Glacier Express & Switzerland trip planning

Glacier Express & Switzerland trip planning

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Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 8:00 PM

Hi and greetings from India,

Me and my wife wish to spend 3 days in Switzerland. One priority is travel on glacier express.

We are not sure where to start.

We will be in Nuremberg on 2nd May and have till the 5th with us.

Any assistance will be appreciated. By the way we do have a 6 day Germany Switzerland 1st Class Eurail pass with us.

Warm regards.

Asif

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 24, 2018 - 10:32 PM in reply to Asif

Hello Asif and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

From Nuremberg your best bet to join the Glacier Express (www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress) would be Chur and on to Zermatt.

Do you have a departure point from Switzerland planned?

Lucas
Lucas
7178 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 25, 2018 - 3:17 AM in reply to Asif

Hi Asif,

You can use the timetable to plan out the trip. On May 4 there is a 11:26 and 12:26 departure from Chur to Zermatt on the Glacier Express (5 hours 45 min). So the night before could be spent in Chur or Zurich or St. Gallen if you like.

As far as making plans for the other 2 days, what are your interests? Have you read through the following pages we list here?:

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 3:20 AM by Lucas
Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 4:45 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks. My msg follows.

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 5:01 AM by Asif
Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 5:00 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks Rockoyster for your help.

No we have no specific return piint in switzerland. Just wanna see the best places (not necessarily the most famous 😊). We are a bit off beat.

We do not like the ropeway kind of activities. Thats why we chose the train which is more relaxing and serene.

We need to return to Nuremburg by the morning of 6th May.

Regards,

Asif.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 5:14 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas.

Actually we just wanna see the best places which may not necessarily be the most famous, in a leisurely way rather than strain ourselves with a lot of activity.

We do not mind walking though.

We will spend upto the 2nd somewhere in Germany (maybe Lake constanance) and would travel overnight to reach Switzerland 3rd May.

Spend the 3rd, 4th, 5th May in Switzerland and take a night train back to Nuremberg.

Glacier express suited us well as we love train travel in India too, not to mention the lovely European trains.

Warms regards,

Asif.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 5:25 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Is Chur to Zermatt the better part of the journey? Or towards St. MORITZ more scenic. Just for my curiosity.

So we can take a night train from Germany (maybe Nuremberg or another city) to reach Chur around 11am on 3rd May, so we catch the 11.26am train.

Spend the night of 3rd in Zermatt.

From Zermatt what could be the other options for us please. As we will have 4th and 5th with us.

Warm wishes.

Asif.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2018 - 5:51 AM in reply to Asif

If you are at Lake Constance on the 2nd you won't need a night train to get to Chur.

Personally I like the Bernina Express better than the Glacier Express. You can go from Chur to Tirano and on by bus to Lugano. From there the Gotthard Panorama Express is a great way to get to Lucerne.

Both the trains I mentioned need reservations or you can follow the same route on regular trains. You have to have a booking on the bus Tirano to Lugano or you can go by train to Milan and up to Lugano that way.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 6:26 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks.

Yes I can catch the morning train too. Just saw it on google.

But I heard Glacier express route is itself a World Unesco Heritage journey.

If you say Bernina express route is better then I should go by your advise.

Sorry but I just need to clarify.

So on 3rd we take Bernina Express in the morning from Chur then a bus and the Gotthard Panorama express to reach Lucerne the same evening? Any idea how much time this whole journey is? Since my pass is not valid for Italy is it possible to avoid Italy but still reach Lugano? Am I being bizarre !!! Sorry but I am weak in maps and geography :).

Lucas
Lucas
7178 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 25, 2018 - 8:57 AM in reply to Asif

If you can get to St. Mortiz by 10am you can catch the Glacier Express there at 10:19. The section between St. Moritz and Chur has the famous viaducts which is nice.

I'd probably choose the trip (between the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express) based on end destination. The Glacier Express (almost 8 hours) gets you to Zermatt and the Matterhorn.

Both trains require reservations - you do so here:

The Bernina Express (4 hours) gets you to Tirano Italy (covered by Swiss Travel Pass) and then you take a bus to Lugano (3 hours, also covered).

Zermatt and Lugano are quite different but both have their charms! If you want mountains and possible some light hiking (May is too early for most hikes) go to Zermatt. If you want some Italian style and a lake setting go to Lugano. You can read about my recent trip to Lugano here.

After either of these trips I would head back to say Lucerne for a night or two before going back to Germany.

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out all trips. The Glacier Express trains are noted as GEX / the Bernina Express is BEX.

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 8:59 AM by Lucas
rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2018 - 11:23 AM in reply to Asif

If you want to take the Bernina Express to Lugano then you will need to overnight there and catch the Gotthard Panorama Express the next day. Or if you are short on time just catch a fast train Lugano to Lucerne on the same day. It’s a 2 hour trip.

Sorry I’m not a UNESCO ratings expert but I know which train I enjoyed better.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 1:16 PM

Thanks guys.

I will go by your advise of taking the Bernina express and then the Panorama express and skip the Glacier express.I hope I gathered it right from the suggestions from Lucas and Rockoyster!

Later go to Lucerne and return from there to Nuremberg.

Thanks a million once again. In case any last minute hiccups I will come back to you again.

Regards.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 6:53 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas and sorry for getting back again.

I saw that my Germany-Switzerland 2 country Eurail Pass is valid on Bernina express route upto Italy as well? Is it correct.

If so I am re scheduling my itenary.

Will reach Chur on 3rd and stay the night there.

On 4th take the full Bernina route to reach Lucerne. Stay in Lucerne for 2 nights 4th and 5th May. Then return from Lucerne to Nuremberg on 6th morning.

Please let me know if this would be easy. Would appreciate if you can send a link to download the Bernina Express time table since I could not find one.

Thanks a ton for all the information.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2018 - 9:07 PM in reply to Asif

You will find Bernina Express timetable here www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#info. You can click the book button to see if you can still get a seat. The Eurail Pass covers the Bernina route even though it traverses Italy.

If you plan to reach Lucerne on 4th you will need to take regular train, not Gotthard Panorama.

There is only one departure of the Gotthard Panorama per day from Lugano - 9:23am. You will only get 50% discount for the boat leg with Eurail.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 7:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks indeed for this help.

One last question (I hope 😊).

Is Chur to Andermatt on Glacier express a better option or Chur to Tirano on Bernina express From scenery point of view....

Have almost finalised my short trip.

Thanks once again.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 7:48 AM

Sorry guys I am back again with some adjustments. Actually there is so much in Switzerland that 3 days seems like hours. That is why most first timers are spoilt for choices.

My final itinerary:

1st May Frankfurt to Chur Stay at Chur.

2nd May Bernina Express to Tigano or Glacier Express to Andermatt.( MY CONFUSIOM). Finally to Lucerne for the night. Stay at Lucerne.

3rd. Stay at Lucerne. (Any help how to plan this day considering my Eurail pass has an extra day left).

4th Lucerne to Bingen Germany. Stay at Bingen.

5th stay at bingen

6th Bingen to Nuremberg.

My only confusion is choosing between Glacier and Bernina on 2nd May on my way to Lucerne. And what to do in Lucern in 1 day).

Thanks really for your advise.

Btw will we need woollens in Switzerland I mean we are coming from India with current temp of 36°C.

Warm regards.

Asif.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 8:12 AM in reply to Asif

Hello Asif,

If you go Bernina Express to Lugano you will not reach Luzern until around 8:00pm. Going via Andermatt is going to be a much shorter day especially if you just go by train from Andermatt to Luzern.

However I have the perfect solution to solve your "what to do for an extra day in Lucerne".

Stay in Lugano on 2 May than take Gotthard Panorama Express on 3rd.

You will need some warmer clothes although it shouldn't be too cold in Chur, Lugano or Lucerne. Layers are best to cope with the change from heated trains to the outdoors.

Asif
Asif
18 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 7:27 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hello Rockoyster,

Ah! Found this thread. Sonehow did not see it hence posted on the other thread too.

Thanks for your suggestions and sorry I got busy during the day hence could not ask.

ActuallyI wish to spend atleast a day in Lucerne without any train travel that was the reason of my wish to somehow reach there by 2nd evening itself. Even if I only take a 2/3 hr ride on either of the 2 trains glacier/bernina.

So my first question still remains : 2nd May Bernina Express to Tigano or Glacier Express to Andermatt. Which is the better of the 2 routes.

Warm regards,

Asif.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 8:49 PM in reply to Asif

Sorry, but I can’t tell you which is better or best. What is best for one person is not best for another. Certainly going via Tirano and Lugano is a long travelling day. If it was me, I wouldn’t do it without an overnight stop in Lugano. It’s your choice.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3697 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 10:17 PM in reply to Asif

Just by the way - Ten years ago, the Albula and Bernina lines of the RhB were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. so not just the “Glacier” Express.

Your choices may have already become limited if you have not yet made reservations on any of the “Express” trains.

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 10:20 PM by rockoyster

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