Help in planning Swiss tour

Help in planning Swiss tour

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Sumit
Sumit
4 posts
new member
Jul 24, 2012 - 11:04 PM
Hi,

I will be in Swiss from 1st Aug to 20th Aug...I need help in planning my Swiss trip...I will be staying in a service apartment near Luzerne ...I am there on work..However I will get 3 weekends in which I want to explore Switzerland ( and perhaps Austria as well )...My specific questions are as follows :

1. I will be free from work everyday around 6 pm . Is it possible to explore some areas around Luzerne in weekdays after 6pm. If yes, can you please suggest some such places. I have 15 weekdays with me.

2. I will get the following 3 weekends to travel around Switzerland (4-5 Aug , 11-12 Aug, 18-20th Aug). My return flight is on 20th Aug evening from Zurich. How should I plan out for these 3 weekends. The options I am currently thinking are :
(i) 2 weekend in Swiss , 1 in Austria (ii) 1 weekend in Swiss, 1 in Austria , 1 in Venice/France/Germany.

Please suggest out of the two options above which would be better. How many days does it take to cover the best scenic places in Switzerland.

3. Also in light of above can you suggest what passes or discount card should I take. I was planning to buy a half fare card ( as it also gives me 25% discount on train travel to Austria). However if there are any other better options please suggest.

Thanks a lot for your help.

--Sumit
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 27, 2012 - 7:43 AM
Hi Sumit, and welcome to the forum. First of all, Switzerland has so much to offer that you can easily spend all your weekends there. That would add up to six day trips in Switzerland, and that's not enough to cover all there is to see. You can browse this forum and the day trip sections at this website find out about the highlights. So just staying in Switzerland would be my choice, but I'm very biased of course :-). If you're curious of traveling times, just use the Swiss timetable and enter some trips to Austria, France, Germany etc. That will give you an idea of what's doable in one day or weekend.

As for a rail pass: that really depends on your ultimate travel plans. If you plan intensive traveling in neighbouring countries, take a look at the Eurail Passes. If you spend most of your time in Switzerland, pick Swiss rail pass instead. The Swiss Half Fare Card is an option indeed (do note that the discounts for traveling into Austria don't go for the regular 1 month variant, which is the pass you should use). If you plan to make some long and expensive day trips in your weekends, you can also consider a Swiss Flexi Pass. This allows free traveling on some days, to be used for those day trips, and discounted traveling on remaining days, with a maximum validity of 1 month. These discounted days may come in handy if you need public transportation in or near Lucerne on workdays.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
Sumit
Sumit
4 posts
new member
Jul 27, 2012 - 10:57 AM
Thanks so much for your reply Annika.

It helped me a lot in planning my trip...Now I have zeroed my trip to the following :

Aug 4th and 5th - Tour Interlaken. I will travel to Interlaken from Luzerne in morning of 4th Aug. i want to spend 2 days in interlaken itelf. please suggest me what activities can I do there. I definitely want to go to Top of Europe to Jungfrau. I would also love travelling to different scenic places in this area. Please suggest which places would be good to go. Also if I am travelling extensively is Swiss Flexi Pass more advisable to take than Swiss half fare card ? How much does boat cruise cost in this region ?

Aug 11th and 12th- Visit Mt Titlis and Mt Pilatus

Aug 18, 19 and 20th -- please help me in planning for these 3 days . Do note my return flight is on 20th night. Which all places can I visit in Swiss in these 3 days.

Thanks a lot again for your help
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 29, 2012 - 1:52 AM
Hello Sumit. Yes, if you'll be making long day trips, a Swiss Flexi Pass is better than a Swiss Half Fare Card. Boat trip costs on lake Thun and lake Brienz are mentioned at the BLS website, but these tours will be for free on free travel days on your Swiss Flexi Pass too.

As for your itinerary: further day trips in the Bernese Oberland are listed here. They're all beautiful; just scroll the list and see what appeals to you. A boat trip is can be recommended indeed, so I'd make one if I were you. If you want to focus on the mountain regions during your trips, you could head for Zermatt in your last weekend. Zermatt too is surrounded by high mountains and stunning viewing points. Day trip tips are mentioned here.

In case you're still looking for hotels, the hotel overviews of Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt and other towns may be helpful.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno
Sumit
Sumit
4 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2012 - 6:23 AM
Thanks again Annika for your detailed reply. I am in Switzerland now and have purchased a Half fare card. I was also planning to purchase a Swiss-Austria 4 day pass. However at Zurich Airport station I was told the same cannot be purchased in Switzerland because the minimum they sell is 5 day pass from Eurail. Is this true ? If its possible to purchase a 4 day Swiss-Austria Pass, can you please let me know from where I can purchase the same. ( i am staying in a service apartment near Luzerne).

Also I was planning to travel to Jungfraugh this weekend. however the feather forecasts suggests it may be partly cloudly along with snowfall. Is it still advisable to make this trip . Normally if it rains does it also means the visibility gets drastically reduced ?

Thanks again so much for your help.

--Sumit
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2012 - 7:41 AM
Hi Sumit,

I'm not sure why you need two passes. You only pay half the fare because of the Swiss Half Fare Card, so you would really have to travel a lot to make it economical to purchase an additional pass including free travel days. The combination of free travel days for long trips and discounts for short trips is what the Swiss Flexi Pass is for, as Annika suggested. Anyway, the Eurail Austria-Switzerland Pass is indeed not for sale in Switzerland, as listed on the page you linked to. I think there are a few Eurail Aid Offices in Switzerland (I'm not sure where exactly) that sell them, but at considerably higher prices than online.

The next few days indeed don't look very promising for visiting the Jungfrau. It depends on how it turns out on the day itself. If there's a mix of sun and higher clouds, like this afternoon (webcams are here), it can turn out to be beautiful. But if it's only lower clouds or rain, you won't see anything up there. Just keep a close look at the weather forecasts and webcams.

Have a good weekend!
Sumit
Sumit
4 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2012 - 8:02 AM
Hi Arno,

Thanks for your reply.

I am planning to take Eurail Swiss-Austria pass as I was planning to travel to Zermatt, Lugano, Vienna and Salzburg on 4 different days along with my wife. So it worked out that if I take a Eurail Swiss-Austria saver pass ( when 2 people always travel together ), it would turn out cheaper to me by using 4 free travel days than taking point to point tickets. Annika had informed me that 1 month Half fare card will not be valid for any trip to Austria.

Also is Swiss-Flexi pass not sold in Switzerland ? The reason is the same weblink when I checked for Swiss Flexi pass it said it is not for sale in switzerland. This will be quite surprising for me if it is indeed the case.

Thanks again for your help.

--Sumit
Arno
Arno
7311 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2012 - 8:35 AM
Hi Sumit,

Well, you just need to do the math to see what's economical, but a one country pass (Eurail Austria Pass) makes more sense to me in this case.

Sure you can purchase a Swiss Flexi Pass in Switzerland. You probably didn't pick the right pass type on our Swiss Flexi Pass page. If you want to see the purchase options for your exact situation, you really need to fill out exactly what you want: your country of residence, pass type, travelers and preferred currency.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:34 PM by Arno

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