4-Day Switzerland Itinerary: Visit Bern and Lucerne

Switzerland is an incredible destination that has everything a wanderer like me is looking for. With charming cities boasting the eye-catching architecture and stunning natural landscapes that leave you in awe, Switzerland is the perfect place to explore.

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, I’ve got some good news for you! First off, you don’t need to spend weeks in Switzerland to experience some of its most beautiful places. And secondly, I’m here to help you out with this 4-day Switzerland itinerary.

I’ll give you an idea of how you can spend 4 days in Switzerland, guiding you to the destinations in the heart of the country (central Switzerland). That includes the top destinations in the Canton of Bern and the Canton of Lucerne. Let’s get started!

Switzerland is a small country, but it offers plenty of travel experiences. Whether you want to see Europe’s largest waterfalls and longest glaciers, stunning mountains and picturesque lakes, or culturally rich cities and quaint villages, Switzerland has it all.

Switzerland has tourist attractions scattered throughout, but if you’re seeking the highlights, Central Switzerland is the place to be. It is definitely unmissable, mainly because it’s the region where fascinating destinations and stunning sights are located less than an hour away.

Later, you’ll see exactly. But, that said, it’s easy to understand why Central Switzerland must always be on everyone’s itinerary when they visit Switzerland. It’ll be the focus of the 4-day Switzerland Itinerary that I’ll share with you. 

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If you’ve chosen to make Central Switzerland your destination for your trip, I’m already pumped for you. You’ll leave Switzerland with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

In summary, here’s what you can see/experience in Central Switzerland:

  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)
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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
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Let me show you how you can try these fantastic experiences. 

How To Spend 4 Days In Switzerland

With the number of tourist attractions in Central Switzerland, it’s not hard to understand how there could be tens of ways you can spend a few or four days in it. 

I can give you three examples.

  1. If you like, you can spend 3 days in Lucerne and 1 day in Bern. You can have this combination if you want to make your trip about 50% nature and 50% city/culture.
  2. Alternatively, you can try 2 days in Lucerne and 2 days in Bern. By doing this, you can have a journey that would be 75% city/culture and 25% nature.
  3. And if you want your trip to be fully about nature, you can try a 4-day stay in the Jungfrau Region or Interlaken. For me, it’s the ultimate Switzerland trip that includes Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, Lauterbrunnen Valley, and Grindelwald.

But, if you would ask me, “What’s the best way to see Switzerland in 4 days?” My answer would be…

For a worthwhile 4-day trip to Switzerland, consider exploring Bern, Lucerne, and the outdoor attractions near these cities, such as Bernese Oberland and Mount Pilatus. These destinations offer a variety of unique and stunning experiences to make the most out of your visit.

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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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Below is the summary of the 4-day Switzerland itinerary described above.

  • 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

We’ll discuss the details of the 4-day Switzerland itinerary as we go on…

If you’d like, you can rearrange the itinerary to better suit your preference. For instance, you could schedule Lucerne and Mount Pilatus for Day 1 and Day 2 and then plan to visit Bern and Bernese Oberland on Day 3 and Day 4.

For optimal efficiency during your trip to Switzerland, keep in mind that Mount Pilatus is a day trip from Lucerne, and Bernese Oberland is a day trip from Bern. When altering your itinerary, ensure that the city and corresponding day trip are always consecutive.

If you can extend your Switzerland trip for another 2 days, here’s how I suggest you do it: 6 Days In Switzerland Itinerary: Bern, Interlaken, and Thun

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Switzerland 4-Day Trip Preparation

Before we discuss the details, let’s first prepare your trip for a smooth 4-day journey in Switzerland. We’ll talk about some basics:

  1. Arrival to Switzerland
  2. Where to stay in Switzerland
  3. Tips in traveling around Switzerland

Arrival to Switzerland

If you’re traveling to Switzerland from a distant region or another continent, you can opt to arrive in Bern or Zurich. However, Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and has more flight connections than Bern.

It’s most likely that you’ll arrive in Switzerland at Zurich Airport. If you have no choice but to fly to Zurich, you don’t have to worry. Getting to Bern or Lucerne from Zurich is a breeze.

In fact, you can go straight to Bern and Lucerne upon arriving at Zurich Airport.

  • To Bern — direct 1-hour-and-20-minute train ride.
  • To Lucerne — single 1-hour-and-10-minute train ride. 
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Where to stay in Switzerland

For your 4-day trip to Switzerland, you could stay in either Lucerne or Bern as they’re only an hour apart by train or road. However, to save time and money from traveling back and forth, I recommend having two hotel accommodations, one in Bern and another in Lucerne.

Don’t have a hotel yet? You can use these links to find the best hotel deals in Bern and places to stay in Lucerne.

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Tips in Traveling in Switzerland

Indeed, you can always drive or rent a car to travel around Switzerland. However, I recommend using public transportation instead.

Most importantly, it is because Switzerland’s public transportation system is efficient. Also, the train network is impeccably maintained and offers stunning scenic views.

At the same time, because most tourist destinations in Central Switzerland are easily accessible by public transportation, there’s no need to have a private vehicle.

If you want to save money during your 4-day Switzerland trip, I suggest availing a Swiss Travel Pass.

Swiss Travel Pass will give you unlimited access to the buses, trains, and boats in Switzerland. And 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.

Important: Most museums are closed on Mondays. 

Although there are plenty of spaces in Switzerland with free WiFi (such as SBB station’s “SBB-FREE” network), I would still recommend getting your own unlimited 4G connection. In some places, the free internet service only lasts for 60 minutes. After you consume your 60 minutes, it’s only after 2 hours before you can access the free internet again.

Most importantly, an unlimited internet connection is very handy when navigating, finding nearby restaurants, and so on. It’s also useful if you need real-time information (i.e., live view of a viewing point or mountaintop).

You can check the price of a pocket WiFi with unlimited 4G internet here.

So, without any further ado, let’s discuss the details of the 4-day Switzerland trip!

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Day 1 — Bern

When it comes to city architecture, there’s no city in Switzerland that looks more gorgeous than its capital – Bern.

Bern, particularly its Old City, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site, is a testament to the opulence of this beautiful country. Stepping into the Old City of Bern would feel like going back to the 15th and 16th centuries when its mesmerizing arcades and cute mountains were built.

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The beautiful city of Bern, Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
The beautiful city of Bern
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For me, Bern should be the first destination of every Switzerland trip because the capital city often plays a big role in introducing the country a traveler is going to visit. Its elegant landmarks, fascinating museums, and even the colorful fountain will give you insights into the history and people of Switzerland.

What makes Bern unique are its charming fountains that are everywhere in the city. This is why Bern is also called the city of fountains. (Yes, you can drink the free water from these fountains!)

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landmarks, streets, fountains, and overlooking views of the Old City of Bern, Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
landmarks, streets, fountains, and overlooking views of the Old City of Bern
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So, how are you going to spend Day 1 of 4 of your Switzerland trip?

You can spend all day exploring the Old City of Bern by visiting the city’s landmarks and viewpoints. You can check my post, One Day In Bern Itinerary: Landmarks & Scenic Spots Tour, for more information.

However, for a short Switzerland trip, I suggest visiting a museum, checking notable landmarks in the Old City, and relaxing in a park with an overlooking view of the city instead. The more kinds of travel experiences, the better!

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Day 1 Morning – Museums In Bern

I recommend starting the day in Bern at 9 in the morning so you have time to do the three activities in one day.

A good plan is to arrive in Bern at 9 am since 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 get ready for your visit to the city.

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Fascinating Museums in Bern, Day 1 Morning of Switzerland Itinerary
Fascinating Museums in Bern
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There are more than 10 interesting museums in Bern, but the two which I think you’ll find most interesting are the Bern Historical Museum (with the Einstein Museum) and the Museum of Communication.

Both museums take 2 to 4 hours to see entirely. So you really have to choose between them if you want to explore the Old City, which is the unmissable part.

Let me introduce you to these museums.

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Exhibits inside Bern Historical Museum in Bern, Switzerland
Exhibits inside Bern Historical Museum
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Bern Historical Museum is Switzerland’s second-largest history museum, holding one of the most important and fascinating collections that showcase the life of the Swiss from the Stone Age until the 20th century. There are also exhibits about archaeology, history, and ethnography, and 500,000 objects representing cultures from all over the world!

If you are interested in the life of Albert Einstein, the Bern Historical Museum is also the museum you must visit.

An entire floor of this museum is dedicated to the life of Albert Einstein — you’ll not only learn about the life of this genius but also his scientific breakthroughs like the general theory of relativity.

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Exhibits inside Museum of Communication in Bern, Switzerland
Exhibits inside Museum of Communication
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On the other hand, the Museum of Communication is the museum in Bern that has a lot of exhibits that give insight into how humans have communicated for thousands of years, including old phones, telegraphs, tablets, computers, and many more electronic gadgets.

It’s a must-see for traveling families because kids and teens will love the activities inside it. You can also find interactive stations such as printing postage stamps and film karaoke, playing video games and watching real live people on screens sharing facts about communications. 

If you have more time in Switzerland, I would suggest you also spend more time in Bern — 2 days. This way, you can visit both of these museums without missing other fantastic destinations in Switzerland.

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More things to do in Bern, Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
More things to do in Bern
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You can check my Day 2 of the 2-day Bern itinerary to learn more about these two museums (visiting information, tips, and unmissable things to see).

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Day 1 Afternoon – Old City of Bern

Did you know Bern is one of the smallest capital cities in Europe? However, its size doesn’t speak for the number of beautiful things that you can find in the city. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Bern has plenty to offer, from stunning architectural wonders to charming streets with cute medieval fountains — all are wanderers’ gems. And oh, there are panoramic viewpoints that showcase the city’s impressive design, too!

Depending on what you like to see in Bern, you can spend the whole afternoon exploring the city, looking for specific things.

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Beautiful views of Old City of Bern, Afternoon of Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
Beautiful views of Old City of Bern
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If you love taking photos and seeing breathtaking views, I bet you’ll spend the afternoon in Bern wandering in the city and finding picture-perfect views. Do you know where you can find them? Check out my post, 7 Most Beautiful Views In Bern (see Google Map links).

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Beautiful views of Old City of Bern, Afternoon of Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
Beautiful views of Old City of Bern
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Bern is the best destination in Switzerland for travelers interested to see marvelous architecture. The city boasts high medieval, neoclassical, baroque, and gothic buildings. See where they are using my post, 10 Most Gorgeous Landmarks in Bern (DIY walking tour).

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Cute fountains on the streets of Old City of Bern, Afternoon of Day 1 of Switzerland Itinerary
Cute fountains on the streets of Old City of Bern
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Travelers wanting to discover the unique features of Bern should see the city’s lovely fountains. The fountains in the city uncover pieces of history and describe the identity of Bern. Learn more about Bern’s fountains here, 10 Most Beautiful Fountains In Bern (with a walking route).

Alternatively, if you’re into the unmissable parts and most iconic landmarks of the city. There are three that you must see (see separate posts for visiting information):

  1. Zytglogge (Bern’s unique landmark) — See what this landmark is all about Seeing Switzerland’s Famous Clock Tower.
  2. Bern Cathedral (The tallest building in Bern) — You can also see overlooking views of the city here. Read my post, Things you must see when you visit Bern Cathedral, to learn more.
  3. Bundeshaus (Heart of Swiss Democracy) — It has the view of Bernese Oberland at the back of this landmark. I suggest you discover what you can see inside and outside Bundeshaus.
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unmissable landmarks in Old City of Bern, Day 1 afternoon of Switzerland Itinerary
unmissable landmarks in Old City of Bern
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These landmarks, plus the Rose Garden, can be visited on a half-day tour of the Old City. You can check my Bern Half A Day Itinerary, how you can visit these landmarks, how long it can take to visit each, and more tips. 

By the way, you can climb the spire of Bern Cathedral to see fantastic views of the city. However, remember that the tower has very limited opening hours. Be at the church around 3:00 pm to be sure.

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Day 1 Evening — Rose Garden

The Rose Garden should be your final stop on day 1 of your trip to Switzerland.

Situated to the west and on a hilltop overlooking the Old City of Bern, the Rose Garden is one of the top tourist attractions and offers a breathtaking view of the city during sunset. It’s a must-visit spot for anyone who wants to capture the perfect picture of the city.

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Panoramic views of the old city from Rose Garden in Bern, Switzerland
Panoramic views of the old city from Rose Garden
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The Rose Garden, as the name implies, is a great spot to relax and unwind after a day of city exploration. In addition to the stunning view of the Old City, the garden boasts countless beautiful flowers that are sure to catch your eye as you wander through the park.

The Rose Garden also has benches where you can rest your feet!

One of the benches in the Rose Garden has a sculpture of Albert Einstein. Sit beside it and take a photo souvenir. The backdrop of Einstein’s bench is the overlooking view of the Old City of Bern.

If you are wondering where to have your dinner, Rose Garden is a good option. It has a restaurant where you can watch the sunset over Bern while having dinner.

See more information about the Rose Garden in the resources section of this post.

Getting to the Rose Garden from the Old City is pretty straightforward. You can use the bus (#10) or walk. If you’re from Zytglogge, Rose Garden is only a 5-minute bus ride or 20-minute hike (inclined path). 

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Day 2 — Bernese Oberland

Staying in Bern, you are closer than ever to Bernese Oberland, one of the most marvelous places on earth. It’s the alpine region of the Canton of Bern, just 30 kilometers south of Switzerland’s capital. 

Bernese Oberland boasts 3000 to 4000-meter-tall mountains, providing breathtaking scenery everywhere you look. But it’s not just the mountains that make this place so special; there are also heavenly valleys, spectacular lakes, charming villages, fairytale castles, and other natural attractions to explore.

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Some of the most beautiful places in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Some of the most beautiful places in Bernese Oberland
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Needless to say, Bernese Oberland is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. So it should always be included in any travel to Switzerland, like in this 4-day Switzerland trip. 

As you might have imagined, Bernese Oberland is a huge place. Several towns and villages are within this region, connected by buses, trains, and boats. And for this trip, you’ll be visiting three of them — Thun, Oberhofen, and Interlaken — the towns closest to Bern. 

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Destinations in Thun, Oberhofen, and Interlaken on a Lake Thun Day trip from Bern, Day 2 of Switzerland Itinerary
Thun, Oberhofen, and Interlaken on a Lake Thun Day trip from Bern
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These towns also sit beside Lake Thun. Thus, you can consider Day 2 of your Switzerland Trip as a day trip to Lake Thun. 

I call Lake Thun the fairytale lake of Switzerland. Because sitting along its shores are picture-perfect castles and charming towns with a view of the Bernese Oberland. The scenes from these places are straight out of a fairytale movie!

Anyhow, a day trip to Lake Thun can be made in several ways. Aside from what I’ll show in this post, you can also check my other itineraries (links open on a new tab):

  1. One Day LAKE Thun Itinerary — involves visiting the tourist attractions on both sides of Lake Thun. 
  2. One Day Thun Itinerary — focused on Thun and the tourist attractions near the city. 
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Beautiful places around Lake Thun, Switzerland
Beautiful places around Lake Thun
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Alternatively, here’s the article about the 10 beautiful places around Lake Thun you can use as a reference if you want to create your own Lake Thun itinerary. I also explained in it why Lake Thun is worth visiting (in case you wonder if it is really worth your time and money). 

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Day 2 Morning — Thun

We start Day 2 of your Switzerland Trip in Thun, the city called “The Gateway to Bernese Oberland.”

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Iconic view of the Bernese Oberland from Thun, Day 2 Morning of Switzerland Itinerary
Iconic view of the Bernese Oberland from Thun
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Thun is a town situated at the northern edge of Lake Thun — the nearest natural attraction in Bernese Oberland that you can easily access from Bern. Getting to Thun from Bern is a breeze; just hop on a train, and you’ll be there in 30 minutes.

Of all the towns surrounding Lake Thun, Thun stands out as the most charming. The medieval old town, which has been preserved, is particularly noteworthy, with a striking castle that overlooks the entire city.

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Beautiful Scenes in Thun, Day 2 Morning of Switzerland Itinerary
Beautiful Scenes in Thun
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This is what makes Thun so special and why I included Thun during your day trip to Lake Thun on your 4-Day Switzerland journey. And for Day 2, it’s in this beautiful city that you’ll be spending the whole morning.

Thun isn’t as huge as Bern, but the 15 tourist spots and activities in Thun can already make you fascinatingly busy for the whole morning. But, if there are unmissable places in Thun, they are the picture-perfect spots in Thun Old Town and Thun Castle.

Come before 10 (the ideal is 8 am) so that you can see the town with fewer tourists (it’s a must for travelers looking to take good photos).

Also, arriving in Thun that early, you’ll have plenty of time to visit either Thun Castle or Schadau Castle to take in the stunning views of Lake Thun and the Bernese Oberland. You’ll definitely appreciate the iconic view of the Bernese Oberland from the towers of Thun Castle.

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Things to see in Thun Castle, Day 2 Morning of Switzerland Itinerary
Things to see in Thun Castle
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Read more about Thun Castle: How you can visit and what you can expect to see in Thun Castle.

Aside from Thun Castle, History buff travelers should not miss Thun Panorama — the oldest surviving panorama in the world. It’s a travel gem in Thun, and inside you’ll see a picture of Thun preserved and dated back to the 1800s.

Here’s a DIY Walking Tour of Thun Old Town if you want to see every beautiful place in Thun in an efficient way. 

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View of Untere Schleuse Brucke from Waisenhausplatz in Thun, Switzerland
View of Untere Schleuse Brucke from Waisenhausplatz
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It’ll probably be lunch after exploring Thun Old Town (assuming you arrive by 9 in the morning). You can eat in Waisenhausplatz in Bälliz (the island in 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.

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Day 2 Afternoon — Oberhofen Castle

Lake Thun is home to five stunning castles, but none compare to the breathtaking Oberhofen Castle. This 13th-century castle sits on the northern shore of Lake Thun and boasts unparalleled unique beauty and charm that is simply unforgettable.

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An old painting of Oberhofen Castle in Thun, Switzerland
An old painting of Oberhofen Castle
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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 stunning views of Lake Thun, but the ferry also offers a direct route to Oberhofen Castle (with a few stops along the way).

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The picture-perfect appearance of Oberhofen Castle from the castle’s dock in Lake Thun, Switzerland
The picture-perfect appearance of Oberhofen Castle from the castle’s dock in Lake Thun
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Choosing the ferry means you’ll have an impressive arrival at the castle for two reasons: (1) the ferry station is situated very near to the castle, and (2) the dock offers the iconic view of Oberhofen Castle.

From the dock, you’ll be treated to the sight of Oberhofen Castle, its water tower, and the snow-capped peaks of the Bernese Oberland, creating an ultimately magical scene that you won’t want to miss. By the way, the castle’s water tower rises above the surface of the lake.

However, it’s only the start of the beautiful things you can discover in Oberhofen Castle.

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Beautiful things to see inside Oberhofen Castle, Thun, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Beautiful things to see inside Oberhofen Castle
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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.

There’s more that I want to share about Oberhofen Castle. If you want to take a glimpse of the lovely scenes in the castle, please read my post, Why You Should Visit Oberhofen Castle & How to Visit It.

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.

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Day 2 Evening — Harder Kulm & Lauterbrunnen

There are plenty of breathtaking places to see in Bernese Oberland, even if you spend four days there. But if there’s one you absolutely have to see, it’s the view from Harder Kulm.

Harder Kulm.

For me, Harder Kulm is the second-best vantage point of the Jungfrau Region (a part of the Bernese Oberland surrounding the three famous mountains: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau). It’s the viewpoint above Interlaken to give you a sweeping panorama of the Jungfrau Region, from Lake Thun to Lake Brienz.

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Day 4, Destination 1 – View from Harder Kulm, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Day 4, Destination 1 – View from Harder Kulm
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Discover Männlichenthe most panoramic view point in the Jungfrau Region.

Indeed, Harder Kulm offers a view like no other. The view is an incomparable scenery, offering sights of different land formations like a valley, fluvial plain, mountains, and lakes. It’s one of 

That pretty much explains why I’ve included it in this Switzerland itinerary.

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.

If you want, you can spend hours in Harder Kulm and take a rest while taking in spectacular scenery. Wait until the night, as you can also have your dinner in Harder Kulm.

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The castle-like restaurant in Harder Kulm above Interlaken, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
The castle-like restaurant in Harder Kulm
View from Harder Kulm at night, Day 2 Night of Switzerland Itinerary
View from Harder Kulm at night
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Harder Kulm’s restaurant boasts a breathtaking view of the Jungfrau massif, and watching the sunset over the Jungfrau Region from there is sure to make your dinner in the Bernese Oberland extra special.

Learn more about Harder Kulm from my post, Visiting Harder Kulm: Here’s What You Can Expect To See.

Lauterbrunnen.

Before you go to Harder Kulm, don’t forget to check the live view of the mountains. Using it, you can see if no clouds block the view in Harder Kulm. If there’s no clearing in Harder Kulm, I recommend you visit Lauterbrunnen instead. 

Note: The live view of Harder Kulm and other mountain-top destinations in the Jungfrau Region is linked in the resources section of this post.

So, what’s Lauterbrunnen?

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Beautiful views of Lauterbrunnen Village, Switzerland
Beautiful views of Lauterbrunnen Village
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Lauterbrunnen is Bernese Oberland’s heaven-on-earth valley where JRR Tolkien got his inspiration for Rivendell, the beautiful elven valley in his fantasy novel, Lord of The Rings. It’s also a single train ride from Interlaken, which makes it a good alternative to Harder Kulm.

There are so many things I want to share about Lauterbrunnen, as it’s my favorite destination in the Jungfrau Region. Check them out in my post, 7 Best Viewpoints and Photo Spots of Lauterbrunnen.

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Day 3 — Lucerne

Lucerne is another city worth visiting in Central Switzerland that you wouldn’t want to miss for several beautiful reasons. Mainly, it is one of Switzerland’s most beautiful cities. And on the third day of your 4-day Switzerland trip, you’ll see exactly why.

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The beautiful city of Lucerne, Day 3 of Switzerland Itinerary
The beautiful city of Lucerne
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Its location at the northern shores of Lake Lucerne, facing the Swiss Alps to the south, pretty much explains a part of the beauty that one can see in Lucerne.

Honestly, as a travel destination, there’s nothing else I can ask for when it comes to the experiences that one can have in Lucerne. This city has architectural and historical landmarks, eye-pleasing views of the lake and mountains, and fascinating museums — all of them simply make Lucerne an unmissable city to visit.

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landmarks, museums, and natural attractions in Lucerne, Day 3 of Switzerland Itinerary
landmarks, museums, and natural attractions in Lucerne
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At the same time, Lucerne is close to some of the best mountain excursions in Central Switzerland. A traveler can go to some of the most beautiful mountains in Switzerland in a snap. 

I even think that staying in Lucerne for three days and exploring the surrounding area would make you feel like you’ve seen most parts of Switzerland already! 

So, how can you spend a day in Lucerne? Apparently, there are plenty! 

You can spend the entire day discovering the beautiful things in Lucerne. If you’re on a tight budget, you can just walk around the city and stumble upon Lucerne’s impressive landmarks. Alternatively, you can try/visit the unique activities/attractions in Lucerne.

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Old Town Lucerne, Swiss Museum of Transport, and Night Tour of Lucerne, Day 3 of Switzerland Itinerary
Old Town Lucerne, Swiss Museum of Transport, and Night Tour of Lucerne
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However, for a more worthwhile day spent in Lucerne, I recommend you have the following activities for the 3rd day of your Switzerland trip: Explore Old Town Lucerne, Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport, and Join a Night Watchman Tour.

As we go along, I’ll introduce to you each of these activities. However, if you need a complete detailed discussion, I suggest you read my one-day Lucerne Itinerary.

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Day 3 Morning — Old Town Lucerne

A visit to Lucerne is incomplete without seeing its Old Town. Not only is it dotted with beautiful little things to discover, but most importantly, it’s where four of the most notable landmarks of Switzerland are found:

  1. Chapel Bridge
  2. Lion Monument
  3. Musegg Wall
  4. Jesuit Church

On the morning of your 3rd day in Switzerland, these are the places we aim to see. 

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Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, Musegg Wall, Jesuit Church, Destinations in Day 3 morning of Switzerland trip
Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, Musegg Wall, Jesuit Church
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Arriving in Lucerne by train, the Chapel Bridge is the landmark in Lucerne which you’ll find first. It’s the most famous landmark not only in Lucerne but in all of Switzerland.

Chapel Bridge, a bridge crossing the Reuss River, is famous because it’s the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge and Europe’s oldest covered wooden bridge. Embellished with colorful flowers and with an eye-catching Water Tower beside it, Chapel Bridge is also one of the most picturesque landmarks in Lucerne.

I strongly recommend that you don’t miss crossing the Reuss River using the Chapel Bridge. The paintings in its gables are a must-see to discover a part of Lucerne’s history.

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Beautiful flower-embellished appearance of the Chapel Bridge during summer in Lucerne, Switzerland
Beautiful flower-embellished appearance of the Chapel Bridge during summer
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Learn more about the Chapel Bridge using my post, Chapel Bridge: Visiting The Famous Wooden Bridge In Lucerne.

The Jesuit Church is another landmark to catch your eye when you wander in the Reuss River. It’s one of the tallest structures in the Reuss River, distinguished by its onion-topped twin spires.

Jesuit Church is a must-see for the stunning architectural details it has inside. It has overwhelming rococo elaboration, stuccoes, and frescoes that are all a feast to the eye. 

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The beautiful fresco and intricate iron gates inside the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The beautiful fresco and intricate iron gates inside the Jesuit Church
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Check out how beautiful Jesuit Church is in my post, Jesuit Church in Lucerne: Visiting an Architectural Gem.

A few-minute walk to the west from Jesuit Church along the Reuss River, you’ll find Nölliturm. It’s one of the towers of Musegg Wall, which is the longest intact medieval wall in Switzerland.

Musegg Wall is nearly a kilometer long, composed of 9 towers. You can access some of its towers to see an exhibit about clocks and an overlooking view of Old Town Lucerne.

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Towers of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Towers of Musegg Wall
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Here are all the reasons why you should visit Musegg Wall during your trip to Lucerne. 

On the other hand, the Lion Monument is Lucerne’s most historic landmark. It’s a giant sculpture of a lion that commemorates the Swiss Guards who perished while they protected the last king of France during the French Revolution.

Did you know? The Lion Monument of Lucerne was described by Mark Twain as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” It lies above a green sanctuary where you can really feel its message.

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The pond of the Lion Monument In Lucerne, Switzerland
The pond of the Lion Monument
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Do you want to know about the Lion Monument of Lucerne? Read my post, Lion Monument In Lucerne: How to Visit and What to Expect.

You might also want to visit the most noticeable landmark of Lucerne from Lake Lucerne. It’s the Church of Saint Leodegar or Hofkirche which is the parish church of Lucerne.

It is one of Lucerne’s Instagrammable places because of its imposing facade that manifests different styles. It has several religious artworks that you might like to see, especially the ones on its altars and main portal.

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The facade of Hofkirche (Church of Saint Leodegar) in Lucerne, Switzerland
The facade of Hofkirche (Church of Saint Leodegar)
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Wondering if it is worth seeing? Read this, Church of St. Leodegar: Visiting Lucerne’s Parish Church.

I suggest you start the tour of Old Town Lucerne at 8 in the morning to ditch the crowd of tourists. You should be in Lucerne by 7 in the morning, so you’ll have time to drop your bags at your hotel.

Depending on how fast you see things, you might need 3 to 4 hours (half a day) to go through every notable landmark in Old Town Lucerne. That includes checking the impressive Lüftlmalerei and cute fountains in the squares and streets of the old town.

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Beautiful squares in the old city of Lucerne, Switzerland
Beautiful squares in the old city of Lucerne
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Here’s a sample DIY walking tour in Old Town Lucerne to help you explore the city efficiently.

If you want to skip the landmarks that don’t interest you, here’s the map of Old Town Lucerne. You can find the exact location of the tourist attractions for each area of Old Town Lucerne: Reuss River area, Musegg Wall area, and central and eastern portions of the Old Town.

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Day 3 Afternoon — Swiss Museum of Transport

After wandering in Old Town Lucerne and seeing its notable landmarks, there are a few more places of interest in the city that you can see.

I recommend the Swiss Museum of Transport, but you can also try Bourbaki Panorama, Glacier Garden, and Meggenhorn Castle, which are 3 of the 10 best things to do in Lucerne.

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Swiss Transport Museum, 10th destination for 1 day itinerary Lucerne, Switzerland
Swiss Transport Museum
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For me, the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne is an unmissable attraction in Switzerland simply because it’s one of the best museums in the country. It’s also for all ages; kids and adults will enjoy it.

The Swiss Museum of Transport is named after the exhibits it showcases, featuring all sorts of transportation. From boats, airplanes, and cars to space rovers, there’s something for everyone.

The discovery and fun experiences at the Swiss Museum of Transport are not limited to the exhibits. 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.

The museum even offers a 2-day pass to experience everything inside the museum compound. Half a day should be enough for a short Switzerland trip, though.

Getting to the Swiss Museum of Transport is a breeze — 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. 

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More exhibits inside the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, Switzerland
More exhibits inside the Swiss Museum of Transport
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Here’s where you can check the price of the entrance ticket to Lucerne’s Museum of Transport. Note that the entry fee to the museum is discounted if you already have a Swiss Travel Pass.

You can learn more about the Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne (visiting information, guided tours, interactive exhibition) from the link in the resources section of this post.

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Day 3 Evening — Night Watchman Tour

For me, Lucerne has a fascinating and intriguing history. Do you want to know what’s the unique way to discover it? It’s no other than an evening tour of Lucerne with the Night Watchman.

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View from River Reuss at night in Lucerne, Switzerland
View from River Reuss at night in Lucerne
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Joining the historical tour with the night watchman in Lucerne is an unforgettable experience that will take you back in time to discover the city’s rich history and learn about its famous personalities from the past.

Most importantly, you’ll be guided by a Night Watchman, a character straight back from medieval times.

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.

Aside from that, 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.

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Night in Lucerne, Switzerland
Night in Lucerne
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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 back to the starting point. Indeed, this tour is perfect for travelers who love history and want to experience it in a unique way!

You can check the price for the 1-Hour Historical Tour with Night Watchman here.

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Day 4 — Mount Pilatus

While staying in Lucerne, you can’t miss the chance to visit one of Switzerland’s most stunning mountains, which is situated close to the city. You can even take photos of it with the city’s iconic landmarks.

This mountain is none other than Mount Pilatus, and it’s a day trip worth taking from Lucerne. From its breathtaking scenery to its adventurous railway, which happens to be the steepest in the world, Mount Pilatus offers unforgettable experiences.

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360-degree view on top of Mount Pilatus (part 1 and 2) - a day trip from Lucerne, Switzerland
360-degree view on top of Mount Pilatus (part 1 and 2)
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Yes, that’s why I’ve included it in this 4-day Switzerland itinerary.

Here’s the summary of the best experiences that you can have in visiting Mount Pilatus:

  1. Pilatus Railway — it’s the steepest railway in the world which offers a breathtaking ride through tunnels, forests, and mountain terrain.
  2. Breathtaking views — there are hiking trails on top of Mount Pilatus (2128 meters) that give a 360 degrees view, including the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne, and the Central Plateau.
  3. Fräkigaudi Summer Toboggan — it is Switzerland’s longest, offering breathtaking views of the Alps. Kids and adults can enjoy it!
  4. Dragon Ride — an unmissable cable car ride to witness the varying spectacular landscapes of Central Switzerland.
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Different experiences in Mount Pilatus, Day 4 of Switzerland Itinerary
Different experiences in Mount Pilatus
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I suggest you check my article, 5 Reasons To Visit Mount Pilatus, for a detailed discussion of your visit to this beautiful mountain. Mount Pilatus tips and visiting information are also found in the post.

But for the best experience, you must visit Mount Pilatus on a round trip that includes all types of transportation to and from the mountain — Golden round trip: Dragon ride, scenic ferry, and Pilatus railway.

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Views from Mount Pilatus, Day 4 of Switzerland Itinerary
Views from Mount Pilatus
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Here’s where you can check the price for Golden Round Trip. Alternatively, here’s the Silver Round Trip (the boat ride is replaced with a train ride).

I strongly recommend that you take the day trip early in the morning. This way, you can enjoy the most breathtaking parts of the mountain without the crowd which flocks the mountain during midday.

If you are leaving Switzerland on the night of the last day of your trip, Mount Pilatus perfectly fits on Day 4. Why? Because you can finish Mount Pilatus in half a day. 

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More Things To Do In Switzerland

So, that’s how you can spend four days in Switzerland!

See? You can have many beautiful experiences in Switzerland even if you only have four days in this country. But, should you spend more time? Are 4 days in Switzerland enough?

Although you can already see some of Switzerland’s highlights in 4 days, clearly, it’s not enough to visit every top attraction in this beautiful country. Aside from Bern and Lucerne, there’s a lot more to see in Switzerland, like Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Jungfrau Region, and it can take a week to two to explore them all.

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Beautiful Places in the Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Beautiful Places in the Jungfrau Region
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If you ever decide to extend your 4-day Switzerland trip longer, the Jungfrau Region is the best place to explore more. You can start uncovering the fantastic experiences and beautiful places in the Jungfrau Region below.

Alternatively, here’s where you can find all the activities/tours/day trips in Switzerland.

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Resources: 4-Days Switzerland Itinerary

For all the places mentioned, I promised to give more information; please refer to the links below.

Lastly, if you don’t have a hotel to stay yet during your Switzerland trip, here’s where you can find nice places to stay in Bern and the best hotel deals in Lucerne.

That would be all. I hope you enjoy your journey, and remember to live your life during your Switzerland trip!

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