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Suggessions required for trip planning

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2 posts
new member
Oct 26, 2010 - 11:29 AM

To begin, I would like to appreciate the commendable job being done by everyone providing information here. I rarely come across such forums where genuine and such detailed information is provided.

Now coming to my concern:

I am travelling Swiss for the first time (November 11 to 14).
My train arrives at 11AM in Geneva on 11th Nov. Return again is from Geneva on 14th (around 7.30pm)
I have already purchased Swiss Saver passes (for self and spouse)
Hotel booking is done in Lucerne for 3 nights
I need suggession for preparing an itinerary so that I can visit the best of Swiss in this time. So far I have got to prepare a rough idea mentioned below:
  • Day1 - Geneva to Lucerne (check in and move to Zuric or Bern - require assitance to decide which is better to visit) Return back to Lucerne in night.
  • Day2 - visit Mt Pilatus (or Mt Titlis - again your sugession required) Also, suggest if I can add something to this day. Otherwise plan is to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lurcene
  • Day3 - Visit Jungfrau. View the scenic beauty of Interlaken and return back to Lucerne for night stay.
  • Day4- Visit Zermatt via Montreaux(Montreaux is added so that we can have a journey in Golden Pass Express) I am not sure what activity is possible in Matterhorn during this season but would like to visit it if time permits.
Based on this rough itinerary, I would suggest experts here to assist moderations. My idea of visit is to enjoy scenic beauty of Swiss as much as possible. I will not be able to carry any sports equipments for hiking etc so not sure if that can be done.

Thanks in anticipation
Akshit :-)
7181 posts
expert &
Oct 27, 2010 - 3:49 PM

Hi akshits, and welcome to the forum. Your itinerary definitely allows you to visit some of Switzerland's highlights. A few notes on your suggestions: I can't really say whether Bern of Zurich is better for a visit. Zurich is a bit larger. It has a nice old town centre, lots of musea and a beautiful large lake. Bern is closer to the Alps, but if a city visit is your main concern, this doesn't really matter. Bern is home to some famous (parliament) buildings. You could best check the tourist websites of Bern and Zurich and decide what appeals to you most.

During your stay, the cable car to Mt. Titlis is closed down due to maintenance, so you can best visit Mt. Pilatus. You could also opt for a visit to Mt. Rigi, above the shores of Lake Lucerne. This ride is for free with your Swiss Saver Pass and the view from Mt. Rigi is breathtaking. A boat ride over the lake could be part of your day in Lucerne as well. Further tips for a Lucerne visit can be found in this topic.

If weather is fine during your trip to the Jungfrau, you may try to profit from this by exploring the region at the foot of the mountains (rather than Interlaken itself). Consider a stroll in Grindelwald or Wengen for example. There are two ways to reach Kleine Scheidegg (from which the trains to the Jungfraujoch leave): one via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen and one via Grindelwald. You could get up one way and get down the other way, so that you get to enjoy both trips. By the way, you can plan your trips using the online timetable.

I'm afraid that it's too much to visit Zermatt all the way from Lucerne, and then get back to Geneva to catch your flight. The trip from Geneva to Zermatt over the Golden Pass route would take 7 to 8 hours. This is a bit longer than usual, as the train section between Giswil and Meiringen (on your way from Lucerne to Interlaken) is closed down for maintenance. Buses will take over here and this will be arranged for perfectly, but it does result in a longer journey. Even without this interruption the trip would be very long though, and it wouldn't leave any room for exploring Zermatt before you'd have to get back to Geneva. Instead, I'd suggest that you take an early train over the Golden Pass route, maybe spend some time in Montreux (if you do have lots of time left, a visit to the Chillon castle may be nice) and then head on to Geneva.

I hope this helps you out a bit. Good luck on your further planning!

Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Nov 5, 2010 - 11:42 AM
Hello Annika,

Thank you for providing all this information.
I am able to plan a little better now. I have few more questions to improve my planning, please help on these ones too:

1. Is it possible/suggested to do Mt Pilatus and Mt Rigi on the same day. How much time do these usually take?
2. I have seen that there are 2 ways to approach for Mt Rigi, boat and train.. which one is recommended. If boat does not takes much time and is included in Swiss Saver Pass, I would prefer that.
3. Online, I could understand that Bernese Oberland is a very nice place to visit, but still confused if I have half a day to visit, what should be the preferable area - please suggest. ( I already have Jungfrau (top of Europe) on my plan)
4. I have no professional Hiking knowledge, but if possible, can you suggest me a good place for hiking that has good scenic view and does not requires any professional equipment and knowledge.

Thank you once again.
7181 posts
expert &
Nov 6, 2010 - 4:40 AM
Hello akshits. Mt Pilatus and Mt Rigi can be done within the same day, although I wouldn't really prefer it. It's nice to take your time and enjoy the view once you're up there. How long it takes, depends on travel scheme and the time you want to spend at both viewing points. Take at least an hour for strolling around, taking pictures and simply enjoying the view. If weather is great though, you can indeed profit from this and visit both on one day. This means that you'd have to start quite early. You could get up to Mt. Pilatus first, then head back to Lucerne and take the boat to Vitznau there, from which a mountain train will get you up to Mt Rigi. This boat trip takes a bit less than one hour; boat time tables can be found at the Lake Lucerne website. If you want to make a true round trip out of this, you could choose to take the other route down from Mt Rigi, heading for Arth-Goldau (an impressive train ride as well!) and then back to Lucerne again.

If you have only one day or half a day to spend in the Bernese Oberland, my advice would be to visit the Jungfraujoch, as you have planned already. If weather is bad, please reconsider this though, as it would be a waste of your money to make the (quite expensive) train ride and then ending up in the clouds. Nice alternatives are visits to the beautiful valleys of Lauterbrunnen/Wengen and Grindelwald. If you're getting up to the Jungfraujoch, try to get to Kleine Scheidegg via one valley and down from Kleine Scheidegg via the other valley, as I suggested before. This will give you a good impression of the beauty of the Jungfrau region. Alternatives for real bad weather are the Trümmelbach falls and the Aare gorge.

From pretty much each town, easy hikes can be made which don't require special equipment. Good, water proof hiking shoes can always be recommended though, as even easy trails may be wet and slippery in autumn. Your travel scheme doesn't seem to leave much room for hikes, but you could take a look at the Bernese Oberland hiking tips and this topic on hikes in the Lucerne area.


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