Need help to plan Trip with Family to Switzerland
Replies: 10 - Last Post: May 17, 2012 11:17 AM Last Post By: himanshigarg
May 1, 2012 6:12 AM
Need help to plan Trip with Family to SwitzerlandHi,
We are planning a 9 DAY vacation to Switzerland, our kids (age 5 and 6 month) will be accompanying us. We are flying to Zurich from NY and would be returning from Zurich itself.
Will driving be a better & safe option to do the sight-seeing OR is it better to take the train. If train, which pass do you all recommend?
We want to go to Zurich, Geneva, Lucerene, Interlaken, Montreax, Lausanne and Zerrmatt. Can someone kindly suggest how we should go about it. Also, where should we stay so that we can have day trips to these places or should we take hotel at different places? This is our first trip and hence don't want to miss any MUST-SEE places. All help will be much appreciated?
May 1, 2012 7:06 AM
1Hi.... *himanshigarg. Welcome to Thorn Tree.
I hope you have a very happy and long stay here - with us all.
Just a few lines from me....
As you talk about 'Must see' locations, rent-a-car would my only option.
Trains in Switzerland are great. But to see a lot, you're going to have to get on and off a lot - too.
As for one being a 'Better & safe option' than another.... That I don't know.
I've taken trains - and driven in Switzerland. Both were safe.
The cops are very alert - and dish out hefty penalties to speeding and careless drivers.
The only reason I mention that - is because it happened to me. Only myself to blame.
It's more a 'Preference' thing, car over train - rather than which is better.
That's just my opinion.
Others will have different ideas on how to get about.
Hope you have a great trip ! !
May 1, 2012 7:33 AM
2So you want to do the loop
Zurich airport - Zermatt: 3 1/2 hrs ride, trains every hour, change at Visp
Zermatt - Geneva: 3 3/4 hrs, trains every 30 to 60 min, change at Visp
Geneva - Montreux: trains every 30 min, direct
Montreux - Gstaad - Interlaken: 3 to 4 hrs, trains every hour, change at Zeisimmen and sometimes Spiez
Interlaken - Brunig - Lucerne: 2 hrs, direct trains, every hour
Lucerne - Zurich: 45 min, direct trains, every 30 minutes
If you do only these journeys (and nothing else), the Swiss Half Fare Card is the best solution. You would then pay about 300 CHF per person. But I cannot immagine that you don't want to do any sidetrips by mountain railway or by boat. In this case, the Swiss Saver Pass or the Swiss Saver Flexi Pass would become more advantageous.
These passes can be got for half the fare is you travel in May, September, October or November (the weather in November is cold an horrible, however).
Your kids don't need any ticket.
Have a look at
May 1, 2012 9:30 AM
3Personally, I would rent an apartment in Interlaken for a week. It probably will cost as much as a hotel for 2 nights. Then you have a nice base to do day trips, and can always return to the apartment if needed during the day. You'll also have a kitchen and refrigerator which you may find to be a great convenience, and the family can get out from underfoot of each other unlike in a small hotel room. You can take a lot of boat trips on either lake, and there is a multitude of different ways to access the nearby peaks of the Bernese Oberland. Among other ways, the town tourist office can provide you with a list of accommodations. Don't worry about what your missing elsewhere. You won't even have time enough to begin to see all that is on offer nearby. And for a rainy day, go to nearby Bern as the arcades will keep you dry as you walk about.
May 1, 2012 9:44 AM
4Thank you all!!!
Another question - Glacier Express- I just came across online this train ride that's supposed to be really beautiful and wanted to ask those of you who have tried it if it's actually worth it. I will be staying in Zurich and don't think I want to take the whole trip to St. Moritz, but just part of it, one that will allow me to go and come back on the same day.
We also plan to visit Mount Titlis, Jungfraujech, glacier express to St. Moritz, kindly suggest me the perfect place to stay?
Is it required to reserve any trains as we am travelling in the busy season OR can we get the tickets at the counter directly.
We are more interested in old towns, nature (no ski), lakes, glaciers. I am still planning my itinery but its too much infor to read.
May 1, 2012 9:51 AM
May 3, 2012 8:53 PM
6Any recommendations for accommodation in Interlaken? We plan to stay there for 5 nights and do day trips to different places.
May 4, 2012 1:05 AM
7If you like to maximize time spent in trains and railway stations, go to Interlaken.
If not, choose a more centrally located place or a railway hub like Brig (for Zermatt-Gornergrat/Kleinmatterhorn, Montreux, Geneva, Bern, Interlaken town, Lake Maggiore, Centovallil Panoramic Train, Milan, Aletsch Glacier, Loetschental, Glacier Express, etc.
Spend your last night(s) at Lucerne, it's just 1 hr by train from Zurich airport.
May 17, 2012 3:35 AM
8There are 461 hotels with about 15.000 beds in the Bernese Oberland. So don't tell me that you don't find a hotel there!
What are you looking for: five stars, hostels, apartments?
direct trains between Zurich airport and Bern every 27 to 33 minutes between 6.13 and 22.40.
There is absolutely nothing to see at Interlaken and almost nothing at Unterseen.
A short visit of Wengen or Grindelwald doesn't make any sense. These places are good bases for excursions to Kleine Scheidegg (may be Jungfraujoch) and First. But these trips last a whole day (may be with som walking).
A serious visit of Bern (with musseums) can easily take a whole day, but I wouldn't do that after a overnight flight. What about a boat cruise on Lake Thun (may be with the visit of Beatus caves and/or Oberhofen castle) or on Lakes Bienne-Neuchatel-Murten?
Go only to this area if the weather is fine. Jungfraujoch in the clouds with snowfall and temperatures below zero degrees centigrade i a horror! Combine Jungfraujoch with a hike in the Eigergletscher railway station-Kleine Scheidegg-Maennlichen area. There is absolutely nothing to see at Lauterbrunnen.
For all you want to do, you should leave Bern at 8.07 - arrival at Gornergrat at 11.00. Enjoy then the splendid glacier panorama, do some hikes and go down to Riffelberg. Have lunch there and do the paragliding afterwards.
If you want to go to Kleinmatterhorn (Glacier paradise) first, be aware that you will have to go down allthe way up to Zermatt and then up to another mountain for the paragliding.
I suppose you checked the costs (from/up to Zermatt, with Swiss Pass or half fare card): Kleinmatterhorn round trip 55 USD, Rothorn one way 25 USD, Paragliding 220 USD, Total 300 USD/pax from/up to Zermatt with Swiss Pass.
The train ride Berne - Lausanne lasts 1 hr 10 min; trains ever 30 min.
Count about 2-3 hrs for the old town and the Cantonal Museum. May be you visit the Olympic Museum at Ouchy too.
There are steamboats plying the lake between Ouchy and Chillon castle.
There is a much nicer route for going back from Montreux: golden Panoramic Express via Gstaad.
once again: there is nothing to visit at Interlaken, Wengen, Grindelwald etc. These places (a mix of hotels, holiday flats, tourist shops) are just starting points for walks and excursions to the surrounding mountains.
You could visit Lucerne from Bern as well as from Zurich: 1 hr by train (every hr).
May 17, 2012 8:50 AM
9If your plane lands in time, you will arrive at Bern at 8.58.
There is no Visp (Zermatt) bound train leaving Bern at 8.30
Your Zermatt paragliding link is wrong. It should be: www.paragliding-zermatt.ch/
If you start a Riffelberg hike (about 4 hrs) around 6pm, you must sleep there. The last train leaves Riffelberg at 20.20.
If you leave Ouchy by historic steamboat at 12.30 (board restaurant), you reach Chillon castle at 14.00. You can then either take the Montreux dp 15.47 train to Rochers de Naye ar 16.41, dp 17.46 - Montreux ar 18.41 or the Goldne Pass Panoramic train Montreux dp 17.45 - Zweisimmen ar 19.45 (- Bern ar 21.23), but not both.
You can either visit Zurich and surroundings or make this idiotic bus tour to Liechtenstein, but not both.
May 17, 2012 11:17 AM
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