Last night in Zurich--hotel suggestions?

Last night in Zurich--hotel suggestions?

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Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 21, 2018 - 6:06 PM

My husband and I will be flying in and out of Zurich for 8 nights with our 28 year old son and will have the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass first week in September. Our flight is at 9:30 am and we were originally going to stay at NH Zurich airport since we will not have train passes. We will be coming from Lucerne. Now I'm wondering if it would be better to stay at Hotel Montana or Walhalla Hotel so we can see a little bit of Zurich and then just buy individual train passes and head to airport early for our flight. Are these two hotels good options to get to airport and see Zurich? Cost of 3 one way train tickets from here? They both come with breakfast but I'm not sure we would have time for breakfast if we need to be at the airport 2 hours before our flight back to New Jersey. Also, do you go through customs at Zurich? Thanks for your help.

Lucas
Lucas
8912 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 21, 2018 - 7:58 PM in reply to Gail

Hi Eckstrom and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Certainly both hotels can work for you. They are very close to the main train station in Zurich (5 minute walk maybe). I've been to the Montana hotel and it was nice. If you'd like a list of recommended hotels in Zurich click here.

Both are centrally located so you can easily explore Zurich if you like. Trains to the airport leave frequently and take about 10-12 minutes so it will be no issue getting to the airport by 7 or 7:30. Tickets run around 8chf and you can find prices and schedules with the Swiss railways timetable.

By customs do you mean can you go through customs? Are you looking for a VAT refund? You can do that yes.

Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 2:56 PM

Curious what is a vat refund?

Lucas
Lucas
8912 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 22, 2018 - 5:03 PM in reply to Debra

Non-Swiss residents are entitled to claim a VAT refund (the tax here) on purchases of more than 300chf (including the vat). I think that may be why eckstrom was asking about customs. You need to go there and have them stamp your tax forms from your purchase before getting the refund at a company like Global Blue or other.

Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 6:20 PM

Hi Lucas--I will cancel my reservation at airport and pick either Hotel Montana or Walhalla. I did read on this site that someone had stayed at Hotel Montana and complained about lack of sleep due to street noise. I guess that can happen anywhere but I'm a light sleeper. I also read that hotels can pack up a breakfast for you to take for early flights.

I was not asking about the VAT tax but wanted to know when flying back to New Jersey on United if we would go through customs in Switzerland or in New Jersey. I can call airline. My son has another flight back to Texas after we arrive in New Jersey.

Also, if I have a question on Grindelwald, where would be the best place to post my question? I'm trying to figure out best way to go to the Shilthorn from Grindelwald using our Swiss Travel Pass. I read that with the STP, travel is free as far as Wengen. The Shilthorn is free with STP.

Is there a way to save a post for future reference? Thanks again for your help.

Gail

Lucas
Lucas
8912 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 22, 2018 - 6:52 PM in reply to Gail

Hi Eckstrom,

Or so you mean immigration? Are you flying direct to the US? I don't believe Zurich has a pre-check so you would go through it in NJ / Texas I believe- but double check with the airline :).

Yes, not sure about street noise for either hotel...it is a busy area for both hotels as they are close to each other. The Walhalla is right above a tram stop by the way...and a Starbucks....pros and cons! My mom stayed at the Montana on a recent visit and liked it (but she is a heavy sleeper).

You can ask your Grindelwald question here! :)

Travel to Schilthorn is completely free on the Swiss Travel Pass as of 2018. You can read about the routing options on our Schilthorn page here. Are you staying in Grindelwald? Murren is the town you will travel though/via on the way to Schilthorn.

Last modified on Mar 22, 2018 - 6:54 PM by Lucas
Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 7:41 PM

Lucas, Yes we are staying in Grindelwald at Hotel Eiger Selfness so I think we would just take train to Männlichen and then follow directions from Lauterbrunnen? How nice that this entire trip is completely free this year. I think we will do the Shilthorn instead of the Jungfraujoch

Do you think it makes sense to buy the STP one month before we leave? I don't want to buy it too far in advance. I did read somewhere that if not used you might be able to return for refund (in case we were unable to take this trip for some reason).

We will be coming from Zermat to Grindelwald. I just looked at the train map and didn't realize that we will be on the Glacier Express (from Zermat to Visp) and on the Golden Pass line from Spiez to Interlaken. If there are no seats, could we upgrade from 2nd to 1st class for just this one section? Not sure how crowded the trains will be first week in September.

Is there anyway to save posts for future or do I just have to copy and paste?

Gail

Lisadee
Lisadee
73 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 9:14 PM in reply to Gail

I just booked this one for my son. It is nice, inexpensive for the final night- since hes staying in hostels up until then, and they have an early airport shuttle, a city shuttle and early breakfast included. Like 10 min from airport.

Zurich: Holiday in Express, Zurich Airport

Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 9:18 PM

Thanks Lisa but I think we would like to be closer to downtown Zurich and then take a train to airport in the morning. I would hate to not see Zurich when we visit Switzerland.

Gail

Arno
Arno
11164 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 23, 2018 - 8:03 AM in reply to Gail

Hi Gail,

We keep all posts. You can find a list of all threads you wrote in on your public profile page. Click your name here in the forum, or access it via your account page.

Buying the Swiss Travel Pass about a month in advance is fine. You can double check our Swiss Travel Pass page for prices and promotions then. You usually get an 85% refund for unused passes.

Last modified on Mar 23, 2018 - 8:04 AM by Arno
cam223
cam223
72 posts
active member
Mar 23, 2018 - 4:11 PM

You will go through Passport Control and Customs when you arrive in New Jersey, I am guessing that you will fly into Newark--on the plane they will hand out cards 30-60 minutes before the plane lands to check off questions and declare the dollar amount of what you are bringing back to the US. There is a per person and also a family exemption (if you are traveling with a spouse and/or children who live in your household), adult children who live elsewhere have their own exemption. Above those amounts there is a duty charged depending upon the type of goods that you purchase abroad. There will be separate lines for US citizens and other countries. The US lines will be further divided between Global Entry holders and other US citizens. US citizens can apply for Global Entry, which involves an interview and a fee--it allows you to pass through Passport Control very quickly. This must be done months in advance, since interviews are only held at certain cities and are limited.

VAT refunds are done at the store where you purchase goods. Often you have to purchase a certain minimum amount before they will give you a VAT refund form. You have to have the goods available at the Swiss airport, your receipts and the form that the official stamps before you can get a refund. Sometimes you can get a refund at the airport, a third party handles this service (the fees for this can be significant). Your form must be stamped before you leave the country. You can't get a refund once you are back in the US.

Lucas
Lucas
8912 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 23, 2018 - 6:01 PM in reply to cam223

Yes the minimum for a VAT refund is 300chf (including VAT). I think Global Blue at the airport handles the actual refund.

Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 26, 2018 - 8:01 PM in reply to cam223

Thanks Cam! United told me that I would go through customs in Zurich but I thought they were wrong. It will be when we arrive in Newark. I'm not planning on doing the VAT refund since we will not be buying a lot of stuff!

Arno, thanks, we will get Swiss Travel Passes one month in advance. I did see my posts saved under my account page. It looks like only posts that I comment on will be saved.

Lucas, I am looking at Hotel St. Josef in Zurich since it has great reviews and I think it is only about 7 or 10 minute walk to train. It is supposed to be within walking distance to Old Towne and a quiet location.

Gail

Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 27, 2018 - 7:56 PM in reply to Lucas

Lucas, Do you think Hotel St. Josef in Zurich is a good location? Is it supposed to be in a quiet location. Is it close to train to get to airport early the next morning?

Gail

Lucas
Lucas
8912 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2018 - 6:32 AM in reply to Gail

Hi Gail,

Yes that is a convenient location to catch a train the next morning. You are about a 10 minute walk from the main train station. I would think it is pretty quiet.

The hotel is on a hillside above & in front of Seilergraben street (where you'd walk to the train station) and there is a tram line there as well as traffic but I don't think it would give you much trouble. Google maps will give you an idea on the streets there.

Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Mar 28, 2018 - 8:49 PM

Thank you Lucas! One more question, we fly into Zurich on 3 September and will be going straight to Zermatt (3 hour train trip-switching 3 different trains). Thought this would be good since we will be tired and our flight arrives early --8:30 am.

We will stay 2 nights in Zermatt and then head to Grindelwald for 3 nights. Then 2 nights in Luzern. Last night in Zurich

Is there a scenic train ride from Zermatt to Grindelwald or Grindelwald to Luzern? How much longer would it take if we took a scenic train or boat ride for either of these routes?

How long will it take to go from Grindelwald to Shilthorn? We will have STP so I know that it is free.

Gail

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2018 - 5:06 AM in reply to Gail

Hi Gail,

>> Is there a scenic train ride from Zermatt to Grindelwald

Yes, the Lötschberg-Bergstrecke (Lötschberg mountain route). To get this route in the timetable, put in From Zermatt To Grindelwald Via Kandersteg.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

>> Grindelwald to Luzern?

Yes, the Luzern-Interlaken Express, which is part of the Golden Pass route. This is the standard route between Grindelwald and Luzern, and will come up automatically in a timetable search for connections from Grindelwald to Luzern.

>> How much longer would it take if we took a scenic train or boat ride for either of these routes?

Please note that all questions about how long any journey will take can be answered by using the Swiss Timetable :-)

The scenic route Zermatt-Grindelwald via Kandersteg takes 4.25 to 5.0 hours, depending on departure time. The fastest route, which avoids the scenic mountain route by zooming underneath it in the Lötschberg-Basistunnel, takes about 3 hours.

>> How long will it take to go from Grindelwald to Shilthorn?

The Swiss Timetable has the answer!

Grindelwald to the Schilthorn via Stechelberg takes a bit over an hour-and-a half. If you go via Grütschalp instead, it takes a bit longer (a bit over two hours), but this also includes a 15-20 minute walk through the village of Mürren from the railway station to the Schilthorn cable car.

It's nice to go up one way and down the other. You can read about this circuit in rockoyster's post of Jan 27, 2018 - 2:11 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/cable-car-from-lauterbrunnen-to-murren

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 29, 2018 - 5:08 AM by Removed user
Gail
Gail
33 posts
active member
Apr 5, 2018 - 9:27 PM in reply to Removed user

Thank you Alpenrose. Am I correct that Grindelwald to the Schilthorn via Stechelberg would be free using the STP. Could we also take the cable car from Grindelwald to Wengen and then go to Grütschalp to Shilthorn? I know this would be more money, but I'm wondering if it would be quicker and more scenic. Also, how do I find out the cost for the cable car from Grindelwald?

I am glad you told me about the scenic train from Zermatt. I would have not known about that! Even though it takes 1.5 hours longer, it seems like it may be worth it for the scenery!

Gail

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Apr 5, 2018 - 11:02 PM in reply to Gail

Hi Gail,

>> Am I correct that Grindelwald to the Schilthorn via Stechelberg would be free using the STP.

Yes, if you take the train via Zweilütschinen to get to Lauterbrunnen.

>> Could we also take the cable car from Grindelwald to Wengen and then go to Grütschalp to Shilthorn?

Yes, but the gondola on the Grindelwald side of the Männlichen goes from Grindelwald Grund, not from central Grindelwald.

So the route is:

  • Grindelwald station to Grindelwald Grund station (train, 25% discount with Swiss Travel Pass)
  • Short walk from Grindelwald Grund station to Männlichen gondola valley station
  • Gondola Grindelwald Grund to Männlichen (50% discount with Swiss Travel Pass)
  • Short walk on Männlichen from gondola station to cable car station
  • Cable car Männlichen to Wengen (50% discount with Swiss Travel Pass)
  • Short walk from Wengen cable car station to Wengen railway station
  • Train Wengen to Lauterbrunnen (free with Swiss Travel Pass)
  • Bus Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, then cable car Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Mürren-Birg-Schilthorn; (free with Swiss Travel Pass) OR
  • Cable car Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp; train Grütschalp to Mürren; 15-20 minute walk through Mürren from railway station to cable car station; cable car Mürren-Birg-Schilthorn (free with Swiss Travel Pass)

>> I know this would be more money, but I'm wondering if it would be quicker and more scenic.

I don't know about quicker - probably not. You can use the Swiss Timetable to plan it out and see.

Certainly more scenic!

>> Also, how do I find out the cost for the cable car from Grindelwald?

With a Swiss Travel Pass you get 50% discount on the gondola Grindelwald Grund to Männlichen and the cable car Männlichen to Wengen.

Full-fare prices are here:

www.maennlichen.ch/en/

>> I am glad you told me about the scenic train from Zermatt. I would have not known about that! Even though it takes 1.5 hours longer, it seems like it may be worth it for the scenery!

It is indeed a great trip for mountain scenery :-)

Alpenrose

Last modified on Apr 5, 2018 - 11:27 PM by Removed user
Simmy2018
Simmy2018
32 posts
active member
Apr 7, 2018 - 9:13 PM in reply to Gail

Hi Gail

My group of 4 friends stayed at Walhalla on 1/4 n 2/4/18. The location is superb as it’s just across the train station’s underground entrance and if u choose to walk on the road that if u have heavy bags to lug, then it’s just probably 100 metres from the train station. The place is pretty quiet as v didn’t hear anything from the street.

I also purchased our Swiss Travel Pass less than a month before our trip online and had our tickets printed from home.

Cheers

Sim

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