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Last Updated on 28th December 2017 by Sophie Nadeau

When I first booked my flight to Basel, there was one question on my mind: “How do you spend three days in Switzerland?” Although Switzerland is only a tenth of the size of California, that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty to do in the country! I fell in love with Switzerland quicker than you can say ‘fondue’!


As the airport I flew into was Basel, it made sense to spend my first day in Switzerland exploring the city (Basel and Zurich are the cheapest airports to fly into in the North of Switzerland). If you do fly into the airport, just make sure that you exit the airport into the right country!

Bleary-eyed from the plane and a 4 am wake-up, any exit at the airport looked good enough to me! When I couldn’t spot my friend and was confused as to why all of the signs were in French, I enquired where we were to a local; “We’re in France, duh”. The eye roll said it all…

A population numbering just under 200,000 residents makes Basel the third largest city in Switzerland. Bordering on multiple countries, the charming city of Basel receives plenty of cultural influence from its surrounding neighbours; Germany and France. The result is a lovely mix of cultures and a Swiss-German dialect. Think: museums, quirky architecture and some pretty amazing food! After all, Switzerland is home to some of the best cheese and chocolate in the world…

Particular highlights of Basel include the Rathaus (town hall), the infamous Münster (cathedral- the majority of Switzerland is protestant as a result of multiple reformations in the middle ages) with its twin spires and Läckerli. A special type of gingerbread, the hard biscuit traditionally contains honey, candied fruits and almonds- you had me at honey…how to spend three days in switzerland basel how to spend three days in switzerland basel


Surrounding a lake and located at the foot of snow-capped mountains, a visit to the quaint town of Lucerne (in German, Luzern) is always a good idea! Highlights of Lucerne include the view from the luxury Art-Deco Hotel Montana, a trip up Pilatus, the massive mountain that dominates the surrounding landscape, the museum of transport and a Lion Monument carved out of the rock.

You also can’t miss the famous chapel bridge (In German, Kapellbrücke) and water town situated in the very heart of the city. With its stunning paintings and wooden panelling, a walk across the bridge is both free and must be done! Constructed in the middle of the 14th century, it is the oldest bridge of its kind in the World. Or rather, it was. Tragically, the majority of the bridge burned down in the 1990s. The bridge you see today is a faithful reproduction, the paintings true-to-life facsimiles of the originals.

Constructed in the middle of the 14th century, it is the oldest bridge of its kind in the World. Or rather, it was. Tragically, the majority of the bridge burned down in the 1990s. The bridge you see today is a faithful reproduction, the paintings true-to-life facsimiles of the originals.

water bridge lucernethree days in switzerland


If you’re going to spend three days in Switzerland, make sure you make it to Zurich at some point during that time! Adorable architecture is matched by cobblestone roads. To be honest, I can only equate stepping into Zurich like stepping into a fairytale book! Like Lucerne and Basel, German is predominant language of Zurich, a city that is also situated around a lake.

As one of the largest ctities in Switzerland, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of things to see and do in the capital. Think: the opera house, a national museum of Swiss History, and walks around the lake. And if you’re in the market for luxury good, shopping!

zurich switzerlandsophie nadeau zurich

Pin, How to Spend Three Days in Switzerland now, read it again later!

Three days in Switzerland: How to spend 72 hours (3 full days) exploring this landlocked country in central Europe!how to spend three days in switzerland

how to spend 72 hours in switzerland


About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Sarah
    31st May 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Sorry but Zurich isn’t the capital of Switzerland! .. is Berne..

  • Catherine
    2nd April 2017 at 6:42 am


    This is a nice article, Shane ypu didn’t venture into the Swiss French part. Geneva is really worth a detour. Just FYI, Zurich is not the capital of Switzerland. Bern is. That’s where the Federal Parliament is. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. Bern is also a lovely city to visit. If you need any travel advice on Switzerland in future, happy to help!

  • Nelly
    6th February 2017 at 1:06 am

    Zurich isn’t the capital, it’s Bern. But I’m glad that you liked Switzerland, it’s even more beautify when it’s sunny;)

  • Clare
    24th November 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I have never been to this part of Switzerland but it looks stunning. Hopefully next year when I am back in Europe I will get a chance to explore more 🙂

  • Millie
    24th November 2016 at 9:29 am

    I love Switzerland – although I can’t say it without being reminded of the movie Moulin Rouge 🙂 Basel was my favourite.

  • Melissa
    24th November 2016 at 4:39 am

    I absolutely love Switzerland, and your post and pictures bring back so many fond memories. We didn’t make it to Basel, but did visit Lucerne and Zurich while we were there. I loved Lucerne’s Old Town, and of course I second the Chapel Bridge is a must see.

  • Sophie
    23rd November 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Wow Switzerland looks amazing! I hope I can get over there in the near future haha 🙂

  • valerie hansen
    23rd November 2016 at 11:16 pm

    I have always wanted to visit your pics are stunning, reminds me a lot of where I live,..WA State.


  • Kristen
    23rd November 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Your photography is stunning! I’ve always wanted to visit Zurich. The cobblestone roads remind me of my home – on Nantucket. Thanks for sharing!

  • annette
    23rd November 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Great photos! I visited Lucerne last fall and it was incredible! The most beautiful and clean city I’ve ever been to. And the nightlife is LIT!

  • Katie
    23rd November 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Oh wow this place looks fantastic! Zurich has been o my list for a while but had never heard of Basil – it looks enchanting!

  • Rhiannon
    23rd November 2016 at 7:32 pm

    How funny that you exited into the wrong country! Switzerland’s been on my mind to visit for a while now but I’ve heard it’s crazy expensive compared to the rest of Europe so keep putting it off. Maybe a short but sweet visit is the way forward; you certainly seemed to have packed a lot in!

  • Erica
    23rd November 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this! I’ve always wanted to visit Switzerland, but unfortunately think it’ll have to be on a larger European trip, rather than a single trip solely to Switzerland. I’m glad to see that I can see plenty of great things in just a few days!

  • Michelle
    23rd November 2016 at 10:13 am

    Love this one
    (Sorry we got kina lost in Basel though :P)
    Come back any time

  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    23rd November 2016 at 8:38 am

    I’d love to visit it one day too:) nice photos!


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