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Help with a 4-day Trip in Switzerland

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1. Posted by clifc (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

clifc has indicated that this thread is about Switzerland

Hi,

We're planning on flying to and arriving in Zurich, Swizerland on either a Thursday or a Friday morning, and then departing from Zurich around noon the following Monday morning, which means we'll have 3-4 days in Swizerland. Places that I would definitely like to go to are:

Zurich (what should I see here?)
Geneva
Lake Geneva (cruise?)
The Alps
Any other suggestions?

Ohter questions we have are:
1. What is the best way to arrange our itenary (that would save us the most time)?
2. Is there a special train pass that would be good for us? I've heard of Swiss Pass, but not sure whether it would be a good deal in our case.
3. Given all types of different trains in Switzerland, which one is the best/fastest?
4. If we would like to get a decent hotel, what are your recommendations in these locations? And do we really have to book in advnace?

2. Posted by Dreieich (Budding Member 10 posts) 9y

Trains are the fastest and best way to get around. For only 3—4 days you don't need a pass. Just get the tickets at the station prior to departure. (ie. if you leave Zürich at 19.00 get the tickets in the morning to guarantee seats). You might want to visit Luzern which is a short train ride to the south of Zürich. It is a beautiful city that you can walk around in one day. There is also a lake cruis (a bit over an hour) that goes around the Alps and you can take the cruise to Mount Pilatus which has a great cog—train ride to the top (amazing views). When you leave the mountain you can take a cab or bus back to Luzern (not too far away).

I recommend booking your hotels in advance. It is always a smart thing to do. Good luck and have a great time, Switzerland is one of my favourite countries.

3. Posted by clifc (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Hi, thanks for replying. I have a few more questions...

1. For the places I have listed, in what order should I take?
2. For trains, I have heard the half fare card, is it worthy to get?
3. How much would a typical training ride cost, for the destinations I have listed?

4. Posted by aleah (Full Member 400 posts) 9y

I actually would skip Geneva, as for me personally it does not have that much to offer. I would rather go to Interlaken which has a beautiful setting. There is also the possiblitiy to go up to the "Jungfraujoch" or almost as good but cheaper the "Schilthorn" (A James Bond movie was done there, don't remember which one).

Also I also think Lucerne is a nice place to go.
Otherwise if you want to visit Lake Geneva, I recommend that you go to Lausanne, which I personally like more than Geneva.

For the costs,
one way Zürich>Geneva costs CHF 77.-- 2.class (which is good). Double for first class.

It would be possible to buy a 1/2 price card for CHF150.-- (valid 1 year), but you would have to bring a photo and indicate a Swiss adress, then you would receive a temporary card for a couple days. I think I've read something here in one of the forums about this trick. No guarantee.

No need for buying the tickets in advance. There are quite good self-explaining machines where you can purchase train tickets anytime (if you plan to visit also a city I recommend city-tickets, as the public transport within the cities is included as well for one day, for only a small fee).

Kat

5. Posted by dbgomes (Respected Member 72 posts) 9y

Schilthorn" (A James Bond movie was done there, don't remember which one).

On her majesty secret service is the bond film.

We did 5 days in Switzerland in May and had a blast. I have also been to Lucerne before and can def recommend it.

I did a blog for our trip in switzerland which you should be able to see by clicking on my profile if you are interested.

We flew to Geneva (alright, but agree with the other post, there are other places i liked better) then train to Interlaken and spent the majority of the time there including a few days up in Gimmelwald which was amazing!!! Also went up the Schilthorn which gave amazing views of the Jungfrau. Flew out of Basel.

We used the swiss pass rail ticket because i heard that train tickets are expensive in Switzerland. We only got a 3 day pass for teh 3 days of travel we planned and it worked out good as we got discounts on cable car rides and other things just from having the ticket. We felt like we got our money worth out of it for teh amount of times we used it and distances.

daniel

6. Posted by clifc (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Hi Kat,

Thanks for your help. I have a few more questions...

What do you recommend about Lucerne?

I was reading about another place--Zermatt, is that a good place to visit?

What is the main difference between 1st and 2nd class train seats in Switzerland?

As for the 1/2 fare card, I saw a 1-month card for visitors, that costs CHF99.

How often are the trains from Zurich to Geneva?

Quoting aleah

I actually would skip Geneva, as for me personally it does not have that much to offer. I would rather go to Interlaken which has a beautiful setting. There is also the possiblitiy to go up to the "Jungfraujoch" or almost as good but cheaper the "Schilthorn" (A James Bond movie was done there, don't remember which one).

Also I also think Lucerne is a nice place to go.
Otherwise if you want to visit Lake Geneva, I recommend that you go to Lausanne, which I personally like more than Geneva.

For the costs,
one way Zürich>Geneva costs CHF 77.-- 2.class (which is good). Double for first class.

It would be possible to buy a 1/2 price card for CHF150.-- (valid 1 year), but you would have to bring a photo and indicate a Swiss adress, then you would receive a temporary card for a couple days. I think I've read something here in one of the forums about this trick. No guarantee.

No need for buying the tickets in advance. There are quite good self-explaining machines where you can purchase train tickets anytime (if you plan to visit also a city I recommend city-tickets, as the public transport within the cities is included as well for one day, for only a small fee).

Kat

7. Posted by clifc (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

Hi Daniel,

Thank you. What would you recommend about Lucerne and Gimmelwald? As for the Swiss pass, I've seen 4-day, 8-day ones... but not 3-day ones, where can I find passes for just 3 days?

Quoting dbgomes

Schilthorn" (A James Bond movie was done there, don't remember which one).

On her majesty secret service is the bond film.

We did 5 days in Switzerland in May and had a blast. I have also been to Lucerne before and can def recommend it.

I did a blog for our trip in switzerland which you should be able to see by clicking on my profile if you are interested.

We flew to Geneva (alright, but agree with the other post, there are other places i liked better) then train to Interlaken and spent the majority of the time there including a few days up in Gimmelwald which was amazing!!! Also went up the Schilthorn which gave amazing views of the Jungfrau. Flew out of Basel.

We used the swiss pass rail ticket because i heard that train tickets are expensive in Switzerland. We only got a 3 day pass for teh 3 days of travel we planned and it worked out good as we got discounts on cable car rides and other things just from having the ticket. We felt like we got our money worth out of it for teh amount of times we used it and distances.

daniel

8. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

Hi there!

My boyfriend and I went to Interlaken this past summer for a few days - one of the nicest places I've ever been. You're right in the Alps and there's lots of hiking, beautiful rivers and lakes, plus you can take a train ride up to the Jungfrau to see the glacier (best to have a rail pass else it'll cost you a small fortune). We stayed at a place called Rugenpark B&B - a wonderful, clean little place that serves up fantastic breakfasts. It's about a 5-minute walk from Interlaken West train station, so it's very convenient.

We didn't see the rest of Switzerland so it's hard to compare, but Interlaken was the highlight of our trip and I recommend a stop there, if you can. Just ask of you have any other questions. I could talk about it for hours....

9. Posted by dbgomes (Respected Member 72 posts) 9y

Quoting clifc

Hi Daniel,

Thank you. What would you recommend about Lucerne and Gimmelwald? As for the Swiss pass, I've seen 4-day, 8-day ones... but not 3-day ones, where can I find passes for just 3 days?

3 days is available on the flexi pass rather than the straight swiss pass. here is the link that i had http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/produkttexte.php

Lucerne is a beautiful city with the lake, mountains and buildings all giving it a real charm. We stayed at a hotel at the top of the mountain for the 2 days and the views from up there were great!!! Just a nice place to soak up teh scenery and atmosphere.

Gimmelwald was a great break location. We went up to the top of the Schilthorn one afternoon and had great views to all around the alps. But we spent most of the time just walking around the beautiful countryside (see some of my pics for what im talking about) it was only a small town with limited accommodation available so it was very refreshing to walk outside at 9pm and hear silence except for the sounds of water and snow running off the mountain cliffs.

Daniel

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 17, 2007, at 5:36 AM by dbgomes ]

10. Posted by clifc (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

How is the flexi pass different from the straight swiss pass?

Another question I have is, how cold does it get on Schilthorn or on Jungfrau?

Kelly

Quoting dbgomes

Quoting clifc

Hi Daniel,

Thank you. What would you recommend about Lucerne and Gimmelwald? As for the Swiss pass, I've seen 4-day, 8-day ones... but not 3-day ones, where can I find passes for just 3 days?

3 days is available on the flexi pass rather than the straight swiss pass. here is the link that i had http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/produkttexte.php

Lucerne is a beautiful city with the lake, mountains and buildings all giving it a real charm. We stayed at a hotel at the top of the mountain for the 2 days and the views from up there were great!!! Just a nice place to soak up teh scenery and atmosphere.

Gimmelwald was a great break location. We went up to the top of the Schilthorn one afternoon and had great views to all around the alps. But we spent most of the time just walking around the beautiful countryside (see some of my pics for what im talking about) it was only a small town with limited accommodation available so it was very refreshing to walk outside at 9pm and hear silence except for the sounds of water and snow running off the mountain cliffs.

Daniel