Interlaken & Lucerne plan with bad weather options

Interlaken & Lucerne plan with bad weather options

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raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Sep 24, 2017 - 5:51 PM

Hi,

First of all, I must thank the portal for the wonderful tips and information that you are providing to readers. It is invaluable. I am able to get links to all the passes, locations, hotels etc - all from one place. Great job.

I will be visiting Switzerland between 17th to 22nd Oct.

I will arrive from Amsterdam late in the evening on 17th and leave Zurich on the 22nd in the evening, for London.

I need tips on the following :

1) Where do you suggest I stay, Interlaken and/or Lucerne? I will be staying in Zurich on the 21st, so I have 4 nights free. I thought of splitting this into 2 days each in Interlaken and Lucerne, but that may be just too much travelling and changing hotels. Instead I could spend 4 days in one place.

I am planning to visit Mt. Titlis, Jungfraujoch, Rhine falls and doing the Glacier express trip.

2) Between Mt.Titlis vs Pilatus, which one do you suggest? Or can we do both given our above itinerary?

3) When I try to buy a Swiss Travel Pass via your site, it takes me to www.swissrailways.com/ but there I am not able to get a 5 day pass. I have to select 4 days or 8 days. As I am staying for 5 days, what are my options?

4) Glacier express - Do I need to make the reservation in advance ? Is it always full ? I just want to keep this as a back up plan if it rains during my stay. I it is not raining heavily I will have the option to change my plans accordingly. I am buying Swiss Travel Pass. If we can get the reservation on the spot then it is good.

5) Which of these places can I visit even if it is raining - Mt. Titlis, Jungfraujoch, Rhine falls? Are there alternatives that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance,

Ravi

Sue
Sue
17 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2017 - 8:30 AM

Hello Ravi & Welcome to MySwissAlps

Thanks for your comments about the website - much appreciated! Your trip sounds wonderful and it is certainly possible to enjoy both Interlaken and Lucerne in your available time, in any weather. In case you haven't discovered these already, there are couple of sections that will help you plan your trip:

myswissalps.com/plantr ip

myswissalps.com/lucern e

myswissalps.com/interl aken

The Jungfraujoch is wonderful and is open all year round...it may be snowing at the top and the whole experience is amazing regardless of the weather, but for good views you'll need a clear sky or partly cloudy at most. To reach it you will travel from Interlaken via Lauterbrunnen station, where just a 10 minute bus ride away are the Trummelbach waterfalls which are ferocious during rain!

On a more general note, check the opening dates of some attractions are you will be arriving towards the end of the season and some may be closed for maintenance.

I'll let others answer your rail pass questions. Have a great visit!

Arno
Arno
9645 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 25, 2017 - 9:51 AM

Hi Ravi,

There is no 5-day Swiss Travel Pass unfortunately. Since you'll be staying in Zurich the last day it makes sense to buy a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass for day 1 to 4. For Zurich there are local day passes, and if you want to visit museums too you can consider the ZurichCARD as it includes transport and museums.

I'd recommend to book a seat for the Glacier Express in advance. Chances are there are still seats if you book last minute, but there's no guarantee. If the train is booked out you will need to take the regular trains (more changes, no commentary, no on-board restaurant and no panoramic windows). If you are fine with that you can risk it of course.

Last modified on Sep 25, 2017 - 9:51 AM by Arno
dpakdee
dpakdee
6 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2017 - 7:31 PM

Hello, Ravi...Go to www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/promotio ns; there you will find :-

Promotion 1: Swiss Travel Pass Extra Days

One extra day on the 4-day pass and two extra days on the 8-day pass. You need to start traveling by April 21, 2018.

Get extra travel days on the Swiss Travel Pass for free!

More

Offered by Rail Europe India: www.raileurope.co.in

That will give you the option for 4 days + 1 free day, but the 5 travel days MUST be continuous.

This promo is for citizens of India and Sri Lanka only.

Hope this helps!

dpakdee

raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2017 - 2:50 AM in reply to dpakdee

Hello Sue, Arno and Dpakdee,

Thanks for your advice. This certainly helps.

I have a quick question to Dpakdee - Is there any difference in the pass if I procure one from SBB or raileurope ?

Also Idontis hope we need to get this couriered to our place and just printout ok.

Regards,

Ravi

Arno
Arno
9645 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2017 - 6:09 AM

Hi Ravi,

The pass is always the same, you'll find the features on www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass. So, whether you buy it from the SBB tourist webshop at www.swissrailways.com/ en (pick "Online Ticket" from the bottom of the shipping option list), or from www.raileurope.co.in/p ass/swiss-travel-pass-82, you'll end up with the same pass. The only difference here is that if you prefer the promoted pass from the Indian site, you will have to buy with them and it will physically be shipped (for free) rather than printed at home. SBB does not offer the promotion. It's still the same Swiss Travel Pass with the same features though.

There are even more places to buy from: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. It's just a matter of which company you prefer.

Enjoy your travels!

Last modified on Oct 27, 2017 - 3:16 PM by Arno
raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2017 - 8:26 AM in reply to Arno

Hi.

Thanks for the information. It makes sense to buy from the place which is able to deliver the pass.

I am planning on the itinerary below. Can you please advise if this is do-able.

  • 17th October: Train from Zurich to Lucerne. My flight reaches Zurich by 9:30 so I am hoping that I can be in Lucerne by 12 noon. I am planning to visit Pilatus on that day. Is it possible to do it after 12 noon ?
  • 18th October - Vsit Mt. Titlis with Ice Flyer.
  • 19th October - Glacier Express trip. I think this will take an entire day.
  • 20th October - Jungfraujoch visit.
  • 21st October - Check out from Lucerne early morning and go to Zurich. After early check in at Zurich airport, visit Rhein Falls (Rhine Falls). Is there scope to add another destination on this day?
  • 22nd October - We will be free to explore until 4 p.m. Should we catch either a boat or train from Zurich to Rapperswil and return using the other means of transport?

I have 2 queries here:

1) Is a visit to Jungfraujoch very tiring from Lucerne? In this case, do you suggest that we check in to a hotel in Interlaken late at night on the 19th so that we can visit the Jungfraujoch on the morning of the 20th? Or is it ok to do it from Lucerne?

2) p Some people have suggested that I combine Rigi with a boat trip. Given the above itinerary, on which day may I have time to do this?

Can you please share your suggestions.

Thanks a lot again. This portal is helping us a lot.

Arno
Arno
9645 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2017 - 5:10 PM

Hi Ravi,

Most of your plan looks good to me. Both the Glacier Express and Jungfraujoch trips are very long days. Jungfraujoch takes 8 hours just on trains without sightseeing time. The Glacier Express page explains how to do this from Lucerne.

On October 21 you should be able to be back in Zurich mid afternoon to do something else. For boat trips see here please: www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakezurich

For Mount Rigi, please see www.myswissalps.com/ri gi. You won't have time for this unless you start really early on October 18 and try to squeeze it in after Mount Titlis.

Remember that all mountain visits are mostly worth it during good weather only, and there's only daylight from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM or so.

dpakdee
dpakdee
6 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2017 - 8:11 PM in reply to raviargus

Hi again, Ravi...To the best of my knowledge you can only get the 4 + 1 free Swiss Travel Pass couriered to your home; I don't think there's a print-at-home facility. That's based on my very limited experience! I got mine in Mumbai after just 2 days, as that office is located in Mumbai. The moment you ask for the promo, it takes you to the www.raileurope.co.in site. They have a live chat facility, 10 am to 7 pm except Sunday.

I've taken the 4+1 Swiss Travel Pass and a Switzerland-Austria Eurail Pass 4 days in 2 months. The 2-countries Eurail is print-at-home, from the www.raileurope.co.in site.

Cheers!

Dpakdee

raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Oct 1, 2017 - 5:15 AM

Hello All,

Thanks a lot for all the information. It is really helpful. I have already ordered Swiss travel pass from the link you have provided. Hopefully I will get the pass in few days.

I am trying to reserve a seat in Glacier express on either of these days - 18,19,20 th oct. But I am not able to get a continuous seat for 3 of us (not even one window seat). It is always so full ? Is this a season ? OR I am missing something. I went to shop.glacierexpress.ch /gex_en to reserve the seat from Chur to Brig as we are staying in Lucerne ( I read in your site that this is the best route to take from Lucerne).

Please advise.

Regards,

Ravi

rockoyster
rockoyster
1020 posts
top member
Oct 1, 2017 - 5:30 AM in reply to raviargus

Hi Ravi,

Unfortunately, for you, there is only one departure per day so the trains do get booked out. In the peak tourist season there a 3 departures a day.

But on the 19th for example you can get 3 seats almost together (in second class if that's how you are travelling). See attached screenshot. The green seats are the one automatically selected for you but you could deselect these and pick, say, seats 63,67, 68 as per second screenshot.

If you just went from Chur to Andermatt (and returned from there to Luzern via Göschenen) then in 1st Class there are 3 seats close together with 1 window seat. See third screenshot.

The Chur to Andermatt crosses the Oberalp Pass and is in my humble opinion by far the most scenic part and will cut down your overall travel time a bit.

I didn't check the other dates.

Last modified on Oct 1, 2017 - 5:39 AM by rockoyster
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raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Oct 1, 2017 - 6:10 AM

Hi Rockoyster,

Thanks. I think I will do Chur to Andermatt first class. One issue is I have already bought 2nd class Swiss travel pass for 5 days. Now how do I upgrade it only for Glacier express. I see there is an option to reserve the seats not for any upgrade.

1) Will I be able to pay on board the cost difference ?

2) I see an option only to select number of adults. There is no option to select child (under 11). Is it all same ?

Thanks again,

Regards,

Ravi

rockoyster
rockoyster
1020 posts
top member
Oct 1, 2017 - 6:43 AM in reply to raviargus

Hi Ravi,

You have a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Family Card right? In that case you just need to buy two Class Upgrade tickets for you and your wife which you can do on-line at the SBB Ticket Shop (www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/class-upgrade.html) or using the SBB Mobile App or at any SBB manned station. You want a "route specific Class Upgrade" and it will cost you half the difference between the 2nd and 1st Class Fares. I'm not 100% sure if you need to buy a Class upgrade for the 11-year-old. I think not but you may need to check that when you buy your upgrades or someone else on the forum may have the answer.

You need to pay the reservation charge for all three of you. Same price for adults or children.

Last modified on Oct 1, 2017 - 6:54 AM by rockoyster
Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 1, 2017 - 9:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

Yes, you will need to upgrade your child as well if you want them with you in first class. :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
1020 posts
top member
Oct 1, 2017 - 9:39 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks for clarifying Lucas 😇 It's a bit harsh though. ☺️

Last modified on Oct 1, 2017 - 9:43 AM by rockoyster
Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 1, 2017 - 9:55 AM in reply to rockoyster

HA! :) well perhaps a break from the kids is needed from time to time? ;)

The Swiss Family Card will allow free travel for the kids only in the same class as the adults have on their Swiss Travel Pass. If they were under 5 they would only need a seat reservation (if they want/need a seat).

Lucas

raviargus
raviargus
6 posts
new member
Oct 2, 2017 - 6:28 AM

Hi,

Thanks a lot for all the advices. I have made the hotel bookings. All set to visit Lucerne from 17th to 21st and Zurich from 21st to 22nd. Fly back to London on 22nd evening.

Looking at the reservation situation in Glacier Express (that not being able to get the seats), do you recommend me to book the tickets to Jungfraujoch, Mt. Titles, Mt Pilatas etc. Or I should be able to get them on any particular day. The reason why I have not booked is, I am not sure of the weather. If it is cloudy, then I can skip that day and plan other day for these places. Please advise.

Regards,

Ravi

rockoyster
rockoyster
1020 posts
top member
Oct 2, 2017 - 6:34 AM in reply to raviargus

Hi Ravi,

You asked "do you recommend me to book the tickets to Jungfraujoch, Mt. Titles, Mt Pilatas etc"

You don't really need to book any of these activities in advance. Best to see what the weather is like on the day and have a back-up plan in case of bad weather.

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