Switzerland vacation May 2019 - planning help

Switzerland vacation May 2019 - planning help

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Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2018 - 1:30 PM

Hello...I will be visiting Switzerland with my wife and daughter in month of May 2019 .We will land at Zurich airport on May 1st and fly back on 9th May again from Zurich airport. I have some queries/questions where I am looking for inputs

1. What is recommended itinerary for 8 days?

2. Should I go for Swiss Travel Pass and when should I purchase it online?

3. What is recommended tour packages or self planned itinerary ?

4. How early I should book hotels keeping in mind lower prices

5. Will there be anything we can not visit at start of May from weather perspective

Regards

Harjeet

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 7, 2018 - 4:10 PM in reply to Harjeet

Hi Harjeet -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

May is a good time to visit....I always go in late May to visit the countryside and lower altitude regions. Not so many tourists. Rarely, hotel prices may be lower, but, more importantly, rooms are readily available. In some resort areas, there are "Summer Prices" and

Winter Prices" - especially in ski areas.

The disadvantage of May is that many (but not all) facilities of various kinds..cableways, hotels , restaurants, will be closed in the high altitude regions. The snow has pretty much gone away, so there is not much skiing, but the trails above 1500 or 2000 meters are still blocked by snow. So, as you think about whereto go, keep that in mind and check specific web sites where you have a concern.

Places like Wengen and Mürren are at low enough altitude that the snow will almost certainly be gone there, and definitely near Lauterbrunnen on the valley flloor.

We don't provide itineraries on the forum. We provide a lot of well organized information that can guide you in setting one:

Lots of useful links on this page:

www.myswissalps.com/ge ttingstarted

Check out he sections on weather and times to visit.

Where to go? Check:

https://www.myswissalp s.com/wheretogo

It is quite easy to navigate all of Switzerland by the excellent public transport network, so, do-it-yourself is no problem....unless you are carrying a ton of luggage and changing locations frequently.

After you have roughed out an itinerary, if you post it here, we'll offer comments and refinements. Plenty of people to help with that. ;-)

I don't comment onrail passes; I leave that for the experts m- the forum moderators know a lot of the details. . It is easier to comment after we see an itinerary. The links on this page will help.

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain

Also, when looking at an itinerary, we find it quite valuable to understands your needs and interests for your visit. How old is your child?

Hiking? Museums and culture? Scenic rail trips? Seeing the high Alps? Playing in snow?

Check Alpenroses post on the latter topic in this thread on July 7.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/is-it-easy-to-go-up-the-jungfrau-from-wengen

Any dietary concerns?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 7, 2018 - 5:07 PM by Slowpoke
ShahJS
ShahJS
2 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2018 - 5:58 PM

Hi Harjeet,

just on my way back from an 8 day trip. I can comment on a few of your questions!

1- we did the following — Zurich was our fly in and out, we stayed in Zurich the first night then went to Luzern, interlaken, Mürren, Montreux, Bern and last night in Zurich. We did 2 nights in Interlaken and 1 night in Murren, while Murren was an awesome small village with no cars, I think I would’ve rather stayed in interlaken all 3 days and then just do day trips. Interlaken was my favorite (though extremely touristy) and for a more city-type vibe, I enjoyed Luzern. We got a lot rain and weren’t able to go to the surrounding towns as much as I would’ve liked too While in interlaken!

2 - yes, absolutely worth it in my opinion. We honestly got it the night before our trip. Switzerland’s public transportation is amazing and their app for it ssb is very easy to use. With Swiss travel pass all our travel and random day trips in and around town were easy! No other docs needed, we went to Schilthorn mountain from Mürren with it as well (free). A lot of others are 50% off, I think the golden pass chocolate train from Montreux is also 50% off your Swiss travel pass.

hope this helps!

J

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 2:26 AM

>> With Swiss travel pass all our travel and random day trips in and around town were easy! No other docs needed, we went to Schilthorn mountain from Mürren with it as well (free).

Unfortunately the Swiss Travel System has recently advised that the Schilthorn will no longer be free with the Swiss Travel Pass in 2019. It will be 50% off instead.

>> I think the golden pass chocolate train from Montreux is also 50% off your Swiss travel pass.

The discount is less than 50% because it is a full-day excursion package, including return first-class train travel, transfers by bus from Gruyères station to the village; and then on to the chocolate factory in Broc after a break of 2.5 hours. Coffee and a chocolate croissant is also provided.

In May, the Chocolate Train only runs Monday to Thursday. Rates for the Chocolate Train with a Swiss Travel Pass (different rates for 1st and 2nd class pass) can be found here:

www.goldenpass.ch/en/g oldenpass/offer/view?id=15

As an alternative, you can take normal trains along the same route (free with the Swiss Travel Pass), but would use the train for the transfer between Gruyères and Broc instead of the bus. The stop for the cheese factory is Gruyères, and the stop for the chocolate factory is Broc-Fabrique. Entry to both factories is free with the Swiss Travel Pass. You can use the Swiss Timetable to plan your trip:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

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

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 8, 2018 - 2:33 AM by Removed user
Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 4:39 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

Thanks for inputs and directions

Here are more inputs on some of your questions

1. How old is your child? -----> 8 years

2. Hiking? Museums and culture? Scenic rail trips? Seeing the high Alps? Playing in snow? ---> Scenic Rail Trips / Playing in Snow are key interests

Any dietary concerns? ---> No dietary concerns but preferable if in between we can get Indian food

I know itinerary will be required for further inputs by forum but couple of questions meanwhile I am preparing same

1 Throughout trip is it possible to keep hotel stay at on place only. For example if I keep hotels in Interlaken only and move around or for that matter any central place where I can keep hotel stay

Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 4:41 AM in reply to Harjeet

2. Also is there restriction on luggage we can carry in trains while travelling on Swiss travel pass and also from convenience perspective

Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 4:42 AM in reply to ShahJS

Thank you J …your inputs really give more insight..

Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 4:44 AM in reply to Removed user

Thank yo Alpenrose for your great inputs

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2018 - 7:38 AM in reply to Harjeet

<<"2. Also is there restriction on luggage we can carry in trains while

travelling on Swiss travel pass and also from convenience perspective">>

There are no regulations that restrict the number or, as far as I know, size of your luggage whether using an STP or not.. The practical issue is what you can handle your self. Many trains have luggage racks inside the main compartment and older cars have a good deal of space in the vestibules at each end of the car.

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/luggage

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/services/lugg age/luggage.html

I believe that a formerly available "Express" (same day) service has been discontinued.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2018 - 7:52 AM in reply to Harjeet

<<"1. How old is your child? -----> 8 years

2. Hiking? Museums and culture? Scenic rail trips? Seeing the high Alps? Playing in snow? ---> Scenic Rail Trips / Playing in Snow are key interests">>

I gave you one link for playing in snow.

In May, there may be other places that still have snow. Titlis, not too far from Luzern may still have some. May ids a transition month, and near the beginning snow still is common at altitudes above 2000 meters. Cableway access may be limited, because the quality may be poor for skiing so there are few customers.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/snow-this-weekend

This link relates mostly to Winter, but a search of the links on the page might indicate dates of availability:

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/snow-playgrounds.html

Tourist Information offices in a the train stations or nearby are a useful source of information.

I have used many. Because I often stay in or pass through Luzern, I happen to use the one in the station, and I am always please with how helpful they are.

It is near the lowest number track - which I think is track #2. There is no track #1.

Scenic trains:

www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities/scenictrips/t rain

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 8, 2018 - 7:56 AM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2018 - 8:05 AM in reply to Harjeet

Hi Harjeet -

<"1 Throughout trip is it possible to keep hotel stay at on place only.

For example if I keep hotels in Interlaken only and move around or for

that matter any central place where I can keep hotel stay">>

You can use one base:

For a one week stay, two bases can be a good alternative.

As you consider what you want to do and where you want to go, check the timetable linjked by Alpenrose.

Interlaken is a good base point, but not as scenic as the villages closer to the Jungfrau, which will be available with reduced services in May, as noted above.

www.myswissalps.com/in terlaken

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

For your stated interests, Luzern and Interlaken could be possible bases.

Luzern is central and has good train connections to the rest of Switzerland.

If you are considering one of the Panoaramic/Scenic special trains, look carefully at the pages linked in my other post. Some start and finish far from those cities. Some pas through or start from Luzern.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2018 - 8:41 AM in reply to Harjeet

<<"1. How old is your child? -----> 8 years">>

Here are some pictures of my 8 year old granddaughter enjoying herself at Männlichen, and hiking with my daughter, above Wengen in September 2009. The "Grannies' Walk" is one nickname for the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Unfortunately, the area will not be open in May.

On many of the funiculars, it is possible to sit or stand at the front of the car. Here is one picture of my granddaughter enjoying the experience. The red jacket is on the "driver" of the funicular. It is the one that runs from Treib to Seelisberg on the shore of Lake Luzern. You get to Treib by lake boat.

(some of the pictures are old..sorry for the poor quality.)

My granddaughter was fascinated by the Lion of Luzern. I have attached a copy of one page of a photobook that I prepared of her trip to Switzerland

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 8, 2018 - 8:41 AM by Slowpoke
Please login to see the attached documents
Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 12:29 PM

Hey Slowpoke...Thank youuuu :) for making extra effort in sharing pics...Seems like your granddaughter really relaxed and had great fun . I will put together things we want to do and analyze Swiss travel pass

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 8, 2018 - 12:43 PM in reply to Harjeet

At 8 years old, she was perhaps a bit old for playgrounds, but she really liked them.

There is a very nice one by the lake at The Transport Museum in Luzern.

www.lido-luzern.ch/spielplatz/

It is part of the beach complex:

www.lido-luzern.ch/

The beach and pool do not open until the very end of May.

Don't know about the playground, if there is any interest....

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4992 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2018 - 6:07 AM

Hi arjeet! Please find all information on the Swiss Travel Pass here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass.

Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2018 - 9:10 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Thank you for providing the link and I was already convinced to purchase Swiss Travel Pass.

I ordered 2 Adult Swiss Travel Pass and 1 Family Card to get my daughter covered for my travel date of 1st May 2019 through this forum via HappyRail online

Although system allowed me to book passes and money was deducted but I received mail from their staff today that I have booked very early and they will be able to order only 3 month prior to departure

Now, I am worried as I have made huge payment for same.

Any help/support in this regard will be highly appreciated

Regards

Harjeet

Lucas
Lucas
8863 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2018 - 12:18 PM in reply to Harjeet

Hi Harjeet,

Yes a very early booking indeed!

They will certainly email you or physically mail if you requested the rail pass 3 months before your travel date. HappyRail is a trustworthy company. There are some changes to the Swiss Travel Pass for next year though.

See the changes announced here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/over view-of-the-swiss-travel-system-passes-in-2019

Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 9, 2018 - 1:05 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas for the re-assurance . I got the same message from Happy rail too. Hoping everything will be sorted out by Jan - Feb 2019.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jul 9, 2018 - 1:24 PM in reply to Harjeet

HappyRail went out of their way to help me out on a small cost item.

I'd recommend them to anyone.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 9, 2018 - 1:25 PM by Slowpoke
Harjeet
Harjeet
25 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2018 - 12:19 PM

Hello,

After going through this forum and information I have finally come up with draft of my itinerary for May 2019.

Places as of now I have finalized are Lucerne , Interlaken , Wengen , Murren , Grindelwald , Montreux , Zurich

Bifurcation of 8 night stay : 2 nights in Lucerne , 3 nights Interlaken , 2 nights Montreux , 1 night Zurich

Here is detailed itinerary:

(Lucerne)Day 1 - Land in Zurich and transfer to Lucerne .Lucerne Local Sightseeing

(Lucerne)Day 2 - Mt Pilatus trip Lucerne

(Interlaken)Day 3 - Transfer to Interlaken and do Lake Thun , Lake Brienz trip

(Interlaken)Day 4 - Trip to Wengen ,Murren

(Interlaken)Day 5 - Trip to Jungfrau,Grindelwald

(Montreux)Day 6 - Golden Pass to Montreux from Interlaken and local Montreux sight seeing

(Montreux)Day 7 - Chocolate train trip from Montreux

(Zurich)Day 8 - Transfer to Zurich and do local sight seeing

(Zurich)Day 9 - Fly out of Zurich

Please provide the inputs on bifurcation of night stay at 4 places and do you want me to swap any place for night stay

Regards

Harjeet

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