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2 weeks in Switzerland (end March - early April)

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2 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2016 - 3:13 AM

Hello everyone,

Me and my partner will be travelling to Switzerland for around 2 weeks (last week March and first week of April) and would like some advice on our itinerary. Based on some research, our high level plan is:

Zurich --> Lugano (2 days) --> Zermatt (via glacier express from Andrematt) --> montreux (2 days) --> interlaken / jungfrau (3 days) --> Luncerne (3 days) --> Zurich.

We have not planned the details yet, but generally, is this okay? Or is this too rush? Are there any other 'must see' areas that we missed? We are more of the scenic people (mountains, lakes, etc ), not so much on museum, cities.... Hence would like to spend more time visiting them (I heard Jungfrau is really beautiful!)

One of our concern would be the period (end March /early april) that we are visiting Switzerland. Most of the itineraries / tours I seen are either for summer or winter season, not so much for this 'shoulder' season.

Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

7118 posts
expert &
Feb 2, 2016 - 4:24 PM

Hi Frizzcomm, welcome to MySwissAlps.com!

First of all, end March/early April is indeed low season. It will still be winter at higher elevations, and you may see the first signs of springs in lower areas around Montreux, Lucerne and Zurich. Although quite some mountain rides will not be available, there's more than enough to enjoy yourselves. Scenic rail trips are a great option for this season, and your itinerary can include many. For example: travel from Zurich to Lugano over the Wilhelm Tell Express route, and use the Golden Pass route for your transfers from Montreux to Interlaken and from Interlaken to Lucerne. The Glacier Express is yet another beautiful ride. If weather is good, you can enjoy mountain rides to Gornergrat (although I'm not sure if you'll actually be spending the night at Zermatt?), Rochers-de-Naye, Jungfraujoch and/or Schilthorn and Titlis, Pilatus and Rigi near Lucerne.

To some, your itinerary would be a bit too full as it includes lots of transfers, and thus checking in and out of hotels. But this is a matter of personal preference. If your main goal is to see many Swiss regions within a short time frame, this travel plan is fine. The timetable will help you to find details on all journeys you have in mind.

A 15 day Swiss Travel Pass could be a good fit for your travel plans.

Last modified on Dec 24, 2021 - 11:25 AM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Feb 7, 2016 - 2:21 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you so much Annika for your advice.

We have been doing quite a bit of research for the past few days and this is our updated itinerary.

Day 1-3: Reach Zurich early afternoon (last week of March) and travel to Interlaken straight. Spend 3 nights in Interlaken.

Day 4-5: Interlaken --> Montreux in the morning via Golden Express route ~2 hrs, spend 2 nights in Montreux

Day 6-7: Montreux --> Zermatt via raileurope, spend 2 nights in Zermatt

Day 8-9: Zermatt --> St Moritz via Glaciar Express ~ 8 hrs, spend 2 nights in St Moritz

Day 10: St Moritz --> Lugano via Bernia Express train and bus ~6 hrs, spend the night in Lugano

Day 11-12: Lugano --> Luzern via Wilhelm Tell express train and boat ~6hrs, spend 2 nights in Luzern

Day 13: Luzern --> Zurich, spend night in Zurich

Day 14: Flight home from Zurich

We try to as much of the scenic rail trips as possible but is mindful of not doing too much stuff as well. Hence, we were thinking of skipping either Zermatt or Montreux and spend more night is Luzern/St Moritz. Any suggestions? Especially for this period of the year....

And also, I read that it would be better to stay in Grindelwald / Wengen rather than Interlaken? And would the 15 day swiss travel pass still make sense for this plan?

7118 posts
expert &
Feb 7, 2016 - 2:59 PM

Hi again Frizzcomm,

This plan makes sense as you want to see as much of the scenic rail trips as possible. You do spend more than one night in most towns so you will have time to see other things too. If you skip Zermatt and Montreux you'll be cutting out scenic rides. An alternative you may want to consider is skipping Zermatt only, and take an early train from Montreux to pick up the Glacier Express in Brig. In that case you'll only miss out on one hour of the full Glacier Express ride and can add the nights to other towns to make things less hectic.

Interlaken is not scenic but logistically comfortable. Grindelwald and Wengen are in the mountains so more beautiful. The links provide additional details.

Yes, the 15-day Swiss Travel Pass makes perfect sense. You can buy it through www.swissrailways.com/ en and print it at home (select "Online Ticket" when they ask you for delivery information). Additionally you need seat reservations for the Glacier Express and Bernina Express, and optionally for the Wilhelm Tell Express.

One more thing: you wrote "Montreux -> Zermatt via raileurope'. Rail Europe does not own trains nor railroads. They sell tickets and passes. All you need is the pass as explained above. The various railway companies in Switzerland all accept that pass so you don't have to be concerned about who's operating the trains (see here).

Last modified on Dec 24, 2021 - 11:26 AM by Arno


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