Advice for 7 night Swiss itinerary from Zurich

Advice for 7 night Swiss itinerary from Zurich

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Ngocvu527
Ngocvu527
4 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 1:17 AM

First of all, I would like to THANK all the moderators who contributed to this forum. I've learn so many things from all the post and it has helped me tremendously in planning my trip to Switzerland.

My group includes 2 adults and 4 teenagers (ages 13, 13, 14, and 15). We will be in Switzerland from March 27 to April 3. We are all active and would like to do activities that make this trip memorable. First of all we bought an 8-day Swiss Travel pass for the 2 adults (Thank you for the tip regarding the $65 discount for purchases of $750 or more through RailEurope). We got 4 free Family passes for the 4 children. In addition, in Luzern there is a promotion for a 2- Tell pass for those staying 2 or more nights in a participating hotel in Luzern. We will receive a 2-day Tell pass for all 6 of us. This is our itinerary. Any comments would be appreciated:

Tues 3/27 Arrive in Zurich around 11 am. Take a train to Luzern. Drop our bags at hotel. Go for a stroll around Luzern. Look for the famous bridge and the sleeping Lion. Visit Mt. Rigi (included in Swiss Travel Pass). Sleep in Luzern.

Wed 3/28 Luzern boat trip to Burgenstock, maybe some hiking. Then boat ride to Apnachstad. Railway up Mt. Pilatus, then cable car to Krien. (Pilatus excursion covered by Tell pass). Sleep in Luzern.

Thu 3/29 Train ride to Engleberg. Then cable car up Mount Titlis. Visit Cliff Walk, and Glacier Cave. On the cable car ride down, Stop by Trubee Snow Park (Kids will enjoy Tubing, Sledding, Tobogganing). We bought waterproof pants for the kids to enjoy these activities. Visit Glacier Village. QUESTION: IS TOBOGGANING FREE WITH THE TELL PASS? Sleep in Luzern.

Fri 3/30 Morning train to Interlaken, then to Grindelwald. Drop off bags at Grindelwald hotel. Do Shilthorn excursion (covered by Swiss Travel Pass). Find places to hike down. Visit Wengen, Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen. Sleep in Grindelwald. *** IS THIS ENOUGH TIME FOR INTERLAKEN AREA?

Sat 3/31 Take morning Golden Pass Train towards Montreux. Will try to get a MOB train or Belle Epoque train. ***ARE RESERVATIONS NECESSARY FOR THESE TRAINS? I looked on several sites, and it said reservations were not mandatory. Upon arrival to Lake Leman area, plan to visit Castle Chillon, then rest of day will be hiking the vineyards at Vevey or St. Saphorin. Maybe take a boat ride of Lake Leman. Take evening train to Brig (about 2 hours in duration). Sleep in Brig.

Sun 4/1 EASTER. Take 06:30 am Train from Brig to Zermatt. Arrive in Zermat at 08:00. View the Matterhorn, then hop on the Glacier Express (I have already made reservations, and paid 33 CHF per person). The meals are expensive on the train, so I plan to buy food and have a picnic for all of us. Is that okay? 8.5 hours later, will arrive in St. Moritz. I cannot afford hotels in St. Moritz, so upon arrival, we will hop on 18:00 train to go back to Zurich to sleep. I know it's a long day but can't afford the hotel prices of Zermatt and St. Moritz.

Mon 4/2 Last day of the trip. I NEED SOME ADVICE. OPTION 1: Should I spend a second day in Interlaken ( Fri 3/30 and Sat 3/31) instead of going to Montreux. If I spend 3/30 and 3/31 in Interlaken areas, then on 4/2 I will take a train (3 hours) to Lausaunne, visit vinyards of Lavaux, and Castle Chillon. Take 18:00 train back to Zurich to sleep at Airport hotel. OPTION 2: If I've already visited Interlaken areas and Lake Leman areas, where should I spend my last day: Bern, Apenzell, Interlaken, Zurich??

Tues 4/3 Catch my flight home at 14:00

Other questions:

1. The weather looks rainy for the times that I'll be visiting Switzerland. Any advice on what I should do differently to make the trip more pleasant?

2. I plan to eat at COOP and Migros to keep cost down. Any other tricks to to save money when dining?

3. Are there any changes that you would make to this itinerary? Fortunately, all my hotels allow free cancellation until day of arrival, so I have a little room to make changes.

AGAIN, I THANK ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS FOR PROVIDING YOUR VALUABLE TIME TO HELP TRAVELERS LIKE ME. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ADVENTURE!!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3394 posts
expert
Mar 20, 2018 - 2:40 AM

Hi Ngocvu,

Few things:

3/38 Cog-wheel Alpnachstad to Pilatus is not running at that time of year. You can get up and down to Pilatus from Kriens by cable way.

3/29 I don't think Tell Pass covers tobogganing.

3/30 You will be busy covering all that ground in one day. Hiking cold be problematic as you will be there at the tail end of winter and plenty of snow and possibly mud around.

3/31 You can't make reservations on the Golden Pass Zweisimmen to Montreux even if you wanted to. There is some construction on the line at that time and a short bus detour. Don't let that put you off.

4/1 Yes you can take your own supplies on the GEX. Shops will be closed on Easter Monday but you might find a couple of places open to buy food. I admire your commitment travelling up to Zermatt and back. I would have stayed in bed and boarded GEX in Brig. Hope the weather is clear and you get to see the Matterhorn.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 10:01 AM in reply to Ngocvu527

Hi Ngocvu,

2/4 I would choose Appenzell or Bern. I haven't been to Appenzell but I read nice things about it. I like Bern a lot. Some people like to visit the Rhine Falls from Zurich. If it's a rainy day you could have a look at Umwelt Arena (a huge interactive museum for families focused on taking care of our environment) or Alpamare (the biggest indoor aquapark in Europe). Please note that it's Easter Monday, so expect more families to come up with the same idea.

I'm keeping an eye on the weather as well since I've family coming over, but frankly speaking, you never know what the weather is going to be like. Do not trust the weather forecasts for 4+ days ahead of time. Please find the forecast, and how to interpret it, here: www.myswissalps.com/we ather/forecast.

You could have a look at some indoor activities. I gave you two options for Zurich and you could add the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne to that list.

We have tips here: www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/sa vemoney on how to save money.

Ngocvu527
Ngocvu527
4 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 8:56 PM in reply to rockoyster

Dear Rockoyster,

Thank you for your reply. I would like to ask you a question.

1. Do you think that I will miss out on beautiful scenery by taking the glacier Express from Brig instead of starting from the beginning as Zermatt?

2. Do you think I should spend two days in Interlaken, then swing back to Montreux towards the end of the trip, from Zurich?

Thank you

Ngocvu527
Ngocvu527
4 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 9:01 PM in reply to Chantal

Hi Shantel,

Thank you for your response. I hope the weather is nice for you and your family as well.

I have 2 questions for you.

1. As I will be spending the night in brig on March 31st, does it make sense for me to catch the glacier Express on April 1st from Brig or should I go to Zermatt to catch the glacier Express? Will I miss out on beautiful views of the Matterhorn by catching the glacier Express at break instead of Zermatt?

2. Towards the middle of my trip should I stay two days in Interlaken and Skip Montreux? Maybe I should do Montreux at the end once I arrive back in Zurich. Any thoughts?

Thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3394 posts
expert
Mar 20, 2018 - 9:09 PM in reply to Ngocvu527

I wish I could answer those questions but they are really a personal choice. The Golden Pass Zweisimmen to Montreux is very nice.

I have never actually been to Zermatt so I can’t say what you will miss. Bear in mind it will still be dark when you leave Brig at 6:30am. If the weather is OK it may be worth it just to catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn.

Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 9:16 PM by rockoyster
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 9:42 PM in reply to Ngocvu527

  1. You need to have good weather to have beautiful views. Unfortunately I can't tell you if the weather is going to be good.
  2. It's not a bad idea to stay two days in Grindelwald (Interlaken). You could still go from there to Brig via Montreux (Golden Pass line).

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Mar 21, 2018 - 1:32 AM

1) I would forget the Interlaken area - especially as your idea to 'hike down' from Schilthorn is unlikely to work as the paths will be closed and or dangerous (end of winter)

2) Give yourself more time to visit Zermatt. The ride up to Gornergrat gives awesome mountain views. If you arrive at the station in Zermatt at 07.51 and leave again on the GEX at 08.52 you won't have much of a view of the Matterhorn as it is at the opposite end of Zermatt to the railway station.

3) by the way, yes you can make reservations on the MOB (obligatory for the Chocolate Express and VIP forward view seats on certain trains

Last modified on Mar 21, 2018 - 1:33 AM by 1960man
rockoyster
rockoyster
3394 posts
expert
Mar 21, 2018 - 2:45 AM in reply to 1960man

Reservations are not possible, when our friend is travelling, on the MOB Zweisimmen to Montreux (VIP seats or otherwise) from 19 March to 1 June due to construction work and a bit of a bus detour.

Also The Chocolate Train runs again from 1 May. As a result of the construction works, guests are taking the bus in Montbovon. The bus takes them to Gruyères, to Broc and back again. This probably applies for the entire season until 31 October.

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