How to plan 4 days Switzerland, low cost & relaxed

How to plan 4 days Switzerland, low cost & relaxed

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ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Mar 25, 2018 - 3:21 PM

dear all,

I will be travelling to Switzerland in June. Appreciate your advice for the itinerary. Arrive Paris at 1350 flight (23 June). Plan to take evening train to Geneva. Will stay at Switzerland for 4 days until 27 June and head back to Paris.

Help is needed to plan the itinerary. The criteria for my trip are:

1. Low cost, avoid tour package

2. Relax and hectic-free trip

3. Like the lake, mountain scenic view

appreciate help.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 25, 2018 - 4:56 PM in reply to ckfchong

Hi ckfchong and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We unfortunately don't create itineraries here; but we can help you make your own itinerary the best it can be.

You'll want to have a read through the following pages on our website to help you plan this trip. :)

Once you have read through these pages and have an idea of what you want to see and do we would be happy to look at a rough itinerary of yours and help you adjust it! Oh and to plan train trips around the country (we highly recommend using the amazing train system here rather than a rental car) use the Swiss railways timetable here.

I would first suggest limiting your self to one base town if possible (2 at the most) for your short stay. Please also let us know your interests while you are here so we can give better feedback for you: museum visits, mountain scenery etc.

Last modified on Mar 25, 2018 - 5:02 PM by Lucas
ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2018 - 9:15 AM

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your response. I did my itinerary as follows:

Arrive(23/6/18)

Day 1: Arrive Paris on afternoon 1300 flight. Will take the evening train from Paris to Geneva and overnight at Geneva.

Day 2: Sightseeing at Geneva center (Lake Geneva etc.) and overnight at Geneva too

Day 3 : Morning take train from Geneva to Montreux; Take Golden Line from Montreux to (Interlaken or Lucerne?) and spend a night there.

Day 4: From (Interlaken or Lucerne?), take train to Bern and spend a night there too.

Day 5: From Bern, take train back to Paris and explore Paris.

Advice needed:

1. I will be travelling with my wife and we love the natural views such as green mountain and lake view (hopefully get it from train view), am I planning appropriate to fit into our purpose? plan to take Golden Line on Day 3 and 4.

2. On Day 3, shall we stop a night at Interlaken or Lucerne?

3. Shall we get the Swiss Travel Pass by looking at this itinerary?

thanks in advanced.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 27, 2018 - 3:52 PM in reply to ckfchong

Hi ckfchong,

A few suggestions concerning your itinerary:

Day 3: Lucerne is a nicer place to stay

Day 4: You can do Bern as a day trip from Lucerne and travel from Lucerne to Paris. This will save you some time with logistics (checking in and out from hotels)

The Golden Pass line will satisfy your thirst for natural beauty. A 3-day Swiss Travel Pass could be an option, but please refer to Lucas's link 'how to choose the best rail pass' to be sure.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2018 - 5:30 AM in reply to ckfchong

Yes, you'll get some nice views on your train trips. Be sure to follow the Golden Pass route for the best scenery in that area. Montreux - Zweisimmen - Interlaken - Lucerne. When you travel between Interlaken and Lucerne be sure to get direct trains and not with stops in Bern.

If I were you (and you wan to see and experience a mountain or two while you are here I would cut a nice in Geneva and add it to Lucerne. This gives you time to make a day trip to Bern and a day trip to a nearby mountain.

ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Mar 28, 2018 - 3:56 PM

Thanks Lucas and Chantal for the great advice.

Will consider to amend the itinerary to fit into 1 night at Geneva and 3 nights at Lucerne. Several more questions:

1. Do I need to pre-book train ticket or I can just buy at the counter when I arrive there?

2. for the Golden Pass route, is it better to have trip starts from Montreux to Lucerne or Lucerne to Montreux? Which way offers better view?

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2018 - 6:16 PM in reply to ckfchong

  1. Are you getting the Swiss Travel Pass that Chantal mentioned? In that case you don't buy any tickets (unless you go into the mountains were the STP only covers part of the fare - noted here.
  2. I don't think there is any difference on the direction you take - whatever fits your schedule would be my suggestion

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:39 AM in reply to ckfchong

>> for the Golden Pass route, is it better to have trip starts from Montreux to Lucerne or Lucerne to Montreux? Which way offers better view?

If it suited your itinerary, I would prefer the direction Luzern-Montreux. The first time I did that trip, the descent into Montreux took me completely by surprise, and took my breath away. It left a lasting impression on me that remains vivid to this day, 7 years or so later!

However, I have probably spoiled the surprise for you now, so either direction will provide marvellous views ;-D

Alpenrose

ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2018 - 5:16 AM

Dear all,

Based on all your suggestions, I corrected my itinerary as follows:

Day 1: Arrive Paris on afternoon 1300 flight. Will take the evening train from Paris to Lucerne and overnight at Lucerne.

Day 2: Sightseeing and hiking at Lucerne and overnight at Lucerne too

Day 3 : Morning take train from Lucerne to Interlaken (Golden Line); Take another train to Wengen and overnight at Wengen. * Both of us like the wonderful view at Wengen town, but will skip Jungfrau due to cost problem.

Day 4: From Wengen, take train to Interlaken-Montreux (Golden Line) and to Geneva. Enjoy the city sightseeing and Geneva

Day 5: From Geneva, take train to Paris and continue Paris trip.

Advice needed:

1. Any advice to my planned trip? Will it be too loose and do I miss some important attractions along the route? We skip some highlighted attractions such as Jungfrau and Pilatus Mountain, Tiltis as all of them seem too costly for us.

2. I will skip the Swiss travel Pass. Plan to buy the train ticket once arrive at the train station. Do I need to pre-book any ticket for my planned route?

3. Moving around in the cities (Geneva, Interlaken & Lucerne), are there any free bus available or I can just hop on and pay per ride?

Thanks in advance.

Arno
Arno
11163 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 31, 2018 - 10:32 AM in reply to ckfchong

Hi Ckfchong,

1. You have picked a very nice route. Note that each of those areas offers things to do for weeks, so it's always a matter of choosing what appeals to you most :-) I've stayed in the Lucerne area for 3 weeks once and still did not see and do everything.

2. That's too bad although I understand the need to save of course. You can buy tickets on the spot or online. I expect the costs to be CHF 100 to 120 for the town to town transfers, excluding the one from Paris to Lucerne. For CHF 222, you could buy a 3-day Swiss Travel Pass for day 2 to 4: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. That includes all those trips, plus transport in the cities, plus many museums, free boats trips, and free trips up to Mount Rigi and Mount Schilthorn. Saving money is of course important, but I hope you don't miss out on too much because of that. The Swiss Travel Pass is a pretty good deal considering what things cost in Switzerland. I'm sure you'll have a good time whatever you do though. The route itself is very nice too, but if you can include a mountain visit or tow, that would really top it off.

3. Please see here for the extra's you'll get if you book a hotel:

Last modified on Mar 31, 2018 - 10:34 AM by Arno
ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2018 - 10:23 AM

Hi Arno,

thank you for your advice.

By the way, I am planning to just buy point to point ticket, to save cost for food...

If I do not have the STP, moving around in the cities such as Lucerne , Geneva, will it be convenient on foot? I am going to book those Airbnb room, guess will not get the extra ticket. Any advice on how to travel in the cities?

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2018 - 1:55 PM in reply to ckfchong

Hi ckfchong,

How do you mean you will save money on rail passes by buying point to point tickets? Have you done the math that shows it is cheaper to just buy point to point tickets? Although it can be if you aren't traveling much it is usually better to buy a rail pass for stays longer than 2 or 3 days.

https://www.myswissalp s.com/train/ticketspas ses/practical/choosera ilpass

ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2018 - 3:43 PM

Hi Lucas,

I roughly estimated the travelling cost according to my latest itinerary as follows:

Lucerne - Wengen Euro 94.40

Wengen - Interlaken Euro 30.40

Interlaken - Montreux Euro 115.20

Montreux - Geneva Euro 52.80

TOTAL train cost for 2 pax = Euro 292.80

Compared to 3 days STP (Euro 376.32), I wonder should I top up additional Euro 83.52 to enjoy extra benefit of STP.

Wondering if I calculate correctly.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2018 - 4:04 PM in reply to ckfchong

The train prices sound about right...but the Swiss Travel Pass for 3 days is under 200 Euro - see here.

ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2018 - 4:13 PM in reply to Lucas

Yes, i assume Euro 376.32 is for 2 pax.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2018 - 4:19 PM in reply to ckfchong

Ah ok then.

It seems that the Swiss Travel Pass is not beneficial for you - assuming you take no other trains, buses, boats or cable cars on your trip. I would buy point to point tickets as well.

ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Apr 4, 2018 - 5:08 PM

Thanks Lucas,

Additional question:

Does Swiss Travel Pass cover trip to The Schilthorn?

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2018 - 5:48 PM in reply to ckfchong

Yes, it does. You can see what the Swiss Travel Pass covers here.

Arno
Arno
11163 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2018 - 6:50 PM in reply to ckfchong

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. If you spend a bit more you can get the Swiss Travel Passes with all the extras. So you can enjoy trips to some of the peaks which you would otherwise skip because of the expensive point to point tickets to those places. Transportation in the cities will be included too. If you book AirBnbs I would not count on getting the free local passes that hotels provide.

Last modified on Apr 4, 2018 - 6:53 PM by Arno
ckfchong
ckfchong
12 posts
new member
Apr 5, 2018 - 2:27 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks for your info about Schilthorn. I searched its info and attracted by its pictures. So decided to take STP so that the trip to there will be covered. Now the amended itinerary will be

Day 1: arrive Paris and take train to Basel (due to shorter trip as compared to Lucerne, can reach there by 10pm)...overnight at Basel.

Day 2: start STP 3 days pass. train from Basel to Bern (STP), short stay at Bern and proceed train (STP) to Wengen. Enjoy the picturesque view there. And overnight there.

Day 3: from wengen take train and cable car to Schilthorn (STP) and return to wengen for overnight.

Day 4: From wengen take train to Interlaken-Zweisimmen-Montreux (STP), and from Montreux to Geneva (STP). I believe my STP covers Golden Pass line too. Overnight at Geneva.

Day 5: sightseeing at Geneva such as Lake Geneva and take flight back to Paris and continue explore Paris.

advice needed:

1. Train from Basel-Interlaken or Lucerne-Interlaken gives better view?

2. All the routes are covered by STP?

Thanks in advance as this forum is super helpful.

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