Family of 6 spending Christmas in Wengen

Family of 6 spending Christmas in Wengen

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nisckia
nisckia
4 posts
new member
Oct 23, 2015 - 6:42 PM

We will be in Wengen from 12/19 - 12/26. We are a family of 6 with 2 boys(16 & 10) and girls(14 & 8). Needing recommendations on a couple of things.

  • We are arriving in Zurich on 12/18 and staying the night there then taking the train to Wengen on the 19th. We will then take the train on 12/26 to Basel where I have already purchased tickets to Paris on the TGV($476 for all 6 of us, good price?). I have been looking at options for Half price cards with the Family card for our train travels but not sure what the best option would be. I don't think the Transfer option works since we start in Zurich and leave Basel. Let me know what you think would work best. We do want to go up to the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch and maybe a day trip over to Grindewald in between a couple days of skiing.
  • Are there any good discounts for ski passes and rentals that we can take advantage of? we will probably do two days back to back. Should we include the trip to the Schilthorn with a day of skiing ?
  • Also any restaurants that are not to be missed or recommended.
  • Other sites to not miss or things that will be going on that week of Christmas.
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 24, 2015 - 12:41 PM

Hi nisckia, welcome to MySwissAlps.

Great that you get to spend Christmas in Wengen! I'm sure you'll love it. Let's look into some details. First of all, I think a Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi would be a good option for your travel party. Arrival and departure city don't have to be the same (please see myswissalps.com/swisst ransferticket/howtouse), so you can get free trips from Zurich to Wengen and from Wengen to Basel plus a 50% discount on your other trips. This includes the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, other viewing points like Männlichen and First and boats and regular trains. Not all (minor) ski lifts are included. If you expect to intensively use ski lifts, a local pass ski pass (www.jungfrau.ch) combined with a regular Swiss Transfer Ticket may be better.

You've already mentioned a couple of highlights for your stay. Some additions: I suggest you travel via Lucerne and Meiringen (using the Golden Pass route) on your way from Zurich to Wengen. If weather is bad, you may enjoy a city trip (including a Christmas market if you want) in Lucerne, Thun or Bern. There's also a Christmas market in nearby Interlaken. A boat trip over Lake Thun is another option, maybe combined with a visit to the Niederhorn.

nisckia
nisckia
4 posts
new member
Oct 24, 2015 - 2:26 PM in reply to Annika

Great! Thanks for the info on the Transfer Combi. I think that will work best since it doesn't have to be from the same city. I am looking at the passes on Rail Europe and it is not asking me to request the Family Card. I think I read that I can pick that up at any ticket office once we get to Switzerland. Correct?

With the Transfer pass can we do the Golden pass route(Zurich-Lucern-Interlaken) or the Basel route(Zurich-Basel-Interlaken)? It seemed to indicate we had to use the most direct inexpensive route which is the Basel route according to sbb.ch default. Let me know.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 24, 2015 - 2:48 PM

Hi nisckia,

I assume you're referring to www.raileurope-world.com? Indeed it's not possible to order along a Swiss Family Card there yet, but you can pick it up for free at an SBB counter (at the airport) once you arrive in Zurich, and you can have your Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi validated simultaneously.

The Swiss Transfer Ticket (Combi) requires you to make your inbound/outbound trips using either the quickest route (indicated in the timetable by default) or the cheapest one. The Golden Pass alternative Zurich-Lucerne-Meiringen-Interlaken is cheaper than the quicker alternative via Bern-Thun-Spiez, so it is allowed.

nisckia
nisckia
4 posts
new member
Oct 24, 2015 - 3:02 PM in reply to Annika

Can I use the raileurope-world website from the US or do I have to use the US site. Prices are better on the world site.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 24, 2015 - 3:40 PM

Hi nisckia,

It's no problem to use www.raileurope-world.com from the US. At our price pages, we only list resellers that actually sell to the country you've filled out at the right (in most cases it's already automatically set to your country of residence).

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Oct 24, 2015 - 5:33 PM

Christmas in Wengen, lucky you!

Re: the travel passes, Annika is for sure the expert. But I think the Family Card works only for your children that are under the age of 16. If that is accurate your 16 year old son will need his own discount card as he counts as an adult. Annika, please correct if this is wrong.

Re: restaurants not to miss, my favorites (19 trips there in 20 years) are Eiger Restaurant (REALLY superb, they have recently changed their approach to what we in the US call farm to table), Bären restaurant (at hotel of same name), and the restaurant at Hotel Schönegg.

There are a series of PDFs you may find interesting at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim. Taken together they comprise a 50+ page document on the area. It is written for summer travelers but some of this may be helpful to winter travelers.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Oct 24, 2015 - 6:28 PM in reply to nisckia

Hi Nisckia -

Nice to see that you have done your homework on travel options. And, as Kim says, "lucky you."

Annika mentioned Christmas markets. I have not been to all of them, but I believe that the largest in Switzerland is in Basel. I do know that the market in the Hauptbahnhof at Zürich is considerably larger than the one in Luzern. Since I frequenly stay in Zürich or near Luzern, that is the one that I know best.

I have often found the handicrafts at Christmas markets to be particularly nice at the markets in the villages, such as in the Emmental. As far as I know, you won't be there, but if you are, keep your eyes open. You get more local artisans.

I was glad to see Kim jump in. It saves me the effort of referring to her wonderful magnum opus.

I used it, plus recommendations from Swiss friends to stay at the Schönegg in June. It is a terrific hotel, meeting high Swiss standards, with reasonable prices at the time I was there in June. I and my grandson ate there one night, and right around the corner at da Sina one night. The Schönegg has a very skilled and creative chef. He prepares extraordinary and unique food. I found it a slight bit on the expensive side for Switzerland, but quite consistent with the quality and creativity.

da Sina is a quite good Italian restaurant with excellent service, and we found the food to be much better than at the many good quality Italian restaurants that we know. It is less expensive than the Schönegg. We did not have time to try Kim's other recommendations.

The entire area around the Jungfrau is one large ski slope, with many lifts and slopes, as you probably know. A "day trip to Grindelwald" might simply be one destination from a ski run down from Kleine Scheidegg or Männlichen, or a short train ride on the cog-rail, followed by a lift or train up to a ski run that takes you back to Wengen.

You might find this map to be useful. It offers tremendous detail.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers_timestamp =18651231&X=162880.00& Y=637480.00&zoom=6&lay ers=ch.swisstopo.zeitr eihen&layers_visibilit y=false

Slowpoke

Last modified on Oct 25, 2015 - 2:52 PM by Slowpoke
nisckia
nisckia
4 posts
new member
Oct 24, 2015 - 10:14 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for all the good info! I went ahead and bought the Swiss Transfer Combi with the Half fare card for three of us. We will just buy point to points based on what we want to do each day from Wengen. We should be all set there.

Looks like there are some good food options. Hopefully the kids can find things to eat. They are use to traveling and trying new/different things. Looks like most of the fare will be somewhat familiar so should be fine.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 25, 2015 - 1:56 PM in reply to kim11

Hi Kim,

That's correct, the Swiss Family Card is available for children up to and including 15 years old. It's mentioned at our price pages (like myswissalps.com/swisst ransferticket/price) and at myswissalps.com/swissf amilycard.

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Oct 25, 2015 - 5:01 PM

Yes, the food in the region is very "kid friendly". I highly recommend trying the rösti up at the Kleine Scheidegg Bahnhof Restaurant. It is a classic Swiss dish and they do it better there than anywhere. It's very much like the best hash brown potatoes you've ever eaten. And the Wurst (sausages) are outstanding, very mild and yummy. I'm not a sausage fan but love these.

As Slowpoke mentioned, the pizza at Da Sina is fabulous, best in the world in my opinion. I can't believe I neglected to mention this as a great restaurant. And pretty much every restaurant serves spaghetti with red sauce.

The only thing to be aware of is that hamburgers in Switzerland come without a bun -- unless the menu specifically states it comes with a bun or you are at a McDonalds or equivalent.

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 26, 2015 - 3:06 PM

For everyone else reading this: as of today, the Swiss Family Card is available for the Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi when buying online through www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-transfer-ticket-half-fare.

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