A week trip to Switzerland and Austria

Sep 23rd, 2013, 10:03 AM
  #1  
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A week trip to Switzerland and Austria

Hi All

Need some assistance in planning a trip to for a 7/8 nights (Oct 14-22). Need to see 'must see' spots in Switzerland and couple of days in Vienna. Travelling with wife and 3 children (2,3,8) years. Kindly suggest some accommodation as well.

thanks in advance.

Ajit
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Going by train or car?

If train check out these IMO superb sites - www.seat61.com; www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Probably with a family like that a car would be better but if going to Alpine regions like the Berner Oberland (Jungffrau Region), to me the absolute highlight both literally and figuratively of Swsitzerland then cars are useless as they are not allowed into many Alpine areas like above Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region.

So a few days in Vienna

do a day in Salzburg

then head to Switzerland for 3-4 days.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Thanks PalenQ. I need to land in Switzerland - be it Zurich or Geneva (suggest which would be better). Car is not an option as I wish to see around the Alpine areas. Been hearing about Glacier train - so that is also in the bucket list. Yes! Salzburg is in the list in Austria...what else would you suggest. Any idea on a 'budget' apartment in the suggested areas.
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Sep 23rd, 2013, 01:12 PM
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Zurich is a lot closer to Austria and the Jungfrau Region, though Geneva ain't that much farther away if it saves you money. All you kids always travel free under the free Swiss Family Pass - there is a 4-consecutive-day Swiss Saverpass thqat may be of benefit to you as well - just a few days in Switzerland can make a pass pay off - especially if traveling to the Austrian border on it.

Land at Zurich - go to the Interlaken area, an area that abounds in inexpensive accommodations (compared to most of the rest of this really really expensive country) - then head to Austria - taking the Glacier Express would consume two days realy and IMO it is one of the most overhyped trains in Europe - the scene from any train in the Jungfrau Region will be more scenic IME than the Glacier Express.
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:09 AM
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Count 3 days as a minimum for a somewhat decent visit of Vienna and 2 days for Salzburg (more with surroundings) and you will have no time left for Switzerland.

If you want to split your time between Vienna and the Swiss Alps, you may fly directly from Wien Schwechat to Bern International Airport: VIE dp 14.15 - BRN ar 15.55, dp by bus 16.20 - Belp ar 16.28, dp by train 16.55 - Interlaken ar 17.57, Wengen ar 18.51, Riederalp ar 18.52, Saas Fee ar 18.59, Zermatt ar 19.13; if you miss the 16.20 bus (rather improbable), take a taxi to Rubigen (a few kms) and board there the Thun bound 16.57 train. Buses/trains from BRN every 30 min.
neckervd is online now  
Sep 24th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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ttt
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Sep 24th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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You can also fly cheap between Vienna and Zurich on Air Berlin
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Sep 24th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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There is an overnight train rolling between Vienna and Zurich - leaving Vienna around 10 pm and getting into Zurich about 7 am - save cost of a night in a hotel and travel time - otherwise is a long long daytime train trip though the scenery is rather sweet!
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Sep 24th, 2013, 02:29 PM
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I agree with neckervd - do either Austria or Switzerland in such a short time frame or do as Dukey suggests fly between Vienna and Zurich (or take the overnight train).
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Sep 25th, 2013, 12:59 AM
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how to go to mount titlis and how much time does it take. if we stay in Interlaken, can we do a day trip? what are the train timings?
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Sep 25th, 2013, 05:44 AM
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Yes it is about 1.5 hours by train to Alpnachstad from Interlaken - from Alpnachstad you take the thrilling mountain railway up to the summit - easily done - return from the summit by aerial cable car to Krens, in suburban Lucerne and hopthe bus to the town center and train station to return to Interlaken by fast train (not the way you came bu via Bern).
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Sep 25th, 2013, 12:24 PM
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There are two rail routes to Lucerne from Interlaken - the quickest one goes via Bern and may well require a change of trains there anyway the bit less quick route goes up and over the mountains instead of around them - a narrow-gauge train leaving from Interlaken-Ost station - rolling right along the shores of idyllic Lake Brienz to Meringen where the train reverses and starts the prodigious ascent of the Brunig Pass after which it slowly descends to Lake Lucerne, passing some nice Alpine lakes en route - a stop before Lucerne is Alpnachstad, where the Pilatus train goes from.

So I suggest going the more scenic but slower route and returning a different way - via the aerial cable car to Krens on the edge of Lucerne and returning to Interlaken the quickest way - giving you more time to trek around lovely Lucerne.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 12:47 AM
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The "faster" route via Berne takes 2 hrs and costs CHF 58 OW
The "slower" route via Brunig Pass takes 2 hrs too and costs CHF 31
OW
But for Titlis, you will have to take the Brunig train anyway:
Interlaken dp 7.04 and then every hr until 12.04. 4 hrs ride. Change at Hergiswil, Engelberg and Truebsee.
Standard round trip fare: 174 CHF (more or less the same as Jungfraujoch)
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Sep 26th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Oh I gave instructions for Pilatus not Titlis from Interlaken - Titlis to me is much better a bet than Pilatus. sorry for the mix-up.
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Sep 26th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Well the route via Bern apparently is slower now than it once was because you spend a half hour often in Bern between trains and also have to change a lot at Thun - is track work the cause as there are even some Thun-Interlaken buses - the route via Bern on the train itself can be shorter but as neckervd points out now all are about 2 hrs - some via Bern 2:20 because of the 34 minutes between trains.

Thanks for the correction and the way to Engelberg (Titlis) is via the Brunig Pass route from Interlaken-Ost.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 12:03 AM
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Thanks PalenQ, neckerVd.

Ok. I am travelling on Oct 11-18 (7-8)nights and wish to visit at least two countries - Swiss Alps is a def. Rest still debating.
1. would you suggest Austria or Italy since I would be down south in Interlaken

2. would buying the train tickets in advance cheaper or the same as buying once in Switzerland

3. my visa is done by swiss consulate. so is it necessary to enter an airport in swiss or I can enter thru any other port.

4. what is the average temperature during this period (Oct 11-18)

Thanks in advance of any info you may provide.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 07:22 AM
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2. would buying the train tickets in advance cheaper or the same as buying once in Switzerland>

pretty much the same thought www.sbb.ch - Swiss railways site does has some specials once in a while - but for that length of time a Swiss Pass may be your best deal or a Swiss Card of Half-Fare Card - so check those out.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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. would you suggest Austria or Italy since I would be down south in Interlaken>

tough decision - Italy in October would be my choice for weather - weather in Austria can be real dreary in fall - wet and cool and days getting short, etc.

So figure the weather factor!
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Oct 2nd, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Hi,was just busy with work and slightly off track. based on the reviews / opinions, decided to spend 7 days in swiss only. from 15oct - 22nd oct

need some advice to how to manage:
from Zurich to Chur - planning to take the bernina express. do we need to stay in chur? I am taking an 8 day swiss pass so do I need any reservation. is luggage (3 medium size bags) allowed in the train. from Tirano are the bus available to lugano.do they also allow luggage? and do these buses need booking?...staying in lugano for the night and next day to Interlaken.

any better plan?
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Oct 2nd, 2013, 01:11 PM
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If you want to ride in the Panoramic observation cars on Bernina Express you must reserve ahead of time - can do on the official site I believe - regular cars apparently do not need to be booked but ask about that to be sure. Any luggage you can carry is allowed on that train, just like any other one - ditto for the Bernina Express bus to Lugano and points in between - yes that bus has to be reserved and like the Panorama Cars on BE there is a several buck reservation fee - make it at the train station in Chur or other station if possible.
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