Quick Guide to 5 Days in Switzerland

Quick Guide to 5 Days in Switzerland
It has been almost two years since my last international trip. I must admit that I was nervous to travel again. To ease myself back into the travel lifestyle, my friend and I decided to visit a location that we are somewhat familiar with. We settled with Switzerland. The country offers open land, so much territory that we have yet to explore, and there are things to see if the country decides to shut down.

Getting Around:

I’ve been trying to budget my transportation travel leading up to my trip. I intended on traveling throughout Switzerland. The most cost efficient for foreigners is to purchase a Swiss Travel Pass. I purchased a 4 day 2nd class pass online for CHF 280 but you may also purchase the pass at the airport like I did on my first trip. Purchasing the pass online will allow you to save some time at the airport but be careful to select the right date. The Swiss Travel Pass covers all transportation in Switzerland including trams, bus, boat, and many local transportation. There are 2 classes on the trams, 1st and 2nd class. The classes can be distinguished on the outside of each tram cart. I also recommend printing your transportation pass for the inspector if you purchase your pass online. 
When you are on your transportation, an inspector may request that you present your travel pass. The first day, I did not encounter the inspector that often but it grew more frequently during the rest of my stay. Since the 4 day pass are tailored to foreigners, a passport may be required to be presented to the inspector. You do not want to be caught without a travel pass. You will be fined CHF 100 plus the cost of your travel. 
On day 5 of my trip, I purchased a local day pass on ZVV. The pass is restricted to only the Zurich zones and within each pass, you may only be limited to specific zones. There are three different day passes on ZVV: Zurich Day Pass, ZVV Day Pass, and the ZVV 9 ‘O Clock pass. The Zurich Day Pass offers discounts and deals throughout the city for CHF 27 but only covers 7 zones. ZVV Day Pass is CHF 34.40 and covers all zones but does not offer any other perks like the Zurich Day Pass. You may choose specific zones to cut on costs on the ZVV Day Pass. The ZVV 9 ‘O Clock pass covers all zones M-F starting after 9am to 5am the following day for CHF 26. On weekends and holidays, the pass has unrestricted validity. I chose to purchase the 9’ O Clock pass as I did not need the extra discounts or deals and I was traveling after 9am. 
Tips on Travel:
I recommend downloading the SBB and ZVV website. You may purchase your passes through the app. Further, I found the app very helpful in mapping out where I’d like to go and how to get there. My friend, who is currently staying in Switzerland says that Google map does not have all the variations to travel to your final destinations. I used Google Map to discover my train stop and input that information into the SBB app. SBB is the main train and tram in all of Switzerland. ZVV is local to Zurich and will include bus routes. 
*If you choose to rent a car, please note that you will not be able to drive up to the Alps. You will need to pay for a cable-car or a tram to the top.


Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Current Exchange Rate (Aug 2021):
$1 AUS Dollar = $0.68 CHF
$1USD = $0.91 CHF
€1 = $1.09 CHF
£1 – $1.39 CHF
¥1 – $.0083 CHF

What to Eat:

Switzerland is known for their cheese fondues and their milky chocolate. You can find them all over Switzerland and you won’t be disappointed. Another bonus, Switzerland borders 5 countries: Austria, Liechtenstein, France, Italy, Germany and draws food influences from these regions.
Note that due to COVID, restaurants are closed in the middle of the day. You will find limited food and drink options from 2pm to 7pm. 


Before leaving your country, visit Switzerland’s travel check website. The website will determine your entry qualifications based on your country and COVID vaccination status. During my visit in August 2021, I was able to enter the country by providing my airline a COVID vaccination card. My friend on the other hand, only had one shot out of two and was required to submit a negative PCR test. Neither one of us had to quarantine upon arrival. The country COVID restrictions are always changing so it is necessary to check the website. Also, all visitors must fill out the entry form. The entry form includes information for contact tracing such as seat number and address. Upon completing the form, you will receive a QR code that you must present to the ticketing agent prior to your flight.

For the return flight, all travelers leaving to the United States must submit a negative PCR test. All pharamcies that I have come across required advance appointments. When I entered a few pharmacies, the doctors told me that they cannot do walk ins. Navigating on sites such as amavita.cha was difficult if you do not speak French, German or Italian. If you can get a person to help book your appointment, you can save a few dollars. Otherwise, the airport offers “rapid PCR” walk-in testing. I recommend taking the rapid test the day before your flight because it is not a quick 15 minute turn around unless you want to spend more money. The airport provides a 30 minute turn around for CHF 380 vs CHF 149 for results within five hours. The location of the COVID testing is a bit difficult to find but airline staff will be around to assist if needed. 

Where To Stay:

I have a friend who lives near Zurich so we stayed with him for most of our stay. While we were in Lavaux, we stayed at Hotel Lavaux for $170. The hotel was nice and situated in the vineyard terrance. 


Day 1: August 28, 2021 [Blue]


  • Arrive in Zurich
  • Travel to Ebenalp
    • → Schwendetalstrasse 82, 9057 Wasserauen
    • Take the cable car – Round trip is CHF 17 with travel pass

Where to Eat:

  • Berggasthaus
    • Berggasthaus Ebenalp, 9057 Weissbad (AI)
    • Ordered Fechy white Wine CHF 9
    • Breaded pork with fries CHF 26.50


  • Walensee via Weesen

Where to Eat:

  • Lunch: La Taqueria
    • → Badenerstrasse 138, 8004 Zürich
    • Hours: M-Sun 11:30am – 10pm
    • Ordered nachos (CHF 14.90), carne asada tacos (CHF 6.90), al pastor (CHF 6.90)
      • food was delicious but took 50 minutes to get food. Has vegetarian options. 
  • Dinner: Five Spice Thai Restaurant
    • → Zweierstrasse 106, 8003 Zürich
    • Hours: M-F 11:00am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm; Sat-Sun 5:30pm – 10:00pm
    • Ordered Pad Thai Gai (CHF 23.50) and Sawadee Thailand drink (CHF 9.00)


  • Lavaux Vineyard Terrance

Where to Eat:

  • Drinks: L’Atelier
    • → Rte de Vevey 51, 1096 Cully
  • Dinner: Auberge du Vigneron
    • → Rte de la Corniche 16, 1098 Epesses
    • Ordered Beef entrecote with red wine butter, veggies, and potatos (CHF 44.00)


  • Lake Geneva
  • Chillion Castle
    • Fee: CHF 13.50
    • Hours: M-Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm; last entrance at 4:00pm
  • Lavaux Vinorama
    • Expert Wine Tasting: 3 white wines, 2 red wines (CHF 24)

Where to Eat:

  • Byron Cafe
    • Grab and go lunch located across the Chillion Castle


  • Zurich Central

Where to Eat

  • Lunch: Thali House Indian Restaurant
    • → Langstrasse 213, 8005 Zürich
    • Ordered the lunch special which includes chicken thali, yogurt, cauliflower with potatos, lentil, and rice (CHF 20) 
  • Dinner: La Piazzeta at Hotel St. Gotthard
    • → Bahnhofstrasse 87, 8001 Zürich
    • Ordered Aperol Spritz (CHF 16.50), Margarita Pizza (CHF 20)
  • Drinks: Jules Verne Panorama Bar
    • → Uraniastrasse 9, 8001 Zürich
    • Open Tues – Fri 5:30pm – 11pm; Sat 2pm -11pm, Sun-Mon closed
    • rooftop bar. reservations necessary due to limited seating
    • Ordered Phileas Fogg (CHF 18)

Cost breakdown for one person for 5 days:

  • Transportation: CHF 331.80
  • Hotel for one night: $85
  • Food and Drinks: CHF 362.20
  • Activites: CHF 13.50
  • COVID test: CHF 149

Total costs: CHF 913.85 or $1020.31