12 day trip - Geneva, Grindelwald, Luzern, Zurich

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7 posts
new member
Jun 9, 2018 - 11:02 PM

Hi Team,

So I am (finally) getting to Switzerland. I have wanted to visit for a very long time. Your country looks stunning.

I am a 28yr old solo female traveller from Australia and just wanting some opinions on my below itinerary. I am very open to advice. Arrive Sept 21st, depart Oct 2nd 2018. Any day tours would be appreciated, but happy to just do my own thing too.

To help you out with your advice, I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy walks, adrenaline activities, sight seeing, and anything quirky. Plan on doing a few hikes in Grindleward.

I am doing some other parts of Europe before flying from Netherlands to Geneva. I then plan to make my way through your country, finishing in Zurich, before flying home to Australia. Well, that is my current plan. I will be doing my travel via train and will post in the train section as well.

15day SWISS TRAVEL PASS CHF485 (2nd class)

Location- Geneva 2 NIGHTS (21-23)

What to do:

- big chair

- Lake cruise

- Jet d’eau (water jet)

- Bains des Paguis (public bath house)

- Parc des Bastions (giant chess)

- Tavel House (medieval)


via golden pass

Location- Montreux 1 NIGHT (23)

What to do:

- chateau de chillon

- HR giger museum (What is the best way to get to Gruyeres from Montreux to see this? Is there anything else in Gruyeres I could check out?)


Location- Grindleward 3 NIGHTS (24-27)

What to do:

- first cliff walk (+ the first flyer)

- pfinstegg (cable car + tobogin)

- Gletscherschlucht (cool ravine)

- grindleward museum

- glacial waterfall + underground waterfall (interlaken)

- Jungfraujoch (highest rail)

- bachalpsee lake walk

Also would like to skydive out of the helicopter over the alps here


Location- Lucerne 3 nights (27-30)

What to do:

- mount pilatus (Golden Tour)

- lake lucerne

- chapel bridge

- lion monument

- Mt Stanserhorn (open air cable)


Location- Zurich 3 nights (20-2)

What to do:

- rheinfall

- eins abbey

- st gallan library?

- Fechser destination aescher restaurant/cable (EASIEST WAY TO GET TO THIS RESTAURANT AS I MUST GET HERE)

Would love to fit in the Glacier Express, just for the scenery. Where could I slot that in?

Thank you all in advance


18 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 2:14 AM in reply to Louise01

Hi Louise


As a fellow female solo Aussie traveller who has holidayed in Switzerland 5 times over the past 8 years, I thought I may be able to provide some suggestions regarding your itinerary, so I hope you find the following information useful.

1. Depending on what time you are arriving from the Netherlands, I would potentially skip Geneva all together or if you are arriving early in the morning spend 1/2 a day there and then catch a train to Montreux and start your trip from there. Geneva is a lovely city however there are (in my opinion) far more interesting sites and scenery in the Swiss Riviera. Some suggestions include:

  • Chateau de Chillon (as noted)
  • Lavaux Vineyards (you can hike from St Saphorin to Lutry - roughly 10 kms)
  • Rochers-de-naye
  • Lake Promenade walk (including the big Fork) in Vevey
  • Lake cruise (plenty of options from Montreux to choose from)
  • There is also the option of a day trip to Gruyeres and Broc on the Chocolate Train if this is of interest www.goldenpass.ch/en/g oldenpass/offer/view?id=15 though it onlyoperates Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays Sept/Oct

I have included a link to the Montreux Riviera website www.montreuxriviera.co m/en/ for further information. 4 of the 5 holidays I have enjoyed in Switzerland have included a stay in Vevey (10 minutes outside of Montreux so I can highly recommend it as a base - will be staying here again in 3 weeks time.

2. From Montreux you could head to Grindelwald (as per your itinerary), I spent 6 days in Grindelwald and absolutely loved it, you may want to look into the following activities:

  • Schilthorn - www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn/gettingthere , personally I prefer Schilthorn to Jungfraujoch, but both are spectacular whichever one you decide to visit. When I visited the Schilthorn,on the way back I took the cable car to Murren and walked to Grutschalp and then took the cable car from Grutschalp back to Lauterbrunnen
  • Trummelbach falls - if you are going to do the Schilthorn excursion you could visit the falls on your there or way back
  • Cruise on Lake Brienz (https://www.myswissalp s.com/boatlakebrienz) or Lake Thun (https://www.myswissalp s.com/boatlakethun) from Interlaken, would thoroughly recommend both, though my preference is Lake Brienz as you can stop off at Giessbach, take the funicular up to Giessbach Falls, have a lovely lunch at the hotel located nearby and then head back down to the lake and 'hike' (more like a leisurely walk) to Iseltwald and pick the boat back up there and continue your cruise or head back to Interlaken

I have also undertaken the hike from First to Bachalpsee (https://www.myswissalp s.com/hiking/bachsee) and I think you can combine this with the cliff walk and the First Flyer - Grindelwald - First - Bachalpsee - Cliff Walk - First - First Flyer - Grindelwald, depending on how much hiking you intend to do i.e. hiking vs cable cars, you could do this is 1/2 a day

3. Grindelwald to Lucerne (as per your itinerary) - the only other activity you may want to include is a trip to Mt Rigi, you take a boat from Lucerne to Vitznau www.lakelucerne.ch/en/ and from Vitznau take the cogwheel train up the mountain, I have attached the website link www.rigi.ch/en/ for your information, lots of options of things to do

4. From Lucerne I would skip Zurich or only do you must do activity from there (Aescher Restaurant/cable car) and head to the Ticino region, and base yourself out of Locarno, Ascona or Lugano. The weather will be warmer, being a mediterranean climate and is roughly 2 hours from Zurich (so not that far away for your flight back to Australia). Plenty of things to see and do:

Lots of options, scenery, hikes, lakes etc - refer website link www.ticino.ch/en/ , Lucas, one of the moderators of this website, also wrote a trip report that might be of interest www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/ticino-region-trip-march-31-april-2 (I found it very useful in the planning my time in Locarno)

All in all you won't be short of things to see and do in your 12 days in Switzerland.

I hope the suggestions made were of some help.

Happy and safe travels!!!!

14 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 2:20 AM in reply to Louise01

Hi Louise,

Whilst in Grindelwald definitely go across to the Lauterbrunnen valley - (a few options to get across train, rack railway or cable cars) and up to Murren then Birg/ Schilthorn. (free with the STP - https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ validity).If you are after adrenaline activities then check out the Via Ferrata cliff top walk/ climb across from Murren to Gimmelwald at 500-600 metres above the valley floor - check out on YouTube! I tried to persuade my wife that we should do it when there in May but she was not interested!.

Also Trummelbach Falls whilst in the Lauterbrunnen Valley are worth checking out.

Mt Titlis (https://www.myswissalp s.com/titlis) / Engelberg is another great option from Luzern - straightforward by train.

TimO (from Oz)

Last modified on Jun 10, 2018 - 8:31 AM by Lucas
18 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 2:27 AM in reply to TimO

Hi TimO

Looks like we had the same ideas about things to do in Grindelwald!!!

Mt Titlis is also a terrific suggestion from Lucerne

That's what makes Switzerland such a wonderful holiday spot, so many great choices of things to see and do.

14 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 3:37 AM in reply to MyTravels

Hi MyTravels,

Your right, so many things to see and do - I can understand why you have had 5 trips in 8years- You must have seen and done so much!

I can't wait to get back there.


Last modified on Jun 10, 2018 - 3:43 AM by TimO
10496 posts
top member
Jun 10, 2018 - 8:43 AM in reply to Louise01

Hi Louise,

If you don't have any must-do's in Zurich I'd base yourself in St. Gallen, based on your listed interests at this point it makes more sense. However, if your looking for a night scene Zurich is a better bet.

Have a read through my trip report from last year on a day trip I made to the Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli from Zurich: https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/eben alp-appenzell-from-zurich-day-trip

and a day trip I made from Zurich to St. Gallen and into the Voralpen Express part way to Luzern here: https://www.my swissalp s.com/forum/topic/st-gallen-voralpen-express-from-zurich

I agree with MyTravels: base yourself in Montreux (perhaps spend the day of arrival in Geneva to explore if get in in the morning or early afternoon but stay in Montreux.

In Gruyeres you can also check out the Maison Gruyeres cheese factory if it interests you. They are 20 minutes on foot apart from each other.

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan your trips around the country: https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable

With your Swiss Travel Pass you'll want to examine this PDF map of where it is valid to travel: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ validity. We also list the mountains that are free or partially discounted (if you want to save money focus on those free mountains :) ).

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