Need to shorten Switzerland trip, what to cut out?

Need to shorten Switzerland trip, what to cut out?

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Lori
Lori
6 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2017 - 11:37 PM

Hello. My family and I are scheduling a trip to Switzerland from New York and were planning on 10 days in August. We just learned that we will have to shorten our trip due to conflicts and I want to make sure that we still make the most of it. Our family consists of my husband and I and our two boys - 12 & 17. We're primary interested in nature and hiking and experiencing the beauty of Switzerland (esp the alps) along with enjoying some fun activities. We also planned to visit one or two museums in Zurich, as my 17 year old loves science. We probably need to shorten our itinerary by 3 days, down to a week. Any thoughts?

The original itinerary was as follows:

August 10th (arrive in Zurich, overnight 10th and 11th (vist to Tecnorama Science Museum of Electricity and old town)

August 12th - 14th Interlaken (trip to Jungrujoch, Canyoning. Maybe visit: Grindelwald? Murren? Schilthorn?)

August 15 - 16 Zermatt (trip to Matterhorn)

August 17 - 19 Lucerne (Chapel Bridge , Mt Rigi and Mt. Pilates. Thinking of taking the boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. The cogwheel train to the Pilatus. Then take the cable car down to Fräkmüntegg and check out the adventure park)

August 20th Flight home to New York

I was also curious about accommodations. I see that there is a link to hotels. I was hoping to use Marriott and Starwood properties (I have some points stored up) in Zurich and Lucern, but I don't know how centrally located they are - or how close to the train stations.

Thank you for any advice that you can provide.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3690 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2017 - 3:24 AM in reply to Lori

Hi Lori and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

It's difficult to make suggestion as to what other people should see and do.

All I can say is that if it was me I would be reducing the number of location changes for such a relatively short visit. The fewer bases the more you get to soak up wherever you are. So here's my suggestion for what its worth.

I'd knock out the second night in Zurich. Do the museums during the day on the 11th then head for Luzern.

You can do Golden Trip to Pilatus the next morning/early afternoon (12th) then take a look around Luzern in the afternoon. Ive only seen Fräkmüntegg from a gondola but it looks cool. Chapel Bridge won't take long. But there is plenty more to see.

Do Rigi on 13th then head to Interlaken in the afternoon. Heaps to do in the Bernese Oberland. You might want to think about staying closer to the action eg Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren.

Scrub Zermatt. Harsh I know, but if you have to save 3 days it has to go.

Head back directly from Interlaken to Zurich Airport on your final day (assuming flight time allows).

A better alternative might be to go direct from Zurich Airport to Luzern on arrival. Then have a night in Zurich do the museums in on your way out of Switzerland.

Google Maps should help you with location of hotels you are interested in in Zurich and Luzern.

I made all the bookings for my recent visit via bookings.com. Even if you don't use them they have a good mapping system to show where hotels are (of course not all hotels are listed on booking.com)

Have a great visit.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3690 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2017 - 5:39 AM in reply to Lori

Hi Lori,

Instead of Interlaken you might want to consider staying somewhere like Wengen which is right "in amongst it". Interlaken itself is not all that scenic.

See this trip report which I just discovered www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/part-2-trip-report-2012-wengen-jungfrau and www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/pt4-trip-report-lauterbrunnen-murren and www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/pt5-trip-report-grindelwald-market

Bye.

Last modified on Jul 8, 2017 - 6:04 AM by rockoyster
Peterli
Peterli
443 posts
top member
Jul 8, 2017 - 6:22 AM

Hi Lori,

The Swiss Science Centre Technorama is located in Oberwinterthur, one train stop after Winterthur. Get off the train at the Oberwinterthur train station (Bhf) and from there you can take a city bus (number 5) to the Technorama. The busses are red and the trip takes about five minutes.

I too would drop Zermatt from the itinerary, if you indeed have to cut back by three days.

When you are in Lucerne, you might want to consider visiting the Swiss Transportation Museum. Not only your older boy but the entire family will enjoy this. Check out their website at the following link: www.verkehrshaus.ch/en

Lori
Lori
6 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2017 - 4:57 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for the warm welcome and for all of the great information. I'm going to see what I can rework based on your recommendations. I wish we had longer as there are so many wonderful sights to see! I'm sure I'll be posting more questions in the next few weeks. :-)

- Lori

kim11
kim11
418 posts
top member
Jul 9, 2017 - 1:21 AM

I propose even more "shortening" and cut your base down to one. There are a couple of rules of thumb in Switzerland.

1. Every time you change a base you lose a day with all the hotel/transport/adjustment logistics. It takes longer to get from one place to the next than you expect. Pesky things like the Alps get in the way of direct train traffic!

2. Two nights in one base = one day in that base.

You say you are most interested in nature, hiking, and the Alps therefore I agree wholeheartedly with others. Interlaken is not your spot. It is the biggest tourist trap in Switzerland, not in the mountains nor on a lake. Better you should stay in Wengen, which is up in the Alps and is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and make that your base. There are so many fun activities for you and your boys to do from a Wengen base it will make your head spin.

Yes, I am suggesting that you consider dropping Lucern as a base and heading straight to Wengen instead. Otherwise with 6? or 7? nights in country you will spend too much time with the logistics and not enough time seeing and doing. Lucerne is indeed a lovely city (quite possibly the most enjoyable city in the country) but it is a city and it will be positively overrun with tourists in August. There are plenty of Alps around Wengen -- and higher mountains than around Lucerne at that -- to keep you very entertained.

I have been to Switzerland 20 times, all over the country, and always come back to Wengen as the perfect base IMO. I have composed a quite lengthy document about things to do/see from a Wengen base which you can find (divided into 3 PDFs) at

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

All simply my opinion, of course!

Lori
Lori
6 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2017 - 5:17 AM

Very helpful advice- thank you! We will review the additional information you posted. This sounds like a great recommendation for the limited time we have there.

-Lori

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