Geneva to Murren (1 night) direct or Golden Pass?

Geneva to Murren (1 night) direct or Golden Pass?

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petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 5:54 PM

Hi,

We will be staying in Geneva for a night and then traveling to Murren for a night, followed by 2 nights in Lucern. Is it better to take the Golden Pass from Montreux to Interlaken, or save time and go directly from Geneva to Interlaken, so we'll have more time in Murren? We will only be in Murren for a night, so I'm wondering which is a better use of time. I understand the Golden Pass line is gorgeous, but it is at least a 6 hour process to get from Geneva to Murren via the Golden Pass.

Any opinions are appreciated.

Thank you!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2018 - 7:18 PM in reply to petersfamily

Hi Petersfamily -

The timetable gives you the fastest route by default (unless you give it a "via" station) , which is either 3 hrs 46 or 3 hrs 58 minutes.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

When are you going? What do you plan to do near the Jungfrau?

Why do I ask?

You invite a comparison. One part of the comparison is the Golden Pass, which adds two and 1/2 hours, more or less, on the train. The other is an unknown activity for an extra 2 1/2 hours added to an unknown length of time, in a region whose charms for some activities are highly dependent on the season.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

It really is a matter of personal opinion.

Which are better? Apples, or oranges? ;-)

Just joking, of course.

To be serious, do you have specific activities in mind for Mürren, to help us with our opinions? What time of day will you leave for Luzern?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 7:23 PM by Slowpoke
petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 8:31 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for your response. We're going the week of May 21st, so very soon!

I was hoping to go to Schilthorn and just do a little hiking/sightseeing around that area. Murren looks so beautiful so I really just wanted to absorb the beauty of it all! We could possibly do a boat ride in Interlaken.

Any advice is much appreciated!

Thanks,

Jill

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2018 - 9:53 PM in reply to petersfamily

Hi Peters Family-

<<"I was hoping to go to Schilthorn and just do a little hiking/sightseeing around that area. Murren looks so beautiful so I really just wanted to absorb the beauty of it all! We could possibly do a boat ride in Interlaken.

Any advice is much appreciated!">>

How much time do you expect to have on the day after you arrive?

May 10 (that is, 10.5.2018) is the beginning of the Summer schedule for the lake boats. More trips than in other seasons.

www.bls.ch/-/media/bls/pdf/fahrpla ene/schiff/fahrplan-sommer-2018.pdf?la=en&vs=1

One of the forum regulars, Alpenrose, has posted a list of when the various mountain transport services start in late May. I had it bookmarked, but the bookmark doesn't link now. Maybe someone else will rescue me with a link.

Just for example, the cableway from Wengen up to Männlichen will not run during that week, but will run on Saturday the 26th and steadily thereafter.

Many but not all hotels in the region close in mid-to late April and reopen in June.

Since you have only a day or so in the region, make sure that you use the timetable to check your dates for a particular service before you plan on it.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg

Schilthorn is closed now, but will be open when you are there:

schilthorn.ch/en/Welco me

Late May is still winter at higher altitudes. My favorite easy trail, from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (2230 to 2064 meters altitude) rarely opens before June 15th, and may be even later this year because there was a lot of snow.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

I have attached a few photos from up there to help you think about coming back in a warmer season. ;-)

Also, a couple from Wengen to show the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

The floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley will be pretty much free of snow, at about 800 meters. There is a nice easy walk between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg, with a bus in parallel, that can be part of the trip from Lauterbrunnen to Schilthorn. Or, you can ride down from Mürren to walk along it.

The trail from Grütschalp to Mürren at approximately 1500 to 1650 meters will almost certainly be open.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/gruetschalp-muerren

I prefer to walk it in that direction, even though it is modestly uphill, because you are looking toward the Jungfrau Massif. If the restaurant at Winteregg, partway along that route, with a train stop, is open, the terrace has great views.

It may be difficult to fit in a boat ride and also spend time in the alpine villages. If you really want to do the boat ride, spend some time with the schedule that I linked above, plus the timetable.

Luzern is at a much lower altitude....roughly 400 -450 meters, and Spring will ave begun there in early May. Barring rainy weather, the climate at that time of year should be quite pleasant. However -

www.myswissalps.com/we ather

To trade off the experience in the Jungfrau region vs the Golden Pass is trading off being in the high Alps, surrounded by famous mountains, where Winter still hangs on at the higher portions of the region, for a train ride with quite bit of nice alpine scenery, plus, the best part, the ride from Montreux up to roughly Montbovon which climbs on switchbacks through the vineyards overlooking the lake. Really beautiful.. Along the rest of the route, you'll be seeing some nice mountain scenery, but you won't be inside it in the outdoors, as you will be at Mürren.And, no matter which way you come from Geneva, the train routes merge at Spiez and go on to Interlaken Ost,thence to Lauterbrunnen and up to Mürren.

That assumes that it is not cloudy and foggy at Mürren. Keep an eye on the weather.

www.meteocentrale.ch/e n/weather.html

en.swisswebcams.ch/suc he/ort/m%C3%BCrren-2659530/

If the Jungfrau region is socked in, it is not as much fun to be there. The whole valley was fog and clouds when I was there on June 15-16 , 2015. It happens.

Although, Schilthorn and the Jungfrau both can rise above a cloud deck. The weather can come in layers.

Hope the weather matches your schedule.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 9:58 PM by Slowpoke
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1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2018 - 12:00 AM in reply to petersfamily

Personally, I would recommend you don't spend extra time going via the Montreux - Zweisimmen GoldenPass (aka MOB railway) line if you want to maximise time (and be less rushed) at Murren.

Two reasons:

1) the MOB railway is part closed for works with bus replacement making the journey rather disjointed at present (especially as you will have main luggage with you)

2) the main line train will be just as scenic - (some would say in a slightly different way, but I wouldn't - scenic is scenic whatever the type of view) . You will see real rural Switzerland (green fields, farms, cows, cats) along the way .

Take the Inter city Genève to Bern (double decker usually so you can travel on the top deck).

Sit in the right hand side of the train on departure from Genève, so that when you leave Lausanne you will get the view over the lake (as you pass a house and vineyard owned by someone I know...!) because the main line climbs steeply up through the famous vineyards. Then you turn north and travel through a bucolic region to Fribourg, then Bern

Change to a Bern to Interlaken train. Sit on the left so that when you get to Spiez you get the lake view there and on the line round to Interlaken.

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 12:01 AM by 1960man
petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 12:51 AM in reply to 1960man

Thank you so much for your advice! I was thinking it would be more of a pain to take the trains and change to a bus and back to a train with all of our luggage, so I think I agree with you! I just didn't want to miss the spectacular scenery on the Golden Pass, but it sounds like we'll get some fantastic views with your advice.

Thank you much!

Jill

petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 12:52 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks again for such detail and pictures. I sure hope we have beautiful weather when we're there! I appreciate your detail!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 1:23 AM in reply to petersfamily

Hi Jill -

I support 1960man's recommendation. His point number 2 is right on the mark; I've ridden those mainline trains many times, and he has correctly brought the perspective of your being new to Switzerland into his thinking. For me they are really nice but familiar; for you, they will be scenic and new.

His point #1 makes an assumption that I chose not to make.

He assumes that you will have a lot of luggage. If so, the changes at the repair zone are a nuisance. Purely for the sake of argument, I might assume that you are traveling light, in which case the route disruptions will be a trivial event. Those substitute buses are well managed. Swiss, you know. ;-)

You know what your situation is; we do not.

Slowpoke

petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 1:33 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you 'Slowpoke'

Very helpful advice. We WILL have a lot of luggage, since we will be gone for 2 weeks! (We're going on a cruise from Venice after). There are 4 of us, and each will have a large suitcase. I'm not sure if that means 'a lot', so I'm not sure how much of a nuisance it will be. But I appreciate your perspective, and you're probably right in that being new to Switzerland, everything will be beautiful and exciting! Thank you!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4489 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 9:40 AM in reply to petersfamily

Hi Petersfamily-

<<"We WILL have a lot of luggage, since we will be gone for 2 weeks!">>

19690man got it right. It's quite possible to do the ersatz bus, but it is a bit of a nuisance.

Those bags will not go overhead, but they can be put in vestibules at the ends of the cars on older trains.

If the seats are set up with some grouped back to back, so that a group of four can face each other, bags will usually fit between two seat backs.

If you can get one of the double deckers (look in the timetable for "IC" on the individual route) there are luggage racks inside the lower compartments near the doors. Can't remember at the moment what the arrangement is upstairs, but there is some space for luggage. The entry doors, level with hte platforms have a large vestibule. Especially on a n IC train with fe stops, you could leave your bags therre, but when I do that I like to keep them in view.

Obviously, keep your passports on your person. be more careful in Italy. Switzerland is no longer completely free of petty crime, but it is still quite safe.

By the way, if the weather is not good when you get into the Jungfrau region, don't assume that it will stay that way. It can change very quickly. On that day in June 2015 when we arrived, as we got into Lauterbrunnen the skies turned sunny and blue. As the train came into Wengen, we had the view along the valley that I posted. 3 hours later, we were socked in. As we left the next day to go on to Lyzern, it cleared up and was beautiful. Keep an eye on the wether forecasts, ask at your hotel or the tourist info offices, and check the web cams.

That should be a nice time of year to visit Venice.

Have a great trip

Slowpoke.

petersfamily
petersfamily
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 3:03 PM

Thank you all! This forum is awesome!!

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2018 - 11:57 PM

The Intercity trains at 42 minutes past each hour from Genève are the 'blue riband' trains of Switzerland (famous as the 'Swiss Express' in the 1970s). These will be double deck traiThere is space for luggage upstairs

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 11:59 PM by 1960man

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