Itinerary advice for Lucerne and Wengen stay

Itinerary advice for Lucerne and Wengen stay

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Babyblue
Babyblue
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2017 - 1:14 AM

My husband and I, active, early 60's from the US will be traveling for our first time in Europe this September, I am both excited and anxious about our adventure. Mostly the train travel is my biggest concern as I have very little experience with that mode of transportation. I have done my spread sheet comparing the Swiss Travel Pass and the Half Fare Card and even though we would save money with the half fare card, I feel the ease and convenience of the STP would be in our best interest. I have done my best to plan out our train travel, but am still not at ease with it. Please review my itinerary and offer any suggestions or guidance that might be helpful, thank you.

Day 1 Lucerne: We will be coming into Switzerland from Salzburg. I plan to go from Salzburg to Buchs in order to start using our STP then on to Lucerne. Being that it will be a long travel day, we will check in to the Cascada Hotel then explore Old Town, Chapel Bridge and Dying Lion Monument that day. Is there a recommended walking tour we should follow?

Day 2 Lucerne: Trip to Mt. Rigi using the Classic Round Trip route. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. 9 Towers is planned for the afternoon and enjoying the city in the evening.

Day 3 - 7 Wengen: We will be traveling to Wengen today and spending 4 nights at the Hotel Schoenegg. We will explore Wengen and possibly do the Mannlichen to Klein Scheigegg hike. The other days schedule will be determined by the weather. Our options:

A. Grindelwald: Jungfrau-Eiger Walk, Breitlaueren-Schynige Platt, First-Bachalpsee, Cliff Walk

B. Murren and Schilthorn and ?Northface Trail

C. Lauterbrunnen: Lauterbrunnen-Stetchelberg, Trummelbach Falls

Day 8 Zurich: Travel to Zurich. See Old Town then head to Radisson Blu at the airport for our early morning flight the next day. Thank you for any advice you can provide.

Lucas
Lucas
3103 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 26, 2017 - 8:09 AM in reply to Babyblue

Hi Babyblue,

I agree on your choice of the Swiss Travel Pass - much more convenient even if it ends up being a little more expensive. Not needing to buy tickets at ticket machines or offices can be worth a lot of $!

The easiest option to buy the Swiss Travel Pass is online with one of the companies listed here. For your trip from Salzburg you would then only need to buy a ticket to Buchs (no need to change trains or get off here as you can buy the ticket online before you go!)

Day 1: Are you looking for a self-guided tour? I believe there are map options at Luzern Tourism at the train station. I've also found a blog that notes a route down for you here.

Day 2: If you haven't already read about the trip to Mt.Rigi here.

Day 3-7:

I'm not familiar with the Breitlaueren-Schynige Platt hike but the rest are quite nice. Are you trying to narrow it down as it would be hard to choose! All of the above? :)

Lucas

Last modified on Jul 26, 2017 - 8:12 AM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3628 posts
expert
Jul 26, 2017 - 9:57 AM in reply to Babyblue

Hi Babyblue -

Can you tell us a bit more about your skills and experience at high altitude and rugged terrain hiking?

It could make a difference...some of the trails that you mention are easy, others less so.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&X=167292.48 &Y=635604.06&zoom=8

Slowpoke

Babyblue
Babyblue
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2017 - 1:01 PM

Thank you Lucas and Slowpoke for your quick replies. I am planning on purchasing the STP this week online. If I am understanding the website correctly, it appears that it is not sent instantly, but will be sent about a week before, is that accurate? Lucas, thank you so much for the self-guided walking tour map. It is exactly what I was looking for since I am not sure about our timing that day. I myself have limited information about the Breitlauren-Schynige Platt hike, I have taken so many notes I've lost track, haha. Nothing set in stone, that is why I was looking for advice.

Slowpoke, we are hikers that would prefer short, scenic hikes 3-5km in length. That way we could do a couple of them in one day. We are seasoned hikers, but more casual day hikers, with a maximum 8km and 600m elevation gain, but that is here where we live and the elevation isn't nearly as high. What are your suggestions?

Any further recommendations? Did I miss a "must see" or "must do"? We love being outdoors, hiking, walking around towns, some shopping, but not much into museums unless we get a very bad rainy day.

slothrabbit
slothrabbit
40 posts
active member
Jul 26, 2017 - 3:15 PM

Hi babyblue!

I am also planning my trip to Switzerland and can share some of my findings. I have received so much help from Lucas and Slowpoke. Some background - I'm traveling with my husband and our 1 year old baby so our pace will not be fast.

First and foremost, you have to download Kim's guide on Wengen. It is amazing and probably can address most of your questions! She shares plenty of hikes and sorts them according to their difficulty.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Regarding your choice of walks, they're pretty similar to mine! Here's what I have planned, including day trips:

4 nights in Lauterbrunnen

Day 1: arrive Zurich at 6am. Travel to Lauterbrunnen. Rest and explore.

Day 2: Do a slow walk if we're feeling up to it -- Lauterbrunnen >> Trummelbach falls >> Stechelberg

Day 3: day trip to Bern (or on a bad weather day)

Day 4: day trip to Ballenberg Open Air Museum and Lake Brienz

4 nights in Wengen

Day 5: travel from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen. Walk from First to Bachalpsee.

Day 6: Walk from Maanlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, or if feeling up to it, Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg

Day 7: currently empty, maybe explore Murren?

Day 8: currently empty, maybe do another hike or visit Lake Thun -- lots of people prefer Lake Brienz to Lake Thun. Should I skip Lake Thun?

Hope this helps! By the way, we are also thinking of staying at Hotel Schoenegg. Where have you picked for Lucerne?

traveljet
traveljet
85 posts
active member
Jul 26, 2017 - 3:23 PM in reply to Babyblue

Hi Babyblue,

We stayed in Wengen a few years ago. Here are our trip reports which may give you an idea of what you can do.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/part-2-trip-report-2012-wengen-jungfrau

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/part3-trip-report-mannlichen-grindelwald-grund

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/pt4-trip-report-lauterbrunnen-murren

We are returning to Murren and Wengen (Hotel Alpenrose) this September as well. Hoping to do the Wengen-KScheidegg walk and the Cliff walk at Birg and maybe Grindelwald. Will definitely take the Mannlichen-Grindelwald Grund cablecar again.There are photos in the trip reports on my links above as well.

Hope they help. 😄

Last modified on Jul 26, 2017 - 3:24 PM by traveljet
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3628 posts
expert
Jul 26, 2017 - 4:37 PM in reply to Babyblue

Hi babyblue -

Breitlauenen to Schynigge Platte has a 425 meter altltude gain.

Since you will finish at about 1970 meters, you may well notice the reduced oxygen availability. I do. Take your time to catch your breath. If you don't notice it....good for you!

I assume you'll have either boots or rugged hiking shoes with good soles, plus hiking staffs? (in German, ein Spazierstock, or die Spazierstöcke plural) ). We very much enjoyed the loop walks at Schynige Plate, one of which takes you along the edge almost at the edge but safely below it with nice views looking over the lake below.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,true&X=16 7775.99&Y=636485.09&zo om=7

I hope that you are planning on the earlier part of September for the Jungfrau region. As the month progresses, you may find a few more bad weather days. However,you should be OK, even into early October. It is just that earlier is better than later in the fall.

The attached pictures were taken on September 25th (+/- a day or so), in 2009.

For other ideas, check the link to Kim's report, as linked by slothrabbit.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 26, 2017 - 4:39 PM by Slowpoke
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Lucas
Lucas
3103 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 26, 2017 - 5:14 PM in reply to Babyblue

Hi Babyblue,

The websites will say they send out the rail pass 1 week before your departure date, but 95% of the time you get the pass within 3 business days (it is just to organize their work-flow). There is a comments section so you can tell them you need them by X date with no worries.

Lucas

Babyblue
Babyblue
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2017 - 6:18 PM

Thank you all for your replies. I am overwhelmed by the knowledge and kindness shared. Your information has helped me greatly!

Slothrabbit, our trips do sound similar. With our age and your baby, we'll be going about the same pace, should be nice. Thank you so much for recommending Kim's guide, it is AWESOME! I will go over it in detail soon. We will be in Lucerne staying at the Hotel Cascada for 2 nights Sept. 13-15. I believe it is near the train station, lakefront and walking distance to Old Town if my research is correct. We will then go to Wengen from Sept.15-19th.

Slowpoke, thank you for the details on the Breilauren-Schynigge Platt hike. Still not sure if we will tackle that one. We do have good hiking boots and poles, and have hiked in Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon in the States, the elevation sure does make a difference. We'll see how adventurous we get and how we adjust to the altitude before heading higher into the mountains.

Traveljet, your trip reports and tips were extremely helpful. I loved your tips and your photos were amazing! Seeing those photos is making me so excited for our trip.

Lucas, thank you for the information about the STP coming sooner than a week before the date on the pass. I would like them sooner as we will be in Germany and Austria before coming to Switzerland. I will make use of the comment section when I order them.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3628 posts
expert
Jul 26, 2017 - 6:35 PM in reply to Babyblue

<<"Lucas, thank you so much for the self-guided walking tour map. It is exactly what I was looking for since I am not sure about our timing that day.">>

I like to walk around the old town ( die Altstadt, which the tour pretty much skips. Red circles.

Also, the Transport Museum ( das Verkehrshaus) is popular ( way to the right). There is tram service or bus service from the main station to the Transport Museum.

This map is useful in cities:

map.search.ch/?pos=668098,211700&z=12 8&poi=haltestelle,zug

You can see that it is slightly more than 2 km from the bridge by the Bahnhof to the transport museum. The walk along the shore there is pleasant.

Lake boats stop at the Verkehrshaus/Lido dock.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 26, 2017 - 6:37 PM by Slowpoke
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Babyblue
Babyblue
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2017 - 6:53 PM

Thank you. I love the red circles, exactly what I need to make it clear to me. Great to know about the shuttle to Transport Museum, is there a fee? Would the STP cover that? We most definitely will walk around Old Town, sounds perfect.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3628 posts
expert
Jul 26, 2017 - 8:46 PM in reply to Babyblue

H Baby blue -

<<"Great to know about the shuttle to Transport Museum, is there a fee? Would the STP cover that? ">> It is not a shuttle. It is a regular bus service, part of the normal bus routes, covered by the STP.

This following complex information can be skipped if you wish. It shows you how to get the answer about the bus service....look down in this post to "Now the good news"

Details -

By clicking on the bus icon near the Verkehrsmuseum on this Mapsearch link

map.search.ch/?pos=668161,211762&z=10 24&poi=haltestelle,mus eum,zug

I see that the buses numbered 6, 8, and 10 and "N24" which I think is a night bus, stop at

"Bus stop Luzern, Verkehrshaus/Lido"

This link shows where the buses can be caught in front of the main station, identified by number. Click on the map to enlarge it:

www.vbl.ch/fahrplaene/ uebersichtsplaene/

This rather complex page, only in German was set by me to request a 10:15 AM journey on the 12th of October from Luzern Bahnhof bus stop to Verkehrshaus/Lido bus stop. Unfortunately, the settings did not stick with the link:

www.vbl.ch/fahrplaene/ online-fahrplan-aushangfahrplan/

When I filled in the date, time, start and finish stations, It displayed 2 options, on at 1014, the other at 1020. At 1020, it takes one minute to walk from the main station to the bus platform, then 7 minutes to get to your stop. One takes 8 minutes, the other takes 7 minutes, both with zero Umsteigen ( changes) The next is at 1027, then 1029

The map can be expanded. Click in the middle of the box which also has direction arrows. The ""thermometer" lets you expand or contract the map.

Now the good news.

You don't have to use all that.

We have learned enough.

It has taught us that there are frequent buses (every 6 or 7 minutes0 and the trip takes 7 or 8 minutes. If you are at the main station, walk out toward the boat docks to where all the buses hang out. Look for a #6, 8, or 10. Hop on, show your Swiss Travel Pass if asked by a conductor or inspector....maybe the driver, but not usually on city buses. 7 minutes later, get off. The trams all have internal signs showing what stop is next, etc. Sit where you can see one.

Here is a list of all the bus schedules. In German, but should be understandable.

www.vbl.ch/fahrplaene/ linienfahrplan-zum-ausdrucken/

City buses tend to run about every 10 minutes or less in most cities durin the daytime hours, but i don't know the exact frequency on all routes and times of day in Luzern. Those links above can tell you, if you care.

You can get a map of all the routes here:

www.mapsta.net/switzer land/lucerne-bus-map/

The tourist office in the main station probably has one, or can tell you where the office is to get one.

By Boat

The nicest way to get to the Verkehrshaus is by lake boat:

www.lakelucerne.ch/en/ timetable-fares/timetable/

Scroll down for the correct season of the year; note that there are a few routes that overlap.

Once again, some may be in German, but most is in English, and the rest is fairly straightforward.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 26, 2017 - 8:56 PM by Slowpoke
Babyblue
Babyblue
7 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2017 - 9:57 PM

Wow! Thank you Slowpoke for all the information on the bus and boat service to the Transport Museum. I love the idea of going by boat!

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