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Lucerne and Zermatt itineraries with 2 seniors

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34 posts
active member
Aug 20, 2016 - 10:45 AM

I just lose myself on this site, reading suggestions and trip reports...it is so helpful. With suggestions from an earlier post, I feel confident about our Lauterbrunnen walks and treks. But as mid-September nears, I was hoping to firm up plans for the other two cities - Lucerne and Zermatt. I thank you for reading my elaborate cry for help.

1. In Lucerne, we wanted to keep one day for a day trip to Titlis. My sole motive is to get my parents as close to snow for sometime as possible...to pick some up, throw it around and have fun...In September, the choice of places to do that narrows down, have heard (not going to Jungfraujoch)

I would have another half day of sorts (day of arrival, and then, perhaps, the morning of the day we leave Lucerne). Besides the city, is there something we should just not miss, somewhere you came away from with glowing, warm memories?

Any pockets in Lucerne recommended for food and its atmosphere?

I have read about the boat rides...how remarkable are they? Or is a train ride to and from Interlaken more scenic and not-to-be-missed as Anjan had experienced...we will be taking a train from Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen, if that is relevant here.

Of course, with my above-60 parents, I am not looking at hiking and anything too strenuous (where too many steps are involved, or too uneven a road etc.) Cable cars are fine...but after Titlis, would it make sense to attempt Rigi or Pilatus (we have more peaks coming up subsequently in the trip).

2. Once in Zermatt, besides attempting Gornergrat and Kleine Matterhorn (depending on time, weather, energy), I really like the views in Riffelalp...if not hiking, people can also get off a train/cable car at this place? We have 1.5 days in Zermatt...So, it will be mainly about the Matterhorn (rather than the town of Zermatt). Any suggestions of what not to miss.

I am still unsure if non-skiers can get on to the snow in Klein Matterhorn?

Thank you once again for allowing me to take some of your time, I hope my questions make sense...

Best wishes.

7567 posts
Aug 21, 2016 - 7:54 AM in reply to esskay8

Hi Esskay-

Here is a small start on the answers.

Ican't comment on the snow conditions, but perhaps a web cam would help.

You might find something here:

en.swisswebcams.ch/kat egorien

As for Luzern, some time in the old town and along the river banks might be nice. You will see some of the famous sights.

Where is your hotel? I'm thinking about walking around or buses or trams, etc, from it/near it.

There are a lot of images of Luzern on the internet.

I have attached a few favorites, but you will not always be so lucky to get the good light and clear skies, or the the shooting locations ( the Hotel Schiff is now closed, and the view of the Jesuit church at dawn was taken from the 4th floor overlooking the river.)

We like to eat at the Rathaus Braurei along the river...a variety of foods, generally of good quality, and a nice view if you can sit outdoors. Then, you can go up a few steps and be in the old town, along with quite a few other tourists, of course.


Even in German, you can figure it out. I don't recall an English version.

die Speisekarte is the menu.

Prices are high by non-Swiss standards, but reasonable in a "tourist" city like Luzern. You pay some for the location, too.

Looks like they are changing management on September 27th.....

By the way "Rat" means council or meeting ...so the Rathau is the (old) town hall.

Only a start, but make sure to also check:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne


www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/lucerne.html

The boat rides are pleasant and relaxing. The larger boats have food on board. The best part of the lake, in my opinion, is at the far southern end, which may be out of reach for your schedule. The northern parts are still quite interesting and beautiful, and some of the routes offer good views around that part of the lake. If that appeals, more information is available on checking routes, etc.

www.myswissalps.com/bo atlakelucerne

and more.

I have found every time that the tourist information office by track #1 in Luzern main station is helpful and knowledgeable.

That's a start on your questions.


15750 posts
expert &
Aug 21, 2016 - 10:22 AM

Hi esskay8,

There are easy walks your parents may enjoy. One of them is the walk around the lake at the Titlis mid station (Trübsee). It takes an hour and is pretty flat. Don't skip such walks if they can manage that; it's a wonderful way to see Switzerland.

One can always get off the train just to enjoy the views. That applies to the Gornergrat railway as well. You'll find a lot of suggestions for Zermatt here: myswissalps.com/ zermatt. I prefer Gornergrat over Klein Matterhorn, so I would go there first if the weather allows.

Last modified on Aug 21, 2016 - 10:24 AM by Arno
34 posts
active member
Aug 23, 2016 - 6:21 AM

Thank you Slowpoke and Arno.

Even I was more inclined towards Gornergrat than Klein M. I hope the weather is favourable in Switzerland the days we are there...it is a once-in-lifetime trip for my parents, so fingers crossed.

Slowpoke, your photos are from really uncommon vantage points, uncommon for most tourists that is, and the ones from a height are stunning. The restaurant sounds like worth a try. As for the the southern part of the lake, one whole day is needed to explore the lake, am guessing? Which routes in the northern sites to aim for?

We will be putting up a few steps away from the Chapel bridge...


7567 posts
Aug 23, 2016 - 8:51 AM in reply to esskay8

Hi Sayantani -

Your hotel will put you very close to the old town, and may have a door way into the town, if it is on the Rathausquai across the river from the Jesuitchurch. If it is the Hotel des Alpes, the rooms are nice, the kitchen is mediocre. Or, was. when I have stayed there. My guess is that the kitchen is sort of "dumbed down" for less discriminating travelers.

You be very close to the Rathaus Braurei restaurant.

Lake Boats-

This website gives a tremendous amount of information about the lake boats, with many detailed links in it. There are detailed schedule pages, note seasonal changes. In the details you can see which boats have restaurants.

Also, if you scroll down the home page to the dark area you can see a couple of useful maps of the lake region. They don't seem to show the boat routes.

If you use the advanced search section of the timetable, restrict the journey to ships, get a list of journeys, click on the "+" to the left of a journey, and click on map in the footnotes, in theory you should can get a map of the lake boat route. I have not fully mastered that process. Ibn practice, sometimes I get a very useful map, other times a useless line,no map.

Needs exploring.

[Some other maps-

The first attached image of this thread shows a map of southern part of the lake with lake boat stops:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

Mapsearch is good to use, because it can show transport stops. I have turned on an overlay under "Points of Interest/Traffic, which show different train routes and stops. You can add buses. Not sure how to add boats.

map.search.ch/?pos=668960,206496&z=32 &poi=bergbahn,zug

This extremely detailed map shows the boat docks around the lakes, as well as their proximity to rail stations, etc.

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,false&X=2 10810.00&Y=667030.00&z oom=6

The tourist info office at track #1, Luzern Main Station will have a good map, I'm sure.]

In that "dark" section of the timetable, you can find out which boats start from which towns, a list of the ships, etc. Some of it is only in German, 'Dampfer" refers to a paddle wheel steamship.

Look on the schedules pages, noting a schedule change on September 12. Every route is shown.

A good short trip- If you scroll down the main schedule page, you will see the approximately one hour runs to Alpnachstad, which dock a few feet from the railroad station for a train back to Luzern. That also is the base station for the cograil to Pilatus. That route is a good short one. I suspect that the largest boats don't get all the way to Alpnachstad, so that run may use some of the smaller ones.

Other short ones have small separate timetables, as well.

The boats to Vitznau take hour, but Vitznau is only connected to Luzern on land by bus+train and is a significantly less simple return. The best return is by boat, repeating your journey in the reverse direction.

If you wish to make a longer trip, you could take the boat to Vitznau, the cograil to Rigi Kulm ( the top) and return by several routes Elapsed time of about half a day:

www.myswissalps.com/ri gi

If you were to take the boat ride from one end of the lake to the other - Luzern/Flüelen, it would take about 3 hours. The train station at Flüelen is a few meters from the boat dock. Could do train one way. Figure 4 or 5 hours total. The time table would help with the trains.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable


Last modified on Aug 23, 2016 - 9:02 AM by Slowpoke
34 posts
active member
Aug 26, 2016 - 7:51 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Yes Slowpoke, that's where we are staying.

Will take some time out at the Luzern main station for suggestions on the ground as well...since we will be arriving in a train from Zurich.

Will definitely check for restaurant boats...and the idea of sailing the entire stretch of the lake also sounds nice...

Thanks again.

34 posts
active member
Aug 26, 2016 - 7:59 AM in reply to esskay8

Or, even the cogwheel to Rigi...for an aerial sort of view of Lake Lucerne...

7567 posts
Aug 26, 2016 - 2:56 PM in reply to esskay8

Hi Esskay-

Boats with food- In the lake boat time table for the Lake Lucerne boats, there is symbol in the header ( as explained in the footnotes) for a restaurant on board.

Almost all the boats have some kind of food. The larger one have more extensive menus and kitchens.

So, if you really want to get serious on that point, you can figure out the boats sizes from information within the web site. I have never really tried to do that., bit it should be possible.

As far as the trip up the Rigi, I understood that you had a half a day apart from the trip to Titlis.

<<" In Lucerne, we wanted to keep one day for a day trip to Titlis.">>

Somewhere in there you need time to walk around the old city, possibly along the lake shore.

A roundtrip to Rigi Kulm will take about half a day.

<<"I would have another half day of sorts (day of arrival, and then, perhaps, the morning of the day we leave Lucerne).">>

I am not sure how a trip to the Rigi fits in all that.



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