Suggestions for 5 days in Switzerland

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2 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2011 - 6:24 AM
My family (husband, sons-14 & 11) and I are planning our first trip to Europe from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My travel plans are as follow:-

22/5 0630 Arrive in Frankfurt
22/5 Travel to Vienna
22 to 27/5 Vienna (Husband atending a conference while we do some sight seeing)

28/5 -1/6 Switzerland
1)Please advise on the best route into Switzerland and out to Paris.
2) Should we take the Vienna/Salzburg/Innsbruck/St Moritz train?
2) Bernina Express? Scenic cable car ride?
3) Sons want to try sking and snow boarding. Which are the affordable towns to do this?
4) Please recommend itinerary.

2/6 - 5/6 Paris
5/6 Paris - London
5/6 - 9/6 2200 Depart London

Many thanks.
6020 posts
expert &
Mar 5, 2011 - 8:02 AM

Hello gnawsm, and welcome to this forum. The Swiss timetable will be of great help when planning your itinerary. It allows you to search for inbound and outbound routes as well. As for your specific questions: if skiing is important to you, you should try to visit some of the highest ski and holiday regions, as not that much snow is left in May/June. Your best chances may be at the (summer) ski trails around Zermatt and Saas-Fee. However, these aren't affordable towns. The options for summer skiing around St. Moritz are limited. More economical skiing options can be found in winter, but not in May and June.

If you decide to visit Zermatt/Saas-Fee, your itinerary could look like this: get to St. Moritz first from Vienna (28/5). The shortest route is via Sargans and Chur. Spend one day on the Bernina Express trip (which can definitely be recommended) or explore the beautiful Engadine valley (29/5). When heading for Zermatt/Saas-Fee, take the famous Glacier Express (30/5). You can easily travel from Zermatt or Saas-Fee to Paris via Geneva (1/6), where direct train connections to Paris are available. Please note that panoramic trains, such as the Bernina Express and Glacier Express, require you to make seat reservations in advance. This goes for trains crossing the border (during your inbound trip from Vienna) as well.

Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno
2 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2011 - 10:38 PM
Dear Annika,

Thank you for your usual detailed and prompt reply.

After your reply and much checking, we are considering the following plans :-

1) May 30 Innsbruck to Tirano
May I know the shortest train ride from Innsbruck to Tirano? We are thinking of boarding the Bernina Express from Tirano.
Hop off and visit the Engandine Valley. Please recommend a scenic and affordable town to stay overnight.

2) May 31 Board the Bernina Express and head towards Chur
Please recommend affordable and scenic town to stay overnight along this route or to stay two nights at Engadine instead?

3) June 1 Chur to Zurich? Zurich to Paris? Is it easy to connect train rides for this sector?

Annika, I hope I managed to provide an idea of our plans. Please feel free to alter and recommend more effcient and affordable alternatives. Kindly include a lift ride to the top where there will be some snow for the boys to mess around with. Stopovers that have activities for boys of 11 & 14 is also good.

Thank you and regards.
6020 posts
expert &
Mar 9, 2011 - 4:12 AM

Hi gnawsm.

1) The quickest train connections from Innsbruck to Tirano shown by the Swiss timetable cross the Engadine already (Samedan and Pontresina). So you can't really enter the Engadine from Innsbruck via Tirano. Of course you can get to the Engadine first, and then take the trip to Tirano and back as an extra (it's a beautiful route), but this would result in a journey of over 10 hours in total. (For example: you could leave Innsbruck about 10am, arrive at Pontresina about 3pm, get to Tirano around 5pm, and then head back to the Engadine again and arrive there about 8pm.) Instead, you could skip the return trip Pontresina-Tirano, or do it first on May 31 before heading for Chur. But this would result in a long train journey as well, leaving no room for taking a cable car to a viewing point up in the Engadine mountains.

2) Whether you want to stay two nights in the Engadine, or one night there and one night along the route to Chur, depends on your wishes. You may still find snow at the Corvatsch, Diavolezza or Piz Nair. Please take a look at the Engadine tourism website for more information. The towns closest to St. Moritz are the most expensive. Those situated a bit more to the east (such as La Punt and Zuoz) may offer more affordable accommodation. Nice towns along the route to Chur are Filisur and Bergün.

3) There are direct train connections available from Zurich to Paris. They can be found in the Swiss timetable. Changing trains is relatively easy. Although the railway station of Zurich is quite large, the signs are clear and you can prepare your trip very well, knowing in advance at which platform you'll arrive and from which platform your train to Paris will leave. This information is provided by the timetable too.

I hope this answers your questions! Best regards,

Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno

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