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Most affordable trips to First and Lauterbrunnen?

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nursykathy
nursykathy
2 posts
new member
Jul 6, 2020 - 5:28 AM

Hi. I know that visiting Switzerland is expensive. But we try to do it on a budget. So we travel by car from Brussels. We plan to visit Grindelwald First in the morning and then Lauterbraunnen in the afternoon. Is it doable? And can we reach Grindelwald First by car? Or is it only reachable by gondola and hike? I saw that the cost of gondola is CHF 30 per person. Thanks in advance!

Rail Europe
Annika
Annika
6342 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 6, 2020 - 6:10 AM

Hi nursykathy, welcome to MySwissAlps.com!

Yes, you can visit Grindelwald-First and Lauterbrunnen in one day (assuming this is not the same day as your inbound trip from Brussels :-)). First can't be reached by car. You'll find all details about getting there in the 'Route' tab at www.myswissalps.com/grindelwaldfirst. A full-fare return ticket costs CHF 64 per person (www.myswissalps.com/grindelwaldfirst/tickets). You may have seen reduced fares, which are only applicable to those who have a Swiss Half Fare Card (www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard) or other rail pass.

There are certainly ways to save money. Getting a rail pass can be an important one. Even if you travel by car, you'll probably be making several trips by mountain transportation, boat, bus and train. If that's the case, a rail pass is often cheaper than getting regular full fare tickets. If this goes for your plans as well, depends on the details of your itinerary. Please find an overview of the options at www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses, and help on choosing the right pass at www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass.

More budget tips are listed at www.myswissalps.com/plantrip/doityourself/savemoney, and all information about traveling by car can be found at www.myswissalps.com/car.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have further questions!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Jul 6, 2020 - 3:40 PM in reply to nursykathy

Hi nursykathy -

Nice hat!

Parking at the valley station of the cableways up to First is limited. More parking is available further away in Grindelwald.

This map shows those details nicely:

map.search.ch/?pos=648352,163910&z=64&poi=bergbahn,parking

There is bus service through the village, or you can walk from a more distant parking place.

Lauterbrunnen itself is a small village. You can explore it in less 20 minutes. Well, maybe30. You may wish to use public transport or walk to scenic spots nearby.

So, visiting Lauterbrunnen itself is fast, and there is a large car park. It is the good stuff nearby that takes time.

Zoom out in the map that I linked above, then scroll south a bit and you'll find Lauterbrunnen.

There are links on this page that tell you more about the villages. Scroll down a bit, and look on the right:

www.myswissalps.com/jungfrauregion

Not sure how much time you will spend in Switzerland, but Annika's advice to check out rail passes makes more and more sense the longer you stay in the country.

Slowpoke

nursykathy
nursykathy
2 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2020 - 4:53 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you very much for the very detailed response, Annika and Slowpoke. It is really helpful since I already started getting confused while making an itinerary. Will definitely follow your advices. It will be our first visit to Switzerland.

One more question regarding travel by car with kids. I read that a special seat is a must for the kids. Our kid is already 10 years old but not yet more than 150 cm in height. Is a car booster seat allowed to use or do we really need to put a seat like for the toddlers? I am confused. Thanks again!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
Jul 7, 2020 - 5:03 PM

<<"It is really helpful since I already started getting confused while making an itinerary.">>>

This page,and the links and sublinks on it are likely to be helpful:

www.myswissalps.com/gettingstarted

Slowpoke

Ildiko
Ildiko
1010 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 8, 2020 - 7:35 AM in reply to nursykathy

Hi Nursykathy,

indeed, your 10-years old need a car seat but it shouldn't be the same as for toddlers (he/she wouldn't fit in those). I attach a pdf doc for you.

I hope this will help you,

Have a safe trip!

Ildiko

Also read make sure to check these pages about how to drive in the mountains and Swiss traffic regulations: www.myswissalps.com/car/drivinginthemountains and www.myswissalps.com/car/trafficregulations.

Please login to see the attached documents
1960man
1960man
2739 posts
top member
Jul 9, 2020 - 9:25 PM in reply to nursykathy

The best way to do Switzerland 'on a budget' with a car is to drive directly to high altitude places.

To a certain extent Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald First are the 'cliched' Swiss Alps tourist traps.

There are hundreds of places around Switzerland reachable by car that are away from all the other tourists and where fine Alpine views are accessible for 'nothing'.

My parents were not well off in the 1960s but we still saw all that Switzerland has to offer without paying for many if any cable car rides up mountains.

The most obvious way to reach high altitudes by car is to climb the Alpine passes.

The highest altitude pass roads in Switzerland are

Nufenen, Furka, Fluela, Bernina, Julier, Susten, Grimsel, Fuorn (Ofen), Grand St Bernard

Two of the hundreds of places I have visited by car with spectacular views are the Steingletscher (Stein Glacier) on the Susten Pass, and the Oberaarsee, on a side road off the top of the Grimsel Pass

However there are also fabulous drives up valleys to the point beyond which you can't drive. One of my favourites is the Avers valley to the village of Juf (highest permanently inhabited village in Europe). Juf also has the added interest of being a wonderful area for seeing Marmots - the 'cutest' Alpine animals

Last modified on Jul 9, 2020 - 9:34 PM by 1960man

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