Switzerland trip with family - 5 day itinerary

Switzerland trip with family - 5 day itinerary

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PRAVEENPOOJA
PRAVEENPOOJA
10 posts
new member
Apr 11, 2017 - 3:16 PM

I arrive in Zurich from Paris on the 3rd of June and intend to stay til the 7th of June in Switzerland. I have a flight back to India on the 8th morning so have to sleep the night in Zurich on the 7th.

I would like to know the possible destinations suggested so that I could not to repetitive things and enjoy the holiday to the fullest. My kids are 16 and 11 years, together with my wife there are four of us.

Could somebody suggest a good plan which one of you has put in place considering the time we have.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 11, 2017 - 6:13 PM in reply to PRAVEENPOOJA

Hi Praveenpooja and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Please don't type in ALL CAPS when writing messages - it is against forum rules :).

We don't build itineraries here. It is best to look through the website and see what towns and attractions appeal to you. Do you want to go into the mountains or see lakes? Would you like to go shopping or hiking?

Here are a few links to help you get started.

Plan your trip
What to do
Where to go
What is the best rail pass to buy

I hope this helped get you started, let us know if you have further questions and please post an itinerary you like and we can give you feedback.

Regards,
Lucas

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2017 - 12:57 AM

Hi,

My hubby has to attend a medical conference in Zurich. Registration on May 4 and attend the program on May 6. My 14-year-old and me wil join him. We reach Zurich on May 4 at noon. He registers and then we leave for Lucern by train. i have booked a room in Lucerne for the night. We would like to visit Interlaken, Zermatt, Guyvres (not sure of spelling). Train journey and scenic beauty, chocolate factory for my teen. Hubby wil do to-and -fro journey to Zurich on May 6. We leave Zurich on May 9 ,10 am, so I plan to be in Zurich on May 8 and have booked a room. Can someone help me with suggestions for my day 2-4. Especially the day 3 where the family has to be seperated. Thank you for your help.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 12, 2017 - 6:04 AM in reply to Nihad

Hi Nihad and welcome to MySwissAlps!

For scenic train journey's from Luzern I would take the Golden Pass train to Montreux and not worry about visiting Interlaken at all. Gruyeres and the chocolate factory can be reached from Montreux (get there early from Luzern).

You can also do a train trip to Zermatt from Luzern but it is a bit longer day. You will partially follow the Glacier Express route once you change trains in Visp.

Also there are a wide variety of mountain attractions you can visit easily from Luzern (you never have to leave if you want!) including: Mt. Rigi, Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Titlis and others.

I hope this helps give you some ideas for your free days!

Lucas

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2017 - 9:29 AM in reply to Lucas

Dear Lucas,

Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I have been reading about Switzerland so much that I am really excited about the trip but also very confused about the itinerary I should plan. I hope i will get some advice in this forum which helps me decide since I have only about 2 weeks left before the trip. Below is my planned itinerary.

Day 1 - Reach Zurich at noon and leave to Luzern.

Day 2 - Train journey Luzern to Montreux and continue to Gruyeres. Stay overnight in Montreux/Gruyeres?.

Day 3- Hubby does Montreux/Gruyeres to Zurich and back to Interlaken. We go Montreux/Gruyeres to Interlaken. Night in Interlaken.

Day 4- Return to Luzern. Visit to mountains or lakes whichever is doable based on the weather conditions.

Day 5- Leave to Zurich and spend a day and night in Zurich.

Day 6- Early morning flight Zurich to Istanbul.

I have been looking at the different train options and the passes and I think the best would be to buy Swiss Pass for 5 days. I think I should travel in regular trains instead of Golden Pass because the Golden Pass ends for the same day and my plans are for different days different places. Is this itinerary doable? Should we stay in Montreux or Gruyeres? We have so less time and so much to see (I am such a nature lover that I am sure my hubby has to drag me into the return flight) but I don't want to rush too much. Please advise. Thank you so much for the help this forum is providing.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 12, 2017 - 11:05 AM in reply to Nihad

Hi Nihad,

Your itinerary looks pretty good for your time table.

Day 2 - good idea to visit Montreux and Gruyeres (hotel options are listed here for Montreux).
Day 3 - I would just stay in Luzern - there is a lot to do there!
Day 4: Luzern
Day 5: end in Zurich

I'm not sure what your concern is on the Golden Pass train? It is a train that runs several times per day between Luzern and Montreux and is a scenic way to get there - it runs every day.

Lucas

PRAVEENPOOJA
PRAVEENPOOJA
10 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2017 - 2:55 PM in reply to PRAVEENPOOJA

Dear Lucas,

Thanks so much for your reply and apologies about the capital letters. It was not intentional and I hope it is now corrected.

Re the trip I am really confused - There is so much to do and see and to be honest the time is not enough in my opinion.

I need your suggestion on the following questions to help me decide better:-

There are so many mountain excursions and all look nice as per reviews but are of them different or will there be duplication.

For example if I do Titlis is there a difference to Jungfrau.

Then there is Pilatus, Schynige Platte, Glacier 3000 ( Gstaad) , Mattehorn ( Zermatt).

What I saw is that everything can be covered in 2 to 3 hours maximum 4 hours one way from Zurich or Lucerne.

Since there is no five day pass as per the links you sent to me I think it would be better to come back on teh 4th night to Zurich and stay the 5th day in Zurich doing Rhine falls etc.

However for the first four days I am confused and need your help and suggestions.

First day we arrive in Zurich at 815 am - assuming we come out at around 9 and keeping our luggage inthe airport hotel ( the excess ones ) we could reach Lucerne around 12 pm.

I intend to do the same day directly Mt.Titlis since I found many activities also for the kids there.

Next day I am thinking to do Mt.Pilatus or Mt.Rigi ( which is better and different ) and stay the evening little late to see some Lucerne also - the same evening I intend to take the train to Interlaken or Gstaad.

Again the question which is better Interlaken or Gstaad -

In Gstaad I could do the Glacier 3000 ( the question again would if the mountain excursions would be teh same and too much ) - Is there a difference to them.

As you can understand a Swiss holiday is not everyday and hence I want to give the best shot for the family.

Please suggest.

Best Regards,

Praveen

Last modified on Apr 12, 2017 - 2:57 PM by PRAVEENPOOJA
Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 12, 2017 - 5:36 PM in reply to PRAVEENPOOJA

Hi Praveen,

Yes, you would need at least 10 days to see just the main/top attractions here! It's surprising for such a small country I know!

If you are doing Mt. Titlis, then I might choose Mt. Rigi over Mt. Pilatus (but you can't go wrong). Jungfraujoch is one of a kind and if it is within your budget and you have the time I would suggest going! But make sure the weather looks good the day before and then buy your tickets - nothing like spending a lot of money to look at clouds!

Gstaad is a small (expensive) ski resort town and Interlaken is more of a city. Interlaken itself is not much of an attraction, but the nearby mountains like Jungfraujoch or lakes, like Lake Thun is quite nice. It is a matter of picking the activities that appeal to you more to help you decide on the town to stay at.

I think I would do Interlaken and try and visit Jungfraujoch or take a lake cruise if you've already been to Mt. Titlis and Mt. Rigi or Mt. Pilatus.

I hope that helps?! :)

Lucas

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2017 - 9:54 AM in reply to Lucas

Thank you Lucas for the clarity. Request your continuing guidance. As we got the confirmation on visas just recently, my husband was worried about rising hotel costs and hence booked rooms in Luzern for 4 days (this happened before i joined this forum). The hotel has cancellation policy till last few days of arrival. Now is it possible to ask hotel to book me only for day 1, 3, 4, so that I can book hotel in Montreux for day 2. Otherwise, what are the alternatives. Also regarding the Swiss Pass, i see options for 3 and 4 days but we are there for 5 days, so which Pass do I select. Thank you in advance.

PRAVEENPOOJA
PRAVEENPOOJA
10 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2017 - 11:35 AM in reply to Lucas

Dear Lucas,

Pardon me for the caps but I think its already in the username and hence it appears everytime.

I would like to see a little bit of the area where there are the cows with the bells and the nice swiss uniforms where we could also take pictures in. Then the traditional long musical pipes in Switzerland if we could see people playing them or take photos with those uniforms and instruments. This could be a life time picture with my family.

Then I chose Pilatus becuase one way journey was by cogwheel train and the other side I could do by the Lucerne cruise and back to Lucerne. Rigi had only boat options both ways if I am not wrong.

Then I wanted to do Gstaad for the several locations which are shown in Bollywood films and the kids could identify with those places. Just was a thought.

However in the end I would like to make sure that we did not over do or repeat things.

Jungfrauch I thought looked similar to Titlis to me on the pictures I saw and thats why I was thinking of the others like Schynige Platte and Schilthorn.

Pardon me for so many questions but to be honest I am quite confused. Moreover since there is no 5 day pass I have to come back the 4th night to Zurich.

Thanks Lucas in advance for your handholding, Upon your reply I hope I could do a final itinerary and ask for your suggestions to finalise.

BR,

Praveen

Annika
Annika
4992 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 13, 2017 - 4:10 PM in reply to Nihad

Hi Nihad,

You'd best contact your hotel in Lucerne directly to ask for the options. I assume it won't be a problem if you can cancel up to one day before. However, it doesn't necessarily make sense to spend one night in Montreux in between your nights in Lucerne. Mind that you can also make a day trip to the Montreux/Gruyères area from Lucerne, thus spending all your nights in Lucerne - although that will be a long day. Please consult the timetable to see if you're fine with traveling times: myswissalps.com/timeta ble.

A 4 day Swiss Travel Pass plus regular tickets for either the first or last day (whichever day has the shortest/least expensive trips) should work for you.

Annika
Annika
4992 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 13, 2017 - 4:16 PM in reply to PRAVEENPOOJA

Hi Praveen,

I don't think you have to worry about repeating trips or seeing similar views. In my opinion all attractions and scenic trips in Switzerland have their own unique charm. On the other hand, you simply can't see and do it all in 5 days, so the choices you've made look fine to me. As Lucas already said: you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose. I agree with Lucas that some time spent in and near Lucerne and Interlaken will be very rewarding. I understand your wish to see Gstaad, but mind that it will require a fair bit of traveling time (please consult the timetable). It can be done as a day trip from Interlaken though.

You can compare our Schilthorn and Schynige Platte pages to compare and see what appeals to you. In summer, there's a good chance of seeing alphorn blowers at Schynige Platte.

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2017 - 9:18 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you Annika. I decided to stay back in Luzern and make day trips. Request your help in an unexpected problem on the Golden Pass route. Luzern to Interlaken (spend some time there) and onward to Zweisimmen. However, I cannot travel to Montreux as I see the message:

Between Zweisimmen and Saanenmöser on the Zweisimmen - Montreux line, no train services are operating. www.sbb.ch/en/buying/p ages/fahrplan/fahrplan .xhtml

How many hours can i spend safely in Interlaken if I have to return from Zweisimmen to Luzern on same day. Would it be better to taken the Bern instead of Interlaken route to Luzern?

Is it possible to do a one day trip to Zermatt. I already booked the Swiss Pass online but if i dont have reservations, can i still go on the glacier express (its too late to get reservations now).

What are the other options for day trips from Luzern?

Thanks in advance.

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 16, 2017 - 10:30 AM in reply to Nihad

Hi Nihad,

You could still travel to Montreux if you want, it is just that section of the line is replaced by a bus due to construction (too bad!).

You could do a day trip to Zermatt but it would be a very long day (3.5 to 4 hours each way) you can travel by regular train via Visp and still travel on part of the Glacier Express route.

If you have visited all the nearby attractions to Luzern, Closer options would be Bern or Lake Thun and Interlaken.

Lucas

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2017 - 11:25 AM

Thanks Lucas.

PRAVEENPOOJA
PRAVEENPOOJA
10 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2017 - 7:53 AM

Dear Lucas,

This is the tentative Itinerary I made for the trip from 3rd June to 7th June in Switzerland - I had to restrict travel to 4 days since the pass is only for 4 days and come back to Zurich the last day. - We are 2 adults , my son would be 16 years and 1 month and my daughter 11 years. Please confirm for my son I need to buy the pass and he is not free.

Day 1 - Arrive in Zurich at 815 hours from Paris. Keep excess luggage in Zurich hotel and leave again with light weight to Lucerne. Upon reaching lucerne drop balance luggage at hotel.

Do a trip to Mt.Pilatus or Mt.Rigi that day ( depending on weather ) - need your advise which one would be better.

Comeback to Lucerne. Do other activities there time permitting ( suggest some activities please)

day 2 - Lucerne to Titlis - come back to Titlis and take the train to Interlaken.

day 3 - Interlaken to Gstaad and back the same day - Do the Glacier 3000 and wispie - please suggest alternatives if any.

day 4 - The 6th of June ( the last day of the STP) - Interlaken to Jungfauch or stay in Interlaken and do activities like paragliding , jet boat etc. Late train back to Zurich.

day 5 - Zurich - Rhine falls and local sight seeing ( suggest the best places in Zurich) - Is there also a day pass for Zurich seperately or is it better to buy individual tickets for the family for going to Rhine falls.

Day 6 - back to India.

BR,

Praveen

Lucas
Lucas
8909 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2017 - 12:16 PM in reply to PRAVEENPOOJA

Day 1: I would choose the mountain based on the weather forecast the night before or day of departure - you will enjoy either mountain. :)

DAy 2: looks good

Day 3: good plan!

Day 4: I don't believe there is jet boating near Interlaken? Certainly boat cruises on Lake Thun or Brienz are a great idea or the Brienzer Rothorn scenic steam train? Paragliding if the weather is good!

Day 5: Here is a list of activities in Zurich. You could buy the ZurichCard for 24 hours which covers a lot but not all the way to RheinFall - for this you could get an 'all zone day pass' if you don't buy the Zurich Card or if you do, you can get zone add-ons to get you all the way to the RheinFall once you are in Zurich.

Lucas

Arno
Arno
11162 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2017 - 6:35 PM

Hi Praveen,

You can make a jet boat ride on Lake Brienz. It departs from Bönigen near Interlaken. This needs to be booked in advance and is not included in any of the train passes like the Swiss Travel Pass (regular boats are included). Please find details here: www.viator.com/tours/I nterlaken/JETBOAT-Interlaken-Scenic-Ride/d5011-47041P1.

Last modified on Apr 17, 2017 - 6:36 PM by Arno
Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 19, 2017 - 11:28 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi again,

Kindly have a look at the below itinerary and advise if its doable.

Day 2 - Golden pass train - Luzern to Zweisimmen and then bus if available to Montreux. Return same day to Luzern.

Day 3- Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi or Mt. Titlus (not sure which to do) and lake tour and Luzern city itself.

Day 4- (Sunday) Use regular train but on Glacier Express Route. Luzern to St. Moritz via Zurich - Landquart - Chur. - total 4 hours without stops. Return from St. Moritz via Chur to Luzern same day. Since this is weekend, will the regular trains be very crowded.

If I cannot do the day 4 as planned above, is there any other great place that is on everyone's must visit place in Switzerland that I could do within a day. Something which is different from what i do on the first 2 days. Day 8 - I have to reach Zurich by night as I spend a night there before 10 a.m flight home.

Thanks in advance.

Nihad
Nihad
11 posts
new member
Apr 19, 2017 - 11:45 AM

Please also advise on the kind of clothing required and best prepaid sim card i can use in the areas I plan. I had initially planned a tour to a chocolate and cheese factory (my 14-year-old would have loved it) but I think its not doable in this short trip.

Regards,

Nihad

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