Luzern-Chur-Montreaux-Interlaken-Zurich in 5N+6D

Luzern-Chur-Montreaux-Interlaken-Zurich in 5N+6D

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 16. This thread is closed.
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2016 - 8:36 PM

Hi friends,

My wife and I are planning for a trip to Switzerland around the last week of April and here is a tentative itinerary that we have chalked out. We are seeking suggestions from more experienced people like you and hence please let your tips pour in.

27 Apr night - Venice to Luzern night train (I am unable to find a train for this journey - can someone help?)

28 Apr - Reach Luzern in the morning; checkin to a BnB and go to Engelberg and onward to Mt Titlis via cablecar+Rotair; Return to Luzern and stay at Luzern

29 Apr - Luzern to Chur by a 2hr 15min train ride (start from Luzern around 6:30/7am); Chur sightseeing; Chur to Montreux by a 4hr train ride (start from Chur around 12pm and reach Montreux around 4pm); Montreux sightseeing; Montreux to Luzern by a 2hr 30min train ride (start from Montreux around 7pm); Stay at Luzern

30 Apr - Luzern to Interlaken by 1hr 50min train ride (start from Luzern around 8am); checkin to BnB at Interlaken; Interlaken sightseeing and if possible visit Schilthorn; stay at Interlaken

1 May - Interlaken to Jungfraujoch by a 2hr 30min train ride (start from Interlaken around 8am); Jungfraujoch sightseeing by cable cars (any other suggestions are welcome); Jungfraujoch to Interlaken and pick up our luggage and then from Interlaken to Zurich by a 2hr train ride (please tell me if I can do so - do BnBs keep the luggage in their hold for a few hours)

Checkin to the BnB at Zurich and spend the evening in Zurich.

2 May - Zurich to Rhine Falls by a 45min train ride; Sightseeing around Rhine Falls and return to Zurich; Zurich sightseeing the whole day; Stay at Zurich

3 May - Zurich BnB to Zurich airport; Fly out of Zurich

We wish to buy the Swiss Travel Pass but it is for 4days and the next one is for 8 days which is very expensive. Hence, do you think we should buy the 4day pass and then buy tickets on 2nd and 3rd May??

We know that this is going to be hectic but we are fine with it provided you think that this is practically achievable. Please share your critical opinion about this. A quick response would help us since we feel that time is short keeping in mind the prices.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2016 - 4:07 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Hi Jaysuryadeb-

Welcome to the forum.

I skimmed your itinerary twice, but did not have time to cross check against the Swiss Rail (SBB) timetable. It looks possible at first glance. I suggest that you cross check in detail for timing of trains, using the SBB web site:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

I do know that it can show the many trains from Venice to Luzern-

One at 2112 arrives Luzern at 1025 next day.

If you are not using the SBB timetable, preferably on a desktop or laptop, I recommend that you use it. You will find it very complete with many details..

A couple of thoughts. There are no cable cars to the Jungfraujoch. There is a cograil train. Expensive.

You seem to pass through Luzern a few times, but do not show time for sightseeing in the city. It is worthwhile.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/lucerne.html

I like Zürich a lot. It is probably my favorite city in Switzerland for cultural events and walking nearby. I always spend time there on each trip to Switzerland. That said, unless you have very specific interests in Zürich, you might find Luzern more rewarding for a first trip to Switzerland. They are 45 minutes apart by at least two trains per hour.

<<"(please tell me if I can do so - do BnBs keep the luggage in their hold for a few hours)">>

The SBB website describes the services ( left luggage) and equipment (number and size of lockers) for each station in Switzerland, You can leave luggage at Interlaken Ost, for example.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/services/lugg age-and-flight-luggage.html

and

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/railway-stations/bahnhof-finden.posid.7492.html

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 7, 2016 - 4:12 PM by Slowpoke
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2016 - 6:20 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Many thanks for your response. Glad to know that you think this itinerary is manageable. In fact I have actually cross-checked the train travel time from the SBB website and only then posted my itinerary.

Your reply is very informative. Thanks for informing that there are luggage lockers available at the train stations. Even I have seen that Venice-Luzern train you are referring to but not sure where and how I should book it. Can you please help with any website?

One more thing - which one would you recommend and why between Chur and Bern?

If the cograil is expensive, we may give it a miss - let's see. By the way, would the cograil be cheaper with the Swiss Travel Pass?

Thanks

JD

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2016 - 6:42 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Hi JD,

Regarding your rail pass question: you do have 7 travel days, although the last one isn't much traveling. An 8-day pass may work out best, but you'd have to do the math as explained here to be sure. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you would only need a ticket from Venice to the Swiss border (normally Chiasso), because the remainder to Lucerne is included in the pass. If you factor in things like that, plus the free museums if you plan to visit any, an 8-day pass may not be that bad. Please see the links for all the details, including links to websites that sell the passes and tickets.

By the way, your plan for April 29 is an extreme amount of traveling. Chur and Montreux are on different ends of the country. You'll be spending a lot of time on trains (seeing the same routes twice), and only a bit in the towns. You may want to look into the Glacier Express, which connects Chur to Brig, and from Brig you can reach Montreux. Even though this takes even more traveling time, the scenery will be much more varied. This may make sense if you're willing to spend the night en route somewhere. Just a thought.

jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2016 - 6:46 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for your reply. Indeed we would for the Travel Pass - we would calculate and check which duration would be better.

The Glacier Express suggestion is very interesting - let us just check how to work it out. Please tell me if the Glacier Express is covered under the Travel Pass. Also, would like to know if we need to pay a reservation fee for the seats, how much would that be?

Alternatively, we are planning to drop Chur and visit Bern instead and stay at a pretty BnB near Signau station. Please share your thoughts on this plan.

We do understand that Swiss weather is a little unpredictable, however, would still like to know the weather during last week of April and first week of May. And is food very expensive in Switzerland? We are even ready to prepare quick food of our own eg: sandwiches.

Sorry for bombarding all of you with my questions :)

Thanks a lot

JD

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2016 - 7:44 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

HI JD-

Here are partial answers to some of your questions.

<<"Alternatively, we are planning to drop Chur and visit Bern instead and stay at a pretty BnB near Signau station. Please share your thoughts on this plan.">>

I stay in the Emmental regularly. I used to stay at the Gasthof Bären Signau. It is a famous old Swiss country inn. It has changed hands a couple of times, so I can not comment from recent experience. It was a good value. It is directly by the train station.

www.baeren-signau.ch

Current room prices are in line with Emmental norms.

The rooms were clean, neat, and nothing special when I stayed there.

Don't know about B&B's or relative prices. Inns (Gasthofs) usually include a basic breakfast in their room cost.

Signau is a nice town to walk through. The main street has lots of Emmental character. All of the Emmental has good walking, with well marked trails.

If I were to stay in the general area today, I would stay in Affoltern im Emmental, at the Landgasthof Sonne. However, it is awkward to get to by public transportation. It is also further from Bern in time and distance. I have stayed there without a car, but it much better to have a car to access it.

www.sonne-affoltern.ch

Not so far from Signau is a very high quality in Langnau im Emmental. It is the Gasthof Hirschen.

I have stayed there many times, and recommend the inn and the kitchen. It is a few stops further along the train line from Bern.

It is definitely one of the better Emmental inns.

www.hirschen-langnau.ch/index.php?L=1

The prices are a little higher, and slightly above average for the region, because it is a very good inn.

It is a couple of hundred meters easy walk from the train station in Langnau.

<<"We do understand that Swiss weather is a little unpredictable, however, would still like to know the weather during last week of April and first week of May.">>

In the lower altitudes, near Bern for example, Spring will be well along by the first week in May.

I have attached a picture I took near Sumiswald (a few miles from Signau) in mid-April 2014. (On April 17th.) April 2014 had an unusually dry, warm and sunny week or so in the middle of the month. It was sunny and dry with mild temperatures for about 10 days in a row, with only one or two rainy days. More like May than April. I usually expect frequent rain. However, the weather is highly localized, and often the rain will be in only one region.

In the picture you can see that the grass is not yet really green. The trees have flowers but have not put out leaves, a few fields have been plowed and planted, and the Alps have a lot of snow left.

If you are lucky, you'll have some nice days like that.

In the Alps it will still be winter, or between seasons. There will be lots of snow, and only certain trails will be open for walking. It will be cold, unless you have a clear day with intense alpine sunshine. Since skiing will not be so good by May, many facilities will be closed for maintenance or holiday before the summer season which begins at about June 15.

The difference is due to altitude. The weather varies a lot with altitude.

www.myswissalps.com/we ather

<<"And is food very expensive in Switzerland? We are even ready to prepare quick food of our own eg: sandwiches.">>

Expensive compared to what?

Bakeries all sell sandwiches. The convenience stores (Kiosk, Apero, Volg) at most train stations of any size sell sandwiches.

Most inns and restaurants offer one "low cost" meal each day...the "Tageskarte" or "Menu" that is typically around 25 CHF. Maybe 3 courses - a soup, a main dish, a dessert, for example.

Through out Switzerland COOP stores and Migros stores sell groceries and prepared foods. Normally in larger towns. You can get a lot of foodstuffs at those stores.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/things-to-eat

Most first time tourists are not lucky enough to visit the Emmental. The heart of Swiss farm country - real Switzerland, not flooded with tourists from other counties. Enjoy it!

Here is a thread with some information about the Emmental, including lots of photographs. Scan down the thread.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may/page/2

Slowpoke.

Please login to see the attached documents
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Jan 9, 2016 - 7:36 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks for such a comprehensive suggestion.So even you feel that staying near Signau would be a pleasant experience. By the way, the picture which you have sent is simply too good to be true - is it for real or photoshopped? :P

We are going to check out the options suggested by you and would like to complete all the accommodation bookings by tomorrow since costs would get higher with time.

Also your information about the weather is very helpful. At least now we have a fair idea what we need to pack - woollens/jackets required but not too heavy.

Regarding food, what we wish to know is how much would we need to spend for 3 meals/day per person in Switzerland (and we are not going to try out expensive restaurants - only fast food like salami sandwiches, hotdogs, bacon and ham from roadside stalls/small eateries etc.).

Great to hear from you guys

JD

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 9, 2016 - 1:51 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"By the way, the picture which you have sent is simply too good to be true - is it for real or photoshopped? :P">>

It is true. The scenery in the Emmental is very nice. Check those images in the other thread that I posted..If you have the right software, there is a good chance that the EXIF information is attached for the images that are not scanned from film. You could get dates from them...some were surely taken in May.

But, the Trachselwald image is "true." It is composite from merging 7 images, handheld, portrait orientation, with my Olympus EM-5 using a truly excellent very sharp lens..I added no image content, and subtracted none.

The images direct from the camera did not reflect what my eyes saw, because the dynamic range of the camera is much less than the human eye. Either the highlights were blown out to almost white, or else the shadows were blocked. Yet my eyes could easily see all of those details....the human eye adapts when it looks at shadows or highlights. The camera does not if they are all in one image. It can not manage that trick..

So, I did some work in Photoshop to bring up shadows and tone down the blown out highlights so that the Alps would appear as I remembered them. The picture was taken late in a very clear day (unusual in the Spring) , so the light was strong and almost horizontal.. The side lighting makes for high contrast and bright highlights on the sunny side of the light colored buildings.That is why the Aps standout, too.

The version that I posted was compressed too much. It was the only image that I have on this laptop. The colors are more subtle in a better quality image that was not compressed so much. However, much of the grass was definitely not yet bright green, except down in the wetter valley. It gives an accurate perspective of the state of an unusually warm dry Spring in 2014. If I have a chance, I'll post a better one one later.

The actual image is about 1.8 meters by about 0.7 meters as it hangs on my wall....and the fine details are quite clean and sharp.

<<"Also your information about the weather is very helpful. At least now wehave a fair idea what we need to pack - woollens/jackets required but not too heavy.">>

As for temperatures, you can find annual average temperatures ( and precipitation) data on the internet. You might check Bern, Luzern, and for comparison ...Jungfraujoch, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken. When I have done that, one of the websites gave the same numbers for Wengen and Jungfraujoch....which is wrong... Check a few different places and websites.

Weggis on Lake Luzern, and Montreux, on Lake Geneva have very sunny warm weather. They would give some example s of warmer spots.

.<<"Also your information about the weather is very helpful. At least now wehave a fair idea what we need to pack - woollens/jackets required but not too heavy.">>

Mostly, correct. Use layers. High altitudes can be cold and raw if cloudy, Windy, too. You could use a few layers if you are outdoors at high altitudes. It can be quite cold.

www.myswissalps.com/we ather

Food costs -

I cannot be precise; I don't hold to a budget when I travel. I always try to enjpy the best local foods and wines in Switzerland. In general, cities are more expensive, but there are usually low cost meals at stands or restautants in the larger stations.

Coop and Migros are definitely places to look.

Perhaps Arno or Annika have some general rules.....

www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/sa vemoney

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/food-and-drink

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/cost-of-lunch-dinner-in-lucerne-and-interlaken-ar

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/need-help-to-plan-a-trip-to-swizz-and-paris

A 0.33 or 0 .5 liter of water or a soft drink is around 3 or 4 CHF. Sandwiches around 5 CHF. Varies, depending on where you buy them.. More expensive on the trains.

At Horber's sausage stand in the Shopville at Zürich main station, a very good generous sized sausage costs about 7-8 CHF. I often have that for my lunch. It come with a chunk of bread ( a "bürli")

Apparently, they have stores elsewhere, too.

www.yelp.com/biz_photo s/calypso-nightclub-z%C3%BCrich?select=X5rdxuwyUhZ8WKf A7MrLcg

This is educational -

reflecting the power of brand names as well as costs of ingredients/service.

www.statista.com/stati stics/274326/big-mac-index-global-prices-for-a-big-mac/

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 9, 2016 - 2:48 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 9, 2016 - 5:02 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

JD-

<<"By the way, the picture which you have sent is simply too good to be true - is it for real or photoshopped? :P">>

Here is an original file of one part of the panorama, and, the full panorama after merging 7 frames in Photoshop with adjustments of tone. The camera made the original seem a bit dull...perhaps a bit underexposed........it was late in the day. My eyes adjusted for that, and I tried to make the panorama resemble what I saw and my brain interpreted

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 10, 2016 - 1:04 AM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"We are going to check out the options suggested by you and would like tocomplete all the accommodation bookings by tomorrow since costs would get higher with time.">>

Not so for last week of April. More rooms than travelers.

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 10, 2016 - 10:56 AM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Hello JD!

Regarding your question about the Glacier Express: yes, the trip is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. Please refer to our Glacier Express tickets and Swiss Travel Pass validity pages for details. You do need separate seat reservations for a fixed amount of CHF 13 per person (that's the fare applying to the Winter timetable, which is valid in April; fares for seat reservations in Summer are higher). You'll find the appropriate links at the Glacier Express tickets page I just mentioned.

Last modified on Jan 10, 2016 - 10:59 AM by Annika
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Jan 11, 2016 - 8:45 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Fantastic pictures. In fact we have now finalized staying at Signau and visiting the region around it. Maybe you can post the picture of your wall as well some day.

Thanks for the detaled information on the food options --- looks like Switzerland is going to be a relatively more expensive affair since even we have strong plans of trying out the local food and wines, especially for our dinners.

Hi Annika,

This is a fantastic forum that you are running. The members are responsive and the forums are active.

Thanks for sharing the links for the Glacier Express. I checked the seat reservation option for the Glacier Express on the www.raileurope.co.in and the cost was around INR 1437/- and there are no best fares for seat reservation on the Glacier Express (the Rail Europe customer service executive said over chat). I hope I am looking at the right option.

My revised plan for 29 April is --- Luzern to Montreux and Montreux sightseeing and then leave Montreux for Zermatt / Visp (depending on time available) and then board the Glacier Express and then get off at a station which would be closer to Luzern since we would be staying at Luzern that night (we do not wish to go to Chur for 8 hrs due to paucity of time).

Would request you all to share your thoughts in terms of feasibility or otherwise.

Thanks

JD

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 11, 2016 - 8:54 AM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"If the cograil is expensive, we may give it a miss - let's see. By the way, would the cograil be cheaper with the Swiss Travel Pass?">>

Just for clarity -

The cograil train runs from Lauterbrunnen up to Wengen, still higher to the peak or "edge" of the ridge at Kleine Scheidegg , then down to Alpiglen and Grindelwald Grund. (probably to Grindelwald itselfup the hill a little bit .....don't remember.) And reverse.

It is run by a private rail company. The part from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen is cheap (by Swiss standards ;-) ) and is also covered 100% by the Swiss Travel Pass. The logic is that it goes from town to town, and is a form of public interurbantransportation. Most likely, it is subsidized by a government ...either the Federal govenment via the SBB, or the canton or the local towns, or all of the above.

From there onward, it is a mountain excursion railway, and the fares are set bythe operator. It is not cheap to keep such a rail line running everyday of the year, and costs reflect that as well as demand.

At Kleine Scheidegg there is a spur line which climbs to Jungfraujoch.....much of it inside a tunnel. That part is quite expensive, and climbs from 2061 meters altitude to about 3600 meters.

The Swiss Travel Pass and Half-Fare card both offer discounts on all parts of the lines, including both the part from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (free with STP) and the private excursion parts.

I don't recall details of prices or discounts.

One thing for sure. If you pay lots of CHF to go up to the Jungfraujoch....or a lesser amount even to go to Kleine Scheidegg, and the clouds are thick, you will not get the views you are paying to see.

Those weather details are provided up to the minute at local manned train stations, and tourist offices. The may have a web cam showing continuously, or other ways to provide the details.

There are also lots of webcams.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 11, 2016 - 8:55 AM by Slowpoke
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 11, 2016 - 10:36 AM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Thanks for your compliments JD. The price of seat reservations is indeed fixed. No discounts for booking early for example, or for pass holders. You may find slight price differences depending on the retailer and currency. Through www.raileurope.co.in#t ab3 it's indeed INR 1437. Be sure to fill out "St Moritz" when booking (without a dot) or it won't understand. If you order this, then also order your rail pass. A combined order may save a bit on shipping/handling.

Unfortunately your plan for April 29 won't work. It's too much for one day. Please check the timetable which was mentioned before, and add sightseeing time. Furthermore, the Glacier Express departs in the morning because it's such a long trip. It won't be available by the time you get there. You can still take a normal train on the same route, but you won't have time for the best parts of the route. Plus, it looks like you're going to take the fast route from Lucerne to Montreux in the morning, and this miss out on the scenic ride from Spiez via Zweisimmen to Montreux (Golden Pass route). My recommendation is to focus on that instead of trying to include the Glacier Express too. The Glacier Express requires a day of its own.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 11, 2016 - 1:46 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"Thanks for sharing the links for the Glacier Express. I checked the seat reservation option for the Glacier Express on the www.raileurope.co.in and the cost was around INR 1437/- and there are no best fares for seatreservation on the Glacier Express (the Rail Europe customer serviceexecutive said over chat). I hope I am looking at the right option.:>>

Remember that other "regular" trains cover the same route as the Glacier Express. Even without panoramic windows, you get a good view of the scenery.

Also-

I wonder if there is a better way to get those reservations.....21 CHF via Rail Europe India sounds like REI might be taking a sizable commission.

However - you definitely don't need the Glacier Express to see great Mountain Scenery.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 11, 2016 - 2:00 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Jan 11, 2016 - 2:09 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"Fantastic pictures. In fact we have now finalized staying at Signau and visiting the region around it. ">>

I like the area. It did take a few visits to find the best places for photos. I believe that there are only two of you....? Walking is the best way to see that region, and is is cheap, if you have sturdy shoes already. Many trails can be walked in sneakers, but waterproof shoes are better.. Often, there are bus or train routes that get you to or from good walks. The trails are well marked.

If you are serious about seeing the region, let me know how much time you want to take and I'll see if I can suggest some kind of walk to fit the time.

Otherwise, Bern is a nice town for a few hours of sightseeing.

Slowpoke

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016