Aug 29 to Sept 6: Arrive/dept Zurich itinerary

Aug 29 to Sept 6: Arrive/dept Zurich itinerary

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TNtraveller
TNtraveller
2 posts
new member
May 29, 2018 - 1:35 AM

My wife and I will be visiting Switzerland Aug 29 to Sept 6, arriving and departing from Zurich.We have started our itinerary but are looking for comments from the experts on this forum. We enjoy medium effort hiking and seeing the sights, maybe only 1 or 2 museums, no bars, alcohol or casinos but some good restaurants, cheese and chocolate. Here are the few questions we have:

  • Would you replace Lugano with any of the areas in our itinerary?How would you rearrange our itinerary to see Lugano?
  • Recommendations on the best areas for chocolate. Zurich? Bern? Lucerne?
  • I am having a hard time adding up the cost of point-to-point travel. Based on the itinerary below, any recommendations on rail passes?

Aug 29 - Arr. 9:00, Transfer from Airport to Lucerne - weather permitting, see Mt. Rigi or Pilatus or see the city. Spend night in Lucerne

Aug 30 - Lucerne - more time to see the city, transfer to Bernese Oberland region. Spend night in Interlaken/Grindelwald.

Aug 31/Sept 1 - Eiger Trail hike/gondola to Kleine Scheidegg/Grindelwald Glacier Ravine/Lauterbrunnen. Transfer on Sept 1 to Lausanne and spend night there.

Sept 2 - Lausanne - Explore the city and take a short trip to Montreux. Spend night in Lausanne.

Sept 3 - Transfer to Zurich with stop in Bern for a few hours of sightseeing. Spend night in Zurich

Sept 4/5 - Zurich, city sightseeing and time to see Waid Viewpoint or Uetliberg.

Sept 6 - Depart noon.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my post!

Lucas
Lucas
6430 posts
expert &
moderator
May 29, 2018 - 2:06 PM in reply to TNtraveller

Hi TNtraveller and welcome to MySwissAlps!

  1. I would choose Lugano over Zurich. You can get a fast train right to Lugano from Zurich when you arrive, then take the Gotthard Panoramic Express to Luzern then Grindelwald and Lausanne and back to Zurich to fly out.
  2. Are you just looking to buy chocolate (anywhere is fine) or see a chocolate factory? There is one (Maison Cailler) at Broc-Fabrique which you can visit from Lausanne.
  3. As you are traveling to several regions of the country I'd take a hard look at the Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days (August 29-Sept 5).

Did you try using our spreadsheet to help with adding up costs to compare rail tickets? It is the only way to know the best rail pass. https://www.myswissalp s.com/train/ticketspas ses/practical/choosera ilpass

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan trips between towns and mountains, lakes etc. https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable

Have a look at my trip report on the Ticino region if you are looking for ideas on Lugano and the area. https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/tici no-region-trip-march-31-april-2

TNtraveller
TNtraveller
2 posts
new member
May 29, 2018 - 4:30 PM

Thank you for your feedback!

  1. We will discuss your suggestion as it sounds like it might better fit our ideal vacation.
  2. We are just looking to buy chocolate and want to make sure we're getting something local and unique ((unlike Lindt where there are stores everywhere). However, I will definitely look into your suggestion about Maison Caillen.
  3. I did try using the spreadsheet. The difficulty I am having is finding the point-to-point rates for the same routes and how to account for the surcharges. For example, going from Lugano to Luzern, I can find the surcharge rate with the Swiss Rail Pass using the link on MySwissAlps but cannot find (or am not understanding) what the point-to-point cost is for the Gotthard Panoramic Express on it's own without the rail pass. I feel like I'm having that same trouble understanding out the regional pass is for the Bernese Oberland region and how it fits with the Swiss rail pass and also if we use the Golden Pass line to Montreux/Lausanne.

I'll continue to do more research but I appreciate the input already given!

Lucas
Lucas
6430 posts
expert &
moderator
May 29, 2018 - 6:22 PM in reply to TNtraveller

So the timetable gives you the point to point rates next to the train. You need to search for within 30 days to get prices (but they don't change). The price that you see on the timetable is the price for Swiss Half fare Card holders - double it to get the regular fare, then subtract any discounts your rail pass gives you (if any).

The Gotthard Panoramic Express train is 92chf for the entire trip in 2nd class (1st class with panoramic windows is 150chf). You can also take regional trains on the same route for less money.

The panoramic train routes are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass so no tickets are needed. You must, however make a seat reservation whether you have a ticket or rail pass.

You can look into the validity and costs of regional passes here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/regionalpasses but they are usually only a good option if you spend most of your time traveling in 1 region (as their discounts in their region are better than the Swiss Travel Pass).

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2257 posts
top member
May 30, 2018 - 1:57 AM in reply to TNtraveller

>> The difficulty I am having is finding the point-to-point rates for the same routes and how to account for the surcharges. For example, going from Lugano to Luzern, I can find the surcharge rate with the Swiss Rail Pass using the link on MySwissAlps but cannot find (or am not understanding) what the point-to-point cost is for the Gotthard Panoramic Express on it's own without the rail pass.

Ticket prices are for routes, regardless of what sort of train you take on the route. So the ticket price for the Gotthard Panorama Express is exactly the same as the ticket price for a regional train travelling on the same route, i.e. Flüelen to Lugano.

The only difference with the Gotthard Panorama Express is that there is a compulsory reservation fee of CHF 24 (for the whole train route) or CHF 12 (if only travelling on a short part of the route).

Fares for the boat sector are identical, as the boat is just a normal boat which anyone can use, regardless of whether they are taking the Gotthard Panorama Express train or not.

>> I feel like I'm having that same trouble understanding out the regional pass is for the Bernese Oberland region and how it fits with the Swiss rail pass and also if we use the Golden Pass line to Montreux/Lausanne.

The Golden Pass line ends at Montreux. After that you change to normal trains.

Hopefully by now you have had a look at the validity maps for the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland and Swiss Travel Pass, and can see how the coverage, and level of discount, varies between the two.

For example

  • Swiss Travel Pass: free travel on the whole Golden Pass route from Luzern to Montreux
  • Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland: free travel Luzern to Saanen, then 50% discount between Saanen and Montreux: so you would need to buy a ticket for the discounted sector.

Alpenrose

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