6-7 day itinerary for Switzerland in October

6-7 day itinerary for Switzerland in October

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hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2016 - 4:44 AM

Hello everyone, My wife and I will be visiting Switzerland for the first time in Oct, we will be flying in London and will be leaving for Paris to catch our flight back to Australia.

After doing some initial research we have been bombarded by information and can't really decide what we want to do in 6-7 days, there's so much to do and so much to see, and that’s why we want need some help with our itinerary

Some destination / activity we want to do are

Golden pass train

Glacier Express

Zurich

Jungfrau

Lucerne

Mt Rigi (Optional)

Rhine Fall (optional)

Mt Titus (Optional)

After reviewing some of the post, it seem most people suggest staying in mountain town such as Murren or Wengen is a better option than staying in Interlaken.

Thanks you all

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2016 - 8:54 AM in reply to hodge29

Hi Hodge29 -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

<<"After doing some initial research we have been bombarded by information and can't really decide what we want to do in 6-7 days, there's so much to do and so much to see,">>

I've been visiting Switzerland since 1980 and still have not run out of new things to do.

It certainly is a serious problem, but luckily it is a nice problem to have. ;-)

A reasonable first time itinerary would be to spend about half of your time based in or near Luzern and about half your time in the Jungfrau region. ( Luzern is in the German speaking region, so you will see that spelling on the road and rail signs. )

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

The choice is made more difficult by the time of year.

October is a transition month between seasons in the high alps, and, by the end of the month, tourist services are being cut back for maintenance of various facilities, some hotels and restaurants will be closing until early to mid-December, when the ski season starts in earnest. The early part of the month is usually quite nice in those regions.

www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

When in October will you be traveling?

Since you will presumably not be jet-lagged, you don't need to take the first couple of days to become accommodated to the time zone. I'd tend to head directly for one of the mountain towns immediately upon arrival. Weather changes suddenly in the Alps, and is difficult to predict accurately more than a day or so in advance. Staying for a few days is the best way to make sure that you have clear weather to go up to the Jungfrau. Wengen and Mürren are nice, Lauterbrunnen and nearby villages are on the valley floor and convenient for travel out of the region or up to Schilthorn or Wengen and the Jungfrau.

Grindelwald is a bit more commercial, more stores, etc..

Interlaken is a good transport hub, but not much of a tourist destination in its own right.

All are enjoyable. I prefer Wengen. In case you have not been bombarded by enough information, you may find this report of value. I do.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

If you were jet lagged, or at other times of the year, I'd start with the one hour train ride from the airport to Luzern immediately upon arrival, take advantage of the wide range of geography and things to do and see at a leisurely pace, then go onward to the Bernese Oberland near the Jungfrau.

I'd have to work to figure out the best way to fit in the Glacier Express....see below.

Zürich is easily accessible from Luzern with frequent train service. I like it a lot , but more for cultural activities than for scenic attractions.

That would let you do everything you list except the Glacier Express. it would require about a day or more to access it, ride it, and get back to the bases described. If it is a must, then some more planning with the timetable would be critical.

Please check schedules. I may be mistaken, but I vaguely recall a gap in service each year ....perhaps in October....

www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress

You could reach the Rhine Falls from Zürich or Luzern, but, in my personal opinion, it should be ( as you note) an option, and I personally would not exercise the option considering your other proposed activities and locations.

To help with further guidance, it would help us to know a bit more detail about your interests beyond what you have mentioned. For example, some people go to Switzerland just to ride the trains; destinations are secondary for them.

Trekking? Train rides? Museums? Old towns? High mountains?

Luzern offer all of those, which is why it is a good starting point for first time visitors.

If you have not yet found it, this map is particularly good for travel. Under Points of Interest/Traffic in the menus, you can turn on icons for train and other transport stations, for example.

map.search.ch/

map.search.ch/?z=2&poi=bergbahn,zug

The time table is invaluable. Dig into it. Lots of good stuff buried in in it.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Hope that gets you started.

Slowpoke

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2016 - 11:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

thank you for your reply, we will be there early Oct, we are thinking 4/5 Oct - 10/11 Oct.

we initial plan is flying into Zurich: spend 1 day there and explore the city, then move to Lucerne the next day. From there, spend 2 days there for Mt Rigi or lake Lercene, then move to Interlaken for Juanfrau, then ride the train back to Zurich for another day to fly to Paris.

But after reading your post and others in the forum, we might change our plan, go straight to Lucerne first, and then use that as base to visit other places. we are more interested in Train ride, old town, mountains - how would you recommend we change the plan?

Is place like Zweisimmen and Spiez worth squeezing in for visit?

Many Thanks

Last modified on Jul 9, 2016 - 11:53 AM by hodge29
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 9, 2016 - 2:36 PM in reply to hodge29

Hodge - more detail in another later post.

However, with your schedule, i would definitely go to the Jungfrau region first. You might pick up the Glacier Express at Brig, go to St. Moritz briefly, then finish at Luzern.

Those are my first thoughts.

Slowpoke

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Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2016 - 2:51 PM in reply to hodge29

Are you planning to spend any time in Paris or will you just be in transit on your way to Australia? In the latter case a flight to Paris might be worth it (not sure), but mostly the train is quicker and more comfortable. You can take a train from Interlaken to Basel and go straight to Paris from there without a detour via Zurich: myswissalps.com/ traintickets/ france.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 9, 2016 - 5:35 PM in reply to hodge29

<<"Is place like Zweisimmen and Spiez worth squeezing in for visit? ">>

I have enjoyed some time in Spiez, but have not stopped in Zweisimmen.

With your time constraints, I think that they are better put off for your next trip....or later. ;-)

Slowpoke

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2016 - 2:04 AM

thanks for all the advice.

I'm planning to stay in Paris for 3-4days before flying back. i don't have to travel via Zurich, it's just seen there's a more plane flying in / out of Zurich than other cities.

ideally i like to visit Zurich since it's on the way anyway, Plus if i travel straight to Jungfrau region will that be too rush and waste the whole day travelling?

is there any other Panoramic Train beside the Glacier express? Is it better to stay in town like Wengen (or just a day trip) than Interlaken?

Thanks again for all your help, i think i'm nearly there....just need to finalise a few detail

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2016 - 9:16 AM in reply to hodge29

<<"ideally i like to visit Zurich since it's on the way anyway, Plus if i travel straight to Jungfrau region will that be too rush and waste the whole day travelling?">>

Hi Hodge-

Please use the timetable to answer that.

Zürich Flughafen to interlaken Ost takes between 2 hours 10 and 2 hours 32 minutes, depending on which trains are chosen. Add time to get to Grindelwald or Wengen etc.

The reason to go first to the Jungfrau region is because of the time of year that you are traveling. Earlier in October is better than later for that.

You can do day trips from Interlaken. You get a muchmore "Swiss" and "Alpine" experince if you stay in, for example, Wengen. That makes it more convenient to take the cableway up to Männlichen, too.

There are many scenic train routes:

www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities/scenictrips/t rain

I think Arno's suggestion for the trip to Paris makes considerable sense. Don't forget that air travel means early arrival at the airport and dose not get you to the center of Paris, adding more time a that end.

Slowpoke

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 13, 2016 - 1:09 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke / Arno,

after reviewing other post and taking your advice into consideration, we are planning

4/10: plane to Zurich, train straight to Interlaken (golden pass)

5/10: Jungfrau

6/10: Boat trip (which lake do you recommend?)

7/10: visit mountain towns (Wengen, murren), hiking, Spiex, Not sure yet (any day trip suggestion you recommend?)

8/10: Train to Lucerne, explore the city

9/10: Mt Rigi / Lake Cruise

10/10: Train to Zurich, explore city

11/10: Train to Paris

Depend on weather, might change the date around when we visit Jungfrau. Please let me know what you think.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 13, 2016 - 3:10 PM in reply to hodge29

Hi Hodge-

It looks good to me.

Both lakes are nice. You could visit Spiez on the lake boat ride.

Make sure to walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Stunning scenery on a clear day.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

Slowpoke

I'd go up on the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn instead or in addition, maybe by returning from Brienz to IO by lake boat if the schedules work.

Per earlier comments, Zürich is pleasant, but perhaps walking around is not worth more than 1/2 day.

If you are familiar with the work of james Joyce, the Irish author. his grave in the park-like cemetery just beyond the endof the tram line #6 as you walk toward the small zoo is worth a visit.

Do you have specifics in mind in Zürich?

Slowpoke.

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2016 - 6:52 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

For Zurich we don't have "must see" places.

we are thinking place like Bahnhofstrasse, Lindenhof, old town Niederdorfstrasse, Zurichsee, Lindenhof, Old Town (Altstadt). just have bit of walk thru the city.

In term of travel, the 8 day Swiss pass should cover most of my trip right? Anything i need to book in advance?

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2016 - 7:21 AM

Hi hodge29!

Sounds like a good plan for Zurich. Just wandering through the old town is very pleasant.

Yes, an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is a good fit. All of your regular train journeys, including the Swiss leg of your outbound trip to Paris, will be covered. Boat rides are for free as well, just as the trip up to Rigi. Most other mountain trains and cable cars require the purchase of discounted tickets. Please find a detailed overview, including a downloadable coverage map, at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity. You'd best order your Swiss Travel Pass online through one of the retailers listed at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price.

Your most recent itinerary doesn't include any trips that need to be booked in advance, apart from the train to Paris.

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2016 - 7:43 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

thanks for the quick reply, so the Swiss train pass even cover the train trip to Paris? Do i need to change train at Basal or there's direct service?

I was under the impression for Golden pass train i'll need to make reservation online.

thanks.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2016 - 7:55 AM in reply to hodge29

Hi hodge29,

The pass includes the trip until Basel. Please see the map I referred to. You need a ticket from Basel to Paris. Please see the last link in my previous post.

Golden Pass trains do not require reservations: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/tickets.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 15, 2016 - 8:41 AM in reply to hodge29

Hi Hodge29 -

Take a look at the posts well down in this thread on November 3 for some additional comments on walking around Zürich:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/swiss-itinerary-for-december-2015

In one of my posts in that thread on November 3, 2015 I added a simple map showing nice parts of the Altstadt in/near the Niederdorf that are not quite as well known as the parts of the Altstadt near the Bahnhofstrasse.

There are also some comments in that old thread about visiting St. Gall. You might find it a bit far for you, but it does make a nice day trip from Zürich. From Luzern, it is enough longer to move it downthe list for me.

Flip through all 9 images available from this page:

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/st-gallen.html

The old town is near the church and abbey library.

Regarding your question about changing trains on the way from Luzern or Zürich to Paris, the best answer is in the timetable. I think you will be leaving from Luzern?

I gave you a link to the timetable in an early post in this thread.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

You will find the timetable very useful while you are in Switzerland; I'd suggest that you take a look at it a few times before you go, to get familar with the deatails. It is full of information if you dig in.

There are many trains to Basel from either city. Some are faster, some are locals with more stops..

From Luzern there is a direct train to Basel twice an hour, taking almost exactly one hour or a bit longer. The one that connects at Basel for the TGV to Paris leaves at 0854, 1054, etc., every two hours. Total journey time almost 5 hours,of which 40 minutes is a leisurely connection at Basel SBB station.

Some others go from Luzern to to Basel, with changes, too.

The train from Zürich to Basel has a similar duration with about 5 per hour. One is a TGV to Paris. A TGV with no changes leaves Zürich every two hours at 0934, 1134, etc., taking 4 hours and 3 or 4 minutes to Gare de Lyon.

If for some reason you would like to stop at Zürich to walk around Zürich on the day you travel to Paris, starting from Luzern, you can take a 46 minute direct train to Zürich twice per our at xx10 and xx35 all day long (as well as some with changes along the way that take an hour or so). Then pick up one of the TGV's.

There are quite a lot of lockers near the rail head in Zürich main station (one level down by escalator) and many free luggage carts that require a 2 CHF coin as a returnable deposit. Also, a left luggage office.

Arno and Annika are experts on the rail passes, but I can say with assurance that a Swiss rail pass of any sort only works in Switzerland (with two or three rare exceptions near Geneva and maybe Locarno).

You will need to buy a ticket for the part of the journey that goes from the Swiss border to Paris.

Arno and Annika can point you to more information on that.

Regarding the Golden Pass route, my understanding is that you need reservations only if you travel in one of the special cars on certain trains, but not the other cars in the trains along that route. Once again, I defer to the moderators.

www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass

Slowpoke

hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 19, 2016 - 12:54 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Do you think it's possible to do the walk of Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on the same day as Jungfrau, or that's really rash for time?

thanks,

Hodge29

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jul 19, 2016 - 3:29 PM in reply to hodge29

Hi Hodge:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch

It is quite possible. Check the two links above.

There are several items to consider:

1. The walk from Männlichen towards Kleine Scheidegg is substantially better in that direction, both from the scenic impact of the Eiger (you'll get a sore neck if you keep turning your head to look, and walking toward it gives a special feeling as it grows over you) and because it is modestly downhill toward KS.

2.- You should check the weather carefully. You do not want to go up to JFJ if it is covered with clouds. The M to KS walk could still be good.

Weather changes rapidly and is not really predictable in detail much more than a day in advance in the high Alps.

3.- Clouds tend to gather on the Jungfrau in the afternoon. Although not thick, there are some in the attached photo, taken on a very clear sunny day. They can be denser.

4.- August is a busy time, and you might have to wait for a train to JFJ if you book just as you wish to ride up.

5.- An option is to do the walk on the 6th, along with the boat ride, if you have chosen the boat ride.

Or, it can fit easily into the 7th, since that day is more flexible.

6.- Be prepared to exchange events on the 5th and 6th and 7th.

Slowpoke
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hodge29
hodge29
8 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2016 - 10:54 AM in reply to Slowpoke

ok thanks, on the boat trip day i was going to visit spiez and Thun as well

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