Advice on trip itinerary from 2nd May to 10th May

Advice on trip itinerary from 2nd May to 10th May

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sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Mar 31, 2016 - 8:23 AM

Dear Madam/Sir,

Hello! I chanced upon your wonderful forum and immediately wanted your expert advice and suggestions for my upcoming tour. I shall be going to Switzerland from 2nd May to 10th May, 2016 to attend a conference in Basel. I shall be in Basel for 4th and 5th May only. Rest of the days will be for touring.

My tour operator has given me a sample itinerary below. Please see it and answer my queries. I shall be thankful for your suggestions. I will be travelling with my wife and 2 kids (12 yrs and 7yrs of age).

My queries are as follows:

  1. Does the itinerary cover the major tourist attractions?
  2. On day 4, can I not taken an evening train to Interlaken, instead of spending another night in Basel? That way I can take the Jungfrauch tour on Day 5 itself.
  3. On days 6 and 7, I would like to visit Gruyere town especially for it's chocolate and cheese making history (my kids would love it). Is it feasible?
  4. On day 8, reach Lucerne for day excursion to Mt Titlis.
  5. On day 9 return to Zurich form Lucerne.

I hope this is not too much travelling for the kids. I really want them to visit Gruyere. Please suggest how best can the itinerary be fitted with our conference and not missing the other major attractions esp. Gruyere.

Thanks

Sumeet

  • Day 01: Zurich (2nd May)
    • Arrive at Zurich Airport
    • Take train to Zurich HB station
    • Check in to your hotel
    • Take train to Schaffhausen and Visit to Rhine Falls
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 02: Zurich - Basel (3rd May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Enjoy 2 hours Zurich Trolley Experience tour
    • in the evening take train to Basel
    • Check in to your hotel
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 03: Basel (4th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Day at leisure
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 04: Basel (5th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Day at leisure
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 05: Basel - Interlaken (6th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Check out and take train to Interlaken
    • Arrive and check in to your hotel
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 06: Interlaken (7th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Excursion to Jungfraujoch
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 07: Interlaken - Lucerne (8th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Check out from the hotel
    • Take train to Lucerne
    • Check in
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 08: Lucerne (9th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Take train to Engelberg
    • Excursion to Mt. Titlis
    • Take train to Lucerne
    • Overnight in the hotel
  • Day 09: End of tour (10th May)
    • Breakfast in the hotel
    • Check out from the hotel
    • Take train to Zurich Airport
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 1, 2016 - 12:10 AM in reply to sumeet

Hi Sumeet-

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

I offer some personal opinions.

Unless you are jet lagged, that is too much time in Basel, and not enough in Luzern.

I'd skip the trolley tour of Zürich.

Since you know that you want to visit Gruyeres and Broc, plan that yourself. Could be done from Basel.

(the chocolate factory stop is Broc Fabrique.)

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

A map will help you orient your self and visualize the distances.

map.search.ch/?x=-85016m&y=-28992m&z=32

That should get you started.

Slowpoke

sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Apr 1, 2016 - 3:59 AM

Dear Slowpoke,

Thanks for the tip. We have to be in Basel for our conference, so that's unavoidable. What would you suggest we do while we are there by way of local tourism in the town or nearby places (within 50 kms) ?

Also, I have chalked out an alternative itinerary . Pleas give your views on the same.

Day 01: Zurich (2nd May)

Arrive at Zurich Airport at 0630 Hrs

Take train to Zurich HB station

Take train to Gruyeres

Gruyeres tours to chocolate/cheese factories/museums/castle

Overnight in the hotel

Day 02: (3rd May)

Gruyeres tours to chocolate/cheese factories/museums/castle

Day 03: (4th May)

Take early morning train to Basel

Breakfast in the hotel

Conference and local tourism

Overnight in the hotel

Day 04: Basel (5th May)

Breakfast in the hotel

Conference and local tourism

Evening train to Interlaken

Day 05: (6th May)-Interlaken

Overnight stay in Interlaken

Breakfast in the hotel

Jungfrauch trip

Day 06: (7th May) Interlaken to Lucerne (Should I spend more time in Interlaken ?)

Early morning train to Lucerne

Breakfast in the hotel

Please suggest lucerne sightseeing for the day

Overnight in the hotel

Day 07: (8th May) Lucerne

Please suggest lucerne sightseeing

Day 08: (9th May)

Lucerne to ?? or stay another day in Lucerne - please suggest

Day 09: End of tour (10th May)

Check out from the hotel

Take train to Zurich Airport to catch return flight which departs at 1245 PM

Do you think the above itinerary is doable? Please suggest for lucerne sightseeing on days 6 and 7. What can we do on day 8?

Also please advise on clothes and weather for the tour and excursions.

Thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 1, 2016 - 8:09 AM in reply to sumeet

Hi Sumeet-

Here are some thoughts.

Will you be jet-lagged on your first day? if so, perhaps going directly to Gruyeres is not a good idea.

It is not hard to see Gruyeres, the show dairy, and the chocolate factory in the same day.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/connection-from-brocfabrique-to-maison-caillerchoc

also-

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/chocolate-train-route-question-and-swiss-pass

Here are ideas for Luzern:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/search/index.cfm?phrase=Lucerne

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

The Luzern region and the jungfrau Region can both consume many days enjoyably. How to balance them is always a difficult issue. I'd aim for two full days in Luzern, allowing time to see the city itself, and visit at least one nearby mountain, (Rigi, Pilatus) perhaps including a lake boat in the trip.

it is generally good to have a couple of days near the Jungfrau to increase the chances of having a day that is not cloudy at the higher altitudes

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

See the discussion in this thread, particularly on March 30th:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/first-time-trip-to-europe-seeking-advice

Slowpoke

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sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Apr 2, 2016 - 6:27 PM

Dear Slowpoke,

I've made up my mind about my itinerary as follows:

2nd May Arrival in Zurich Airport early morning, day trip to Rhine falls.

3rd May Visit Gruyere/Broc (This is the part where I'm a bit confused, need your help here, please see my queries regarding this leg below

4th May and 5th May Basel

6th and 7th May Interlaken

8th and 9th May Lucerne

10th May return to Zurich Airport and depart back.

Please suggest:

I really want to do the Gruyere/Broc leg. How to fit it in?

I mean, Do I go from Zurich to Montreaux on 2nd evening (too hectic!!!) to catch the next morning chocolate train tour or can I leave Zurich and travel to Broc-Fabrique on 3rd morning to do the chocolate/cheese tour on my own ? Please understand that I have to be in Basel on 4th morning. SO that means travelling from Montreaux to Basel (in the first option) OR travelling form Gruyeres to Basel (in the second option). Considering this, which is a better option ?

Per se, between doing the chocolate train tour and doing the chocolate/cheese tour by myself - Which is a better (and cheaper) option ? Okay which is a more doable and enjoyable option?

How much will the chocolate train tickets cost me if I have the Swiss Travel family pass for 2 adults and 2 children of 7 yrs and 13 yrs ?

I hope I was able to convey my dilemma. Please advise.

Thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 2, 2016 - 6:38 PM in reply to sumeet

I can advise on travel schedules later today to tomorrow. Busty atthe moment.

Perhaps Arno or Annika can advise on costs....

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2016 - 7:26 AM in reply to sumeet

Hi sumeet,

Given your restrictions concerning Basel on May 4, I'd advise to visit the cheese and chocolate factories on your own rather than using the Chocolate Train from Montreux. It's too much of a detour and not convenient due to the fixed departure time in the morning. You could do the Rhine Falls on May 2, spend the night in Zurich, and visit Broc/Gruyères on your own on May 3, ending your day in Basel. The Maison Cailler and Maison du Gruyère websites will be of help in your planning. Entrance to both factories is for free with your Swiss Travel Pass.

udayaditya
udayaditya
21 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2016 - 8:28 AM

Hello Annika

With the swiss travel pass is the chocolate train ticket free boarding from montreux......or is it free till gruyere or may be till montbovon.Thanks for helping us so much

Udayaditya

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2016 - 1:48 PM in reply to udayaditya

Hi Udayaditya,

The Chocolate Train needs to be booked in advance and the price includes all entrance fees. That's why it's not free, but you will get a discount. With a 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass you'd pay CHF 69 instead of CHF 99.

udayaditya
udayaditya
21 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2016 - 2:10 PM

Hello Annika

But with the pass can I travel free till Gruyeres in a regular train??

Udayaditya

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2016 - 2:14 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Sumeet -

Annika has given good advice.

Another choice that could work for you is to travel to Montreux directly upon your arrival and skip the Rhine Falls.

The, you could do the Chocolate train on the 3rd, and get to Basel late on the 3rd. However, it does take 3 hours to get from Montreux to Basel, so that might be a problem for you. I don't know when the Chocolate train returns to Montreux. Maybe you could go on from Broc to basel.

You can send your luggage or part of it from Zürich main station to Basel.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/services/lugg age-and-flight-luggage.html

Time from Broc-fabrique to Basel is 2 hrs 23 minutes.

or, you could also skip the Rhine Falls and travel to the region near Montreux or Gruyeres or Broc. visit one item on the 2nd, take a leisurely day on the 3rd for the second item, and get to Basel in the afternoon of the 3rd.

In Basel, make sure to visit the Tinguely Water Sculpture about 5-10 minutes walk from the station.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 3, 2016 - 2:25 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2016 - 2:26 PM in reply to udayaditya

<<"But with the pass can I travel free till Gruyeres in a regular train??">>

Yes.

Slowpoke

sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Apr 3, 2016 - 4:42 PM

Dear Annika and Slowpoke,

Thanks for the excellent advice and options. I will skip the chocolate train, both because montreaux is proving to be a long detour and getting to Basel will be a problem. Also the additional expense of the chocolate train can be saved by doing the tour myself.

Now, if I leave Zurich on 3rd morning and arrive in Broc-Fabrique, do the chocolate/cheese tours myself. Then how about if I stay over in Gruyeres on 3rd night and leave for Basel on 4th morning/afternoon. I can afford to reach Basel on 4th morning/afternoon. Do you think this will be more relaxed and give us a little more time in Gruyeres ?

Is there something else to do in Gruyeres besides the cheese/chocolate and castle ? Can you suggest some Hotel/B&B in Gruyeres or nearby. I saw on your website and there is only one B&B, but pretty expensive at CHF 185 per night. Please suggest some options for 1 night stay for 2 adults and 2 chiildren (7 yrs and 13 yrs) - something within 100 CHF.

My only other concern is the 2 changes on the train from Broc Fabrique to Basel, 4 mins at Bulle and 13 mins at Bern. Will that be enough to change trains ?

Thanks to you my itinerary is almost done and much better than what I started out with. Once I have this Gruyeres thing settled, I shall start looking up the things to do/see in Basel/Interlaken/Lucerne.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2016 - 5:08 PM in reply to sumeet

I am unclear about when you have to be in basel:

"Please understand that I have to be in Basel on 4th morning."

"I can afford to reach Basel on 4th morning/afternoon."

This link shows the train station at Bulle. Scroll down

www.facebook.com/pages /Bulle-Gare/101577316616816

This link is a map of the train station at Bulle:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-grau&layers=ch.swissto po.zeitreihen,ch.bfs.g ebaeude_wohnungs_regis ter,ch.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,false,fal se,false&layers_timest amp=18641231,,,&X=1630 44.00&Y=570585.20&zoom =10

It is a small station.

4 minutes is plenty.

If you look up your exact journey in the timetable, then click on the "+" sign to the left of that journey, details will appear, including the track numbers for arrrival and departure.

13 minutes at Bern is enough, but it is a large station, so don't dawdle.

Check the track numbers as described.

here is a map of the Bern station:

www.sbb.ch/content/dam /infrastruktur/trafima ge/bahnhofplaene/plan-bern-a4.pdf#?lang=en

Accomodation -

You might check Bulle:

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/accommodation/hotel s.html?rkey=636

I note that there are several hotels of varying price ranges there, including an IBIS hotel, and Ibis' are usually not expensive.

Hope this helps.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2016 - 5:16 PM in reply to sumeet

Hi Sumeet,

CHF 100 to accommodate 4 people will be very hard to find. I think it's nearly impossible, so you may need to increase your budget a bit. One of the cheaper options is the Guest House in the ancient town of Gruyères itself.

Slowpoke mentioned nearby Bulle. There's the very basic hotel Du Tonnelier. It's close to the train station so convenient in that respect.

Last modified on Apr 3, 2016 - 5:20 PM by Arno
sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Apr 6, 2016 - 11:28 AM

Dear Arno,

I want to do at least one of the panoramic trains in my itinerary. I think Bernina and Glacier will be too out of the way for me. Only the Golden Pass line fits in with my itinerary. Please suggest how may I do it, and do I need to reserve seats for this train.

Also, please advise on how to do Mt. Rigi and the Brienz - Rothorn trains. They look enchantingly beautiful and i'd hate for us to miss these fairy tale trips.

Thanks

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2016 - 12:32 PM in reply to sumeet

Hello Sumeet,

You don't need to reserve seats: myswissalps.com/ goldenpass/tickets. If you travel from Lucerne to Interlaken that will already include part of the Golden Pass line.

Please check the timetable to see how you can include the various trips in your plans. The Mount Rigi and Brienzer Rothorn pages provide a lot of details:

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Apr 6, 2016 - 3:16 PM in reply to sumeet

Here are a very few pictures from the Brienzer Rothorn, on a very, very, unusually clear day a long while ago.

Slowpoke

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sumeet
sumeet
26 posts
active member
Apr 6, 2016 - 4:17 PM

Dear slowpoke,

should i interpret that as a caution that probably this scenic train may not be worthwhile doing or may risk paying extra over and above the Swiss travel pass and yet not be able to see a thing because of the clouds, I presume.

I hope I got it wrong!!

Sumeet

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2016 - 4:32 PM in reply to sumeet

Well, you'd better watch the weather forecast before proceeding with any mountain trip. Slowpoke had a very good day when he took those pictures. It doesn't have to be that perfect to enjoy the trip, but if you end up in a cloud it's a waste of time and money. Just check the forecast, and the sky!

Last modified on Apr 6, 2016 - 4:39 PM by Arno

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