Itinerary Lucerne-Interlaken-Zermatt, April 8-16

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2 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2017 - 2:25 AM


We are a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids aged 8 and 10) travelling from US. First trip to Switzerland as family. Flying in and out of Zurich.

Based on various forums, I understand the following places are good for visit: Lucerne, Interlaken, Lausanne, Zermatt, and finally Zurich.

Can you help me with appropriate duration/optimal travel plans. Don't want this to become hectic, but we are fairly active.

1. Need help with optimal travel route...- Zurich -> Lucerne -> Interlaken -> Lausanne or Zermatt --> Zurich... does this makes sense?

2. How many nights would you suggest in each place - would like no more than 4 stays (ideally 3). Which is a good base - convenient for travel but pretty on its own?

3. 8 day consecutive pass - is it for 8 calendar days or is it a 24 hour period

4. Things to carry/not carry for this time of year

5. We are vegetarians. Any suggestions for types of restaurants to eat, and/or places to buy for quick cooking meals?


12111 posts
expert &
Mar 30, 2017 - 4:40 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps Minalsrini1!

I wouldn't say Interlaken is a good place to visit. Many shops, pretty touristy, not extremely scenic by Swiss standards. But it is a practical hub with very good train, bus and boat connections to nearly everywhere. So it depends on your interests, but be sure to read the Interlaken page before you decide.

Zurich has a lot to offer, but it is not in the Alps. With only 8 days it makes sense to stay in Lucerne instead and visit Zurich briefly upon arrival or not at all. Read the Zurich and Lucerne pages so you can get a feel for these towns and pick the best one based on your interests.

I'd prefer Montreux or Vevey over Lausanne because they're smaller, but any of these towns is a good option to explore the Lake Geneva region. Lausanne is better for city-life, museums, shopping, etc.

Now, as for your questions:

1. Yes, that order makes sense, but you best first decide in which towns you'd like to stay.

2. Please see the above links, and the Zermatt page, to decide. There is a lot to see everywhere. Even if you would stay all 8 days in one place you would not run out of options in most cases. I agree that 3 base towns should be the maximum.

3. It's explained here: ravelpass/howtouse.

4. This depends on your plans for day trips but in general the advice is to dress in layers so it's easy to adapt to any kind of weather, even during the course of one day.

5. Nearly all restaurants offer vegetarian dishes, and most have a menu displayed near the entrance so you can have a look. All larger supermarkets like Coop and Migros offer plenty of vegetarian food too. For more about food, please see here.

Last modified on Mar 30, 2017 - 4:42 PM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2017 - 2:01 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno. Appreciate the suggestion. Here is what we are thinking, and need a couple of additional guidance from you.

Planned itineary:

2 or 3 nights in Lucerne, 2 or 3 nights in Montreux, and 3 nights in Brienz before returning via Zurich

Lucerne - lake, bridge, mt. visit, possibly Bern

Montreux - castle, vineyards?

Brienz - lake, Jungfrau, open museum


1. Was not sure between Montreux and Zermatt. What would you recommend? In Montreux different in terms of weather and activities compared to Brienz/Zermatt? If so, I would chose that

2. Were would you recommend 2 vs. 3 nights - Lucerne or Montreux?

3. Is Bern a good place to visit? We like historic places/buildings and from the read of it, it sounds like Bern is good.

Thanks again.

10385 posts
expert &
Mar 31, 2017 - 7:41 AM in reply to minalsrini1

Hi minalsrini1,

  1. With Montreux you are lake side and the weather can be nice at these lower elevations. There are many activities to do in the area. Zermatt has the Matterhorn - usually that is why people go there and there are many good hikes in the area as well.
  2. If you want to spend more time in the mountains I might lean towards Luzern for an extra night. Again, it really depends on what you want to see and do. Be sure to read through the list of activities you can do in both towns (on their linked pages in Arno's post above) to help you decide.
  3. I think Bern is a really nice town and would spend a day there if it can fit with your plans.


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