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8-day family trip - Wengen, Lucerne, Zurich


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norcal1
norcal1
6 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2022 - 9:59 PM

First off, thank you to the wealth of useful info in myswissalps site in planning my trip! We had a great time in Switzerland. We spent 4 nights in Wengen and 3 nights in Lucerne.

A few tips that others have mentioned:

1) Timetable app: That is all you need for all bus, train and boat schedule. So convenient and updated real time if there is a delay.

2) Wifi: We have AT&T and just paid $10 per day for data instead of renting a portable wifi that costs about the same.

3) Swiss Travel Pass: I used the spreadsheet this site shared to calculate which pass I should purchase, since I'd be in the Interlaken and Lucerne regions, and STP made the most sense $ wise. It is very convenient. For most rides we didn't need to exchange for a paper ticket.

Day 1: Flew from San Francisco to Zurich airport. Took 4 trains to check in at a Hotel Bellevue in Wengen. The trains took 3 hours total, but very easy to transfer despite having 4 suitcases among our family of 4 including 2 teenagers. Trains were comfortable and clean. We started at Wengen as we would not have enough time to train back to Zurich at the day of departure. Hotel Bellevue has very clean rooms and its complimentary continental breakfast was rich. Wengen is a car free town. The hotel picked us up at Wengen train station in a golf cart-ish electric vehicle. Wengen restaurants close at 8pm and the only supermarket (Coop) closes at 6:30pm so we planned dinner accordingly.

Day 2: Jungfraujoch. Purposely planned to have day trip at the beginning of the trip since we'd be jetlagged and wake up early. We checked webcam and also asked for hotel's opinion that it'd be a clear day good enough to visit. Also purchased the train tickets with hotel as STP only covers 50%. We spent ~4 hours there, basically followed the signs to visit everything. On our way down we hung out at Kleine Scheidegg to walk around and saw the grazing cows. We also stayed at an Airbnb for night 2-4. (We couldn't find one available for night 1).

Day 3: Lake Thun cruise, Oberhofen castle, Thun castle. Lauterbrunnen Valley. Lake Thun was beautiful, in my opinion even more so than Lake Lucerne. The boat had heavily smoking staff however. I'd suggest to upgrade to 1st class ticket (upper dock). Oberhofen and Thun castles were interesting. My teenagers enjoyed both. The boat ride is long (2 hours), criss-crossing both banks of the lake. On our return we took train from Thun to Launterbrunnen to see the Staubbach Falls, which unfortunately barely had any water. The Lauterbrunnen valley is beautiful however. We also decided to hike up to Wengen instead of taking the train (There are signs everywhere for hikes and time needed), which took a little more than an hour.

Day 4: We took the Wengen-Mannlichen Aerial Cableway. My teenagers enjoyed the playground and the food at Mannlichen. We did the hike down to Kleine Scheidegg that is very popular and easy. It was gradual downhill the whole way. We hung out at the Wengen village the rest of afternoon. We played at a very fun 18-hole mini-golf course. My son joined a pickup soccer game for the 3rd night in a row. There are also clay court tennis courts for rental and a swimming pool. All walking distance.

Wengen is a beautiful resort time. I wish we stay here for 2 more days as a base to explore more places like Grindelwald and Harder Kulm.

Day 5: Lucerne. Again we couldn't find an airbnb in core Lucerne, and instead stayed at one in a nearby town called Alpnach. It is only 20 min train ride away to Lucerne and it runs every 30 mins. We did the main touristy stuff: Chapel bridge, Musegg Wall, Old Town, Dying Lion monument

Day 6: Mt Pilatus. The Cog wheel trains are only a 10 min walk from our airbnb as it is very close to the Alpnachtad train station. We also took the gondola from Mt Pilatus to Frakigaudi station for the Tobaggan and rope park. Tobaggan wait time was easily 1 hr despite having only 20 people ahead of us. We couldn't make the rope park however, as it needs at least 1.5 hrs to enjoy, while we wanted to catch the last boat of the day (4pm) from Alpnachtad to Lucerne.

Day 7: Zurich. My teenagers play soccer so we visited the FIFA museum. We also toured the Old Town, which looked just like the Old Town in Lucerne. Zurich was more modern with the typical financial district set up. It has luxury shops (Chanel, Hermes, Dior, etc). If I visit Switzerland again I'd opt for Mt Rigi instead.

Day 8: Go home. As the world is having labor shortage, our flight was delayed by more than an hour, as there was no staff available to push our plane out of the gate!

Anna
Anna
3744 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 15, 2022 - 4:33 AM in reply to norcal1

Hi norcal1,

Thank you for sharing your travel experience! Appreciate all the useful tips.

So sorry you had your flight home delayed.

Regards,

Anna

Arno
Arno
15585 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 15, 2022 - 5:49 PM in reply to norcal1

Hello norcal1,

Thanks for sharing your travel adventures and tips! Happy to hear you enjoyed your trip. Yes, the flexibility of the Swiss Travel Pass is great. I get why you loved Wengen that much. The views are stunning, right? How convenient you were based that close to the Pilatus cogwheel train valley station.

Too bad that the Trümmelbach Falls didn't contain as much water as you had hoped. They're usually most impressive in spring, when winter snow is melting. There hasn't been that much snow in the past winter though, and temperatures in spring and summer were high. So I'm afraid there's not much snow and melting water left by now.

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