Best 3-Day Drive in Switzerland

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Bern, Lake Lucerne, and Lauterbrunnen Valley: A 3-Day Tour

With a fascinating past, spectacular scenery, and amazing attractions, Switzerland is a top destination for travelers to explore. Its quality road system makes it perfect for travelers who prefer to rent a car on vacation rather than rely on other forms of transportation to get around. Driving through the peaks and valleys of the Swiss Alps is an experience that won't soon be forgotten, and from the comfort of a Switzerland rental car, you can take in the scenery at your own pace and visit the places you find inspiring for longer. Central and Southern Switzerland has a lot to offer travelers seeking natural and man-made attractions. The Lake Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen Valley regions are especially full of cultural, historical, and natural allures

We have created a 3-day itinerary for the area, so you don't have to spend too much time planning your trip. By following our suggestions, you can spend more time enjoying the sights that the country has to offer. Make sure that you pack enough warm clothes an wear comfortable shoes, because the crisp air of the Alpine region can be chilly even in the summer months when you get out and explore the landscape.

3-Day Switzerland Road Trip Driving Distances
Section Distance (Miles) Estimated Time
Day 1: Exploring Bern 0 0
Day 2: Bern to Lucerne 57 1 Hour, 46 Minutes
Day 3: Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen 49 1 Hour, 14 Minutes
Total: 106 3 Hours

Preparing for Your Tour of Switzerland

3-Day Switzerland Road Trip MapCome prepared with cash on hand, because some of the roads along our route charge tolls. Follow Route 10 east with your Bern rental car and hook up with Route 2a to reach the small city of Lucerne. From there, you can take the A8 south after leaving the A2. When you arrive at Wilderswil, continue south through the Lauterbrunnen Valley to reach the town of Lauterbrunnen in southern Switzerland. Be sure to have all the travel information and supplies you need before setting out on your journey. Bring warm clothes, water, and extra food in case of emergency.


Day 1: Exploring Bern

Exploring Bern, SwitzerlandBern is one of Switzerland's largest cities, and because it is the default capital of the country, you are sure to find plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy while you are in town. The Old Town district attracts visitors who enjoy historical sites, some of which date to the Middle Ages in Bern. the 16th-century fountains that line the streets and the cathedral draw visitors from all over. In Bern city centre, the Zytglogge, a 13th-century clock tower from the city's medieval period, is a fascinating find. Its moving mechanical puppets will make you rethink your conception of technology during the Middle Ages.

The Bern Minster, also found in the city centre, dates from the 15th century, and as the tallest cathedral in the country, you are sure to be amazed with its beautiful Gothic architecture. Be sure to get a good night's sleep in your lodging before setting out for Lucerne in the morning. You will want to make sure that you have the energy to enjoy your tour of the country for the coming days.

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Day 2: Bern to Lucerne

Bern to Lucerne DriveYour first day of driving will take you from Bern through the Emmental Valley to Lucerne via Route 10. The scenery along this road is quite quaint, dotted with cattle farms and country homes that speak of a simpler time. Dating as far back as the Roman era, Lucerne has a storied past that is rife with interesting stories. When the city joined the Swiss Confederation along with Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden in the 14th century, it grew into a cultural capital, the influence of which can still be seen today.

The architecture of the city and natural panorama of Lake Lucerne are comparable to some of the world's best attractions, but the main destination in Lucerne is the Kappelbrücke (Chapel Bridge), which traverses the River Reuss at a diagonal orientation and serves as a pedestrian walkway. Dating to 1333, the bridge is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. However, the most interesting part about walking through the bridge is the artwork that is displayed along the way. The 17th-century paintings that hang from the rafters are the sole survivors of a fire destroyed part of the bridge in the 1990s.

The nightlife of Lucerne is vibrant and full of activity. Be sure to visit a few of the many bars and restaurants that offer world-class food and drink to visitors who want to let loose and have a good time. Ask around to find the local favorites.

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Day 3: Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen Valley Scenic DriveYou can take a few different routes from Lucerne to reach Lauterbrunnen in the south. For those who want a straight shot, follow the A8 toward Interlaken in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This route offers views of the Alps and Lauterbrunnen Valley along the way. Those who would like to take an even more scenic route can follow the road around the east side of Lucerne and visit Appenzellerland before heading south.

It is an understatement to say that Lauterbrunnen is a striking mountain town. Nestled in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, this village provided J.R.R. Tolkien with the inspiration for his Elven City of Rivendell, and once you see the town for yourself, you will see why Tolkien wanted his Elves to live in such a place.

Attractions in this small village include the Talmuseum Lauterbrunnen, which gives travelers an idea of life in the valley during its earliest inhabitation, as well as an overview of its mountaineering history. For the thrill-seekers among us, skydiving and paragliding tours are available. Outside of Lauterbrunnen, visitors should consider visiting a few of the waterfalls of the region. The Trummelbach and Staubach Falls are especially beautiful to see, especially in the summer. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, because a lot of walking is needed to reach the waterfalls.

Travelers to Lauterbrunnen can also take a short train ride to the resort town of Wengen, located below the Eiger, Monsch, and Jungfrau mountains. Very few cars are allowed to drive this town’s streets, which makes it a quiet and relaxing place to end your journey.

After getting your rest in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you can connect with the A6 to get back to Bern, or you can continue your journey with a trip to Zurich in the northeast. The choice is yours when you don't have to rely on public transportation to get around.


Go back to the top to learn more about this exciting driving route!
Or, check out our other road trips in Switzerland for further inspiration
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