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Support for a 2 week Switzerland itinerary April

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Posts: 8
Lmyuen88
Lmyuen88
4 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2019 - 3:53 AM

We are planning to visit Switzerland arriving April 29, 2020. I’ll be flying in from Berlin and friend coming from Amsterdam. We would like to see Stanserhorn, Matterhorn, Pilatus, Corvatsch, Titlis, and Rigi. If we can go to Jungfraujoch, that would be icing in the cake. We also want to spend some time in Geneva and hoping to be able to catch Bernina or Glacier Express. Not sure if we can get Swiss rail pass and pay extra for firstclass for train if over three hours. Also have to visit Maison Cailler chocolate and Swiss cheese factory. I’ve been looking at maps, asking Google for trains and hotels, reading this forum and also reading MySwissAlps, but I’m more confused. We haven’t made air reservations because wasn’t sure where to start. We will be going to Amsterdam at the end of this ambitious journey. Ambitious because we are in our mid to late 70. We would like to take train to each point. We are hoping we can do this last hurrah in 14 or 15 days.
Recommendations and comments will be most appreciated and I thank you.

rockoyster
rockoyster
7837 posts
expert
Dec 3, 2019 - 5:17 AM in reply to Lmyuen88

Hello Lmyuen and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

April to early May is pretty much between the winter and summer tourist seasons in Switzerland so things may be very quiet at the tourist destinations. It is still winter at higher altitudes and just moving into spring down lower. Some cable ways and mountain trains are closed for maintenance.
www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

Stanserhorn doesn't open until mid May, same with cog-wheel from Alpnachstad to Pilatus(though cableway will operate). Jungfraujoch and Rigi are accessible all year round.

I am a big fan of the SBB Mobile app (bit.ly/2ICIUHi) for checking train, bus, boat and cable way timetables, finding fares* and buying tickets on-line if required. In the unlikely event you don’t have a device capable of running the app then you can use the timetable on the SBB website (bit.ly/2HH1U7B). If you are not familiar with using the timetable it will pay to first read the instructions at www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

* The SBB website shows half-fare prices by default, the mobile app allows you to nominate whether to show full or half-fares (by editing the passenger details in settings) and is also smart enough to offer you the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sa verdaypass) if that offers the best fare. The app can also display a platform map (at least at the larger stations) to help you make connections. You can also easily filter modes of transport (eg bus or ship).

Based on your personal itinerary you should read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math. The spreadsheet also includes links to the “Where it's valid" page for all available passes. Be sure to check those pages for each pass you are considering. Study the map AND read all the text on those pages to fully understand what is covered by the respective pass.

A good way to map out an itinerary is to visualise it using the Swiss Travel Pass Area of Validity map ( PDF downloadable from www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity). You can cover a fair bit of ground in 14 - 15 days and a 15 day Swiss Travel Pass sounds like it would be ideal for you. But don't end up moving around too much otherwise you will spend a lot of time checking in and checking out of hotels.

If you are travelling with a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass but want to travel 1st Class on any particular trip you can buy a Class upgrade at any SBB station or using the SBB Mobile App or here bit.ly/2rZEIXh. You need to buy a route specific upgrade.
www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/2nd1stcl ass

If you buy on line you need to nominate a Half-fare Card reduction to get the correct price (using either website of SBB app). An upgrade will cost half the difference between 1st and 2nd class full-fares.
www.myswissalps.com/sw isshalffarecard

Does that help get you moving in the right direction?

Steph
Steph
2020 posts
top member &
moderator
Dec 3, 2019 - 6:03 AM in reply to Lmyuen88

Hello Lmuyen88 and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Nice to hear you're coming along to Switzerland, among other destinations.

In addition to Rockoyster's very helpful input I recommend reading the below links to support you finding a good approach to planning:
- www.myswissalps.com/ge ttingstarted

You might also want to look into multi-country rail passes apart from Switzerland only passes, both to be found below:
- www.myswissalps.com/sw issrailpasses
- www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses

Hope you can find the right approach after going through all these links, otherwise get back to us anytime, please.

Best,
Steph

Lmyuen88
Lmyuen88
4 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2019 - 5:51 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for info, rockoyster, I have lots of reading ahead. Where do you suggest is a central location to stay in the area of Rigi, Titlis, Stanserhorn and Pilatus rather than checking in and out of hotels (which we were going to do).

Hate to admit but I’m a little intimidated with travel by train, then getting to hotel, and getting to wherever we’re headed. Can you boost my confidence by telling (reassuring) me that the train system is people friendly. Are there signs in English as to where to go, gate number etc?

rockoyster
rockoyster
7837 posts
expert
Dec 5, 2019 - 5:54 AM in reply to Lmyuen88

Well, Luzern is ideal for those places. Stanserhorn won't be operating in April.

For a confidence boost read this thread - www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/how-easy-are-the-train-stations-to-navigate. 🤓

Lmyuen88
Lmyuen88
4 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2019 - 6:03 AM in reply to Steph

Thank you Steph for your suggestions especially link to planning. This will be most helpful for an amateur like me. I usually do tours but want to see more than a tour can ever provide.

Lmyuen88
Lmyuen88
4 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2019 - 6:16 AM in reply to Steph

Thanks again rockoyster. Feel better after reading several posts. You and Steph have been a great help and I appreciate very much. Will be back when I need expert info. Thank you two very much. 🤞🤞😊

Ildiko
Ildiko
477 posts
top member &
moderator
Dec 5, 2019 - 7:41 AM in reply to Lmyuen88

Hi Lmyuen88,

I can assure you, that the Swiss train network is truly amazing, safe and very comfortable. You will be fine, no worries. People at tourist places usually speak English as well, so you can ask for help whenever it is needed.

I can see, you have now plenty of reading ahead, but these will be useful too:

You'll find a list of recommended hotels and rentals in Lucerne at www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/hotels and at www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/rentals.

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