13 days in Europe Itinerary

13 days in Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Europe Itinerary

Start: Denver
Fly + train:  13​h 45​min
1
Basel
— 2 nights
train:  1​h
2
Bern
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
3
Zermatt
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 45​min
4
Grindelwald
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
Lucerne
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Zurich
— 2 nights
Fly:  12​h 45​min
End: Denver


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
Basel

Basel ©
Situated where the Swiss, German, and French borders meet, Basel is considered the hub of Dreilandereck, this "three countries corner." Its location makes Basel a center of culture and history, brimming with important theaters and museums.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Pharmaziemuseum Universitat Basel, examine the collection at HeK (Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Kloster Mariastein, then see the interesting displays at Augusta Raurica, and finally wander the streets of Altstadt-Spaziergange durch Basel. Here are some ideas for day two: engage your brain at Naturhistorisches Museum Basel, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Offene Kirche Elisabethen, then steep yourself in history at Basel Historical Museum - Haus zum Kirschgarten, then get engrossed in the history at Basel Historical Museum - Barfuesserkirche, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Art Basel.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Basel journey planner.

Denver, USA to Basel is an approximately 14-hour combination of flight and train. You can also fly. Traveling from Denver to Basel, you'll lose 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Denver in December, plan for a bit warmer nights in Basel, with lows around 31°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to take a train to Bern.

Things to do in Basel

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Kloster Mariastein, Augusta Raurica
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Basel's Old Town ©
Basel's Old Town
Augusta Raurica ©
Augusta Raurica
Naturhistorisches Museum Basel ©
Naturhistorisches Museum Basel

2
nights
Bern

Bern ©
The capital and political center of Switzerland, Bern sits on a peninsula formed by the U-shaped River Aare.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): take some stellar pictures from The Cathedral of Bern, take a stroll through UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern, then contemplate the waterfront views at Aare River, and finally take a stroll through Matte. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the architecture and atmosphere at French Church, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, admire the local landmark of Zahringerbrunnen, take an in-depth tour of Einstein House (Einsteinhaus), then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of the Holy Ghost, and finally admire the local landmark of Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen.

To find maps, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Bern route planner .

Take a train from Basel to Bern in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Basel in December, plan for a bit cooler nights in Bern, with lows around 26°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can take a train to Zermatt.

Things to do in Bern

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Nature
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
The Cathedral of Bern ©
The Cathedral of Bern
UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern ©
UNESCO-Altstadt von Bern
Einstein House (Einsteinhaus) ©
Einstein House (Einsteinhaus)

2
nights
Zermatt

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): enjoy some diversion at Clay Shoot Zermatt, explore the activities along Riffelsee, then hike along 5-Seenweg, then make a trip to Mountaineers' Cemetery, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Intercontinental Church Society. Here are some ideas for day two: get outside with Alpine Adventures Zermatt, stop by Laderach, and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Zermatt trip planner .

You can take a train from Bern to Zermatt in 2.5 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Grindelwald.

Things to do in Zermatt

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
5-Seenweg ©
5-Seenweg
Riffelsee ©
Riffelsee
Mountaineers' Cemetery ©
Mountaineers' Cemetery

2
nights
Grindelwald

Grindelwald ©
As one of the country's oldest ski resorts, Grindewald serves as a prime example of a cozy Swiss ski town.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): hike along Maennlichen Romantic Trail, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Lauterbrunnen Village, then pause for some serene contemplation at Lauterbrunnen Church, then take some stellar pictures from Thrill Walk Felsensteg Birg, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Kleine Scheidegg. Here are some ideas for day two: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at The Wetterhorn, head outdoors with Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui, and then make a trip to Viewing Point Schoenbuehel.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Grindelwald trip itinerary website .

Traveling by train from Zermatt to Grindelwald takes 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can drive to Lucerne.

Things to do in Grindelwald

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg, Viewing Point Schoenbuehel, Gletscherschlucht Rosenlaui, Thrill Walk Felsensteg Birg
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Lauterbrunnen Village ©
Lauterbrunnen Village
Kleine Scheidegg ©
Kleine Scheidegg
Maennlichen Romantic Trail ©
Maennlichen Romantic Trail

2
nights
Lucerne

Lucerne ©
In north-central Switzerland, Lucerne represents a small city boasting a well-preserved old town.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the world behind art at The Rosengart Collection, get to know the fascinating history of Uferpromenade Weggis, then shop like a local with Altstadt Luzern, and finally examine the collection at Glasi Hergiswil. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Mt Pilatus, look and learn at Verkehrshaus der Schweiz, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Hofkirche.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Lucerne trip planner .

Traveling by car from Grindelwald to Lucerne takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a train. In January, daily temperatures in Lucerne can reach 39°F, while at night they dip to 28°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can go by car to Zurich.

Things to do in Lucerne

Museums Childrens Museums Nature

Side Trips

Uferpromenade Weggis, Glasi Hergiswil
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Uferpromenade Weggis ©
Uferpromenade Weggis
Glasi Hergiswil ©
Glasi Hergiswil
Mt Pilatus ©
Mt Pilatus

2
nights
Zurich

Zurich ©
The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Zurich, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Wasserkirche, and then take a stroll through Old Town. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Wooden Bridge from Rapperswil to Hurden, then admire the landmark architecture of Kloster Einsiedeln, then wander the streets of Niederdorf, and finally make a trip to Bahnhofstrasse.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read Zurich trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Lucerne to Zurich in an hour. Another option is to take a train. In January, daytime highs in Zurich are 40°F, while nighttime lows are 30°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Zurich

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Wooden Bridge from Rapperswil to Hurden, Kloster Einsiedeln
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Old Town ©
Old Town
Kloster Einsiedeln ©
Kloster Einsiedeln
Niederdorf
Niederdorf

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