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Best way to connect Switzerland, Austria and Germany

Best way to connect Switzerland, Austria and Germany

Old Apr 17th, 2018, 05:40 PM
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Best way to connect Switzerland, Austria and Germany

Well be flying Brisbane to Zurich return - arriving 12 September , departing 21 October. So we have approximately 5 1/2 weeks in total and would like to see Austria and Germany after 2 weeks in Switzerland.

I have bought guidebooks and researched and I know roughly what Id like to see. ( My husband will accompany me but is happy to let me decide where to go - hes not a travel fanatic like me).

My question is just what is the best order in which to go to Austria and Germany, considering that were flying home from Zurich? My plan is to try to do a rough circuit over 3 1/2 weeks. I thought maybe wed see Austria first so that we dont run into the Octoberfest crowds in the vicinity of Munich, but if we avoid that area maybe that isnt necessary.
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Old Apr 18th, 2018, 03:57 PM
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By train or car? In Switzerland I would highly consider going by train if going to Alpine areas where cars are often banned and public transports the only way to explore places like the Jungfrau Region (my top recommendation for first-time touris - getting around is so so easy due to its myriad of mountain trains and aerial gondolas and footpaths for all energy levels); Zermatt and such. So, consider a Swiss Travel Pass if going to those areas and traveling around the country.

If renting car in one country and returning in another you may have to pay steep dropoff chrages for doing so. Check on that!

Octoberfest is great to experience but you could day trip in from some nearby town by train. Or plan your Munich time after Octoberfest has ended (first weekend in October often I believe).

Or go the whole way by trains - which are great in Austria and Germany too.

Anyway for lots on trains check www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com; for Switzerland www.swisstravelsystem.com.
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Old Apr 18th, 2018, 08:08 PM
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Yes, sorry, I meant to say travelling by train. But after 2 weeks in Switzerland, what is a convenient place to cross into Austria, say? I’m not sure about the best way to do it, or whether going via Germany is easier.
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Old Apr 18th, 2018, 08:44 PM
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I could be mistaken, but I think it depends on where, exactly, you want to go in these countries. One technique I use with similar questions is to print out a few rough maps (or even just label some Xs on a piece of paper!) and then mark up some options by drawing arrows from one x to another, writing the time involved by the arrow. You can get a rough idea of your transportation options on rome2rio.com

Good luck with your planning!
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Old Apr 19th, 2018, 01:04 AM
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OK, thanks. I’ll try that. I’m interested in Innsbruck in Austria and Fussen in Germany. I don’t know which town iit would be easiest to get to by train from Switzerland. A map of railway lines between the three countries would be useful.
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Old Apr 19th, 2018, 04:42 AM
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I use a somewhat dated Thomas Cook Railway Map of Europe for planning European rail travel. An updated version is available, and there are some online maps - see https://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-travel.htm#map

For timetables I always use bahn.de and the national rail companies. Do spend some time on seat61.com which has answers to questions you haven't thought to ask.
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Old Apr 19th, 2018, 06:00 AM
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Fussen or Innsbruck should be both about the same time railwise from Switzerland - just check on www.bahn.de/en to see.

And yes do Switzerland first for better weather - crucial in Alps and fall weather can deteriorate quickly.
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Old Apr 19th, 2018, 11:17 AM
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Best place to enter Austria by train from Switzerland - depends - if in Interlaken/Lucerne area go via Buchs and Bregenz, Austria if headed to Innsbruck.
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Old Apr 21st, 2018, 12:19 PM
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The most scenic itinerary from Switzerland to Innsbruck goes through the Alps:
Glacier Express or Palm Express, or Bernina Express from either Bernese Oberland or Valais or Ticino to St. Moritz area and then train and bus via Scuol to Landeck - Innsbruck, via Stelvio - Meran - Timmelsjoch - Oetztal to Innsbruck or via Mustair - Meran - Bolzano/Bozen to Innsbruck.

Innsbruck - Neuschwanstein: train to Garmisch - Ulrichsbruecke-Fuessen or Reutte plus bus.
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Old Apr 21st, 2018, 05:12 PM
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Thanks, but with luggage wouldn’t it be easier just to go direct from Zurich to Innsbruck?
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Old Apr 21st, 2018, 11:24 PM
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All depends on where you will stay in Switzerland.
If you plan to visit the mountain lakes and glaciers of Engadin, it's easier to travel via Scuol ,
if you stay at Schaffhausen/Rhine Falls, you may go by boat up to Bregenz (full day cruise) and board there the direct Innsbruck bound train,
if you stay at Appenzell/St. Gallen, it's easier to travel via Bregenz,
if you stay at Lugano and want to change only once, take the direct bus to Bregenz and change there to the direct train to Innsbruck,
if you stay at Zurich and want to go as quickly as possible to Innsbruck, it's of course easier to take the direct train from there to Innsbruck.
But how will you travel within Switzerland? If you want to see more than Zurich airport, you will have to change trains too.

Last edited by neckervd; Apr 21st, 2018 at 11:27 PM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2018, 03:37 AM
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I’m not sure where our last stay in Switzerland will be yet. I just think that with luggage it’s easier to take the direct train if possible.

Thanks for the info though.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2018, 06:04 AM
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Yes of course the direct train is easiest and quickest - if had lots of time the other routes could be neat but not all in a day.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2018, 06:31 AM
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The less luggage you have the easier it is to travel by train....
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Old Apr 22nd, 2018, 12:31 PM
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There is only a direct train from Zurich, Sargans and Buchs SG. From all other places you will have to change trains.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2018, 12:44 PM
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You could also send your luggages ahead on Swiss trains to be waiting in Zurich if a real hassle. Unfortunately not possible probably Switzerland to Austria. Like thursdayds says pack light if taking trains - lots of manovering thru crowded stations and trains and always some steps.
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