Sept base towns/itinerary with travel pass

Sept base towns/itinerary with travel pass

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Sunjewel5
Sunjewel5
10 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2017 - 6:09 AM

Hi I am going to be travelling to Switzerland in September for 8/9 days before travelling onto Prague. We will be arriving in Zurich sometime between 8 and 11 a.m. I will be travelling with my mom who is 70 but looks and acts like she is in her 50's. Also to note I broke my foot a couple years ago so it can painful for me at times. This it not going to be a hiking tour because of same but we are interested in see the beautiful scenery including the mountains. I have no trouble with normal walking and standing but I figure a lot of climbing would be asking for trouble eventually but doing some flatter trails and walking, climbing stairs on and off all days should be fine.

Places we would like to visit are the mountains. Possibilities are:

  • *Schilthorn
  • Pilatus
  • Gornergrat
  • Jungfrau
  • Klein Matterhorn
  • Rigi (I have read this isn't as good as other peaks but its seems to be free with the Swiss travel pass and thought it might be doable on arrival if the weather was good)
  • Stanserhorn (because of the open air cable car for pictures maybe?)
  • Mittelallalin (the ice sculptures look great, I think somewhere has something similar)
  • Must see suggestions are very welcome. I love taking pictures

Probably looking to do 3 of these if weather permits. Rigi may be just a bonus on top.

Other places we would be looking to visit would be

  • Chillon castle
  • Do the Chocolate and cheese tour that is also near this area.
  • Do a boat ride on Geneva river (probably could be done in conjuction with other tours)
  • Maybe other boat tours near where we are staying/travelling through on tours
  • Tour through a town in areas where are staying in or going through for other reasons
  • Cathedrals, castles, churches etc are also nice to stop in

I would also like to do Rhine Falls. I thought a good time to do this would be after arriving in Zurich maybe with doing Rigi depending on the weather before moving onto base towns. I've seen you can drop off luggage at train stations to be put in a locker and would do this here.

Suggestions for towns that are worth going through while on a trip of it if there is bad weather are also appreciated. Mountains that are still worth going up to when cloudy (in case it is often cloudy) and cloudy/bad weather options that have good photo ops and scenery would also be helpful. Maybe mountains peaks that are lower that aren't as cloudy?

We are looking for maximum 3 base towns/areas as not to have to waste a lot travelling with luggage. I think on our last day we are going to do the Bernina Express and continue on to Mulan to spend the evening and next morning before flying to Prague. I think that 8 day travel pass is best? I will have to price it out when we have a more sound itinerary (we're from Canada).

I am trying to find places as cheap as possible. I don't think my mom really likes the hostel atmosphere (we did it in Australia but it was not ideal) but having at least a fridge to have a few groceries would be best. I priced out a few chalet/apartments in a few of the cities I though might work from reading other posts but I am really not sure what areas would work best. Curr was mentioned as a favorite of a couple travellers (not sure how expensive it is to stay there), would it be worth it to stay the last night here as that it where the train will leave from the last day? Or if time allows drop our bag of at the station and have a quick walk through.

I appreciate any help given. I will starting booking stuff in May/June once I have my 100% from work I have the time off (I have vacation and work schedule for one quarter at a time).

Thanks,

Julie

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 29, 2017 - 5:33 PM in reply to Sunjewel5

Hi Julie, welcome to MySwissAlps and greetings from another Canadian!

I think, based on your list above, the best towns for you to stay in are Luzern, Interlaken (or if you would prefer a smaller "alpine" village: Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Murren) and then Montreux.

Have a read through those town pages I linked and of course the regions of Switzerland, to see what appeals to you.

If you are looking for more details on the attractions/points of interest you mentioned, you can find them listed here.

I'm not sure I would try and do the RheinFall and Mt. Rigi on the same day (especially one where you just flew in). Attempting Mt.Rigi if you don't arrive in downtown Zurich until 10 or 11am might be a stretch as well but possible on a long day if you are up for it. The RheinFall would be fairly simple to do however.

I'm not sure I can recommend any mountain that may be less cloudy than another. Our usual recommendation is to wait until the day before to decide what mountain, if any, to go up the next day (based on the weather).

Luzern, Bern and Montreux are some of my favourite towns in Switzerland; so they are good options if you don't go up a mountain one day. A train trip on the Golden Pass Panoramic train from Luzern to Montreux is a great trip.

As for the two cities you mentioned above: Mulan and Curr..I think you meant Milan and Chur? I am not too intersted in Chur, I think stay there only if needed for the Bernina Express train departure time.
I am not sure any one town is more expensive then another (Switzerland is very expensive) but Zermatt and St. Moritz stand out as very expensive towns in a very expensive country.

When looking through our information pages on towns, there will be a tab for "hotels" you can click and search through our recommended options - for each budget type.

Lastly, I think the Swiss Travel Pass would indeed be your best option. You can read more about it and buy it online here. It is then emailed to you to be printed out before leaving home. That way you have an electronic back-up and you can just jump on any train as soon as you land - no need to buy any more tickets (except one a few routes listed here).

I hope that helps get you started. As you have more questions don't hesitate to ask!

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 30, 2017 - 7:21 AM by Annika
Sunjewel5
Sunjewel5
10 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2017 - 6:22 PM

Is September a less busy time of year in Switzerland? From my research it seems to be. As some of the attractions seem to be croweded with long waits. So hopefully some of the lines will be less long. While looking through again I see that maybe Mt Titlus may be a must see. It also have the rotating gondola. It seems doable from Luzern. Maybe make that the best day weather and look into mount Rigi/Pilatus other days. I think for this site it looks like those to would both be free to go up to (with the Swiss travel pass).

If not going up to the Materhorn can I see it from one of my other options?

Is this a feasible schedule do Rhine Falls on arrival and head to Luzern from them and do sightseeing around town, get groceries etc. Decide how many days do stay here. Take the golden pass train from Luzern to Montreux and stay here for a couple days. Then go to Interlaken or area for the rest of our stay (Bern seems to be a day trip from here too). Then take the train to Chur for the Bernina Express to Milan on the last day (you are right about the spelling mistakes serves me right for posting in the middle of the night).

The plan right now which could change depending on my granted vacation is to arrive September 12 and leave Switzerland on the 20th. See the cathedral and maybe the last supper in Milan and fly from Milan to Prague on the 21. Going the the Laver Cup 22-24 then Czech Republic exploring before flying back to Zurich to fly home on the 30. Depending on what we decide to see/do in Czech Republic we could fly back a little early and do something in an afternoon close to Zurich region.

Last, I was thinking 12-20 was 8 days but that is actually going to count as 9 days so we would have to do the first day of our trip separate from the pass right?

Sunjewel5
Sunjewel5
10 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2017 - 6:27 PM

Thanks for the help. A lot of planning for this trip, including switching shifts and getting vacation granted and two legs to plan. But I am looking forward to it.

Julie

Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2017 - 7:25 AM

Hi July,

Yes, September is less crowded than July and August. Gornergrat offers a wonderful view on the Matterhorn and many other mountains. You can get even closer by taking the cableway up to Klein Matterhorn instead, but then you'll see it from the side and not like you mostly see it on pictures.

Count on about 4 hours to visit the Rhine Falls from Zurich, plus another hour to proceed to Lucerne.

Depending on your exact plans on day 1 and day 9, you can decide which day is best to not use the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass.

Sunjewel5
Sunjewel5
10 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2017 - 7:44 AM

Would staying in one town be a possibility for out trip? We have cut the chocolate train from our trip as that takes a day to do and would plan to do Chillon Castle on a bad weather or cloudy mountain day. Rhine falls we may do our our way back. Since we have to fly back to Zurich to fly back to Canada we will have minimum half a day but maybe a day and a half before we fly home to catch something we missed. We will probably stay in Zurich to be close to the airport.

we should be landing in Zurich around 0750 but not sure how long customs would be. If the weather was nice we might try to do Rigi that day before going onto our destination. Also may move closer to Chur for our last night to cut down on travel time. I was thinking sating closer to Interlakenhoheweg as there are more options for day trips and could do a longer day trip to do Mt Pilatus of Shilthorn.

We would like to have an apartment to be able to cook and prepare lunches and I figure that will be cheaper and more options if we stayed 7-8 days in one place.

Arno
Arno
9656 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Hi Julie,

Interlaken or one of the smaller towns in the Jungfrau region would work for lots of day trips, both nearby and a further away (Zermatt, Lucerne). However Chur is pretty far away. If you forget about the official Bernina Express and settle for the regular trains on the same route (same views), it will work. Please see the below pages for things to do, hotels, apartment links, and more:

Note that the Höheweg is the main street in Interlaken, with quite some hotels, but there are lots of other places to stay too. Most apartments are rented from Saturday to Saturday, but there are exceptions.

Last modified on Apr 6, 2017 - 11:01 AM by Arno

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