We had a wonderful 9 day vacation with our two older teenagers. We did a ton of research and information from this forum was invaluable- Thank you!
1) We rented Travelers Wifi (picked up/dropped off at Zurich airport) and it worked perfectly!
2) We did the Swiss Travel Pass and were covered for all days except for the last day's return to Zurich airport (we purchased 8 day and needed 9 days). The ease of not having to buy tickets for each trip, we used some form of train/cable car/funicular every day, was very convenient!
3) There are drinkable water fountains everywhere to refill water bottles.
4) Coop markets are everywhere and have great sandwiches and salads- we did lunch here a bunch of times.
2 nights Kriens, 3 nights Lauterbrunnen, 3 nights Kriens
We are an active family and aim to do things of interest to boys so not a ton of traditional "sight seeing". We also like to leave a little time at night to chill in hotel room playing cards or just decompressing.
Day 1- arrive in Zurich at noon and took train to our hotel in Kriens which is right outside of Lucerne. We stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Kriens and I would highly recommend it! The price was right, they provided a great breakfast buffet, rooms/hotel were very clean and it was a less than 5 minute walk to train station. We rented bikes from Nextbike (downloaded app and you can see where they are parked) and biked around a little- there were bike paths right down the street)
Day 2- Cabrio Stanserhorn- road open air cable car to top. Lunch in Lucerne- Takrai (Thai takeout and ate by river). We then went to Mt Rigi and took cogwheel train to summit.
Day 3- Depart for Lauterbrunnen- stayed in Airbnb. Explored town, took cable car to Murren. Dinner at Hotel Oberland. Walked to Staubbach Falls.
Day 4- Went to Grindelwald and First. Did the mountain Carts, Trotti bikes, Glider and Cliff walk. All were fun, especially Mountain Carts! Went back to Airbnb and then took train to Wengen. Explored Wengen- town square had ping pong, outdoor chess and these cool "marble runs". Dinner at Pasta & More.
Day 5- Train to Kandersteg and hiked to Lake Oeschinen. We spent the day exploring around the lake, the waterfalls and swimming. It was a great day! Dinner at Hotel D'Alpes.
Day 6- Rented ebikes in Lauterbrunnen- from Imboden bikes for 4 hours- these were great! We probably could've done a full day, but we were travelling back to Kriens. We took bikes up cable car to Murren and biked from there. Bikes were so fun and the paths were full of beautiful views! Train to Kriens. Dinner near our hotel at Jack's Cevap House- this was our least favorite meal- all or mostly all sausage dinners and menu was only in German and waitress did not speak English so it was difficult to know what we were ordering.
Day 7- Day trip to Bern. Wished we had looked into tubing or rafting on the Aare river. Spent 1/2 day walking around town and then back to Lucerne. Rented boat in Lucerne and spent second half of day exploring lake and swimming off boat- this was so worth it and pricing was not bad! Dinner at Khoua Vientiane (hole in the wall Thai food- sooo good!)
Day 8- Day trip to Stoos-steepest funicular in Europe (maybe world?) Rode funicular and did some hiking. Back to Lucerne for souvenir shopping and dinner at Ristorante Pizzeria Weisses Kreuz (best pizza in town according to tour guide we overheard).
Day 9- Train to Zurich and flight home.
We had an awesome trip!!