Is our 8-night Switzerland itinerary doable?

Is our 8-night Switzerland itinerary doable?

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hmrahul
hmrahul
9 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2018 - 5:36 PM

Hi!

we (couple) r travelling to Switzerland from 17th to 25th of May 2018. First Timers. Must see for us is jungfrau - titlis- rhine falls- Geneva flower clock and fountain- Gstaad. Rest things are flexible. please comment if our planned itinerary as below is possible? Day-1 arrive at zurich (1430 hrs) airport from Paris- walk to railway station-buy 8 day travel pass- head to interlaken-checkin- stroll/boat ride in evening. any suggestion for evening sight seeing?

Day-2 Daytrip to jungfrau and back to interlaken hotel.

Day-3 Head to Broc choclate factory-spend 2 hrs at choc factory-leave Broc at 12 pm for Geneva -see the fountain and flower clock in geneva- lake geneva boat ride if time permits. leave Geneva at 6 pm for interlaken hotel.

Day-4 Head to Gstaad- spend an hour- head to castle at Montreux. leave Castle at 5 pm for interlaken hotel.

Day-5 check out from Interlaken- Lucern- Zurich-checkin at Zurich Hotel- trip to Rhine Falls and back to Zurich.

Day-6 Day trip to Mt. Titlis with Lucerne sightseeing in evening then back to Zurich Hotel.

Day-7 Daytrip to St. Moritz and back to Zurich Hotel by 8 pm.

Day-8 Zurich to Locarno Dam-1 hr sightseeing and photography at Dam- then move forward to Lugano Lake- Boating in Lake Lugano- back to Zurich by 6 pm. Next day morning flight out from Zurich at 7 am

Is it normally safe for a couple to come back at interlaken / zurich station by 9 to 10 pm and then walk to our hotel for 10 minutes? We plan to start by 8 am and come back by 7 to 9 pm daily.

Till what time buses ply in interlaken / Zurich city?

Any comment/suggestion/advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks !

rockoyster
rockoyster
3382 posts
expert
Feb 12, 2018 - 10:50 PM in reply to hmrahul

Helo hmrahul and Welcome to MySwiss Alps,

Doable but you are up for some long days of travel. Have you checked the travel times using the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to plan?

If you are getting a Swiss Travel Pass it is far more convenient to buy on-line and print at home before you arrive. You get to have backup copies, don't need to queue to buy and can start using immediately.

Two of your must sees (Rhine Falls and Geneva Flower Clock) are at opposite ends of Switzerland. I wouldn't rate either as "must see" but everyone has there personal preferences.

Seeing you want to see some things over the Geneva, Montreux, Gstaad side of the country, you would be better off training Paris to Geneva (or Montreux) for your first night and working your way east rather than arriving in Zurich.

Don't spend more than 1 night in Zurich. Lucerne is a better base. Save Rhine Falls until your last day and make that your Zurich over-nighter.

Rather than day trip to St Moritz I'd think about a day trip to Zermatt from Interlaken. See the Matterhorn.

Just my thoughts. Others will no doubt offer different opinions.

Last modified on Feb 13, 2018 - 7:37 AM by Chantal
rockoyster
rockoyster
3382 posts
expert
Feb 13, 2018 - 2:22 AM in reply to hmrahul

Regarding your Gstaad visit you may find this recent trip report interesting www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/how-to-travel-to-glacier-3000-from-interlaken.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4488 posts
expert
Feb 13, 2018 - 3:24 AM in reply to hmrahul

Hi himrahul-

I agree, as I almost always do, with Rockoyster's perspective. You are setting bases that require too much travel for the trips to locations that you have selected.

Although we do not usually recommend it, you might want to stay in more places, thus reduce time spent on redundant travel. reduce the number of places at which you will stay,,,,For example, combine day 5 and six, and travel around ib the area.

Since you have not told us the objectives of your travel,so it is hard to judge if your itinerary is a good one. You certainly have not allowed a lot of time at the destination, on day trips to, for example, St. Moritz.

Off hand, I'd personally focus more, and ski[p Geneva and the Rhine Falls...unless you never saw a waterfall before. I'd also aim to have your lake travel on Lake Lucerne.

Just Personal opinions. ;-)

Slowpoke

<<"Is it normally safe for a couple to come back at interlaken / zurich station by 9 to 10 pm and then walk to our hotel for 10 minutes?">>

Yes. Might be good to understand where you are staying in Zürich, however.

Slowpoke

hmrahul
hmrahul
9 posts
new member
Feb 14, 2018 - 2:29 PM in reply to rockoyster

many thanks to Rockoyster and slowpoke for your valuable suggestions!

I love this forum because of friendly & helpful ppl like u who r ready to share knowledge and experience.

Our flight ticket for paris to zurich r already booked.Objective of our travel as a first timer is to see a little bit of everything. Choosing st. moritz over Zermatt because already covering jungfrau and titlis. Choosing Zurich over lucerne so that we can save travelling time on days visiting to st. moritz and locarno. Also last day in Zurich is must because of early morning flight.

I have seen timetable references of connecting trains in google map. i hope it matches with swiss time table as i believe on google accuracy. if not then please comment/advice. largest is interlaken to Geneva (3 hrs) and zurich to St. Moritz (3 hrs).

today i went to SBB site to check online ticket printing for swiss pass (8 days). it says that online ticket will be sent upto 7 days before departure. What if I don't receive the link or if ticket is not being downloaded? It says to print a test ticket to be sure before booking for first time but i dont find any test ticket printing option on website.

guys please post your comments as per your experience. It is really helpful. Thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4488 posts
expert
Feb 14, 2018 - 3:45 PM in reply to hmrahul

Hi hmrahul-

<<"We have 7-8 days to see the mountains of Switzerland. Ideally we would like Bernina Express with 2 nights St Moritz, 2 nights Lugano, 2 nights Zermatt. Just wondering how best to link up the Bernina Express with Zermatt. I am also wondering if all that time on a train will be too much and whether we will be seeing too much of the same thing and should cull somewhere. We are starting in Zurich and have the choice of ending in Geneva or Milan. Your thoughts appreciated.">>

My thought is to repeat what Rockoyster said, and what the forum moderators advise -

Unless you have a specific reason to vist Zürich, such as high end shopping on the Bahnhofstrasse, or museums and concerts, Luzern is a better destination for the first time visitor.

Zürich to/from Luzern

takes 45 -50 minutes, twice per hour, with other trains in between.

The journey to Locarno is similar in time from either city.

Both have 2 hr 18 minute connections once per hour. Th eother connection from Luzern is slower - 2hrs 25 minutes,and the one from Zürich is faster - 2 hrs 9 minutes.

To St. Moritz, Zürich is faster -

3 hrs 1, 21, or 56 minutes; from Luzern, 3 hrs 58 inutes or 4 hrs 23 minutes.

<<"have seen timetable references of connecting trains in google map. i hope it matches with swiss time table as i believe on google accuracy.">>

THE SBB timetable has the absolutely up to the minute information if their are disruptions.

It is designed as a time table, and as such is more informative than Google. And, buried in the menus, there is a lot more information than just train , bus, boat and cableway schedules.

For example, luggageservices, detailed station maps and much more.

Once you have experienced the precision and timeliness of the Swiss train system, you will not need to ask that question. You will reverse it...."Does Google match the quality of the Swiss timetable." ;-)

By the way, if you are driving in the Swiss countryside, Google maps is routinely inaccurate. It does not clearly understand the nature of small back roads and farm tracks.

Swiss Topo maps do.

I have not used the print-your own pass option, since I always travel with a half-fare card.

Others here have used it routinely.

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
3382 posts
expert
Feb 14, 2018 - 7:40 PM in reply to hmrahul

If you buy the Pass with on-line delivery you will normally receive an email with the Pass attached in PDF format within an hour or two. You can print as many copies as you like for backup while travelling.

hmrahul
hmrahul
9 posts
new member
Feb 24, 2018 - 6:18 AM

many thanks to all members, for the detailed reply! I read all your post here.

I understand that it will be lot of travelling but we want to see a bit of all attractions in Switzerland in 8 days.

I have booked a return flight to New Delhi via paris at 7:45 am from Zurich on 25th May. I want to take a train/bus (not a cab) to airport. As I have checked on SBB app, swiss rail normally takes a break from 12 midnight till 5 am for local travel. If I stay in Zurich, near Zurich HB , then I can see first train from Zurich HB to airport around 5 am which will reach airport by 5.40 am. My question- Is complete 2 hr sufficient at Zurich airport in morning for immigration and security checks to catch a flight for new Delhi via paris?

Case 2- If I stay in interlaken on previous night. I see second last train to zurich HB via bern is at 10 pm which reaches airport station flughafen at 12.26 am. I dont want the risk of taking last train on final day. My question - can we wait just outside Zurich Airport till 3 am as I understand entry to airport is allowed 4 hrs before schedule for international departure? Is there any waiting hall/Benches outside Zurich airport where you can wait for 2 or 3 hrs if you have confirm flight tickets?

I am just planning to book my accommodation such as I have to change hotel only twice in 8 days and it covers my itinerary as well.

As I am reaching Zurich on 17th at 3 pm. I have 2 choice.

1st- straight to interlaken/bern hotel stay from 17th to 21st. then stay at Zurich from 21st to 25th. Disadvantage - reach interlaken/bern in evening so no sight seeing on 17th. advantage- last day in zurich to catch early morning flight.

2nd- stay in zurich for 17-21. then move to bern/interlaken from 21-25. Advantage- sightseeing in zurich on 17th from 4 pm till 9 pm. Dis advantage- last day in interlaken/bern so have to leave hotel at 10 pm to catch the early morning flight from Zurich.

sorry for long thread....thanks in advance. Any opinion is more than welcome.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3382 posts
expert
Feb 24, 2018 - 6:42 AM in reply to hmrahul

You can get a train from Zurich to Zurich Airport at 5:29am and arrive at the airport at 5:39am. 40 minutes for that trip must be wandering around Zurich in a Tram for a while! "Round the World for sixpence" is a phrase that comes to mind.

Arrival at the airport 2 hours prior to flight should be fine. There is also a 10 minute train departing Zurich 5:14 and 5:02 if you want to build in more slack.

If it was me I would go straight to Lucerne on arrival in Switzerland for a few nights. Then to Interlaken (or somewhere else in the Jungfrau region). The on 24th return to Zurich for a bit of sight seeing and 1 night accommodation prior to catching flight on 25th.

If you reversed Interlaken and Lucerne and preserve you desire for only 2 hotels you could catch a 4:23 train from Lucerne on 25th to get you to the airport at 5:14am

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4488 posts
expert
Feb 24, 2018 - 7:22 AM in reply to hmrahul

Hi hmrahul.

<<" I want to take a train/bus (not a cab) to airport. ">>

Since a cab will cost around 65 CHF I can understand that choice. Only if you had four or more people and arranged for a larger cab ( van) to handle the luggage and the people, the cost per person, though substantially higher than the train trip, could become more tolerable

As Rockoyster points out, you can catch early trains from Zürich main station to the airport that take as little as 10 minutes ( no stops) or a bit longer ( 1 or 2 stops).

There is also a tram, which I recall is the #10, which is cheaper, but takes about 45 minutes. The train is the way to go.

I definitely would not stay in Luzern the night before you fly out.

I routinely stay in Luzern and take the train to the airport for a later flight....say 1100 or 1200. That allows more margin for error.

Even though the Swiss Rail system is amazingly effective and reliable, there can be delays in the morning rush hour trains, and, if you have to change at Zürich main station , as is possible but not always necessary from Luzern, you add a note of extra concern when you are in a hurry. The trains on the main line between Luzern and Zürich are susceptible to minor delays in the morning rush hour. Usually only a few minutes, but when you are on that train , and it stops between stations and you wait and wonder, it is an unpleasant feeling. You'll get there, and will not be more than very few minutes late unless the whole system breaks down, but it is stressful.

The benefit of staying in downtown Zürich the night before you fly out is the wide availability of restaurants, and sightseeing. You have a choice of less expensive hotels, too.

Time needed at the airport?

Two hours ahead of flight time is normally sufficient. If your airline flies a large plane full of people who all want to check in at that time, the lines can feel like they it take forever. Once you are thorough checking in, it can take a minimum of 20 minutes to 30 minutes to get to your gate. For intercontinental flights, you will likely have to take a short train ride ( 5 minutes) from the main terminal to the building with the arrival/departure gates. There can be lines - 5-10 minutes, at passport control.

I routinely allow two hours for a flight at about 1030, and have time for a leisurely cup of coffee in the terminal. But, I have a frequent flyer status which gets me through the lines at check in very quickly.

So, because I an overly cautious and hate a last minute rush, for a 0745 flight, I'd take the earliest train to the airport in the AM, and have the luxury of a bit of extra time. As Rockoyster poiints out, that is the 0502

I've attached a screen grab of the schedule of early trains on May 25th. As I suspected...the slow one is the #10 tram. Don't take it.

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Lucas
Lucas
5570 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2018 - 9:45 AM in reply to hmrahul

Yes 2 or so hours before your flight at Zurich airport is quite sufficient - unless there is a lengthy immigration issue personally - but the lines go very quickly.

I seem to always get an early flight too (07:00 this Tuesday in fact) but it is within Europe. I'll arrive around 05:40 and I know I'll be fine going through security. Even though there are a lot of early flights at Zurich airport.

Arriving at 05:15 should pose no issue for you.

Happy Travels!

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