4-day itinerary for April based in Luzern

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lincalc
lincalc
5 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2018 - 5:00 AM

Hi,

I've been reading the posts here for ideas on creating my itinerary. My main interest is to enjoy the scenery, especially some of the Alps. Here's what I've come up with:

21 April

Geneva to Luzern using Goldenpass route.

There seems to be multiple engineering works going on, so is it still worth doing or should I just take the route via Bern? The legs where I have to take a bus are:

- Montbovon to Château-d'Oex

- Spiez to Interlaken Ost

- Giswil to Horw

22 April

Mount Titlis (depending on weather)

23 April

Bern, strolling around town.

24 April

Luzern (extra day to allow for weather)

25 April

Fly out from Zurich.

What are the peak hours for trains going to the airport? My flight is at 1225 pm. I plan to leave around 8 am. Would the train be packed?

Additionally, I was contemplating taking the Bernina Express from Luzern. I am aware that I will be spending a lot of time on the train if I do a return journey on the same day.

If I were to do Bernina Express, would a return to Luzern using the same route be better or should I go via Tirano?

I would really appreciate some feedback from the experts here.

Thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4014 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2018 - 5:50 AM in reply to lincalc

Hello lincalc and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

I don't see a bus between Spiez and Interlaken on 21 April. Unless you have a lot of luggage that you are worried about you shouldn't find the bus detours too much drama. It is certainly THE scenic route. I would do it.

Taking the Bernina Express Chur to Tirano and back from Lucerne in a day is problematic. You have to leave at 06:10 and it will take 13 to 14 hours. Not for the faint hearted.

If you take the bus across to Lugano from Tirano the round trip will still take 13.5 hours but at least you get a change of scenery.

Lucas
Lucas
9577 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2018 - 6:47 AM in reply to lincalc

You can see the train schedules on the Swiss railways timetable - they run frequently to the airport all day long. I'd anticipate the train being a little busy at that time of day with people on their way to work.

The timetable will also tell you how busy the train may be. There is a capacity column with either 1 person, 2 people or 3 people in red. If it is 3 red people they expect that train to be very busy.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2018 - 12:10 AM in reply to lincalc

>> 21 April Geneva to Luzern using Goldenpass route. There seems to be multiple engineering works going on, so is it still worth doing or should I just take the route via Bern? The legs where I have to take a bus are: - Montbovon to Château-d'Oex - Spiez to Interlaken Ost - Giswil to Horw

Unfortunately you've picked a day that is affected by all three construction sites! I wouldn't let that put you off though. That is a much more scenic route than going via Bern, and the bus transfers will be well organised.

  • The Montbovon to Château-d'Oex sector will be a 10km/15 minute trip on the bus to get around the construction site.
  • The construction work between Spiez and Interlaken Ost is just from 21 April to 23 April 2018. Another short sector.
  • There is more information about the Giswil to Horw bus replacement in my post of Feb 19, 2018 - 4:50 AM here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/goldenline-track-closed-for-our-tour

(You are travelling in the other direction of course, than the one described in that post).

Alpenrose

Last modified on Apr 8, 2018 - 12:11 AM by Removed user
rockoyster
rockoyster
4014 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2018 - 12:26 AM in reply to Removed user

Darn, I'm sure I put in 21 April before when I couldn;t see the Spiez to Interlaken bus. Must have failed to press something. 😖

1960man
1960man
633 posts
top member
Apr 8, 2018 - 12:34 AM

You cannot really do the Bernina Express from Luzern

The Montreux Luzern route via the MOB is a pain with all the bus bits IMHO.

Genève - Bern - Langnau - Luzern is scenic in its way (more lowland but lots of the scenery is quintissentially Swiss)

On alternative to get some mountains in is to travel Genève - Brig - Andermatt - Göschenen - Luzern

rockoyster
rockoyster
4014 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2018 - 12:37 AM in reply to 1960man

"You cannot really do the Bernina Express from Luzern"

Never underestimate the stamina of the young - Anon.

The stop between train and bus at Tirano affords ample time for re-fuelling with pizza.

What about Zweisimmen - Spiez - Thun - Langnau - Luzern ?

Last modified on Apr 8, 2018 - 12:40 AM by rockoyster
lincalc
lincalc
5 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2018 - 11:12 PM

Thank you so much Lucas, rockoyster, alpenrose666 and 1960man for the feedback and alternative routes. I will look into this but for now, I'm leaning towards doing the Goldenpass route even with the buses.

lincalc
lincalc
5 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2018 - 11:14 AM

Hi,

I'm back with more questions and hope the experts here can help.

1. I'm still trying to figure out whether Bernina Express is doable and found out that the first change of trains in Zurich is only 11 minutes. Is that even doable?

Zürich HB arr 06:56 Platform 5

to

Zürich HB dep 07:07 Platform 9

I like going on scenic train rides hence why I'm thinking about doing this.

2. For the Goldenpass routes, with all the changes, I think using the door-to-door luggage service offered by SBB is a good option. Does anyone know if they are willing to pick up/hand over luggage to the receptionists at the hotels without me having to be there?

3. Are there any recommended cafes with good coffee around Geneva/Lucerne?

4. SBB timetable is showing the train from Lucerne to Zurich Airport would be very full (3 red people) between 7-9 am. Anyone has any ideas on how packed it will be? Is it going to be like the tube during rush hour ? Would I be able to travel with my luggage or should I take my chance with a later train?

Thanks.

Lucas
Lucas
9577 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 12, 2018 - 12:58 PM in reply to lincalc

Hi Lincalc,

  1. Yes, 11 minutes from platform 5 to 9 is just fine. Both platforms are on the ground level and should only take you a few minutes to walk between. Unless you are at the very front of the train it may be easier to go down one level (stairs on the platform) and walk to the stairs going back up to platform 9 (so go under the trains).
  2. Yes, there is door to door service available - see here for details.
  3. Hm not sure on this one. Haven't been to Geneva in many years and haven't had coffee in Lucerne (I'm not too picky either!)
  4. It won't be like the London Tube no. Nothing really is, is it? :) It will be busy...but from Lucerne you may be the first people on the train so I'd get there early to grab a seat & find space for luggage. If you can go on a later train perhaps it will be a little nicer for you....
1960man
1960man
633 posts
top member
Apr 12, 2018 - 11:51 PM

1) platforms 5 to 9 at Zurich HB are not far from each other. The official minimum connecting time (MCT) at Zurich HB is 7 minutes. Under normal circumstances connecting trains will wait so that this is honoured.

It will take you about 5 minutes from train to train. Your train from Luzern will be a 9 coach double deck train, with first class at the front. The frontmost second class coach will be the fourth coach back from the locomotive, so get in this one at Luzern (where it will be furthest along the platform).

The 07.07 Zurich to Chur is an ICN tilting train (as seen on the opening credits of the Big Bang Theory if you watch that!) with two second class coaches nearest the buffers

3) There are tons of coffee shops in Geneva - all the ones on main streets are perfectly OK places. Obviously any down by the lakeside will be more scenic

4) The 08.00 Luzern - Zurich will be the same sort of 9 coach double deck train as described above. High capacity - it will be busy with commuters but nothing like the London Tube (I commute in London)

Last modified on Apr 12, 2018 - 11:56 PM by 1960man
lincalc
lincalc
5 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2018 - 10:03 AM

Thanks Lucas & 1960man for the answers.

Good to know that even at peak hours it won't be as bad as the tube!

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