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Transport for family in December

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15 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 12:29 PM

Hi there, I just want to say I find this site the most amazing one there is. I have received wonderful info from Arno and Slowpoke when I had to decide on our itinerary a month ago. So thank you once again for your kind help!

Now I have the problem of finding out about the transport and believe me, I have already read up a lot! But the more I read, the more confused I get. And of course it doesn't help if I'm not sure yet about which excursions we'll be doing. I believe as our arrival time gets closer, I'll have more detailed questions. (We arrive in Switzerland today in exactly 6 weeks!) So PLEASE be patient! Where I come from we use cars because public transport is very limited and bad.

But I'll start with this for now:

1. My husband and I and daughters (10 and 15) will be arriving in Zurich on December 8 at 10 pm. We will need to go from the airport to Langstrasse. How would we go about that? By train and then walk from there? Will it be safe so late at night?

We'll probably walk around most of the time on the 9th and 10th since Langstrasse seems close to the city center.

We leave for Lucern on the 11th. The owner of the apartment we'll be staying at, said we should take a bus from the station 5 stops in the direction of Maihof and we'll be there. We are in Lucern for 4 nights. Will spend mos of the time in Lucern.

2. Maybe do a day trip to Bern. Don't know if we should though.Is it worth the effort and time?

3. Want to go up Mt. Pilatus - thought this would be the easiest. Wanted to check prices and times via your site, but can't type in our date.

4. From Lucern we will travel on the 15th by train to Interlaken to go to Wengen. Here we'll also spend 4 nights. Will spend most of our time in the village and weather permitting go to Jungfraujoch. Also there is an easy hike to or from Kleine Schneidegg (have forgotten the details, but Kim wrote about it) that we want to do if the weather plays along.

We leave Wengen on the 19th and will be travelling to Innsbruck.

5. So now I sit with the problem. Which pass? I know the kids travel for free since they're under 16.

6. And do I book these journeys between cities now already or only once we are there? Can one book the journeys beforehand - or do we first need a pass? And the train from Interlaken to Wengen? The trip to Jungfraujoch I'll only book once there - if we see it is a clear day. Well hopefully.

7. Do I book the trip to Innsbruck with the Swiss railway or the Austrian one? Can I choose the option to get off at Vaduz to spend an hour or 2 there or would that then entail two seperate journeys?

I am sorry I have so many questions and things I am uncertain about. I don't want to waste money on the wrong pass.

Initially we wanted to see much more of Switzerland and I know we are missing out on a lot. But we also don't want to do our own "Amazing Race" and spend half the trip on trains. Furthermore we had to consider shorter days and the possibility of bad weather.

We are looking forward to our time in Switzerland so much. Haven't been there in 20 years! Girls have never been there - we are extremely excited, but I have to make sure everything works out well and for that I need the help of all you kind, clever and helpful people out there!

Any advice on the transport considering our travel plans and also any excursions that are a MUST - please let me know!

Thank you very much in advance!

15776 posts
expert &
Oct 27, 2016 - 1:13 PM

Hi Vanessa,

I'm glad you like it here! Thanks for mentioning that. I have numbered your questions. Here are some answers:

1. All questions regarding "how to get there" can be answered by the timetable. You can even fill out an address as your destination, e.g. "Langstrasse 4, Zurich". Nearly all of Switzerland is very safe if you take the usual precautions and keep an eye on your luggage. The Langstrasse happens to be the red light district of Zurich and one of the places to party (all night long if you wish). It's not necessarily unsafe, but not the best area either. Personally I'd rather stay in the city center, which is indeed not far from the Langstrasse: myswissalps.com/zurich /hotels.

2. Bern is wonderful. Whether it's worth the effort is up to you. I would save it for a bad weather day, either from Zurich, Lucerne or Wengen. From Lucerne, take the local train via Schüpfheim for the best scenery.

3. You can enter any date in the timetable (prices are fixed) or just check their price overview. The link can be found on the Pilatus page.

4. Here's the hike: myswissalps.com/hiking /maennlichen-kleinescheidegg. I'm not sure if it will be accessible in mid December. I wouldn't count on it, but you can ask at the train station or tourist office.

5. The Swiss Travel Pass is the most convenient one by far (no tickets to buy apart from most cableways). The Swiss Half Fare Card could be an alternative to consider. Please see here for how to compare price wise. If you buy these passes your children indeed travel along for free.

6. There is nothing you need to book in advance, although buying the pass in advance is convenient as it saves you time on arrival. Once you have a Swiss Travel Pass you can just board any train as you wish.

7. You can book it from any retailer you prefer, they all sell the same tickets. We've listed some here. Vaduz doesn't have a train station, so you would travel by train to Sargans and take a bus from there. Then a bus back to Sargans to board the train to Innsbruck there. It requires a bit of planning but it's doable. The Swiss Travel Pass covers all of that trip within Switzerland and Liechtenstein. You only need a ticket from Sargans, or even Buchs SG (the next stop) to Innsbruck.

Last modified on Oct 27, 2016 - 1:15 PM by Arno
15 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 1:38 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you Arno, you are amazing! I will study all your answers in detail. Just 2 questions:

1. I am very worried about Langstrasse being red light district. Will see if I can cancel, but booked through Airbnb and will lose some money.

The reason why I would prefer to book train rides in advance, is the Airbnb hosts normally want to know one's arrival time.

2. Getting to Vaduz without a station and walking around with luggage seems like too much trouble. Would the portion of the trip be discounted up to the border if we have a pass? Does the sbb site give different options to Innsbruck of is there only one route? As I mentioned, I can't seem to type in any dates past November 26.

15776 posts
expert &
Oct 27, 2016 - 2:00 PM in reply to VanessaL

Hi Vanessa,

1. It's not life threatening there, but it is a club/party/brothel district, not a typical Swiss street. It's a rather large area so it may not be the same everywhere. I don't know it well enough. Your host should know the details. If they need your arrival time you simply take the right train. No need to book. Booking trains (seats) is very uncommon in Switzerland, and often not even possible. Just get a pass, or a ticket, and get on the train. It's as easy as riding a subway. Please see here.

2. The only ticket which I would buy in advance is the one from the Swiss border to Innsbruck (it won't be discounted as it's for Austria). There is nothing else you need if you will have a Swiss Travel Pass. If you will have a Swiss Half Fare Card you can buy the tickets for the Swiss leg on the day itself.

Last modified on Oct 27, 2016 - 2:01 PM by Arno


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