Geneva, Lucerne & Zurich early April planning help

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4 posts
new member
Feb 17, 2018 - 12:49 AM

Hi, We are a family of 4 (2 kids below 14yrs) and will be in Swiss for 15 days. Am planning to buy the 15-day Swiss travel pass. Will be in Geneva, Lucerne, and Zurich - roughly for same time periods. For that time period of the year, please provide some good suggestions on trips that are MUST do. We intend to travel mainly by Rail.

Do i need rail reservations? Bernina, Glacier, Jungfr..?

Should I book the discounted tickets for cable cars and mountain trains at the same time that i book the Travel Pass? Or can do that when I get there?

If we can, would like to dip into Italy (perhaps from Lucerne), Austria (from Zurich) etc. Any really good trip suggestions? And should I book for these in advance?

What other considerations do I need to give for travel?

10496 posts
top member
Feb 17, 2018 - 9:58 AM in reply to rpj1970

Hi rpj1970 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Before we tell you want you must do while here, tell us what you would like to see.

For example, if you want to focus on scenic train trips and mountain visits I wouldn't stay in Zurich at all (let alone 4 or 5 nights). Look at staying in a town closer the the mountains (like Jungfraujoch) such as Lauterbrunnen or Wengen instead. If you do want more of a city visit, with shopping, museums and restaurants than stick with Zurich.

Traveling by rail is perfect - keep that plan. You can buy a 15 day Swiss Travel Pass online here, and have it emailed to you to print at home (and have electronic back ups in case you lose it).

The only trips you need to pre-book (make a reservation for) are the scenic trains: Glacier Express & Bernina Express.

Some mountain trips aren't fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass so you will have to buy a discounted ticket - but pre-booking is not needed (indeed wait until the day before to know the weather looks good before committing).

You can take a train from Lucerne to Lugano to then cross down to Italy. You can follow the same route as the Gotthard Panorama Express (this panoramic train doesn't start fully until April 21) but you can follow the same route on regional trains.

Last modified on Feb 17, 2018 - 10:00 AM by Lucas
4 posts
new member
Feb 17, 2018 - 11:13 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks so much for the response. I now have a clear idea of the possibilities! Since it’s the first time, we would like experience all bits - the mountains and the museums. Let’s see how it goes. But I now have a good idea of the structure of how I can plan. Thanks once again so much.

711 posts
top member
Feb 18, 2018 - 2:13 AM in reply to rpj1970

Hello there,

Before I make any suggestions, it would help if I knew the date you will be arriving in Switzerland and where you will arrive. Same thing for when and where you depart. Also, keep in mind that "dipping" into other countries during the validity period of your 15-day rail pass will diminish its potential value. Not a big deal if you want to go to Milano on a day trip from Lugano, but most of western Austria is much of a muchness with eastern Switzerland, and Vienna is far off (well over 600 km) to the east (see attached map). Is this the first trip to Switzerland ?

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