Need Info on Planning Switzerland Trip

  • Removed user
    52345 posts
    6 April 2011 at 17:26:17 #804208


    Me and my wife are planning to visit Switzerland in May this year.

    What I needed was some help on determining what would be the best way to book and plan my trip in terms of the train reservations and spending days in different locations in Switzerland.

    My overall plan is to visit Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken and Jungfrao.
    I will be coming in from Paris by train and would like to leave by train to Venice.

    So my overall concern is to how to plan this trip from Paris –> Zurich / Lucerne / Interlaken / Jungfrao –> Venice

    My idea so far looks like:

    (a) Incoming to Zurich (23rd May) (Train)
    Now I have heard, that it is recommended to take the day train from Paris to Zurich to enjoy the natural scenic beauty on the way. Is it true?
    Or would an overnight train be more recommendable to avoid losing valuable tourist time by travelling during the day?
    In either case, day or night, where and which train should I book from Paris to Zurich?

    (b) Zurich / Lucerne / Interlaken / Jungfrao (23,24,25,26,27,28)
    I have about anything between 5-6 days to spend for these locations and would like to know how to plan them in terms of travelling and the stay to minimize the hectic running around type travel.

    (c) Outgoing to Venice (28th Night / 29th Morning) (Train)
    What is recommended in terms of travelling to Venice..
    Either take the train from Zurich or from Interlaken or any other place?
    Day train or Night train?

    So basically incoming from Paris and outgoing to Venice needs to be kept in mind while planning Zurich / Lucerne / Interlaken / Jungfrao visits ….

    Can anyone shed some light 🙂

    Thanks in advance !

    – Sunil

  • Arno
    15042 posts
    7 April 2011 at 13:37:01 #832546

    Hi Sunil,

    a) The scenery between the Swiss border (Basel) and Zurich is nice, but not so special that you should prefer it over a day trip elsewhere in the Alps. I don’t know about the French leg of the trip. The train can be booked along with your Swiss rail pass (if you need one) or separately from the reservation page. You can best check the timetable for traveling times. A night train usually takes longer as they’re mostly not high speed trains.

    b) The most logical order is like you described: Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken & Jungfrau, Venice. The number of days per location is a matter of personal preference. I would personally choose for 1 night in Zurich, 2 in Lucerne and 3 in Interlaken. If you pick a night train to Zurich, you would arrive in the early morning. You could store your luggage in lockers, spend the whole day in town, and take an evening train to Lucerne to spend an extra night there. The trip is less than an hour. To me, it’s more relaxed to have only 2 hotels to check in than 3.

    c) A day train to travel to Venice would be nice as you cross a large part of the Alps. Again, I mainly know the Swiss section of the trip.

    I hope this helps!

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    7 April 2011 at 18:44:08 #832547

    Dear Arno

    Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your inputs.

    I kind of agree to your points, but then:

    (Point b): Supposedly I do this, so I spend a day in Zurich by storing the luggage in the lockers, and then take a 1 hour train to Lucerne in the evening.
    So you suggest to stay at a hotel in Lucerne. But then what about Mount Pilatus. How would I make a trip to that place ?
    Any suggestions how it is out there in terms of staying near the base Lucerne, or do we carry the luggage and everything (if its feasible) and take it to the top of Mount Pilatus and stay there?
    Any suggestions, as to how to make life easier 🙂 in terms of carrying stuff around …

    Someone told me, that its better to store your stuff at the Zurich lockers somewhere, and carry only 2 days worth of stuff to Lucerne if you are spending one night and one day there. And then come back to Zurich to leave for Venice.

    But then I also want to do Interlaken so I guess the better PLAN would be, assuming the date is 23rd May:

    (1) 23rd May: Arrive in morning at Zurich (Day Train or Night Train from Paris)…

    (2) 23rd May: Same day, directly go to Lucerne with all the luggage (Not spending any time in Zurich)…No storing in lockers in Zurich…

    (3) 23 Night, 24 Night: Stay at Lucerne for 2 nights …
    23rd Night: First night relax and explore Lucerne base …
    24th Day: Second whole day go to Mount Pilatus …
    24th Night: Come back and relax in Lucerne the 2nd night …

    (4) 25th May: Leave from Lucerne to Interlaken in Morning … Spend 2 nights in Interlaken .. (I am not sure how long would that trip be)
    25th Day: Explore around Interlaken … Spend the night in Interlaken …
    26th Day: Visit to Jungfrau … Spend the night in Interlaken …

    (5) 27th May: Leave from Lucerne to Zurich in Morning … (Not sure how long that trip is) …
    Option 5A:
    Store the luggage in lockers for the day and spend the day in Zurich ….
    27th Night: And then take the night train to Venice to reach on 28th Morning ….


    Option 5B:
    Spend one night in Zurich, and take the morning train from Zurich to Venice the other day …
    That way I can spend an evening in Zurich if there are things to look around and take a rest the night and take a day train to Venice …

    Any suggestions / tips / ideas that you can offer would be greatly appreciated ….


    7001 posts
    8 April 2011 at 11:00:05 #832548

    Hi Sunil! As for point b): it would be best to check-in in your hotel in Lucerne first, leave your luggage there, and then get up to Mt. Pilatus. I wouldn’t recommend carrying your suitcases along to Mt. Pilatus, as you’ll be travelling by cog train and/or cable car.

    I’m not sure how much luggage you want to carry along to your hotels. If a few backpacks are enough for you, you could leave the rest of your luggage in lockers at the Zurich railway station and pick it up at the end of your stay in Switzerland. Swiss trains generally offer enough space to take your baggage along though, so that shouldn’t be a problem, especially in May as this isn’t high season for tourists. You could also choose to use the SBB baggage service. Simply hand in your suitcases at one station, and pick them up at another station the same evening or a few days later. This may be an alternative to storing your bags in lockers.

    It would actually be a detour to start and end in Zurich and leave for Venice from there. In terms of both time and money it’s better to leave from Interlaken, as the trip Interlaken-Venice is shorter and therefore cheaper than the trip Zurich-Venice. The Swiss timetable will help you plan your trips. If you want to make your stay as relaxed as possible, I would stick with the order Zurich-Lucerne-Interlaken/Jungfrau-Venice (not getting back to Zurich again), as Arno mentioned, and follow his advice of storing your luggage in lockers for the first day. You can spend your first day in Zurich without luggage, pick it up in the evening, and travel onto Lucerne.

    Best regards,

    Removed user
    52345 posts
    13 April 2011 at 20:11:40 #832549

    Hi Annika

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am still not able to plan my trip since my major confusion is with the times …

    So again:

    26th May Thursday
    – Arrive at Zurich (Overnight train from Paris) …
    – Spend the day in Zurich (Store bags some place)
    – Take a train from Zurich to Lucerne
    – Stay the 1st night at Lucerne

    27th May Friday
    – Day trip to Mount Pilatus
    (My question: How much time does it normally take for sightseeing and the travel from Lucerne to Pilatus and back to Lucerne)
    – Stay the 2nd night at Lucerne

    28th May Saturday
    – Day trip to Mount Titlis
    (My question: How much time does it normally take for sightseeing and the travel from Lucerne to Titlis and back to Lucerne)
    – Stay the 3rd night at Lucerne

    29th May Sunday
    – Morning train from Lucerne to Interlaken
    Option 1: My Question: Can I do Jungfrau this same day once I reach Interlaken – Please also consider I would be travelling with my regular luggage
    Option 2: OR should I just spend time in Interlaken for that day going around to some other places?

    If I do Option1: I finish Jungfrau, stay the night at Interlaken, and leave for Venice on 30th May ….
    If I do Option 2: I would have to stay 2 nights in Interlaken, first day, just go around, 2nd day do Jungfrau.. And then leave on 1st June for Venice in the morning …

    Can you please recommend?


    7001 posts
    14 April 2011 at 2:49:36 #832550

    Hi Sunil,

    Did you use the timetable to check for traveling times? That will provide the best insights. In general, I can say that you would need about half a day for the Pilatus and half a day for the Titlis. If you leave Lucerne early to go to Interlaken, you would be able to do the Jungfrau on the same day. The exact duration of excursions also depends on how much time you would like to take to enjoy the views, perhaps visit a summit restaurant, or spend some time in places along the way.

  • The thread ‘Need Info on Planning Switzerland Trip’ is closed to new replies.

About MySwissAlps

We’re passionate tourists and locals. We share tips about how to plan a trip to Switzerland. MySwissAlps was founded in 2002.

Get a free account for a worry-free trip

  • Join our 9580 members and ask us questions in the forum
  • Access to member-only promotions
  • Detailed maps and weather forecasts

Don’t miss our tips and new promotions

Subscribe to our newsletter. You’ll receive practical tips and be alerted when there are new promotions.