Train or rental car for 6-7 nights in Switzerland?

Train or rental car for 6-7 nights in Switzerland?

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foxracing16
foxracing16
3 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2017 - 8:42 PM

Hi there,

My name is Tim and i am from the USA. I have a few questions for all of you Switzerland experts. I am traveling to Germany for a business related trip for 3 weeks. I will be staying in Hamburg area. Within the middle of the last week, my wife will be flying over to join me. We will then make a 1-2 day trek through Germany into Switzerland.

We are focused on the scenery and don't really have much interest in the "cities" rather than the towns and the mountains.

I have been trying to decide which rail pass to use. Swiss Pass, or something Switzerland only, or perhaps the Germany/Switzerland 2 country Eurail Pass.

Also, we plan on having 2-3 bases to travel from. How does the luggage on the train work, as well as arriving at the new destination before check in? Will there be a bus to take us to our hotels?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these passes.

We have also been considering a rental car from Zurich or another city near the border and return in Zurich when we fly out which is quite cheap. The only issue i have seen and have been reading about is parking, and Gas prices etc. Will the car still come out cheaper?

We will be staying 6-7 nights in Switzerland.

Thank you so much and if you need more info from me, please do ask!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2017 - 3:37 AM in reply to foxracing16

Hi Tim and Welcome to MySwissAlps

Have a read of www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain

Also www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/howtotra vel

Luggage on trains is a cinch. Just take it with you. Hotels will normally accept luggage even if you arrive before official check-in time.

In order to work out whether a Swiss Travel Pass is appropriate take a look at www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass

Where are you coming from in Germany? Wherever, my advice would be to get a fast train to Switzerland!

Swiss Trains ROCK!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2137 posts
top member
Jul 8, 2017 - 8:57 AM in reply to foxracing16

>> I will be staying in Hamburg area. Within the middle of the last week, my wife will be flying over to join me. We will then make a 1-2 day trek through Germany into Switzerland.

Hi Tim. I agree with rockoyster, given the time you have available. You haven't said when you would be travelling, but you can generally get a train from Hamburg to (for example) Luzern, with only one change. The trip takes a bit over 7.5 hours. For such a long trip, you might like to treat yourselves to 1st class. Typical advance-purchase discounted fares for this trip would be around 90 Euro in 1st class or 60 Euro in 2nd class. Full price fares are typically 300 Euro in 1st class and 178 Euro in 2nd class.

You can plan this trip on the Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) site:

reiseauskunft.bahn.de/ bin/query2.exe/en?rt=1&

This page might help with tickets:

www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/germany

>> I have been trying to decide which rail pass to use. Swiss Pass, or something Switzerland only, or perhaps the Germany/Switzerland 2 country Eurail Pass.

The various Swiss Travel Passes provide much better coverage in Switzerland than a Eurail Pass, so I would recommend point-to-point tickets from Hamburg to Switzerland as discussed above, and a Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card for your time in Switzerland. Which one is best cannot really be determined until you know what trains, buses, boats and cable cars you will be taking. However, there is a lot to be said for the convenience of the Swiss Travel Pass.

>> Also, we plan on having 2-3 bases to travel from.... We will be staying 6-7 nights in Switzerland.

For the time you have available, I would recommend splitting your time between Luzern and the Jungfrau Region, with your final night in whatever city you are flying home from.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

>> How does the luggage on the train work

Rockoyster has described how it works in Switzerland. It works the same way in Germany.

>> Will there be a bus to take us to our hotels?

Before booking any hotels, look the address up on Google Maps and look for railway stations or bus stops within walking distance.

Alpenrose

Arno
Arno
10361 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 8, 2017 - 1:43 PM

Hi Tim,

A bus to reach a hotel is rarely needed, except if you decide to stay in a larger city and away from the train station. In most other cases you can just walk. You'll find plenty of hotels, plus how to reach them from the nearest train station, here: myswissalps.com/ hotels.

Flyfisher
Flyfisher
3 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2017 - 6:24 PM

Tim,

we just returned from an 8 day trip in Switzerland. We had a group of eight adults. My biggest decis ion was to rent 2 cars or take the trains. Through the advice on this site, we decided to do the Swisspass. Best decision we made. The public transit system in this country is amazing. We bases our stay out of interlaken, and easily journeyed from there. The ease of jumping on and off the trains is great. We also used the SBB mobile app which made it so easy to plan our routes and to know which train and platform to go to next. Great train system, great website of myswissalps, and a beautiful country..enjoy your trip.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 9, 2017 - 2:38 AM in reply to foxracing16

Hi Tim,

You might want to have a read of this thread (especially the comments from Kim regards Wengen) www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/need-to-shorten-trip-what-to-cut-out

An ICE train will get you from Hamburg to Basel in six and a half hours. Another three hours will see you in Wengen. A long day's travel but then you are in the thick of some pretty majestic scenery www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

foxracing16
foxracing16
3 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2017 - 7:34 PM

Wow thanks for the information everyone.

So would it be agreed upon that i should use 1 or 2 bases for this trip?

Jungfrau region for 80-85% of the trip and perhaps Lucerne for the last day or day and a half?

Also, would you stay in the Lauterbrunnen valley or in Murren? or neither, maybe somewhere else within the region? I was thinking 5-6 nights at Hotel Eiger in Murren across from the train station.

Also, if you could take 1 scenic railway, one of the express trains, which one would it be and where? given the area ill be staying. I read online about the golden panoramic from Interlaken to Montreaux and then a few smaller trains back?

If there is one or 2 things I should do in the area besides Jungfraujoch what would they be?

Sorry for all the questions. I am struggling to put together an itinerary lol

I leave for Germany July 29, however my Switzerland adventures will be Aug 18/19-Aug 27th

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 10, 2017 - 5:43 AM in reply to foxracing16

Hi Tim,

Well at least we've talked you out of driving. 😎

Q: So would it be agreed upon that i should use 1 or 2 bases for this trip?

A : No argument here.

Q: Would you stay in the Lauterbrunnen valley or in Murren

A: Have a look at Where to Stay on www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion I wouldn't pick Mürren as a base. Click through the links to read about each location. Next time I visit Switzerland I'm going to stay at Wengen to cover the Jungfrau Region. Mürren is a bit remote for my taste. You can always do a day trip to there and Schiltorn from Wengen.

Q: Also, if you could take 1 scenic railway, one of the express trains, which one would it be and where?

A: Your options are limited. The Golden Pass Line to Montreux is probably the only one sensibly within range from the Jungfrau area but you will use up one of your limited days on a train going there and back. For example Wengen - Montreux is around 4:40 one way. You will do a part of the Golden Pass Line (Interlake Ost to Luzern) on the your way to Luzern/Zurich. If you went from say Wengen to Montreux on your last day in the Jungfrau Region you could take a fast train to Luzern from Montreux via Lausanne and Bern (2.5 to 3 hours).

If you wanted to do the whole Golden Pass Line then I would suggest you go Basel to Montreux on arrival in Switzerland. Overnight there then Montreux to Interlake Ost via Zweisimmen before arriving at your Jungfrau Region base. Then on form there to Luzern. At least that way you won’t be doubling back over the same territory.

Depending on what time your flight leaves Zurich you could consider skipping Luzern altogether and instead go to Brig and catch the Glacier Express to Chur and from there continue to Zurich. But that’s going to be a long day on trains before a long flight home

Q: If there is one or 2 things I should do in the area besides Jungfraujoch what would they be?

A: Take you pick here www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion/activitie s - really depends what appeals to you.

foxracing16
foxracing16
3 posts
new member
Jul 10, 2017 - 9:55 PM

So before you responded about murren, we had already booked at Hotel Alpina with a balcony and mountain view. Hopefully this works even if it is a little distant to other attractions.

So now i am trying to figure out, Zurich or Lucerne ? Or maybe even another smaller city that yall would recommend up near Zurich. We have a 10:30 am flight on the 27th. We will stay the night 25th and 26th in whichever town you guys propose.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 10, 2017 - 10:22 PM in reply to foxracing16

Hi Tim,

Mürren is lovely.

I would pick Luzern over Zurich but your 10:30am flight is a factor to consider.

See www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne versus www.myswissalps.com/zu rich

There is a direct train from Luzern to Zurich Airport which takes just over 1 hour. You'd probably need to leave Luzern around 7:00am.

We stayed at the Hotel Continental Park very close to Luzern Station.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 1:35 AM in reply to foxracing16

Hi foxracing16 -

<<"So before you responded about murren, we had already booked at Hotel Alpina with a balcony and mountain view. Hopefully this works even if it is a little distant to other attractions.">>

For perspective, since you have some time to reconsider -

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

I've been there a lot. Only stayed once in Grindelwald, never in Mürren. Visited Mürren many times.

(By the way, it is not murren, it is Mürren.) Pronounced differently. German nouns are capitalized.

I stay in Wengen. It is hard to avoid a mountain view in the Jungfrau area. The prized ( and higher priced) views are of the Jungfrau massif, not just any mountain.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 1:36 AM in reply to rockoyster

<<"We stayed at the Hotel Continental Park very close to Luzern Station.">>

Perhaps you mean the Central Park?

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 1:47 AM

<<"There is a direct train from Luzern to Zurich Airport which takes just over 1 hour. You'd probably need to leave Luzern around 7:00am.">

Check the time table. There are two fast connections every hour, taking a bout 1 hour. One does not require a change of trains; one does requires a change at Zürich, but there are so many trains out to the airport in the AM that you can just catch the next one...or the next..or the next... if you miss the connection. There are many many trains each hour.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

I routinely stay in Luzern and fly out of Zürich Flughafen to the USA in the morning.

However, my preference is to stay the last night (only) in Züri, enjoy the restaurants, and catch the train in the AM for a 1030 departure to the USA.

There are many many trains each hour.

If you wan to splurge, a taxi can take a few minutes longer than the train (not a significant difference)...perhaps 20 minutes... haul your luggage, and get you there with no thinking required. Of course, you pay for the convenience...Figure 60CHF for the cab. ;-(

Slowpoke.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 2:00 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Nope, I meant Hotel Continental Park www.continental.ch/eng /default.shtml

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 9:07 AM in reply to rockoyster

<<Nope, I meant Hotel Continental Park www.continental.ch/eng /default.shtml">>

Hi Rockoyster...my mistake. I was thinking of Zürich.

Ooops.

I used the Hotel Schiff until it closed as a hotel...now apartments.

These days, I use the Hotel des Alpes in Luzern, when I have to stay there. The rooms are nice, but expensive with river views, although Luzern is generally expensive because so many tourists want to go there. At the des Alpes, the rooms on the side away from the river are cheaper.

Kitchen lacks a good deal; breakfast is fine.

Here are some sources of information_

www.myswissalps.com/ho tels

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/hotels

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 10:56 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks for the additional hotel info. Useful for next time we visit. I have the Bürgenstock Resort on our list assuming it is open by 2018. ;-)

I especially want to catch this ferry www.shiptec.ch/en/comp any/news/details/news/ detail/News/buergensto ck-shuttle-ferry/

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 11, 2017 - 2:02 PM

<<"Thanks for the additional hotel info. Useful for next time we visit. I have the Bürgenstock Resort on our list assuming it is open by 2018. ;-)">>

Save your pennies. ;-(

Slowpoke

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2137 posts
top member
Jul 12, 2017 - 3:43 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> I especially want to catch this ferry

Oh, very sleek! I'm looking forward to doing that in the future too.

They have also built a new funicular, which is designed to look like the old one and will operate without a driver. There was a newspaper article (in German) about how the new funicular was transported across the Vierwaldstättersee from Luzern to the Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock-Bahn lakeside funicular station, with an interesting photo showing the funicular on the lake!

www.tagblatt.ch/nachri chten/wirtschaft/neue-bahn-fuer-den-buergenstock;art253651 ,5007287

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
3401 posts
expert
Jul 12, 2017 - 5:27 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Neat photo of the carriages on the barge. I bet there was a bit of breath-holding going on during that transit.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Jul 12, 2017 - 10:28 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose -

Thanks for the link about the funicular.

<<" Diese Direktverbindung Luzern-Bürgenstock soll Ende August starten.">>

It looks like I might be able to have lunch at Hammetschwand in September without going up the back way. Hope it is not too crowded at the beginning of the new service.

For rockoyster -

We now have a better estimate of the capacity per day. I recall an earlier thread in which some very large number was presented, in a rather "optimistic" fashion.

<<"So today we met a very nice lady on the Spreuerbrücke. She was a volunteer with the Luzern Tourism organisation. We had a long chat about all things Swiss. I asked her what she thought of the new resort project and she was very positive. She assured us that once the construction was finished and the cranes have gone and the trees have grown that it would blend in quite well. She had done a tour of the building site and the project management people had convinced her that the development was intended for all people not just the rich and famous. A new ferry service will connect Luzern to the funicular and they are targeting a mind-boggling 100,000 visitors a day.">>

The cars hold 56 people. Assume 6 trips per hour, all at capacity, which may be a slight bit optimistic. 336 riders per hour. Lets go for 24 hours per day. 8,064 per day. In a leap year with 366 days. 2.95 million per year.

How much should we dial that back for light usage at night, partial cars.....?

Now it is guesswork. Each of those numbers surely would be dialed back quite a bit, especially during off hours.

What do you guess?

100,000 per year is certainly not unreasonable for the funicular.

How about the boat?

The other link above about the ferry gives those data -

Up to 18 hours per day, 1 trip per hour, 300 passengers at capacity- or, 5400 per day. 5400 times 366 days per leap year gives about 1.98 million per year capacity. Usage ? Surely a lot less.

And, at 300 people per boat the funicular would have to make 5.35 trips per hour to get them all up there before the next boat. That seems to be the bottleneck.

I think that the lady from Swiss Tourism was talking about 100,000 visitors per year.

Your opinion?

By the way, I assumed the funicular would be the old kind with a car at each end of the string. I wonder if this one will have a single car per cable and a big spool at the top? Either way, those passengers who go up must come back down, for the most part.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 12, 2017 - 10:37 AM by Slowpoke

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