Need help in my Swiss rail planning

Need help in my Swiss rail planning

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Jcyw1988
Jcyw1988
8 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2015 - 4:07 PM

Hi,

me and my wife will be traveling to Europe during 22nd feb to 10 March 2016. However I'm confused about the railway issues. so I really need help in the planning as is our first time in Europe.

1) I will be entering Zermatt from Paris. So how do I go about getting a ticket and which rail to take. My planning in Switzerland is Zermatt - Lucerne - Zurich - Venice. Will be in Switzerland for 8 days before going to Venice. Planning to get a Swiss Travel Pass 8 days unlimited. So from Paris to Zermatt, where do I change the train? And I just need to purchase the railway fare from Paris to where before I can use my Swiss Travel Pass.

2) then for Zurich to Venice, do I have to pay the fare from Zurich to Milano station , and from Milano to Venice? Or I can use my Swiss Travel pass to take the train from Zurich to Milano for free and just purchase a ticket from Milano to Venice? I'm really confuse about the railways.

as for my itinerary for Switzerland will be

day 1 - tour around Zermatt town after arriving from Paris.

day 2 - visit Matterhorn ( which area is better to view Matterhorn )

day 3 - travel to Lucerne from Zermatt. Tour around Lucerne.

day 4 - travel to Jungfrau region ( which area is better to go ? )

day 5 - travel to Zurich and tour around the city area

day 6 - travel to Rhine falls( not sure if advisable to go there as is winter time, or any other alternatives planning )

day 7 - take a train ride to chur and transfer to Bernina express(scenery viewing) to st mortriz for a day trip before going back to Zurich)

day 8 - leaving zurich to Venice

i hope someone can assist me in the railway issues and also to help to see if the itinerary I plan is it suitable for winter season in Switzerland. Very much appreciated.

from,

Jarrel

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Nov 8, 2015 - 1:32 AM in reply to Jcyw1988

Hardly a complete answer, but, start here.

www.myswissalps.com/ge ttingstarted

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Travel with the Swiss Travel Pass covers ONLY travel inside Switzerland. Once you cross a border outbound, you need a ticket for/from the new country.

I have not studied your itinerary carefully, but a casual glance makes me think you have excess travel, and different routing might be more effective. Could be wrong. ;-)

If Arno or Annika don't comment, I'll work on it a bit in the next few days. They the experts on rail travel options.

Slowpoke.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 8, 2015 - 11:08 AM in reply to Jcyw1988

Hi Jarrel,

These are the steps to plan your trips:

  1. Find train timings in the timetable Slowpoke referred to;
  2. Check which legs are included in your Swiss Travel Pass: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity.
  3. Buy tickets for the legs not included in the Swiss Travel Pass. You can do so while buying the pass so you'll have everything covered in one go. As you live in Singapore it makes sense to consider www.raileurope.com.sg/ pass/swiss-travel-pass-82 and www.raileurope-world.com/pass/swiss-travel-pass-82, but y0u can check all your options here: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ price. Online pass prices are pretty competitive this year, so you may want to buy before the year ends.

An example for Paris to Zurich: Paris to Basel is not covered, so you buy a ticket (myswissalps.com/ traintickets/ france). Basel to Zurich is covered, so no ticket required.

As for the routing: Paris - Zurich - Lucerne - Zermatt - Venice would be the logical order (working your way North to South), saving you a bit of traveling time.

To view the Matterhorn I'd recommend a trip to Gornergrat. If you go to our regional/town pages, and attraction pages, you'll find lots of tips on activities.

Jcyw1988
Jcyw1988
8 posts
new member
Nov 9, 2015 - 2:13 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno!

thanks for the reply and advise. So for my planning of

Day 1 - Zurich(tour around town area)

Day 2 - Zurich (tour around rhinefalls[recommended] or better to walk around the city area or any other place to visit?

Day 3 - Zurich travel to chur to St mortriz for day trip via bernina express(my purpose o is just to take the bernina express). So is there a good place to visit in at mortriz for a short day trip? Before taking the train back to Zurich.

Day 4 - Zurich travel to Lucerne to stay. Tour around Lucerne town.

Day 5 - travel to interlaken. Where is the best area to view Jungfrau mountain/Region? Need advise here.

Day 6 - leave Lucerne to Zermatt. Tour around Zermatt town upon arrival.

Day 7 - Visit Matterhorn as per recommend by you to Gornergrat to view Matterhorn.

Day 8 - leave Zermatt to Venice via train.

Is my planning rushing or is it alright? Need some professional advice. Or any better recommendation? Open to ideas. :)

Then just want to check, if Im purchasing some items from Switzerland, possible for me to get VAT refund as my final departure point back to singapore is at Venice. Or there is no way for me to get VAT refund at all?

Thanks.

From,

jarrel

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 10, 2015 - 6:48 AM in reply to Jcyw1988

Hi Jarrel,

Personally I would skip the Rhine Falls. It's not in Zurich and it takes about an hour to get there. It will be chilly and it's won't be the most impressive time of the year (that's May/June). I'd rather spend the day in Zurich, do a boat trip, visit a museum, the historical town center and perhaps viewing point Uetliberg. Please see the Zurich page.

There won't be a lot of time in St. Moritz if you want to do the Bernina line from Zurich as a day trip. It takes about 6 hours just to reach Tirano. The timetable provides details. If there's time left you can consider a trip up to Piz Nair or a walk around the lake of St. Moritz.

If you want to see the Jungfrau but not visit Jungfraujoch you can enjoy the view from Kleine Scheidegg. A trip to Mürren and the Schilthorn is very scenic too.

Your plan is doable but quite a lot of traveling. The main issue is that you can't assume the weather is good enough to enjoy all the views on the one day you have available for each attraction. So be flexible and adapt your plans to the weather, that's the best thing to do.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Nov 10, 2015 - 9:36 AM in reply to Jcyw1988

Hi Jarrel:

Here are a couple of maps about the Old Town in Zürich.

This online map wil help, as well.

map.search.ch/

The part near the Hauptbahnhof (main station) is easy to get to, has a lot of interesting walking between Paradeplatz, St.Peters, and the Lindenhof. There is some expensive shopping at some very very fashionable stores and boutiques near Hotel zum Sörchen and restaurant Zeughauskeller, and is the most common tourist area.

The area on the other bank of the river, in the Niederdorf is less often visited by tourists, but has some really nice old buildings, a lot of history, and lots of small shops and stores. I stay near there whenever I am in Zürich.

I discussed this in a bit more detail in another thread, with a bit of information about the public transport network.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/swiss-itinerary-for-december-2015

Look in particular at the 7th post in that thread.

I have attached a couple of images from September 2010. The photo of the Heimatwerk store ( Swiss handicrafts) shows a walkway just south of Uraniastrasse along the west bank of the river which gives nice views to the other side. Further south, the twin spires of the Grossmünster are nicely visible. Above the walk on the west side is the Lindenhof, a hill overlooking the river, at one time a Roman fort or camp.

Arno mentioned Uetliberg. Its a nice place to go up to for views. Take a train from the main station (twice per hour , the S10 train), get off about 27 minutes later at the end of the line at station Uetliberg. There are some nice hiking trails along the ridge from there, with restaurants along the way, but you should go up the hill to the Hotel/Restaurant UtoKulm, where there is a viewing tower. In the attached picture, taken by a friend of mine, the viewing tower is on the left. The taller one on the right is a TV tower.

The possible hike to Felsenegg with self service coin operated cable car back down to the train station at Adliswil and return to Zürich at is quite nice, but uses up about 2 to 2 1/2 hours that you may not want to spend up there. I often do that for a jet-lag afternoon when I come into Zürich from the USA.

There will almost surely be some snow up there at the beginning of your trip, so that walk might not be accessible.

Slowpoke

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Jcyw1988
Jcyw1988
8 posts
new member
Nov 20, 2015 - 3:29 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you Arno and Slowpoke for the advice. Appreciate. Will look into all the advice given.

can I ask if the bernina express from chur to st Mortriz is it sceneric enough or do I have to travel all the way to Tirano.

then as for the train issue, i still do not understand which leg the Swiss Travel pass do not cover. So basically I just have to purchase train ticket from Paris to Basel. The from Basel to Zurich is free. Then if from Zermatt to Venice, Zermatt to Milano is free right? Then I just buy train tickets from Milano to Venice right? Correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks

From,

Jarrel

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 20, 2015 - 5:15 PM in reply to Jcyw1988

Hi Jarrel,

Point 2 in my first reply refers to all the details about which routes are included. Does that page not work for you somehow?

Zermatt to Domodossola is free, so you need tickets from there.

All such tickets can be ordered along with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Last modified on Nov 20, 2015 - 5:16 PM by Arno

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