7 to 8 days in Switzerland in May - 2 people

7 to 8 days in Switzerland in May - 2 people

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Radha
Radha
4 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2017 - 2:59 PM

I and my husband are travelling to Europe for the first time. Our dates are somewhat flexible from march 8th to april 30th. We can pick any 21 days out of these. One of our destinations for sure in switzerland, we have a friend in Zurich who is offering us stay. We plan to spend about 7 or 8 days in swiss. The other countries we have in mind are Italy, Croatia, if possible Vienna in austria. We don't want to cover tooo many countries, we are rather interested in off beat nature abound places, places that reflect the local culture etc. So it doesnt matter if we have to skip any of these countries. We are open to consider other places that I have not mentioned also.

Our total budget for this 21 days apart from to and fro flight from the place we arrive\depart is 4000 to 4500 euros. We can increase this by 10 to 15% if there is a need to.

We are open to consider airbnb or couchsurfing for our stay. We also want help in deciding the kind of railpass to buy depending on the suggested itinerary.

A few specific questions are

1) Can some one suggest a high level itinerary for these 21 days? If you are not much familiar with outside switzerland, pls suggest an itinerary for swiss alone and just mention the other countries\places you think will be interesting. I will then ask the concerned forums for more specific itinerary

2) Since we have a friend offering stay in Zurich, will it be cheaper to cover a big portion of swiss staying there? Which other place(s) should be chosen as base to cover the rest of swiss?

3) I already read that it is better to buy a combo of (local country passes + point to point rail tickets) than to buy eurail pass even though we travel among different countries in the trip. However, a few exceptions were pointed out (Like if our travel involves too many places in too many countries etc). Keeping the itinerary you are suggesting in mind, pls recommend the cheaper passes to buy

4) Pls suggest accomodation options based on the itinerary you suggest

5) Pls mark which points in your itinerary IYO are must dos and which are optional.

Thanks a lot for your time.

Arno
Arno
11161 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 28, 2017 - 7:03 PM

Hi radha,

Thanks for posting here, and welcome!

1) You will have to make a plan yourself, but we'd be glad to help with tips and comment on your tentative itinerary if you post it here. We can only help with Switzerland, but I can say that visiting 4 countries in 3 weeks is a bit ambitious. It can certainly be done, but you'll be moving around a lot, at the expense of sightseeing time. Note that your budget is very low. Here are some pages to get started:

2) Zurich is not really a good base to explore Switzerland, as it's not in the mountains, which is probably what you are most interested in. But, if you have free or cheap lodging there, it could work if you are willing to spend more time and money on traveling. See here for other towns and regions.

3) You will first need an itinerary so you can pick a pass based on that. If staying in Zurich, you will travel a lot and will certainly need a Swiss Travel Pass. With less traveling, a Swiss Half Fare Card can work.

4) Please the 3rd link under 1)

5) Please see 1) and this page for activities.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2017 - 11:16 PM in reply to Radha

Hi Radha-

To add to what Arno said - Your budget is on the low side.

After you have locations picked, we can spend more time on accommodations and rail travel cost.

Zürich is my favorite city in Switzerland...for culture, food, friends. Not for sightseeing, although there are some nice things to see worth a day or so.

Zürich does offer excellent rail connections to all of Switzerland and the rest of Europe.

Considering the cost of travel/lodging/ restaurants/ take-out food. you might find that a Swiss Travel Pass which covers all travel would point toward staying with your friends and trading off travel times for cost.

But, if you based in Luzern or Interlaken, for example, your travel times could be shorter. First time visitors often find that Luzern is a good base.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

Any of those times that you have listed are late Winter or early Spring. High altitudes mean that Winter hangs on...as in, near the Jungfrau. Lower altitudes - Luzern, Zürich, and others that may not be in the Alps, mean more Spring-like weather.

Whereve you chose, you can expect Spring rains or snows, mixed with beautiful sunny days.

The timetable will help you:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 29, 2017 - 12:59 AM by Slowpoke
Radha
Radha
4 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 8:43 AM

Thank you Arno and slowpoke for your warm replies. I will come back with a tentative itinerary here. Before that, since my dates are flexible between march and april, can you let me know which is a better time for switzerland? A resident friend suggests both the months are low season, but between the two, march will be better because it may rain in april and all the snow would have disappeared making the mountains neither snow clad nor very green

Arno
Arno
11161 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 29, 2017 - 10:12 AM in reply to Radha

Hi Radha,

Basically any time can be a good time. It depends on your goals and expectations. For a bit of winter, early March would be best, for a chance of spring weather, late April is more appropriate. This page helps I think: myswissalps.com/ besttimetovisit.

Radha
Radha
4 posts
new member
Feb 6, 2017 - 12:48 PM

I have framed the following itinerary after some research, our travel dates to switzerland are from April 6 to 14, we can add a day to this itinerary if needed.

We are planning to move to Italy after switzerland and then to croatia and \ or amsterdam (Amsterdam visit is to mainly see the tulip gardens at the end of April). Any suggestions on the switzerland itinerary will be very helpful. We are more interested to stay there as a localite than a tourist, so we prefer to choose our base locations in villages rather than cities.

Day 1: Reach Zurich airport at 7.30 pm, reach stay place at Zurich

Day 2: Trip to Rhine falls and then to lake Titisee (Black forest) in Germany. Return to stay place in Zurich

Day 3: Travel to Lucerne station by train

Go to mt titlis by cable car, go for cliff walk, come back and stay in Lucerne

Day 4: Explore more of Lucerne, take golden pass and reach Interlaken and then Grindelwald or wengen. Stay in

Interlaken? Or Grindelwald? Or wengen?

Day 5: Jungfrauhoch visit, while coming back, take the wengen route, reach Interlaken, continue in golden pass line to montreux

Day 6: Travel from montreux to zermatt. Stay overnight at Zermatt

Day 7: Zermatt to chur by glacier express, explore chur and overnight stay at chur

Day 8: Take bernina express from chur to italy

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Feb 6, 2017 - 5:17 PM in reply to Radha

Hi Radha -

That itinerary should work. You have done a good job of putting together the links in a logical order.

That plan has a lot of time on trains. If that is what you want, that is fine.

However -

"Any suggestions on the Switzerland itinerary will be very helpful. We are more interested to stay there as a localite than a tourist, so we prefer to choose our base locations in villages rather than cities."

A local resident interested in exploring might choose to visit fewer places and spend more time in each of the selected ones.

And, Zürich, Luzern and Montreux are cities. Interlaken is a small city. Zermatt is a large village, with a lot of commercial activity. Wengen is the most "village-like" of the places you mention near the Jungfrau.

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

Ordinarily, within your time constraints, I'd chose either Montreux or Zermatt, but not both. and, ordinarily, I'd add time in the Jungfrau region. Then, for a chance at warmer climate, I'd pick Montreux. That is because the weather in Spring can often be cloudy, and it is better to have more time there to catch a good day. It is expensive to visit Jungfraujoch and you don't want to spend your money only to see nothing but the insides of clouds.

By the way, the name is not the obvious "Jungfrauhoch," but rather Jungfraujoch, which means Jungfrau "saddle" or "gap" or something similar in this usage.

"we are rather interested in off beat nature abound places, places that reflect the local culture etc. "

None of the places you have named are off the normal tourist track. There are parts of Switzerland that are not near the Alps, which fit that description. Most visitors do not want to see them on their first visit.

The famous places are famous for good reason, and the Alps are surely the first place to see the grandeur of specially Swiss nature. But, if you would like to know more about places that have fewer tourists, and are popular with the locals, I can comment about places that I often visit that are off the beaten track. Two that come to mind are the Emmental, and the Three Lakes region. Many villages in those regions are be a lot smaller, but are best accessed with some hiking. Don't know if that is an activity that would appeal. There are some nice hikes near Lake Lucerne, as well.

Let us know.

Slowpoke

Radha
Radha
4 posts
new member
Feb 13, 2017 - 5:35 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke, thanks for the reply. I want to consider your suggestion to reduce the number of bases. Pls suggest which place I can stay and make journeys to cover the above itinerary. I m planning to get the 8 day swiss pass considering there is too many train travels in the itinerary, but I will anyways do the math once afte r the itinerary is frozen.

I also have a doubt that all the places I have chosen are mountains and may be they will be similar. If I were to add a little more variety what would you suggest? Can I skip one of the mountains and add more time for sight seeing around the base locations? If so, which one can I skip? Is Jungfraujoch worth the money spent? Or considering the number of days I am staying in switzerland and the weather forecast, would you suggest skipping that?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Feb 13, 2017 - 6:42 PM in reply to Radha

My first thought is to skip Zermatt. Nice, but nothing like the Jungfrau region. However, your travel dates make judgements about the areas difficult...between seasons, etc.

I gave you some links above to check out. They'll help you.

The Jungfrau region is quite large, spectacular and grand, and much more than "a mountain." As long as the weather up top is clear, the Jungfraujoch is an expensive trip that is worth the money. If it is cloudy up there, forget it. The weather changes frequently and erratically in the region, and the forecast is really reliable only on the day before.

So, take advantage of this information and think about contingencies:

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

If you are in or near Interlaken, you can get to Zermatt quickly. See the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

You would expect Montreux to be more "Spring-like"

Luzern is very different from all of the other places. Variety. There are accessible mountains, but the lake is beautiful, and even though there are some mountains nearby, it is not in the heart of an Alpine region. Near to, but on the edge of.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 13, 2017 - 6:47 PM by Slowpoke

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