How to make the best of Swiss during winter?

How to make the best of Swiss during winter?

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fenn1902
fenn1902
2 posts
new member
Sep 24, 2015 - 3:12 PM

Hello!

We are group of 3 females. We will be in Bern for 2 full days then move to Interlaken for 1.5 days (because of the transfer from Bern) We will be there from 7-12 Nov.

This is the first time we will be in Swiss. We are so excited! ;) We need your help greatly because we have questions regarding the places. Our main focus is the alps/mountains/valley kind of sightseeing and not city sightseeing

So, Day1 in Bern, we plan to visit Clock Tower ,Confiserie Tschirren Chocolate Shop, Bärenpark (Bear Park) and Rose Garden (Rosengarten). Do you have any suggestion for places to visit on day1?

Day2, we plan to go up to Mt Rigi via Lucerne. So we will stop in Lucerne for 2-3hours on the way back to in the evening.Then, we will move to Interlaken.

So, Day3, we will be in Interlaken at noon. What can we do for half a day? I heard the day gets dark earlier (what time?). So, which place is best to visit?

On Day4, we will go up to Jungfrouch. Other places we plan to visit are: Thun Lake, Harder Kulm, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and not limited to other places if you would suggest ;) Which route should we take in order to see these places? Are these places are best to visit during Winter?

Thank you so much for your help.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Sep 25, 2015 - 6:25 AM in reply to fenn1902

Hi Fenn1902 -

Welcome to the forum.

You wrote:

<<"This is the first time we will be in Swiss. We are so excited! ;) We need your help greatly because we have questions regarding the places. Our main focus is the alps/mountains/valley kind of sightseeing and not city sightseeing">>

I do not have any specific comments for you at this time. I do have one general one. It seems to me that you have included a fair amount of "city" in your itinerary. Bern is a really nice town, and I love to visit it. I go up to the Rose Garden almost every time I am in Switzerland if I am staying within easy travel distance of Bern. In early November, there will be some flowers still blooming, but nothing like there are in the warmer months. You will not be going for the flowers. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the view of the city from up there is worth the time, even later in the year in mid-Winter. But Bern does not really showcase mountains and valleys. Yet, you have a large fraction of your time there, and some in Luzern city.

www.myswissalps.com/be rn

Your time in Luzern and nearby could be longer, to appreciate the mountains, although you can certainly see them in the distance and closer by ( Bürgenstock, the Rigi, Pilatus). A walk along the waterfront to the Transport Museum gives you some views of them from various angles. Your plan to go up on the Rigi is a good match to your goals. For scenery, take the slower routes via Vitznau or possibly Weggis (connection from public transport requires a bit of an uphill walk to the lift station, but the ride up in the lift is really nice). I think the less scenic route from Luzern via Arth Goldau is faster, but I'd have to check the time table from Luzern to Rigi Kulm by all routes.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

A map may be helpful:

map.search.ch/

However, if you were able to spend more time in Luzern, you might find time to visit Pilatus briefly ( don't need much time at the top unless you eat up there) as well as going up on the Rigi. That would give you a variety of views of mountains and valleys and a beautiful lake. Also, a lake boat ride, particularly at the southern end of the lake, would achieve your goals. You could include some of the northern part of the lake on a boat to Vitznau, for example, if you have enough time.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

Bern is reasonably close to Interlaken and Luzern by train. It is easy to reach it from those cities.

Interlaken is a good base for the Lauterbrunnen valley and the other places you have listed. You would get a better feeling of the Alps if you were to stay further into the valley, at places such as Wengen, Grindelwald, Mürren and even Lauterbrunnen, but you are a half an hour or more from the "base" at Interlaken.

My feeling is that you would find it easier to meet your stated goals by staying in Luzern and Interlaken, and then visit Bern as a day trip.

Or, to meet your goals, you might wish to expand your time in Interlaken, spending more time visiting the mountains and valleys nearby. And, you might visit Bern from Interlaken or Luzern, since it is about one hour away by train from each one. Or, even skip it.

Your proposed itiinerary is quite nice, but is might not be the best possible match to your stated goals.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Sep 28, 2015 - 4:44 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Sep 28, 2015 - 4:54 PM in reply to fenn1902

One more comment.

Snow comes early to the high mountains.

There has already been snow in Zermatt.

And, a check for November 10 shows that the Wengen to Männlichen cable car in the Jungfrau region is not running. It is a very nice scenic ride to a spectacular destination for alpine views. It is shut down for maintenance.

<<"On Day4, we will go up to Jungfrouch. Other places we plan to visit are:Thun Lake, Harder Kulm, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and not limited to other places if you would suggest ;) Which route should we take in orderto see these places? Are these places are best to visit during Winter?">>

The cog rail trains are running all year round. They connect Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald and Interlaken.

The time table -

linked in an earlier post can help you find out about Harder Kulm and Lake Thun.

www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakethun

This thread may be useful-

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/harder-kulm-or-schynige-platte

Harder Kulm access may be closed for those dates. Same for Schynige Platte.

Slowpoke

Your days in Switzerland (not "Swiss") are in the middle or beginning of the slow "between seasons" time. A lot of equipment is shut down for maintenance to get ready for the ski season in the high alps and alpine resort areas.

The Rigi should be good.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Sep 28, 2015 - 5:04 PM by Slowpoke
fenn1902
fenn1902
2 posts
new member
Sep 29, 2015 - 2:46 AM

Thank you so much, Slowspoke.

I'm still arranging my itinerary ;) thank you for the advice given.

You said "a check for November 10 shows that the Wengen to Männlichen cable car in the Jungfrau region is not running."

Is the shutdown only on the 10th? If yes, maybe I will switch some of the dates for visiting those area.

Thank you!

- Fenn -

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Sep 29, 2015 - 8:34 AM in reply to fenn1902

<<"Is the shutdown only on the 10th? If yes, maybe I will switch some of the dates for visiting those area.">>

No - it is for several weeks. I have looked at the time table book (the "Kursbuch"). There may be some kind of limited service on weekends

It is open from Dec 14th onward to Apr 6. Ski season.

It may be open for some kind of limited service on 14/15 November, 21-22 November, 28/29 Novemebr, 5/6 December, and 12 December.

However, i do not completely understand those entries in the "Kursbuch" and they would require further checking.

[Ooops - added in edit. After further checking I see that service on those dates is provided only if there are favorable snow conditions. ;-( ]

Also, it would be wise to check at lift stations or on the signs near the train stations or at train station counters about whether the trail is open.

Perhaps Arno has more detailed knowledge....that is what I can find.

You can check the timetable for specific dates.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Slowpoke.

Last modified on Sep 29, 2015 - 3:13 PM by Slowpoke

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