Itinerary advise - 8 days staying at Lucerne

Itinerary advise - 8 days staying at Lucerne

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tulipsxv
tulipsxv
4 posts
new member
Aug 7, 2015 - 1:10 AM

Hello all experts,I would like to get your advise which would be the best/ feasible pass for me for my itinerary below. And if my itinerary doable? Any other recommendations are most welcome J. I will be arriving Zurich on Friday, and departing Zurich on following Friday too.So i have total 8 days (including arrival + departure days).

From Sat - Thurs : I have 6 full days. Can you please advise if my itinerary seems ok? May play around with the intended days, but just want to get my itinerary right for now and will mix & match with the weather :)

Fri: Arrival day, take train from Zurich airport to Lucerne and explore old town of Lucerne. Zurich Airport to Lucerne - CHF 29

Sat: (Mt Titlis) Lucerne-Engelberg - Mt Titlis

Sun: (For Mt Rigi) 'Majestic Round Trip' Take the boat from Lucerne to Vitznau. Change to the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm and enjoy the view. Then take the cogwheel train down to Arth-Goldau and change to the regular train to Lucerne.

Mon: (Mt Pilatus) Boat to Alpnachstad, then cogwheel train to the top. or Train to Alpnachstad, then cogwheel train to the top.

Tue: rountrip over Brienzer Rothorn (how do i go about this route) can Tell Pass cover this too?

Wed:. Lion Monument/churches of Lucerne Glass Blowing Museum @CHF 12 Transport Museum @ CHF30

Thurs: Lucerne to Bern(1 hour), or Rhine Falls (2 Hours) which is better? Will I be able to coverBern & Basel in a single day? What would be the cost like?

Fri: Depart Lucerneand tour around Zurich

For the above, do you reckon I can get going with 5-days Tell Pass? As I understand that Tell-Pass does not cover for train from Zurich - Lucerne?

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 7, 2015 - 9:48 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, tulipsxv!

A 5 day Tell Pass (http://www.myswissalps .com/tellpass) certainly makes sense. But if you use it for Saturday-Wednesday, you will have to add regular full fares for your other trips: Zurich-Lucerne, Lucerne-Zurich, urban transportation in Zurich and Lucerne-Bern and back (or Lucerne-Schloss Laufen am Rhein and back). Such costs can add up quickly (for example, a return trip Lucerne-Bern costs CHF 76 and a return trip Zurich-Lucern CHF 50). You can find regular fares with the aid of the timetable (http://www.myswissalps .com/timetable).

I think you can compare this option with two alternatives:

You can make calculations as explained at www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass to find out what suits your needs best. I hope this helps you choose!

As for your other questions: Bern (myswissalps.com/bern) and the Rhine Falls (www.myswissalps.com/rh inefalls) are very different experiences: a nice old city center versus massive waterfalls. In terms of traveling times, Bern is easier to reach from Lucerne than the Rhine Falls. But your own personal preferences are more important. You can best check the pages I linked to and decide what appeals to you. Personally, I wouldn't combine Bern and Basel in one day. It would be doable, but you'd be spending quite some time in the train and you'd have less time for actually exploring the cities.

The rest of your itinerary looks fine I think. It's a good combination of activities, inluding true highlights in the Lucerne area. Traveling times won't be too long, so in all I think this is a good schedule.

Last modified on Aug 7, 2015 - 9:49 AM by Annika
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 7, 2015 - 2:15 PM in reply to Annika

Annika and Tulips SXV -

Does the Brienzer Rothorn fit? I did not work the timetable, but it seems like a long trip from Luzern.....

Data help.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Just checked the timetable - 2 to 2 1/2 hours from Luzern by train or less than 2 hours by the back door - the train to Schüpfheim in the Emmental, then the bus to Sörenberg and the gondola car lift.

I'd take the train to Brienz at least one way, probably both ways, personally . The train up and down the face of the Brienzer Rothorn is a major highlight of the trip.

So- the route is Train - Luzern to Brienz. Walk 30 meters to the station of the Brienzer Rothorn. Take Brienzer Rothorn Bahn to the top.

The weather up there can change rapidly. Wear a windbreaker and carry something warm for layers. We went up on a sunny day once, plannin to hike to Schönbüel and then take lifts down to Lungern, walk 20 minutes uphill to the train station, take train back to Brienz (or Luzern). When we got up to the top, it was cloudy, windy and cold. Did not hike. Had a coffee instead. Got back down to the bottom eventually and it was sunny again.

Regarding Luzern, Bern and Basel -

The trains between those 3 cities are all one hour duration trips or less (for the fastest trains once per hour or even twice per hour)...well, one hour +1 minute Luzern to Basel....so that doing two cities instead of one adds one hour of train time. Many trains have restaurant cars. Or pick up a sandwich and eat on the train.

My own opinion is that Bern+Basel in one day is a bit much, but if I were forced to do that, I'd walk from Bern main station through the old town with the arcaded streets, fountains, and clock tower, cross the Nydegg Brücke (check to see if the Bear Pits have been re-opened after maintenance), walk up to the Rose Garden (food, too), look at the flowers, look out over the city, walk down again to the old trolley barn by the Nydegg Brücke (it is now a restaurant) for a beer and a sausage, and catch the tram back to the main station from in front of the Brasserie Bärengraben.

Elapsed time - 2 to 2-1/2 hours at a leisurely pace.

I'd miss a lot, but I'd have the feeling of the old town.

www.myswissalps.com/be rn

For Basel-

Its museums are a particular strength, so the following leaves time for a little bit of unspecified museum touring:

From the station walk down to the old city and town hall, past the #1 tourist attraction in Basel - the Tinguely water sculpture. Stop and stare. Continue to old town, walk back up to station after time in old town. (or, a tram back to the station.) Elapsed time - one to 1 1/2 hours.

Museums - Tough to fit in something from the wonderful museums. The Rietberg won't fit easily (unless you are quick with the trams or use a taxi), but the Rietberg is an unforgettable experience, no matter what they have installed for the current exhibit. It is almost out of town near the German border on the Klein Basel side of the river.

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Museum_Rietberg

Or, the Kunsthalle is close to the old town and station and on tram routes.

www.kunsthallebasel.ch /en/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Kunsthalle_Basel

In both cases, when you try to see both cities, a lot is being missed. Unless you are a museum goer, I'd tend more toward Bern than Basel. The old city and the setting on the Aare river have a lot more character and charm for my tastes. I find Basel to be much like any modern city. It does not have any special charm for me.

www.myswissalps.com/ba sel/activities

Last modified on Aug 9, 2015 - 11:57 AM by Slowpoke
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Aug 7, 2015 - 3:01 PM

The Brienzer Rothorn trip from Luzern is certainly feasible.

9.05 from Luzern - arrive Brienz at 10.33. Take 10.45 Brienzer Rothorn Bahn and arrive at top at 11.45. Ask for ticket to Soerenberg so you can return the other way. e,g, gondola at 15.30 arrive Soerenberg 15.40, bus at 15.45 to Schupfheim arrive 16.22 and take train to Luzern at 16.29 - arrive Luzern just after 17.00 (same hour later). You could do trip the other way round of course and go up by gondola from Soerenberg and down by Rothorn Bahn. 8.57 train from Luzern to Schupfheim, arrive 9.29, bus to Soerenberg 9.33 arrives 10.03. Gondola 10.30 (they may put in extra one before that if it is busy.) Ask for ticket to Brienz. 10 minutes to top. (same hour later) Rothorn Bahn to Brienz leaves at 28 minutes past the hour and takes an hour and 4 minutes. Only problem with doing it this way round is you have nearly an hour before train to Luzern at 25 minutes past the hour. Not a problem if you fancy spending some time in the village before returning to Luzern. We have done the trip both ways and I found I preferred the first alternative better as there weren't such throngs of people waiting to buy tickets at gondola station as there are in Brienz which can be a bit uncivilised on busy days! As we were returning to Thun (our base) the wait for train to Luzern didn't apply in our case.

Enjoy the trip.

Maggie

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 7, 2015 - 3:38 PM in reply to maggiehorswell

Maggie-

Thanks for adding the details.

The return via Sörenberg would usually be shorter than via Brienz. I like the ride on the face of the Brienzer rothorn, myself.

The only once per hour schedule for the train through the Brunig is certainly a nuisance if you just miss one.

As you note Brienz has some things to do to fill the time.

I like to walk up and down the main street and look at the wood carving stores. Last trip I stopped in Jobin, and my granddaughter ended up with another music box. ;-) Luckily, she collects them.

The terrace of the Weisses Kreuz - right at the BRB station - is a nice place to sit with a coffee and watch the lake and the trains.

Slowpoke

mistybabu
mistybabu
27 posts
active member
Aug 8, 2015 - 4:38 AM in reply to tulipsxv

Hi Tulipsxv!

You already have good advice from experts. I would like to add just a point. You could accommodate the museums and sightseeing in Luzern along with the mountain trips. For example if you start early, you could do titlis and glass factory on a single day as we did. Hergiswil is on return from Engelberg. It's open till 6pm in summer. Mt Rigi, I have heard is also a half day trip. Similarly you could combine Pilatus with sightseeing. Check the timings of the attractions you like to visit. I am sure you can save the Wednesday for another beautiful place in Switzerland!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 8, 2015 - 1:31 PM in reply to mistybabu

Misty -

Your comments are right on the mark. They show the benefits of staying in one area for a base if the area has a lot of attractions. You can pick and choose and be flexible at the last minute.

<<".... Check the timings of the attractions you like to visit. I am sure you can save the Wednesday for another beautiful place in Switzerland!">>

A good map helps. I like this one -

map.classic.search.ch/

Out of habit, I use the Classic version.

because it helps wit attractions and transport schedules, if you use the menus on the left. Click on trafffic and railway, for example, then zoom in on a station icon. Mouse over the symbol ( at the proper zoom) and you get a short schedule of trains buses,boats, etc.) to/from the point.

When I travel in a region like Luzern, I like to carry a paper map and mark it up with the useful information....like opening hours or "last train down."

<<"Mt Rigi, I have heard is also a half day trip. Similarly you could combine Pilatus with sightseeing. ....">>

Pilatus is close to Luzern and can be reached via train or boat to Alpnachstad. Or bus to Kriens and Luftseilbahn ( gondola car lift.)

www.myswissalps.com/pi latus/gettingthere.

There is not a lot to see or do up on Pilatus, but there are restaurants and great views. It is a good candidate to combine with something else, in particular, because it connects with the lke boats and trains at Alpnachstad.

The Rigi -

On the other hand, the Rigi is a lower, more "gentle" mountain. Inns and restaurants here and there. Rigi-Kaltbad is a small village wth stunning views, various accomodations, and restaurants. The hotel Bergsonne there is probably our #1 favorite in all of Switzerland. Great views, excellent kitchen (caution - "slow food.") Count on a leisurely meal. Incredible wine list..Rooms are not expensive, but you can choose to spend a lot at the dining table if you wish. The last rain down in the evening is not very late, so keep that in your mind if you want to stay there.

You can go up from Vitznau or from Arth-Goldau to the top (Rigi Kulm) on cograil trains. There are a few lifts. The most commonly used one is from Weggis up to Rigi Kaltbad - First Station at Rigi Kaltbad. (From there, walk 20 minutes to First ;-)

Arth-Goldau is is on the main north-south rail route for Switzerland with lots of service. Vitznau has bus leading to rail connections in either direction, and boat.

The German for the gondola car lift and some others with cabins is "die Luftseilbahn." Abbreviated LSB. Valley Station ( bottom station) is Talstation in German.

The connection at the bottom (Weggis LSB Talstation) is not good....fifteen minute downhill walk to the boat and bus down by the lake. It is really set up for people with cars. The parking lot is very large by the LSB station.. No cars allowed up top.

There are quite a few trails for nice walking on all sides of the Rigi. I'll mention the panoramic walk from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Kaltbad with great views over the lake to Luzern and the mountains and, the old railroad roadbed from Rigi Scheidegg to First and Rigi Staffel.

A few hours on the Rigi can be expanded to a full day or more if you want to do some hiking.

Last modified on Aug 8, 2015 - 2:44 PM by Slowpoke
tulipsxv
tulipsxv
4 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 4:03 AM

Thank you all for the cool advises!! Much muchhhh appreciated.

I think I would go for the Swiss Pass option as I have made rough calculations that Tell Pass vs Swiss Pass is going to be almost similar price, but with Tell Pass, in the event I cant go alps, I could quickly turn over and visit some old towns too!

Misty/ Slowspoke - thankfully for your suggestions, now I knw we could possibly combined museums/ sight seeing to each alps after we are back! In that case, yes, I could save a day fully for other places.

With Swiss Pass then, can someone advise what are the other cost involved based on my revised itinerary. I know Rigi is covered for Swiss Pass, woohoo~!

Fri:Arrival day, take train from Zurich airport to Lucerne and explore old town of Lucerne. Zurich Airport to Lucerne Sat:(Mt Titlis) Lucerne-Engelberg - Mt Titlis - Glass Blowing Museum Sorry I am a bit confused. From the website, it says Engelberg - Titlis @ chf 89, so swiss pass doesnt cover at all for this? Is there a website we could easily refer to what are Swiss Pass coverage?

Sun:(For Mt Rigi) 'Majestic Round Trip' Take the boat from Lucerne to Vitznau. Change to the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm and enjoy the view. Then take the cogwheel train down to Arth-Goldau and change to the regular train to Lucerne. Transport Museum Mon:(Mt Pilatus) Boat to Alpnachstad, then cogwheel train to the top. or Train to Alpnachstad, then cogwheel train to the top. I think additional cost under SP would be CHF 72Tue:rountrip over Brienzer Rothorn (dilemma, so is this really worth going? If Tell Pass covers, do I need to pay with Swiss Pass)Wed:.Rhine Falls, should I stop over in Zurich a bit? Since we are passing by? Just afraid last day may be too rush as our departure time from Zur @ 6pm. How about Interlaken too?? too many places to cover with too little time :(

Thurs: Possibly thinking Bern & Basel in a single day. We are not very much museum go-ers, we would visit, but in a rather faster pace :) Slowspoke suggested Bern then Basel ya? that's what likely we are going to follow the itinerary suggested :)

Fri:Depart Lucerne and tour around Zurich

Cheers!

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 10, 2015 - 9:19 AM

Hi tulipsxv!

The Swiss Travel Pass is a an excellent and convenient choice in your case. Please mind that the Swiss Pass is something different (see www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/swisspass). As for where the Swiss Travel Pass is valid: did you check the "Where it's valid section" at the Swiss Travel Pass page I linked to in my previous post? Here's the direct link to make sure: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity. You can download a detailed map showing what's included, and the coverage of the main attractions is mentioned too. As you'll see, Pilatus and the Brienzer Rothorn are 50% off. You can check regular prices by either using the Swiss timetable or clicking the links to standard tickets prices provided at www.myswissalps.com/pi latus/tickets and www.myswissalps.com/br ienzerrothorn/tickets. A link to museums that are for free with your Swiss Travel Pass is provided at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/details.

Resellers are listed at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. Since you're from Malaysia, the cheapest option is to buy through www.raileurope-world.com.

If you're worried your itinerary is getting too hectic, you can best not try to include all towns along the way. Interlaken is more interesting for its location than for the town itself, so you can skip that one. Zurich is certainly nice and can be combined with a visit to the Rhine Falls, but to prevent your days from getting too long, you'd better visit Zurich on your departure day. In all, it's best to consult the timetable and decide for yourself what amount of traveling time you're fine with.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2015 - 11:46 AM in reply to Annika

Here are some photos that I took on the Brienzer Rothorn several years ago.

Plenty of trails up there, if you are prepared for changeable weather.

Please login to see the attached documents
tulipsxv
tulipsxv
4 posts
new member
Sep 10, 2015 - 3:17 PM

Hi,

A few questions. Since I have Swiss Travel Pass, by visiting to Brienzer Rothorn, as suggested routes earlier, will it be convenient or around the corner to visit the Open Air Museum BallenbergBrienz?

I have a spare day and would like to visit Rhine Fall atschaffhausen. Since we are based in Lucerne, and will pass by Zurich to go Rhine Fall, possible to dropby Zurich? As the next day we will be heading back to Zurich Airport and our international flight is 6pm, just scared not enough time.If is doable to dropby Zurich for the day visit to Rhine Falls, which do you reckon? Straight Lucerne to Rhine, or Lucerne-Zurich-Rhine? And what would be the short and must visits of Zurich since my time to spare is fairly short. Many thanks!

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 11, 2015 - 2:40 PM

Hi tulipsxv,

The Ballenberg museum is at a 15 minutes bus ride from Brienz. If you enter "Ballenberg, West, Museum" in the timetable you'll get to see the options. Whether it can be combined with a ride up the Brienzer Rothorn, depends on the exact trip you want to make. A round trip Sörenberg-Brienzer Rothorn-Brienz will take quite some time. If you leave early, you will be able to spend (part of) the afternoon in the museum. Note that the open air museum is large and can easily serve as a full day trip. On the other hand, admission is for free with your Swiss Travel Pass, so even if you don't get to see all of the museum, you may just as well enjoy a shorter visit without worrying whether that's worth the entrance fee ;-).

If you don't spend too much time at the Rhine Falls, you can squeeze in a visit to Zurich. In about two hours you'll be able to explore the Bahnhofstrasse, parts of the old town centre and the lake shore on foot. Further tips can be found at our Zurich page. By the way, if you leave early from Lucerne to Zurich on your last day, you'll easily manage to visit Zurich and get to the aiport in time.

tulipsxv
tulipsxv
4 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2015 - 3:15 AM

Thanks Annika,

We are getting all excited for this trip. Since we have purchased the Swiss Travel Pass and I already have the ticket with me now, upon arrival at Zurich airport, I head on to the railway station, where do I get it validated? As I know we need to validate it at the railway station before we can use it. Thanks.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 17, 2015 - 5:15 AM

Hello tulipsxv,

If it needs to be validated at all (see here), you can have it done at the ticket window of the rail station.

Arno

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