Zurich to Lugano Sept. 7-17 itinerary help

Zurich to Lugano Sept. 7-17 itinerary help

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nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2017 - 2:59 AM

Hi!

I am travelling to Zurich from the US and will be getting into Zurich on the 8th morning. I am attending a conference from 13th-16th in Lugano. My wife and my 26 year old son are travelling with me. We need to get into Lugano by the 13th afternoon. We would like to use the first 4 days to travel to various spots on our way to Lugano. Once in Lugano we can day half day trips as well to the surrounding areas.

Can any travel experts advice as to how we should plan our trip. Would love to visit Lucerene, Interlakin and the mountains like Jungfrau. Maybe take the glass top train to Lugano.

Thanks,

Nadeem.

Lucas
Lucas
5555 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2017 - 7:25 AM in reply to nadeemma

Hi Nadeem and welcome to MySwissAlps!

I would look at staying in Luzern and Lauterbrunnen or Wengen (in the Jungfrau region). Perhaps 2 nights in Luzern and 3 nights in the Jungfrau area?

You can take the Gotthard Panorama Express from Luzern to Lugano (so if you want to do that may be stay in the Jungfrau region first?

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan your trips here. I would also consider a rail pass such as the Swiss Travel Pass or the Regional Pass - Bernese Oberland for your trip. Once in Lugano, most hotels offer the Ticino Card for use in that area.

Lucas

Last modified on Aug 2, 2017 - 9:02 AM by Lucas
nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2017 - 12:12 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas

Since this is our first trip to Switzerland, do you think staying in Zurich for a day and sightseeing will be adequate. I think we can leave on 9th morning and from Zurich where should we go first? From what you are saying we should go to Lauterbrunnen or Wengen first and they travel to Luzern and from there go to Lugano. I do plan to buy the 8-day pass and use it from the 9th to the 16th. Do you know whats the difference between a first class pass and regular pass besides the price. Also whats the best way to get back to Zurich from Lugano to catch our flight back to US?

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2017 - 12:17 PM

By the way Luzern and Lucerne is the same city? Apologize for my ignorance.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Aug 2, 2017 - 1:05 PM in reply to nadeemma

Hi nadeema-

Lucerne is the French spelling. Luzern is the German spelling. Pronunciation is very similar.

Luzern is in the German-speaking region, so, I prefer to use the local spelling. When you are in the German-speaking region, including Zürich, you will see the German spelling on signs and at the railway stations.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Aug 2, 2017 - 1:23 PM in reply to nadeemma

Hi nadeema-

You are likely to be jet-lagged on your first couiple of days in Switzerland, if your bodies are accustomed to the USA time zone.

A lot of the answers to your questions can be found on links within MySwissAlps.

<<"Do you know whats the difference between a first class pass and regular pass besides the price. ">>

Please look at -

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain

<<"<<"Since this is our first trip to Switzerland, do you think staying in Zurich for a day and sightseeing will be adequate">>

Please look at the links for various cities under "Where to Go" om the home page.

Here is one example:

www.myswissalps.com/zu rich

Once you compare it with other cities, such as Luzern, and regions, such as the Jungfrau Region

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

you will see that Zürich, although a very nice city, does not have many of the scenic attractions that are so wonderful in Switzerland. It's strength is culture.

For first time travelers, we usually don't recommend spending time in Zürich unless they have particular items that they know they want to see or do..

<<"Also whats the best way to get back to Zurich from Lugano to catch our flight back to US?">>">>

By train.

The timetable will give you the fastest route by default:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

If you wish to take a more scenic route, put an intermediate station on that route in the "via" box.

Slowpoke

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2017 - 4:08 PM

Thanks guys for all your help. Really appreciate it.

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 3, 2017 - 2:09 AM

Ok i am back Sorry for being such a pest.

I am looking at all the mountains and attractions around Zurich (1 day only), Lucerne (2days), and Jangfrau region (3days) and i am totally lost. There is so much to see and simply dont know how to plan it out.

Can one of you be kind enough to give me an itinerary telling me the must see places at each location and how to access them. I know this is not fair but any guidance will be highly appreciated.

Lucas
Lucas
5555 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 3, 2017 - 6:52 AM in reply to nadeemma

Hi Nadeem,

Unfortunately we don't create itineraries here. If you want help planning your trip have a read through our planning web page here.

That said, the most popular attractions for most people, near Luzern, is Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis. For the Jungfrau region it is, I think, Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch. As you know there are many options in these areas and we can't tell you what you will like the most. There aren't really any mountains near Zurich so I would head out as soon as your work there is over.

Once you pick out what you would like to see/visit post a rough itinerary here and we will be happy to assist you with any questions you have on it. Use the Swiss railways timetable here to plan train trips between towns and mountains etc.

Lucas

Last modified on Aug 3, 2017 - 6:54 AM by Lucas
nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 3, 2017 - 10:58 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. I will work on a rough plan and post it soon.

Appreciate your help.

Nadeem.

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 3, 2017 - 12:02 PM in reply to Lucas

By the way Lucas we also want to do some sightseeing with respect to historical parts of the cities and so forth. We would like to get a combination of urban, historical and mountain experience at the same time. Any suggestions and recommendations in that regard.

Lucas
Lucas
5555 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 3, 2017 - 2:04 PM in reply to nadeemma

Hi Nadeem,

You will get a good mix of urban and historical in most towns in Switzerland - all the larger towns have an old town, the smaller towns are just an old town :). In fact there isn't really a lot of "urban" here - Zurich and Geneva are the two largest towns and they are both around or under 400,000 people (quite small).

The best towns with nearby mountains to stay in would probably be Luzern and Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen.

Lucas

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 3, 2017 - 3:26 PM

Thanks again.

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 4, 2017 - 3:21 AM

Hi Lucas and Other Experts

So here is my basic itinerary:

08/09/17 Arrival Zurich at 10:30 am. Get to hotel. Rest for few hours. Explore Zurich. Suggestions about private guided tours if any.

09/09/17 take a half day trip to Rhine falls. Leave for Interlaken later in the afternoon. Need help with train timings. Plan to buy the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass. Still not sure if first or class or second class as there is no info anywhere as to what is the difference between the two and the website is so difficult to navigate. Please advice.

10/09/17 Plan to go to Jungfraujoch. Seems like it is a full day trip. Need help in how to plan this trip. Can we do Schilthorn on the same day? If so how to go about doing both.

11/09/17 Spend half a day in to explore Interlaken. Leave for Lucerne in the afternoon. I am not sure how long will it take to get to Lucerne from Interlaken. Will plan to explore Lucerne if we get there by late afternoon.

12/09/17 Visit Mt. Titlis or Mt.Pilatus. Can we do both in one day? If not which one is better. Also how to get to these places from Lucerne.

13/09/17 Leave Lucerne for Lugano. Want to get on the best panoramic train. You suggested Gotthard but what about Bernina? Also if we get the pass do we still need to book these trains and if so how?

13/09/17-16/09/17 will be in Lugano for the conference. What half day or short trips would you recommend around Lugano.

16/09/17 Back to Zurich from Lugano. Need an evening train from Lugano. What do you suggest? Also what is the travel time from Lugano to Zurich non-stop train.

17/09/17 Fly out of Zurich at 10:00 am.

Alright my Swiss friends here is the itinerary. Now give me your expert advice to fine tune it. Let me know what else we can add into this schedule without getting too tired. We would like to do stuff at medium pace. Do let me know also if we should look into private guided tours or not?

Thanks

Nadeem.

Lucas
Lucas
5555 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 4, 2017 - 9:26 AM in reply to nadeemma

Hi Nadeem,

It is a good looking itinerary.

First, make sure you use the Swiss railways timetable to plan all your trips. It will let you know the quickest options by default so you can decide how much traveling you can or want, to do in a day.

You can read about the differences between 1st and 2nd class on our website here. 2nd class is more than sufficient, unless you want quieter train rides with fewer people around you.

Jungfraujoch is at least a half day trip, you can read about how to get there here, and use the timetable link above to see what schedule works for you. Also, trying to do Schilthorn on the same day is possible but it will make a for a long day!

I'm not sure I can say which is better for you: Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Titlis. Both could be done in one day if you want to. Have a look at the links to help you decide which looks more appealing to you. I might lean towards Mt. Pilatus - plus it is free with the Swiss Travel Pass!

The Gotthard Panorama Express runs between Luzern and Lugano which is why it was recommended. The other trains run on different routes to different cities and wouldn't make sense to use them to try and get to Lugano (at least on the same day as leaving Luzern). If you go on the Gotthard Panorama Express I would upgrade to 1st class (if you don't get the 1st class Swiss Travel Pass).

Unfortunately I don't have any personal experience in Lugano so can't recommend any specific day trips - except perhaps to visit Lake Como. Have a look at the Lugano tourism website for more information.

As for guided tours, they can be nice for a lot of people. but they aren't needed in Switzerland (my personal opinion - especially if you are on a budget).

Each town link (in your post above) has a list of "what to do" and we list guided tours that are available for exploring the town or nearby mountains for you to read about.

Lucas

Last modified on Aug 4, 2017 - 9:27 AM by Lucas
nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 4, 2017 - 11:57 AM

Thank you Lucas so much for all your help and advice.

I will come back to you if I need any further guidance but for now it seems we are good to go.

Regards,

Nadeem.

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 22, 2017 - 2:39 AM

Hi Lucas

I am back. I have booked all my hotels and i have purchased my 8 day rail pass. Now i simply cannot figure how to pre-book on Gotthard Express from Lucerne to Lugano. Can you please guide me how to use my rail pass to make the booking and also upgrading it to first class for that particular trip. I have tried multiple times to do it online but i am getting no where.

Thanks,

Nadeem

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 22, 2017 - 2:40 AM

Sorry i need to travel to Lugano on the 13th of September.

Lucas
Lucas
5555 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 22, 2017 - 6:52 AM in reply to nadeemma

Hi Nadeemma,

Did you use our website to find reservations? http://www.myswissalps .com/gotthardpanoramae xpress/packages

The first link will take you to HappyRail and you should be able to make a 1st class reservation there.

To upgrade your rail pass for this trip only, you can do so at any rail station before you get on that train, on the website for Swiss Railways or even on the mobile app (how to explained here). The price difference is 1/2 the cost between a 1st class and 2nd class ticket.

I hope that helps you!

Lucas

nadeemma
nadeemma
19 posts
new member
Aug 23, 2017 - 2:05 AM in reply to Lucas

I used your web site link to SBB to buy the 8 day travel pass for 2nd class. I did not go to Gotthard panorama package. I am guessing that Gotthard is covered with that pass. Is there a way to confirm that? We are back to same question than how to pre book seats on Gotthard and also to upgrade them to first if i have the 8 day pass if it was purchased on SBB.

Thanks.

Nadeem.

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