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Itineray advice

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Posts: 17. This thread is closed.
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jun 9, 2012 - 5:19 AM
Hi everyone..
This is my second post (thanks again for the replies from my first post) I've been busy with a lot of things. And now I'm getting panicky with our trip (traveling with girlfriend). I finally made our itinerary and it needs more polishing. I haven't booked any hotel yet. I need to do it soon..

We'll arrive Zurich on August 19 leave August 24 2012 (5 nights). Please advice us and make the necessary changes. What you think is the best. We love the outdoors and we want to visit the towns too.
Here's our itinerary I made last night:
SUNDAY August 19- Zurich arrival 1:55 PM. Get train to INTERLAKEN. Home base for 3 nights.
MONDAY August 20- INTERLAKEN
visit-Lauterbrunnen, Jungfrau and Grindelwald
TUESDAY August 21- This one I can't decide.. I definitely want to see TRUMMELBACH WATERFALL and LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY. Can we include Bern here? or Zermatt? Instead of Schilthorn and Murren? Cause I think it's like Jungfrau. It might be impossible with Zermatt. My.. We want to see as much if we have the time and extra money..
WEDNESDAY August 22- LUCERN 1 night
visit- Mt Titlis AM. Town PM.
THURSDAY August 23- Zurich 1 night
visit- Town. What must to see?
FRIDAY August 24- Zurich Bye Bye.. Departure 1:40 PM
Please advice us where to stay. Which train to get ( I don't know if we can afford first class. We are traveling on a budget). I'm still confused with the different rail pass. I don't know which to get.. Swiss Pass, Swiss Card or Swiss Half-Fare Card.
I appreciate all the help and suggestions. Make this trip fun and memorable..
Thank you very much!
Francis Albert Herrero
Genny Dizon
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 11, 2012 - 7:27 AM
Hello Francis and Genny! I hope these tips will help you out:
  • affordable hotels close to railway stations can be found at the Interlaken, Lucerne, Zurich centre and Zurich airport hotel pages;
  • all connections, traveling times and train types can be found by entering your departure and destinations stations in the Swiss timetable;
  • as for rail passes: you should consider either a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass for August 19-22, plus a Zurich Card for August 23 and 24, or a Swiss Half Fare Card. The last one may be more economical. Don't mind if you can't afford 1st class; 2nd class traveling is very comfortable as well;
  • if money limitates your options, you should stay in the Interlaken region on August 21 if you have a Swiss Half Fare Card (with a Swiss Pass it's no problem to travel all the way up to Zermatt, as it's for free anyway. It will be a long journey though; please check the timetable). You can easily spend an entire day in and near the Lauterbrunnen valley, including the Trümmalbach falls, Stechelberg, Gimmelwald, Mürren and Grütschalp, with or without a visit to the Schilthorn. Bern could be an alternative in case of bad weather.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
JohnYorkshire
JohnYorkshire
6 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2012 - 7:32 AM
Just back from a fabulous holiday in Switzerland. If visiting Lauterbrunnen and you don't have the time or money to go to Mürren, take the Cable Car from outside Lauterbrunnen Station up to the first base only - it only takes 15 minutes up and down, and costs just CHF8 on a half-fare pass. This was once a funicular railway, but has recently been modernised. The views are fantastic over the Lauterbrunnen valley and Wengen opposite. I'd also strongly recommend the short train trip from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen - a spectacular climb.
John
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2012 - 5:50 PM
Thanks guys! This really is the place to go for advices and tips when traveling to Switzerland. As more and more I discover about Switzerland the more I get excited! I really wish we had more time and money to spend.. I'm already thinking of our next visit..

I have to start booking our hotels. As for the rail pass I think I have to do my math and make plans. Timetable is very helpful I'll do that next. I don't think we qualify for the Swiss Saver Pass right? Month of August is not included in that promo.

We won't do the Zermatt anymore, we'll waste time traveling. Something to look forward including Bern and so many beautiful place to see next time maybe during winter. We'll spend 3 nights at Interlaken and 2 nights at Lucern. No more Zurich Sightseeing.. Huhu.. Is the airport too far from the city? Is it possible to stop for picture taking maybe spend 1 or 2hrs? Our departure is 1:40 pm.

Here's our revised itinerary:

S  AUG. 19  - Zurich arrival 1:55pm get train to Interlaken (sleep overnight)
M AUG. 20 -  Interlaken - JUNGFRAU and GRINDELWALD
T  AUG. 21  - Interlaken - LAUTERBRUNNEN and SCHILTHORN
W AUG. 22 - Lucern    - MT TITLIS stop at Hergiswil take train to Engelberg. -> Lucern after..
T  AUG. 23 -  Lucern     - MT RIGI and Old Town.
F  AUG. 24 -  Zurich      - Go Home..

What do you think guys? Is this doable? Did I miss anything? 
I hope you don't get tired of helping us..

Appreciate the time you spent here..
Thanks again!

Francis & Genny

PS: I'll come back for more questions.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 12, 2012 - 1:24 PM
Hello Francis! Yes, you do qualify for the Swiss Saver Pass which is 15% cheaper than two regular Swiss Passes. This variant is valid all year long; it's only the 2 for 1 promotion that has limited dates and is indeed not valid for August.

Your itinerary looks very doable now. I think it's wise to keep it as flexible as possible; just check weather forecasts regularly and travel wherever weather is best. You may want to include some bad weather alternatives as well, such as exploring Zurich, Lucerne and Bern and visiting some museums (like the Traffic museum in Lucerne). Such a flexible schedule is no problem at all with the Swiss Pass, as you can travel wherever you like.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jun 12, 2012 - 4:06 PM
Oh yeah! I was talking about 2 for 1 promotion sorry..

I'll work on our hotel first. I did some browsing here and few hotels are fully booked on the dates we are staying. I haven't thoroughly checked all the listings though. Then I'll make alternative excursions and rail pass. Is August not a good month to visit Switzerland? Do we need to bring heavy jackets?

Thanks again!
Francis
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 13, 2012 - 10:00 AM
Hi Francis. August is just fine, although weather conditions can never be predicted. It's always wise to bring along warm jackets and solid shoes, especially if you plan to travel up in the mountains (consider the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, Titlis, and so on).
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jun 27, 2012 - 4:27 PM
Hi Annika, I didn't know I have a message.. But I'm really coming back for more questions and suggestions.

I finally booked our hotels last night. 3 nights Lauterbrunnen 2 nights at Lucerne. (I made some changes)
Day 1- Lauterbrunnen- no activities just traveling from Zurich arrival 1:55pm
Day 2- Lauterbrunnen- JUNGFRAU and GRINDELWALD
Day 3- Lauterbrunnen- SCHILTHORN and MURREN
Day 4- Lucern - MT TITLIS stop at Hergiswil take train to Engelberg. -> Lucern after..
Day 5- Lucern - MT PILATUS and Old Town. (boat ride)
Day 6- Zurich - Departure 1:40pm.

Alternate- Bern, Mt Rigi suggestions pls..

I checked the Tickets and Rail Passes. I did the math, made different comboes. (For 2 passengers) Here's what I got:

1. 4 day Swiss Saver Pass- $482
Swiss Card - $396
total - $878

2. 4 day Swiss Saver Pass- $482
Swiss Half Fare Card - $276.7 (if you purchase in switzerland $114.42 x 2= 228.84 "cheaper")
total -$758.7

3. 6 day Swiss Saver Pass- $694 "most economical"

I went shopping for activities too (together with the passes to get different discounts)

Fisrt Package: 2 Adults All Second Class
Swiss Card- $396
Swiss Saver Pass- (4day) $482
Jungfraujoch/Top of Europe- $198 (beter discount from Swiss Card)
Moutain Tops: Schiltron- $114
Moutain Tops: Titlis- $136
Mountain Tops: Pilatus- $90

Total without shipping- $1416.00

Second Package: 2 Adults All Second Class
Swiss Saver Pass- (6day) $694
Jungfraujoch/Top of Europe- $296 (higher)
Moutain Tops: Schiltron- $114
Moutain Tops: Titlis- $136
Mountain Tops: Pilatus- $90

Total without shipping- $1330.00

Lower price on the second package. Do you advice to buy the excursions online? Considering bad weather, change in itinerary.. Is it easy to get refunded? Is the price higher onsite?

Any input, suggestions, advices are highly appreciated..

We thank you for all the help,
Francis

PS: Do you have any idea where to rent a bicycle? Just to cruise around the valleys. If I have extra time like after the excursions. Easy to moderate trails. Mountain Bike or cruiser bike is fine.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 29, 2012 - 8:04 AM
Hi Francis. It's a good idea to make some calculations and find out which pass is best that way. As for your options: I wouldn't buy two different passes if I were you. In most cases, that's just too expensive and not necessary. You could indeed pick a 6 day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass (I assume that's the one you mean, as there's no 6 day Swiss Saver Pass?) if you like free traveling on regular train, bus and boats during all days of your stay. However, you could also choose a 3 or 4 day day Swiss Saver Flexi Pass, using free travel days for day 1, 4, maybe 5 (depending on whether you want to make a long and expensive boat trip) and 6. That's because mainly mountain rails and cable cars are involved on the other days, and free traveling doesn't apply to such routes. Instead, you can use the 50% discount granted by the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass.

You don't have to buy tickets for your trips online. If you want to be able to adapt your plans to weather circumstances, you can just buy them at the spot before boarding.

You can read all about renting bikes at the Veloland Schweiz website.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jul 3, 2012 - 6:28 PM
Hi Annika, how come I don't get notifications? I've been waiting for your reply.. anyways, no worries.. got my answers today.

When I click on the Pass link here it brings me to RAILUEROPE and there is only one title Swiss Pass that opens another window you choose How many days do you plan to travel by train? "6 days" then Over what period of time will you be traveling? it automatically chooses "8 days". It doesn't say it's Swiss Saver Flexi Pass. Previously you thought of this (copied and paste) "as for rail passes: you should consider either a 4 day Swiss Saver Pass for August 19-22, plus a Zurich Card for August 23 and 24, or a Swiss Half Fare Card. The last one may be more economical." I thought Zurich Card is Swiss Card that's why I combined it. I guess the Swiss Half Fare will save us more. It's $ 230.44 buy in Switzerland.

How do you use it? You always have to buy your train ticket at the stations and show the card for discounts? I know it's better to make my plans having a copy of my time table but is it necessary?

Thanks for everything and the bike link too.
Francis
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 4, 2012 - 2:07 AM
Hi Franz. Did you check the notification settings in your account? If that's turned off, it may be the reason you didn't receive a message.

I know what you mean with the options presented by RailEurope. In fact, a 6 day pass is always a Swiss Flexi Pass (a regular 6 day Swiss Pass doesn't exist), and thus can only be combined with a travel period of 1 month. I don't know why an 8 day travel period is selected automatically, but we'll look into this.

If you use a Swiss Half Fare Card, you'll have to buy discounted train tickets for each trip before boarding. You can do so at manned desks showing your pass, or buy them yourself at ticketing machines, choosing the half fare option.
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2012 - 4:24 AM
Hello Annika, this time I got my notification without doing anything. I previously had a problem logging in and Arno fixed it. I guess it fixed the notification settings too.

Now back to my topic. I really want the convinience of the Passes but if I'll save much more with the HFC I'll choose the latter. Is it too much of a hassle buying the tickets every time we need to ride the train? Is it worth it getting the Pass? Please help me decide. Tomorrow I'll try to calculate the regular fare and see the difference.

I'm so sorry if I'm starting to annoy you. I'm always like this taking too long to decide.

I better sleep now..
Thanks,
Franz
Olga
Olga
460 posts
top member
Jul 4, 2012 - 6:07 AM
franz said: Hello Annika, this time I got my notification without doing anything. I previously had a problem logging in and Arno fixed it. I guess it fixed the notification settings too.
Now back to my topic. I really want the convinience of the Passes but if I'll save much more with the HFC I'll choose the latter. Is it too much of a hassle buying the tickets every time we need to ride the train? Is it worth it getting the Pass? Please help me decide. Tomorrow I'll try to calculate the regular fare and see the difference.
I'm so sorry if I'm starting to annoy you. I'm always like this taking too long to decide.
I better sleep now..
Thanks,
Franz


Hello Franz,

Excuse me for just jumping in, but we have experiences with the Swiss (Saver) Pass and the Half Fare Card. There are lots of reasons to choose the SP or the HFC, depending on your plans. But I just wanted to let you know that, although most of the times it will not be difficult to buy tickets at the ticket counter, I'm a great Swiss Pass-fan. It's just so easy once you have it - you can jump in and out any train within the validity range, and if you decide to change your plans while you're halfway your trip you can do so without any problem. And if it's crowded you can avoid queues.

Just my two cents... Enjoy Switzerland, it's beautiful! :-)
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2012 - 9:37 AM
Hi Franz. I certainly agree with Olga in terms of convenience. Mukesh's experiences in this topic may also be valuable to you.
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jul 13, 2012 - 4:07 AM
Hi Guys,
Sorry I got busy.. And still is..

I read the messages the moment it was posted but it took me a while to get back. I tried to do the time table but I couldn't get the fare for some of the train rides. Maybe it's too early or wrong stations? Please be patient with me I still need your help.

So far here is what I got:

Aug. 19- Zurich to Lauterbrunnen CHF 38.10
Aug. 20- Lauterbrunnen to Jungfraujoch CHF 44.10 plus return.
Aug. 21- Lauterbrunnen to Schilthorn "I can't get the fare"
Aug. 22 Hergiswil to Engelberg (to visit to Mt Titlis) CHF 7.20 is this correct?
Engelberg to Lucern CHF 9.00 is this right? Fare wise.
Aug. 23- Lucern- visit Mt Pilatus "I can't get the fare" I don't know the station/stop. We want to experience the boat ride too.
Aug. 24- Lucern to Zurich Airport (1:40pm Departure) CHF 13.50

Please tell us the station/stop, how to get to those sites. Which Mountain trains, Gondolas etc. to take.

Then maybe I could calculate which Pass to get. Right now I'm leaning more on the Swiss Half Fare.

Thanks!
Franz
Wandermann
Wandermann
297 posts
top member
Jul 13, 2012 - 8:20 AM
Hello Franz.

The SBB timetable shows half fare prices by default. For full prices you have to uncheck the "Reduced (Half Fare, etc)" box, after you click Fare/Buy in the connection of your choice. To decide which pass to choose it's best to start with full prices of your trips, as shown below (second class).

Zürich - Lauterbrunnen: CHF 72.20 (one way).

Lauterbrunnen - Jungfraujoch: CHF 169,80 (returnticket)

Lauterbrunnen - Schilthorn:
by bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, Schilthornbahn, returnticket CHF 8,40
Schilthornbahn: returnticket CHF 94,80. More information can be found on the Schilthorn website.

Hergiswil - Engelberg: CHF 14.40 (one way)

Engelberg - Luzern: CHF 16.40 (one way)

More information about prices concerning trips to Mt. Pilatus can be found here (maybe you like the golden round trip, including a boat trip).

Luzern - Zürich Airport: CHF 27.-

I hope this answers your questions. Have a nice time!
franz
franz
12 posts
new member
Jul 13, 2012 - 1:09 PM
Hi Wandermann,

Ouuchhhh!!!! Haha!!!! You got me laughing at the same time.. Thanks for pointing that out. Thats why I thought of getting the Half Fare Card. Made me wonder too why they were suggesting the Swiss Pass since in mind would cost more. Oh boy.. Oh boy.. Fare is already reduce and I'm too lucky thinking it will be reduce further.. Hehe..

Okay! Erase.. Erase.. Start all over again.. Now Swiss Pass makes more sense.

Sorry.. I'm a sloowwww thinker. Working all day and getting online late at night. Combined with so much activities.. Can't think well..

Thank you sir.. I'll check the links when I get the chance.

Appreciate all the help here.
Franz

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