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11-12 Day Switzerland/Germany/Austria Trip on a Budget


11-12 Day Switzerland/Germany/Austria Trip on a Budget

Old Feb 5th, 2017, 03:15 PM
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11-12 Day Switzerland/Germany/Austria Trip on a Budget

Hi everyone, was just curious if this would be a realistic itinerary for a 11-12 day trip through Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The constraints for the trip are less about time and more about travelling on a student (loan) budget (I promised I'd treat myself for getting through grad school). I know Switzerland is certainly not the cheapest place to be going on a budget, however, the Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau region is by far on the very top of my "to visit" list. My expected time of travel will be mid to end of May. I will be flying in from Dublin, so all of the flights into Switzerland are about the same cost, however, it seems like Geneva might be the cheapest so I'm theoretically starting there and will be using public transportation for the trip. Let me thank all of you in advance for any advice you may have! I am extremely open to suggestions.

For the 4 days in Switzerland, I plan on buying the 4 day Swiss travel pass to cover all travelling expenses.

Day 1: Fly in from Geneva, travel straight to Jungfrau region and spend afternoon exploring the region. I know it is recommended not to stay in Interlaken, however, it seems that most if not all hostels there.
Day 2: Explore Wengen/Murren/Lauterbrunner
Day 3: Day trip to Zermatt or explore Lake Brienz.
Day 4: Hang out until afternoon/early evening, travel to Zurich and spend the night.

Day 5: Make the trek from Zurich to Munich. I know this will severely limit the ability to see anything, so I imagine it will be an evening just spent relaxing or seeing a tiny bit of Munich.
Day 6: Neushwanstein Castle Tour, spend evening in Munich
Day 7: Not sure about this day, is it worth having a rest day in Munich/doing another day trip? Or better served travelling to Salzburg?

Day 8: Travel to Salzburg / Explore Salzburg
Day 9: Day trip to Hallstatt, evening in Salzburg
Day 10: Day trip to Berchtesgaden, evening in Salzburg
Day 11/12: Spend additional time in Salzburg/another day trip, or fly out?

Throughout the trip, my top priorities are seeing the Alps/Mountains and different lakes. Any suggestions/changes you guys might make would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
mmarch13 is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2017, 03:30 PM
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The best hostel I ever stayed at is the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald, the tiny hamlet next to Murren. Cheap, fun, clean, and views of the alps no 5-star hotel could ever touch. Great springboard for hikes. I'm paying them another visit in late May as well.


Once you get there you'll probably want to forget about Zermatt and spend the rest of your Switzerland time exploring the Oberland region.

In terms of a rail pass, it's usually the case that the Swiss Half-fare card is the most economical choice. I prefer the Swiss Pass because the extra cost of any train/cable car/boat ride is zero and I can skip ticket windows/kiosks entirely -- high mountain stuff excepted.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 03:57 PM
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The Mountain Hostel looks absolutely gorgeous, I am definitely going to look into it! Thank you!
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 05:29 PM
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The hostelworld says there are 4 hostels in Lauterbrunnen. One is very conveniently located.
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Old Feb 6th, 2017, 08:07 AM
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Weather is always unpredictable in the Alps. Have a plan B for extremely bad (foggy and rainy) weather

I suppose you know that Neuschwanstein castle is more or less midway between the Swiss border and Munich.

The bus/train ride from Basle airport (ryanair) to Interlaken is about 30 min shorter and 10 CHF cheaper (standard fare) than from Geneva airport.

Zurich - Munich is about 4 1/2 hrs by bus. There are (more expensive) trains too.
neckervd is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2017, 08:23 AM
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Assume you are going by train? Some good sources: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. For Switzerland check on Swiss Passes - www.swisstravelsystem.com for lots about Swiss transports.

I stayed at Mountain Hostel Gimmelwald and it is just like edward says but for a brief sojourn in the area I would find it too isolated for utilizing your limited time- taking time to get up there and back down. Grindelwald makes a more utilitarian base and has the friendly Nature Friend's House that I also stayed in and liked- all-ages:


Grindelwald is but about 20 mins from Interlaken - Gimmelwald I'd say about an hour (train to Lauterbrunnen - post bus to Stechleberg - gondola to Gimmelwald).
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