Road Trip Through Switzerland
Traveling from North-Western Germany to Eastern Switzerland sounds like a lot of miles and even more headaches. We came up with the “perfect” road trip itinerary to get us to where we wanted to go, explore what we wanted to explore and keep the children happy at the same time. Our 2 week Germany/Switzerland with Kids Itinerary covers how to travel Switzerland with kids, where to stay and what to see that will appeal to most kids, and adults alike.
If you’re looking for the others posts in the Ultimate Travel Guide to Switzerland, we’ll link to them as they are available!
Part 1: Swiss Museum of Transport
Part 2: SaurierMuseum – Dinosaur Museum in Zurich
Part 3: Guide to Visiting Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
Part 4: Top Things to See in Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Part 5: a Guided walking tour of Zurich
Part 6: Snow in the Swiss Alps: Little Snow for Christmas
Part 7: Touring Lake Geneva with kids
Part 8: Jungfraujoch with kids
Part 9: Top family friendly Hotels near Jungfrau
Day 1 | Heidelberg
Leaving nice and early in the morning, when the kids are the most pliable, allowed us to hit up the Heidelberg Christmas Market and Castle before the witching hour. We arrived just as the kids were waking from their naps and ready to hit the ground in search for lunch. Spend a few hours walking around the 5 Christmas markets before making your way to the castle. A quick trip on a funicular and you have reached the top and ready to explore.
Travel Tip- guests need to book a private tour in order to access the inside of the castle. Either way, the outside was just as nice and we needed to get going to our next stop.
While we had planned on spending the night in Heidelberg, we really wanted to check out Triberg before leaving the area so we changed our reservation, easily (and often) done through booking.com and spent our first night in Triberg. It is a short few hours drive from Heidelberg so the kids have enough time to sleep off the afternoon activities and get ready for dinner.
In the morning, be sure to check out the Triberg waterfalls, local shops and sights before making your way to the target destination; the purchasing of an authentic Bavarian cuckoo clock.
Travel Tip; Oli’s Schnitztube makes both handmade and mass-produced clocks available at any price range; they also take VAT forms and ship around the world.
Day 2 | Rhine falls
Halfway between Triberg and Zurich lays Rhine Falls. While there is plenty to do here to last you a whole day or even a few days, including Adventure Park Rheinfall, and Schloessli Woerth.
Check out these tour options of Rhine Falls as a day trip from Zurich.
Day 2| Zürich
Moving this road trip right along, day 2 ends in Zürich. We made sure we arrived early enough to check in our hotel and unpack the car while it was still light outside, as digging around a car in the pitch black with kids wandering is never ideal.
As there isn’t much to do in the immediate area (the only time we haven’t had a hotel in the city center, but this is Switzerland and it is expensive as all heck and it just wasn’t in our budget). The train line services the hotel and goes straight to the main station.
Day 3| Zürich Walking Tour
Scheduling a walking tour for the next morning is a great way to see the city in a short period of time, and get a lay of the land. Once the tour is over, get an idea of what you want to see more of, what you missed or what you want nothing more to do with.
This also gives the added bonus of visiting the Christmas markets both during the day and in the evening, when the Christmas decorations were lite up. We hit most of the major points on our to-do list during the tour so we took advantage of the rest of our time in Zürich to explore the greater area.
Here are some other great walking tour options for Zurich from Viator.
Take a day to visit the famous SaurierMuseum in the next town over. Definitely a not-to-be-missed item.
Day 4 | Vaduz
Speaking of day trips, taking the time to visit one of the worlds smallest countries, Liechtenstein, be sure to visit its capital city of Vaduz.
Vaduz tourism office was also able to stamp your passport, for a small fee, without “invalidating” it. Beautiful!
Day 5 | Lucerne
For a second day trip, don’t forget about Lucerne. From here you are able to check out many of the famous landmarks that everyone has come to associate with Switzerland, including the covered bridge.
The Swiss Museum of transport was on our way out. When I initially Googled it, I understood it as a Train museum, and next door was a chocolate factory tour. Nope. The Swiss Museum of Transportation is a giant compound with a separate building for each mode of transportation, and it was attached to the Lindt Factory Tour. We spent another 3 hours here exploring and could have stayed longer.
Day 6 | Laundry day
It is always important to take the day off from touring and “live like the locals”. This includes getting lost in the downtown streets, eating local street-meat and laundry day.
Day 7, 8 | Zermatt
Taking the Lötschberg Car Train from Zürich to Täsch was an experience I will never forget. The kids were fascinated by the whole experience as well. Arrive with 10 minutes to spare in order to get all the potty breaks out of the way, purchase the 30 CHF ticket and wait to be boarded. More information can be found here, on the official Zurich website.
30 minutes later and we were on the other side. While we were driving up the mountain, to get to the town that held this train, I realized I am glad that we are going in this direction and not Zermatt to Zürich… we were on the inside of the road the whole time, and their guardrails are too small for me (I am terrified of heights).
You may also like:
- Best Museums in Europe for Kids
- Tips for Winter Road trips
- Winter Packing List
- Basic Winter Gear for Europe
- Tips for traveling with kids and babies
- Road tripping with kids
- Travel Toddler bag
In order to access Zermatt, one can either stay in Täsch (the next town over) or directly in the town of Zermatt. They do not allow cars into the town so they will need to be parked elsewhere and shuttled in.
Day 9, 10 | Jungfraujoch
After spending a few nights in Tasch, it is time to move on to another great mountain range, taking another car-train towards Grindelwald. This is where we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, in the shadows of the beautiful Jungfrau mountain; we woke up Christmas morning to a buffet breakfast in our hotel and rode the cog train up to Jungfraujoch.
During the research portion of our planning, I had a hard time finding proper information regarding Jungfraujoch with small children. That is when I decided to dedicate two whole articles on this journey; Jungfraujoch with kids – the logistics of taking children into the mountain, as well as Getting to Jungfraujoch – knowing how and when to book tickets and actually arrive at the experience (since the website is
a little hard to navigate)
Day 11 | Colmar
After spending 10 days on vacation, the children were starting to rebel. The plan was to continue for 3 nights in Bern, visit Thun Castle and eventually spend the night in Colmar on the way home, but we had to cut our journey short. We went straight from Grindelwald to Colmar on Boxing Day, checking out the amazing Christmas Markets there and eventually spending the night in Ramstein where we visited a friend and fellow blogger.
Where to stay in Switzerland
Of all the cities we have stayed in, we found a few gems and a few duds. Here are our recommendations for hotels in Switzerland and on our way to Switzerland.
- Hotel Tschuggen – Grindelwald, Jungfraujoch
- The Guests’ House – Zurich
- Tascherhof Hotel – Tasch, Zermatt and Matterhorn
- Novotel Freiburg am Konzerthaus – Frieburg, Germany
- Le Kleber Hotel – Strasbourg, France
- Hotel Pirsch – Ramstein, Germany
- Berghotel Schwarzwaldblick – Triberg, Germany
Plan Your Trip – Stay and see everything
- Booking.com 1,136,997 properties worldwide. Including 581,306 holiday rentals in 105,263 destinations in 225 countries and territories
- Skyscanner.com compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal, fast. Fly for less with Skyscanner!
- Blacklane.com Take your time and relax. Airport pickups include 60 minutes of free wait time, and all other pickups include a free 15 minutes. Limousine Service!
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