Trip in late November to North-east Switzerland

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1 post
new member
Apr 19, 2018 - 7:26 PM

Hi All,

was wondering if anyone could give me some guidance on a trip that we are planning for the 3rd week in November 2018. I understand that’s it’s not the best time to come to Switzerland but, we don’t have a choice, we have a child that is studying abroad and that’s the only time that works.

We will be coming from Geramy so I was thinking that if we stay towards the northeast side of Switzerland we can cut down on train time .

i am looking at Zurich, Lucerne, Basel. It looks like they have day tours to the Alps and the cities look interesting as well. I have young adult children so we can do most anythIng.

Look forward to any suggestions anyone might have!

Thanks in advance for your help.


1148 posts
top member
Apr 20, 2018 - 12:18 AM in reply to MaryP

I suggest you stay in Basel. There are some convenient hotels close to Basel SBB (the main Basel railway station). You could even remain in Germany for cheaper hotel prices and cross into Basel by tram daily.

Basel has fast train links to the rest of Switzerland, and the advantage that your main baggage would stay put for most of the trip.

Basel is also interesting in itself.

10385 posts
expert &
Apr 20, 2018 - 7:20 AM in reply to MaryP

Hi MaryP and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Basel is a good choice, and so Zurich could work as well (with lots of train connections). St. Gallen and the Appenzell region is also a great option and fairly easily accessed from southern Germany (still a few connections). Use the Swiss railways timetable here to plan out the trips.

We don't have specific pages on that region on our website yet but be sure to use our search box to find useful posts on those towns and area. Säntis ( /en/)is a very impressive mountain.

I have written up a day trip I made from Zurich to St. Gallen to almost Lucerne here for a quick read.

Last modified on Apr 20, 2018 - 9:23 AM by Arno
685 posts
top member
Apr 21, 2018 - 3:36 AM in reply to MaryP


A few questions for you. First, am I to understand that you have one week in Switzerland ? Second, from where in Germany will you be coming to Switzerland ? I notice that you mention NE Switzerland and so wonder if you are thinking of that for reasons of proximity to where you will be in Germany. Third, will you be returning to Germany after your visit to Switzerland ? Things that come to my mind about the NE of Switzerland are St. Gallen, Appenzell, and (as Lucas has already mentioned) the Säntis. A bit further off would be Zurich, Konstanz, and Stein am-Rhein. The combination of Switzerland's small size and its excellent transportation system means that you can go to many places. It all depends on how much time you actually have (question 1).

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new member
Apr 21, 2018 - 8:15 AM in reply to MaryP

Hi Mary,

If you plan on incorporating scenic train trips into your itinerary, your overnight stops should be chosen with those routes and travel times in mind. There is a map of the panoramic routes to help with your planning: it is attached to the map showing where the Swiss Travel Pass is valid, and you can download it from the following page: isstravelpass/validity

Approximate travel times for the scenic routes (one way) are as follows:

  • Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz: 8 hours. The Glacier Express itself won't be running in November, but you can follow the same route on regional trains.
  • Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano: 4.25 hours. The Bernina Express train (Chur-Tirano) will be running daily in November, but the Bernina Express bus (Tirano-Lugano) only operates Thursday to Sunday between 1-25 November 2018. Then it ceases operation for the winter.
  • Golden Pass line (full) from Luzern to Montreux: 5 hours
  • Golden Pass Line (part) from Luzern to Interlaken Ost: almost 2 hours
  • Golden Pass line (part) from Interlaken Ost to Montreux: 3 hours
  • Gotthard Panorama Express (boat and train) from Luzern to Lugano: 5.5 hours. The Gotthard Panorama Express itself won't be operating in November, but you can follow the same route on regional trains, and also incorporate the boat sector on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne).
  • Palm Express (PostBus) from Lugano to St Moritz: almost 4 hours (not running every day in November - you would need to check the timetable for your travel date).
  • Voralpen-Express from Luzern to St. Gallen: 2.25 hours
  • RegioExpress Lötschberger (full) from Bern to Brig: 1.75 hours
  • RegioExpress Lötschberger (part) from Spiez to Brig: Just over 1 hour
  • Centovalli Railway from Locarno to Domodossola: 1.75 hours

If you want to calculate travel time for short sectors along these routes, you can use the Swiss Timetable: metable

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


Last modified on Nov 1, 2018 - 4:17 PM by Arno

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