1st time visit to Switzerland

1st time visit to Switzerland

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Visitor
Visitor
3 posts
new member
Mar 24, 2011 - 11:09 AM
Dear Arno,

This is my first time visiting switzerland. I have the following plan for 2 adults from Singapore

1) Day 1 from Zurich airport to Interlarken ==> stay for 3days
2)Day 4 from Interlaken to Zermatt ==> stay for 2 days
3) Day 6 travel from Zermatt to St Moritz by Glacier Express ==> stay for 3 days
4) Day 9 travel to Zurich and stay for 3 days

I have brought the 15days swiss pass for this travel.

Please help me with the following questions:
1) I would like to have a relaxing trip, would my plan be too much place?
2) i have not plan the place of interest to visit for Interlaken, Zermatt , St Moritz and Zurich. Could you give me some suggestion?. I am interested in natural scenery, park , lake or easy hike of course good food.
3) Where can i look up for the place of interest for the place i plan to visit?
4) Where can i find the info for local tram and bus route? Timetable, the station within the city.
5) If the hotel i book is far away from the train station, is there taxi available?
6) How to hire a taxi ? How is the charges like?
7) With my swiss pass can i use it for local tram and all buses?

Thanks in advance for your patient to read all the question i have.

Best regards
Visitor
Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 25, 2011 - 3:47 AM
Hi Visitor,

Welcome to our forum! You have planned a beautiful trip. As for your questions:

1) I think it's a good plan. I would spend 2 days in Zurich and an extra day in Interlaken or St. Moritz, but that's of course a personal preference.
2 & 3) Lot's of suggestions for day trips and hikes can be found from the top menu on the regional pages: Bernese Oberland (Interlaken), Wallis (Zermatt) and Graubünden (St. Moritz). And you may want to check Zuerich.com and other topics in this forum for ideas.
4) You can use the timetable. Also, this map is a great help to see where hotels, rail stations or other places are located. Affordable hotels close to rail stations can be found here.
5 & 6) Yes, they are available at the rail station. In Zermatt, there are small electric buses that will take you to your hotel for a small fee or even for free if the hotel has arranged for it. I don't know the exact charges.
7) In most cases you can. Please review the map linked from the Swiss Pass page for details.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
Visitor
Visitor
3 posts
new member
Mar 25, 2011 - 10:39 AM
Arno,

Thank you very much for your fast reply. I will look into the info you provided. Will post again if i have more questions. Thank you very much agin.

Best regards
Visitor
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 25, 2011 - 12:32 PM
I am also planning my first trip to Switzerland and Germany with my husband and am very confused by the number of options for transportation. Can you help me decide what would be the most economical pass to get? Here is my itinerary:

Day 1: Fly to Zurich and travel to Wengen.
Days 2,3, and 4: Hike in the Alps visiting the Jungfrau region and Schilthorn
Day 5: travel to Munich
Days 6, 7 : visit Munich and surrounding area
Day 8: return home

From my reading it seems we will be taking trains, mountain trains and gondolas. Thanks for your help!
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Mar 25, 2011 - 2:11 PM
Dear visitor, I agree with Arno – you have chosen a good trip. It is very similar to the one we made on our first visit to Switzerland 10 years ago, we spent 4 days near Interlaken, 3 in Zermatt and 4 in St. Moritz, using Glacier Express. We did not stay in Zurich. You do not say which month you will be there which could affect advice. E.g. if you are in Interlaken after June 18th you could have a very relaxing but exciting tour of 4 Alpine Passes in a postbus - you would leave Interlaken Ost at 8.33 on train to Meiringen from where tour starts at 9.20. It would cost chf25 each for Alpine ticket. (special price for Swiss Pass holders) For details go to www.postbus.ch and click on leisure click – it is the Grimsel-Nufenen-Gotthard-Susten route. You need to reserve your places but you can do this online. Your Swiss pass entitles you to reduced fares on mountain trains and gondolas but all other transport is free. Also from Interlaken I would recommend (a) Schilthorn – splendid 360 degree views and a revolving restaurant for a tasty lunch, (b) Schynige Platte – views and informative Alpine Garden, (c) a relaxing cruise on either Lake Thun or Lake Brienz (watch out for Giessbach Falls on the latter – you could disembark there and take trip up to Hotel for food and a closer look at the Falls before resuming cruise) – you can download a timetable for lakes from BLS website or pick one up at the tourist office. Look at the hiking tips for Bernese Oberland for easy hikes – we like Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, or for an easy lakeside stroll combine walk from Spiez to Faulensee with cruise on lake Thun. I haven’t mentioned the obvious trip up Jungfraujoch but that is quite expensive even with Swiss Pass and often crowded in high season. From Brienz we like the trip up the Brienzer Rothorn – departs opposite main rail station in Brienz. In Zermatt choose one of the following for views of the Matterhorn – the Gornergrat railway, or gondola trip up Klein Matterhorn. While we were in St. Moritz we spent an interesting day, hopping on and off trains at the villages along the route from St. Moritz to Scuol-Tarasp. We also went up to Corvatsch. One day we explored St. Moritz itself including a leisurely stroll around the lake. We don’t know so much about Zurich but if you don’t have time for lake cruises in Interlaken, then there are several options for cruises in Zurich or you could visit the Rheinfalls – go to www.schaffhauserland.ch for details.
Since our first trip we have returned every year to the Bernese Oberland as this was our favourite area and we have still not exhausted all its possibilities! We wish you a wonderful trip and good weather to enjoy this fabulous country at its best. Maggie
kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Mar 25, 2011 - 4:06 PM
Hi MMP1021:

Suggest you start a new thread with a subject line such as "Bernese Oberland and Munich". Yours is a different itinerary and different question. A separate thread will get you a better response.

Kim

mmp1021 said: I am also planning my first trip to Switzerland and Germany with my husband and am very confused by the number of options for transportation. Can you help me decide what would be the most economical pass to get? Here is my itinerary:
Day 1: Fly to Zurich and travel to Wengen.
Days 2,3, and 4: Hike in the Alps visiting the Jungfrau region and Schilthorn
Day 5: travel to Munich
Days 6, 7 : visit Munich and surrounding area
Day 8: return home
From my reading it seems we will be taking trains, mountain trains and gondolas. Thanks for your help!
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 26, 2011 - 5:40 AM
mmp1021 said: I am also planning my first trip to Switzerland and Germany with my husband and am very confused by the number of options for transportation. Can you help me decide what would be the most economical pass to get? Here is my itinerary:
Day 1: Fly to Zurich and travel to Wengen.
Days 2,3, and 4: Hike in the Alps visiting the Jungfrau region and Schilthorn
Day 5: travel to Munich
Days 6, 7 : visit Munich and surrounding area
Day 8: return home
From my reading it seems we will be taking trains, mountain trains and gondolas. Thanks for your help!
Hi mmp1021! I think you're best off with a Swiss Half Fare Card. Your stay in Switzerland is too short to really profit from other passes, such as the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland or the Jungfrau Railways pass. Both are valid for 7 or 6 days, and you'd have to be travelling very extensively to make this an economical solution. The Swiss Half Fare Card is relatively cheap and offers a 50% discount on almost all trips in Switzerland. The timetable helps you plan your trips, including the journey to Munich. The German part of your trip can best be covered by regular tickets. The Munich City Tour Card may come in handy as well. I hope this gets you started!
Visitor
Visitor
3 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:25 AM
maggiehorswell said: Dear visitor, I agree with Arno – you have chosen a good trip. It is very similar to the one we made on our first visit to Switzerland 10 years ago, we spent 4 days near Interlaken, 3 in Zermatt and 4 in St. Moritz, using Glacier Express. We did not stay in Zurich. You do not say which month you will be there which could affect advice. E.g. if you are in Interlaken after June 18th you could have a very relaxing but exciting tour of 4 Alpine Passes in a postbus - you would leave Interlaken Ost at 8.33 on train to Meiringen from where tour starts at 9.20. It would cost chf25 each for Alpine ticket. (special price for Swiss Pass holders) For details go to www.postbus.ch and click on leisure click – it is the Grimsel-Nufenen-Gotthard-Susten route. You need to reserve your places but you can do this online. Your Swiss pass entitles you to reduced fares on mountain trains and gondolas but all other transport is free. Also from Interlaken I would recommend (a) Schilthorn – splendid 360 degree views and a revolving restaurant for a tasty lunch, (b) Schynige Platte – views and informative Alpine Garden, (c) a relaxing cruise on either Lake Thun or Lake Brienz (watch out for Giessbach Falls on the latter – you could disembark there and take trip up to Hotel for food and a closer look at the Falls before resuming cruise) – you can download a timetable for lakes from BLS website or pick one up at the tourist office. Look at the hiking tips for Bernese Oberland for easy hikes – we like Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, or for an easy lakeside stroll combine walk from Spiez to Faulensee with cruise on lake Thun. I haven’t mentioned the obvious trip up Jungfraujoch but that is quite expensive even with Swiss Pass and often crowded in high season. From Brienz we like the trip up the Brienzer Rothorn – departs opposite main rail station in Brienz. In Zermatt choose one of the following for views of the Matterhorn – the Gornergrat railway, or gondola trip up Klein Matterhorn. While we were in St. Moritz we spent an interesting day, hopping on and off trains at the villages along the route from St. Moritz to Scuol-Tarasp. We also went up to Corvatsch. One day we explored St. Moritz itself including a leisurely stroll around the lake. We don’t know so much about Zurich but if you don’t have time for lake cruises in Interlaken, then there are several options for cruises in Zurich or you could visit the Rheinfalls – go to www.schaffhauserland.ch for details.
Since our first trip we have returned every year to the Bernese Oberland as this was our favourite area and we have still not exhausted all its possibilities! We wish you a wonderful trip and good weather to enjoy this fabulous country at its best. Maggie
Dear Maggie,

Thank you very much for the detail info you have given. I have go through the image in the web for the places you gave and they all look lovely, can't wait to visit. Have not decided where to stay in interlarken, Zermatt and ST moritz. Since its my first time would think of staying near major train station, afraid travel would be difficult. If you have some recommendation that would be great. Do i need to book the cruise trip online before i leave? Is english a common language in the places i plan to visit? Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

regards
Visitor
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Mar 26, 2011 - 2:31 PM

Dear visitor,
I am glad you found my suggestions useful. I would hesitate to recommend specific hotels as it is 10 years since we stayed in Zermatt and St. Moritz. (hotels in St. Moritz will be expensive!) We have never stayed in Interlaken; we usually stay in or near Thun at the other end of the lake as it gives us more options for travelling to other places like Gstaad, Montreux etc. as well as to the places in the Jungfrau region. When I am looking for hotels in Europe I use www.booking.com and find their information and reviews pretty accurate. Most hotels will tell you how far they are from local transport in their entry on this site. The Swiss travel system is easy to use, clean, punctual and with good connections. Your pass is valid on local buses etc in major towns.
You do not need to book lake cruises unless you intend to go on special cruises which include set meals or entertainment. (regular cruises have refreshments on board). Just board and have your pass ready to show crew when asked. Make sure you get a timetable as you would not want to miss a boat by just a few minutes and have a long wait for another one!
We find that most Swiss people speak good English especially in railway stations, shops etc. I speak some German and like to practise when I can but as Swiss people like to practise their English we often speak in both languages! It is unlikely that you will encounter language problems. Many museums have English signs as well as German and French. The Apline pass tour I mentioned supplies an audio-guide through headphones in a choice of languages and printed guides and timetables from tourist offices are usually multi-lingual.
I am sure you will have a wonderful time and want to make return visits like we do. Maggie

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