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Trip report family of 4 in Switzerland May 2019


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Knightrider
Knightrider
18 posts
new member
Jun 2, 2019 - 6:13 PM

I was in Switzerland from 19th May to 31st May 2019 with my wife and two kids (13 years and 8 years). We traveled to Paris from India for first three days and then reached Switzerland on 19th May. I had planned this trip almost 10 months in advance and the valuable information available in this forum really helped me to plan each and every day with reasonable accuracy. I really thank the experts, moderators and forum members for offering the insights and suggestions.

This was my third visit to Swiss (my wife's second after 17 years and 1st for my kids), and even then the 13 days were as refreshing as the first visit. Stunning scenery all over, snow capped mountains, beautiful valleys, large lakes, railway and roads through beautiful landscapes, waterfalls. Just like a description in fairy tale books!

We had planned the most optimum travel journey from India (Direct flights and most convenient timings) however shut down of Jet airways meant we had to revisit the flight options just a month before travel. This increased our budget significantly and reduced one day of our Paris stay. At the end of the trip, we all feel that it was worth the extra money and even if one day was less in Paris, our Swiss duration was not affected.

We decided to plan the visit on our own instead of any tours. This offered us maximum flexibility and it allowed us to 'connect' with the places we visited as we could spend time as per our convenience. Ours kids got experience of traveling with multiple modes of transport.

We purchased 15 days continuous Swiss Travel Pass using Swisstours and got INR 6500 discount on the total price. We also got buy 1 one get one free for the Harder Kulm Tickets. Swiss pass worked like wonders for us as it offered hassle free unlimited travel all over swiss on Rail, Bus, Tram and Boat. Some important attractions are free with Swiss Pass whereas some offered good discounts (more on this later). Best part is that children under 16 traveling with parents travel absolutely free, even on mountain excursions.

We decided to keep a single base as Interlaken for accommodation, except for the last two days where we stayed near Zurich Airport. This helped us a lot as we avoided packing and unpacking our bags, travel with luggage every now and then. Some of the places were far off from Interlaken but the trade off was okay for us. The biggest benefit was that we could flex our mountain visits based on the weather. We had booked apartment through AirBnB and it was just 7 minutes walk from Interlaken OST. At Zurich, we stayed at Novotel Zurich Airport Messe, was again bang next to the tram station connecting to Airport as well as City.

The weather during the stay was surprisingly colder for the month of may, at the base as well as Mountains. Our Apartment offered fully equipped kitchen hence we could manage the breakfast and dinner by ourselves. The option of apartment really helped us to keep the budget under control.

Used the SBB mobile app for timetable and Metoswiss/Individual mountain sites for Weather forecast. We didn't purchase local Swiss SIM as didnt feel the need for it. Also, our apartment didnt have TV and didnt miss it a single moments. After all who needs to watch TV when in Swiss Alps!

Schedule we followed:

Day 1 - Took train to Basel from Paris Est and then SBBT train from Basel to Interlaken OST. Reached by 8 PM and straight away checked in the Apartment.

Day 2 - It was raining all over Switzerland hence we decided to take it easy. Roamed in the town, did some window shopping and hopped on the bus to go to St Beatus Caves. However the caves were closed due to heavy rains. The location of caves is awesome with some good views of Lake Thun.

Day 3 - The weather was good at Zermatt so visited the town and went to Gornergrat by the train. Plenty of fresh snow at Gornergrat and kids enjoyed the first experience in the full fledged snow. 50% discount on the tickets with Swiss Pass.

Day 4 - Visited the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley and Stabbach Falls. Went up to Schilthorn via Grutschalp->Murrren. Unfortunately Schilthorn was fully covered with clouds and there was zero visibility. Stopped at Birg for the thrill walk and while we did the walk, it was again in clouds so no views! On the way back we went Trummelbach Falls. The visit to Schilthorn was fully covered with Swiss Pass.

Day 5 - It was the most beautiful day with cloudless sky. So we decided to visit Jungraujoch and I think we made the best choice. Clear blue sky and full sun made the visit most memorable. 25% discount on train tickets. We had decided to do Helicopter ride when planning Swiss trip and we didnt miss the opportunity on the beautiful day. We did 18 minutes heli ride over Jungfrau region with Swisshelicopter.ch and it was once in a lifetime experience. In the late evening visited Harder Kulm.

Day 6 - Visited Aare Gorge and Reinbachen Falls. Aare Gorge was a different experience and was amazed to see the gorge formed by melting glaciers. In the evening did the round trip cruise on Lake Brienz.

Day 7 - Visited Massion Calier chocolate factory at Broc. Again different experience and the best part was that the entry was fully covered by Swiss Pass. In the evening made a brief stopover in Bern.

Day 8 - Took a day off with traveling and just relaxed in the morning. In the afternoon visited Oberhofen Castle. The castle itself is impressive with a beautiful lake side park. The entry to the castle and park is fully covered by Swiss Pass.

Day 9 - Traveled to Luzern City covering the chappel bridge, Cathedral and Lion Monument. Visited Glacier Garden and Bourbaki Panorama (Both fully covered by Swiss Pass). In the afternoon visited transport museum, a must for kids.

Day 10 - It was another rainy day so we utilized it for some shopping.

Day 11 - Traveled to Zurich hotel in the morning and after check in visited Rhine Falls. Made the round trip as suggested by forum and took the Blue boat Cruise!

Day 12 - Again beautiful weather and made visit to 'Queen of Mountains' i.e. Mt Rigi. We are so glad to choose visit to Rigi, absolutely stunning 360 degrees views! We did the round trip to Rigi as below:

Zurich-Arth Goldau->Rigi->Vitznau->Luzern->Zurich (fully covered by swiss pass)

Day 13 - Traveled back to Mumbai capturing beautiful moments and cherishing memories.

I will definitely consider visiting Swiss again in few years time (money and time permitting :-)), the charm is too irresistible!

I once again thank each and every one of you and also providing an opportunity to share my thoughts and the journey.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jun 3, 2019 - 12:16 AM in reply to Knightrider

Hi Knightrider,

Glad you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Go any good photos to share?

Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
Jun 3, 2019 - 3:46 AM in reply to Knightrider

Hello Knightrider,

Thanks a million for your report and the nice words you find for this forum. We're glad we're able to support.

And yes, do share some photos.. :)

Best,
Steph

Isobel
Isobel
54 posts
active member
Jun 3, 2019 - 4:12 AM

Hi Knightrider, thanks for your trip report, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Sounds wonderful especially with children - they will have the memories for ever of your family trip. We are off to Switzerland from Australia in 2 weeks and I am so much looking forward to it. Best wishes, Isobel

Knightrider
Knightrider
18 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2019 - 9:03 AM

Hi all, thanks for the compliments.

Some of the pics are available at the below location.

photos.app.goo.gl/XhtT ibdriu9uGueq9

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jun 7, 2019 - 10:48 AM in reply to Knightrider

Some great photos there Knightrider. That Lauterbrunnen Valley is something isn’t it. Thanks for sharing.

Last modified on Jun 7, 2019 - 10:48 AM by rockoyster
Knightrider
Knightrider
18 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2019 - 11:05 AM

Yes very much. The beauy of the valley grows on you as you spend more time there

Malang85
Malang85
44 posts
active member
Jun 7, 2019 - 4:28 PM

Hi knightrider,

It's a great itinerary, you have mentioned above and all the pics are beautiful as well.

Brother, i wanna know few things like how many days in advance , flights should be booked from India (delhi) to zurich and for return from paris -delhi to get best deals , as i am also planning to book 12-13 days trip( 9 days switzerland and 3-4 days paris) in may- june 2020.

It will be so nice of you if you share your email id or text me at <removed, see forum rules> for additional tips over and above to mentioned experiences and it will be great if you can share on this portal itself so that other Travelers will also get benefitted.

Will be thankful for your co-operation.

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