7-day itinerary for Switzerland in September

7-day itinerary for Switzerland in September

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ankitsh123
ankitsh123
4 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 11:29 AM

Hello,

My wife and I will be visiting Switzerland in the second half of September. We have planned the following itinerary for our visit. Request you to please review and help us answer some questions regarding the same

Day 1 Arrive in Zurich in the morning. Freshen up at day hotel and visit city during the afternoon. In the evening take train for Zermatt. Check in and relax

Day 2 Visit Matterhorn

Day 3 Take Glacier Express in the morning from Zermatt to Chur. Want to do Glacier Express and I understand that it is the best part of the line. Go to Lucerne from Chur via Zurich. Check-in at Lucerne and relax in the evening.

Day 4 Mt Pilatus or Mt Rigi. Spend time in Lucerne in the evening

Day 5 Go to Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen in the morning. Visit Jungfrau or Schilthorn

Day 6 Visit Bern during the day and come back to Interlaken in the evening (late)

Day 7 Interlaken to Geneva

Day 8 Geneva-Paris early morning

Requesting your help for the following:

  1. Is the itinerary too tightly packed? Will it be difficult to manage?
  2. Is Matterhorn worth visiting in September? If it’s too clouded to visit Matterhorn, what alternate activities can be done/places can be visited?
  3. Between Mt Rigi and Mt Pilatus, which one is better place to visit? Also, if the weather is not suitable, what alternate activities/places can be tried? Will we get time in the evening for Lucerne?
  4. Which is better Jungfrau or Schilthorn? Should we do both and drop Bern the next day? What kind of weather can be expected considering that it’s second half of September? Which is better base – Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen?
  5. If there is anything which is great and we have missed but falls in the same regions which we are planning to visit, please tell us.
  6. Which pass should we take? 8 days Swiss travel pass or half rate card?

Awaiting responses.

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

Ankit

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2016 - 8:15 AM

Hi Ankit, thanks for posting here!

Let's look into your questions:

1. It's quite full, but manageable. Did you check detailsusing the timetable and the "Route" tabs of our attraction pages? Of course there are lots of alternatives that involve less traveling, but if you prefer to see a lot of the country and if you're fine with the amount of traveling you'll be doing, you don't have to change anything. There's one detail I don't understand though. You seem to be booking a hotel for your first day in Zurich, although you'll actually be spending the night in Zermatt. Is that correct or am I misinterpreting your schedule? An option would be to skip the Zurich city visit and move on to Zermatt right away. That way you'll get to relax in the afternoon and evening once you're in Zermatt, which may be very pleasant after an inbound trip with early morning arrival, which suggest you'll be traveling at night.

2. Yes, it is. You can't actually visit the Matterhorn, but you can get up to viewing points such as Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn. In case of bad weather you explore Zermatt and/or nearby Brig.

3. Please compare for yourself through our Pilatus and Rigi pages. Note that the Rigi would be fully covered by a Swiss Travel Pass. Both take about half a day, the Rigi requiring more traveling time over all. But in both cases, part of the afternoon and the evening can be spent in Lucerne. Please refer to the page I linked to for bad weather alternatives.

4. You'd best compare our Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch pages. Opinions on this differ. I feel that Jungfraujoch is a more of a unique experience, and that idea is certainly shared by some of our members. You may want to check trip reports. Others feel that Schilthorn offers equally great views for less money, so in the end it's up to you to make the decision.

5. There won't be that much room left for any additional trips. You've selected activities that are considered to be true highlights, so I don't think there's any need to change or add plans.

6. That depends on your final itinerary. An 8 day Swiss Travel Pass would be the most convenient travel option for your schedule, and it's what I'd personally prefer. Price wise, you may compare it to the Swiss Half Fare Card as explained here.

ankitsh123
ankitsh123
4 posts
new member
May 13, 2016 - 8:32 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks a lot Annika for the responses. They are very helpful.

Regarding hotel at Zurich, we are planning to take a hotel room for a few hours during which we could freshen up and rest a little bit after our long flight from Mumbai and, if possible, spend a couple of hours in the Zurich city before heading for Zermatt. Do you think it's a worthwhile excursion to Zurich city or instead we should go directly to Zermatt?

Regards,

Ankit

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 13, 2016 - 10:36 PM in reply to ankitsh123

Hi Ankit -

<<"Regarding hotel at Zurich, we are planning to take a hotel room for a few hours during which we could freshen up and rest a little bit after our long flight from Mumbai and, if possible, spend a couple of hours in the Zurich city before heading for Zermatt. Do you think it's a worthwhile excursion to Zurich city or instead we should go directly to Zermatt?">>

The answer depends to some degree on what time you arrive in Zürich Flughafen.

Your strategy of getting a room for few hours is what I used to do when I traveled on business.. Not a bad idea.

You might check to see if Zürich airport offers such facilities..by the hour.

Walking round a bit of Zürich is not a bad idea , but not compelling compared to various scenic alternatives...including Zermatt.

Work the timetable (linked above) to understand your timing options.

Slowpoke

ankitsh123
ankitsh123
4 posts
new member
May 16, 2016 - 3:24 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Dear Slowpoke, thanks for the reply.

Regards, -Ankit

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 16, 2016 - 8:41 AM in reply to ankitsh123

Hi Ankit -

<<"Day 4 Mt Pilatus or Mt Rigi. Spend time in Lucerne in the evening

Day 5 Go to Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen in the morning. Visit Jungfrau or Schilthorn

Day 6 Visit Bern during the day and come back to Interlaken in the evening (late)

Day 7 Interlaken to Geneva">>

Annika has already commented on Day 4. If you follow her links, you'll note that there are several routes to the Rigi. The one via Vitznau has the advantage of a nice lake boat ride. Also, I like that cograil ride up to Rigi Kulm for some great views over the lake. In my own opinion, the route between Rigi Kulm and Arth Goldau is less scenic, and has more sections without long distance views. The routes are close to each other at the top.

If you study the time table you can enter the trip from Luzernn to Rigi Kulm, then choose different options in the "via" or "connections" box. That will force it to offer different routes. I use the timetable a lot for trip planning, and combine it with a map:

map.search.ch/?x=17576m&y=20656m&z=32 &poi=bergbahn,halteste lle,zug

In that link i have turned on some "traffic" options under "Points of Interest " on the menu.

Day 5.- It is often recommended to take a t least a couple of days near the Jungfrau, as you have done, because the weather changes rapidly in the Alps, and you have a better chance of good weather for the trip up top. September is my favorite month for good weather, but, there can be very cloudy days. It is usually recommended to go up to Jungfraujoch in the AM, as clouds tend to gather during the PM.

Watch the weather reports, ask at your hotel or the local train stations, and chose between Bern and the Jungfrau ( days 5 and 6).

A trip to Bern does not have to take a whole day to be enjoyable. For me, the critical highlights take a few hours or half a day including lunch near the Nydegg Bridge or at the Rosegarden. More time could be needed, of course, if you look at museums, etc. If you stay in Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Grindelwald ( or even Mürren, which takes a bit more time) you have a longer journey out to Bern, but it is not so critical to have good timing for that journey. If you stay at Interlaken (Ost) , you are only an hour or less from Bern.

If you stay at Wengen ( my own favorite) you are substantially closer to the Jungfrau, but about 50 minutes further from Bern. Lautebrunnen cuts about 30 minutes of that. The advantage over Interlaken is that is that Interlaken is not so much a tourist destination as it is a connection point for access to the rest of Switzerland. In contrast, Wengen and the other towns offer stunning scenery and the "feel" of being in the mountains. And, they give quick response to Kleine Scheidegg and up to the Jungfrau.

This small report may be useful:

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

Männlichen is particularly easy to reach from Wengen or Grindelwald. Pictures attached.

The Hotel Eiger is now an apartment building, but is very close to the station in Wengen.

Slowpoke

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ankitsh123
ankitsh123
4 posts
new member
May 17, 2016 - 7:04 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Dear Slowpoke,

Thanks for the detailed reply with all the links and files - very helpful in planning my visit better.

I will keep day 5 and 6 flexible between Jungfrau and Bern and decide depending on weather.

I will also drop Interlaken as base and decide between Wengen and Latuerbrunnen.

It's also pointed out to me that Mt Titlis is better trip than either Mt Pilatus or Mt. Rigi. What would you recommend?

Regards, Ankit

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
May 17, 2016 - 7:12 AM in reply to ankitsh123

Hi Ankit-

You are quite welcome. There is a wealth of trip-planing information available about Switzerland; some is quite detailed.

The mountains -

Each one is different. Each one is better for someone. ;-)

Annika alrweady linked you to Pilatus and the Rigi.

There is a link for Titlis, too.

www.myswissalps.com/ti tlis

Slowpoke

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