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4 Days & 4 nights in Switzerland through Zurich

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new member
Aug 11, 2016 - 3:26 AM


I am a young American woman traveling solo to Zurich, Switzerland for 4-1/2 days in September. I'm in the process of creating a worthy itinerary and here's what I came up with:

Day 1: Arrive in Zürich, spend day exploring, spend night

Day 2: Train to Lucerne, explore and spend night

Day 3: Take Golden Pass Train from Lucerne to Montreux through Meiringen, Interlaken, Spiez, Zweisimmen and Gstaad (6 hour ride). Then take train from Montreux to Geneva, spend night

Day 4: Explore Geneva, take flight/train back to Zürich

Day 5: Depart Zürich to US

Does this seem reasonable?

Will I have time to explore in Interlaken and Montreux?

Do I need to buy both the Swiss Travel Pass and Golden Pass for my trip?

Am I making the most of my time?

Are there any cities that I should skip or add?

Do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you!

7177 posts
expert &
Aug 11, 2016 - 8:49 AM

Thanks for sharing your travel plans here, ACG2008!

Your itinerary is doable, but it does involve a lot of train traveling, which doesn't allow for much sightseeing time. Did you check traveling times using the timetable? If train rides are your main interest it's all fine, but if you'd like to get out and explore some nice towns and beautiful mountain scenery, I'd suggest you make some changes. For example, just spend day 3 and 4 in the Jungfrau region before heading back to Zurich on day 5. There are lots and lots of stunning day trips to be made there: www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion/activitie s. If you're especially interested in the Golden Pass ride you could still do part of it when traveling from Lucerne to Interlaken, and an additional leg as a day trip from Interlaken if you like. You could keep it in mind as a bad weather option. You'd even manage to get to Montreux, spend a couple of hours there and head back to Interlaken the same afternoon or evening. Mind that "Golden Pass" is just the name for a specific train route, not a pass you should buy: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass.

A ZurichCARD for day 1 and a 3 day Swiss Travel Pass for your day 2-4 will probably make sense. Or just a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass for day 1-4, depending on the plans you have for your first day in Zurich. If you pick a hotel close to Zurich Airport for your last overnight stay, you'll hardly have any traveling costs on day 5. Many hotels listed at www.myswissalps.com/zu richairporthotels even provide a free shuttle service to the airport. Which pass is best, ultimately depends on your finalized itinerary: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2016 - 8:50 AM by Annika
7567 posts
Aug 11, 2016 - 7:23 PM in reply to ACG2008

Hi ACG2008 -

Nice to see you on My Swiss Alps. You've picked the best month to visit Switzerland, in my opinion.

I agree with Annikas comments and the perspective to spend more time in each of fewer places, unless you specifically are going to Switzerland to ride the trains. Factor in possible jet lag when you arrive; that might best be a light duty day.

Have you flown to Europe before?

Do you have specific interests- h iking, walking, museums, mountains, old towns, or ????

Don't fly within Switzerland. Use the trains. You'll see more and arrive in center city; no transfer in from the airport.

I'd certainly make the Jungfrau region a focus.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

Here is a little light reading about Wengen and the Jungfrau region:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

And, I'd go directly to Luzern upon arrival. You're only about an hour from Zürich airport ( Flughafen) , with two trains per hour. One (every hour at xx18) requires a change at Zürich main station, the other at xx47 every hour has no change of trains.

I like Zürich better than any other city in Switzerland, but not for reasons that appeal to a first time, quick look tourist. The museums deserve lots of time, for example. Luzern has a more spectacular setting and a greater variety of tourist activities. And, in contrast to Zürich, you've got some high mountains nearby.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

So, I'd head right to Luzern, spend some time there, and then go to the Jungfrau region and stay there (with day trips if desired) until a return to Zürich Airport. What time of day is your flight home?



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