Geneva, Interlaken and Zurich 27 April to 5 May

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8 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2017 - 3:20 AM

Hi I will be traveling with my friend to Switzerland on 27 April 17. Is our first time there n really got no idea what how the train system works and also the attractions near our accommodations. We are quite worried that we will spend a lot of time on traveling. Really need some guidance on this. Will arrive at Geneva on 27 April n will stay there for 2 nights..... 29 April will travel up to interlaken for 3 nights(wanting to try paragliding, do you have any recommendation) n on 2 May will travel to Zurich for 3 nights and will leave Zurich on the 5 May. What are the places is a must to see when we are there?


10496 posts
top member
Jan 22, 2017 - 10:31 AM in reply to Joanne82

Hi Joanne82 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Coming from Canada, you don't spend much time travelling in Switzerland as it takes 3 hours to cross this country! However, our timetable page will help you minimize your time on trains when moving between towns.

Before I can recommend places and activities for you to visit and explore can you tell us what you are interested in seeing? Museums, mountains, hiking, shopping, and/or scenic train rides?
Take a look at our what to do page for some initial ideas for you.

Also, have a look at our city information pages for ideas of what to see and do in Geneva, Interlaken and Zurich.
That should help you get started with your plans.

For more information on paragliding and other sporting activities take a look at our sports page here.

Once you have clearer interested and ideas we can certainly help you narrow them down to best fit your needs and itinerary!

Best regards,

8 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2017 - 4:56 PM

Hi Lucas, thanks for your quick reply!

I read some questions and answers from the various forums online, advising to stay at the Montreux, Vevey or Lusanne area instead of the main city centre at Geneva. As I'm also interested in going to Zermatt, which area do you think is better? We are hoping to find a hotel that is near the train station, the lake and is less than CHF150 per night for 2 pax(really not easy! Lol)

The free Unireso ticket from the airport can be use for trains to Montreux or do we have to buy another ticket when we reach Gare Cornavain?

Should we do a day trip to Zermatt or a 1 or 2 nights stay before we go to Interlaken? How do we go to Interlaken from Zermatt?

We are more interested in scenic train rides, thus might be getting the 8 days Swiss pass.

Many thanks in advance!


10496 posts
top member
Jan 22, 2017 - 5:26 PM in reply to Joanne82

Hi Joanne,

If you are looking for mountain scenery etc. then I would certainly say Zermatt. It's a small town but lots of hiking and scenic trips to make in the area. Hotels for under 150CHF per night may not be possible however! Take a look at our accommodation page for more help - you can get close to 150 I think.
If I was to go back again to Zermatt I might stay at a hotel in Täsch nearby to try and find something cheaper.

From what I can see the Unireso will not get you to Montreux. Take a look here for the map of validity - its just the canton of Geneva.

I think 1 night is reasonable in Zermatt with the activities it has on offer, especially considering its close to 2.5 hours from Interlaken to Zermatt one-way.

If you go to Zermatt at the end of your stay in Interlaken for 1 night you could take the scenic Glacier Express train from Zermatt to Chur and then a regional train on to Zurich. That would be a nice option as well.

Click here for how and where to buy the Swiss Travel Pass which will cover the ticket on the Glacier Express as well (seat reservations are required and extra).


Last modified on Jan 22, 2017 - 5:29 PM by Lucas
5675 posts
Jan 22, 2017 - 11:47 PM in reply to Joanne82

Hi Joanne-

Glad you have come to the Forum. Lots of information here if you spend some time with the menus and links.

For a first time visitor, we prefer Luzern ( local German spelling) to Zürich. Once you have been to Switzerland a few dozen times, you will find Zürich rewarding. On the other hand, if you have specific things planned in Zürich that you know about already- then, go for it. And, they are close together by frequent trains. Check out Lucerne under the following link: eretogo/towns

Scroll down for Luzern (Lucerne) and Zürich, and others.

Good train service to the Zürich airport from Luzern. Look here, as Lucas suggested: metable

Learn to use the timetable. It will be invaluable.

If you combine it with a map:,194688&z=1& poi=default

you can figure out how to visit your choices, how long it will take, and possible routings. If you zoom in a lot, you will see train lines.

This may interest you: tivities/scenictrips/t rain

Use it with the map.

"We are quite worried that we will spend a lot of time on traveling."
"We are more interested in scenic train rides, thus might be getting the 8 days Swiss pass."
....Of course, if you decide to take scenic trains, you will spend a lot of time traveling.

Not sure how you can reconcile those contradictory perspectives. I'd suggest that you pick your towns, and then we can help you see what train routes are most scenic. Lucas had a good suggestion.

Coming from Canada as you are, you will not be surprised to learn that it is at the tail end of Winter at high altitudes when you are there. What that means is that, in the high altitude ski resorts, they don't have good snow, and a lot of tourist stuff (services) is taking a break before the Summer season begins in mid to late June.

Not all are shut down. Just don't be surprised that a lot of restaurants and hotels are closed near the Jungfrau or in Zermatt.

At lower altitudes, Spring is is certainly evident, but, not yet in full force.

I have planned my own hiking trip for late May, but will only visit the lower altitude regions... Luzern, but also the Emmental, and other less touristed regions such as the Bielersee. I'll look at the Alps from a distance. See attached.

The panorama of Trachselwald was shot on April 15th, more or less, a couple of years ago. It is at about 700 meters altitude. The weather in Switzerland had been very unusual. There was warm dry spell...unheard of in April...for about a week, and I was lucky enough to be there. Very pleasant, but certainly not normal.

The trees are flowering, but the leaves have not yet come out. The grass is only greening up in the lowest places. Lots of snow on the Alps. This link will be useful. Check the link with the calendar showing. outswitzerland/nature

I 'll go into the Alps in September.


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8 posts
new member
Jan 24, 2017 - 11:54 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Lucas & Slowpoke, thanks so much for your detailed reply!

Hope you guys can ignore my contradicting qns as I'm in the midst of researching and really confused now, lol.

Slowpoke, as you suggested, it's better to see the Alps from a distance during e period we'll be there? So it is ok stay in Montreux and not go up to Zermatt? We can see the Matterhorn from Lusanne or Montreux?

In Geneva, we can visit the Geneva Lake, walk around the old town and also take in a boat tour. There are some scenic tours like the day trip to Gruyeres from Geneva, if we bought the 8 days Swiss pass, can we use it for the tour? The package price includes train ride, bus ride and guide? Or can we go on our own to the chocolate and cheese factory?

So far I'm thinking to use Montreux, Berne and Lucerne as our bases, and travel out to Gruyeres, Interlakenfrom and Mt Titlis from there. What do u guys think?

We want to visit Mt Titlis and 1 more if possible, not sure which to visit now if most of Zermatt or Jungfrau is closed, any suggestions?

Many thanks in advance!

P.S. the photos looks amazing! Joanne

5675 posts
Jan 24, 2017 - 1:51 PM in reply to Joanne82

<<"Slowpoke, as you suggested, it's better to see the Alps from a distance during e period we'll be there? So it is ok stay in Montreux and not go up to Zermatt? We can see the Matterhorn from Lusanne or Montreux?">>

Not at all. In those cases, you are too far away. Such scenes from a distance require well-located viewpoints, and a camera with a telephoto lens, and clear weather. And, there is nothing like being up in the Alps. I'd visit Bern from Interlaken, not the other way around, as one example. And, I'd go tp Bern only if the weather near the Jungfrau is full of clouds. If the weather is good....go up!

I was simply pointing out that I don't go there in May because it is not the best time to visit. I'm sorry for the confusion. Any time of year is better than not at all. You can still see a lot at those places. As you consider specific trails or mountain transport, check the timetable.

As I said before:

<<"Not all are shut down. Just don't be surprised that a lot of restaurants and hotels are closed near the Jungfrau or in Zermatt.">

There is still lots to se and do, as long as the weather cooperates.

Glad you like the pictures. The one of Trachselwald was mostly to show the stage of Spring in mid-to-late April, after an unusually warm and dry week or so.


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