8 day trip Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne and Zurich

8 day trip Zermatt, Interlaken, Lucerne and Zurich

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nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 6, 2018 - 10:02 AM

Hi

Planning a 8 day trip to Switzerland covering the following -

Starting at Zermatt - 2 days,

Interlaken - 2 days

Lucerne - 2 days

Zurich - 2 days

Would this be sufficient enough time to have an experience of the Swiss?

It would be me and my wife as we are celebrating the 25 years of our married life.

Kindly advise.

Regards

Milind

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 6, 2018 - 1:00 PM in reply to nupmil9

Hi nupmil9, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Congratulations on your silver wedding anniversary!

You will get a flavor of Switzerland. I personally wouldn't stay 2 days in Zurich. I would at least add a day to Lucerne. Instead of Interlaken, stay in Wengen or Grindelwald.

Be sure to check as well:

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask us.

nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 7, 2018 - 6:33 AM

Hi Chantal

Thanks for your suggestion. So according to what you suggest, the stay should be as below -

Zurich - 1 day

Zermatt - 2 days

Lucerne - 3 days

Wengen - 2 days.

If that is the case, since I fly in and out of Zurich, should I do Zurich - Lucerne - Wengen - Zermatt - Zurich or the other way round?

Also how good are the homestays in Zermatt?

Regards

Milind

Lucas
Lucas
8878 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 7, 2018 - 12:52 PM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind,

Really either way your travel is ok. Lucerne first makes your arrival day a little easier. You can search the train schedules on the SBB timetable here to plan out all your trips.

I don't have first-hand knowledge of home stays in Zermatt.
We do have some chalet and apartment rental sites we recommend here.

rusnani
rusnani
1 post
new member
Feb 8, 2018 - 1:53 AM in reply to Chantal

Can I ask, if my base is Lucerne, is it possible to do both Pilatis and Titlis in one day>

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 8, 2018 - 2:35 AM in reply to nupmil9

<<"If that is the case, since I fly in and out of Zurich, should I do Zurich - Lucerne - Wengen - Zermatt - Zurich or the other way round?">>

Hi Milind-

When are you traveling? Time of year can make a difference , due to weather at high altitudes.

www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

Slowpoke

nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 8, 2018 - 6:27 AM

HI Slowpoke

Thanks for the links!! The travel plan is for end Sep around 26th.

Regards

Milind

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 8, 2018 - 9:51 AM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind -

<<"The travel plan is for end Sep around 26th">>

September is wonderful - unless you pick the wrong day (cloudy) to be near the Jungfrau because the weather on average is great in September. We usually recommend having the option to be in the area on more than one day if possible, just in case. You have done that.

As you go on into October, the chance of clouds and of snow on the trails increases. If you are not going to hike, that won't matter. Clouds will.

In 2009, my daughter and 8 year old granddaughter and I walked from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on September 22nd. ( A local nickname for that trail is "The Grannies' Walk.")

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

We had beautiful clear sunny weather. See attached. The weather can change rapidly and frequently in the Alps.

The day before was cloudy with poor visibility, so we rearranged our schedule to go on the 22nd. If the weather is cloudy, you don't see the vistas that you pay a lot to see from the Jungfraujoch.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 8, 2018 - 9:53 AM by Slowpoke
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nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 8, 2018 - 10:21 AM

Wow!!! I am already excited about this... Will definitely try and do this walk. Thanks Slowpoke

Regards

Milind

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 8, 2018 - 10:52 AM in reply to nupmil9

Forgot to say-

The reason I asked about weather is because I would put Wengen first if you were going in October. As the month proceeds, the chances for bad weather increase.

At your time, it probably does not matter so much.

However, that day in 2009 was one of the clearest I've seen up there. You'll be lucky if you get that kind of weather. If you do, you might be able to see all the way back into the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengen. (Attached).

To set your itinerary, I'd look at this map to see the locations you named, and zoom way in to see the train lines...to zoom level 32.

map.search.ch/

My own preference would be to start in Luzern, from a jet lag and convenience perspective.

As you can see, a logical geographical sequence is Luzern to to Wengen to Zermatt to Zürich.

I'd look at travel times in the timetable linked by Lucas.

Return to Zürich from Zermat would take 3 and 1/4 to 3 and 1/2 hours by the fastest routes.

Once you have settled on your itinerary, let us know. We might have suggestions for scenic routes.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 8, 2018 - 11:06 AM by Slowpoke
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nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2018 - 9:37 AM

Hi

I have finalized the itinerary and booked accommodation as below -

Sep 26 - Arrive in Zurich and travel to Lucerne

Sep 26 to Sep 28 (3 nights) at Lucerne

Sep 29 & 30 (2 nights) at Wengen (Hotel Caprice - Please let me know if this is good or I should change)

Sep 1 & 2 (2 nights) at Zermatt (Hotel Best Western)

Sep 3 (1 night) Zurich (Rhine falls & Zurich sight seeing)

Sep 4 Departure

Please let me know if this would be good and also places that I can cover in this period.

Regards

Milind

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 12, 2018 - 3:19 PM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind,

Your itinerary looks fine. I have never stayed in Hotel Caprice but it is ideal if you want to stay very close to the train station but not in the center of town. It's one of the hotels that we recommend on our website. If you would like to check out the other hotels that we recommend, click here.

What do you mean by places to cover? Activities/sightseeing? Have a look at what we propose:

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 12, 2018 - 3:43 PM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal-

Friends of mine stayed at the Caprice a few years ago and were really impressed. Great restaurant, great views. A hgh quality example of Swiss hotel management at its best.. I've not yet made it there myself, mostly because it required a multi-night stay during trips which did not have room for that.

They have their own station stop on the train line up to Kleine Scheidegg, although they are close enough to the center of the village that it is not really necessary. Just a nice touch.

Slowpoke

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 12, 2018 - 4:19 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Great to hear Slowpoke. Thanks for sharing! I'll put it on my list as well as I'm planning to ski there.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 12, 2018 - 4:26 PM in reply to Chantal

Not cheap. But, you get value for money, I believe.

Slowpoke

nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2018 - 9:37 AM

All

Finally all my bookings done and this is what I think it would be -

Day 1 - Land at Zurich at 2.10 pm and travel to Radisson Blu Lucerne. Check in and go around the town. Overnight at Lucerne

Day 2 - Mt Titlis / Mt Pilatus (please suggest if both can happen on same day?) Overnight at Lucerne

Day 3 - Mt Rigi with Lake Lucerne cruise. Overnight at Lucerne

Day 4 - Golden Pass Line with return to Wengen (would this be hectic?) Overnight at Wengen

Day 5 - Trip to Jungfraujoch. Overnight at Wengen

Day 6 - Travel to Zermatt (Cog train and cable car trip (both possible on day 1?)

Day 7 - Zermatt (How to plan for Glacier Express trip to fully utilize?)

Day 8 - Zermatt to Zurich (best route?) Check in at Zurich and Rhine Falls with museums sight seeing in Zurich. Overnight at Zurich

Day 9 - Travel back from Zurich (End of trip).

Open questions -

Mt Titlis / Mt Pilatus please suggest if both can happen on same day?

Golden Pass Line with return to Wengen (would this be hectic?)

(Cog train and cable car trip (both possible on day 1?)

How to plan for Glacier Express trip to fully utilize?

Best route to Zurich from Zermatt

For all the above, what is the best rail pass required?

Thanks in advance for all the advise & any suggestions to modify the above are welcome.

Milind

Lucas
Lucas
8878 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 15, 2018 - 3:58 PM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind,

For your first 2 questions, yes those trips can be done in one day. The day trip on the Golden Pass is quite long and not really doable I think (4-5 hours each way) but only you can decide if it is too much for you personally. For both trips use the Swiss railways timetable to see if the trip works for you.

For the trips in Zermatt, yes they are very doable in one day (Klein Matterhorn and Gornergrat is, I believe, what you are referring to?).

For Zermatt o Zurich you will be taking the Glacier Express I thought? So after you disembark at Chur you can connect to a train on to Zurich.

Since you are traveling a wide area of Switzerland I would look hard at the Swiss Travel Pass. To be sure you'll need to plan out all trips here and do the math on our page: how to choose the best rail pass.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 15, 2018 - 4:52 PM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind-

I am puzzled by a few of your comments:

<<"Day 1 - Land at Zurich at 2.10 pm and travel to Radisson Blu Lucerne. Check in and go around the town. Overnight at Lucerne ">>

Good idea to go to Luzern directly.

The Radisson is certainly close to the station...very convenient and a surely very nice hotel.

However, for a more Swiss feeling, I always choose to stay in the Old Town. Not so much of a city ambience, and stunning views of Pilatus on a clear day. There is a whole row of hotels on Unter der Egg, a street which is a continuation of the Rathausquai which runs right along the river. Nice terrace restaurants along the quai.

map.search.ch/Luzern,U nter-der-Egg?pos=666179,211501&z=51 2

The restaurant Schiff is one that I enjoy...no longer a hotel, but there are apartments there.

schiffluzern.ch/

This site recommends several hotels with a wide range of prices:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/hotels

This is included:

www.hotelscombined.com /Hotel/Hotel_Des_Alpes _Lucerne.htm

I have stayed there a few times. Riverfront rooms are very nice. Great views. Friendly and helpful staff. Restaurant is not so special.

But the Rathaus Braürei restaurant is practically next door. My favorite for a range of menus and prices. Not Romantic. Gemütlich. By the way , das Rathaus translates as "the townhall."

www.rathausbrauerei.ch

www.google.com/search?q=Brauerei+rathaus+luz ern&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

If you want romantic, excellent and quite expensive, consider the Palace. Usually the best kitchen in Luzern.

<<"Day 4 - Golden Pass Line with return to Wengen (would this be hectic?) Overnight at Wengen">>

This confusing. Why would you do a round trip and return to Luzern, if you ar going to stay in Wengen?

<<"Day 8 - Zermatt to Zurich (best route?) Check in at Zurich and Rhine

Falls with museums sight seeing in Zurich. Overnight at Zurich">>

<<"How to plan for Glacier Express trip to fully utilize?

Best route to Zurich from Zermatt">>

Either you take the Glacier Express or you take the best route.

There are some options for shortest or a bit longer routes...fastest is about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. The Glacier Express is much longer, and finishes at Chur. From Chur to Zürich takes an additional hour and 15 to hour and 30 minutes.

Th etimetable will help you sort that out. It defaults to the faster routes:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The GEX departs at 0852 and arrives Chur at 1415and arrives Zürich at 1548. The next train to Zürich departs at 1416...a regional train, or at 1439 (easier connection, faster train, arrives 1553.

If you run fast at Zürich main station, hurry to the lockers, are lucky enough to find large ones if your bags are large, and dump your bags at the station, you might catch the 1607 to Neuhausen, Rheinfall, arrrive 1657.. More likely, the 1617, and still make it to the Rheinfall by 1713. Sunset is at 1859, so you would be able to see a bit and walk back to the station at dusk.

However, that is along day with a tough connection at Zürich, and you still have to retrieve your bags and go to the hotel.

Finally, many people...usually those who have seen other waterfalls, find the Rheinfall to be underwhelming. Flow will be lower than in the Spring. Still impressive, powerful, but not very high.

www.myswissalps.com/rh inefalls

I find the high waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley near Wengen to be much more beautiful:

www.world-of-waterfalls.com/europe-staubbach-falls.html

www.world-of-waterfalls.com/europe-switzerland.html

If you really want to see the Rheinfall, I'd recommend that you skip the Glacier Express, and go directly to Zürich from Zermatt by one of a few shorter routes, and get there nearer mid-day.

Slowpoke

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nupmil9
nupmil9
8 posts
new member
Feb 16, 2018 - 6:46 AM

Thanks for the advice Slowpoke. I have indeed cancelled my Radisson reservation in Lucerne and booked Des Alpes.

Now if i understand it correct, if I do the Golden pass on Day 4, I can alight at Wengen and do not need to return to Lucerne? Still not sure about Day 4 activities. Should I rather do the Waterfalls and the Grannies Walk instead of Golden Pass?

Regards

Milind

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Feb 16, 2018 - 8:31 AM in reply to nupmil9

Hi Milind -

<<"Now if i understand it correct, if I do the Golden pass on Day 4, I can alight at Wengen and do not need to return to Lucerne? Still not sure about Day 4 activities. Should I rather do the Waterfalls and the Grannies Walk instead of Golden Pass?">>

You can get on and off any of the trains on the Golden Pass Route wherever they stop, and catch another one to continue later, if you choose. ( Of course, if you have reserved saets on the specialpanoramic cars from Zweisimmen to Montreux, you must use them on a speciific train.)

www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass

If you travel the complete Golden Pass Route from Luzern to Montreux, you will change trains at Interlaken Ost and Zweisimmen.

I assumed that you would take the Golden Pass Route as far as Interlaken Ost, then change for a train to Wengen. Perjhaps I was mistaken.

If you ride all the way to Montreux, then come back to Interlaken, it gets to be a long day,because the entire trip one way takes 5 + houirs, and the return to Interrlaken Ost on the Golden Pass Route takes about 3 +hours. If you choose to go all the way to Montreux...the most scenic part in many opinions is from Zweisimmen to Montreux,... you could save some time on the return from Montreux to Interlaken Ost if you use faster trains from Montreux to Bern via Fribourg and thence to Interlaken. Only a little faster, more changes - 2 hrs and 48 minutes, +/-. Or, the fastest route is Montreux to Visp, through the new tunnel to Spiez, and on to Interlaken Ost, about 2 hours 18 minites, trains once or twice per hour with slower trains interspersed.

Either way, it leaves little or no time for the walks in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (well, maybe a short one) and almost surelyu not for Männlichen because the last trains/ cable cars down back down don't run very late in the day.

So, indeed, you must choose between the whole Golden Pass Route and return ti I.Ost (thence Wengen) , or get off at Interlaken without going all the way to Montreux, and get to Wengen in time to do the Männlichen walk and probaly the valley floor ( walk plus bus).

Sorry for the confusion. I assumed that you'd get off at Interlaken Ost.

To better understand the route options, please look at this map:

map.search.ch/?pos=617728,164096&z=4

It should show all the cities we just talked about.

Slowpoke

Zoom in to zoom level 32, and the train lines pop into clear visibility.

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