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2-weeks in July 2022: Zurich, Interlaken & Lucerne


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Posts: 8 
annkin
annkin
3 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2022 - 12:15 AM

After waiting 3 years, we finally took our family trip to Switzerland! The 3 of us stayed for 2 weeks (July 4-18) in Zurich, Interlaken, and Lucerne, and had a fabulous time. I think we also got really lucky with the weather– even though it was hot, it didn’t rain at all! We ended up with all sunny days, and were able to do all the outdoor activities we planned to. Thank you to this forum for helping us plan most (if not all) of our itinerary!!

  • Day 1: arrived in Zurich. Picked up SIM cards from Swisscom. We stayed at Hotel Adler which was such a convenient location and a comfortable, quiet place despite being in the middle of a busy street in Old Town.
  • Day 2: recovery day to adjust our jet lag. Explored Zurich, walked along the river to the lake, and visited China Garden.
  • Day 3: departed Zurich and arrived in Interlaken. We stayed at an Airbnb in Bonigen which was a lovely, quiet village and still close to Interlaken train stations via bus. I bought super saver day passes which covered all transport, so we took a boat cruise on Lake Brienz.
  • Day 4: Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg hike. Absolutely beautiful and a good introductory hike (for the days ahead of us). Today started our 6-day Regional Pass Bernese Oberland.
  • Day 5: Lauterbrunnen Valley hike starting from Lauterbrunnen train station to Stechelberg, and from there took a cable car to Murren.
  • Day 6: Niederhorn ridge hike (to Burgfeldstand).
  • Day 7: explored Brienzer Rothorn, and Harder Kulm in the afternoon.
  • Day 8: Oeschinensee hike (not the entire panorama hike, just counterclockwise along the trail until it got too steep). Every place we went in Switzerland was gorgeous, but this was our favorite day… so unbelievably beautiful!
  • Day 9: Grindelwald First, hike to Bachalpsee and Cliff Walk.
  • Day 10: departed Interlaken and arrived in Lucerne. Today started our 4-day Tell Pass, which included this train ride.
  • Day 11: Pilatus. We took a bus to Kriens, cable car up, explored Pilatus, then took the cogwheel train down, and the train back to Lucerne.
  • Day 12: Titlis, and hiked around Trubsee.
  • Day 13: Lake Lucerne boat cruise. I had originally planned to visit Rigi Kulm, but we were losing steam by now haha… all the hiking we did before was catching up to us. We took a chill day instead and explored Weggis. Back in Lucerne, we stopped by the stores one last time for souvenirs and chocolates.
  • Day 14: depart Lucerne and arrive at Zurich Airport. I bought super saver point-to-point tickets for this train ride.

I'm still in disbelief that we even visited Switzerland at all, it was just so beautiful and breathtaking! So glad I got to enjoy it with my family. Truly the trip of my dreams, I'll cherish it for the rest of my life.

Some tips:

  • Highly recommend the regional passes (Regional Pass Bernese Oberland and Tell Pass) if you’re staying a few days consecutively in those areas. I was debating between regional passes vs. Swiss Travel Pass, but ultimately decided on the regional passes based on how our itinerary was planned out. The passes were easy, flexible, and convenient to use, and we definitely got our money’s worth (even with the first class upgrade for Berner Oberland). I did not have to buy a single additional ticket for any transport while in Interlaken and Lucerne. A note for the cable cars: sometimes we could scan the regional pass directly from our phones, and sometimes we had to go to the ticket counter to exchange for a physical ticket. Either way, it wasn’t a hassle at all!
  • I saw another post about encountering fewer English-speakers in the area, and I agree. Of course besides other tourists, I felt that the places we visited, sometimes even in touristy areas, people tended to speak less English than I expected, and I regret not being prepared with a little bit more German. Except for one encounter at a grocery store, people were relatively friendly and tried to help us despite language barriers.
  • SwissMeteo weather app was very useful, even to check cloud coverage. I.e., we swapped going to Pilatus/Titlis because of the clouds that were predicted, so as to get clearer views on the day we went to Titlis.
  • If you’re able to, prepare/cook your own meals if possible! Grocery stores were cheaper than restaurants, and we were delighted that Swiss produce was so fresh and delicious (compared to grocery stores in the US).
  • For day trips and hikes, I found a few blog posts ahead of time to reference throughout the day of. This was helpful so I didn’t have to constantly map it out on my own.
  • We started our days around 7am or 8am. I found that this 1) helped beat the crowds that come later in the day and 2) helped beat the afternoon heat! We usually finished our hikes/activities by 3pm or 4pm, when it would start to get really hot, and be on a train ride back around then. Because public transport was so easy and convenient (esp w/ SBB mobile app and Google maps), it wasn't a problem fitting in a lot of activities every day.
Ildiko
Ildiko
2369 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 11, 2022 - 10:37 AM in reply to annkin

Hi Annkin and welcome to MySwissAlps.com!

Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your travel experience with us. I was glad to read it. Good, that you had nice weather.

Extra thanks for the tips, I am sure that it will be useful for other readers too.

Thank you,

Take care,

Ildiko

Arno
Arno
15585 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2022 - 11:37 AM in reply to annkin

Thanks for getting back to us annkin! Happy to hear you enjoyed your Switzerland visit after 3 years of waiting and postponing.

You seem to have found the right combination of passes and tickets. Regional passes that cover large areas, such as the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland and Tell-Pass, can indeed be very convenient and flexible.

Thanks for your general tips as well. I totally agree that starting your days early makes a positive difference, especially during warmer and busier summer months.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2022 - 11:37 AM by Arno
Arno
Arno
15585 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2022 - 12:11 PM in reply to annkin

Hi again annkin,

I tried to have a look at your attached pictures, but they don't work for me. All that shows up is a small grey square. Do they look good to you? Could something have gone wrong while uploading? Let us know if we can help you!

annkin
annkin
3 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:02 PM in reply to Arno

Oh no, thanks for letting me know Arno!! I've reattached them again, hope it works this time!

Please login to see the attached documents
annkin
annkin
3 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:04 PM

And a few more pics!

Please login to see the attached documents
Anna
Anna
3744 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2022 - 5:24 PM

Hi annkin,

I can view these pics just fine. Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing!

Regards,

Anna

Arno
Arno
15585 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 14, 2022 - 8:51 AM in reply to annkin

Thanks for uploading again annkin! I can see them all now. Those are wonderful pictures! I love the Brienzer Rothorn one, among others: it's such a beautiful overview of the Lake Brienz region in very clear weather. And the clouds at Männlichen work out very well, giving a nice contrast between sunny and shadowy spots.

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