9 days itinery Interlaken & Lucerne fine tuning

9 days itinery Interlaken & Lucerne fine tuning

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: 19. This thread is closed.
chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
May 20, 2016 - 2:52 AM

Hi Arno/Annika,

Here comes my Itinery / trip planner for our 9 days 8 nights visit to the beautiful Switzerland. As I mentioned in my previous posts I am reaching Zurich on 27th morning around 08:30 a.m and returning on Sep 4th evening.

I would appreciate if you both take a look at it and give me your valuable inputs and fine tuning of this. This is our first visit and very excited and looking forward to it. We are very flexible on this and I want to make sure we have not missed major attractions.

I am thinking of taking Swiss Travel Pass as mostly I will be travelling by the local trains or buses or boats and cable cars and scenic trains. I have not made any hotel booking yet as the trip has not been prepared till now. I have split my entire trip into two bases interlaken and lucerne, made it simple. If you suggest to add any other city or town worth visiting, let me know.

This has been prepared after reading extensively myswissalps.com and forums. Any kind of fine tuning, improvements most welcome.

  1. Day 1 - Arrive in Zurich (8.30 am) , then proceed to Interlaken - Stay overnight at Interlaken
  2. Day 2 - Next morning Go for Jungfra and back - Overnight stay in Interlaken
  3. Day 3 - Boat trip to Lake Thun and time permitting going to Bern and back to Interlaken
  4. Day 4 - Trip to Schilthorn or Brienzer Rothorn - Overnight stay in Interlaken
  5. Day 5 - From interlaken go to Brig , board Glacier Express to Chur and reach Lucerne for overnight stay
  6. Day 6 - Trip to The Titlis - Overnight stay at Lucerne
  7. Day 7 - Boat trip and Pilatus or Rigi Combined ? - Overnight stay at Lucerne
  8. Day 8 - Willhelm Tel Express or Visiting Zurich and Rhine Falls ? - Overnight Stay Lucerne
  9. Day 9 - Looking for inputs as my return flight from Zurich is at 5:30 p.m

Thanks

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 21, 2016 - 7:23 AM in reply to chandraks

Hi chandraks,

Good to hear you've been able to create an itinerary that fits your wishes and expectations. I think it looks great. Each of your day trips is doable, and having just two base towns makes it all pretty easy indeed. One piece of advice I can add right now is to find some back-up plans in case of bad weather. Searching the forum and browsing our town pages, such as the Zurich and Lucerne pages, will allow you to look for bad weather tips.

An 8 day Swiss Travel Pass would certainly be a good choice. You'd best us it for day 1 to 8. In that case you need additional tickets Lucerne-Zurich on day 9, but this can be resolved if you move to Zurich in the afternoon/evening of day 8 and get a hotel there. This will minimize additional traveling costs, and it can easily be combined with a visit to the Rhine Falls on day 8. Exploring Zurich, and maybe using a ZurichCARD while doing so, would be a good fit for day 9. Please find sightseeing tips at our Zurich page.

Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
May 21, 2016 - 9:38 AM in reply to chandraks

Hello Chandra,

You have drawn up a wonderful itinerary.

A few suggestions from me...

1. When you are in the Jungfrau region, please make time to visit Lauterbrunnen and see the water falls.

2. Your visit being in summer you will be able to take early boats on lake Thun and would have enough time to go to Bern and back. Would also suggest a stroll around Thun (and the Thun castle, if you find the time).

3. Again, your time of visit makes it ideal for you to stay up in the mountains. Lucerne is by the lake so staying in Lauterbrunnen would give you a complete 'Swiss experience'. Armed with a swiss pass, getting to Interlaken is just another extra half hour. Sorry, I hope this suggestion does not make it harder for you to make a decision.

4. Want to point out that with a half fare card you get 50% off on the Jungfraujoch trip but with a swiss pass you get only 25% off. And as this trip is expensive, it might make a difference.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Regards,

Vasudha

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 21, 2016 - 3:04 PM

Hi Chandra and Vasudha,

Just a note on the Jungfraujoch tickets: they're indeed 50% off with a Swiss Half Fare Card, but in case of the Swiss Travel Pass free traveling applies as far as Grindelwald/Wengen. From there on, a 25% discount applies indeed. The trip is still cheaper with a Swiss Half Fare Card, but then again the Swiss Travel Pass offers free boat rides, a free ride up to the Rigi, a free ride in the Glacier Express (except for seat reservations), etc.

chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
May 21, 2016 - 11:40 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks a lot Annika for you valuable suggestions, yes it has been a tough choice between swiss half fare and swiss travel pass. I would consider the Zurich option for the last day with ZurichCard, I thought so earlier but reason, thought again I need to change hotel. Keeping weather conditions I would be flexible on my mountain trips since anyway I am staying multiple nights either at Lucerne or Interlaken.

Thank you Vasudha for your tips as well, the reason I picked swiss travel pass I don't want to buy tickets every day, just thought it is convenient, (you are right with swiss half fare overall it might be cheaper), but for convenience I am willing to shell out extra CHFs. I liked your alternate suggestion staying at Lauterbrunnen to get real beautiful swiss experience.

1. So shall I split my interlaken or Lucerne stay split into 2 nights at Lauterbrunnen?

2. Also when I am searching for Lauterbrunnen hotels, I am getting hotels from wengen, do you suggest pick the hotel at Lauterbrunnen specifically or wengen is also same?

Appreciate your answers. I am 100% flexible in my travel and stay as my focus is on getting the best experience possible.

3. Also please let me know the attractions I picked for every day need any more fine tuning (I put 'or' for some as I am not sure which one is better choice). I am going to rework on my itinery based on you both suggestions and post it here again.

Appreciated and thanks a million

chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
May 22, 2016 - 3:24 AM in reply to chandraks

Forgot to ask one more question, where should we stay in Zurich on Day 8,so that before we head out to Zurich Airport on Day 9, we can cover a bit of nearby Zurich City tour, walking around the shopping area and then want to come back to hotel , pickup baggage and reach Airport. Any location suggestion in Zurich , so that I can pick the right location hotel in Zuirch for the last night.....Thanks

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 23, 2016 - 6:59 AM in reply to chandraks

Hi Chandra,

I really don't think you should make any major changes, as your itinerary is fine the way it is. Of course you could consider either Wengen or Lauterbrunnen instead of Interlaken. I wouldn't split your stay in the Bernese Oberland into two nights in Interlaken and two in Wengen/Lauterbrunnen though, as the towns are all located pretty close to one another and I don't think it's worth the extra time spent on checking in and out, packing and unpacking your stuff. So I'd say you should pick either Interlaken or Wengen/Lauterbrunnen for all 4 nights, before moving over to Lucerne. Interlaken's great advantage is its central location, allowing you to easily travel to several directions. Lauterbrunnen and Wengen are smaller villages, closer to the mountains and more scenic than Interlaken. Lauterbrunnen would be more central than Wengen; Wengen on the other hand offers great views over the valley in clear weather. So it's all a matter of personal preferences and convenience, and you really can't go wrong with either choice.

The attractions you picked are all fine, and it's hard to advise which would be "best". They're all different and all beautiful in their own way. You'd best study each of our attraction pages to decide what appeals to you most. Also, consulting the "Route" tabs along with the timetable will help you find details on traveling times. That may be a determining factor in the end. As mentioned, for day 8 the Rhine Falls would make more sense in terms of traveling time than the Wilhelm Tell Express, especially if you end your stay in Zurich.

Our preferred hotels in downtown Zurich are listed here. If you can't find anything that suits your needs there, you'd best get back to the accommodation forum to ask for specific help.

Unfortunately we're having some technical issues right now, so you won't be able to respond as long as these aren't solved. We're sorry for the inconvenience; we're working on it!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 4:22 PM in reply to chandraks

Hi Chandraks-

You have gotten very good advice from Annika and Vasudha. I do not disagree with any of it, but, as you yourself have noted, there are personal preferences involved in some of those decisions.

So, I offer a few ideas for you to consider, based pretty much on my own personal preferences (some might say "peculiar" instead of "personal.") ;-)

If I had a choice between seeing Zürich and the Rhine Falls or riding the train over the Gotthard pass, with a boat ride the length of Lake Lucerne thrown in ( The Wilhelm Tell Express), there would be no hesitation. Skip Zürich and the Rhine falls.

[Disclaimer - I live in the USA, and have seen the American and Canadian Niagara Falls. The Rhine falls, though powerful, are not as high or majestic as Niagara. And, you can see waterfalls lots of places, but there is only one Gotthard Pass rail route.]

Yes, it means going back and forth over that route on the same day. Fine by me. However, I'd study the map and the schedules in the timetable, and I'd adjust the trip a bit to shorten it. One option is to turn around at Bellinzona.

Personally, I'd go on to Locarno, walk the short distance to the funicular up to the Madonna del Sasso, go up, come back down, walk the short distance to the lake shore promenade and "restaurant row" to have lunch, then take the train all the way back to Luzern, and skip the slow boat ride on the way back.

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/locarno.html

Flip through the images to see the Madonna del Sasso church above the city.

The "all-train" route back goes through Arth-Goldau...some trains continue to Zürich from there, other go to Luzern and on to Basel. They stop directly across from each other on the platform at A-G, and the connection time can be 30 seconds. ;-) You would have 4-5 minutes, usually.

(I might add that Zürich is my favorite city in Switzerland, but that is because I have taken many years to learn my way around. The cultural things are appealing, and that means a lot to me on repeated visits. For a first time visitor to Switzerland, I'd say it would not be high on my list of recommendations.)

I discussed this with Jane Q in a long thread a while ago....part of it relates to Zürich.

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

Scroll down to the early November posts for walking in Zürich.

I'd consider it for walking around on the last day before I go to the airport, since your flight is in the late afternoon.. You could even fit in the Rhine falls on that day if you would like to, and get up early..

Travel time between Luzern and Zürich Airport is about an hour, two times per hour. One requires a change in Zürich, the other does not.

There are about 5-10 trains per hour from Zürich main station to the airport. You could go there from Luzern, store your luggage, then go onwards later. Or, you could go to the airport, check in, or go to the airport, store your luggage, and go back to Zürich or to the falls.

Admittedly, it adds 45 minutes vs. staying in Zürich, but I'd stay in Luzern on my last night if it were my first trip to Switzerland. Actually, since I've been there many times, I choose to make my last night's stay in Zürich down town.. If I had an early flight, I'd stay in Zürich and use the frequent trains or 65 CHF taxi to get to the airport.. Yes - 65 or more CHF!! Occasionally higher. Once or twice it was "only" 60 CHF. My wife prefers to leave Switzerland in comfort, at any cost. I prefer to save money and haul my luggage myself on the train. We go by taxi when she is with me. ;-)

Flexibility between the Jungfrau region and Luzern -

Clear weather is critical for the Jungfrau region. Weather in Switzerland can change rapidly, and there are lots of microclimates due to the mountains. The tourist office by track # 1 in Luzern main station, as well as train stations and tourist offices near the Jungfrau, and webcams all can guide you about how to split your time between the two locations with advice on weather. . You can enjoy Luzern even if the weather is not super, but for the Jungfrau region, you will not want to spend as much time there if it is cloudy on high, so you'll need contingencies, as noted by Annika. I like Bern for that.

Annika said-

<<"Of course you could consider either Wengen or Lauterbrunnen instead of Interlaken. I wouldn't split your stay in the Bernese Oberland into two nights in Interlaken and two in Wengen/Lauterbrunnen though, as the towns are all located pretty close to one another and I don't think it's worth the extra time spent on checking in and out, packing and unpacking your stuff. So I'd say you should pick either Interlaken or Wengen/Lauterbrunnen for all 4 nights, before moving over to Lucerne. Interlaken's great advantage is its central location, allowing you to easily travel to several directions. Lauterbrunnen and Wengen are smaller villages, closer to the mountains and more scenic than Interlaken. Lauterbrunnen would be more central than Wengen; Wengen on the other hand offers great views over the valley in clear weather. So it's all a matter of personal preferences and convenience, and you really can't go wrong with either choice.">>

She is 100% correct in describing the tradeoffs. . Personally, I like to spend as much time as possible near the Jungfrau, because the region is full of magnificent views, easy hikes, cableways, etc.

So, i stay in Wengen, and accept the longer time needed to get out into the rest of Switzerland. Wengen,because you are in a mountainside village with unique views, and have faster access up to Männlichen has a more "Swiss" feeling to me, and I love the views that greet you ever morning or all during the day ( in good weather.....)

By the way, with light luggage, it is not a big deal to split your stay between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen.. But, I'd probably not do it unless I were on my own with almost no luggage.

Kim likes Wengen, too.

Here is her short report, which covers more than Wengen.:

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

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 4:56 PM

Chandra,

Annika and Slowpoke have said it but I will repeat it. Please do not split your stay in the Bernese Oberland region. Half a day spent on shifting hotels will leave you with very little that you can do with rest of your day. That's exactly why I had mentioned that it just takes about half an hour extra to travel from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken when you are going to Bern or Thun or boating.

I agree with Slowpoke about staying the last night in Lucerne. I wanted to suggest checking out of the hotel early on the departure day, take the direct train to airport, leave your luggage there and go to the Rhine falls. In my research for my holiday I had come across tour packages for half a day trip to Rhine. So I know it can be done. But as I was not sure of the luggage storage facilities and other logistics of travel, I had refrained from making that suggestion.

Regards, Vasudha

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 5:09 PM in reply to Vasudha

Hi Vasudha-

If you do not have to haul a lot of luggage ( and, maybe even if you do) you can check out in Lauterbiunnen if your hotel is near the station, and be checked in Wengen in well under an hour.

Two trains per hour taking 14 minutes. More on busy tourist days, between the regularly scheduled ones.

Better hotels in Wengen will pick you up at the station....Even if you have to walk, it is possible, but heavy luggage could slow you down.

A half day is unlikely, even from Interlaken to Wengen.

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 24, 2016 - 5:10 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 6:54 PM in reply to Vasudha

Hi Vasudha -

Look here -

www.myswissalps.com/rh inefalls

Slowpoke

Vasudha
Vasudha
21 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 7:55 PM

Hi Slowpoke,

I was suggesting that one base for the 4 days that Chandra plans to spend in the BO region is a sensible plan than spending 2 days in a mountain town and 2 days in Interlaken as anyway by train the time taken to travel between the mountain towns and Interlaken is just about half hour.

Regards, Vasudha

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 11:59 PM in reply to Vasudha

Agree-

Splitting between Interlaken and towns to the south does not make sense on the face of it.

However, if Chandra has specific travel reasons (or other reasons) in mind, that advice may be wrong.

Annika expressed it clearly. Interlaken has better access to the rest of Switzerland. Lauterbrunnen or Wengen ( or other towns near the Jungfrau) have better access to the Jungfrau region.

If Chandra wants to organize a trip based on those concepts, two sleeping locations could make sense.

The trade off would be some time spent packing and moving from hotel to hotel, but that could be a scenic trip....

Thorough use of the timetable could guide the decisions.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

There is no absolute rule for what is right and what is wrong. The whole country rewards traveling and sight-seeing.

Slowpoke

chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
May 25, 2016 - 1:58 AM

Thank you so much Annika, Slowpoke and Vasudha for all your tips and suggestions. I really appreciate it very much. Just let you know all, I had booked my 4 nights at Interlaken (Hotel Bernerhof) finally. My wife also in favour of staying at one place than splitting. I just need to book for Lucerne and Zurich, I am thinking of 3 nights at Lucerne and last night at Zurich, so that we can checkout early in Zurich, let hotel hold the luggage and try to walk around the shopping area or Rhine falls. I liked Vasudha's earlier suggestion of staying at Lauterbrunnen / Wengen area but being first time, finally decided to be at interlaken just because of the faster connections to the nearby attractions. Vasudha/slowpoke, we already thought our next visit we wil be a bit more leisurely and relaxed and would try to stay at the scenic mountain and valley regions, we are planning on visiting again as there is so much there. Slowpoke thanks a lot for all your documents and pictures, I did read your messages at the other forums already and the documents were very informative. Since you had been many times, you have any suggestions on hotels/apartments at Lucerne. I am also coming from US. I appreciate you all being very active and helping out Annika and Arno, I would do my part once I comeback from my trip. You have any suggestions on my itinery especially for Lucerne (since I included all mountain trips titlis/rigi/pilatus or if I need to skip one which one could be skipped ?). Since I am staying 4 nights at interlaken itself, is there anyway upon completion of day's trip, could you go the Lauterbrunnen area and spend some time one of the days ?). Thank you all again Chandra

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2016 - 8:18 AM

Hi Chandra,

The Lucerne page is a good place to start. It shows things to do and handpicked hotels we suggest.

Sorry if you can't reply immediately. There are some technical issues we are looking into.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
May 31, 2016 - 9:00 AM in reply to chandraks

Hi Chandra -

That itinerary will certainly work for you.

If i were doing it, I would not switch to one night at the end for Zürich, because i could do what you said you want to do from Luzern, without the bother of changing hotels for a one night stay.

But, certainly, if you want to spend time in the Zürich area, it is a good option.

Regarding your question about time in Lauterbrunnen.....Lauterbrunnen is only a half an hour from your hotel in Interlaken,

See attached screen grab.

Use the timetable, as linked by Annika to get answers to that kind of question.

If you wish to visualize the journey, this map will be helpful:

map.search.ch/?x=-26448m&y=-22224m&z=32

Zoom in and out. You can use the menus to find train stops, under "Points of Interest."

Since you will go up to Jungfraujoch, you can choose to pass through either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen on the way up. See map linked above. That will let you see the lay of the land, since you perhaps have not yet understood it. It will become very clear once you are actually there.

Usually, it is better to go up to Jungfraujoch in the morning, because clouds sometimes come in in the afternoon. If you do that, you would have time to stop on the way back down.

If you go up via Grindelwald, for one example, you could choose to come down through Wengen and then Lauterbrunnen.

You could get off a Wengen for a tea or coffee on the terrace of the Hotel Silberhorn, near the station with wonderful views, and/or, when you change trains at Lauterbrunnen, take a break and explore the valley a bit.

The attached picture is taken from a balcony in the Hotel Eiger ( now an apartment building) and shows a bit of the terrace. To the right of the image, the train station is only about 25 meters away.

Study of the map and the timetable plus this link will help you plan those kind of stops.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

For your trip to Brig from Interlaken, check the time table to see if you can use the Lötschberger scenic train from Spiez to Brig ( use Kandersteg in the connections or via box on the timetable to force the selection through that route.) Don't know if fit will fit your day, but is a really nice trip, and a lot more scenic than the inside of the new, faster "Basis tunnel" that runs under the mountains to Visp thence to Brig.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ L%C3%B6tschberg_railwa y_line

If you have time, avoid the new tunnel:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ L%C3%B6tschberg_Base_T unnel

An engineering marvel, but the scenery inside lacks something.

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
Jun 1, 2016 - 12:34 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you so much slowpoke for the tips and suggestions. I had to book three nights only in Lucerne finally (Hotel Ameron), my wife strongly preferring Zurich for the last night. We really want to get a feel of Zurich as well though we need to go thru the transfer headache again from Lucerne to Zurich, we will try to reach Zurich by evening itself than late night depending upon what we do at Lucerne on the last day.

But next morning since we have time to spare, will go around the city center shopping area and get back to Airport on time. Just need to finalize the hotel at Zurich for the last night whether to stay closer to Airport or City Center. I liked your suggestion of stopping in Wengen while coming back. I know Lauterbrunnen is closer to interlaken, since Vasudha and all suggested to stay there as well, instead thought of going there frequently whenever I have some opportunity to enjoy the scenic valley and country side view. Looks like per your time table , so it is all by Bus from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen? , will it be scenic as well bus ride ?

Glad the website is back to normal now, big thank you to Arno/Annika.

Chandra

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2655 posts
expert
Jun 1, 2016 - 1:08 AM in reply to chandraks

<<"so it is all by Bus from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen? , will it be scenic as well bus ride ?">>

It is all by train from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen.

This map will clarify- zoom in and out-

map.search.ch/Interlak en?x=126m&y=-782m&z=64

You have selected a hotel that is near Interlaken West, which is a bit out of the way for most connections, which are more convenient from Interlaken Ost. So, you have to take a bus to Wilderswll and pick up the train there to go into the valley.

Please practice with the timetable. it will help you immensely when you are in Switzerland.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Once you have selected a route and time, journeys will appear. Expand any one of them by clicking on the "+" sign to the left of the specific journey, as I have done in my example.

That lets you see that the routes shown in my screen grab all have a bus component for you, to get from your hotel to the train line into the valley.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jun 1, 2016 - 7:50 AM by Slowpoke
chandraks
chandraks
97 posts
active member
Jun 3, 2016 - 12:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you Slowpoke, I have been using the sbb site quite frequently to check the time table and train routes. Also thanks for the maps and for the tips again.

Chandra

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