Hi fello, and thank you for your compliments! In your case, it would indeed be best to focus on the Bernese Oberland, as this is relatively close to Zurich and offers breathtaking scenery. The train trip Zurich-Interlaken only takes about 2h15 to 2h30 (travelling times can be found in the timetable
), so you could travel onto Interlaken right after your arrival at the Zurich Airport and spend the rest of the day (and the next day) in the Bernese Oberland. Highlights are the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn and many other viewing points (Kleine Scheidegg, Männlichen, First, Schynige Platte) to be reached by mountain train and cable car. You may want to take an easy hike as well; some are listed at our Bernese Oberland hiking page
Which pass, if any, is best, ultimately depends on your exact travel plans. Let's say you'll be making these trips:
Zurich Airport <> Interlaken Ost
Interlaken Ost <> Mürren
Interlaken Ost > Lauterbrunnen > Wengen > Kleine Scheidegg > Grindelwald > Interlaken Ost
The total costs (regular fares, per person and in 2nd class) would be CHF 325.40. With a Swiss Half Fare Card
, the total costs would be CHF 272.20, so in this example a Swiss Half Fare Card would be an economical solution. Our FAQ
help you to find out which pass is best for your personal itinerary.
I'm not sure about the terms and conditions concerning your Schengen visa. A visa is only issued if you've handed over the right documents, showing the reason for your stay in Switzerland, your travel insurance, and so on. In the list at the Swiss Federal Department's website
, hotel reservations aren't mentioned as a criterion, so I guess it's okay to change hotels afterwards (please note that the hotel you've booked in Zurich may charge you for your cancellation). However, my advice is to contact the Federal Office for Migration
to obtain a clear answer.