2 day plan: Geneva – Interlaken – Mt Titlis

  • Removed user
    52349 posts
    31 March 2013 at 13:17:05 #805888

    I will be in Geneva for work during April 2013, and will have one weekend free for travel (April 20-21). I sketched up a following tentative plan:

    20 April:
    Early morning: Geneva to Interlaken to Jungfrau (5 hours)
    Back to Interlaken in afternoon (say by 3 pm)
    Skydiving in afternoon in Interlaken
    Overnight stay at Interlaken

    21 early morning: Interlaken to Lucerne (2 hours)
    Lucerne to Titlis and back by afternoon
    Back to Geneva.

    I have a few questions on this plan:
    Is this too hectic or should be doable? I am an active traveler so used to long travels
    Is it cheaper to stay overnight at Interlaken or reach Lucerne and stay there, since i am already going to spend a bomb on skydiving etc.
    I saw that the super saver tickets offer some great discounts. Can they be booked from India using an international Indian visa credit card? Also, these only seem to be available for Geneva – Interlaken and not from Interlaken – Jungfrau?
    Since i am only going to travel for 2 days, i suppose there is no suitable rail pass?

  • Annika
    7004 posts
    1 April 2013 at 9:37:14 #838318

    Welcome to the forum, swiss-traveller! I think your plan is too ambitious on some points. You will manage to visit the Jungfraujoch on April 20 for example, but I think it’s too much to do skydiving in the afternoon as well. I guess you have you to follow an introduction program and some exercises first before taking off, so the total trip may last longer than just a few hours in the afternoon. Please ask for details at skydive companies, such as Skydrive Interlaken or Swiss Helicopter. As for April 21: you will be able to get to Lucerne and return to Geneva the same day, but in that case I wouldn’t visit the Titlis as the trip to and from Engelberg adds another 1,5 hours to your traveling time. Instead, pick a viewing point closer to Lucerne, such as Pilatus. You could make a great round trip via boat, cog train and cable car. Traveling times can be found through the timetable.

    As for tickets and passes: the best option would be to buy a Swiss Half Fare Card for this weekend. Even if it’s only two days, the 50% discounts offered by the Swiss Half Fare Card will be much cheaper than buying regular full-fare tickets. Details and purchase options can be found here.

    Supersaver tickets are available for some town to town transfers, but not for all. You can’t book them earlier than 14 days before traveling. Booking from India is possible, but not all credit cards are accepted. Widely used types such as Visa and Mastercard are. You can just try two weeks in advance and see what’s available, and whether a supersaver ticket would be cheaper than a regular 50% discounted ticket. If you’re already in Geneva, just get to the railway station there and ask for the options there. Mention that you’ll have a Swiss Half Fare Card, as supersaver ticket prices will be even lower in that case.

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    3 April 2013 at 6:53:29 #838319

    Hi Annika,

    Many thanks for your detailed reply!

    I have also come to think that this plan is too ambitious, and so have decided to only cover one of the two. Among the two which one would you recommend – Interlaken or Lucerne for a weekend trip? My main objective would be natural beauty + a chance to do some adventure activity if possible, and so my bias is towards Interlaken. Could weather play a spoilsport at this time of the year – 21 april at either of these places? I have checked with the sky-diving companies that you mentioned, and they say its about a 3 hour exercise.

    Since I am only travelling by train for two days, I thought that the Swiss Half Care initial cost is probably more than the total expense, but I will re-check.

    I have been following the supersaver tickets and they have good deals between Geneva – Interlaken etc for example! That is why, I want to finalize my plan in the next 2-3 days, so I can book on 6th April (for travel on 20th April).

    Do International Visa cards issued by Indian banks work everywhere in Switzerland? I read somewhere about chip based cards being mandatory now. I have used this at airports before (Frankfurt etc) and it worked fine then (3 years ago). Is it advisable to buy a pre-paid forex travel card from India, or simpler to just use the credit card everywhere?

    7004 posts
    3 April 2013 at 15:52:18 #838320

    Hi swiss-traveller. Glad I could help! I agree that Interlaken makes sense. Hotels near the railway station can be found here. As for weather: to be honest, yes, it can spoil your plans. But that’s a risk all year long. Weather is unpredictable up in the mountains and may change rapidly, so it’s very hard to say what circumstances will be like this April. It’s wise to make some back-up plans in case weather is bad.

    The Swiss Half Fare Card will very probably be cheaper than regular tickets. Just the trip to the Jungfraujoch in itself nearly justifies buying one. The 50% discounted rate provided by the Swiss Half Fare Card for Geneva-Interlaken is still cheaper than (or exactly as expensive as) the most economical supersaver ticket deals I found. Especially if you plan to make some further local trips as well, for which supersaver tickets aren’t available, this is an economical solution. Note that the Swiss Half Fare Card also provides further discounts to the supersaver tickets rates.

    I’m pretty sure that international Visa cards will work, especially at larger companies. Supermarkets and smaller organisations may not be able to use it though, so you should always carry some cash in Swiss Francs. To be sure, you can best ask Visa directly.

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