Switzerland in May for 8 days - itinerary advice

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17 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2018 - 8:45 PM

Hello experts,

My greetings to all. I am planning to visit Switzerland at the beginning of May and would like to shape up my itinerary.

May-5: Arrive in Lucerne at 5pm (from Zurich), rest up and do a little bit of sightseeing at Lucerne

May-6: Lucerne - Lake Lucerne (including the boat ride), Mount Pilatus

May-7: Lucerne - Mount Rigi and Lucerne siteseeing

May-8: Interlaken - Jungfrau excursion

May-9: Interlaken - Undecided??

May-10: Zermatt

May-11: Zermatt

May-12: ?? (Back to Zurich for flight on 13th may be able to stop at some places enroute)

May-13: 7:45am flight from Zurich

Some questions on my mind:

1. Mt Titlis vs Mt Pilatus? Or both?

2. Days in Zermatt?

3. Montreux can this be covered on May-12? Or should we reduce the number of days in Zermatt

4. Any other thing we are missing (given the number of days)?

I am traveling with my parents and wife (so a group of 4), and was thinking about renting a car. Please advice if train would be cheaper (and more convenient) with my itinerary.

Thanks. :-)

944 posts
top member
Jan 29, 2018 - 1:15 PM in reply to gamesteel

Hi gamesteel, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Thanks for sharing your itinerary.

  1. That would be a personal choice. Both Mt Titlis and Mt Pilatus are unique in their own way. You could combine Mt. Rigi with a boat trip. Scroll down on this page for more information.
  2. Two days in Zermatt is fine. The Gornergrat railway will be operating in May, but the cableway to Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise will be closed for maintenance between Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn from 30 April to 11 May 2018.
  3. Yes, you can cover Montreux on the 12th. I would not shorten your stay in Zermatt.
  4. Your itinerary looks pretty good. You may want to check out this page: www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities. I'm not sure if your plan is to stay in Interlaken? You could consider one of the nice villages in the area. Like Wengen or Grindelwald.

The train would be definitely more convenient. Read here more about car versus train. There are different rail passes available. The Swiss Travel Pass might be interesting for you. Not only the train, but also many top attractions are covered by this pass. Either for free or with a discount. More information about the validity of the pass can be found here.

17 posts
new member
Feb 4, 2018 - 2:28 AM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal,

Thanks a lot for sharing such detailed information. Based on your guidance, we have been processing the information and have managed to work through the first few days of our itinerary. It would be great to get your advice on the what we have come up with at this time.

May-5: Arrive in Lucerne at 5pm (from Zurich), rest up and do a little bit of sightseeing at Lucerne

May 6: to Mt. Pilatus Golden Round trip

May 7: to Mt. Rigi Majestic Round trip

May 8: to Wengen

May 9: Jungfrau (Lautterbraunen's waterfall - Jungfrau - Klien - Scheidigg - Grindelwald)


Mt. Pilatus' Golden Round trip:

- CHF 56.50 (per person) with Swiss Travel pass. Just wanted to be sure we are looking at the correct thing.

- If we go Swiss Travel Pass are we fine with "excl. bus"

Mt. Rigi Majestic Round trip

- Is this all free with Swiss Travel Pass


- Can you recommend what to do in the time we have between May 5-7 in Lucerne? And will we have any time to do things on the days we go to Mt Pilatus and Mt Rigi?

Jungfrau area:

- Based on your suggestion we are planning to make Wengen our base for May-8 and May-9. The idea in to have the option of keeping both the days open for Jungfrau and choose one based on the weather. Please let us know if thats a good idea.

- Weather permitting, what is the good time to start the Jungfrau excursion?

Also, I wanted to check if any of these day trips are very tiring? I am traveling with my parents and would like to mix between hectic and relaxing days if possible.

Thanks again for your suggestions!

10385 posts
expert &
Feb 4, 2018 - 3:30 PM in reply to gamesteel

Hi Gamesteel,

  • You'll just need to buy tickets from Alpnachstad or Kriens to Pilatus Kulm. The Cogwheel train might not be operating yet in early May -- opening date is early/mid-May. Either way the round-trip fare is 36chf with your Swiss Travel Pass discount of 50%.
  • Yes, Mt. Rigi is free. Be sure to read through our Swiss Travel Pass validity page for details.
  • We have our recommend activities in Lucerne noted here. Is there anything specific you are interested in doing/seeing? The mountain trips are probably a 1/2 day excursion only. You can find the schedules on the Swiss railways timetable here, most people spend about 2 hours at the top.
  • Great idea about Wengen, Jungfraujoch and the weather.
  • Whenever the weather looks good. :) I'm not sure there is a "best time to visit" if the weather looks good all day. I think the earlier the better to avoid possible crowds but May shouldn't be too busy.
  • I think your days look fine at this point but I don't know your parents fitness etc.. You're parents will tell you I'm sure? Mine would! I just wouldn't plan anything before or after you go to a mountain and just see how they do and be flexible.
Last modified on Feb 4, 2018 - 3:31 PM by Lucas

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