Help string together a Swiss itinerary-5 days July

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2 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 8:29 PM

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for any help. Loving this forum. Here's the details of what I have to work with:

Zurich ZRH (arrive 11:00 on 15 July)

Milan MXP (depart 07:00 on 20 July)

In between that, I have nothing booked yet. I want to visit 1. Zermatt (just one night & two days, or one [long] day trip), 2. Wengen area (one or two nights), and then less critical 3. walking tours of old-town Bern and/or Lucerne.

We are pretty set on buying the Swiss Rail Pass, although haven't done the math yet. Would be open to driving if it makes more sense.

My questions are:

1. is there an optimal sequence of these cities? e.g. Zermatt first because it gets that long train journey over with first..

2. what type of a rail pass do you think makes most sense?

3. thoughts on how to best get to Milan airport at the end of my trip - is it best accessed from one of the cities I'm visiting? looking at the site, it seems all could access Milan with 3-5 hrs journey. how would paying for that ticket work given I would be leaving CH and entering Italy?

4. any other advice on booking lodging: think I'm best staying at each of these 3 sites, or should I base out of one spot and day trip?

Thanks again!

1330 posts
top member
Jun 10, 2018 - 10:18 PM in reply to orchid88

If I were you I would stay in one place, Bern itself, Thun, Spiez are good options

Don't get hung up on staying in the mountains themselves (eg Wengen) would be my advice - everybody does that!

Bern is a lovely city - and why not stay right at the heart of the railway network! Thun and Spiez are both on Lake Thun and both are very convenient bases for day trips to the Jungfrau are and Zermatt

Swiss trains run direct to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP).

Again, you can get to Milan easily from Bern, Thun and Spiez via Brig and the Simplon tunnel

Last modified on Jun 10, 2018 - 10:20 PM by 1960man
2 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2018 - 4:22 AM

Thank you for the advice!

I think we're going to follow your suggestion and stay in one spot (likely Bern or Lucerne.. but just Thun and Spiez look lovely too!).

We would be traveling for 5 days on the train - more than the 4 days of the typical rail pass, but not enough to justify the 8-day pass. Is it worth just buying the 8-day pass or better to pice out the point-to-point?

Thanks again for the help.

10496 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2018 - 11:33 AM in reply to orchid88

Hi Orchid88 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You can use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out the train timings between cities and mountains. See if Bern works for you as a base or better Thun or Interlaken etc. https://www.myswissalp

You could go with a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass (either the first 4 days or last 4 days, whichever is more expensive for tickets). But to know which rail pass is the best for your specific itinerary you need to plan out all trips you will make (train, bus, boat, cable car) and compare the prices for regular tickets to the rail pass price (and which routes/mountains are free or discounted). Once you have that information you can read our page here on how to choose the best rail pass. There is a spreadsheet there to help with the math. :)

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass then you are covered to the Swiss/Italian border (Domodossola). From there you'll need to buy a ticket to Milan airport. The timetable link above will give you the trip details

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