November trip in Switzerland itinerary help

November trip in Switzerland itinerary help

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yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2017 - 2:48 AM

Hello!

We would like some help planning our first trip to Switzerland!

We arrive 11/23 in Zurich in the am. And I need to be in Laussane for a business trip from 11/30-12/2. I would love your help and advise regarding our travel from 11/23-11/30.

Is the weather during this time bad? Folly and cold?

We would prefer to travel by car unless you strongly advise against. I would love to go ski for just one day. Would love to go to Interlaken, Lucern, Bern, and maybe Montreux.

Thank you so much!

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 27, 2017 - 5:39 AM in reply to yuema

Hi Yuema and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We don't create itineraries here but are happy to point you in the right direction!

First, yes we highly recommend using the train system here - it is excellent (especially good to avoid driving in winter weather here).

Have a look at Swiss rail passes here - for your needs I would look at the Swiss Travel Pass though.

To read more about the weather in Switzerland check out our web page here. At lower elevations I would expect 0-10 degrees and some rain from time to time in November. Up in the mountains it will be well below zero.

I would focus on Luzern, and the Jungfrau region (Interlaken or a town like Lauterbrunnen or Wengen) especially if you are looking for mountain experiences. November is very quiet in the mountains but by the the end of the month the ski season is just starting up so things should be running smoothly. Bern is a lovely city visit for sure. Lausanne and Montreux are very close to each other so that will be easy to visit for you.

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out your trips between towns and mountains on the trains / cable cars etc. and have a read through the links above to see what catches your eye.

Once you have a rough idea of plans/itinerary post it back here and we can help you fine tune it. Other than skiing for one day what are you hoping to see and do though?

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 28, 2017 - 11:23 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucus thank you so much for your reply!

We typically feel more comfortable when we have a car then we can drive wherever we want. Do you highly recommend against this? Is it unsafe to drive in Nov/DEC?

What would be the most recommended placed during the months of Noc/Dec? Where should we go skiing? We typically love seeing beautiful scenery just bike around. Enjoy the culture. Xmas markets? But not too much a museum person.

What do you think about this?

11/22 Wednesday Leave JFK 9pm

11/23 Thursday Zurich arrive at 11am

11/24 Friday Lucerne

11/25 Saturday Excursion to Mt Titlis & Lucerene back

11/26 Sunday Interlaken

11/27 Monday Jungfraujoch excursion & back to Interlaken

11/28 Tuesday Matterhorn in Zermatt

11/29 Wednesday Montreux

11/30 Thursday Laussane

12/1 Friday Laussane

12/2 Saturday Laussane

12/3 Sunday Fly back to NYC in the AM

Thank you again!!

Yue

rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Oct 29, 2017 - 12:20 AM in reply to yuema

Hi Yue,

Your itinerary looks good. I would suggest you go direct from Zurich Airport to Lucerne and save one nights hotel swap.

Your itinerary looks ideal for using the trains.

I wouldn't dream of driving when the public transport is so fantastic. Personal opinion but on the train everyone (including the otherwise driver of the car) gets to enjoy the views. It is MUCH more relaxing. Have you read www.myswissalps.com/ca rversustrain

Switzerland is worth visiting just to experience the efficiency of the train network.

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 5:28 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you rockoyster!

Do you think I should combine train with car? Or just simply go all train? Which pass should I buy?

Should I go to Bern or Zermatt?

Any idea where I can go skiing at the end of Nov? Any places open for some beginner skiing?

Arno
Arno
10742 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 29, 2017 - 10:02 AM

Hi Yuema,

A car is not necessary for this trip, nor will it be more comfortable. Please have a look at the page Rockoyster referred to. With a car you would really be missing out on a fantastic train experience in my opinion. Also the trains are safer, and eco-friendly. Zermatt is car-free, as well as the area around Jungfraujoch. Larger cities like Zurich, Lucerne and Lausanne are not pleasant to drive into.

Bern and Zermatt are really different places. Bern is a city, not in the mountains. Zermatt is a small car-free town in the Alps. These pages may help you choose:

As for public transport passes: please take a look at the link Lucas gave you. It explains about all options, and how to choose. Feel free to post more specific questions here.

Last modified on Oct 29, 2017 - 10:03 AM by Arno
rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Oct 29, 2017 - 10:20 AM in reply to yuema

Hi Yue,

Sorry I have no advice on skiing - not my field.

I can’t say what is best for you, only what I would in your situation. I would:

  • Forget car travel
  • Get an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass
  • Skip Interlaken and stay at Wengen
  • Choose Zermatt over Bern
  • Skip Montreux and head straight to Lausanne. It is only 20 - 30 minutes from Montreux by train. Swapping hotels is a drain on available time.

Are you departing Switzerland via Zurich or Geneva? Zurich Flughafen (Airport) is a 2hr 30m train ride from Lausanne.

Hope that helps.

Arno
Arno
10742 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 29, 2017 - 11:21 AM

I think Zermatt is your best bet for skiing, and Wengen may work too if there's enough snow around that time. You'd better contact both their tourist offices to enquire about beginners lessons. Note that lessons usually take a full week so that may not fit your plans.

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 6:14 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you everyone SO MUCH for your help!

Quick question:

For the SWISS TRAVEL PASS FLEX which allows 3, 4, 8 or 15 non-consecutive days within a month, does this have to be all in the same MONTH (i.e Nov) or just 30 days? the reason I ask is because we will be there end of Nov-early Dec... Thank you

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 29, 2017 - 6:24 PM in reply to yuema

Hi Yuema,

It is 30 days from the first date you select on the Swiss Travel Pass Flex - click here to read more on how to use it and click here to buy it online.

If the first day you fill in for use is November 27 then you have until Dec. 26 to use up all the days.

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 6:40 PM in reply to Arno

Got it Lucas! Thank you!

Do you think the weather will prevent us from seeing the mountains in Luzern or Zermatt?

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 9:17 PM in reply to Lucas

One more question:

Is Andermatt, 6490, Switzerland a good location for skiing? If I go there, maybe no need to go to Zermatt?

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 30, 2017 - 7:20 AM in reply to yuema

Weather won't prevent you from going up in the mountains (unless its a bad wind storm that closes cable cars for example). Low clouds would prevent you from enjoying the scenery though - so it is possible that you may not want to go in that case. It is always good to be flexible in those cases and hopefully have more than 1 day in each area in hopes that the weather is better then next day.

Some mountains are closed fully or partially for maintenance on the cable cars but that is earlier in November.

Andermatt has some good skiing options as well yes - see here. So either town could work it is a matter of personal preference.

I skied in Zermatt a couple years ago and it is quite cool with the Matterhorn in the background (but Zermatt is quite expensive).

Last modified on Oct 30, 2017 - 7:20 AM by Lucas
yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Nov 1, 2017 - 2:44 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Do you think given the amount of my travel, just getting a half price pass is more money saving?

Thank you again!

Yue

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 1, 2017 - 6:34 AM in reply to yuema

Hi Yuema,

With 11 days of travel I would be comparing the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass with the Swiss Half Fare Card. The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is quite expensive.

Use our excel sheet on our page: How to choose the best rail pass to find out exactly which is more economical for your itinerary.

If you don't want to get into the math details (or don't want to buy tickets for every trip you make) I would buy the Swiss Travel Pass for 15 days and be done with it. :)
You'll still have to buy a couple of tickets (at a discount) for trips like Mt. Titlis (50% off) and Jungfraujoch (25% off) but mostly you can just board any train, bus or boat and go.

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Nov 5, 2017 - 7:06 PM

Hi Lucuas,

Is there a recommended scenic route for Interlaken to Zermatt and then Zermatt to Laussane?

Or does it not matter in Nov/Dec time as the weather will not be great to see any scenery?

Thank you!

Yue

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2419 posts
top member
Nov 6, 2017 - 1:23 AM in reply to yuema

Hi Yue,

>> Is there a recommended scenic route for Interlaken to Zermatt

If you travel via the Lötschberg-Basistunnel (the fastest route, which the timetable will bring up by default), it will take up to 2 hours 48 minutes. However, by taking the tunnel, you miss out on the scenery.

To take the more scenic Lötschberg-Bergstrecke (mountain route), put "Kandersteg" in the via field of the online timetable. That journey will take you an hour longer, but the mountain scenery is lovely.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

>> and then Zermatt to Laussane?

There's really only one practical route from Zermatt to Lausanne, which the Swiss Timetable will bring up by default. You change trains in Visp.

The sector from Zermatt to Visp, is part of the Glacier Express route, along which you will have already travelled to get to Zermatt, and that sector is very scenic. If you sat on the left on the way up, you could sit on the left again on the way back to see the views on the other side.

From Visp to Montreux, there are larger towns and cities with modern buildings and commercial and industrial activity featuring fairly prominently, but is a pleasant enough journey nonetheless. Between Montreux and Lausanne you will travel close to the shore of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and past the Lavaux Terraces, which are lovely. However, the vines will probably be bare by then, somewhat reducing the scenic appeal compared with times of the year when their leaves are green or gold.

>> Or does it not matter in Nov/Dec time as the weather will not be great to see any scenery?

You never know with the weather, regardless of the time of year. It will be cold in November/December, but you could equally experience a clear sunny day, a foggy day, or pouring rain.

Alpenrose

yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Nov 7, 2017 - 10:28 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

THIS IS SOOOO HELPFUL! THANK YOU!

Can I ask one more question...

Looking at the below itinerary, which days would I need a saver day pass? The rest of the days, I am planning just use my half fare card...

11/23 Thursday Zurich arrive at 11am and travel to Lucerne

11/24 Friday Excursion to Mt Pilatis Lucerne

11/25 Saturday Interlaken

11/26 Sunday Interlaken

11/27 Monday Bern and travel to Zermatt

11/28 Tuesday Zermatt

11/29 Wednesday Matterhorn in Zermatt

11/30 Thursday Laussane

12/1 Friday Laussane

12/2 Saturday Laussane to Zurich

12/3 Sunday Fly back to NYC in the AM

rockoyster
rockoyster
3684 posts
expert
Nov 8, 2017 - 2:21 AM in reply to yuema

If you have a Swiss Half Fare Card then you can buy a Saver Day Pass for CHF29 if you buy it at least 10 days in advance. By my calculation you would only start to save money if you are undertaking trips on which the full fare tickets cost you more than CHF 58.

You'll have to look up he timetable and figure out which days are worth it if any. For example with your SHFC Lausanne to Zurich will cost you CHF32.50. IF you bought a SDP you would save CHF3.50. Hardly worth mucking about buying 10-days in advance for. Don't include cost of mountain railways/cable cars that you only get 50% off anyway with your SHFC.

Last modified on Nov 8, 2017 - 2:27 AM by rockoyster
yuema
yuema
11 posts
new member
Nov 8, 2017 - 2:36 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Makes sense Mr. Rockoyster!

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