Itinerary advice for 5 days in Central Switzerland

Itinerary advice for 5 days in Central Switzerland

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atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 10:48 AM

Hi,

I will be traveling from Paris via morning flight(yet to be booked) to Zurich. I have the following itinerary in mind. Please suggest alternatives or modifications to help me get the best out of the time available to us. We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids - 12 yrs and 15 yrs).

Day 1 - Arrive at Zurich

Do some sightseeing and move base to Lucerne. Take the train. Probably buy a Swiss Travel Pass - should be get this online?

Q1: Should we buy the Travel Pass for the two adults ? Assuming the kids travel free. Also should we buy this at all.. meaning will we benefit given our itinerary below.

Day 2- Sightseeing at Lucerne

Lake Lucerne cruise, Explore and familiarize with the city.

Q2: Any suggested must visit places?

Day 3- Travel to Mt Titlis - Day Tour

Q3: Any suggested tour operator for optimized price - performance - quality of tour? Will the tour cost be discounted due to the use of Swiss Travel Pass?

Day 4- We need ideas on what we could do on this day??

Day 5- Travel to Zurich

Spend the day exploring the city, take the lake cruise if possible and then take a late evening flight back to Paris.

Looking forward to your advice and suggestions. Appreciate your time and help.

Rgds

Atanu

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2016 - 11:58 AM

Hi Atanu, welcome to MySwissAlps!

Q1: you'd best decide whether or not to get a Swiss Travel Pass once your itinerary is final. You can buy the pass online and print it at home to save time. Please see here for details:

Q2: Please see myswissalps.com/ lucerne/activities.

Q3: You can do this on your own using a rail pass, or book a tour. All details can be found on myswissalps.com/ titlis.

I would change the incoming and outgoing trip a bit. Paris to Switzerland is not that far and can easily be done by train. It's more convenient, cheap (if you book well in advance), probably quicker and eco-friendly. Please find details here. That way you only need to touch Zurich once. For example: take a train from Paris to Zurich, explore the city and proceed to Lucerne. On your way back, go straight from Lucerne to Basel and change for Paris there. No need to go through Zurich again.

I hope this helps!

Last modified on May 12, 2016 - 12:00 PM by Arno
atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 12:43 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks a lot, Arno. The pointers will be useful. I will read through and come back with questions, if any.

My challenge with your suggestion to use rail transport is that I am yet to get my VISA, hence cannot close of any booking. My travel dates to Switzerland are 30th May to 3rd June 2016, hence not left with much room for advance planning. How would rail travel compare cost-wise with air travel - for the Paris to Zurich leg?

The biggest gain, which I really like is not repeating Zurich on my routing and may be cover more regions.

Would you suggest any thing enroute to Basel which I could do on Day 4? It is still open.

Regards

Atanu

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2016 - 1:49 PM

You're welcome Atanu. Prices of plane and train tickets (at least these ones) change by the day and occupancy, so the only way to compare is check prices once you are ready to book. The trains can be as cheap as € 25 if booked well in advance, but since your travel date is approaching prices are already up. I still found tickets for € 71 though. Unless the price difference is really big I'd recommend the trains. They take you right to the city center. Much more to see while traveling too.

You could visit Basel for a few hours en route. It has a nice old town center. Or simply spend more time in and around Lucerne. There is a lot to see there. Enough for weeks actually.

Last modified on May 12, 2016 - 1:49 PM by Arno
applecroft
applecroft
13 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 5:32 PM

I strongly recommend the train option over air as well. These days, there's not only the time required to get to the airport but then all the time involved with various processing and security measures there. In the time it will take you just to get off the ground by air, you would have gone 3/4 of the way on the train and with a lot pleasanter an experience, too. The Zurich railroad station is located in the very heart of the city. It is a compact station, too. If you elect to do the train thing, you might want to consider going to Luzern by way of Bern (it's on the way) and then on your return taking the suggestion to spend time in Basel. Zurich is a fine city, but with the ages of your group, you will find that you might want to spend the time you've 'budgeted' for Zurich is better spent in Lauterbrunnen where there are, even so early in the season, many options of interesting things to do in the mountains. This blog has lots of links with photographs from Slowpoke that will give you a feel for the place.

atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 6:13 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno.. I will look for good train deals.

Thanks for your perspective Applecroft. I am new to this forum, hence will take time to read through the blog posts.

In case anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be more than happy to consider.

RgdsAtanu

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 11:38 PM in reply to atanum

Hi Atanu -

Applecroft and Arno are right on.

Slowpoke

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
May 15, 2016 - 6:36 AM

Hello All,

Apologies for starting a new thread as a part of this, but I am unable to start a new thread for some reason (been trying since long).

As a part of my 7 day trip to Switzerland in the last week of June this year, I intend on visiting Mt. Rigi and Mt. Titlis (from Lucerne) and Rhine Falls (from either Lucerne or Zurich). I need some practical advice on how much time do I need to factor in for these 3 trips (individually). Can I start my Mt. Rigi trip in the afternoon, say leave Lucerne around 1-2pm. What is the entire duration of this trip (approx.)? Same questions for Mt. Titlis. As regards, Rhine Falls, is it advisable to undertake this from Zurich or Lucerne? Again can I leave for Rhine Falls trip at 1-2pm from Zurich/ Lucerne? What is the approx. duration of this trip?

Thank you so much.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 6:48 AM in reply to meghaswiss

Hi MeghaSwiss-

don't understand why you cannot start a new thread, but you can indeed start those trips in early afternoon. Last trains down from the top of the Rigi do not run really late, so check that out in the timetable. Also, I'm not familar with the schedules for Engelberg ( Mt. titlis) so the timetable will help. You'll find answers to all your travel time questions there:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

For which stations to use and which routes to take,

see:

www.myswissalps.com/rh inefalls

www.myswissalps.com/ri gi

www.myswissalps.com/ti tlis

maybe Arno or Annika can help you start a new thread. It would bea good idea.

Slowpoke

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
May 15, 2016 - 6:53 AM

Thanks Slowpoke. I have no clue about why I cannot start a new thread. I will wait for Arno/ Annika to help me resolve the problem. Also, maybe they will be able to give a go ahead on starting the 3 trips at about 1-2pm and being in time to take the last train out. I do not intend to spend more than 2 hours at each of those places (as long as 2 hours are reasonably adequate). Thanks again, have a good Sunday!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 7:27 AM in reply to meghaswiss

Please look in the timetable after checking those links.

You will not have to wait for an answer.

Since there are several routes to and from the Rigi, it is simpler for you to check those out than to have someone explain them. Enter the intermediate stop in the "via" box to force a routing, as I did for Vitznau, otherwise, you get the fastest route

However, with your plans, you can definitely do the Rhine Falls and the Rigi, and there should be no problem with Titlis.

Slowpoke

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Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 15, 2016 - 11:06 AM in reply to meghaswiss

Hi Meghaswiss,

You can start a new thread by picking the appropriate forum here, then click the blue button "Post a new thread". Please post further questions there. Thanks!

meghaswiss
meghaswiss
37 posts
active member
May 15, 2016 - 6:13 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

I tried that several times. However, when I click on 'post', nothing happens. this is strange since I have successfully posted new threads in the past.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 6:24 PM in reply to meghaswiss

I just tried it and it works for me. Weird.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 15, 2016 - 7:39 PM in reply to meghaswiss

Can you try in a different browser? Or on a different device (PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone)?

Last modified on May 15, 2016 - 7:43 PM by Arno
atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 16, 2016 - 8:02 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Applecroft, Slowpoke, Arno and Annika for your suggestions. They helped me make my basic itinerary.

I have another additional question. I have bought the Swiss Travel Pass Family Card. Now when I try to "reserve" my seats on the Golden Pass Line should I reserve seats for the four of us (including the kids) - or is there some other way to reserve seats for the kids?

Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Rgds

-Atanu

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 16, 2016 - 12:32 PM in reply to atanum

Hi Atanu,

I'm glad all of this is useful for you! If you want to reserve seats (not obligatory, see here) you must do so for all travelers including kids.

atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 16, 2016 - 1:08 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno!

I went to the link you provided and tried to reserve seats for the Global Pass Line but I do not get the option to select Pass Holder fares by selecting by existing Swiss Travel Pass with Family Card. This card name itself is not appearing in the drop down!

Any ideas on what could be wrong?

Rgds

-Atanu

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
May 16, 2016 - 1:32 PM in reply to atanum

Hi Atanu,

I guess you tried www.raileurope.co.in#t ab3, right? They had that issue last week as well, then they fixed it, but apparently it's back again. I think they will solve it quickly, so you can try again later, but you can also try the site under "More on other websites" on the same page I mentioned in my previous post.

Which leg are you traveling? Montreux to Zweisimmen is quite popular on some dates and times, so even though you don't need a reservation, you can buy one if you want. For the other legs it's really not necessary.

Last modified on May 16, 2016 - 1:33 PM by Arno
atanum
atanum
6 posts
new member
May 16, 2016 - 1:34 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno! Maybe I should save some money and skip the reservation..:-)

Rgds

-Atanu

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