5 day trip Geneva to Zurich via Golden Pass route

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hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 17, 2017 - 2:46 PM

Good Morning,

We are planning a trip in August to Switzerland and need help with some planning. We are flying in to Geneva and then want to take Golden Express to Zurich . From Zurich we are going to travel to Paris ( 2 days ) and finally Paris to London and fly back to USA from London.

We have approximately 5 days in Switzerland, activity wise we have plan for sightseeing only, may be 1 night in Geneva , 2-3 nights in Lucern or Interlaken and 1 final night in Zurich before taking train to Paris.

My Questions:

  1. Is it a good idea to make Lucern the base camp and travel back and forth to Interlaken , Montreux, Pilatus (while we have a fixed hotel to stay)etc for sightseeing so that we don't have to carry luggage with us . We will have a 4 day pass so we can travel back and forth ?
  2. Is it better to make Interlaken the base camp versus Lucern ? (better in term of cost off accommodation and convenience of being centrally located.
  3. Is there a rail pass I can buy for travel from Zurich to Paris to London or it is better to buy individual tickets.

Thanks a million for your help.

Hardev.

Last modified on Dec 17, 2017 - 5:22 PM by Chantal
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 18, 2017 - 6:40 AM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardev, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

The Golden Pass (as wel as the Golden Express which you'll take if you would like to visit Gruyères) depart from Montreux. When you arrive in Geneva I would continue the trip straight to Montreux. Spend the night there and take the Golden Pass the next day.

Depending on what time your train to Paris is leaving, you could also decide to spend your last night in Lucerne. Lucerne is only one hour away from Zurich.

  1. It depends on what you're planning to do. From Lucerne you have easy access to mountains like Pilatus, Rigi, and Titlis. Visiting Jungfraujoch from Lucerne would be a stretch and I would not recommend it. Jungfraujoch is better accessible from Interlaken. However, should you want to visit it, I would suggest to stay in Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, or Grindelwald for 2 nights.
  2. Lucerne is much nicer than Interlaken. You should be able to find accommodation that fits your budget in both places.
  3. I think it's better to buy individual tickets.
Arno
Arno
11571 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 18, 2017 - 6:50 AM

Hi Hardev,

Good advice from Chantal here. Additionally I wanted to say that there is no need to board the train to Paris in Zurich. If you want to see Zurich it's of course fine, but otherwise there is a quicker way to Paris: take a train from Lucerne to Basel and switch there for Paris. That's what I would do. Details are in the timetable.

hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 18, 2017 - 3:12 PM

Chantal and Arno,

Thanks a lot to both of you or great information, I love this forum and glad that I found this. I have some additional advise / input , We need from you guys. This is the itinerary we are thinking ...

1. Day one - Traveling from Geneva Airport to Montreux one night stay in Monteaux .

2. Day two and three- Golden Pass to Wengen via Interlaken , two night stay at Wengen to explore Junfran region .

3.Day 4 & 5- Train to Lucerne and two night stay in Lucern to explore Pilatis,Rigi, Titlis.

Day 6- Lucerne to Basil to Paris.

My question is about the Rail Pass, what Rail Pass and for how many days , I should buy for this trip from GENEVA TO BASIL ? Would it be good idea to buy the 8 day pass or buy 4 days pass and buy separate tickets for remaining days ? What are your thoughts /Input about this Itinerary ?

Lastly we do have option to fly Zurich instead of Geneva and take the whole trip in reverse , what are your thoughts about that , or it does not matter ?

Thanks a lot for all the help, and we are really excited about this first time trip to Switzerland.

Hardev.

cam223
cam223
76 posts
active member
Dec 18, 2017 - 4:03 PM

We took the TGV Lyria from Paris to Basel in late November.

The train was great, the train employees were very helpful--helped us get our luggage on board the train and stowed without any issues. There were 4 of us with large suitcases and large snowboard bags. We had first class tickets and reservations--you have to have reservations on the TGV trains. It was probably the best train that we were on the entire trip. We can't say enough good things about this train and the personnel it was superb.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 18, 2017 - 5:46 PM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardev,

Looks like a good itinerary.

The only way to know the best rail pass for your itinerary is to do the math. Plan out all your trips that you will take within Switzerland and use our spreadsheet to help you with the math comparison between rail passes (noted by Rockoyster) and buying individual tickets. This sheet can be found on our page: How to choose the best rail pass.

No problem to reverse the trip, assuming you're taking the train from Geneva to Paris.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 19, 2017 - 2:09 AM in reply to cam223

Hi cam223 -

<<"We can't say enough good things about this train and the personnel it was superb.">>

First class makes a difference, at a price.

Slowpoke

hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 11:38 AM

Thanks a lot to everyone for the nice and valuable advice , appreciate ir.

Hardev.

hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 11:08 PM

One other question regarding our arrival day.

When we arrive at Geneva Airport , how far is the train station for train to Montreux ? While in Montreux which station the golden Pass Express starts from ? Is it Montreux-Le-Planches ?

Thank you .

Hardev

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 20, 2017 - 5:46 AM in reply to hardevsaini

>> When we arrive at Geneva Airport , how far is the train station for train to Montreux ?

The station is at the airport. There are frequent trains to Montreux from Geneva airport, some direct, and some requiring a change of train at Lausanne.

>> While in Montreux which station the golden Pass Express starts from ? Is it Montreux-Le-Planches ?

The Golden Pass leaves from Montreux main station, usually from platform 5.

Montreux-Les Planches is on the route to Rochers-de-Naye.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Dec 20, 2017 - 5:47 AM by Removed user
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 20, 2017 - 11:11 AM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardev.

<<"how far is the train station for train to Montreux ">>

You can find information on stations on the SBB website.

www.sbb.ch/en/

Major stations show up on the splash page under "Stations and Services"

If you open Stations and Services, then "Find Out More" under "Find your Station" a box for typing the name of a station appears over the map showing the several major stations.

Not all stations have maps, but Geneva Aeroport does. The ones for Zürich and the major stations are quite detailed. Geneva Aeroport station is not large, and onlya short walk from the arrivals area of the airport.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/railway-stations/geneve-aeroport-station.html

The station is the small building "in front" with the train icons on it.

You can download a map, too.

Slowpoke

hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 21, 2017 - 3:39 PM

Hello everyone,

We have modified the stay to give ourselves 2 extra days in Switzerland.

1. Day one -Geneva airport to Montreux , night stay . And Take Golden Express in AM to Interlaken and Wengen.

2. Day 2,3,4,5 -(4 nights in Wengen, explore Junfran region.

3. Day 6,7 in Lucerne , Pilatus< rigi area

4 Day 8 Lucerne to Basil to Paris

Question - If we are staying 4 nights in Wengen , would it be possible to take part of the Glacier Express route as day trip ? Brig-Disentis Muster-Chur and back to Wengen by the end of day ?

Or anyother suggestions/input for the itinerary is appreciated .

Thanks- Hardev

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 21, 2017 - 4:08 PM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardev-

<<"Question - If we are staying 4 nights in Wengen , would it be possible to take part of the Glacier Express route as day trip ? Brig-Disentis Muster-Chur and back to Wengen by the end of day ?">>

Please consult the timetable link provided by Arno earlier in this thread. You can use it to figure out timing for any trip, including international ones to and from Switzerland. It will be very useful for you as you travel.

Please read the instructions in the link that Arno provided.

You will want to use the "Advanced" timetable if you choose to string together a bunch of "vias"

I like to use this map along with the timetable. If you zoom in far enough you can see the train lines:

map.search.ch/?pos=683776,183552&z=2

Slowpoke

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 21, 2017 - 7:55 PM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardev,

We don't recommend to do the Glacier Express as a day trip, however, it's possible. This web page might be of your interest: www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress. You'll find information about a day trip from Interlaken.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Dec 21, 2017 - 8:58 PM in reply to hardevsaini

Question - If we are staying 4 nights in Wengen , would it be possible to take part of the Glacier Express route as day trip ? Brig-Disentis Muster-Chur and back to Wengen by the end of day ?

Depends whether you are up for an 11 hour train trip with 9 or 10 changes of train along the way.

I wouldn’t do it but might consider a round trip to Zermatt to see the iconic Matterhorn and cover a small part of the Glacier Express route between Brig and Zermatt. If you do that then go at least in one direction via Kandersteg for a nice scenic ride.

hardevsaini
hardevsaini
6 posts
new member
Dec 23, 2017 - 1:43 PM

Thanks a lot every one for the great advise. Another question - for Golden Express from Montreux to Interlaken how to book VIP seats for journey dates in July 2017 ?

Lucas
Lucas
9890 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 23, 2017 - 5:22 PM in reply to hardevsaini

Hi Hardevsaini,

You should be able to make reservations here. Click the link under More Information. The VIP seats on the panoramic train are only on the trains between Montreux and Zweisimmen and that is really the only section that needs to be reserved. Tickets can be bought on the site linked above as well if needed.

The VIP seats are only on the first, 1st class train car so there are only a few for each departure on the MOB panoramic trains.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 24, 2017 - 4:56 AM in reply to hardevsaini

>> for Golden Express from Montreux to Interlaken how to book VIP seats for journey dates in July 2017 ?

Lucas has given you the link. Additional information that might be handy is that reservations can be made up to 3 months in advance, and not all Golden Pass Panoramic trains have the VIP seats. Coming from Montreux, the only trains that have VIP seats are those departing at 9:44 and 15:44.

If you are keen on taking photos from the train, the VIP seats might not be your best choice, as you end up with the windscreen wipers in photos taken through the front window. You can see some photos I took from the VIP seats in my post of Jun 24, 2015 - 3:50 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/seat-reservation-montreux-zweisimme-interlaken

Alpenrose

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