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3 full days between Zurich and Bern

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new member
Aug 5, 2015 - 1:10 AM

My husband and I have heard much about the old city of Bern and have booked two nights accommodation in Bern.

31 Aug Singapore to Zurich - ETA 8am on 31 Aug, plan to head towards Bern and arrive there in the evening.

01 Sep Bern - Visit Bern and the region

02 Sep Bern - Lucerne - Zurich. We need to get in to Zurich by 10pm.

We are attending a conference in Zurich 3-6 Sep so must arrive in Zurich by the night of 2 Sep. We don't have a lot of time and don't want to rush around too much.We are also making a day trip to visit a friend in Zlegelbrücke from Zurich on 5 Sep.

Appreciate suggestions on the following:

- the best way to get to and around these cities : rental car, rail pass, what kind of passes, in terms of value for money

- how to use our limited time wisely to see the region we are covering.

7151 posts
expert &
Aug 5, 2015 - 7:21 AM

Welcome Chiahn, and thanks for joining us!

Tips for sightseeing in Bern are listed at http://www.myswissalps .com/bern, for Lucerne at http://www.myswissalps .com/lucerne and for Zurich at http://www.myswissalps .com/zurich. Bern and Lucerne aren't that big, so if you make a (modest) list of things you'd like to see, you can do a lot in a day or even in half a day. You can easily do so by foot and by public transportation: there are excellent tram and bus services.

As for rail passes: if you'll mainly be exploring the cities and their direct surroundings, local cards will help you out. You'll receive a Bern Ticket if you've booked a hotel in Bern, as explained at http://www.myswissalps .com/bern/travel. Lucerne has a similar Visitor's Card, but that's for overnight guests only, so regular tickets will work there (if you need any at all). I'm not sure if you have time to explore Zurich, but if so, look into a ZurichCARD: http://www.myswissalps .com/zurich/travel.

For your transfers in between towns, you're probably best off buying regular full-fare tickets or supersaver tickets (cheaper, but valid for specific trains only).

If you plan on doing more trips, including boat trips or a mountain top visit for example, or if you want to explore somewhat larger regions, you can calculate whether a Swiss Half Fare Card (http://www.myswissalps .com/swisshalffarecard) is more economical: http://www.myswissalps .com/train/ticketspass es/practical/chooserai lpass.

Last modified on Aug 5, 2015 - 7:22 AM by Annika
7567 posts
Aug 9, 2015 - 4:50 PM in reply to Chiahn

Hi Chiahn-

There are about 4 trains an hour from Zürich Airport to Bern at that time on a Monday. A study of the timetable reveals extremely high occupancy in 2nd class - that is the height of the rush hour. First class is a refuge, and should be considered in that case, although you'll get seats, maybe not together, in 2nd class.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The airport is fast. I'll be surprised if you are not on a train within 45 minutes of touchdown. I've done it in 30 minutes.

The faster trains take one hour and 18 minutes to Bern. Some go via Zürich; some do not.

How does jet-lag affect you? Do you need to factor it in to your arrival plans?

For the kind of intercity travel that you mention, trains are the way to go. Annika has mentioned some of that information. If you were there about 3-4 days, I'd expect you could justify the 120CHF for the Half-Fare Card, but it might not add up for a two day trip. And, the free local transit card(s) mentioned reduce the savings opportunities from the half-fare card, which otherwise would give you half fare on trams, etc.

You have picked a nice town for your stay. I really enjoy the old city in Bern, and love to walk up to the Rosegarden in any weather to look back over the city.




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