Pass options for 5 days in Switzerland via train

Pass options for 5 days in Switzerland via train

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NewJersey
NewJersey
10 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 12:42 AM

Hi ,

I along with my wife and 15 year old daughter will arrive in Geneva on an early morning for a 5 night trip. Our plan is to go to Grindelwald straight from GVA airport. Is it possible to stop in Berne for lunch and some sightseeing? We then go to Grindelwald and stay two nights. The second day we want to go to Jungfraujoch and return to Grindelwald. The third day we want to go to Luzern and stay there one night but not sure what to do in Lucerne or nearby place. The fourth day we want to leave Lucerne for Zermatt and stay there one night. Is it a good idea to take the golden pass line to go to Zermatt from Lucerne? After staying in Zermatt for one night we want to return to Geneve and do a city tour of Geneve.What can we see in Geneve?

We stay the night in Geneve and then leave very early the next morning. Now will a Swiss rail pass would be best? For how many days? We stay 5 nights.

thank you for your suggestions!

Annika
Annika
4981 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 29, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Hi NewJersey, thanks for joining us!

Great that you'll get to explore Switzerland! Let's take a look at your itinerary. It's pretty full and you'll be spending quite some time on train traveling each day. If quick explorations of several regions are your main goal that's fine of course. However, I suggest you check traveling times with the aid of the timetable and decide whether you're fine with them. If not, you may instead pick just on or two base towns and focus on those regions.

As for your current plan: I'd slightly change the order. I'd visit Zermatt first, then Grindelwald, then Lucerne. This way you can use the entire Golden Pass ride from Lucerne to Montreux when heading back for Geneva. The links I inserted provide lots of tips for sightseeing in and near the towns you're interested in, so that should answer your questions about what to do in Lucerne and Geneva. I'm not sure when you're traveling. Mind that not all activities may be accessible if you're visiting in low season. Bern can be visited as a day trip from Grindelwald or Lucerne, but you already have planned a lot for 6 days. Leaving it out, or keeping it in mind as a bad weather alternative, would be my personal preference.

Which pass is best can be decided once your plans are finalized. A Swiss Half Fare Card might work, but given the amount of traveling even an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is worth your consideration. In both cases your daughter will travel along for free with the free Swiss Family Card, provided she's still 15 while traveling. Calculation guidelines can be found at myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/chooserailpass.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4880 posts
expert
Jan 29, 2017 - 5:49 PM in reply to NewJersey

Hi New Jersey-

When will you travel? It makes a lot of difference in the high Alps. Annika mentioned "Low Season" but there are weather issues, too.

Also, Annika's suggestion gets you on the scenic route back to Geneva. If you take your proposed route through Bern, as you first suggested, you miss that scenery.

In addition to the very important timetable that Annika linked, this map is good because it shows the train lines if you zoom in and helps you use the timetable:

map.search.ch/

Slowpoke

NewJersey
NewJersey
10 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 9:32 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Annika and Slowpoke for your respective responses. We will be traveling in July. The reason I want to do Zermatt last is because I want to arrive in Geneva preferably by 2 pm as that is our only day in Geneve where we can do some sightseeing. The next day our flight is at 6 am leaving GVA.

Is it not a good idea to go to Grindelwald straight from GVA airport upon arrival in CH? I only have 5 nights and the last night has to be in Geneva. I can skip Lucerne but then where do I go after staying 2 nights in Grindelwald?.

agin, this is what I was looking for my itinerary:

Day 1 Leave GVA (straight from airport) at 9 am and arrive Grindelwald in the afternoon, stay overnight

Day 2 make a day trip to Jungfraujoch and return to Grindelwald, stay overnight

Day 3 Leave Grindelwald for Lucerne and stay overnight in Lucerne (need some help here!)

Day 4 Leave Lucerne for Zermatt and stay overnight in Zermatt (need some help here as not sure when to leave Lucerne and what to see en route)

Day 5 Leave Zermatt by 10 so that we arrive in Geneve around 2 to have half day to see Jet D'eau and other attractions

Day 6. Leave hotel early to reach airport by 5 am

please let me know if I will save time if I do Zermatt first and then go to Grindelwald from Zermatt the second day and then to Lucerne and then Geneve via Montreux. Also, how long does it take to go to Montreux from Lucerne via the Golden pass line?

Appreciate your expert opinions 🙂

NewJersey
NewJersey
10 posts
new member
Jan 30, 2017 - 12:43 AM in reply to NewJersey

Or how about the below itinerary:

Day1: We leave GVA airport at 8.30 am on a direct train to Montreux. Then get on the Golden Pass line from Montreux to Interlaken via Zweisimmen. Get off at Interlaken and then go to Grindelwald from there on a direct train again. This way I am taking the Golden pass line from Montreux to Interlaken on Day 1.

Day 3: On this day we go to Interlaken from Grindelwald and then take the last leg of Golden Pass line between Interlaken and Luzern.

If this is possible then I can keep my original itinerary.

thanks and wait to hear back!

Annika
Annika
4981 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 31, 2017 - 10:46 AM in reply to NewJersey

Hi NewJersey!

Your last itinerary certainly makes sense. You can do the Golden Pass ride on your day of arrival, then eventually end up in Zermatt before heading to Geneva for your last day. When traveling to Zermatt, you may like the local scenic trains via Goppenstein (enter this as a via-station in the timetable) rather than the quick tunnel connection via Visp/Brig. The tunnel route is the shorter one presented by the timetable by default, but if you don't mind a somewhat longer journey via Goppenstein you'll be rewarded with beautiful views along the way - provided weather is clear of course.

I'm still not sure whether you should actually spend a night in Lucerne (please see the link I inserted in my previous answer for lots of ideas about a stay in this town). It might be a bit of a hassle to mote to yet another base town and hotel, and the journey south to Zermatt will be extended with a couple hours as compared to Grindelwald/Interlaken. If you're very interested in Lucerne you can even make a day trip from Grindelwald, heading back to your hotel the same afternoon or evening. This might be more relaxed then spending the night in Lucerne. If you feel like skipping Lucerne altogether, the Grindelwald area has lots of alternatives: myswissalps.com/jungfr auregion.

I hope this helps you shape your itinerary!

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