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  • Chapel Bridge, Luzern, Switzerland
    Chapel Bridge in Luzern
  • Lake Lugano, Switzerland
    Lake Lugano
  • Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland
    The Matterhorn
  • Mürren, Switzerland
    Mürren
  • Château de Chillon, Montreux, Switzerland
    Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva
  • La Maison du Gruyère cheese factory, Gruyères, Switzerland
    Say "Cheese"
  • Near the Schilthorn summit overlooking the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks, Berner Oberland, Switzerland
    Hiking in the Berner Oberland
  • Bern, Switzerland
    Bern

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Email tour@ricksteves.com

Best of Switzerland in 12 Days Tour

from $4,295 per person + air

Single Supplement $675

See Dates & Prices

Our 12-day Best of Switzerland tour will have you delighting in the majesty, diversity, and cultural quirks that make this place so…Swiss! From lakeside towns to flowerbox-perfect villages to hiking trails surrounded by cut-glass mountains — you'll find yourself in a nature-lover's nirvana. Peek at its peaks, marvel at its love of precision, and savor a daily dose of cow-milking, chocolate, and cogwheel trains. Already been to Switzerland? Treat yourself to a generous second Alping. Join us for the Best of Switzerland in 12 Days!

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 20 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Switzerland tour:

  • Luzern walking tour
  • Lake Luzern boat cruise
  • Rütli Meadow
  • Fortress Fürigen
  • Appenzell orientation walk
  • Ebenalp mountain excursion
  • Bellinzona
  • Lugano orientation walk
  • Lake Lugano boat cruise
  • Ticino cooking class
  • Zermatt
  • Lake Geneva boat cruise
  • Château de Chillon
  • Lavaux wine tasting
  • Cheese farm
  • Schilthorn mountain excursion
  • Hiking orientation for day in the Berner Oberland
  • Bern walking tour
  • Swiss culture Q&A
  • Chocolate experience

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Switzerland come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Luzern to Bern
  • 11 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Switzerland

We'll meet at 5 p.m. at our hotel in Luzern (Lucerne) for a "Welcome to Switzerland" meeting. Then we'll take a meandering evening walk through Switzerland's most charming lakeside town and get acquainted with one another over dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Luzern.

Day 2: Luxurious Luzern

We'll begin our day with a walking tour of Luzern, learning how a backwater fishing village grew to become a bustling center of trade in medieval times and one of Europe's must-see destinations on the "Grand Tour" a century ago. Our guided walk will take us through the city's restored medieval core and over its famously colorful pedestrian bridges. This afternoon, we'll travel by bus and boat, tracing the tale of William Tell and the birthplace of Switzerland at Rütli Meadow before returning to Luzern for a free evening.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: ½ hour. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in Luzern.

Day 3: Storybook Appenzell

This morning we'll leave Luzern and make our way to Switzerland's "cowbell country" — Appenzell. We'll stop at the once-secret Swiss Army bunker at Fortress Fürigen, where we'll see part of the massive defense system designed to keep Switzerland strong and neutral. Afterward, we'll continue our drive through the Swiss countryside to our picturesque home for the night. We'll settle into our family-run hotel, then head out for an orientation walk followed by free time to wander through our storybook neighborhood before enjoying dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 2½ hours. Sleep in Appenzell.

Day 4: Ebenalp and Italian Switzerland

Our day begins with a gondola lift to the peak of nearby Ebenalp. You'll have time to savor the 360-degree alpine view and perhaps head downhill to see the 400-year-old Wildkirchli cave church (hermit monks lived and worshipped here from 1658 to 1853) and a guesthouse built precariously into the cliff. Then we'll trade our mountains and meadows for palm trees and a taste of Ticino, the Italian side of Switzerland. On our way, we'll stop in the fortified town of Bellinzona to practice our best Swiss passeggiata. This afternoon's destination is the dolce vita lakeside city of Lugano. Your guide will take you on an orientation walk before setting you free to enjoy one of the town's many idyllic open-air restaurants.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Lugano.

Day 5: Free Day on Lake Lugano

It's time to take a vacation from your vacation, on the sunny side of the Alps! The day is yours to stroll along Lugano's shops and harbor, ride the funicular up to the top of 3,000-foot San Salvatore for great lake views, or hop aboard a ferry and cruise to nearby Swiss and Italian villages. We'll regroup this evening to board a boat for our Ticinese cooking class and dinner together.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). Boat: 1 hour. No bus. Sleep in Lugano.

Day 6: The Mighty Matterhorn and Lausanne

We'll say ciao to Lugano this morning as we make our way into the French-speaking corner of Switzerland. Along the way we'll visit the quaint mountain village of Zermatt, framed by Switzerland's iconic Matterhorn. We'll have free time to explore the village and enjoy the views of one of the most recognizable mountains on the planet — if the weather cooperates. Then it's on to Lake Geneva and the city of Lausanne, where this afternoon we'll get oriented to our old town neighborhood before sitting down to test our French over dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Train: ½ hour. Bus: 5½ hours. Sleep in Lausanne.

Day 7: Lake Geneva's Château de Chillon

The morning is all yours to explore Lausanne's tangled and historic old town, visit its famed Olympic Museum, or simply savor a café au lait while people-watching in the idyllic waterfront neighborhood of Ouchy. This afternoon we'll take a boat cruise on Lake Geneva (weather permitting). A few miles downshore we'll dock at Château de Chillon, where we'll have a guided tour of this delightfully medieval castle on the water. Then we'll visit the Lavaux vineyards for a wine tasting before returning to Lausanne for the evening.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: 2 hours. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in Lausanne.

Day 8: Into the Heart of the Alps

Today we'll depart lakeside Lausanne and journey into the heart of the Swiss Alps. The best way to get there is by taking a scenic drive up and over the Jaun Pass as we make our way to the breathtaking Berner Oberland. After passing lush green meadows and dramatic alpine peaks, we'll end our journey with a thrilling gondola ride from the Lauterbrunnen Valley floor up to the clifftop village of Mürren. You'll have some time to commune with nature and delight in the high mountain air before we enjoy a traditional Swiss fondue dinner together. 

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Mürren.

Day 9: Schilthorn and Hiking in the Berner Oberland

For an exhilarating start to our day, we'll take a gondola ride up to the top of the 10,000-foot Schilthorn and enjoy breakfast together with a view of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. The rest of the day is yours to explore more of the magnificent mountains on your own. Whatever adventure you choose, you won't be far from the three essential ingredients of the area: cows, cheese, and chocolate.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Mürren.

Day 10: Cheese, Cows, and Chocolate

Today we'll experience both rural and urban Switzerland as we make our way to stately-but-human Bern. Along the way, we'll visit a working alpine farm where the area's famous Gruyere cheese is produced. After free time for lunch, we'll indulge ourselves by stopping at a local chocolatier and sample a selection to judge for yourself if Swiss chocolate is really the best in the world. We'll continue on to the country's present-day capital and our final stop, where your guide will orient you to our neighborhood before setting you free to find dinner on your own.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Bern.

Day 11: The Swiss Capital of Bern

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Bern's city center filled with cozy covered arcades, pointy towers, sandstone buildings, and colorful fountains. Afterward, we'll sit down with a local for a cultural Q&A session on all things Swiss. This afternoon you're free to explore more of Bern, visit a museum, enjoy a beer at an outdoor café, or take a stroll along the river. Tonight we'll gather for a farewell dinner together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Pröschtli, cin cin, and salud!

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Bern.

Day 12: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Zürich's airport by train (75 minutes, 2 trains per hour). You'll have easy connections to home or other points in Europe. Tschüssli!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Switzerland in 12 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Adjust to frequent alpine weather changes that can interfere with sightseeing.

Reviews

James

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized and the hotels were located in the center of the old towns visited. Excellent guide and scenery was quite memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the incredible mountain scenery, including the Matterhorn and Schilthorn."

Andra

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazingly well-coordinated by our amazing tour guide, Mirjam. Learned so much about Switzerland and feel as though we had a truly authentic experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I truly feel as though we could not have had a better tour guide. Mirjam was funny, honest, smart, engaging, organized, responsible, knowledgeable, patient and just amazing on every level. We were impressed every step of the way, even when our coach malfunctioned and we had to regroup - Mirjam took care of us and did not miss a beat!"

Chris

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first-ever RST and first-ever group tour experience after years of self-guided travel. Destinations on our tour were fantastic and the education & inspiration given by guide Mirjam were tremendous! Hotels were perfectly situated, and offered spotless & comfortable accommodations with delicious breakfasts ranging from superb to superabundant. Transitions were smooth & efficient, and activities rewarding & fun. We'll long cherish new friends made on tour. Shoutout to driver Marcus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many WOW moments; it's difficult to choose one! The cozy proximity of spectacular Mt. Pilatus to charming Lucerne; the Greatest Sandwich In History from a small bakery in St. Gallen; strolling through bella lakeside Parco Ciani in Lugano; the rarest of rarities, a stunning full view of the Matterhorn in Zermatt; sipping wine by the majestic Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva; a hostel porch cappuccino in Gimmelwald, taking in the Eiger/Mönch/Jungfrau peaks; a farewell dinner for the ages in Bern!"

Steven

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an outstanding experience during your Switzerland tour. Excellent selection on hotels at every stop and great itinerary, would not have experienced some of the sites if not for your tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride up Schilthorn, seeing the views and doing the cliff walk."

Brenda

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Switzerland experience was fantastic! Wonderful guide, expert bus driver, great tour companions, and unbeatable scenery! A must do trip for anyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many “wow” moments, but the favorite had to be waking up in Murren and seeing the clouds hugging the snow capped Eiger, Minch, and Jung Frau peaks right outside my window!"

Doreen

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was once again wonderful and memorable. The itinerary was great! Our tour guide, Nico, was very knowledgeable and fun! The accommodations were nice and the breakfasts provided were very good. Our bus driver, Bella, was skillful and a joy to be with on tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Two that come to mind immediately are walking onto our balcony in Murren and having a jaw-dropping view of the mountains! The second is in Lugano on top of San Salvatore, drinking in the 360 degree views of Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains. There are many more."

Brian

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The schedule was really good. It allowed us to see a lot but we also had appropriate free time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Geneva and the wine growing area"

Elise

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 5th Steves tour. We had a great guide and had many memorable moments. This was the first time we did so many “hands-on” activities, such as making risotto and molding chocolate. These activities added much to our enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to see the Matterhorn in Zermatt without any fog or clouds blocking it. Opening our balcony doors in Murren and seeing the 3 peaks in clear view. Walking the North Face trail and seeing the views from afar. Breathtaking!"

Virginia

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nico, our guide was excellent. The combination of cities and the beautiful mountains and lakes was a good balance. The tour had a good variety of experiences...boat rides, gondolas, local activities, tan cows.. etc

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the mountains in Murren (and seeing the Matterhorn in nice blue skies"

Robert

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour. The planned stops were exceptional giving us the opportunity to experience the diversity of Switzerland. Nico did a phenomenal job, and provided us with many options when we were exploring on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the north face trail in Murren on a beautiful sunny day. Simply breathtaking."

Rick

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We felt like we did get to see the best of Switzerland with a great guide, Nico, and a friendly group of like-minded adults. The locations selected were varied and we had several afternoons, mornings and evenings on our own to explore at our own speed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight for us was Murren and the Schilthorn. While Zermatt was overly touristy and crowded, Murren and its high plateau were beautiful beyond description, quieter, and offered a range of activities that fit our interests - walks, scenery, gondolas, fondue, cows. The scenery was stunning - and the hikes/walks were wonderful."

Alice

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great RS Europe trip! We thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip, the schedule, the guide. It was our best trip with RS so far!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel and time in Lugano."

Timothy

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Nico, was very helpful and made the tour fun with his enthusiasm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Matehorn"

Jill

Tour: 09/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far and away the most beautiful trip I have every been on. We both get burned out on churches and art museums (tho I think RS tour was a great balance on our HOI tour). We loved this tour because of the variety, the outdoor experience, and the physical challenges. Our guide Nico was so knowledgeable and inclusive of everyone on the tour. Great insight into the "Swiss" people and itheir pride of country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW was obviously as evyone else: Murren. Would love to see this tour extend to 3 nights there. The views just blow one away. Second was probably the Risotto lesson in Lugano, because it was a beaurtiful night, boat ride and everyone was having so much fun."

Richard

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick out just one. When our host at the dairy farm played the accordion during our cheese sampling I was overcome by the beauty of the farm, the mountains in the background, and the camaraderie of our group"

Gregory

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves tours. The tour staff were outstanding in the operation of the tour in Switzerland. We had a great time with the staff and other members of our tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best wow moment was the free time to hike the Alps in Murren, Switzerland."

Rachel

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth Rick Steves tour. We loved them all, but this one may be our favorite so far. The guides were wonderful, the hotels were comfortable, the scenery and tour pace, itinerary, and special experiences were all just right. The other tour members were delightful and interesting. We loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I have to choose just one, it’s probably the “golden hour” sunset in Murren, or maybe the experience at the cheese farm, or maybe the view of the Matterhorn!"

Kate

Tour: 09/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a grand tour in every respect. Switzerland is a fantastic country and we did our best to cover it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is so hard to pin down. I've seen a lot of churches, but the Cathedral of St Galan was jaw dropping. And then there are the mountains!"

Kathryn

Tour: 09/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of Switzerland itinerary was awesome! We really saw so many cities and REALLY experienced the Best of Switzerland. Our guide, Ian, was great! And our group so friendly and fun! Loved every minute of it!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "Wow" moment!! From Hotel Des Alpes in Luzern with the awesome view of Chapel Bridge and tour of Old Town, Little Gingerbread town of Appenzell was like a fairytale, Lugano and Lausanne had Gorgeous, elegant views of their beautiful lakes and the alps of Ebenalp, Zermatt (& Matterhorn), Murren, and the Schilthorn were simply breathtaking!!! Loved our tour of family run cheese farm and tour of the Camille Bloch chocolate factory and "hands on" experience!!!"

Sam

Tour: 09/06/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We continue to be impressed with the overall quality of Rick's tours. The tour guides, hotels, schedule and sites are indicative of thorough planning, organization and a focus on how to derive the most education and enjoyment of each event. Ian was an encyclopedia of interesting fact, history and subtleties of Switzerland while injecting the appropriate amount of humor or historical tragedy important to the respective site. As usual, the hotels were great, very comfortable and quiet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Matterhorn! Early in the tour, Ian explained that the probability of a good view of the Matterhorn would be dependent upon the weather on that day...and our day was absolutely beautiful. All of Switzerland is very scenic, but our photos of the Matterhorn are picture postcards."

Thomas

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Switzerland provided a terrific overview of the German, French and Italian regions of the country. Both highly educational and fun, the tour given by Mirjam never was dull and kept us wanting more information from her. I would highly recommend this trip and only hope that others are as lucky as we were to get Mirjam as a guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention just one. However, our beautiful riverfront room in Lucerne was the best way to start a tour. The town of Murren and surrounding areas were as beautiful as the photos that prompted us to book this trip. We loved the cows!"

Phillip

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

the guide was very good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"see the alps"

Sandra

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the variety of places visited Enjoyed the boat rides on all 3 lakes visited Enjoyed the company of the friendly tour guide Miriam and bus driver Marian Was disappointed that we did not visit the Jungfrau Region Was disappointed by the number of stops during the tour that just seemed to be filling time before we were allowed to arrive at our next destination

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the incredible scenery throughout the tour including views of the Matterhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Another wow was the fantastic chocolate making class at Camille Bloch."

Bonnie

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour of Switzerland was fabulous. Mirjiam was a refreshing, fun guide who made the tour one we will always remember. I found the Switzerland of my dreams: the green mountains, chalets, cowbells chiming in the alps, but also learned the Swiss history and the diversity of the cities, languages and cuisines. The weather cooperated, our tourmates we great, and our driver Marion was a sweetheart. Definitely a trip I recommend to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were our walk in Zermatt to find the Matterhorn in clear sight in all her glory. I also agree with Rick that Gimmewald is a slice of heaven on earth; I could move there tomorrow and never look back. Our visit to the cheese farm was delightful as well! Brunch in the revolving restaurant and the view from there were spectacular. Needless to say I can't narrow it down to one "wow.""

June

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour..Switzerland has to be lived to capture its beauty..but our tour guide Mirjam brought it together..Organized, informative, fun, …she helped us SEE Switzerland..Rick’s guides are one of the big differences in tours…also our bus driver Marian, made us feel safe!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wonderful moments but riding the Gondolas to the top of the Shilthorn was unbelievable..cooking Paella was fun and a good way to get to know my group…visiting the cheese making farmer let us see into the lives of these hard working folks.."

Karen

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved every minute! Everything was so well organized and full of surprises.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have thought about this but I can’t possibly pick one moment as Switzerland is so beautiful, every moment was a wow moment. I loved learning about the history and the culture."

Brett

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great way to spend a couple of weeks, thoroughly enjoyed the travel experience and all the people in the group! Would do it again for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset on hotel balcony in Murren... Blew me away!"

James

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right amount of free time and planned activity time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not really a "wow" moment, The entire trip was great. There was the time the bus broke down and our guide Nico had to go with plan c and turned a negative into a positive with an impromptu lunch, and a new bus by the time lunch was done."

Harry

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overview of beautiful Switzerland from a great guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren is a perfect encapsulation of what Switzerland is about-- mountains, scenery,cows and good food"

Deborah

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was a great tour. We saw and did so much, both with the group and in our free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment would be seeing the sun setting and turning the mountains orange in Murren, and then walking the next day in the quintessential Swiss valley below. My more peaceful "wow" was an evening walk by the lake in Lucerne and looking over at the lights."

Maya

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Switzerland is such a beautiful country. This tour gave us the experiences of the various aspects of the country: big city, small towns, the Italian section, the French section, and the Swiss-German section.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren. No words can describe the beauty of the high alps. There was so much to do in the area, and Murren is the perfect size town to use as a home base."

Sandy

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steve's tour. We chose it because we wanted more switzerland after experiencing the GAS tour. Our tour guides; Nico and Ellen were terrific! They handled the unexpected seamlessly. Nico is fun and entertaining. The weather cooperated for the most part. What a beautiful country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mt. Pilatus on our own, hiking in Murren, risotto night, staying near lakes. We had a great group too!"

Ken

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was wonderful and a great experience. Nico was very knowledgeable and personable guide and our tour group was a good mix of travelers. Switzerland is a beautiful country and this tour featured great locations and fun activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to pick just one “wow” moment but the highlights for me were Luzern, Bern, and the Mürren area. I also really enjoyed making Risotto, visiting the chocolate factory, and the visit to the cheese farm was very enlightening and fun."

Leighton

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After having our travel plans put on hold for two years, this tour was everything I had hoped for. Wonderful guides, well traveled companions and the beauty and excitement of Switzerland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On my visit to Switzerland as part of the Germany, Austria and Switzerland tour I thought Murren could not be beat. This time, with a more in depth exposure to the country, I was overwhelmed during the drive toward Zermatt over the Simplon Pass. Seeing it all at once, the splendor of the Alps, the amazing engineering of the roads, tunnels, bridges and railways and becoming aware of the incredible history from the stone age to the salt trade to Napoleon captured it all."

Peter

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was our first RS tour and was a wonderful experience. There were a total of 28 on our tour plus Nico and Ellen, our guides. I enjoyed Nico's running narrative as we moved from place to place. His ease of language and history were very helpful. Robert, our bus driver, was great and very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments but being able to see and photograph the Matterhorn was very special for me. I first saw the Matterhorn in an old Disney movie when I was a kid. I've wanted to see it ever since and it did not disappoint. I would have spent more time there if possible for different photo vantage points."

Patricia

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first time traveling to Europe was amazing. We went on the Best of Switzerland Tour. We visited both cities and mountains, rode on busses, trains and ferries. Each day was filled with actives that included visiting a chocolate factory and making our own chocolate. A visit to a vineyard that included a wine tasting. Making risotto with our tour group and having a feast afterward. Our tour guides Nico and Ellen were amazing and kept us engaged, informed and entertained throughout the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but opening our balcony doors in Murren and seeing the view of the Alps from our room was breathtaking."

Darrow

Tour: 08/14/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well planned and organized. The guide(s) were friendly and very knowledgeable. All interactions with other tour guides were exceptional. The hotels were very nice and clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren. I love this part of Switzerland."

Carlos

Tour: 08/14/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized. Our tour guides Mirjam and Ian were delightful and very knowledgeable. I do feel that I enjoyed the best of Switzerland in 12 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of the Lauterbrunnen valley from Murren."

Steve

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd time in Switzerland gave us a chance to immerse ourselves in the culture that makes Switzerland so unique Whether it was in the cities with their hustle of people or in a village in urban Switzerland watching a farmer make cheese without modern conveniences, wherever we went , there was always an activity for us. What other tour group would give us the opportunity to meet a chocolatier who didn’t just show us how chocolate is made but walked us through making our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far the breakfast and free time on the Schilthorn and the Thrill Walk."

Diane

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gives a variety of experiences which we probably wouldn't have had if traveling independently. We traveled with Yorick, a wonderful guide who loved Switzerland and could tell us about its history and culture. He was organized, kind, and fun to be with. The country is absolutely beautiful and traveling with the other RS Tour members was a pleasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments are always hard to pick, but mine is probably staying in Murren with the great balcony view, falling asleep to cowbells below, and the next morning going even higher to Shilthorn."

Marilyn

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful country. Great people, knowledgeable guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Matterhorn in full display."

Denise

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel we got way more for our money than I expected. The tour was beautifully organized and Yourick was an awesome guide and a very knowledgeable guide. The group was awesome with no complaints and everyone was on time and a great team player. I do not feel I left any stone unturned in Switzerland. We have already booked our next tour, cannot wait to go again

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountains were so perfect they almost didn’t seem real. Our hotel opened up to look directly out the door and balcony ( all our hotels had awesome views) and hear the cow bells they’re known for."

Sue

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The weather was fabulous, albeit a bit warm! We skirted the predicted rain showers. The boat trips, hikes, and of course the Alps were wonderful. However, there were areas we would have liked to have spent more time and others we weren't nuts about. We understood Altdorf and Apenzell, but would have preferred to spend our time elsewhere if we had to pick. Julie was a terrific guide and we would have loved more time there. More time in Lausanne, Bern, and Murren/Lauterbrunen..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cheese farm was outstanding. Would have loved a day of hiking there. The Alps were outstanding despite having lost some of the glaciers. As was the Olympic Museum in Lausanne."

Kathleen

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! The itinerary included wonderful cities and activities. We enjoyed boat rides, hiking, cooking, and wonderful meals together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour got off to a “Wow” start with a fabulous view from our hotel room of the iconic covered Chapel bridge over the water in Lucerne."

Larry

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great RS tour. I like the mix of group and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was having breakfast at Piz Gloria resturant at the summit of the Schilthorn. It was beautiful weather and a great experience."

Susan

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From hotels to breakfasts to boat rides and education this trip was amazing. It allowed flexibility as well as group experiences. All the details were handled by our guide and we could just enjoy all that Switzerland has to offer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We absolutely loved our day in Murren. Starting with breakfast and a 360 degree view, the “thrill” walk at Birg and then a lunchtime hike on the Northface Trail. With cowbells ringing in our ears, fantastic views of the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger & a packed lunch of cheese, bread and sausage there is no better way to spend the day. We then had a delicious vegetarian Swiss meal at Stagerstubli followed by an after dinner stroll to Gimmelwald. WOW!"

Robert

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From Day One to Day Twelve the Tour exceeded my expectations. Yorick was professional and passionate about our tour. The group clicked and we had a wonderful experience in Switzerland. The smiles on my wife's face all through Switzerland is priceless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow moments, but our time in Murren and Gimmelwald was my favorite. Mountain air, hiking and a stop at the Biergarten in Gimmelwald was a perfect day. Our dinner at StägerStübli was delicious and helped us to learn more about the local culture.The view from our roon as the sun rose on the mountains are some of my favorite photos."

Roger

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour director. Good local tour guides. Great variety of experiences. The driving time on the bus was nicely broken up by the stops along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our Wow moment was the boat tour across Lake Lugano to a grotto where we all made different types of Risotto, then sat down at a long table and enjoyed the meal together. A terrific experience and great bonding with new friends."

Paula

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group of people were fun and friendly. They all made the trip and activities better. The activities like the risotto making at the grotto. Making cheese. The chocolate making. Every place was interesting and beautiful. One location built onto the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The risotto making with the banquet meal I didn’t want the night to end."

Anita

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Yorick, was wonderful. He enriched the trip with information about the country and its history. The different experiences were fabulous - making risotto, making chocolate, visiting the farm and seeing cheese made, visiting the winery, the surprise visit to Liechtenstein. Switzerland itself was just spectacular. Aside from the beautiful mountains, the cities were varied. It's like a mini Europe in one country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my first up-close-and-personal look at the Alps was the big WOW in the Lauterbrunnen Valley when we were on our way to Mürren. But I said "Wow" a lot during this trip. I really don't think I can just choose one wow."

Laurie

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Yorick, was great! Loved the mountains of Switzerland and the beautiful towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Breakfast at the Schilthorn (on a sunny day!), Lift/Funicular up San Salvatore, Elbenap, and especially Murren area. Beauty of hiking North Face Walk from Allmendhubel."

Marshall

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour with a great group of people and wonderful tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The many mountain top experiences, Mt. Pilatus, Ebenalp and Schiltorn. Making (and eating) chocolates at Camille Bloch."

Edward

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was outstanding, but the schilthorn was over the top. Having wine and cheese on our balcony listening to the cowbells and watching the clouds skip past the Eiger was overwhelming."

David

Tour: 08/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour delivered all that was promised…a taste of all the various regions of Switzerland. We loved the variety and all of the special experiences with a nice group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There we many, but Hiking on our own on the Northface Trail above Murren viewing the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks was amazing. Hearing the cow bells in the distance was magical. Another was taking the Berner Float in the Aare River with locals in Bern was fantastic. Our stay in Lugano was relaxing while using the ferry service on the lake. The wine tasting in the French version was also fun."

Velina

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

All transportation hubs were within walking distance of the hotels. The view from the hotels were amazing. No air conditioning in Luzern proved to be a small inconvenience, but we only spent 2 nights there. Overall. I would go with RST again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View of the Alps from our hotel window in Murren"

Gary

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide Mirjam provided wonderful insights into Switzerland's society and culture. She was the icing on the cake, so to speak. Her energy, positive attitude, and overall cheerful attitude was amazing. She is a great Rick Steves ambassador.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren hands down with its fabulous views. Also, as a history buff, I looked forward every day hearing another tidbit of Switzerland's history from Mirjam and her assistant tour guides."

Karen

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We very much enjoyed our guide, Mirjam, who brought fun and Swiss knowledge to our travels. Lots experiences while managing all 28 of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As we did not go to see the Matterhorn, due to weather, I'd say my Wow was hiking and "007" brunch atop the mountains of Mürren in the moving restaurant."

Elizabeth

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My guide was amazing. I learned a lot about Switzerland's history and politics as well as cultural traditions. I was also pleased to learn about this country's proactive approach to environmental issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that being in a boat on the lake in a lightening and thunderstorm was a personal first. This followed an amazing hands-on cooking experience. Every place in Switzerland is beautiful. I could cheerfully live in Lusaunne, truthfully. The final tour dinner in an underground but palatial restaurant was astonishing."

Linda

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. It was well organized, all our guides were informed and competent, the activities were interesting, the scenery delightful, our tour bus driver was highly skilled, and my fellow participants were a pleasure to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This one is a difficult question. There were so many highlights to choose from. If I must choose just one "wow" moment, I would say it was the jodling class in Appenzell. Vocal music is not in my comfort zone. I have little to no singing voice. However, I love vocal music, and the experience of at least trying to participate in this unique aspect of alpine culture fascinated me. The class was not superficial and touristy. It was a sincerely offered glimpse of local culture."

Ken

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great weather and scenery. Great people on the tour. Most of all, an outstanding energetic young tour director!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on my hotel deck in Mürren and looking at the Alps!"

Loren

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided a wonderful exploration of the geography, history, and diverse culture of Switzerland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the favorite "wow" was the tour guide and her explanations of the historical developments and the different generational insights into the Swiss experience with democracy over the years. I have always been interested by the Swiss experience with religion during the Reformation and their political, military, and commercial adaptation since about 1900."

Sylvia

Tour: 07/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and it was fantastic. Tour guide Mirjam was knowledgeable, creative, funny, and available. There were so many things we couldn't have done on our own, or wouldn't have known about: the chocolate factory, the grotto restaurant on Lake Lugano, the yodeling class, the tour of the WWII military installation. I loved all the boat rides on the lakes. The tour was active, but not too exhausting. I can't wait to travel again soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many...a quiet "wow" was the town of Vevey. I want to go back and spend a week there. Maybe the biggest wow was my hotel balcony in Murren, which was my dream of my Swiss vacation. Also making risotto at the grotto restaurant on Lake Lugano. The yodeling class was apparently Mirjam's idea--it was great! I also suggested that it would be fun to learn a folk dance."

Patricia

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Switzerland was everything I imagined it would be. The weather was perfect and the itinerary was great. Our tour leader was knowledgeable, friendly and kind. He made sure everyone was having the best experience for them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Valley and Murren! Couldn’t stop saying “wow!l"

Michelle

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although it was hot, the skies were clear and visibility was excellent, so the views at every location were spectacular. Switzerland was scenic and charming. The group was friendly and congenial. Yorick was an engaged guide who worked hard to keep things running smoothly and to be sure everyone could make good use of their down time as well as the tour time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the view of the covered wooden bridge from our hotel in Lucerne, boat ride on Lake Lucerne, and the walking tour of the city. Also loved the view of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau from our hotel in Murren. The tour of Fortress Furigen was balanced and informative, as were the discussions of Swiss involvement/neutrality during WW2."

George

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was challenged initially by tour members testing positive for COVID in the first few days of the trip. However, tour guide carried on quite well, keeping us informed, while dealing with situation, and lending very good insights about the country and customs. Given the dramatic landscapes of the Alps, the variety of countryside, language and cultures, it was a great experience. I was struck anew by the importance of trade thru the mt. passes in late Medieval Europe, and the Swiss Cantons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing how dynamic the Alps are. In geological time they are only recently thrust up. The catastrophic melting of the glaciers, the waterfalls and the landslides are all part of this landscape in movement."

Gratia

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The BofSwiss was a fabulous tour despite the historic heatwave all of Europe was facing that week in July. Proof that climate change is harming the glaciers was shockingly evident. However, I was so impressed with the tour's many unique & creative experiences - making Risotto in Lugano, wine tasting in Lausanne, making candy in the land of Swiss chocolate, visiting a cheese producing farm, seeing beautiful cities & the Zytglogge in Bern! Swiss engineering is genius: love cable cars & funiculars!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have 2 "wow" moments: 1. The view of the Alps - the Eiger, Jungfrau, & Monch peaks - from our hotel balcony in Murren!!! The cooler alpine climate after a week of atypical Swiss heatwave was also much appreciated! 2. The Zytglogge astronomical clock in Bern - I love glockenspiels & clocktowers & this is one of the world's best! Switzerland is so much more than Heidi!"

Margaret

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was a hard tour. The guide had one walking speed…fast. It was much hotter than expected (Europe was having a heat wave). The places we went were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was the time spent in Murren. Taking the trams and the views were amazing!"

Elaine

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The extremely hot weather definitely impacted our attitude, especially since there was no respite at night with only fans for comfort. I recognize this is the culture and that the temperatures were unusual for the area. Not complaining, just reflecting my feelings. Last two days were great with lower temps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fantastic tour of the Swiss Army bunker at Fortress Furigen. Great guide presented clear information in an interesting way."

Stephen

Tour: 07/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breakfast and views at Piz Gloria Schilthorn"

Janice

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Mirjam, was excellent. The structure of the tour was perfect, with just the right amount of free time. The hotels were all outstanding, and the activities and sites we visited were all engaging. The scenery in Switzerland was, of course, breathtaking, and we were fortunate to have perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren for sure. Spectacular scenery and views."

Kris

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely phenomenal. The selection of things to see, experiences, and places to go were all outstanding. I appreciated the locations of all the hotels as all were centrally located and within short walks to restaurants and shops. The combination of the scenic beauty of Switzerland and knowledgeable local guide like Mirjam made for a trip that will be hard to top.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at twilight just outside of Murren to the sounds of cowbells."

Rebecca

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was spectacular! The beauty of Switzerland is truly amazing, everywhere you look is more beautiful than what you just looked at. The food was wonderful, our fellow travelers were fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau from the Shilthorn, on a clear, sunny day."

William

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itinerary was very well planned and orchestrated. Our group was small enough to get to know everyone. Our tour leader Miriam was superb and really put her heart and soul into making the experience exceptional. Hotels were well located and fortunately almost all had a/c given the high temperatures. Nicco our apprentice tour leader was a really great addition to the tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lucerne & Lugano were beautiful both the real Wow moments were the gondola ride and reaching the top of Shilthorn. The hike on Elnap was a close second. I guess you could say my grabbing an electrified fence on Elnap was the real WOW moment!"

Danuta

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellently organized, everything always on time, top hotels and meals- all fantastic as promised, seeing sites to experience the local best really great as promised. No complaints whatsoever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the cheese farm visit, Lugano experience, and many more"

Norman

Tour: 07/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mirjam was great. She was very knowledgeable, and shared a lot of Swiss history with the tour group. The views just keep getting better and better, unbelievable beauty. WOW !!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on top of the Schilthorn ,360 degree's , of amazing beauty."

Mary

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional. We could not have asked for a better tour guide. Donald was very knowledgable spoke several languages. Switzerland was so beautiful and so many varied activities and I felt we really learned about the county and it's people. Hotels were very nice, clean, comfortable and well located in the city center.I cannot say one negative thing about this tour. I Loved it!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the gondola lift to the peak of Ebenalp. Hiking down and seeing the 400 year old Wildkirchli cave church. Then continuing to a Resturant perched on a cliff and having a beer looking at the Alps. Murren was also spectacular and seeing the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks from our hotel window every morning. Then hiking down to the village of Gimmelwald. Another wow moment is taking the two trams to Schilthorn and seeing the rotating Resturant Her majesty Secret service movie was made."

Randall

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour that covered most of Switzerland. Very efficient use of our time. Our guide Donald White is wonderful. Knowledgeable about the country, food, history, art, everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Murren and hiking to Gimmelwald. The entire Lauterbrunnen valley with the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth."

Danielle

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved seeing all the beauty of the landscapes of Switzerland & hearing about its long history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were at least three Wow moments....the first was on the gondola up to the small village of Murren, seeing the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley from above! The second was climbing to the top of the Schilthorn & viewing the Eiger, Monk & Jungfrau in all their sunlit glory! The third was the view of the Grindelwald valley from our hike to Kleine Scheidig."

Ellen

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I did this exact same tour in 2018 and loved it so much I did it again. This time I found it it to be a bit too rushed and it seemed as though we spent way more time in the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Murren!!"

Steven

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour of Switzerland with a fun group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Renting a boat on our 'day off' in Lugano and having a day on the lake as a family. Also, seeing tour de France stage 8 in Lausanne."

Lynn

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour guide, Donald White, was extremely knowledgeable about the country and many other things and highly skilled at tour management. He kept us informed about changes throughout and facilitated the group of 28 well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland as a whole is breathtakingly beautiful. Traveling to 6 different cities enabled us to sense the regional differences."

Rebecca

Tour: 07/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spectacular tour experience! We visited many diverse locals throughout Switzerland and were immersed in each area’s unique culture…from German, to Italian to French influences as well as remote areas steeped in traditions. I was seeking an active and adventurous tour experience, and was not disappointed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many “wow” moments! Favorites…Ebenalp outing w/ gondola ascending over grazing cows, hiking down to restaurant guesthouse perched within a cliff, passing amazing alpine views, paragliders, cows, 400 yr old cave church, then enjoying a cool beverage before return hike. Schilthorn breakfast outing w/ gondola ride up to 10,000 ft & views of Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau peaks, then experiencing the thrill walk while clinging to the cliffs! Free time Tour de France in Lausanne, Aare river swim in Bern."

Melissa

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful. The balance of scheduled time vs on our own time was perfect. The location of hotels couldn't have been better. I loved the activities that drew us into the culture!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making risotto under a tent on the lakeshore during a rainstorm near Laguna is one of many wow moments. That night we shared stories, drank wine and mixed delicious ingredients while our tent swelled with water, and lightening/ thunder abounded creating an atmosphere of pure delight. Yet, as quickly as the storm began, it ended and our made from scratch dinner was ready--Magical!!"

Kathleen

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mirjam was our Amazing Guide!! So knowledgeable, fun and since she was from Switzerland, could converse on all subject and great music!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments, but seeing the Matterhorn and watching Cheese making high up in the Mountain top was amazing as well."

Paula

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The two was well organized, nicely paced, and overall a wonderful memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our evenings and Murren were especially sweet because our location allowed us to have a gorgeous view of the mountains."

Christine

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience was fun, interesting and diverse. I really appreciated the train system, making transportation to and from the airport in Zurich a breeze. We visited beautiful lake cities with German- Swiss, French and Italian cultural/language ties. I loved the ferries for visiting different lakeside towns. And of course then the mountains! Breathtaking scenery and hiking (really, I'm afraid of heights, so breathless). Finally, Bern, a real city full of people and big stone buildings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment would have to be the breakfast on Schilthorn. Taking the gondola 10,000 ft. through the clouds, wondering if you'll see anything, and then it clears and you soar up through the blue sky to a beautiful champagne breakfast perched on this granite peak above the clouds. And you can go out and walk all around, plus watch James Bond movie clips! wow!"

Julie

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was mine and my husbands first tour with Rick Steve's. We were very impressed with how all of the details were all figured out ahead of time and we just got to enjoy ourselves. Donald, our tour guide was very personable, organized, and really made the tour the success it was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides the sheer beauty of Switzerland itself, my wow moment of the tour was Murren. Taking 2 cable cars to get there was scenic, but then when we opened the door of our hotel and stared out at 3 major mountains it was breathtaking. After it rained one night, we had 12 waterfalls as part of our view. The sweet smell of the hay, the gentle chime of the cow bells, and the hundreds of wildflowers peering at us during our North Face hike was beyond heavenly. It was truly a trip of a lifetime."

Sarah

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful tour guide, driver, amazing local experiences we would never have been able to find on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cow bells tinkling on the mountain in Muren"

Jean

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Switzerland has to be the most beautiful country I have ever visited. The people were so friendly and helpful. It was easy to use all the methods of transportation. Our guide Donald was great and our bus driver Marion was amazing how she maneuvered that big bus around those narrow roads. I hope someday I get to go back and see more of Switzerland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many Wow moments. Murren was a beautiful area. Lauterbrunnen Valley, the Trummelbach Falls and going to the top of Schilthorn probably was my best Wow moment. Seeing all the waterfalls rushing down the mountains after that big rain storm was another plus."

Patricia

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another RS tour that never failed to delight! Fabulous guide, congenial group of tour members, incredible sights and experiences, delicious food -- certainly an A+ tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the farm of the family who have their cows in the alps, being told and shown in slides and in person the big picture of production from cows to cheese, then enjoying various cheeses, delicious bread and more, all accompanied by accordion music played by women. Unforgettable!"

Thomas

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience with a mix of cities and small towns. Even though rain seemed to be in the forecast every day, it was actually sunny each day. It was unexpectedly hot in Switzerland and, although not mentioned on the tour, we went swimming twice thankfully. The group activities were great fun. This was a very active tour with plenty of local group tours (always a treat), walking (we averaged 14,000 steps per day), beautiful boat rides, and soaring cable cars.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything in the Lauterbrunnen Valley: the shear cliffs and cable car ride up to Murren, our time on the Schilthorn, and our hike on the Northface trail. I would love to come back and ski it all."

Alison

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another very enjoyable RS tour. Our guide Marjam and driver Rollin were both wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the group and all the activities. The weather was warmer than expected, even in mountains. In future I'll pack less cold weather clothing and gear, and rely more on layers to keep warm if needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment. Mornings and evenings in Murren looking out on snow capped peaks, listening to the birds, and bells on goats or cows. Hiking in the beautiful and peaceful Berner Oberland with so many waterfalls and breath taking views. It all felt like heaven."

Rod

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on 5 RS Tours and this would rank near the top. Our guide, Mirjam, was great and the tour group friendly and fun. The diversity in language, culture, & topography in Switzerland was amazing to take in and appreciate. In addition to the beautiful countryside, this tour gave us an appreciation for the diverse landscape and "style" of government. More time could have been spent in the mountains and less time at the chocolate factory (4 hours). Food was good but not great. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "Wow" moment was Murren and the Schilthorn - incredible hiking and sites! We also had a blast swimming and using the paddle boats for summer fun on Lake Geneva. (Did this on our own but highly recommend)"

Judith

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My room in Murren, balcony facing the mountains and the fantastic accommodations in the beautiful city of Lucern."

Michael

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very well organized trip with a great guide (Mirjam Grob) and great group of fellow travelers. Enjoyed all the sites and activities of this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Schilthorn and Matterhorn were amazing to view in person! Lake Lugano was a lot of fun to explore and swim!"

Cherie

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All aspects of this tour of Switzerland have been thoughtfully prepared and arranged with utmost detail.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite is really difficult to pinpoint on one moment;however, every stop along the way and through the mountains was my favorite! There were too many - felt like I was in a calendar photo living it!"

Heidi

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was AWESOME experience. Our tour Guide Mirjam was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was just AMAZING. We enjoyed seeing the matterhorn"

Rosemarie

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent; well planned, well organized, responsive to member needs. Outstanding tour guide, driver, accommodations and itinerary. Every detail addressed. Wonderful group of travelers. A perfect balance of group activities and individual discovery. Learned so much about Switzerland; excellent opportunity to see the many faces of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments it's hard to narrow it down: Beautiful Luzern; city on the river and lake, the Matterhorn, staying in Murren with mountain peaks and glaciers so close it felt as if you could reach out and touch them. The view from Piz Gloria / Schilthorn, hike at Elbenalp. Beauty and discovery every day."

Steven

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent tour guide and a great group of people to travel with. We had traveled through part of Switzerland in 2014 on the 21 day Heart of Europe Rick Steves tour and loved what we saw so decided to go back and see if the rest of the country was as beautiful as what we experienced previously. We were not disappointed as we found every corner of the country to be gorgeous. We also really enjoyed the variation in language/ethnic influence as we traveled about the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Vally is stunningly beautiful and even though we had been there on our 2014 tour it once again was a 'jaw dropper' in it's raw beauty and grandeur."

Carolyn

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the itinerary. It included exposure to Swiss country life, food, mountain hiking, Swiss neutrality, and plenty of time to explore on our own

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren"

Russell

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour as a whole, the destinations we visited met all my expectations. I felt it was ridiculous to expect us to wear masks on the bus, I never saw a mask worn anywhere on the entire trip other than our own group on our bus. In Switzerland masks are nonexistent no matter how tightly packed you are at different places. Our tour guide Miriam we could not have had a better tour guide she was the sweetest and most gracious young lady I have ever seen, we all loved her!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I’ve had so many wow moments, I have no idea how I will ever thin out all my pictures, every turn throughout the trip you see a new picture that you cannot pass up. I really enjoyed Murin which was on the mountain where the James bond movie was shot, that was all laid out perfectly, the wonderful breakfast at the top of the mountain was icing on the cake! But there were wonderful moments and places throughout the whole trip!"

Cynthia

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very straightforward about what "the plan" would be for the day, so to know what to expect. Felt in good hands with guide and bus driver, not knowing the specific means to get around myself. Well balanced activites to really get to know Switzerland

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turning the corner after riding the Ebenalp cable car and hiking a distance - to see Wildkirchli! As well, the breathtaking Jungfrau region that words can simply not describe. The mountains in Switzerland are... WOW! Not to forget the little discoveries like accidently passing the Stauffacher Bookstore in Bern (as I had read 'Swiss Watching, Inside the Land of Milk and Money' by Diccon Bewes as recommended in the Rick Steves Guide), and finding the rooftop terrace at the Bern hotel. Mountains!!"

Michael

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our first Rick Steves tour and it will not be out last. very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the whole tour was a "wow" moment. How can we possibly name just one!"

Janet

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw such beautiful sites-the alps, the lakes, waterfalls,castles, churches and learned history at the WW II Fortress Furingen and the St.Gallen library, Chateau de Chillon and the Berggasthaus Aesch on the cliffside. Every detail was well organized. All hotels were very comfortable and charming but the workmanship on Hotel Santis in Appenzell was amazing. Also liked Des Alpes in Lucerne. The views from Murren from the Hotel Alpenruh were so worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments--the awe inspiring valley of Lauterbrunnen with it's massive rock faces and waterfalls and snow capped mountains were jaw dropping gorgeous and one of the favorite places. Also the old town of Lucerne, Zurich's river, Alpenzell, the cruise on Lake Lugano, and the dinner at Kornhauskeler restaurant(so very elegant)"

Cindy

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We got a taste of Switzerland when we did the Germany, Austria, Switzerland tour in 2013, and could not wait to go back! We enjoyed getting to see so many different parts of Switzerland. I had no idea that there were German regions, Italian regions, and French regions. We had a fantastic group of 25 wonderful people. We all got along, and there were no grumps! We also had a fantastic tour guide - Mirjam - who added so much to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say getting to go to Murren again was my favorite part of the tour. Looking out of our hotel balcony to the Alps and the small village of Murren was a storybook experience. I loved going up to the Schilthorn and having breakfast in the revolving restaurant added to the Murren visit. The views were incredible, and we were literally going over the clouds in the gondola on the way up there!"

Marty

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent overall - pre-trip planning / preparations, logistics, guides - on the tour and the local guides, hotels, meals, fellow travelers, travel - all!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to pick a favorite "wow" - every day was different - and included such special and interesting adventures / experiences - from the Matterhorn / Schilthorn / Ebenalp - to making risotto and chocolate!!"

Mary

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, thoughtful guide and great travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the mountians."

John

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour with a great guide. Lots of memories created with all the mountains, castles and cities visited on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there are many wow moments, for me it was seeing the Materhorn on a clear day. Simply breathtaking."

Esther

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a delightful tour! The focus on natural wonders (lakes, mountains) and lovely cities and towns was a wonderful change of pace from lots of museums and historic sites. We were blessed with generally good weather and a terrific guide! Donald was fun, funny, organized, knowledgable. We travelers could just relax and enjoy the ride. Local guides were great and food/hotels were good. The Swiss people were friendly andhelpful.I especially enjoyed making risotto and a huge chocolate bar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Whenever we ventured up into the mountains by cable car or train, it was a "wow' moment for me. We had crystal clear skies on the day we went to see the Matterhorn - just beautiful. I also loved our time in Murren where we got many views of the mountains and had breakfast at almost 10,000 feet. Although I grew up in Colorado, I have spent too many years in the flatlands of the midwest. I had forgotten how magnificent mountain scenery is."

Peggy

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour. There was an excellent variety of historic and scenic sites. The local guides were informational about their towns and Swiss life in general. Our main tour guide was the maestro to ensure we saw all the sites. He was able to change the tour to adjust to weather conditions and surprised us with the addition of the Trummelbach Falls. I was blown away! The food was delicious. And the hotels were very clean and comfortable. Finally the tour members were fun and enjoyed hearing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is an unfair question. Every stop was outstanding! The Swiss dairy farm tour and conversations with the local farmers on their lives tending to the cows and the specifics of cheese making. The chocolate tour was fun making our own chocolate bars. And the wine tasting overlooking the terraced vineyards below the winery was beautiful. The risotto cooking class on the hillside above Lake Geneva was wonderful."

Karen

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were shown that Switzerland is more than the Alpine huts of Heidi, how the Italian and French cultures are also folded in under one flag. The bus travel was dripping in outstanding scenery. Local guides were interesting as were the various activities, hotels carefully chosen, food was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That first view of the Matterhorn took my breath away."

Ann

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Matterhorn in clear view"

Leanne

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall we had a great trip! Donald, our guide, was excellent - extremely knowledgeable, professional and helpful. I feel we were exposed to so much of what Switzerland has to offer including incredible views, country life, and food; especially cheese, chocolate and wine. A wonderful breadth of experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lunch while enjoying the view of the Matterhorn, and the time spent in and around Murren."

James

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a gem of a tour. The weather cooperated and most days were perfect. There were so many things to see and do in this small but very beautiful country. Don was a great guide with a great sense of humor. I appreciated his insights; the local guides were also outstanding and added a lot to our local experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but for me it was seeing the Matterhorn in clear weather. Just to sit on a restaurant terrace with a view of the Matterhorn was a true “Wow!” moment. Never had I had such a beautiful view before while eating outside."

Patricia

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was another great Rick Steves tour. While Switzerland doesn't have "must see" sites to visit like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre it has scenery, scenery, scenery!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were extremely fortunate in our timing to be working our way up a one-lane road to an alp at the same time that several herds of cows were being driven up that same road for summering on the alp. Their bells were clanging with every step, three generations were herding them, and even the neighbors had come to the end of their driveway to watch and greet. I almost felt like an intruder, but was thrilled to be able to witness this event."

Carlee

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first time in Switzerland and basically my first time in Europe! The country was absolutely stunning, all of our guides and our bus driver were awesome. I love that we don't go only to all of the famous touristy spots and that we get the chance to see how locals actually live their life. Overall is was an amazing experience and I miss it already!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balcony of our hotel room in Murren was breathtaking and some of my favorite views were there. Being surrounded by mountains 24/7 was also very crazy as well."

Dennis

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A fine "taste" of an amazingly diverse country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First glimpse of the Matterhorn- just edged out the amazing views from Murren."

Laura

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were fortunate to have good weather, excellent tour guide, and congenial travelers. Only drawback was anxiety about the Covid test for re-entry to the US. Guide Mirjam scheduled the test and accompanied us to a local clinic which was truly appreciated. Sites chosen were varied and interesting. Thankful to have seen so much of Switzerland's natural beauty in mountains, waterfalls, farms. While the cities offered historical context, the countryside lifted our spirits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments include staying in Murren with breathtaking views of Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau; hiking at Ebenalp along the mountain edge; meeting the charming cheese-making family near Jaunpass. During the latter visit, we happened to encounter the procession of cattle moving uphill for the the summer season. These were all meaningful to us as representing the unique culture of the country. Every stop was memorable."

Linda

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Muren"

Thomas

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time in Murren gazing out at the amazing alps!"

Anne

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an awesome tour. It brought us to beautiful places and spectacular views. It was perfect in every way from wonderful hotels in great locations, great side trips (chocolate factory, farmers home for cheese making, yodeling and cows parading up to the mountains, vineyard with wine tasting, Risotto cooking class) and local guides in a few cities adding to their history and sites. We had the best tour guide and bus driver too. The itinerary was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many favorites, for they were all beautiful and wonderful and had their own personality but staying in Murren was the highlight of the trip for me!"

Peter

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour. Guide was awesome, she had an outstanding knowledge of Switzerland and kept the tour experience on task and extremely enjoyable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seemed like there was a new wow moment everyday. If I had to pick one it would have to be the time we spent at the top of the Schilthorn"

Penni

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful and very full schedule. A nice balance of cities and the countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Murren and Gimmelwald! And the cheese making experience was remarkable too, especially since the cows were walking to summer pasture that day."

Tom

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. I learned things about Switzerland I had not known. The activities, such as risotto making, chocolate making and learning about the cows and cheese were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murren and the Schilthorn. Beautiful and beautiful. Hearing the cowbells at night, marveling over the wondrous scenery, going up the gondola to visit 007, and hearing the wind while looking at the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau."

Judi

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was my 8th Rick Steves tour and it was the best!! Spectacular scenery, a very helpful leader and outstanding local guidest

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from our chalet in Murren"

When To Go & Weather

Any time between May and September is a good time to visit Switzerland. However, the months of May, June, and September are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds. Summer, while the most crowded, has the best weather.

Switzerland / Bern

Bern Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Zürich International Airport (ZRH). Zürich is a 90-minute train ride to Luzern (where the tour begins) and a 75-minute train ride from Bern (where the tour ends). You can also arrange to fly into Zürich and out of Bern (BRN) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Switzerland guidebook.