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Advice needed: 7 night trip in July/August

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7 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2016 - 12:20 AM


Apologies in advance for a long post. This is the longest trip I have planned, our first in Europe and since there is a lot to see, a lot of activities. We are a family of four (two adults, two kids - aged 8.5 and 4 when we travel). We are flexible on dates - sometimes in July/August of this year.

Here is the itinerary I have planned. Please advice if this will be too much with a family like ours. We don't intend to do any hiking. Just sightseeing etc.

  • Day 1:--------Arrive in Zurich in morning Zurich -> Lucerne (50 mins) [direct]Local town sightseeing in Lucerne. Lucerne -> Mt Rigi -> Lucerne (1 hr 30 min one way)Night stay: Lucerne
  • Day 2:--------Local town sightseeing in Lucerne. Lucerne -> Mt Titlis -> Lucerne (1 hr 35 mins one way)Night stay: Lucerne
  • Day 3:-------Lucerne -> Interlaken (2 hrs) [direct]Local town sightseeing in Interlaken. Interlaken -> Jungfraujoch Interlaken - Zweilütschinen - Grindelwald -> Kleine Scheidegg -> Jungfraujoch. Return: Jungfraujoch -> Interlaken Jungfraujoch -> Kleine Scheidegg -> Wengen -> Lauterbrunnen -> Zweilutschinen -> Interlaken
  • Night stay: interlaken
  • Day 4:--------Interlaken - not sure where to go, or if necessary to stay another day. Perhaps somewhere East of Interlaken
  • Night stay: Interlaken
  • Day 5:-------Interlaken -> Zermatt (2 hrs 15 min) [change trains at Spiez and Visp]Local town sightseeing in Zermatt. Zermatt -> Gornergrat (cog train, 35 mins, one way)Views of Matterhorn. Night stay: Zermatt
  • Day 6:--------Zermatt -> Spiez (1 hr 47 min) [change train at Visp]Local town and lake sightseeing, etc; Nigt stay: Spiez
  • Day 7:-------Spiez -> Montreux via Golden Pass Train Route: Spiez -> Zweisimmen -> Gstaad -> Montreux. Local town sightseeing in Montreux, Lusanne, Geneva. Night stay: Montreux/Geneva
  • Day 8:--------Montreux -> Geneva (1 hr 12 min) [direct]Fly out of Geneva (not returning to Zurich)


  1. Will this be too much for a family of four with children aged 8.5 and 4 when we travel ?
  2. Would I need to book two rooms ? Here in the US we could fit in a single room king bed ?
  3. Are hostels a safe place for kids ? Like a Quad Room with private bathroom ?
  4. B&B (www.bnb.ch/en) seems like a decent alternative ? Would you recommend that instead. We want to stay in the same room
  5. What are the checkin/checkout times typically ? Here in the US they are usually 3:00 PM and 11:00 AM.


15870 posts
expert &
Feb 16, 2016 - 6:39 AM

Hi vikram, welcome to MySwissAlps!

  1. Well, only you know what your kids are used to when it comes to the pace of traveling. Having said that, I would say it's doable, but here are a few tips to make it a bit less hectic: As for day 3: there's not much to see in Interlaken, so I would recommend to spend all day on your Jungfraujoch trip. See our Interlaken page for more tips. I would skip the night stay in Spiez to limit the number of hotel changes as that takes a lot of time. As for day 7: you can't do a train trip and explore 3 towns in one day. I would stick to Montreux and spend the night there.
  2. They key is to book the actual number of hotel guests, and then check which room types hotels offer for that (e.g. a quadruple room or two doubles). Booking for just 2 adults and assume the kids can stay in the room too won't work. I usually check www.hotelscombined.com. You can fill out 2 adults and 2 children and see what's available.
  3. No worries about that. I wouldn't know about unsafe accommodation in Switzerland.
  4. That could certainly work. I prefer hotels myself so I can't provide much information about B&B's.
  5. The same times apply to Switzerland. It can be a bit different per hotel. You can check that through the website I mentioned. Sometimes they offer to stay a few hours longer for an additional fee. I got such an extension for free once as well. Just ask as it all depends on availability.

I hope this was useful for you. For more accommodation related questions, please feel free to post in our accommodation forum.

7 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2016 - 10:47 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks for replying - and thanks for formatting my original post. I couldn't do it at that time.

Given your suggestions, I changed the itinerary to the following; to minimize accommodation hops. I also eliminated Zermatt. It is too far off the way and looks like there is some hiking to be done and I want to avoid it as much as possible. Please provide your comments.

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Zurich in morning. Zurich -> Lucerne (50 mins) [direct]
  • Hope for an early checkin around 12:00 noon, else use luggage lockers
  • Use afternoon/evening to travel to Mt. Pilatus. Train/Boat to Alpnachstad, then cogweel train to the top. Return via cable car to Kriens, then bus to Lucerne
  • Night stay: Lucerne

Day 2:

  • Lucerne -> Mt Rigi -> Lucerne. Boat to Vitznau on the lake, then train to Rigi Kulm. Take the train between Lucerne and Vitznau depending on weather and timings, etc
  • Night stay: Lucerne

Day 3:

  • Checkout in the AM; use luggage lockers in Lucerne
  • Lucerne -> Mt Titlis -> Lucerne. Train to Engelberg, then cable car to Titlis. Same Return path
  • Collect luggage, then Lucerne -> Interlaken (2 hrs) [direct]
  • Night stay: Interlaken

Day 4:

  • Interlaken -> Jungfraujoch (via Zweilütschinen -> Grindelwald -> Kleine Scheidegg)
  • Jungfraujoch -> Interlaken (via Kleine Scheidegg -> Wengen -> Lauterbrunnen -> Zweilutschinen)
  • Night stay: Interlaken

Day 5:

  • Interlaken -> Brienz (via boat on Lake Brienz)
  • Brienz -> Rothorn -> Brienz (on Brienz Rothorn Railway via Palanalp)
  • Brienz -> Interlaken (via boat/train depending on weather)
  • Night stay: Interlaken

Day 6:

  • Interlaken -> Montreux via Golden Pass Train (via Spiez -> Zweisimmen -> Gstaad)
  • Night stay: Montreux

Day 7:

  • Rochers-de-Naye excursion on cogwheel train
  • Afternoon/Evening Lake Geneva trip - maybe stop by small towns
  • Night stay: Montreux

Day 8:

  • Montreux -> Geneva Airport. Train (~1 hr)
  • Leave Geneva

Followup Questions

  1. Given the number of trips we are making on trains and boats, I can easily see that having a pass for 8 days would be of value. The 'Area of Validity' pdf dated 09.2015 seems to show that 50% discounts would also be available on cogwheels and cable cars. Or is it just on cogwheels ? Is there a way I can easily compute the savings ? Some cool website where I can plug the trips and out pops the cost of the trips vs the savings by using a pass ?
  2. The Golden Pass website has a cost pdf (www.goldenpass.ch/asse ts/media/pdf/prix_2016 _en.pdf) but it does not seem to indicate the savings by using a Swiss Travel pass for a trip from Interlaken to Montreux. For the other lines it does show discounts. Do Swiss Travel pass discounts not apply for the Golden Pass ?

I am sure I will have more questions. Thanks again for the wonderful service and again, please pardon the naive questions

15870 posts
expert &
Feb 17, 2016 - 7:11 AM

You're most welcome vikram!

  1. The pdf you have downloaded shows where you get a discount and free traveling. The mode of transport doesn't matter. If the route is on the map, you'll get your discount whether it is a bus, cogwheel train, cable car, funicular or anything else. Our page myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/chooserailpass explains how to do the math and also offers a spreadsheet to download.
  2. With a Swiss Travel Pass, the Golden Pass line is free too, just like any other train route in Switzerland. You don't need their website for prices. Just follow the instructions from the above link.

Feel free to get back here if any questions remain!

Last modified on Feb 17, 2016 - 7:12 AM by Arno


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