Trip report: Wonderful Switzerland May 2016

Trip report: Wonderful Switzerland May 2016

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Posts: 4
superman888
superman888
9 posts
new member
May 21, 2016 - 11:18 AM

Dear All,

First I would like to thank Arno for responding to my earlier question on the pass that is most suitable for my trip. At first I was wondering between EuroRail Pass and Switz Travel Pass but in the end with more research into my intended route I ended up with Half Fare Card. To be frank when i did the math i couldn't really decide as the difference are quite minimal which is about 10% between the options and I would have chose to pay more for flexibility. However things changed when i found out about the SuperSaver Ticket one night while I was playing with the SBS point to point ticket. If you have alot of city to city train I would suggest you to look at that as well.

Purchase prior to the trip

1. Half fare card: CHF 120

2. P2P ticket Basel - Zurich: CH 8.40

3. P2p ticket Zurich Allstentten - Luzern: CHF 7.20

4. P2p ticket Luzern - Interlaken OST: CHF 11.20

5. P2p ticket Interlaken OST - Geneve: CHF 17.80

Total CHF 164.60

Itinerary:

Day 1: We took a 6.50AM train from Frankfurt to Basel. Originally we intend to take the train direct from Frankfurt to Zurich but it was getting too expensive. While i was thinking of switz travel pass earlier thus i choose the cheaper option which is to come into switz border and take a domestic train to Zurich. I was quite worried that the train will be packed so I went on and purchased reserved seat at 4.5 Euro but instead have the whole train cabin to ourself! Arrive Basel SBB 10 minutes to 10AM, had earlier purchased a 10.37AM train to Zurich thus we have to wait a little. I have the option to buy earlier train but was worried we will miss it (silly me).

We arrived into Zurich HB around 11.30AM. Went on to purchase a 9 o'clock day ticket which cost CHF 13 after discount. (Was CHF 26) We then proceed to Altstetten as I was putting up at Best Western Spirgarten however as room was not ready we have to leave our luggage behind. Went back into Zurich HB had a quick bite with some simple food from Co-op. The afternoon activity would to be visit Rhine Fall.

Came back to Zurich HB at around 5PM, wife was abit passionate about Sprungli so we splurge a little on the macaroon which she loves it. Took a tram to city center to catch the short lake cruise (CHF4.3 with half fare card). Wife went on to google for help on dinner and we decided on Zeughauskeller. Took a tram back which drop us right in front of our hotel. I believe the hotel was recently renovated thus it was all very new and nice. Only complaint is that the tram only go right in the middle of the city, to get to train station we would need to walk 10 mins to Altstetten station which bring us direct to Zurich HB.

Total transport cost: CHF 17.3

Day 2: I booked us on an early train from Zurich HB to Luzern as I would originally like to explore Mt Rigi. However, after some research and reading I decided we will go to Mt. Pilatus instead as it was more direct (there was some walking for Mt. Rigi return trip to the boat terminal thus i choose not to). I am glad i did that because we enjoyed Mt Pilatus so much!! (To be fair I have not been to Mt Rigi but Mt Pilatus has set the bar high!!) With our half fare card, the golden return trip cost CHF 56.8. Surprisingly, the ticket counter guy gave us each a CHF10 voucher which can be used for any food or drinks up at Mt Pilatus. I am guessing it must be some off-peak travel benefit.

We enjoy the boat around the lake and even more on the cogwheel railway, there was so much ice/snow on the ground when we arrive up top. Simply put, we loved it so much. The staff at the gondola was so friendly and we had quite a nice chat. He then allow us into the gondola early just to take some picture. I originally wanted to do the toboggan but we missed the timing of it and it was closed. Told my wife it's OK as we still have this plan at Pfingstegg, Grindelwald.

Went back into Luzern at probably 6pm we then stroll around the city looking for dinner and decided to call it a night. Another transport cost of CHF 6 for day ticket on the bus.

Stay: Bettstatt B&B

Total transport cost: CHF 62.80

Day 3: The train from Luzern to Interlaken OST was purchased at 13:05. After breakfast we went out to the Lion Monument and did some grocery shopping (as we will be staying at Lauterbrunnen for the next 3 nights).Silly us to found out later that there is a Co-op at Lauterbrunnen too.

So we went through the golden line and have to find back our jaw as the views are breathtaking. Once arrive at Interlaken OST we had to purchase a ticket to Lauterbrunnen at CH 3.80. Once we checked in it was nearly 4pm thus I decide to take it easy to just visit Murren. Took a cable car up through Grutschalp then cable car down to stechelberg that cost CHF22. From Stechelberg back to Lauterbrunnen the bus cost CHF 2.2 with half fare card.

Total transport cost: CHF 34.20 (+day pass CHF 6 for bus at Luzern)

Day 4: This day was originally planned for Jungfrau but in the morning it was raining and the weather forecast doesn't really looks good. Surprisingly i saw there will be snowing on the next day at Jungfrau thus i decided to swap Day 5 with Day 5. Pardon us as we come from South-East Asia and my wife had never experience snowing thus I would like her to have that. So the itinerary today was to visit Grindelwald, go up to First for the ZipRider and later up to Pfingstegg for the tobaggan.

Train Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald: CHF 9

First cable car (One-way): CHF 14.50

First Ziprider (no discount for any pass): CHF 29

First cable car back down to Grindelwald: CHF 12.5 (there are 3 segment of the cable car from grindelwald to first, if you are taking the ziprider you would skip one of the segment in return.)

We then walked to another cable car station for Pfingstegg and was told that the tobaggan ride is closed due to snow :( We then decided not to go up and return back to Lauterbrunnen. Was too tired to walk back thus took the bus back to the train station at CHF2.20.

We came back to Lauterbrunnen about 3PM and decided to visit the Trümmelbach Falls. Entrance CHF 11, no discount no matter what pass you hold. Return bus cost 4.40 with half fare card.

Total transport cost: CHF 42.60 (Excludes ziprider & Trümmelbach Falls as these are full fare with no discount for passes)

Day 5: The big snow day. We woke up and it was raining outside, the weather has got worst (or better for us) with alot of cloud around the valley (we stayed at lauterbrunnen)

Ticket to Jungfrau: CHF 91.80

We got really excited as it begin snowing even when we arrive at Kleine Scheidegg, of course with such weather there will be no view up top but we wouldn't mind with so much snowing.

Total transport cost: CHF 91.80

Day 6: The day we leave Lauterbrunnen / Jungfrau region, it was still raining when we left. We experience sun, rain and snow in the 3 nights we were here. Great place and we would love to come back again, Will be heading to Geneve for a night before we fly back on the next evening. Train to Interlaken OST cost CHF 3.80.

There was no need for transportation cost in Geneve as we were given a tourist pass, understand that all hotels in Geneve pass this to their guests.

Total transport cost: CHF 3.80

As a summary, below a total cost of transport we spent during the one week stay

Pre-purchase CHF 164.60

Day 1 CHF 17.30

Day 2 CHF 62.80

Day 3: CHF 34.20

Day 4: CHF 42.60

Day 5: CHF 91.80

Day 6: CHF 3.80

TOTAL: CHF 417.10

I originally computed to be around CHF 460+ but we did skipped Schilthorn and Pfingstegg for different reasons.

I would have settled for perhaps the Jungfrau Pass but there are many cable car ride that are not open during our time of visit (Example Mannlichen). Well as my wife said, "we will be back".

superman888
superman888
9 posts
new member
May 21, 2016 - 11:46 AM

Tips for simcard

I managed to get a free lycamobile simcard from a Kiosk nearby my hotel at Zurich. I top up CHF 10 which was been told was the minimum and that was all i need in a week.

I first purchase 1GB for CHF 5.90 and then as I realized it was too much for a week i purchased another 500MB for CHF 3.25

Info from below page

prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Sw itzerland

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 21, 2016 - 3:16 PM

Hi superman888,

Thank you for such an extensive trip report! We're happy to hear that you've enjoyed your stay in Switzerland and got to see many different things. Weather is a very determining factor indeed. I didn't quite understand if did visit the Jungfraujoch in the end, in spite of the rain and snow. Did you, and if so, how did you like it?

Swiss trains hardly need any seat reservations, as you've experienced yourself. You can just hop on and off as long as you have a valid pass or ticket. Supersaver tickets can be cost effective indeed, although it takes careful planning as they may suddenly sell out and require you to take a specific train.

The closure of cable cars is a bit of a disadvantage when visiting in the off-season indeed. On the other hand, you got to enjoy the Alps in the absence of larger tourist crowds that tend to visit in July/August, and that's a big plus. Good to hear that the both of you plan to return some time. You're welcome to ask any questions once you start planning for a new trip!

superman888
superman888
9 posts
new member
May 21, 2016 - 3:38 PM

Hi Annika,

We are from South East Asia where it's like 38 degree every single day, we enjoy snow like how you guys enjoy sun. It was my wife's first time encountering snow thus it makes it a little special. :D To be honest I did not expect snowing at this time of the year but it was a great surprise.

I agree with the off season thing, perhaps given the choice again I would choose the same time to visit again. Having the place without the tourist crowd really give you a different feeling to it.

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