lucerne, and the Bernese Oberland can be visited in a day from Bern. When adjusting your itinerary, make sure to pair each city with its corresponding day trip consecutively.

Bern and Bernese Oberland, Day 1 and Day 2 of Switzerland Itinerary
Bern and Bernese Oberland
Lucerne and Mount Pilatus, Day 3 and Day 4 of Switzerland Itinerary
Lucerne and Mount Pilatus
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Suggestions: Different ways to spend 4 days in Switzerland depending on your interest

While Central Switzerland is only one part of the country, impressively, it still has plenty of attractions to choose from for a 4-day trip. These give us many ways how you can spend time in Switzerland. Apart from the 4-day itinerary I’ll show you, remember you can also try these:

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Preparation: Arrival, where to stay, and tips for this 4-day Switzerland trip
  1. Arrival to Switzerland — If you’re journeying to Switzerland from afar or another continent, your arrival point could be either Bern or Zurich. However, as Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city with more flight connections than Bern, it’s highly probable that your Swiss adventure will begin at Zurich Airport. If Zurich is your only option, there’s no need for concern. The transit from Zurich to Bern or Lucerne is straightforward. In fact, you can head directly to Bern or Lucerne upon landing at Zurich Airport.
    • To Bern — direct 1-hour-and-20-minute train ride.
    • To Lucerne — single 1-hour-and-10-minute train ride. 
  2. Where to stay in Switzerland — For your 4-day trip to Switzerland, you have the option to stay in either Lucerne or Bern, as they’re only an hour apart by train or road. However, to save both time and money from commuting back and forth, I suggest securing two hotel accommodations: one in Bern (2 nights) and another in Lucerne (1 or 2 nights).
    • Note: These are affiliate links to my partner’s hotel booking and search platform, which offers amazing hotel deals. I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you when you book through them. Please… these small earnings will help me sustain my passion in creating more travel guides like this itinerary. Thank you for your support!
  3. Swiss Travel Pass — Save money with this “special ticket.” It will give you unlimited access to the buses, trains, and boats in Switzerland. Gondolas/Cable cars are 50% discounted. At the same time, it covers free admission to over 500 museums (some are only 50% off) and castles in Switzerland. That includes Oberhofen Castle, Thun Castle, the Museum of Communication, the Bern Historical Museum, and the Swiss Museum of Transport (50%) in this itinerary. You can check the price of a Swiss Travel Pass here. The list of museums included in the Swiss Travel Pass is linked in the resources section of this post.
  4. Unlimited internet connection — While many locations in Switzerland offer free WiFi, such as the ‘SBB-FREE’ network at SBB stations, I would still suggest securing your own unlimited 4G connection. In certain areas, the complimentary internet service is limited to 60 minutes. Once you’ve used up your 60 minutes, you’ll have to wait another 2 hours before you can reconnect to the free service. Above all, having an unlimited internet connection is incredibly useful for navigation, locating nearby eateries, and so forth. It’s also beneficial when you require real-time information, such as a live view from a viewpoint or mountaintop. You can check the price of a pocket WiFi with unlimited 4G internet here.

Other important tips:

  1. Most museums are closed on Mondays
  2. You don’t need to rent a car for this itinerary.
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If you can extend your Switzerland trip for a couple more days, check out my 6-Day Switzerland itinerary that is focused at Bernese Oberland.

Day 1 — Bern

Bern is the ideal starting point for your four-day itinerary in Switzerland. Based from what I have discovered and as the capital, it offers a fantastic introduction to this stunning country. There are museums that provide insights about the country, and you can find landmarks and attractions that narrate some history.

Above all, Bern is a must-see for its stunning architecture — it provides a beautiful first impression of the country. Its historic center? It was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect it to be as wander-worthy as other historic centers in Europe. Stepping into the Old City of Bern feels like going back to the 15th and 16th centuries when its picture-perfect arcades and charming fountains were built.


Day 1 Visual Summary

Day 1 details: Make the most of your visit to Bern

I usually recommend dedicating a day to exploring Bern’s Old City. This is because the Old City already encompasses everything you need to experience to truly capture the essence of Bern as a destination. The Old City of Bern boasts beautiful scenery, eye-catching architectural attractions, and charming fountains.

Most importantly, the Old City is the area where we can find the city’s highlights and must-see attractions. There’s the Zytglogge, a clock tower and Bern’s most iconic landmark; the Bundeshaus, an imposing building at the heart of Swiss democracy; and the Bern Cathedral, a marvelous religious building that stands as Switzerland’s tallest church. A visit to these attractions alone, coupled with a trip to the Rose Garden, could easily engage you in Bern for half a day.

By the way, the Rose Garden is a park offering the ultimate view overlooking the Old City. It features a restaurant where you can enjoy a romantic sunset, should you be traveling with your partner.

For your four-day trip to Switzerland, however, I suggest a balanced itinerary. Instead of spending the entire day in the Old City, divide your time. Spend the morning at the Bern Historical Museum, and reserve your afternoon and evening for the Old City.

I usually recommend visiting the museums in Bern only if you’re planning to stay in the city for a two-day visit. But with the fascinating discoveries at the Bern Historical Museum, spending a few hours there is well worth it during your 4-day Switzerland trip.

In a nutshell, The Bern Historical Museum is an excellent starting point in Bern to understand Switzerland. It offers exhibits that depict life in Switzerland from the Stone Age to the 20th century. It’s like sketching a picture of the amazing country you’re about to explore. The museum also features exhibits on archaeology, history, and ethnography, with half a million objects representing cultures worldwide!

A special treat is an entire floor dedicated to Albert Einstein. You’ll learn about this genius’s life and his scientific breakthroughs, like the general theory of relativity. Einstein lived in Bern for a few years, and his apartment, now a museum, is located along Kramgasse.

If you’re traveling with kids, consider the Museum of Communication as an alternative to the Bern Historical Museum. It offers fun interactive games and exhibits about all sorts of communication. You’ll also find a wide range of exhibits featuring old phones, gadgets, and computers.

Here are some important tips to remember when exploring Bern:

  1. I recommend starting your day in Bern at 9 in the morning to ensure you have enough time to engage in three activities in one day (Bern Historical Museum, Old City exploration, Rose Garden). A good plan would be to arrive in Bern at 9 am, as most museums open at 10 am. You can use the hour from 9 am to 10 am to drop off your luggage at the hotel and prepare for your city visit.
  2. Did you know that you can also climb the spire of the Bern Cathedral to enjoy fantastic views of the city? However, keep in mind that the tower has very limited opening hours. To ensure you don’t miss out, aim to be at the church around 3:00 pm.
  3. The Rose Garden should be your final stop on the first day of your trip to Switzerland, providing a beautiful conclusion to your day. When you visit the park, make your way to the bench where the statue of Einstein sits. Take a selfie with the panoramic view of the Old City as your backdrop. Getting to the Rose Garden from the Old City is quite straightforward. You can take bus #10 or walk. If you’re coming from Zytglogge, the Rose Garden is just a 5-minute bus ride or a 20-minute hike (note that the path is inclined).

Day 2 — Bernese Oberland

Once you arrive in Bern, you are literally minutes away from the Bernese Oberland. This is the mountainous region of the canton of Bern, located approximately 30 kilometers from the Swiss Capital.

To me, Bernese Oberland is one of the most beautiful places in all of the Swiss Alps. No trip to Switzerland is complete without spending at least a day here. Everywhere you look, there’s magical and natural splendor to see. From the towering snowcapped mountains to the fairytale castles, picture-perfect lakes, and rustic villages, this region has everything that a wanderer is looking for in a destination. It’s an absolutely unreal place! As a person from the Pacific, this place is a once-in-a-lifetime destination.

I can’t stress enough how unmissable this place is. So, for your second day in Switzerland, I’m recommending a day trip to the Bernese Oberland from Bern.

Okay… where in the Bernese Oberland? Well, I don’t know where to start! But here’s an amazing plan: Thun in the morning, Oberhofen Castle in the afternoon, and one or two ultimate destinations in the Jungfrau Region in the late afternoon until evening. The latter is a smaller part of the Bernese Oberland that surrounds the three famous peaks: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.


Day 2 Visual Summary



Day 2 Morning details: Exploring the Old Town Thun

If possible, start the second day of your 4-day trip to Switzerland as early as possible. This way, you can explore Thun with fewer crowds. The ideal time to leave Bern for Thun is 8:00 am. Getting to Thun from Bern is straightforward; it’s a mere 20-minute train ride.

Thun, by the way, is the town that sits on the northern tip of Lake Thun. It’s a charming little town, dotted with picture-perfect old-world landmarks and alpine scenery. Like Bern, Thun is wander-worthy! When you reach Thun, the best thing you can do right away is to explore its historic center or Thun Old Town on foot.

Thun Old Town isn’t as big as the Old City of Bern, but it does not fall short of interesting things to stumble upon. You may check this map of Thun to see exactly where the amazing discoveries that you can find in the city are.

The highlight of the walking tour in Old Town Thun, however, is Thun Castle. Sitting on top of Schlossberg hill, Thun Castle is the town’s most visible landmark. You’ll love the fairytale view of the Bernese Oberland from its towers. Thun Castle overlooks the entire Old Town; no effort is required to find it. However, you can expect some footwork because the way to the castle involves stairs — a lot of stairs. Here’s everything you need to know when visiting Thun Castle.

If you can arrive in Thun very early, like around 6 or 7, you’ll give yourself plenty of spare time before lunch. When that happens, try exploring Schadau Park where you can find a heaven-on-earth scenery of Lake Thun, Schadau Castle, and Thun Panorama, which is a hidden gem in Thun. Schadau Park is a 5-minute bus ride (#1) from Thun’s main train station.

It’ll probably be lunchtime after exploring Thun Old Town (assuming you arrive by 9 in the morning). You can eat in Waisenhausplatz in Bälliz (the island in the Aare River) for lunch with a pleasing view of Thun Old Town. Alternatively, if you like to eat lunch in a special place, you can try the restaurant in Oberhofen Castle, which is the next destination after Thun.

Day 2 Early Afternoon Details: Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle is one of the most picturesque castles in Switzerland that I know of. This 13th-century castle sits on the northern shore of Lake Thun and boasts unparalleled beauty and charm that is simply unforgettable.

Its tower, which stands in the water of Lake Thun, can be observed with the snowcapped mountains as the backdrop. That’s a scene that silently screams: “Take photos of me many times!

Aside from that, though, Oberhofen Castle has a tranquil garden home to exotic trees, a time-transporting castle museum, a unique room that’s a feast for the eyes, and more! The room is called the Oriental Smoking Room, and it’s going to send your imagination to Istanbul. You can expect a lot more beautiful experiences in Oberhofen Castle, which I think you’ll be excited for.

Overall, it can take you 2 to 3 hours to fully see Oberhofen Castle. You might spend 4 hours if you also plan to eat lunch in the castle.

It’s easy to get to Oberhofen Castle from Thun with just one bus ride (#21 or #25). You’ll arrive at the castle in about 20 minutes after leaving Thun. Alternatively, you can ride the ferry that usually leaves Thun 30 to 20 minutes before 12 noon. The travel time is nearly the same as the bus ride, only 3 to 5 minutes (approximately) longer.

In my opinion, if you’re wondering which option provides a better experience — a ferry or a boat — the clear winner is the ferry. Not only will you be able to enjoy serene views of Lake Thun, but the ferry also offers a direct route to Oberhofen Castle (with a few stops along the way). Choosing the ferry means you’ll have an impressive arrival at the castle. Why? (1) the ferry station is situated very near to the castle, and (2) the dock offers the iconic view of Oberhofen Castle.

Day 2 Late Afternoon Details: Jungfrau Region (Harder Kulm or Lauterbrunnen)

Around 3 to 4 pm, you will probably be done visiting Oberhofen Castle. It’s time to go to your next destination, which is the Jungfrau Region in the southernmost part of the Bernese Oberland.

Honestly, it’s hard to decide which place to visit here because it’s literally packed with awe-inspiring sceneries. But since you only have the late afternoon until evening left, I’m recommending the most accessible and most breathtaking place you can go to from Oberhofen Castle. And that is Harder Kulm. Here’s everything you need to know before visiting Harder Kulm.

For me, Harder Kulm is the second most breathtaking viewpoint in the Jungfrau Region (only next to Mannlichen). It is a view deck that is situated above Interlaken, giving a sweeping panorama of the mountains and the unique land formation below. From there, you can see how Interlaken sits on a fluvial plain, sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Lake Brienz, by the way, is the lake to the east of Interlaken, the one with the brighter turquoise water.

Getting to Harder Kulm is a piece of cake once you arrive at Interlaken. You can take bus number 21 or a boat ride from Oberhofen Castle to get there. Make sure to get off at Interlaken OST instead of Interlaken West station. Once you’re at Interlaken OST, Harder Kulm is only a 5-minute walk away, followed by a 10-minute funicular train ride. The Harderbahn funicular train station is located on the opposite side of the Aare River from Interlaken OST.

Aside from the beautiful scenery up there, you can also eat some snacks in Harder Kulm. It has a restaurant with spectacular views of the Jungfrau massif. Filling your tummies while taking in incredible scenery is an unforgettable moment for sure! In fact, you can stay up there until the evening, just relaxing. The restaurant offers dinner, should you decide to stay there for that long, although I don’t recommend it.

Before the light of the day fades, though, make sure that you give yourself a chance to see the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Only a 30-minute train ride from Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen’s heaven-on-earth scenery is something that you must see even for a moment. It’s awe-inspiring. Literally, inspiring — I should say!

Did you know that Lauterbrunnen was J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for Rivendell in his book, Lord of The Rings? Yeah, Lauterbrunnen is unreal! While I was exploring Lauterbrunnen, I found seven viewpoints where you can go to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the valley. Check them out!

Here’s a tip: before you go to Harder Kulm, make sure that there are no clouds shrouding the viewpoint. It’s absolutely pointless to go there if the clouds block the view of the scenery. The live camera for Harder Kulm is linked in the resources section of this post. If the atmosphere near Harder Kulm isn’t optimal for sightseeing, spend the rest of the day in Lauterbrunnen or check out other beautiful attractions near Interlaken.

Day 3 — Lucerne

Based on what I’ve seen, Lucerne perfectly embodies the character of Switzerland as a travel destination: a place where the scenic alpine scenery and the charm of historical places blend seamlessly.

Did you know that you can climb to the top of Lucerne’s medieval wall and be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of the city, lake, and the Swiss Alps? That makes me think Lucerne is the perfect destination for wanderers in Switzerland. And oh, let’s not forget about the beautiful discoveries, unique experiences, and the free-to-visit eye-catching landmarks in Lucerne! Simply put, you’re bound to be as amazed as I was on the third day of your 4-day Switzerland trip. You must be excited!


Day 3 Visual summary


So yeah, on the third day, you’ll leave Bern early in the morning after your breakfast and ride the train to Lucerne. The travel time between these two cities by train is around 1 hour. Don’t forget to bring your luggage and other stuff to your new hotel in Lucerne! Hotels usually offer free luggage storage. You can use it in advance before your check-in time, which is usually a couple of hours after lunch. This will allow you to do activities in the city without carrying your luggage around.

Now, what’s the amazing plan for day 3? After dropping your luggage at your hotel, and perhaps taking a quick break, here are my suggestions:

  1. If you’re ready to begin your adventure by 10:00 am, kick off the exploration of Old Town Lucerne! In the afternoon, visit the Swiss Museum of Transport. And at night, you can join the Night Watchman to hear some interesting tales about Lucerne.
  2. If you begin your day after lunch, you can skip the Swiss Museum of Transport and leisurely wander in the Old Town to see the eye-pleasing sights and historical landmarks. At night, I would still recommend joining the Night Watchman for an insightful visit to the city.
  3. If you can arrive in Lucerne very early in the morning, you can follow my one-day Lucerne itinerary that involves exploring Old Town Lucerne and visiting nearby idyllic attractions. Still, don’t forget to join the Night Watchman tour at night to make the most of your day!
More details: Exploring Old Town Lucerne

Similar to Bern’s Old City, Old Town Lucerne is very walkable and attractions are only a short walking distance apart from each other. It is a wander-worthy place! And indeed, exploring Old Town Lucerne on foot is a happiness, especially since it seems like there’s something to photograph every step of the way.

You can check my DIY walking tour of Old Town Lucerne if you need guidance, or this Old Town Lucerne Map, showing the exact location of the different tourist spots in Lucerne. Hire a local guide for insider tips and to discover interesting current events in the city.

When you do, don’t miss the following attractions. First is the Chapel Bridge, which is the most iconic landmark in the city. Dating back to the 14th century, it looks very quaint, especially when decorated with flowers. The Chapel Bridge is a true delight to see from the outside, but don’t forget to walk through it! This wooden covered bridge is like a gallery of old paintings that depict Lucerne and Switzerland’s history.

Other interesting attractions include the Spreuer Bridge, Musegg Wall, Lion Monument, Jesuit Church, and Hofkirche. I have to emphasize the Musegg Wall and Lion Monument. Like the Chapel Bridge, they’re special attractions in Lucerne.

During summertime, climbing the towers of the Musegg Wall and walk on its ramparts is a must. Although this involves climbing many stairs, it’s a must for a time-transporting experience and breathtaking scenery. The Lion Monument, on the other hand, is a remarkable historical artwork. It’s like the Statue of Liberty of Lucerne, as it has been replicated several times in different parts of the world.

Overall, exploring the entire Old Town Lucerne on foot would take 3 to 4 hours to complete, including the beautiful squares of the city. Houses and buildings on these squares, namely Hirschenplatz, Sternenplatz, Weinmarkt, and Kornmarkt, have colorful facades and beautiful murals. They’re the gems of Lucerne!

If you choose not to visit the attractions in the Old Town that you’re not interested in, you can shorten the walking tour to a couple of hours. Consider this to give yourself time to do other activities and visit other attractions, for example, a sightseeing cruise ride in Lake Lucerne or the Swiss Museum of Transport. Remember to prioritize the Chapel Bridge, Musegg Wall, Lion Monument, and Jesuit Church!

More details: Swiss Museum of Transport

The Swiss Museum of Transport is one of the 10 attractions and activities in Lucerne that I commonly suggest for travelers if they are staying in the city for three days or more. While it’s not the exact thing that separates Lucerne from other cities, it’s worth spending a few hours to explore all the incredible exhibits related to transportation that you can find there.

From boats to airplanes, and cars to space rovers, there’s something for everyone to see. I’ve even found a tunnel boring machine which is incredibly huge! I can confidently say that the museum is a treasure trove of technological wonders in Switzerland. The discovery and fun experiences at the Swiss Museum of Transport are not limited to the exhibits, though. Aside from the museum’s displays, visitors can virtually climb the Matterhorn and stargaze in the planetarium, which features the largest movie screen in Switzerland.

Getting to the Swiss Museum of Transport is a breeze — it’s only a single train ride from Lucerne’s train station. You can hop on either bus #6, #8, or #24 to get to the museum from the city. The price of the tickets to the Swiss Museum of Transport is halved if you have a Swiss Travel Pass.

More details: Night Watchman tour

Even at night, you can still have a memorable time in Lucerne — thanks to the Night Watchman, a character straight from medieval times. He was the city’s guardian of the night back then. Today, however, the Night Watchman still exists, but figuratively, and works like a fun tour guide!

He accompanies tourists at night and tells stories about Lucerne’s rich history. The famous personalities from his days as a protector are mentioned in his stories. For instance, you will be amazed by exciting tales of the Night Watchman about his life, the Lucerne Chronicle of Diebold Schilling, the brilliant engraver Martin Martini, the stonemason Hans von Trient and his adversary Luzius Ritter, and a few more.

During the tour with the Night Watchman, you will also have a chance to admire the Luzerner Elle and the Luzerner Fuss on the wall of the town hall and learn about the Swiss art of war. The most interesting part for me is when you watch the Dance of Death by Jakob von Wal and stroll up the river across Chapel Bridge.

And yes, this tour is simply perfect for travelers who love history and want to experience Lucerne in a unique way! You can learn more about the Night Watchman tour in Lucerne here.

Day 4 — Mount Pilatus

On the last day of your 4-day Switzerland trip, we’re aiming for adventure! Since you’re already in Lucerne… it is to Mount Pilatus we go! It’s one of the most beautiful mountains in Switzerland, and I think you’ll love this mountain for the extraordinary fun experiences it offers. From Mount Pilatus, you’ll have a stunning 360-degree view that includes the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne, and the Central Plateau. It’s so breathtaking, it’ll make your jaw drop!

Located just a few kilometers from Lucerne, this mountain is one of the easiest day trips you can make from the city. Simply put, there’s no reason to say ‘no’ to the call of Mount Pilatus! Especially since this mountain is home to the world’s steepest railway and the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland, you’re sure to bring home more unforgettable memories after your trip.


Day 4 Visual Summary


Depending on the season, the way you can reach the top of Mount Pilatus may vary due to the operational seasons of different public transportation to and from the mountain. However, most people usually visit Mount Pilatus on a Golden Round Trip or Silver Round Trip. The difference between the two is that the Golden Round Trip involves a boat ride, while the Silver Round Trip involves a train ride to get to Mount Pilatus. It’s easy to choose between the two: If you haven’t tried a boat ride on Lake Lucerne, choose the Golden Round Trip.

A day trip to Mount Pilatus could last from a few hours (4 to 5) to a full day, depending on your preference for outdoor activities in Mount Pilatus like hiking, riding the toboggan run, etc. If you have a flight later on your 4th day in Switzerland, I highly recommend starting your day trip to Mount Pilatus very early in the morning to cover more experiences that Mount Pilatus offers. Aim to be at the Kriens Cable Car station around 8:30 am, which is the first ascent departure to the summit. Be among the first to visit Mount Pilatus to enjoy the mountain’s tranquility and scenery without the crowd.

Here’s everything you need to know about your Mount Pilatus Day trip from Lucerne.


Are you getting excited for your trip to Switzerland? I’m thrilled for you! I hope this 4-day itinerary, which focuses on Central Switzerland, has been helpful. For further planning, the websites listed below should provide all the information you need to ensure a flawless trip.

If you haven’t booked any hotels for your 2-night stay in Bern and 1-night stay in Lucerne for this 4-day Switzerland trip, you can look for hotels using my partner’s fantastic hotel search and booking platform: this one is for Bern and this one is for Lucerne. It’s my favorite tool and often where I find the best hotel deals, such as free cancellation and membership perks. Please note that these links are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission when you book through those links. There’s no extra fee for you. Think of these commissions as your donation to WanderInEurope so I can write more detailed itineraries like this, perhaps for your future trips! Thank you for your support!

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If you’re on the hunt for more stunning destinations in the Alps, Salzburg and Innsbruck are my top recommendations. They offer experiences just as beautiful as those in Lucerne and Bern. To get started, take a look at my 2-day itinerary for Salzburg and my 1-day itinerary for Innsbruck.

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