1st Time Travellers. Any suggestions please?

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Sunshine
Sunshine
2 posts
Jun 20, 2010 - 4:10 PM
Hi, my husband and I are travelling to Switzerland for the 1st time at the end of June for 3 nights and 4 days.
I really want to cover as much as I can in those 3 days but I'm not sure if we should

1: Book a tour for 2 consecutive days
or
2: Buy a Swiss pass and travel independantly.

Personally I would like to travel freely and choose when and where to go but Im worried about being able to cover atleast some of the best places in Switzerland.

I have absolutely no idea how long it takes to get from one place to another. I desperately want to check out what the chocolate world has to offer, I want to be in the mountains and ride the cablecars.

Can you please help me chalk out a rough travel guide alongwith some idea of costs as well?
We will be based in Zurich for those 3 nights.
Since we are travelling back to London on the 4th day, I would prefer to spend that day checking out Zurich City itself.

Thankyou!!!!!!!!
Annika (moderator)
Annika
2552 posts
Jun 21, 2010 - 10:27 AM
Hello Sunshine, and welcome to the forum! As for your questions: in my opinion, it would be better to travel on your own. This allows you to compose your own travel scheme and adapt your plans on the spot, for example to current weather conditions. Some pros and cons of tour operator journeys have been discussed in this topic; maybe it helps you out as well.

If you plan to make up your own itinerary, this can be perfectly prepared in advance. The timetable allows you to find out the length and duration of the trips you have in mind. Simply fill out your departure and arrival station and the timetable will come up with all possible connections. Some thoughts you may consider:
  • if your base is Zurich, try to visit the Uetliberg, which can be reached by tram from the central railway station and (on clear days) offers a beautiful panoramic view up to the Bernese Alps;
  • this topic on highlights in Zurich may appeal to you as well;
  • a visit to Lucerne would allow you to make a boat trip over the lake or visit famous viewing points such as Titlis, Rigi and Pilatus;
  • there's a chocolate factory in Broc, but this is very far away from Zurich. The chocolate museum of Schoggiland, in Flawil, can be reached from Zurich within approximately an hour though. Is this what you mean?
  • although it would be a long trip, you could even visit highlights in the Bernese Oberland, such as the Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn. Just to give an example: if you're prepared to leave early from Zurich, say at 7 am, you'd get at the Jungfraujoch around 11.22 pm. You could spend quite some hours there and manage to get back to your hotel the same afternoon or evening.

So in all, you can both discover Zurich and cover some of Switzerland's highlights during your stay. As for costs: these can be found through the timetable as well. Instructions on this can be read in the rail FAQ. As you don't know yet exactly what trips you'll be making, it's hard to say which rail pass is best for you. Making a solid choice would require you to have a rough idea of the trips you want to make and calculate their costs, so that you can compare prices and discounts of rail passes. If you plan on quite intensive travel during your stay, a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass might be the best choice. For shorter trips, you could consider a Swiss Half Fare Card. But again, calculations should be made. Please review the rail FAQ for more information.

I hope this gets you started for now! Please feel free to post other questions as well.
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
Jun 21, 2010 - 11:20 AM
My personal view, Get a swiss pass, for 2 persons, enjoy 15% discount. It is much cheaper then taking day tours. Switzerland has the best, efficient transportation in the world. You will enjoy taking the trains and convenient plus freedom of swiss pass.

Due to your limited days, Bernese Oberland can be your base for many exclusions - Jungfrau, Schilthorn, Grindelwald First, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken Ost - all near each other, travelling time is reduced. Due to your limited time, again, my personal opinion is if I go Jungfrau, I will opt out Schilthorn (both seems similar, but I still visited both). When I have extra 1 more day, I will go Lucern.

If you go Junfrau, make sure you are not susceptable to High Altitude Sickness. It can be very sick.
Sunshine
Sunshine
2 posts
Jun 22, 2010 - 4:24 AM
Thankyou very much for your replies and suggestion, libbis and Annika.
Where can I buy the Swiss Pass? Will it cost me the same whever I buy it?
I cant order it to my home as I will be leaving in 1 day now.
Just wondering what kind of weather it will be and what sort of clothing I should have with me :-)
Annika (moderator)
Annika
2552 posts
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:54 AM
Hello Sunshine! As ordering online isn't an option for you, you can purchase your Swiss Pass at a Swiss railway station. There should be no price difference. As for the weather: reliable forecasts are available through the SF Meteo website. The forecasts look fine for now, but it's still important to pack several kinds of clothes, especially if you plan on getting high into the mountains and taking some hikes. Even with pretty forecasts, the weather can change rapidly and the temperature can drop suddenly. So prepare for warm, sunny weather (don't forget your sunglasses when getting close to snow-capped mountain peaks!), but take along warm sweaters and rain gear as well (water resistant shoes and a rain coat).

Have a beautiful trip!!

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