So in my mind a master plan was born, to go to Switzerland this August. I'm planning a budget trip - hostels, and train trips, so any advice welcome
I can spend about two weeks there... would that be enough?
Also, any recommendation about rail passes? So far I found 15 day pass for 330 franks (youth pass). What's the difference in Switzerland between 1st and second class? I heard transportation system is very good there, so I’m hoping a Swiss travel pass will be enough, or am I wrong?
Some tips about the weather I can expect would be nice...
And what book should I get, maybe someone can tell from their experience? Let's go / Lonely planet /Rough guide? So far my favorite was Let's go, but maybe for Switzerland it's different?
When I went to Switzerland I had a second class pass and I can't say there was any great difference between first or second class that I noticed, on some trains the first class seats were a bit fancier and had more space but it was pretty superficial. Maybe there were jacuzzis and manservants in the first class carriages that I didn't see but the trains are superb in any case so second class is like first class in a lot of other countries. A train pass is a good idea though because the train service is so good you can go just about anywhere in a short period of time, it's not like some other countries where certain destinations aren't serviced.
I don't know if two weeks is enough or not as I've only been to Switzerland once (I'm sure some of the swiss posters can help) but I was there for about ten days and I just stayed around Bern, it's not a big country but there is a lot of stuff worth seeing in my opinion. The scenery around Lauterbrunnen is superb, as are some of the museums in Luzern - I like Picasso and they have a Picasso museum there with a load of his sketches that you can't see anywhere else. Above all it's a great place for relaxing though.
10 days should be plenty....
Your right about trains, swiss transportation is some of the best of the world.
the only real difference between 1st and 2nd class is that the seats are a little nicer in 1st and also cars are always less crowded in 1st class.
If i remember correctly if you get a Swisspass from Eurail the pass also covers all busses and trams throughtout the country.
Where to go depends on what you want to do. If you want to do alot of outdoors activities I reconmend making Geneva a home base (big city, close to the alps)
I wouldn't miss out on going to Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, and Geneva
anymore questions just ask
Maybe there were jacuzzis and manservants in the first class carriages that I didn't see
In Switzerland the trains are so nice that 2nd class is still really nice and comfortable. I`d say 2 weeks is a fair amount of time, seeing as Switzerland is so small so it is easy to get from one place to another. Recommended places - Zurich, Luzern, Grindelwald, Bern, St Gallen, Appenzell, Geneva.
I found Rough Guides to have the best Swiss travel book - up-to date and enjoyable to read; very informative.
Hope this helps!
Ah, very nice;-) Thank you all...
I've looked into amazon.com, sadly all the guides are quite old - around year 2003, and new ones are announced to come in beginning of august... so gues i'll have to get the old ones
Also few last questions:
Ho far in advance do I need to book cheap hostels? What are chances just to come, and get a bed in middle of august?
What kind of card is more accepted? Euro 26 or ISIC?
And about the weather, what's it like in august? Not to much rain I hope?:D
Once again - thank you all very much for your replies