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Zurich, Lucerne, Lauterbrunnen in 9 days


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Posts: 7 
herotravel
herotravel
14 posts
new member
Nov 15, 2022 - 2:31 PM

First of all, I would like to say give a special thank you for Arno for helping and guiding me as I love planning the trip despite there's still half year away for end of May trip, we are very excited so thank thank for your contribution/useful feedback/suggestion in which I have implement to them, so therefore I have made the final itinerary (at least up to now) and please let me know if there's anything you can add/minus and plus I have a several questions as in ?????? mark

Anyway's here is my final itinerary after playing around here and there

Day 1 (Thursday)
Arrive Zurich airport 6am. Travel to Luzern and drop baggage in hotel (staying for 3 nights)
Then head to Mt Rigi (second time as we loved it last time and probably the only excursion we have repeated this trip). Will be intending to go round circle trip as in boat/cable car/boat. I believe we will finish before 4pm and if so, we will walk around old town. Good thing is that it goes dark at 9pm so can enjoy the sunset somewhere + dinner. Rest. Even if we take the 7am train to Luzern and arrive at the hotel to drop the baggage, I believe the first boat is not open till 9am, no?????? If so, we would have breakfast and wait for the boat

(Overnight Lucern)

Day 2 (Friday)
First thing in morning, head to Bürgenstock excursion for catamaran cruise/funicular and hike for the Hammetschwand Elevator. I see that there is a famous Bürgenstock resort sweeping view infinity swimming pool where you can actually book it for 4 hours in which we are considering to do, but it is CHF190 per person, not sure if it is worth it?????? Saw the videos on youtube, looks really nice. If we opt to take off that activity and just go to the elevator, my estimation would probably conclude and be back to Lucern at 3pm or 4pm.

Then walk around/stroll around Luzern old town and dinner before going for the 2nd excursion around 7pm which is to Stanserhorn cable car (good thing is they open till like 10pm in which I checked in the website), so we want to try to take advantage of the 9pm sunset and enjoy the view at the top!
(Overnight Lucern)

Day 3 (Saturday)
Mt Pilatus excursion for the first morning

Intend to go for the golden round trip including the activity of toboggan run. Again, I assume the first boat starts at 9am and I suppose we will finish and arrive Lucern by 5pm. Dinner at Luzern town or perhaps sunset cruise dinner (when timetable comes out in the next few months)
(Overnight Lucern)

Day 4 (Sunday)
Provided we have completed the previous few days activities on schedule, first thing in morning, we will take train and head straight to the Junfrau region and we chose our base in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. Drop our baggage and will start taking the cable car to Männlichen for hike (including the Royal Walk). Then take the cable back to Wengen before cable car closes around 5pm and explore the Wegen town before heading back to hotel by train to rest/dinner. PS: I am not sure if Harder Kulm actually opens till late for the funicular, if so, we might do this activity??????
(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 5 (Monday)
Jungfraujoch top Europe excursion which takes the full day. We will go first thing in the morning to beat the crowd and activities we will are likely to do are hiking to Monchsjoch Hut, snow fun park, ice palace, Alphine sensation etc till 5pm conclusion. Go back and rest

(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 6 (Tuesday)
There is a possible that we will do paragliding in Murren as I heard this is a MUST do and even better view/experience than paragliding in Interlaken. Your thoughts?????

Assuming we finish mid morning, including preparation and going back down etc, we will head to Grindelwald First to do activities. For that, I assume that would take 1/2 day. Then take the cable car to Grindelwald and explore around. Rest for the day

(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 7 (Wednesday)
If previous activities have been all been completed (and no cancelled rain for paragliding), we will head straight to Zurich early morning, drop the stuffs at hotel and head to Rhine Falls for few hours. (Co incidentally, when I saw the Rhine Fall activity information on your website, it says the best time to go is May/June due to the water peak and this day is 1st June, so I guess this is a MUST do then). Which station should I get off will be better & recommendedin terms of convenience, better view and also the yellow boat that we are likely to take in the rainfall? Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station??????

Afterwards, stroll around in Zurich town and go for Zurich Lake Cruise etc. , most likely the short cruise for 55 min. I checked the winter timetable, last Zurich boat is 4pm, I assume there will be later session for the upcoming summer. Or otherwise, if there is a dinner cheese fondue cruise, we will take that at night for relaxation!

(Overnight Zurich)

Day 8 (Thursday)
In early morning, we will head to Aescher hut house excursion/hike. Will probably take 6-7am train and arrive Wasserauen station (8-9am) to beat the crowd. Take the Ebenalp cable car up and hike to the hut/have breakfast around till estimate 11am. Then hike back down via Seealpsee, then to Wasserauen station, probably add another 3 hours. Then at 2pm, head to Apenzell to explore around for a couple of hours, have some nice lunch etc. Then heading back to Zurich & walk around in town. If previous day lake dinner cruise is not yet done, will use this day for cheese fondue lake cruise dinner or otherwise, we might try for the Limmat River Cruises (I recall it also operates at night for one last time for the 50 min round trip cruise) which will be perfect as this is our last day.
(Overnight Zurich)

Day 9 (Friday)
Flight at 1:30pm. Have breakfast cafe nearby at 9am. Check out at 10:15am (10 min walk from hotel to Zurich station) and head to airport & fly home!!

As much as we love to stay longer but thats the holiday we have plus I think we did our best since I have focused on 3 regions that are close to Zurich but man, its still so many things to do that are endless and you can see the activities are packed, lol. We usually like to plan this way than go with the flow. We tried before in another country and by the time we gone back home, we were like "oh no, this place/activity is cool/good and didn't realise its very near where were staying!". So lesson learned, do a lot of research and preparation pays the dividend in the end

In terms of buying the pass, I also have already know what I want and that is my strategy in which I have compared and calculated as this will save me quite a bit

I intend to purchase Half Swiss travel card (CHF 120) + 3 days Top Europe pass (CHF 159) as that will include all the excursions that we intend to do for free including Jungfraujoch admission (where Swiss Pass is only provides 25% discount)

Additionally, it would actually save me money if I buy a few Saver Swiss Day Pass separately for 4 days likely for Day 1, 2, 7 & 8 rather than buying half price for fare/activity for each (including it is free for Mt Rigi & Stanserhorn excursions). They are out 2 months in advance and it cost as low as CHF29 (swiss half fare) or CHF39 on average. The reason why I do not want to buy this way even it is cheaper if I buy like a week early is because I am not sure on the day of check out in Luzern and Lauterbrunnen whether we will keep doing more activities on the spot in case not finished previous day so we may stay a bit later or go early as planned. I was just doing a quick check via SBB app, imagining if I was to buy a ticket a day or two later, it would cost more than the Saver Swiss Day Pass itself so probably not worth the risk UNLESS i am very sure that I will be leaving in early morning after check out, but even so, I still save like CHF15 at max.

So adding up, the total for 120+159+116 (29x 4 days) comes to CHF395 for the 3 passes (and additional few CHF single ticket to the airport on the last day) so comes up to CHF400.
Swiss pass for 8 days is CHF389
Yes it is cheaper than by CHF11 , but there are lots that you need to pay 50% cable cars/funicular all in the Jungfrau area whereas the Top Europe (3 days pass) includes everything AND also, it does not include Jungfraujoch excursion which is ONLY 25% discount so you pay around CHF169, i believe, so you have to add these and that too.

So if your itinerary will also be similar to mine, you can consider my strategy for buying this pass and you will save a couple to few hundred CHF per person depending on the activities you intend to do unless Arnos have a better suggestion strategy than I do for better value???????

I believe I already have 6 x ????? of the questions listed of the above that I am unsure of, plus additional 2 more if you do not mind me asking please?

7) Will we be able to have a chance to see the cows during end of May/start of June?

8) In case I do buy point to point SBB, correct me if I am wrong, from what I understand...
Say...I buy from Interlaken to Zurich ticket and obviously, you will need to change train in Bern, can we stop there and explore for a few hours and continue the journey later to Zurich?

Thank you to Arnos and to all once again!

Last modified on Nov 15, 2022 - 2:40 PM by herotravel
Anna
Anna
3904 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 15, 2022 - 6:29 PM in reply to herotravel

Hi herotravel,

Thanks for sharing your itinerary. It's well-planned and definitely doable.

To address some of your concerns: You can use the Swiss timetable to check boat schedules. On Day 1, if you wish to reach Rigi earlier than 9am, I recommend you take the train for the outward journey then later in the day take the boat to return to Lucerne. Similarly On Day 3, if you want to reach Pilatus earlier, just reverse your plan - take the bus and cable car in the morning, do the toboggan then take the cogweel and boat for the return journey later in the day. On Day 2, the panorama terrace on Burgenstock is free for public access and provides a wonderful view of the lake and surrounding area. There's no need to pay to use the infinity pool to enjoy a similar view if you don't want to. You can find more information about Burgenstock here: www.myswissalps.com/burgenstock. On Day 6, I think paragliding in Mürren is more practical from your base in Lauterbrunnen. But I reckon you would find more options in terms of prices and services in Interlaken. On Day 8, combining a trip to Ebenalp and Rhinefalls in one day might be a bit rushed. If you're visiting Appenzell in May, you might encounter local spring festivals featuring cows processions. You can check the event schedules on the Switzerland Tourism website.

Based on your plans, getting the Swiss Half Fare Card and the Top of Europe Pass is a sensible option. The Swiss Half Fare Card provides discounts on point-to-point tickets, which are usually valid for the specific route until 5am the next day. So if you buy a ticket from Interlaken to Zurich via Bern, you can make a stopover in Bern, then continue to Zurich later as long as the ticket is still valid. You can find more details here: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/italy

Let us know if you need more info.

Regards,

Anna

Brnyrdsue
Brnyrdsue
8 posts
new member
Nov 15, 2022 - 8:02 PM

We were there in September for 9 days and our son did paragliding in Interlaken. Would have preferred Murren, but they were booked and the weather was more doable in Interlaken.. Tried again in Zermatt, but wind and rain prevented it on all of our days there. We used Wengen for our base in Jungfrau and loved it. Did the things at Grindelwald First, which were fun and memorable. Also did the Glacial Gorge there, with the spiderweb. Really fun little hike. Had such a good time— ready to go back now!

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1960man
1960man
4378 posts
expert
Nov 16, 2022 - 12:29 AM in reply to herotravel

Day 1 (Thursday)

, I believe the first boat is not open till 9am, no?????? If so, we would have breakfast and wait for the boat

Exactly what date are you travelling? - this makes a big difference to any advice given as spring (up to 26/5) or summer (from 27/5) boat schedules might be in operation . In summer there are boats before 9am

Day 3 (Saturday)

Mt Pilatus excursion Again, I assume the first boat starts at 9am and I suppose we will finish and arrive Lucern by 5pm. Dinner at Luzern town or perhaps sunset cruise dinner

As mentioned above, boat schedules depend on the date. After 27/5 there is a Luzern - Beckenried boat service with restaurant open departing Luzern at 19.30 and arriving back at 21.47.

However the first boat to Alpnachstad for Pilatus is never before 09.38

Day 4 (Sunday)

PS: I am not sure if Harder Kulm actually opens till late for the funicular, if so, we might do this activity??????

Harder Kulm is open until last car down at 21.10 (21.40 after 27/5)

7 (Wednesday)

last Zurich boat is 4pm, I assume there will be later session for the upcoming summer. Or otherwise, if there is a dinner cheese fondue cruise, we will take that at night for relaxation!

Last Zurich round trip boat in late May is 19.00 from Zurich Burklipatz

Day 8 (Thursday)

In early morning, we will head to Aescher hut house excursion/hike. Will probably take 6-7am train and arrive Wasserauen station (8-9am) to beat the crowd. Take the Ebenalp cable car up and hike to the hut/have breakfast around till estimate 11am. Then hike back down via Seealpsee, then to Wasserauen station, probably add another 3 hours. Then at 2pm, head to Apenzell to explore around for a couple of hours, have some nice lunch etc. Then heading back to Zurich & walk around in town. If previous day lake dinner cruise is not yet done, will use this day for cheese

I don't think you will need to 'beat the crowd' in late May. I did Ebenalp with my wife in peak summer season and it wasn't excessively busy

WARNING! - the walk Aescher - Seealpsee is a steep rocky path, it can take longer than you think to walk down (my wife and I missed the last train from Wasserauen and had to wait for the evening bus!)

7) Will we be able to have a chance to see the cows during end of May/start of June?

Except at very high altitude, cattle are usually let out from barns into grazing fields in early - mid April or into May . You will certainly see cows in fields travelling around the 'Swiss Plateau' (ie to and from Zurich, Luzern etc)

8) In case I do buy point to point SBB, correct me if I am wrong, from what I understand...

Say...I buy from Interlaken to Zurich ticket and obviously, you will need to change train in Bern, can we stop there and explore for a few hours and continue the journey later to Zurich?

All Swiss railway tickets except special trains and Supersaver fares can be used on any train with a break of journey (with a point to point ticket this break of journey must be within a logical 'one way' direction)

herotravel
herotravel
14 posts
new member
Nov 16, 2022 - 6:13 AM in reply to 1960man

Hi 1960man.

I appreciate your response, very much appreciated. A few things to clarify as well as to answer your question in regarding to when we will come to Switzerland

- We are actually going to land Zurich on 25th May @ 6am staying Luzern for 3 nights (25 to 28 May) so to speak, on the first day, we will be heading to Mt Rigi and Day 3 (27th May) for "Luzern - Beckenried" that you are referring to is the dinner cruise? If so, I guess we JUST made it in time for the very last night if we want to depart that starts at 7:30pm and back 9:47pm!

- Thank you for clarifying that the last Harder Kulm car down is at 21:40pm (because we will be staying in Lauterbrunnen 3 nights from 28th to 31st May. That way we can enjoy the BEAUTIFUL sunset as 9:10pm in any one of the night, so it is perfect and also just made it on time like the above for Lake Luzern dinner cruise

- We are staying in Zurich from 31st May to 2nd June, so I guess the latest departure is 7pm since you mentioned is late May will be applicable

- Thank you for sharing your experience in Aescher and letting us know we do not need to beat the crowd in May. I relied on Google that it takes like 2 hours and did not think it would take longer than we think!

But from your experience, is it worth the steep hike down to the lake despite the difficulty?

Or better just hike up to the Gasthaus Shafler and go back to the cable car before descending back to the bottom?

Because my wife saw the lake is so beautiful and also heard that the boat can be rented too, no?

- Got it cleared for the SBS point to point ticket! One other thing. Let's say I purchased the time for 2:05pm from Interlaken to Zurich point to point in SBB app using swiss half fare. And there is another one that goes to Zurich at 2:45pm as well. Let's say I missed the 2:05pm first train, will it still be valid that I can catch the 2:45pm train? Or no, I will have to buy the new ticket again since I have missed the originated time that I had purchased?

- As for Saver Day Pass, obviously, if you purchase it 2 days in advance, it is locked and non refundable. But for Swiss 1/2 fare pass as well as Top Europe pass, there is no need to rush as I can always get them in last minute before I leave or even purchase the Top Europe pass in the Interlaken ticket office on the day I arrive on 28th May, correct? Because I do not see the advantage of buying early unless they are on promotion specials anyway, no?

And also thank you to Anna for the response!

Last modified on Nov 16, 2022 - 6:17 AM by herotravel
1960man
1960man
4378 posts
expert
Nov 16, 2022 - 6:29 PM in reply to herotravel

Regarding point to point tickets. Only Supersaver fares are fixed to a specific train. All other tickets can be used on any train.

Regarding purchasing rail passes. All rail passes can be purchased online or on arrival in Switzerland and at major stations with travel centres.

Ildiko
Ildiko
2515 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 17, 2022 - 2:10 PM in reply to herotravel

Hi herotravel,

Make sure to read the differences between SuperSaver Tickets and normal tickets: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/switzerland.

You should buy the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass) as soon as possible as they can run out also they are usually cheaper if you buy them earlier. In case you have a Swiss Half Fare Card (www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard) you get a discount on the Saver Day Pass too. You can check the prices and buy your Saver day Pass here: www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass/price.

Regarding the other passes (Swiss Half Fare Card, Jungfrau Travel Pass) you can get them online just 1 day before you arrive or you can buy them on the spot. We recommend getting them online, so you do not have to wait in lines and also you can start using the pass right after you arrived in Switzerland. More about where to buy your rail passes www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/wheretobuy.

In case you want to buy them online:

Ildiko

Last modified on Nov 17, 2022 - 2:11 PM by Ildiko

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