9 Days in Grindelwald, Lucerne, Zermatt mid August

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6 posts
new member
Jun 26, 2017 - 5:37 PM

Dear experts,

My wife and I will be travelling to Switzerland in mid August this year and we need your help on a few points. Please have a look at our itinerary (i.e. Zur - Grindelwald - Zermatt - Lucerne – Zur).


Day 1: Grindelwald.

  • Arrival at Zurich airport. Plan is to take a train directly to Grindelwaldin early afternoon.

Day 2 to 4: Grindelwald.

  • Plan to visit Jungfraujoch, kleine scheidegg, Stilhorn, Lake Thun

Day 5: Zermatt

  • Train from Grindelwald to Zermatt

Day 6: Zermatt

Day 7: Lucerne

  • Train from Zermatt to Lucerne in the morning

Day 8: Lucerne

  • Plans to visit Mt Rigi, Mt. Pilatus and Chapel Bridge.

Day 9: Zurich

  • Train from Lucerne directly to Zurich airport for flight home that departs at 9pm at night.

Advice needed:

  • Clothing

    • I heard that the weather is erratic, especially in the Alps. We are having a bit of difficulty packing given that it is summer. Would a goose down jacket be needed (esp for Matterhorn & Jungfraujoch). Other than a wind breaker shell jacket with light fleece, would you advise other kind of clothes to bring (e.g. thermal inner wear).

    • Are hiking shoes necessary.

      • We plan to use our sneakers/trainers in some simple hikes in the BO and also in Zermatt.

  • Would you know the typical temperature range (deg cel) in the above areas in early to mid Aug.

  • Please do feel free to add on places of interest to my above itinerary as I believe I could be missing out on a few good places.

  • Scenic trains

    • As I will be buying a 8 day Swiss Travel pass, would you recommend for us to reserve any of the trains beforehand? As I heard that scenic/panaromic trains require advance booking. However, I am unsure if my route above is able to include any of the special trains.

    • Does the Golden Pass train cover my ride from Zurich to Grindelwald on Day 1? Or perhaps the ride from Zermatt to Lucerne on Day 7.

  • Prepaid card

    • Would you recommend any company that sells prepaid cards at Zur airport? As we would need to use the phone data for further planning. Or perhaps a mobile wifi rental.

Would you help to provide some advice? Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


12111 posts
expert &
Jun 26, 2017 - 6:12 PM

Hi Stanley,

I'll try to answer as much as I can:

Clothing: no need for a goose down jacket I would say. A wind breaker with more layers under it will work fine in higher altitudes. The key is multiple thinner layers so you can adapt to the weather each day or even throughout the day: myswissalps.com/ weather. You can get by on sneakers if the trails are really easy. As soon as there are rocks, gravel, etc. I would prefer solid hiking shoes.

Temperature: it can be -5°C if you're on a peak on a bad day or early in the morning and it can be +35 °C in the valley during a hot day. Temperatures can vary a lot by the day and by altitude. On average it will be pleasantly warm to even too warm in the towns in August.

Itinerary: I don't think you should add more. You will visit some beautiful areas and only have limited time in each place. Do come back for more another time :-)

Scenic trains: you will not encounter trains with required seat reservations. Please see myswissalps.com/train/ reservations and myswissalps.com/activi ties/scenictrips/train. Please see here for where to buy your Swiss Travel Pass and here for the current promotions.

Prepaid card: please see myswissalps.com/simcar d for SIM cards and a portable wifi hotspot.

Last modified on Jun 26, 2017 - 6:24 PM by Annika
38 posts
active member
Jun 27, 2017 - 2:22 AM in reply to slith210

Good morning Stephen

we also will have a trip in late August. May be some sharings on our findings can help you as we have similar route as you.

The Swiss Travel Pass Includes the Golden Train free riding from Lucern to Grindelwald.

For pre paid SIM card, I will consider the Salt SIM card shared by rockoyster in myswissalps.com. It is available in Zurich airport

Ms laisofun

204 posts
active member
Jun 27, 2017 - 10:32 PM

Hi Slith210,

As far as clothes go, I usually wear shorts, a long sleeve shirt and boots and pack a fleece vest as well as a goretex jacket and overpants. I've heard good things about Patagonias' Nano Puff jacket which is light, packs down to a small size and is a good compromise to a full down jacket

Temperature falls 1Deg c per 100 metres vertical difference. The height difference between Zermatt and the Klein Matterhorn is 2200 Metres, so the temp. at KM will be at least 22 Deg cooler than in the village. However, if there is no breeze, you will get hot in the sunshine, so as Arno suggests, layers are the way to go.



6 posts
new member
Jul 1, 2017 - 2:11 PM

Many thanks Arno, Ms Laisofuna and Alan for your kind advice! Very grateful to forum members like you all.

I will be sure to buy the right gear before going!

It appears that the only chance I can get on the Golden Pass train is the Lucerne to Interlaken route. However, I am not sure if this applies to me as I will be travelling from Zur to Grindelwald on my 1st day. I have tried researching but to no avail. Seek your advice on the points below:

Golden Pass line

  • Do I need to reserve the portion of the ride on the scenic train during my train ride from Zur to Grindelwald
  • Would you help to advise some details on how I can travel from Zur to Grindelwald. I have already purchased the STP.

Sim Card

  • Thanks for the sim card tip. Im mainly looking for a prepaid card that provides good data plans (eg 3gb or more)

Hotel in Grindelwald

  • I am considering Hotel Lauberhorn. Not sure if anyone has any honest views on this hotel? The main gripe I see visitors have is its location. It is about a 15-20 mins walk to the city centre and buses end at 7pm. My concern is that we will need to either take a taxi or walk back to the hotel after dinner. Other good hotels near the train station are pretty much booked for peak season.
  • Obere Gletscherstrasse 41 , Grindelwald 3818, Switzerland
12111 posts
expert &
Jul 1, 2017 - 3:41 PM in reply to slith210

Hi Stanley,

Yes, Lucerne to Interlaken is a part of the Golden Pass route. No seat reservations required, please see the links in my previous post and also this page for details. The timetable provides you with all the schedules. If you enter Meiringen as your "via-station" you'll be sure to travel via the Golden Pass route.

Did you check out our hotel suggestions at myswissalps.com/grinde lwald/hotels? If all of these are booked or not suitable, feel free to post to the Accommodations forum and provide all details as explained here. The Lauberhorn is indeed a bit off the town center. As you said, still at walking distance, but not centrally located.

Last modified on Jul 1, 2017 - 3:46 PM by Arno

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