Swiss & Berlin, 2-country pass or swiss pass + fl

Swiss & Berlin, 2-country pass or swiss pass + fl

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jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 15, 2015 - 12:31 AM

Hi moderator,

We have modified our plan to have more days in Swiss before heading to Berlin. We wish to add Zermatt (Matterhorn) and Glacier route in our trip. Will need some advice on sightseeing (we don't ski) and train pass, i.e. 2-countries 5/6/7 days (German& Swiss) or Swiss (which type?) & flight (Zurich to Berlin). Please see if the following makes sense.

Day 1: Flight arrived Zurich in the evening, night stay Zurich

Day 2: Zurich day tour, night stay Zurich

Day3: 1st day train pass- Zurich to Rhine Fall . "The Rhine Falls are within easy reach from Zurich (an hour by train), and not to be missed. This day trip takes about half a day. You can extend it by exploring the town of Schaffhausen or do a two hours boat cruise to Stein am Rhein and take the train back to Zurich from there. This detour would add another 4 hours to your trip" Return to Zurich to pick up luggage, train to Wilderswil via Golden Pass Line (should we visit Lucerne first and go to Rhine Fall before we head to Zurich for flight or night train to Berlin on Day 10?); night stay Wilderswil

Day 4: Early morning train and use pass discount to go Jungfraujoch (does this count as 1 day on the pass?), night stay Wilderswil

Day 5: (from this website)" explore the valley on foot. This hike can be as long or as short as you want. You can start in Wilderswil (5 minutes from Interlaken by train), and walk via Zweilütschinen and Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and beyond. The trails are not difficult. Trains back to Interlaken depart from Zweilütschinen and Lauterbrunnen. From Stechelberg there's a bus back to Lauterbrunnen. The highlight of the route is the Staubbach Fall, just past the village of Lauterbrunnen." , night stay Wilderswil (day 4 & 5 can be interchanged depending the Jungfrau weather)

Day 6: ? pass- to Zermatt, night stay Zermatt

Day 7: ? day pass- Glacier route, night stay ? (please advise if we should travel to St. Moritz or just to Chur)

Day 8: Pls. suggest where to visit

Day 9: ? day pass: (?where) to Lucerne, sightseeing Lucerne, "travel by train to Arth-Goldau, and switch to the cogwheel train up the Rigi. From there, another train goes down to Vitznau. Optionally you can walk part of this route to explore the car free countryside even better. The section from Rigi Staffel to Rigi Kaltbad is a short and easy hike. Vitznau is a beautifully located village long Lake Lucerne. A relaxed boat trip is the perfect way to reach Lucerne. (should we visit Lucerne on Day 3 and save this day for other spots along the Glacier route?)

Day 10: return to Zurich, visit Rhine fall if travel to Lucerne on Day 3, either evening flight (1 day swiss pass) or night train to Berlin (uses 2 days from the 2 countries pass)

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2015 - 8:02 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

Thanks for posting your plan here. I assume you are planning this for the Summer? I would do it like this:

Day 1: Arrival in Zurich.
Day 2: Rhine Fall in the morning, Zurich city in the afternoon.
Day 3: Train to St. Moritz via Landquart, Sagliains (this prevents doing the same route twice).
Day 4: St. Moritz.
Day 5: Glacier Express to Zermatt.
Day 6: Train to Wilderswil, Jungfrau region. You can consider the local train via Brig and Kandersteg for better views.
Day 7: Wilderswil.
Day 8: Wilderswil.
Day 9: Golden Pass line to Lucerne and Mount Rigi.
Day 10: Train to Basel, direct day or night train to Berlin from there.

It is a lot for 10 days, but the above does include the things on your list with the least amount of traveling and lots of scenic routes. Also this suggestion includes less time in Zurich and an extra day in St. Moritz. Both the St. Moritz and Zermatt regions are wonderful; it would be a shame not to stay a day in at least one of these towns if your travel that long to get there.

You can use an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass for day 2 to 9, and a point to point ticket from Lucerne to Berlin.

The links provide additional information, including suggestions for day trips and hotels.

I hope this was useful for you!

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 17, 2015 - 4:17 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

We will travel in late August and early September. Pls advise what should we dress if we go up to the mountain for sightseeing? Do we need the winter boot & down feather jacket?

I like your itinerary but we have booked non-refundable hotels from day 1 to day 5. May you help to suggest the train route from day 6 to day 10?

Do you still recommend us to go to st. Moritz for sightseeing? We seem to cover the best of Switzerland.

Thank you

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 17, 2015 - 5:37 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

In that case there is not much you can change, but your plan is fine and you can still choose to spend day 8 in either St. Moritz or Lucerne. I would choose St. Moritz.

Dress in multiple thinner layers as explained here. There's no need for snow boots unless you plan to actually go hiking in places like Jungfraujoch.

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 24, 2015 - 1:27 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Appreciate your suggestion. We wish to see if we can travel both Lucerne and St. Moritz. I need advice which pass will work for us the best with the following revised itinerary, i.e. Germany-Swiss (9days)-Euro 650 ; 8 days pass-Euro 590; or Swiss pass +half combo (4 day flex)- Euro 564 & extra. I have already reviewed the Swiss rail map, but not very clear about the discount on some of the routes. Will German-Swiss pass work for Golden pass line and Glacier Express line?

Will we have enough time on Day 6/7 at Zermatt (to visit lake Riffelsee with the Matterhorn in the background) and Day 7 /8 at St. Moritz? What are special about St. Moritz that you would choose it instead of Lucerne?

Day 1(Aug 28/15): Arrival in Zurich (late evening), night stay Zurich

Day 2: Rhine Fall in the morning, Zurich city in the afternoon, night stay Zurich

Day 3: Zurich city morning (can switch with Day2 to visit Rhine fall to save the use of a day pass), Golden Pass train to Wilderswil, Jungfrau region. local train via Brig and Kandersteg, night stay Wilderswil
Day 4: Jungfrau region, night stay Wilderswil
Day 5: Jungfrau region, train to Zermatt.
Day 6: Gornergrat train at Zermatt, night stay Zermatt
Day 7: Glacier Express to St. Moritz.
Day 8: St. Moritz to Lucerne, night stay at Lucerne
Day 9: Lucerne and Mount Rigi, night stay at Lucerne.
Day 10 (Sept 6/15): return to Zurich, either evening flight (swiss pass, ?type) or night train to Berlin (uses 2 days from the countries pass)or Train to Basel, direct day or night train to Berlin from there (swiss pass, ? type).

Thank you and looking forward to your reply.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 24, 2015 - 5:39 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

You need the pass and ticket that I suggested in my March 16 post. A Eurail Pass for Switzerland and Germany does not work for the Glacier Express route: you only get a 25% discount there. What's included in the Swiss Travel Pass is explained here. Be sure to check prices and discounts so that you can pick a cheaper online option over buying in Switzerland.

You don't need to stay longer in St. Moritz necessarily. It's just a suggestion because you travel all the way to the south east corner of Switzerland. It's a beautiful region that's worth spending some time exploring. I would not switch it for Lucerne, but for Zurich. But you can't change the beginning of your trip so I think you plan is fine now. You can always come back for more!

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 28, 2015 - 2:27 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for the tips on the Rail Pass. The Swiss Pass seems to work better for our trip plan. Do we have reserve seat for the Glacier Express route 2nd class? When should we book it? How may we do the reservation online prior to arrival in Switzerland? Most St. Moritz hotel require a notice of cancellation 7 day prior. Is there another option if we could not get on the Glacier Express train?

Where will you suggest us for sightseeing at St. Moritz if we arrival in late afternoon and stay next morning?

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2015 - 7:00 PM

Hello jpatyl2003,

Links to booking seats can be found on our Glacier Express page. You can order it along with your pass, for example. It's a popular train, so book it as soon as your date is set. I'm not sure what you mean by another option for St. Moritz. You'll be able to travel to St. Moritz in any case. Even if the Glacier Express is fully booked, there are regular trains as well. But it isn't fully booked for august yet. In your case you can check out raileurope.ca/point_to_point and book the seats, and the pass.

Hotels with free cancellation until 3 days before, or perhaps even less, can be found on our St. Moritz page.

A viewing point like Piz Nair would be very nice to visit. But most if not all close between 4 PM and 6 PM, so it looks like you don't have time for that. A walk along Lake St. Moritz is another way to enjoy the late afternoon. It's a 5 minute walk from the station to the lake.

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2015 - 6:39 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Appreciate the reply. Now we are all set with our trip plan and start the Swiss Pass booking. I remember Arno has posted a link about booking the pass in different websites and have different rate. I could not find the posting again. May you kindly re-post again?

I have tried to reserve the Glacier pass via the www.raileurope-world.com. It did not work when I enter Zermatt to St. Moritz. It keeps on stating that St. Moritz is not the right destination. It worked when I tried the same entries via www.raileurope.ca.

However, I wish to use the www.raileurope-world.com website as it seems to be cheaper and also has a coupon. Please advice how I can reserve the seat of the Glacier Express.

We'll have our last day at Zurich without a train pass. Will a Zurich day pass allow us to travel from city to airport?

Thank you

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 29, 2015 - 7:58 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

Arno posted this page to compare prices. For the coupons, you can click to the Discounts tab on that page.

You can book the Glacier Express seats through www.raileurope-world.com/#tab3. I just tried and it works fine, but beware to enter "St Moritz" (without a dot) and not "St. Moritz". The Swiss Travel Pass is available on their page raileurope-world.com/swiss-pass.

There are Zurich day passes for various zones (areas), so ask for one that includes the airport. If you just want to see the city center it can all be done on foot. A train ticket to the airport is just a few Swiss francs. More information is on our Zurich page too.

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2015 - 8:41 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Your reply just come on time. I really appreciate it. I followed your spelling on "St Moritz" and was able to search the price. However, I wish to choose departure at `8 am but it did not give me a confirmation. On another trial using the official Glacier Express website, it only gave me one option at 9 a.m. Does it mean that it is fully booked for the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. train?

I need some advice on what to do at St. Moritz. We will arrive at around 6 p.m. if we depart 9 a.m. at Zermatt. We plan to return to Zurich from St Moritz next day, probably in the evening. It implies that we only have 8 daytime hours at St Moritz.

Thank you

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 29, 2015 - 9:10 AM in reply to jpatyl2003
If you select 6 AM you'll see all 3 trains to choose from. If you have a full day in St. Moritz you can visit a peak like suggested yesterday. Please see the St. Moritz page for various activities/hikes. Mount Corvatch is very nice and nearby.
jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 29, 2015 - 9:26 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika

It allowed me to choose. When I checked out, it stated that it cannot be confirmed. Someone will contact me by phone to discuss. I suspected that they are fully booked because the glacier express website did not give me any options.

May you help to check if I have don't anything wrong?

Thank you

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 29, 2015 - 9:54 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

i don't think you did anything wrong, and I don't think the train is fully booked either. Most trains can only be booked from 3 months before the travel date. So if this is for September it may just not be available yet. In other cases however, trains can be booked sooner, or the travel agent can store your booking in order to actually process it once it's available. That's why it's worth giving a try. I'm not sure which of these reasons applies here, but they'll contact you so you'll know soon. If you can't book now, then simply book your pass and seat 3 months before your travel date. Then it should definitely work.

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 30, 2015 - 7:12 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

You are right. I checked again on the Glacier Express website. It advised to reserve the seat 2 months in advance if I did not like the 9 a.m. train schedule.

Will the swiss pass get a free ride to Mount Corvatch at St. Moritz?

Do I have to reserve seat from St. Moritz to Zurich?

Thank you for all your tips.

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 31, 2015 - 4:38 AM

Hi jpatyl2003,

Mount Corvatch is 50% discounted, please see the map.

Swiss trains do not require seat reservations. The Glacier Express is an exception. You can simply hop on the trains to Zurich with your Swiss Travel Pass. If time allows, travel from St. Moritz via Sagliains and Landquart to Zurich (see the timetable). That way you prevent doing part of the Glacier Express line twice.

jpatyl2003
jpatyl2003
34 posts
active member
Mar 31, 2015 - 7:19 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Appreciate the recommendation. You have mentioned "a viewing point like Piz Nair" in previous post. Which one should we go if time is limited at St. Moritz, Piz Nair or Mount Corvatch?

Regarding the Glacier Express 2nd class, will we have chance to buy food or drinks, especially hot water if we don't order the meals ahead of time?

I like the idea to travel from St. Moritz via Sagliains and Landquart to Zurich. I believe the transfer will take more time. Will we have to book the St. Moritz to Chur segment if we use the Glacier Express to return to Zurich?

Our trip plan is almost all set except for details in each day and the ordering of the railpasses. Arno and you have been so helpful to provide all the tips in Swiss Alps travel. We have changed our plan from staying 4 days to 10 days after reading the postings in the past few months.

Thank you

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 1, 2015 - 5:43 AM

Hello jpatyl2003,

The Piz Nair trip starts right in the town center of St. Moritz, so it's the quickest one.

The Glacier Express has food and drinks on board also if you don't pre-order. Don't use the Glacier Express just for St. Moritz to Chur. It departs early which does not fit your plans, plus you'd pay the full reservation fee again. There are plenty of other trains on the same route or the one via Sagliains. There are a few direct trains from St. Moritz to Landquart: they don't stop in Sagliains but do go via that route. In Landquart you change for Zurich. It's even slightly quicker than via Chur. Check the timetable for departure times that suit you.

I'm glad we helped you decide to extend your stay! Switzerland is worth it, I'm sure you will agree. I would love to see a trip report once you're back, if possible.

Arno

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