Need help deciding # of days for Swiss Travel Pass

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Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 10, 2018 - 1:21 AM

Hello

I am new to this forum. I would like to seek advice on which STP would be suitable for my travel to Switzerland in July/Aug 2018.

I am wondering if I can take the 8 day STP and make do with local day pass for the remaining 3 days. In total we have 11 days of sightseeing. We will be totally dependent on public transport as we don't intend to drive.

My itinerary is as follows

3 nights stay in Zurich

23 July - Fly from Salzburg to Zurich - take rest rest of the day

24 July - sight seeing in Zurich

25 July - day trip to Stein am Rhein, rhinefall waterfalls,a couple of hours in Schaffhausen, Laufen castle to see the falls

6 nights stay in Interlaken area - wengen or murren?

26 July - deposit luggage at Zurich station for onward transfer to Interlaken. Take train from Zurich (8.37 am) to Chur (9.52 a.m,). Take Glacier express GEX - Chur (11.26 am) to Brig (15.40 pm), Take train from Brig (15.49) to Interlaken (16.57) 0r take a later train.

27 July - Rest day

28 July - sightseeing in interlaken area - lakes, Lauterbrunnen etc

29 July - Jungfraujoch day trip. If weather is not good/cloudy - see places in and around Berne

30 July - sightseeing in Luzern - Can do Interlaken to Luzern – golden pass segment Or gotthard
panorama express from Luzern to Dermatt

Do we need to reserve in advance for Gotthard panorama express?

31 July - Day trip to Zermatt
and Gornergat - (view of matterhorn)

4 nights stay in Montreux or Geneva

1 Aug - Interlaken
to Montreux. Have booked VIP tickets on Golden pass panaromic express from zweisimmen to Montreux (12.26 pm train) .

We are planning to stay in Montreux.

2 Aug - sightseeing - Vevey & Montreux including Chillon castle. ride on lake Geneva from montreux to Vevey?

3 Aug - sightseeing - Annecy? Yvoire? Chamonix? - to be decided

4 Aug - Geneva sightseeing

5 Aug - fly out of Geneva to Sydney, Oz

regards

Meera

rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Mar 10, 2018 - 3:36 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Hello Meera,

Looks like a nice relaxed trip.

Have you worked your way through “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass)?

Given you have built in a few "rest" days a Swiss Travel Pass Flex may suit your plans. Although the price of the Flex pass is higher - you pay a small premium of the flexibility.

If you buy a non-Flex STP the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/on edaytravelpass/details) can come in handy for additional days.

One of your itinerary items has me beat - "30 July - sightseeing in Luzern - Can do Interlaken to Luzern – golden pass segment Or gotthard panorama express from Luzern to Dermatt"

If you go from Interlaken to Lucerne you would travel on the Luzern - Interlaken Express, part of the Golden Pass Line. The Gotthard Panorama Express (www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress) runs from Lucerne to Lugano. It's not something that makes sense to do from Interlaken.

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Mar 10, 2018 - 6:49 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Hi Meera,

>> I am wondering if I can take the 8 day STP and make do with local day pass for the remaining 3 days. In total we have 11 days of sightseeing.

It is quite possible that a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass would still be your best option, even if you don't use all the days. You will need to do the sums to be sure. Rockoyster has given you information about choosing a pass.

Be careful with using Saver Day Passes - they do not cover most mountain transport. The Rigi is one of a few exceptions - it is covered in full.

>> 6 nights stay in Interlaken area - wengen or murren?

Both are beautiful alpine villages with stunning views. The choice is yours - neither would disappoint. I stay in Wengen when I am in the area.

>> 30 July - gotthard panorama express ... Do we need to reserve in advance for Gotthard panorama express?

Yes, reservations are compulsory. However, 30 July is a Monday, and the Gotthard Panorama Express does not run on Mondays. Rockoyster also makes a valid point about trying to do this trip from Interlaken as a starting point.

Have you seen the map of panoramic routes? It is attached to the validity map for the Swiss Travel Pass. You can download it on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 11, 2018 - 1:09 PM by Arno
Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 10, 2018 - 8:41 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hello Rockoyster & Alpenrose666

Thank you very much for your kind replies and information on choosing the right train pass.

About Gotthard Panrama express, I was thinking about doing it from Luzern. Since it does not operate on mondays I guess it is out of my plan now. I was interested in it due to the small cog wheel segment which I am told is scenic. I was thinking of 1/2 day sight seeing in Luzern and then doing this segment.I guess the return to Interlaken from Dermatt would be problematic.

On 30 July monday, I will stick to seeing places in and around Luzern. Any suggestions on places to visit please?

About using the spreadsheet as a first step, while i can try to find out point to point train ticket prices between major places, I don't have an idea about local transport costs within a particular places. For eg - visit to Stein em rhein - train ticket price from Zurich (return) + local transport costs? considering the places I am likely to visit may include local train/bus/boat etc.

I guess i have to work out if STP 8 days + day passes work for me OR STP flexi OR 15 days STP.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 10, 2018 - 8:46 AM

Hi Alpenroe666

If i stay in Wengen, would it be a problem for my planned day trip to Zermatt please? Transport logistics/timing etc.

Also, being vegetarian, we tend to rent an apartment so that we can make a simple veggo meal for ourselves for dinner. Day time we make do with bakery products/Yyoughurt/fruit/salads etc. Dinner we prefer to have atleast one warm meal. Will it be a problem?

Would appreciate help

regards

Meera

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Mar 11, 2018 - 12:29 AM in reply to Meeraoz

>> If i stay in Wengen, would it be a problem for my planned day trip to Zermatt please? Transport logistics/timing etc.

It's best to use the Swiss Timetable to plan a trip from Wengen (or anywhere else) to Zermatt, and decide for yourself whether that suits you.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

>> Also, being vegetarian, we tend to rent an apartment so that we can make a simple veggo meal for ourselves for dinner. Day time we make do with bakery products/Yyoughurt/fruit/salads etc. Dinner we prefer to have atleast one warm meal. Will it be a problem?

Vegetarian food is widely available. This topic comes up very frequently in the forum, so you can use the search to find further information. In particular, please see the post by Kim dated Jul 20, 2017 - 2:55 PM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/wengen-or-meiringen

And this one from Arno dated Nov 4, 2016 - 4:10 PM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/honeymoon-trip-in-mid-late-nov-itinerary-suggest

Alpenrose

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 11, 2018 - 2:51 AM in reply to Removed user

Thank you very much for these useful links

Arno
Arno
11571 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 11, 2018 - 1:11 PM

Hi Meera,

There is no cogwheel segment on the Gotthard Panorama Express. You may have seen the segment from Göschenen to Andermatt. That's a side route. Short but interesting: steep and with tunnels and cog wheel technology.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 11, 2018 - 11:10 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno

Thank you for pointing this out. Indeed it was the segment from Goschenen to Andermatt. I was trying to see if I can do the Gotthard upto Goschenen and then do this cog wheel to Andermatt.

Quick question, can I still do Luzern to Goschenen on a normal route train rather than the panorama (that doesn't operate on mondays) to experience the cog wheel to Andermatt please? Can it be done in half a day? I plan to see places in and around Luzern first half of the day.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Mar 11, 2018 - 11:27 PM in reply to Meeraoz

Hello Meera,

You can follow all the major panoramic routes (including the entire boat and train Gotthard Panorama Express) on regular services so you can certainly catch a train from Lucerne to Andermatt via Göschenen. Monday won't be a problem with regular trains. You can check if you have time using the Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable).

Most people would go to Andermatt that way to join the Glacier Express going to either Chur or Zermatt. I'm not sure a trip to Andermatt and back would be high on most visitors agenda.

If you don't have time for the full Gotthard Panorama Express consider a steamer trip on the lake to Flüelen and then train back to Lucerne (or the other way round).

Last modified on Mar 11, 2018 - 11:29 PM by rockoyster
Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:03 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you Rockoyster for the suggestion, "consider a steamer trip on the lake to Flüelen and then train back to Lucerne (or the other way round)" - I might do that.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:28 AM in reply to Meeraoz

If going all the way to Flüelen uses up too much time you can always go as far as Brünnen and train back from there. But the boat ride to or from Flüelen is great.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:49 AM in reply to rockoyster

This information is really helpful. Much appreciated.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 2:50 AM in reply to rockoyster

A quick question, is the boat ride more enjoyable in the morning or afternoon please?

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Mar 12, 2018 - 3:23 AM in reply to Meeraoz

>> I was interested in it due to the small cog wheel segment which I am told is scenic

The sector between Göschenen and Andermatt is indeed scenic in a very rugged way, and I love experiencing the steep climb out of Göschenen.

Before you get to Göschenen, you go through Wassen, with its little white church perched on a prominent hill in the village. You see the church three times, out of alternating sides of the train, as the train negotiates a series of loops to gain height within a short distance as it makes its way up the mountain.

After the steep climb out of Göschenen you travel past the rugged Schöllenenschlucht (Schöllenen Gorge) and Teufelsbrücke (Devil's Bridge).

If you're quick enough, you can glimpse the red painting of the devil and goat on the rock face at the side of the (roadway) tunnel entrance at the end of the Devil’s Bridge. This painting depicts an old legend about how the bridge was built in this very challenging terrain, by means of bargaining with the devil.

Travelling towards Andermatt, sit on the left, ideally facing backwards, to get the best view of the gorge, as it passes in a flash. I have attached some photos of the Teufelsbrücke (Devil's Bridge) in the Schöllenenschlucht.

However, if your main interest is to experience cogwheel train technology, there are plenty of other alternatives in the areas you are visiting, all with stunning views, such as:

Luzern area

  • Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm (steepest cog railway in the world)
  • Vitznau to Rigi Kulm
  • Arth-Goldau to Rigi Kulm
  • The Luzern-Interlaken Express also has a cogwheel section over the Brünig Pass.

Interlaken area and the Jungfrau Region

  • Wilderswil to Schynige Platte
  • Brienz to the Brienzer Rothorn
  • Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch
  • Grindelwald-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch

Zermatt

  • Gornergratbahn

Montreux and Vevey

  • Montreux to Rochers-de-Naye
  • Vevey to Les Pléiades

If you spend any time in Zürich, you might like to experience a ride on a cogwheel railway and a couple of funiculars there - all are very short trips. The funiculars run on cables rather than cogwheels, and are driverless.

Dolderbahn cogwheel railway (1.3 km)

Take tram #3 from tram stop Central in the direction of Klusplatz and get off at the stop called Römerhof (4 stops, 5 minutes). The bottom station of the Dolderbahn is a bit tricky to find, being acccessed through a building (see attached screenshot from Google StreetView). At the top, you can walk for a few minutes to the Dolder Grand Hotel for a lovely view. The Dolderbahn runs daily from early morning until 23:30 about every 10 minutes. The trip up on the Dolderbahn takes 6 minutes and climbs over 160 metres. Standard Zürich public transport fares/tickets apply, and it is in the central fare zone (zone 110).

Seilbahn Rigiblick

The Seilbahn Rigiblick funicular takes you up to small grassy park with bench seats, from where you can look out over Zürich, the Zürichsee (Lake Zürich), and the mountains beyond (if it is clear). It's a good place to go at dusk, to watch the city lights come on.

To get there from Zürich Hauptbahnhof (main station), take the #10 tram (direction Zürich Flughafen) to the tram stop called "Seilbahn Rigiblick" (6 stops, 9 minutes). The bottom station of the Seilbahn Rigiblick is at the far end of a small plaza near the tram stop. Standard Zürich public transport fares/tickets apply, and it is in the central fare zone (zone 110).

UBS Polybahn funicular

A very short trip up to the ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) terrace. From the broad ETH terrace, you have a nice view over the rooftops of Zürich. The very front of the Polybahn is an open air section, where you can stand to fully appreciate the funicular technology and the climb up the hill.

The entrance to the Polybahn is in Limmatquai, between Starbucks Cafe and the Hotel Limmathof, adjacent to the tram stop called Central. Central is one stop from Zürich Hauptbahnhof (Zürich main station) - you can easily walk there from the station. Standard Zürich public transport fares/tickets apply, and it is in the central fare zone (zone 110). I have attached some photos.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 12, 2018 - 3:31 AM by Removed user
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rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 3:23 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Guess it depends what sort of a day it is weather-wise. It cooler to be out on the water on a hot afternoon.

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Mar 12, 2018 - 3:27 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Zürich UBS Polybahn funicular.

Last modified on Mar 12, 2018 - 3:37 AM by Removed user
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Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 4:59 AM in reply to Removed user

Alpenrose666 - Wow - just wow - all the info you have provided - thanks a million.

The sector between Göschenen and Andermatt is indeed scenic in a very rugged way - this is the reason I wanted to do that - time is going to be constraint.

I am in Luzern, Interlaken and Montreux - so can attempt one of those rides you mentioned

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 5:02 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster

Weather wise I am expecting Switzerland to be a bit cooler when I am there (23 July to 5 Aug). I guess it may be summer time for you. However for some one coming from oz with real hot summers and mild winters esp in Sydney, your summer could still be a cool day for us. I guess "hot" or "cold" day is relative. to what we are used to

rockoyster
rockoyster
4074 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 5:23 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Hi Meera,

I live in Tasmania! 😎

Last year I was in Lucerne in early June and the temperature rarely dropped below 29°C for the five days I was there. It can get quite hot in summer in Switzerland.

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