Dec 26, 2019 - 5:48 AM
in reply to JonW
Hi JonW and Welcome to MySwissAlps,
If you want to "walk around towns and visit museums etc" then Luzern and Bern are cities within easy reach. From Luzern you can also include a mountain visit to Pilatus, Rigi or Titlis if you want to get a flavour of the Alps. The Jungfrau Region (via Interlaken) is the best Alps experience within easy reach of Zurich.
The Abbey Library at St Gallen is also worth a day trip if you like that sort of thing. See www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/st-gallen-appenzell-zurich-in-autumn. You could take the direct route there and return via Konstanz (which is just over the border in Germany), Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen or via Luzern on the Voralpen Express (which has super slick brand new trains as of December 2019).
Use the search function on this site to find details of any of the towns mentioned and in particular what to do there. eg www.myswissalps.com/lucerne/activities
I strongly recommend using the SBB Mobile app (bit.ly/2ICIUHi) for checking train, bus, boat and cable way timetables, finding fares* and buying tickets on-line if required. In the unlikely event you don’t have a device capable of running the app then you can use the timetable on the SBB website (bit.ly/2HH1U7B). If you are not familiar with using the SBB timetable it is worth first reading the instructions at www.myswissalps.com/timetable.
* The SBB website shows half-fare prices by default, the mobile app allows you to nominate whether to show full or half-fares (by editing the passenger details in settings) and is also smart enough to offer you the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass) if that offers the best fare. The app can also display a platform map (at least at the larger stations) to help you make connections. You can also easily filter modes of transport (eg bus or ship).
The app (or website) will always show the fastest, most direct routes unless you tell it you want to go a longer way round by including other stations to go VIA. For example, if you wanted to follow the Golden Pass route you would need to search the SBB app looking for Luzern to Montreux via Interlaken and Zweisimmen.