Switzerland for 5 days from Geneva to Zurich

Switzerland for 5 days from Geneva to Zurich

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Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 12:15 PM

Hi Everyone,

I have a few questions that I just wanted everyone's thoughts on.

My partner and I are planning to come to Switzerland in early May and are landing in Geneva and leaving from Zurich.

We are planning to do Geneva - Montreux - Zermatt - Interlaken - Zurich with trips to Matterhorn and Jungfrau.

We are on a budget and find the Swiss Pass option slightly expensive (£200+ p/p).

1) Can anyone recommend travel options firstly? Are there any cheaper bus options possibly?

2) If Swiss pass is the best option - does it include rail to Jungfrau, Zermatt and can we also go on the golden pass (chocolate trains, etc)?

3) Any other recommended areas to visit - we have already seen Lucerne, Basel and Mt Titlis.

4) Is Hangerkulm better as a sight than Jungfrau?

5) I am also worried about the weather, will rain affect the rails and will it be worth seeing these mountains and all if the weather is poor?

Cheers,

Aatish

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 24, 2018 - 5:22 PM in reply to Aatish

Hi Aatish, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

  1. The train is a better option than bus. I'm even not sure if you can get from Geneva to Montreux by bus.
  2. You should read “How to choose the best travel pass”. A clearly mapped out itinerary is the basis for deciding which pass (if any) suits. Based on your itinerary you need to do the sums based on the cost of all your planned trips on trains, boats, cable cars etc. The page has a spreadsheet to help you. Read here more about the validity of the Swiss Travel Pass and what discounts you will get.
  3. Please have a look at this webpage: www.myswissalps.com/wh eretogo.
  4. You mean Harder Kulm? You can't compare the two. They are totally different. If you're on a budget, please be advised that the Jungfraujoch is not cheap.
  5. No, the rain will not affect the rails. When the weather is poor, it isn't worth visiting any mountain tops. We always recommend to check the weather a day before and check out the webcams in the morning. Then decide whether you want to go or not and purchase a ticket. You can have a look at the weather forecast here: www.myswissalps.com/we ather/forecast.

I hope this helps get you started.

Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 9:22 PM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal,

Thank you for your response.

Can I get your thoughts on the Swiss Travel Pass and how we can best use this.

I am struggling to understand some of the things.

So I am currently thinking of getting a Swiss Travel Pass for 2 people (partner and I) for 4 days.

I used the link you provided and it definitely works out way cheaper without even accounting for the smaller trips that will occur.

This is my 5 day plan and I am hoping you can guide me with a few things:

Day 1) Landing in Geneva

- Exploring Geneva on foot.

Day 2) Activating the Swiss Travel Pass and heading to Montreux via train in the morning.

- Exploring Chillon Castle on the way and Montreux through the day.

- Now the initial plan was to go to Zermatt via Visp by the end of day 2 but I also want to look at doing part of the Golden Pass (as I believe its free with the Swiss Travel Pass).

- The main reason for seeing Zermatt was because of the Matterhorn but I believe the cable cars will be in maintenance on those days (May 6-7 2018). Can you confirm this if possible.

The question I am hoping you can help me with is - is there a way to do parts of the Golden Pass from Montreux but also get to Zermatt by the end of the day?

Day 3) Will be shaped depending if we go Zermatt to see Matterhorn and if its worth it.

Otherwise, we would probably head to Interlaken directly from Montreux (golden pass route).

I need your guidance on Jungfraujoch - as you mentioned it isn't cheap at all but am I right in saying that even with the Swiss Travel Pass, we have to pay another 105 pounds p/p to get from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch? is that correct? I am not too sure about this from what I read...

Day 4/5 - We will head to Zurich and do a bit of travel within the city before we fly out.

Chantal - could you please guide me on your thoughts about Zermatt/Matterhorn and also the costing behind Jungfraujoch.

KindestRegards,

Aatish

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 24, 2018 - 11:39 PM

The goldenpass (MOB) route is indeed free on the Swiss Pass, but it is not 100% spectacular.

If the weather is good, I think you would like Zermatt. I am a Zermatt regular. The cable car that is closed for maintenance is the Klein Matterhorn.

The Gornergrat railway is the traditional way to see the Matterhorn. It is a superb panoramic railway, and not too fast so you enjoy great views of the Matterhorn from the train (sit on the right hand side of the train as you leave Zermatt).

Jungfraujoch is very expensive and the train is inside the mountain for long periods, and in my personal view, not as good as Gornergrat.

One option is to go from Zermatt towards north eastern Switzerland by taking the train from Zermatt to Brig, then take the Lotschberg train north towards Spiez (junction for Interlaken) or Bern

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 24, 2018 - 11:47 PM

Jungfrau price:

The Swiss Pass gets you to Kleine Scheidegg free. The fare from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch and back is CHF96 (£70 at today's exchange rate) per person.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Apr 25, 2018 - 2:18 AM in reply to Aatish

>> Switzerland in early May ... landing in Geneva and leaving from Zurich ... Exploring Geneva on foot.

If you would also like to use public transport in Geneva for free, please read this:

www.myswissalps.com/ge neva/travel

>> heading to Montreux via train in the morning. - Exploring Chillon Castle on the way and Montreux through the day. - Now the initial plan was to go to Zermatt via Visp by the end of day 2 but I also want to look at doing part of the Golden Pass (as I believe its free with the Swiss Travel Pass) ... is there a way to do parts of the Golden Pass from Montreux but also get to Zermatt by the end of the day?

The key to finding out what you can fit into one day is to use the Swiss Timetable to plan your trips and see how long they will take. Daylight in early May will be from around 7:00 until 20:00.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

(Use the one on the right with the red SBB logo.)

Between April and September, Chillon Castle is open from 9:00 until 19:00 (last entry at 18:00).

As you are short on time, I would skip exploring Montreux in favour of a trip on the Golden Pass route, which is very scenic and is indeed free with the Swiss Travel Pass. The most scenic stretch is between Montreux and Zweisimmen. You will have to return to Montreux the same way. If you don't have enough time to do that, consider going as far as Montbovon or Les Avants and then turning back.

>> The main reason for seeing Zermatt was because of the Matterhorn but I believe the cable cars will be in maintenance on those days (May 6-7 2018). Can you confirm this if possible.

You can't ascend the Matterhorn, but you can view it from various viewpoints.

The viewpoint with the "classic profile" view of the Matterhorn is the Gornergrat, reached by cogwheel train. This will be operating in May.

www.myswissalps.com/go rnergrat

The cableway from Zermatt to the Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise viewing point is closed for maintenance between 30 April and 11 May 2018.

>> Jungfraujoch ... am I right in saying that even with the Swiss Travel Pass, we have to pay another 105 pounds p/p to get from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch? is that correct?

With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get free travel as far as Grindelwald or Wengen. Between Grindelwald or Wengen and the Jungfraujoch, you get 25% discount. For accurate information about the fares, you can read the (full-fare) pricelist here:

www.jungfrau.ch/filead min/Prospekte_und_Bros chueren/Jungfraubahnen _Fahrpreise_Preisliste .pdf

Please note that the price varies according to the season of the year, which is intended to help distribute the demand over the course of the whole year. May falls into Season 1, a shoulder season. You would get 25% discount on these fares.

There is more information about the Jungfraujoch here:

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch

You will see that there is a circular route up to and back from the Jungfraujoch. You can go up via Grindelwald and down via Wengen and Lauterbrunnen (or vice versa).

I have attached a diagram that might help you visualise both routes. Most people go up one way and down the other, as each route has very different scenery - all of which is dramatically beautiful.

If going up to the Jungfraujoch is too expensive, consider a round trip Interlaken Ost (or Zweilütschinen) > Grindelwald > Kleine Scheidegg > Wengen > Lauterbrunnen > Zweilütschinen or Interlaken Ost. That will be a lot cheaper and there is plenty of jaw-dropping scenery on that route.

The Schilthorn, which is reached by cable car from Mürren, is free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn

Alpenrose

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Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 2:20 PM in reply to 1960man

thank you for this.. just to confirm the cost for jungfraujoch, is that just for the train that takes you there or do you have to pay more to go inside to the viewing area etc?

Last modified on Apr 25, 2018 - 2:21 PM by Aatish
Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2018 - 3:41 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

"As you are short on time, I would skip exploring Montreux in favour of a trip on the Golden Pass route, which is very scenic and is indeed free with the Swiss Travel Pass. The most scenic stretch is between Montreux and Zweisimmen. You will have to return to Montreux the same way. If you don't have enough time to do that, consider going as far as Montbovon or Les Avants and then turning back."

Hi Alpenrose - I really like what you mentioned and we may consider doing the Golden Pass rail with going as far as we can instead of wasting time with the Castle (or we may see the castle from the outside). Do you know if I have to come back to Montreux from either of those places (Zweisimmen, Montbovon, Les Avants) or can I stop there and use the Swiss Pass to go directly to Zermatt from there?

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 25, 2018 - 11:27 PM in reply to Aatish

No extra cost above the train ticket

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 25, 2018 - 11:39 PM in reply to Aatish

You have misunderstood Alpenrose's suggestion, which is to turn back whilst half way along the to dave time. The Golden Pass line is a brand name. The Montreux - Zweisimmen railway is called the MOB (Montreux Oberland Bernois) railway, and you can travel on any train - there are modern panoramic coaches, 'classic' belle epoque pullman type coaches and normal service trains, the view is good from all the types of coach really (in reality you rarely need to look upwards through the high parts of the panorama windows). To get to Zermatt from the MOB line you must come down to the terminus at Montreux and change onto an SBB main line train.

You can see Chillon castle from the train, just passing, or take a local train to Veytaux-Chillon station and walk along the lake to the castle. Or you can use the 'VMCV' trolleybus which is an interurban trolleybus Vevey - Montreux - Chillon - Villeneuve (route 201). There is a stop called Veytaux - Chateau de Chillon'. The lake boats call there too.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Apr 26, 2018 - 12:46 PM in reply to Aatish

Hi Aatish,

>> we may consider doing the Golden Pass rail with going as far as we can instead of wasting time with the Castle

Sorry, I wasn't clear.

You had said "Exploring Chillon Castle on the way and Montreux through the day." When I suggested to skip exploring Montreux, I meant the second part of your statement. Chillon Castle is quite special, and free with the Swiss Travel Pass. If you can fit Chillon Castle into your day, then I'm sure you will enjoy it.

>> Do you know if I have to come back to Montreux from either of those places (Zweisimmen, Montbovon, Les Avants) or can I stop there and use the Swiss Pass to go directly to Zermatt from there?

When I said "consider going as far as Montbovon or Les Avants and then turning back", I meant that you would have to retrace your steps to Montreux (as 1960man has confirmed). The attached aerial shot should make it clear to you why that is. The red lines are railway lines.

In the end, you will need to use the Swiss Timetable to decide what can work for you.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 12:48 PM by Alpenrose666
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Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 2:21 PM

1960man and Alpenrose thank you so much for your input, it is all really helping me finalise my trip. (only 1 week to go now which is scary)

Day 1:

Sorted in Geneva

Day 2:

Going to leave early and do a bit of Montreux/Chillon Castle

Just going to ask the question again because I was researching and found some different routes to Zermatt. Might be longer but if it is possible, it might not be a bad thing.

Can you let me know if this is possible or if I do need to backtrack to Montreux as mentioned above?

So I was planning leaving from Montreux to Montbovon and then to Gstaad, Zweisimmen and to Spiez.

From looking at the Golden Pass timetable - it looks like that route is possible (altho it will take long and we won't be able to see each and every place). Obviously, I will have to just co-ordinate which train is leaving from which platform at these different locations.

Basically to spend the whole arvo on the train with one or two short stops at some of the towns mentioned above.

And then from Spiez heading down to Zermatt at 6/7pm and sleeping in Zermatt. Should reach Zermatt at 9pm.

This looks do-able looking at the timetable but just want to check with you both if it is practical in real life?

I assume there should be no travel cost as I will be on the Swiss Pass?

Just want to confirm this for day 2.

Day 3:

This will be in Zermatt and we will head to the Gornegrat and head out from Zermatt to Interlaken via Visp, Spiez around 6-7pm.

Sleep in Interlaken.

Day 4:

Head to Kleine Scheidegg and then go to Jungfraujoch (as you mentioned above) and return to Interlaken in the night.

Can you confirm if heading from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg is free under Swiss Pass and then I will need to buy a special ticket from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch and that will cost?

Day 5: Head to Zurich in the day

and fly out in the evening.

Can you please guide me on:

Day 2:

1) If that route is possible - looked fine on the map and timetable but just need your thoughts?

2) If that route is possible, would it be free under the Swiss Pass?

Day 4:

Cost from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg being free under the Swiss Pass

and only additional travel cost will be Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch?

Kindest Regards,

Aatish

Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Also, just a question in regards to the weather.... will it be worth doing this and spending all this money with the weather? If you look up May 5-9, the weather looks terrible, constant rain, cloud cover and thunder... Can u let me know your thoughts on the weather and if some of the things mentioned above would be worth in that kind of weather?

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
552 posts
top member
Apr 26, 2018 - 10:16 PM in reply to Aatish

Day 4. Swiss Travel Pass covers Interlaken to Wengen or Grindelwald. From either of those to Jungfraujoch via Kleine Scheidegg 25% off the full fare.

Maggie

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2018 - 11:20 PM in reply to 1960man

You are absolutely correct. You can travel Montreux - Zweisimmen on the MOB line then take the BLS train down to Spiez and then an SBB Inter city train through the Lötschberg base tunnel to Visp, then change to the Zermatt train.

Personally I wouldn't break my journey at Gstaad - not much to see. And definitely not at Montbovon which is just a railway junction.

You might want to take the scenic Lötschberg mountain line in one direction on your Zermatt journeys

Lucas
Lucas
5628 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 27, 2018 - 2:08 AM in reply to Aatish

On the morning of Day 4 check the weather for Jungfraujoch before buying a ticket from Interlaken - this is an expensive trip in poor weather!

Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2018 - 8:25 AM in reply to 1960man

@1960man: Thank you, I will work on that... I think it makes more sense with the timing as well.

- Just a question, when I am on the timetable for the trains, how do I know which train is the scenic one and which is standard?

:@Lucas - definitely!!! I think we will just take the round trip around Jungfraujoch that someone mentioned earlier if the weather isn't great.

Its a shame that all those days shows cloudy and thundery and rain :(

1960man
1960man
170 posts
active member
Apr 27, 2018 - 11:28 PM

In the Swiss official timetable, the panorama coach symbol is a triangle with the top half filled in

Lucas
Lucas
5628 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 28, 2018 - 2:28 AM in reply to Aatish

Don't worry too much - the weather will change 4 times up in the mountains before you get there!

Aatish
Aatish
8 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2018 - 9:15 AM

just want to say a big thank you to everyone on this forum for their help and their knowledge.

Fingers crossed the weather improves and the trip goes well.

Cheers,

Aatish

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