12 August 2016 at 17:58:13 #809860
i am travelling to Switzerland with my family (2 adult one child) from 3-10 September. My travel plan is as follows
- 3-5 September – in Zurich (Will travel within the city).
- 5-8 September – in Champoussin.
- 8-10 September – In Geneva. Will travel within the city.
I need some inputs on which train tickets to buy that allows me local travel from airport to hotel in Zurich, local city travel in Zurich (3-5), train travel to Champoussin, train travel to Geneva, local city travel within Geneva. Can you suggest which train tickets to opt for?
Thank you. Bhaskar
ArnoModerator15042 posts13 August 2016 at 8:29:01 #855030
A Swiss Travel Pass might be too expensive if you are sure you will only be traveling within the two cities of Zurich and Geneva. Please see here for how to compare passes. Personally I would prefer Lucerne over Zurich and Lausanne or Montreux over Geneva. That way you’ll be staying much closer to the Alps.14 August 2016 at 0:48:20 #855031
Zürich is not a good tourist destination, unless you have special reasons to be there. It is, indeed, a good rail hub, and I can spend many days there in the museums and local sites, but the scenic places are a bit distant.
Luzern might be a better base, as Arno has noted.
Do you have special interests in Zürich?
Slowpoke14 August 2016 at 3:22:35 #855032
Thanks Arno and Slowpoke. Thanks for your suggestions and guidance on the train tickets. Looks the Swiss pass or the hard pass are the best options. And I i will have to choose between the two.
I enter the country through Zurich and leave from Geneva, as thats how the tickets were available from India. I was to spend the entire time at Champoussin, but decided to spend a day each at Zurich and Geneva. I am a little unclear about the train route from Zurich to Champoussin, looks like i will have to travel via Lausanne and Aigle. I have three days in Champoussin and wanted to ask both of you if I can travel to the Alps (Mt Titlis) from Champoussin? In that case the full Swiss pass can bet to good use.
Do suggest. Look forward to coming to your beautiful country.
Bhaskar14 August 2016 at 7:57:34 #855033
>> I am a little unclear about the train route from Zurich to Champoussin, looks like i will have to travel via Lausanne and Aigle. I have three days in Champoussin and wanted to ask both of you if I can travel to the Alps (Mt Titlis) from Champoussin?
Champoussin is quite remote and not well served by public transport. There is no train service there. You travel by train to Val-d’Illiez and then get a bus. The bus is rather infrequent (4-5 services per day), so there are several hours between services. The last bus back to Champoussin from Val d’Illiez leaves at 18:20.
Champoussin is basically a ski resort, and services that are open during the ski season may be closed in September. If your accommodation does not provide an evening meal, you would want to check whether any restaurants are open during your stay. Or, if you are self-catering, find out where the nearest food store is (and how you would get there). Another thing to check would be where your accommodation is in relation to the bus stop in Champoussin.
It would not be possible to travel to Titlis from Champoussin and back in one day. The travelling time would be around 13 hours there and back, and you would not be able to get back to Val-d’Illiez in time for the last bus back to Champoussin.
If you are planning to “stay put” in Champoussin for a few days, such a location might suit your needs – although I imagine it would be pretty quiet in September. However, if you were hoping to travel around a bit to see other places, Champoussin is not a good choice as a base.
I hope this is helpful.
Alpenrose14 August 2016 at 7:57:48 #855034
There are two websites which will help you all the while in Switzerland.
One is the timetable:
Please read the instructions carefully. There is a lot of information buried in the layers of menus.
The other is a map with transport information:
Here is Champoussin;
Under “Points of Interest” in the menu, click on Traffic which will allow you to put an overlay on the map showing public transport stations.
You have picked a remote village with limited public transport. It looks to me like the main reason for its continued existence is skiing in the winter…several ski lifts are nearby. Many older remote mountain villages have depopulated unless they have such a source of income. This one looks like it has modern construction. Looking at the map in detail, with rows of identical buildings suggest that it might be a purpose built village of apartments or chalets, built as vacation home or apartments for skiers. Some of the street names are clearly modern, including Rue Kappa and Rue Gamma.
It is built on the side of a hill:
The trip will involve trains as far as Val-d’Illiez, then a bus. There is limited bus service from Val-d’Illiez to Champoussin. On weekdays it has the typical commuter pattern – two buses in the AM at 0713 and 0920 and two late in the day at 1620 and 1820 to the village.
The first part f the train trip from Zürich to Lausanne, is on fast mainline trains. It would be necessary to check the timetable to see if the route to Val-d’Illiez from Luzern would take less time than traveling from Zürich . I think it might; just guessing. But,it is not certain; the time table would tell you. Routes would probably merge at Bern…and travel time from Zürich or Luzern to Bern is similar.
Departures from Champoussin are: 0637, 0750, 1040, 1540 and 1740. You can use the timetable to figure out how to get to Geneva.
Bus service on weekends to Champousin is likely to be on a different schedule. .I did not check because I think you would be traveling on the 5th and 8th.
Use the timetable to estimate times to, for example, Titlis. Engelberg is the base for Titlis:
Travel from Champoussin to Titlis will be limited by the bus service from Champoussin.
I have attached a screen grab from the time table for the 8th for a trip to Engelberg.
It will take 5 to 6 hours to get to Engelberg. It may not be possible to return on the same day in time to catch the last bus up to Champoussin, even if you leave Engelberg as soon as you arrive, skipping Mt. Titlis.
You will note that the route requires that you go to Luzern, then to Engelberg.
Possibly, you could organize that in some way if you stayed in Luzern, rather than Zürich
You would have to work the timetable carefully, and study the Titlis page linked above to refine that idea.
Depending on your flight time back to India, you might enjoy Montreux more than Geneva. there is excellent train service from Montreux to Geneva airport.
At Montreux, there is a very nice alpine railroad to Rochers-de-Naye, which could be a substitute for Titlis.
That might be possible as a day trip from Champoussin. Check the timetable.
Unless you plan significant hiking, which seems unlikely unless your child is able to hike, there is probably not much to do in Champoussin in September.
August has more events.
Slowpoke15 August 2016 at 8:03:02 #855035
Hi Arno, Alpenrose and Slowpoke, Based on your feedback, i decided to make some changes to my itinerary. You seem to have have convinced me to change my schedule :-). So my plan looks a little like the below now –
3 Sep – Arrive in Zurich. Stay the night there
4 Sep – Leave for Lucerne at 9 am. Go around the city (Any suggestions on this ?). Stay the night there.
5 Sept – Travel to Mt Titlis (via Engelberg). Return to Lucerne for night stay. How does one buy tickets for the travel up from Engelberg? Got in touch with the Titlis site and the auto-response was i could buy them from the ‘bottom station’. Does that mean one can buy tickets for the cable ride up from Engelberg?
6 September – Leave for Champoussin at 9 am. Stay at Champoussin till 8 September morning. Cannot change this any more as it has been paid for already.
8 September – Leave for Lausanne at 9 am. Stay at Lausanne that day. Any suggestions on what to do at Lausanne?
9 September – Leave for Geneva at 9 am in the morning.
10 Sept – Return back to India.
Need some inputs on the guidance.
Bhaskar15 August 2016 at 8:10:37 #855036
Please consider Montreux instead of Lausanne, depending on your flight times.
However, Lausanne and Montreux a close to each other (22 minutes by frequent train) so it may not matter.
Slowpoke15 August 2016 at 9:15:42 #855037
HI slowpoke, I will look into that option as well. As reason why you suggest Montreux over Lausanne?
Meanwhile can you suggest how one can book tickets from Engelberg to Mt Titlis? I got an auto-response this morning that said tickets could be bought from the ‘bottom station’. Not clear what that was, but i am guessing that is Engelberg.
Bhaskar15 August 2016 at 10:56:51 #855038
>> 3 Sep – Arrive in Zurich. Stay the night there
Depending on what time you arrive in Zürich, and whether you have any special reason for wanting to stay there, you might consider going straight to Luzern/Lucerne. It only takes a bit over an hour to get there from Zürich. In particular, if you will need to wait more than an hour before you can get access to your hotel room in Zürich (typically rooms are available from 14:00 or 15:00), going straight to Luzern may be more convenient anyway. Luzern has a lot more to offer the first-time tourist than Zürich has, although personally I like Zürich very much myself.
>> 4 Sep – Leave for Lucerne at 9 am. Go around the city (Any suggestions on this ?). Stay the night there.
Plenty of ideas here:
>> 5 Sept – Travel to Mt Titlis (via Engelberg). Return to Lucerne for night stay. How does one buy tickets for the travel up from Engelberg? Got in touch with the Titlis site and the auto-response was i could buy them from the ‘bottom station’. Does that mean one can buy tickets for the cable ride up from Engelberg?
Lots of information, including how to buy tickets, here:
>> 6 September – Leave for Champoussin at 9 am. Stay at Champoussin till 8 September morning. Cannot change this any more as it has been paid for already.
Don’t forget to use the SBB timetable to see what is feasible. The first departure at a reasonable hour from Luzern that will take you most directly to Champoussin doesn’t leave until 12:00. The trip will take around 5 hours.
According to the timetable, there is a bus replacement for part of your trip due to construction work. This would affect the last stretch of your train trip between Monthey-Ville and Val-d’Illiez: you (and everybody else) would have to get out of the train at Monthey-Ville and change to the replacement bus for the rest of the way to Val-d’Illiez.
I believe these bus replacements are usually efficiently organised, but it would be good to be prepared for the fact that you may miss the 16:20 bus from Val-d’Illiez to Champoussin, and have to wait 2 hours for the next (last) bus at 18:20. On the other hand, they may hold the Val-d’Illiez-to-Champoussin bus until the train-replacement-bus arrives at Val-d’Illiez – I’m not sure about that. You could ask the conductor on the train perhaps, so you know what to expect and don’t get an unpleasant surprise 😉
>> 8 September – Leave for Lausanne at 9 am. Stay at Lausanne that day. Any suggestions on what to do at Lausanne?
Again, make sure to use the SBB timetable. Due to the infrequent bus services out of Champoussin, you would have to choose from a 7:50 or 10:40 departure. Your trip to Lausanne will also be affected by a bus replacement service between Val-d’Illiez and Monthey-Ville.
Information about Lausanne is here:
I have attached a timetable for the buses between Val-d’Iliez and Champoussin that might be useful for you. As you will be in Champoussin on a Wednesday, please note that two of the services (highlighted in yellow) do not run on Wednesdays.
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