3.5 day trip in Switzerland with base as Lucerne

3.5 day trip in Switzerland with base as Lucerne

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2016 - 5:18 PM

Hi,

I am reaching Basel on 7th April morning at 8 am and am based out of Lucerne till 11th April afternoon. I am travelling with 71 year old mother (healthy- however has a bit of trouble in walking long distances and uneven surfaces due to a rod in the thigh) and 12 year old son.

Main interest:Mainly sightseeing with more focus on enjoying scenic beauty Science museums if any (since son loves science related themes, star wars, etc. Not much of interest in theme parks, adventure sports, etc, etc)

In summary, “A STRICT NO-NO TO ADVENTURES, SNOW ACTIVITIES” and As much as possible, easier to reach any place of interest by some means of public transport with reasonable convenience.

Considering the above in mind, below is my planned itinerary:

  • Day 1: (In and around LUCERNE) Do a round trip of Pilatus via the new Dragon rope car – 2-3 hours (considering the cogwheel is closed and ascent as well as descent via rope car). Do a Mount Rigi round trip - 5 hours. Lucerne sightseeing in evening.
  • Day 2: BERN + BELLINZONA Lucerne to Bellinzona via train- 2.5 hours. Bellinzona- Castelgrande – 1 hour sightseeing of Castelgrande. Bellinzona to Brig via Domodossola – 3.5 hours. Brig to Bern – 1 hour. Bern sightseeing – 2 hour. Bern to Lucerne – 1 hour.
  • Day 3: RHINE FALLS + ZURICH Lucerne - Rhine fall - 2 hours. In and around Rhine falls - 2 hours. Rhine to Zurich - 1 hour. Zurich - Limmat river cruise- 1 hour. Zurich sightseeing - 2 hours.
  • Day 4: Till 3 pm STANSERHORN. Cabrio car : the only open cable car.

I request you to review the above itinerary.

Also, below are my questions:

1. Considering it is beginning April, is it advisable to do PILATUS as well as RIGI. Will there be any difference in terms of experience? I understand Pilatus cogwheel is not there until mid-May. Is it still worth visiting the peak in Pilatus through the Dragon cable car?

2. I initially wanted to do Titlis as well. However, I am not sure if the experience will be different or it will be very similar to any other summit because there may be less greenery in April. Also, i found that Titlis is taller than Pilatus. Considering none of us prefer playing in snow, is it still worth to go to Titlis apart from Rigi and Pilatus?

3. I wanted to do Bernina route- however decided on the Willem Tell route for Day 2 via Italian part considering the time of the travel. Is this better or do you still suggest something like Bernina or Chocklate train?

4. Is Stanserhorn worth a visit or is it better to do Chocklate train to Montreux?

Awaiting your reply,

Regards

Priya

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2016 - 5:59 PM

Hi Priya, thanks for joining us!

Great that you get to visit Lucerne. April is low season in the Alps, but depending on the season's weather you may enjoy the first signs of spring in this area. Let's look into your questions:

1. Pilatus and Rigi can be combined in one day. In my view, the experiences and views are quite different. You can best compare our Pilatus and Rigi pages and decide for yourself. One note: is this the day you'll be arriving from Basel, after a flight or an inbound train trip I assume? If so, I think it's a bit much to do both, as you'll have to get to Lucerne first. My personal preference would be to visit just one of the mountains and stroll around Lucerne's town center for the rest of the day.

2. Titlis is, again, somewhat different from the other two mountains. Whether a visit would truly add to your other experiences, depends on your preferences. It's indeed higher than Pilatus, but in early April you'll see quite some snow on the mountain tops all around from both viewing points.

3. The Bernina Express is too far off. Your current plans for day 2 really are too much as well, in my opinion. They'll make for a long and tiring day. Even the train rides themselves, without the planned city sightseeing, are a bit too much. I'd leave out the side trips to Castelgrande and Bern, or just get to Bellinzona and back. Yet another, shorter alternative would be to travel to the Jungfrau region by Golden Pass. Over there, you can enjoy a boat ride over Lake Thun. Next you could get to Bern for some sightseeing. This too will fill your day, but it's more realistic.

4. Stanserhorn and the Chocolate Train are hardly comparable, but Stanserhorn makes more sense: it's within close reach of Lucerne, the Chocolate Train is not.

I hope this helps you to finalize your itinerary. Once you've done so, I suggest you look into rail passes. If you plan to focus on the Lucerne region, a Tell Pass would be very convenient. If you want to make long trips to other parts of the country too, you may want to consider a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass. Here's how to choose.

priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2016 - 12:10 AM

Hi,

Day 1 is the day I arrive at Basel around 8 AM in morning from Brussels. My apartment is very close to pilatus. Hence, considering that there is no cogwheel in April, I thought pilatus and rigi in one day would be possible.

I understand both pilatus and rigi will have snow during this time. Is that correct?

Day 2:

I will consider your option.

Day 3:

How about Rhine falls? Are there any other nearby waterfalls as an alternative?

I already have ticket from Zurich to Paris on last day. This means I will have to arrange for transfer from Basel to Lucerne on day 1 and from Lucerne to Zurich on day 4.

Considering these, it is not clear if I should buy tell pass or a Swiss pass or tell pass+transfer ticket

priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2016 - 6:16 AM

One more doubt:

1. Is Swiss Family Card available for free along with Tell pass?

2.I am aware that with SwissFamilyCard, children under 16 travel free in Titlis, Pilatus, Rigi, etc right? So, will it require a separate fare for child aged 12 only for Stanshorn cabrio car?

Regards

Priya

Arno
Arno
7723 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 23, 2016 - 6:48 AM in reply to priyag2016

Hi Priya,

The Swiss Family Card is not available for the Tell-Pass. There's a fixed low price for children. Please see the Tell-Pass page Annika linked to and click "Price". It's explained there.

Pilatus and Rigi probably have snow, but it's no guarantee. Mount Titlis has guaranteed snow. There's no alternative to the Rhine Fall. Perhaps you could visit it on your last day. Normally you would not travel via Zurich if you need to go from Lucerne to Paris, but since you have a Zurich - Paris ticket anyway, you can take a train from Zurich to the Rhine Fall and back that day (depending on available time).

The Swiss Transfer Ticket is not a good option in your case. The Tell-Pass (if you stay within the covered area) and Swiss Travel Pass (not Swiss Pass) may both work. To find out which one works out cheaper, please follow these instructions.

Last modified on Jan 23, 2016 - 6:56 AM by Arno
priyag2016
priyag2016
15 posts
new member
Feb 4, 2016 - 4:30 PM

Hi,

Thanks for your reply Snowpoke.

Is there any other waterfall nearer to Lucerne area which is also a nice place to go? I initially planned Rhine falls, but I believe it will take 1/2 day just for the commute

Regards

Priya

Arno
Arno
7723 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 5, 2016 - 8:56 AM in reply to priyag2016

Hi Priya,

There are waterfalls all over the place, but I don't know of any one would actually visit as a day trip. I know there's a water fall called "Tätschbachfall" near Engelberg, with a restaurant nearby. I haven't been there myself. But it's for sure much smaller than the Rhine Falls. Also you can have a look here: www.luzern.com/en/ches siloch-waterfall.

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016