Switzerland in beginning of July for 7 days

Switzerland in beginning of July for 7 days

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amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2018 - 2:38 PM

I am planning on a week long trip to Switzerland during my Europe vacation during end of June - beginning of July. We will be flying in from Paris into Switzerland.

For starters, questions I have are:

1. I do not see people visiting Geneva a lot. Is it worth going to or I can skip it? If anyone recommends, how many days should I give there and what are the things to do over there? Based upon the response I might fly into Geneva from Paris, spend two days there, then go to Zurich area (Lucerne/Interlaken). If not, we will fly into Zurich from Paris and flay back to USA from Zurich.

2. I am thinking of having base in Lucernce/Interlaken and interested in day trips. Is there going to be any train trip that is worth taking from Lucerne that might be overnight and require me to pack the bags.

We would love to see small towns/cities, Alps as well as anything around watches/chocolates.

I have not laid out any trip/itinerary yet but would like to do it soon. Also when people say they will visit places like Mt Rigi, Jungfraujoch, Wengen, Sshilthorn-what is the mode of transportation? Are those road trips by bus or rail?

Thank you

Amar

Last modified on Feb 28, 2018 - 3:03 PM by amarmistry
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 28, 2018 - 3:38 PM in reply to amarmistry

Hi Amar,

  1. You can skip it. Just fly to Zurich.
  2. I would look at taking either the Golden Pass route to Montreux or the Gotthard Panoramic Express train to Lugano (with a boat trip included on Lake Lucerne).On your return you could take a 'regular' regional train as it would be faster. You can find train schedules to plan your trips here.

I saw in another thread that you weren't sure yet whether you want to stay at one place or several. If your plan is to visit places like Mt. Rigi, Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch, I would choose Lucerne as a base, and a second one in a small village in the Jungfrau region, like Wengen, Grindelwald, Mürren or Lauterbrunnen.

The majority of people travel by train (and buses, cable cars....). There are different rail passes you can purchase. 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. You should read how to choose the best travel pass. Rail passes also give discount on top attractions.

Be sure to check:

amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2018 - 5:16 PM

Thank you Chantal for your prompt response.

Now that Geneva is out of the picture, it makes it easier for me to plan the trip. I will definitely look into Lucerne and Jungrfau region like you mentioned and start putting together the itinerary. Does the STP cover trip to and from the airport to those towns?

Also how about spending a day or so around Zurich?

Btw, you have been absolutely wonderful answering a lot of questions on these forums, Two Thumbs up!

Amar

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 28, 2018 - 6:24 PM in reply to amarmistry

Yes, the Swiss Travel Pass covers these trips. You can download the validity map here. At the same time you can read which top attractions are covered by the pass as well.

The old city of Zurich is quite nice. And some people like to go to the Rhine falls. It will not be the highlight of your trip. It's a city and it has some nice shops. You can read more about Zurich here. If you decide not to visit Zurich, be advised that it's an easy trip from Lucerne to the airport of Zurich. So you could start your trip in the Jungfrau region and end it in Lucerne.

Arno
Arno
11185 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 28, 2018 - 7:14 PM

Hi Amar,

I wouldn't recommend flying from Paris to Zurich, or to Geneva for that matter. The trip will be quicker, more comfortable and eco-friendlier by train. Please see www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/france.

Have fun!

amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2018 - 7:32 PM

Arno

Thank you for that valuable tip. This is great. This trip is slowly shaping up in my mind and I am getting many doubts cleared. Now I just have to find right accomodations and then start booking. I will have to start looking at the the other forums for it.

So I feel if I bought the Rail Passes, book the hotels in Jungfrau and Lucerne, it'd be like winning half the Swiss-visit battle. Once that is done, I can just take time to plan the day trips.

Amar

Arno
Arno
11185 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 28, 2018 - 7:53 PM in reply to amarmistry

You're welcome! Sounds like you're making progress. Booking the train from Paris in time might be worth it too, if your travel date is fixed. While you can book much later, booking early is often cheaper.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tgv-lyria-paris-to-switzerland-discounted-tickets

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
194 posts
active member
Mar 1, 2018 - 10:54 AM

Hi Amar,

If you're travelling from Paris, the train is definitely the way to go. Go straight to Lucerne rather than Zurich, you can stay a couple of nights in Zurich before you fly home. If you are interested in watches there are several famous shops in both Zurich and Lucerne that are worth a vist. Bucherer in Lucerne is simply amazing. Alternatively, if you are more interested in mountains than cities, go straight from Paris to Interlaken. The train trip takes about 6 hours and is an experience to savour.

Alan

amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2018 - 6:41 PM

Hello Alan

Thank you for that info. Not that I'd buy an expensive Swiss watch (not justas yet), but I'd like to see what the country has to offer in terms of one of the best thing it has to offer to this world and compare it to how much we spend for it in the USA.

The option of riding the train from Paris to Interlaken sounds wonderful and probably beats flying to Zurich from Paris and taking train from Zurich to Interlaken. I believe when I take in to account the total time spend, it'd probably come to about the same.

Btw, the long distance trains in Switzerland, do they have dining options?

Amar

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
194 posts
active member
Mar 1, 2018 - 11:40 PM

Hi Amar

Not all watches at Bucherer are wallet busters, although if you'd like to spend the price of a small house on a wrist watch, I'm sure they could help you out. They have something for everyone, so check it out.

As for dining on trains, there are three otions, depending on the route and type of train. The TGV departing Paris-Est has either a restaurant or a bistro and bar. Other trains will have a buffet car where you can order stuff and find a table, and a refreshments cart that goes back and forth offering drinks, sandwiches,snacks, etc. I can't remember the last time I even saw a dining car though, I always seem to be at the wrong end of the train. What a lot of people do is make up food for the trip and take it along. If you are coming from Paris you could get a couple of bagettes, Jambons, etc and just buy your drinks onboard. If anybody on the forum has more detail about railway dining, I hope they can comment.

Have a look at the SBB Timetable to fine-tune your travel options.

www.sbb.ch/en/timetabl e.html

Cheers

Alan

amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Mar 3, 2018 - 11:55 PM

Arno

Thank you for that train tip. I am looking into that.

Alan

Thank your for that dining information.

So I have a general question. I am thinking of doing two day trips, One to Montreaux from Interlaken area (wherever my base town is) and second to Jungfrau-Top of the mountain. Both I feel would take almost whole day.

Then I'd move to Lucerne. Now from there I have options to go to Mt Titlis, Mt Rigi and Pilatus. Is these going to be too much Alps for me? If there is something I could drop, what should it be?

Also should I replace any with Gotthard Panorama to Lugano or Glacier Express to Zermatt? I don't want to miss out on a great excursion.

Thank you all once again. You guys are amazing providing all information.

Amar

Lucas
Lucas
8952 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2018 - 1:10 PM in reply to amarmistry

Hi Amar

Going to Lugano (http://www.luganoregio n.com/en) on the Gotthard Panorama Express would be similar in time as going to Montreux on the Golden Pass. Both options are great - I'd choose the town that looks most interesting to you.

It's hard to say when someone might get tired of mountain trips here. :) You should just play it by ear. If you don't feel like visiting the mountains near Lucerne, you could instead take a boat cruise or make a day trip to Bern which is quite nice.

You could try part of the Glacier Express - from Andermatt to Zermatt as a day trip from Interlaken as well.

Last modified on Apr 13, 2018 - 8:45 AM by Arno
amarmistry
amarmistry
14 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2018 - 9:36 PM

Ok, looks like slowly but surely my trip is shaping up.

Here is what I think of first three days assuming the base in Interlaken (But it could be Grindlewald or Wengen)

Day 1 Interlaken to Montreux (via Zweisimmen): It takes about 3+ hrs to get there. Planning to spend about 4 hours there and return. Which route should I take in return? If it gets dark in the evening, I don't mind speed over scenery in order to come back to base town in time for dinner.

Should I to Zermatt instead of Montreux? I feel it takes about same time.

What is Swiss pass coverage in either of the trip?

Day 2 Jungfrouch: It takes about 1.30 hrs to get there. Spend about two hours and back.

Schilthorn, same day. It also takes about 1.30 hrs to get there. So, day 2 will have two smaller trips. does it matter which place I visit in the morning vs afternoon?

What is Swiss pass coverage in above trips?

Day 3 Lake Thun/Lake Brienz: Takes about 30 mins to go to Lake Thun. Wander around, lunch and then take train to Brienze. Take boat tour at either of the lake and return to Interlaken.

I can swap Day 2 and Day 3 also.

What is Swiss pass coverage in above trips?

Day 4 Travel from Interlaken to next base Lucerne. (Trips from Lurcern not planned.)

What is Swiss pass coverage in above trip?

Also when I look at the time tables, I see lot of icons like IR, RE, ICE etc. Is there anywhere to find out which train lines are these? I know the Interlaken to Montreux is Golden Pass. Not sure of the others.

Last modified on Mar 8, 2018 - 9:45 PM by amarmistry
Lucas
Lucas
8952 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 9, 2018 - 10:06 AM in reply to amarmistry

Hi Amar,

Choosing between Zermatt and Montreux is a personal preference. Do you want French style town located on the lake? Or a more German ski town located below the Matterhorn mountain? Both train trips can be quite nice (especially if you go to Zermatt via Kandersteg.

The Swiss Travel Pass would cover both trips. You can see a map of its coverage here.

Before going to Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn take a look at the weather forecast in the morning. Go the the mountain in the morning with the best weather. If the other mountain has good weather in the afternoon then go there as well.

The train symbols are as follows: IR - Inter Regional, RE - Regional Express, ICE = Inter City Express. The trains are quite similar typically. An IR train will have more stops and probably take longer to get to the same destination as an RE or ICE train.

The Golden Pass route is 3 different sections and trains. There is only one option between Luzern and Interlaken when traveling direct - the Luzern-Interlaken Express (which is the train you want).

Between Interlaken and Zweisimmen you are on a regional train take the connection that works best for you. Between Zweisimmen and Montreux you could be on a RE or IR etc. or a panoramic train. The one you want is listed as either MOB Panoramic or Belle Epoque on the timetable - those are the panoramic trains.

1960man
1960man
535 posts
top member
Mar 10, 2018 - 12:57 AM

It doesn't matter what type of train you go one - just go by the timings and the number of stops.

Interlaken to Montreux is best done as a circular trip Interlaken - Spiez - Zweisimmen - Montreux - Visp or Brig* - Spiez - Interlaken

* depends if you take the base tunnel or the mountain route

By the way there is plenty to see in Geneva...

(Swiss railway and Geneva expert)

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