Zurich Airport to Luzern how to?

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martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Feb 21, 2018 - 3:22 PM

Hi everyone

im travelling to europe next week and Switzerland will be the first country i will visit. I will land at zurich airport im not sure what is the airport called (Kloten?) and will travle straight to luzern afterwards. I understand that there are trains from the airport direct to luzern leaving at 47 mins past the hour. Is there only one train station in luzern? Is the station near the CHapel Bridge? I will be staying in that area and I dont want to walk a long way to Old town area with my luggage. Train tickets I assume we can buy at the airport? If I were to travel Luzern 2 nights (go to mt pilatus to see some snow) and Zurich 2 nights (sightseeing around the city) will it be too much if I get the 4 days Swiss travel pass? Or a single journey will be better to suit my travel?

I wish to see some snow, the rest will be sightseeing the beautiful city of luzern and zurich of course.

This is my first time to Europe and wish to get some advices.

Thank you :)

Lucas
Lucas
9609 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:32 PM in reply to martien

Hi Martien and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Chapel bridge is about a 5 minute walk from Luzern train station. That is the only "luzern" train station. You can use the timetable to find all your trip schedules. You can just enter the address of your hotel as the end destination and it will show you your options (quickest by default).

As for the best rail pass you will need to plan out all your trips you plan to make while in Switzerland and do the math. We have a page to help you with that: How to choose the best rail pass.

you could look at a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass for sure but it might not be too cost effective unless you plan to travel by train and bus a fair bit in Zurich - if it is only public transport around town then it is probably overkill.

You could look at a 2 day Tell Pass. It will cover all your trips in Luzern & part of the trip between Zurich airport and Luzern (you'd need tickets between Zurich airport and Zug or Baar depending on the trains routing to Luzern). Then just local transit tickets for Zurich.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Feb 21, 2018 - 11:17 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Martien-

Lucas gave you excellent answers, but I would like to add a few more comments.

<<"what is the airport called (Kloten?) ">>

It used to be called Kloten, but I am told that is a vulgar word in some European language...Dutch? Swedish? Don't remebr which. Kloten is the name of the village nearest the airport. But, a few years ago they tried to rename it "Unique." I don't think that stuck - at least I don't see it often - so I just call it Zurich Airport in English, and Zürich Flughafen in German.

<<" I understand that there are trains from the airport direct to luzern leaving at 47 mins past the hour.".

True. The xx47 does stop in Zürich Hauptbahnhof ( main station) but goes on to Luzern with no change of trains. The train from the airport at XX18 also is good for Luzern. It does requires change at Zürich main station, but you have 8 minutes to make that...quite possible...standard minimum allowance is 4 minutes.

<<"Is there only one train station in luzern?">>

Lucas answered correctly. There is only one station named Luzern. Station naming is unambiguous. Maps and timetables require exact names, and al must be different. Even in in Zürich, where there a few train stations here and there as remnants of the old lines coming into the city to a terminal, those stations have names such as Zürich Teifenbrunnen or Zürich Stadelhofen.

<<" ..Is the station near the CHapel Bridge? I will be staying in that area and I dont want to walk a long way to Old town area with my luggage">>

Lucas answered that one as well. What he did not mention is that the Chapel Bridge is in the Old Town, connecting parts of the Old Twon (Altstadt) on each side of the river.

Take a look at a map...it will help you understand the locations. This one is useful:

map.search.ch/

Zooming in on Luzern:

at zoom level 32, the rail lines become very clear:

map.search.ch/?pos=669888,211456&z=32

and zooming in further, especially if you use the aerial imagery, you can see the main station, the Chapel Bridge, the Old Town, etc.

map.search.ch/?pos=666120,211480&z=51 2

<<" Train tickets I assume we can buy at the airport? ">> Yes.

<<"the rest will be sightseeing the beautiful city of luzern and zurich of course.">>

Zürich is not an "of course." Luzern is. Zürich is only an "of course" if you have specific known interests there. Shopping? Specific museums?

Luzern is much more scenic, and has some superb museums.

It is not as scenic as other possible destinations.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/zu rich

We don't know your arrival and departure times, but if they permit, I'd consider spending time in the Jungfrau region instead of Zürich. seeing the region is possible as a day trip from Luzern, but if you go all out and spend the money to go up to Jungfraujoch, it become a very long day as a day trip. . Check the timetable that Lucas linked for you.

I'd consider staying in Interlaken ( good train connections but not so scenic) or, much better, one of the Alpine villages south of there -Wengen, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald. Search all those names in this website for more details. It is ski season, so they may be full, but, I'd try. The atmosphere is very Swiss, and the mountains covered with snow are magnificent.

Interlaken Ost itself is 2 hours 12 minutes to 2 hrs 16 minutes from Zürich airport, twice per hour.. But, the villages are accessed by slow mountain trains into the valley from Interlaken Ost, and add 25 minutes to almost an hour to go into or come out of the valley, depending on which one you choose. So, you might want to stay in Interlaken, and take a day trip or two into the Lauterbrunnen Valley and up on the mountains - many options. Maybe go up to Schilthorn, for example:

map.search.ch/?pos=639600,165616&z=32

www.myswissalps.com/sc hilthorn

www.schilthorn.ch/

Just some ideas for more snow. ;-)

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
11356 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 22, 2018 - 9:10 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Indeed in Dutch we couldn't call an airport or any other place Kloten. It would basically mean that the place sucks, and there are different meanings as well, within the category you mentioned. But then again, who knows what Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport) means in some other languages :-)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Feb 22, 2018 - 11:47 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno-

I'm sure that the Swiss did not consult the Dutch before they named the village of Kloten. ;-)

Wiki says -

<<"Kloten is first mentioned in 1155 as Chlotun.[3]">>

in

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Kloten

Of course the Netherlands have a long and complex history, so it's hard to pin down the of the word in Holland or Flemish. Apparently a related verb exists in Swedish..

en.wiktionary.org/wiki /kloten

Slowpoke

martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2018 - 5:51 AM in reply to Lucas

thank you!

im quite nervous as this is my first trip to europe and I know nothing about it. So thank you again for the help!

martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2018 - 5:55 AM in reply to Slowpoke

I was thinking to see some snow and take photos of the surrounding without skiing. I will travel with my wife and she wishes to have some photos taken in the snow. Mt Pilatus is the closest I can go from Luzern right? so we can have a day trip to explore a bit of Mt pilatus. Is there a lot to see in Mt Pilatus if we dont go skiing?

Last modified on Feb 23, 2018 - 5:59 AM by martien
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Feb 23, 2018 - 9:42 AM in reply to martien

Hi Martien-

Pilatus is very close to Luzern.

You would go up by cableway from Kriens. The cograil from Alpnachstad does not run in the Winter.

I have turned on only the symbols for Mountain Transport in this map, using the menus:

map.search.ch/Pilatus?poi=bergbahn&pos=66772 8,206736&z=32

You might consider Titlis as well as Pilatus.

www.myswissalps.com/pi latus

www.myswissalps.com/ti tlis

Lots of snow stuff at Titlis, and some on Pilatus.

At this time of year, the Rigi will almost surely have snow.

Check some webcams:

en.swisswebcams.ch/suc he/ort/rigi-kulm-2660093/

en.swisswebcams.ch/suc he/ort/titlis-2658357/

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 23, 2018 - 9:48 AM by Slowpoke
martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2018 - 1:06 PM

Hello slowpoke and thank you for the advice. I will discuss other options with my wife. By the way. What is the baggage allowance by train from the zurich airport to Luzern? I think we will be travelling in 2nd class.

Thank you

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Feb 25, 2018 - 2:24 PM in reply to martien

Hi martien -

<<"By the way. What is the baggage allowance by train from the zurich airport to Luzern?

As much as you can carry. ;-)

As far as I know, there is no limit, and I have seen people with a LOT of luggage.

Depending on the design of the cars, small luggage might go on overhead racks, larger in between the seat backs,and in the vestibules at the ends of the cars, or on luggage racks in the actual passenger compartments, near the doorways.

The more modern trains, with double decks have a very large space inside the main doors, level with the platform in the station. For the short stretch from the airport to Zürich main station, many people simply stand there with their luggage. Quite a few get out at Zürich on the trains to Luzern.

Older cars require you to lift your bags up a couple of steps to get on board.

Luggage carts at the airport are free. The ones at Zürich main station are linked in queues all around the station. A 2 CHF coin unlocks one. When you are done, plug it back into a queue where you are finished with it, and you coin pops back out. Sometimes requires a little jiggling. ;-)

At both locations, the carts will go up and down the escalators.. Don't overload, they tip at an angle and may spill your luggage. There are also elevators.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 25, 2018 - 4:26 PM by Slowpoke
martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Feb 26, 2018 - 3:33 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Great to know that cause luggage will be quite large.

Okay we decided to go to pilatus since its the closest to luzern and while there are some day trips for groups to go to mount pilatus and they offer boat trip in lake luzern, we prefer to go there by ourselves so we can be flexible with our departure times. Where would we buy the train tickets and cable car tickets? I know we have to go by kriens route then take the cable car up to mount pilatus. And also where to buy the lake luzern boat trip?

thank you!

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Feb 26, 2018 - 6:53 AM in reply to martien

Tickets for a trip to Pilatus are available online at any staffed rail station, at the Lake Lucerne boat docks and from the Pilatus ticket desks. Tickets for a boat trip can be bought at the boat docks or through the timetable. Depending on which rail pass you have (if any, see Lucas' post) you might not need tickets.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Feb 26, 2018 - 10:20 AM in reply to martien

Hi Martien -

Just to be clear.

If you go up to Pilatus via Kriens, there is no boat trip involved.

In warmer months, when the cograil is operating from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, you can get to Alpnachstad from Luzern main station by boat or train ( or automobile, for that matter).

In the Winter, there is only limited lake boat service on Lake Lucerne ( in German, der Vierwaldstättersee).

Here is the boat schedule. Make sure that you scroll down to the proper season. There is some kind of map on the site; if I recall correctly, it is oriented with North at the bottom, for Luzern, and places Flüelen at the top. Sort of backwards.

www.lakelucerne.ch/en/ timetable-fares/timetable/

In this map below I have turned on the symbols for bus stops and mountain transport, using the menus under Points of Interest/Traffic and checked some of the choices. Ship landings are also visible. Zoom in and out. I have used the search function to locate the bus stop in Kriens which is close to the cableway station. If you zoom out, you can see Pilatus and also Alpnachstad. Zoom out far enough, and you can see the southern end of the lake.

map.search.ch/?q=bus+stop+Kriens&poi= bergbahn,haltestelle&n ear=667048,210288&pos= 666768,209224&z=64

That map will help you understand the locations of ship landings, and if you turn on railroads in the Traffic menu, you can see how you might take a train ( or train and bus) to or from one of the lake boat stops.

Sometimes, when I want to relax on a jet-lag day, I take a train to Flüelen, at the southern tip of the lake and ride the lake boat all the way back to Luzern. That takes 3 or 4 hours, so sometimes I get off at various stops to walk through a town and catch a bus, or have beer or a coffee and watch the lake boats come and go... There is also some kind of food service on the lake boats. However, there are not many running in the Winter, so that there is a lot less chance to wait for another boat a bit later. I like to do that at Treib, where there is a funicular up to Seelisberg. That is called the Treib-Seelisberg Bahn. Because of commuters to Seelisberg, there is reasonable service from Treib to Brunnen, for the train.

Sometimes I only ride as far as Brunnen, which has a good train connection to Luzern. The train station is about a 10 minute walk from the boat landing. There is usually a shuttle bus available, but it is an easy walk along the main street. In the summer, the terrace of the Hotel Waldstätterhof, near the boat landing, is a nice place to have a bite and watch the lake. I'm sure that the terrace is closed in the Winter, though.

Slowpoke

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martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2018 - 8:21 PM

I really enjoyed Luzern and Zurich. While they are two different kind of cities, they are charming in their own ways. Thank you for the tips and I even managed to get to Pilatus amd the view is so breathtaking. I was lucky it was a sunny saturday. On sunday it fogs like crazy already.

Tomorrow i will be leaving to Paris and I already bought tgv tickets. I have some questions regarding the immigration and check in. Is it like you take aeroplane? 1 hour before? I stayed near the zurich Hb station so I need to know what time I should be in there. My train is at 11:34 i believe.

Thank you very much once again!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Mar 5, 2018 - 10:55 PM in reply to martien

Hi Martien:

If any checking is done, it will be on the train.

You are going from one Schengen country to another, so there is no passport checking required. It was done when you entered the Schengen zone.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Schengen_Area

Only rare occasions, some checking may be done, but not before you get on the train.

So, get there a few minuted before the train leaves. You probably have reserved seats, so you'll want time tio find the proper car.

<<" I really enjoyed Luzern and Zurich. While they are two different kind of cities, they are charming in their own ways.">>

It is hard to predict reactions, which is why we don't usually provide ityneraries. It does make it easier when someone tells us what they like to do. ;-)

By the way, it is nice to hear that you enjoyed both cities. Zürich is actually my favorite city in Switzerland, but we don't usually recommend it because it does not have the scenery that Luzern has. And, parts of the Old Town near Neumarkt are a bit off the beaten path.

How did you find the process of handling your luggage on the trains?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Mar 5, 2018 - 11:00 PM by Slowpoke
martien
martien
7 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2018 - 4:50 AM

Hi slowpoke

i should not be worried then. I thought it was like any other international departure.

Luzern has many beautiful sceneries and the fact that it only took us around 1 hour to get to top of pilatus is awesome. We didnt feel tired. I agree Zurich may have far better options when we say shopping or eating, the city reminds me a lot of melbourne australia with its trams.

baggage handling was fine as train was not packed. We had too many luggages with us which 2 of them are rather large. We chose hotel nearest to station for both zurich and luzern so we dont have to worry for taxi.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5163 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 9:45 AM

Hi Martein -

I'm glad to hear that your travesl in ASwitzerland went soothly. One of the things that impressed me about Switzerland when I first began to travel there many years ago was just how smothly the transport sytem worked.

<<"the city reminds me a lot of melbourne australia with its trams. ">>

They are really useful. I have arthritis in my knees, which sometimes decide that they would like me to ride, rather than to walk. With a day-card for the city transportation, and maybe with a zone or two added to the base zone, I can get around very well and choose to walk or to ride for short or moderate distances.

<<"baggage handling was fine as train was not packed. We had too many luggages with us which 2 of them are rather large">>

Perhaps you noticed in the timetable that the normal degree of occupancy is shown by little cartoons of people to the right of the information for individual journeys.

<<"We chose hotel nearest to station for both zurich and luzern so we dont have to worry for taxi.">>

Since we often discus hotel choices in the Forum, I'm curious which hotels you used. Would you mind telling us which ones they were?

Slowpoke

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