From Geneva to Bern with excursions from Bern

From Geneva to Bern with excursions from Bern

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bobho
bobho
2 posts
new member
Jul 12, 2016 - 5:31 AM

I am flying into Geneva early on the morning of Sunday July 17. While in France I was thinking of travelling from the airport to Annecy and then back to Lake Geneva for a boat trip to Lausanne where I am staying the night before heading to Bern the next morning. I need to be in Bern by midday on Monday.

*I would appreciate your thoughts on the best way of accomplishing/enjoying the above (or alternatives) - including the most scenic of the routes, luggage storage prior to boat trip and whether it is worthwhile taking the longer train route from Lausanne via Visp to Bern.

During my week in Bern (besides exploring the city) I am hoping to have at least two half days available to venture further afield - maybe from 4-6 hours duration. I have some thoughts but would love your suggestions.

Finally I will leave Bern early on the Sunday morning to arrive for a flight out of Zurich at 1pm on the following day.

With due regard to your suggested half day excursions (trying to avoid overlap) how can I make the best use of this time to capture further memories? Given that the last time I was in Switzerland was 50 years ago all recommendations are welcome! I am fit and solo.

I am guessing that a Half Fare travel pass would be worthwhile?

Thank you for this wonderful website and your greatly appreciated contributions.

Bob

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 12, 2016 - 10:30 AM

Hi Bob, thanks for joining MySwissAlps!

Great that you get to visit Switzerland again after such a long time. I hope you'll enjoy it. As for your first stop in Lausanne: you can store your luggage at the railway station before heading for the boat dock. Alternatively, you can choose to have suitcases you don't need for your one night in Lausanne shipped ahead using the SBB's luggage service. Use Metro 2 to get from the railway station, which is higher up the slopes, down to the boat dock called Lausanne-Ouchy. Further information on boat rides over Lake Geneva can be found here. I'm not sure if you'be booked hotels yet. If not, please find recommended hotels for Lausanne here.

If you like scenic train rides and don't mind spending some extra time on your transfer Lausanne-Bern, here are two alternatives:

  • the very scenic Golden Pass route via Montreux-Gstaad-Zweisimmen-Interlaken-Bern;
  • the Lötschberg route via Brig-Goppenstein-Kandersteg-Spiez-Bern.

The timetable allows you to add via-stations to get information about these routes. If you don't, it will display the default quicker route via Fribourg only.

There are lots of options for day trips from Bern and it all depends on what you're interested in. I'd certainly consider a visit to the stunning Jungfrau region if I were you. The page I linked to shows quite some activities you may like, including scenic train rides, cable cars and boat rides. If you like pretty towns, a visit to Lucerne is worth considering too.

A Swiss Half Fare Card seems to make sense for your plans indeed. I'd recommend getting online print at home passes in advance. Retailers are listed here. Note that you'd best order within the next few days, since you'll be leaving next Sunday and even orders for print at home passes may take a few days to process.

bobho
bobho
2 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2016 - 2:46 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you Annika

I actually was intending to travel from Geneva airport to Annecy in the morning and then the boat trip to Lausanne later in the afternoon.

Does my Half Fare Card cover this and while travelling to Annecy should I leave luggage at Geneva Bus Station or Train Station given that on my return I have to go to the docks for my boat trip to Lausanne? (I can't find confirmation of luggage lockers at Annecy.)

Regarding Lausanne to Bern: Your first suggestion of the Golden Pass route is attractive but do I need to go through Interlaken? After Zweisimmen could I not just go through Spiez to Bern?

Also can I purchase train tickets at a station for the following day?

Thanks for your help.

Bob

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2016 - 12:13 PM

Hi Bob!

Right, I now understand your plans for your first travel day in Switzerland. Mind that they're quite challenging: a single trip to Annecy easily takes 2 hours, so unless you're able to leave Geneva Airport very early, a return trip Geneva-Annecy will last longer than just the morning. Adding a boat trip from Lausanne the same afternoon might be a bit too much. The Swiss Half Fare Card validity can be checked using the downloadable map at www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard/validi ty. As you'll see, the trip to Annecy won't be covered. As for luggage: if you'd like to stick to this plan, you could first store it at the Geneva railway station, then at Lausanne. Shipping some luggage ahead as explained above might be easier.

If you'd like to use the Golden Pass line, then no, you don't have to travel via Interlaken. It might be worth a stop if you don't plan to visit this area while in Bern. If you do plan to visit the Jungfrau region anyway, it's indeed easier to follow the Spiez-Bern route.

Yes, tickets can be bought for a couple of days (even weeks) ahead.

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