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Gimmelwald then hotel before 9:30AM Zurich flight

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Aug 13, 2012 - 9:41 PM
I will be flying to Zurich on Sunday Sept 2, arriving at 12:05 PM. I plan to fly back home (to the US) from Zurich on Friday Sept 7 on a flight leaving Zurich at 9:30 AM. In between, I plan to stay in Gimmelwald in the Berner Oberland.
I will be staying in Gimmelwald the nights of Sept 2 to 5. If I were to stay in Gimmelwald the night of Sept 6 also, it would be hard (probably impossible) for me to get to the Zurich airport on Sept 7 in time to catch my plane at 9:30 AM, because the earliest Schilthornbahn cable car from Gimmelwald to Stechelberg is at about 6 AM. So, where would be a scenic place (or at least a nice place, preferably not too touristy) to get a hotel on the night of Sept 6, somewhere between Gimmelwald and the Zurich airport, that would allow me to get to the Zurich airport on Sept 7 in time to catch my plane at 9:30 AM? I was considering Lauterbrunnen, but I am looking at a timetable on farhplan.sbb.ch and it shows that the earliest train from Lauterbrunnen arrives at the Zurich airport at 8:16 AM. When I get to the airport, I still have to go through security and find the departure gate, so 8:16 AM might not be early enough. Would it be best to get a hotel in Zurich for the night of Sept 6? I don't really want to stay at a hotel in Zurich. But if that might be the best thing to do, is there a decent place to stay overnight in Zurich (easy transportation to the airport would be good) that is comfortable but not very expensive (less than $125/night)? I can afford something more expensive but prefer not to spend money on a Zurich hotel.
If instead I drive (rent a car) from the Stechelberg/Lauterbrunnen area to Zurich, would that make it easier to get a hotel somewhere along the way that is nice? Is it even possible to rent a car around the Stechelberg/Lauterbrunnen area just for one day, and leave the car at the airport?
Also, since I will be visiting the Berner Oberland from Sept 2 to Sept 5, what would be the best travel pass to get? I will probably be traveling on public transportation from Zurich to Stechelberg, probably also taking public transportation from Stechelberg back to Zurich, and definitely taking the cable car from Stechelberg/Schilthornbahn round trip to Gimmelwald (maybe more than once), and taking the train to Kleine Scheidegg, and taking the gondola to Mannlichen, and maybe taking a few other rides in the Berner Oberland.
Thanks very much for any help you can provide.
16014 posts
expert &
Aug 14, 2012 - 1:49 AM

Hi darum, and welcome!

I would definitely recommend to travel to Zurich the night before. Renting a car is expensive (especially since you'll have a rail pass anyway) and too much of a hassle in my opinion. Just enjoy the full day in the Bernese Oberland and take a train to Zurich at night. You don't need to spend much time there. Did you review our pages about Zurich and Zurich Airport? There should be hotels in those lists that suit your needs. A really nice small hotel just outside of Zurich is Landgasthof Leuen. It's along the small railway between the Zurich main station and viewing point Uetliberg. Rail station Uitikon Waldegg is about 5 minutes on foot. I think it's a 15 minute ride to Zurich, then switch trains for a 10 minute ride to the airport.

I'll answer your question about rail passes in your other topic. Please try to ask questions only once as stated in the forum rules. Thanks!

Last modified on Dec 24, 2021 - 10:38 AM by Arno
5 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2012 - 2:48 AM

I'm going backpacking in Europe this summer too. My friend highly recommends Gimmelwald. It's way up in the mountains and you have to take a couple different trains. He said there isn't much to do there but hike and talk with the fellow travellers but that it was very beautiful.

586 posts
top member
Aug 14, 2012 - 1:19 PM
Gimmelwald is beautiful but no more so than half a dozen other spots in the region. Depending on how long you are staying and your interests it may or may not be the best pick. It is somewhat tricky to get in and out of, involving some combination of hiking (either up or down) and/or busses, gondolas, trains. There are two inns there, an "honor market" with a few snacks, a school, and a handful of houses. It can also be rather crowded during the day thanks to Rick Steves' telling everyone to go there. It will likely be more expensive than staying, say, at the Valley Hostel in Lauterbrunnen in the base of the valley. Just some thoughts.

If you want more input on Gimmelwald I recommend you start a separate thread rather than having your topic buried under a different heading


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