Day trips from Zurich?????

Aug 9th, 1999, 05:25 AM
  #1  
bp
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Day trips from Zurich?????

I am looking for ideas for day trips from Zurich. We will be threre three nights and from what I hear it is just a big city. We are flying out of Zurich and we will be taking the train in from Munich. Any ideas would be appreciated. (We are two couples in our late 20's.)
 
Aug 9th, 1999, 06:12 AM
  #2  
Al
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Walk down Bahnhofstrasse to the shore of Lake Zurich and take the boat to Rapperswil, at the other end of the lake. Very enjoyable trip. Have lunch there, see the town, and return by boat to Zurich.
 
Aug 9th, 1999, 06:16 AM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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I have two additional suggestions, out of many possibilities. 1. Visit the falls on the Rhine River at Schaffhausen. 2. Visit Luzern. It is an easy train ride away. Luzern could take up a long day.
 
Aug 9th, 1999, 07:36 AM
  #4  
dan woodlief
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Bern is a beautiful little city situated on a river, and of course it is the capital of Switzerland. You can get there from Zurich in no much over an hour. Luzern is even more beautiful because it has mountains and lakes.
 
Aug 9th, 1999, 04:11 PM
  #5  
Seamus
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Zurich is pretty much "just a city", but worth the half day tour to take in the highlights such as Chagall's stained glass windows. Agree that Rapperswil is a nice day trip. Also consider an excursion to Jungfraujoch, the highest weather station in the world. Reached via cog railroad deprting form the base of the mountain, you ascend through the Alps with progressively more cool views, including a window that has been cut into the mountain about halfway up! On top, you can romp on the glacier and/or walk through the ice palace (carved out of ice, really!) Be sure to bring sunglasses/sunscreen and a warm wrap, as the summit is cold and bright. There are buses leaving each AM from near Zurich train station, and there's a stretch break in lovely Brienz, home to the world's only wood carver school. Check for tickets at the tourist office in the train station. This was one of the most enjoyable day trips I've done.
 
Aug 9th, 1999, 07:23 PM
  #6  
Bob Brown
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I fully agree that the trip to the Jungraujoch and the Sphinx Observation building would be a real blockbuster of a day trip, if somewhat expensive. It is a long day trip from Zurich, however. We went last summer from our base in Lauterbrunnen and thoroughly enjoyed it.
One word of caution, the trip up from the Interlaken Ost train station involves an altitude gain of about 9,000 feet in less than 3 hours. If a passenger has a bad reaction to altitude, this trip might be pose a problem.
If you go on this trip, take the walk along the snow track out to the hiker shelter on the shoulder of the Moench, an adjoining peak. In German, it is the Moenchsjochuette (literally hut in the saddle of the Monk) The "hut" sleeps about 100 overnight guests and food service is available to day trippers. The snow track is groomed and marked, but don't stray off of it unless you know what you are doing. I did, and sank up in snow to past my knee. Fortunately my wife was on firmer footing and helped me out.
But the trip to the Jungfraujoch is something we will remember for a long time.
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 05:12 AM
  #7  
Dick
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I guess I'll throw in one more vote for the Jungfraujoch trip. I've skied in that area for the last few years and it's something very special with the best scenery in Switzerland, as well as being an adventure. The train ride out of Zurich to Interlaken runs along the Thunnersee and is an enjoyable trip all by itself. From there (Interlaken Ost) you switch to the narrow-gauge Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB) cog railway that takes you up the valley through Zweileutschienen (sp?) where the valley splits. Depending on which way you want to do the loop, you can go clockwise via Grindelwald or counter-clockwise via Lauterbrunnen, changing trains at one or the other to head up into the mountains, eventually arriving at Kleine Scheidegg where you change yet again for the Jungfraubahn. The train schedules are set up to make all this much easier than it sounds and the trains run with the precision of a, well, Swiss watch.

An alternative in the same area is to take the funicular from Lauterbrunnen up to Murren and then the tram (cable car) to Berg and ultimately to Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant on top of the Schilthorn where a liesurely lunch and a bottle of wine should be good for just about two revolutions. Better views than the Jungfraujoch, in my opinion. If you decide to do that, be sure to rent the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" first - it was filmed at Murren and Piz Gloria. For that matter, if you go to the Jungfraujoch rent "The Eiger Sanction," which takes place at Kleine Scheidegg and on the Eiger, the mountain that the train tunnels through on its way to the top.
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 09:48 AM
  #8  
bp
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How long would it take for us to do the excurision to Jungfraujoch? or the funicular options to Murren to Berg to Piz Gloria? How do I arrabge for this tour?
Thanks
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 10:42 AM
  #9  
Bob Brown
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If you want to do the Jungfraujoch trip, or the Schilthorn, my suggestion is to rent a car and drive it. The cost of a car for a day will be about the cost of 4 train tickets from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen and return. And, it will be a heck of a lot faster.

I don't mean to put down the Swiss train system, but the trip from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen is about 3 hours, one way. I think you could make it in 1.5 hours via Luzern in a car.

I mention driving to Lauterbrunnen because it is the end of the road if you are going up to the Jungfrau. From Lauterbrunnen, the mountain train climbs the valley side to Wengen, then on to Kleine Scheidegg, where you change trains for the run to the top.

Lauterbrunnen has a big pay parking deck, so parking is not a problem in terms of availability.

If you want to do the Schilthorn instead of the Jungfrau, you can still park in Lauterbrunnen, take the cable lift up to Grutschalp. Take the little train from Grutschalp to Murren, and take the cable lift from Murren to the Schilthorn.
Alternatively, you can drive to the lift station in Stechelberg. This lift system goes to Gimmelwald, Murren, and the top of the Schilthorn.

However, you could also drive to Luzern, look around, and take the cable lift up to the top of Mount Pilatus.

 
Aug 10th, 1999, 10:57 AM
  #10  
Bob Brown
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I just checked the cost of a train ride, 2nd class, from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen and return: 116 CHF per person.
This price is straight off the Swiss Bundesbahn web site, and it assumes no discount cards.
The current price of one CHF (Swiss Franc) is about 67 cents. So for 4 of you, the cost to ride the train would be about $310.
You can rent a good sized car for the whole time you are in Zurich for that price and have some left over.
So if you want to do the Jungfrau, drive to Lauterbrunnen, park, and take the mountain train from there.

I would like to throw one more option into the hopper. Drive to Grindelwald, which is near Lauterbrunnen. Take the gondola up to a station called First.
Then walk up to the Faulhorn Hotel for a spectacular meal, and return the same way. The whole of the Berner Oberland range of mountains is in front of you, with views all around that are spectacular. The gondola ride itself is enough to knock your socks off.
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 11:17 AM
  #11  
Dick
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Bob's advice is right on the money (literally) - it would definitely be cheaper for a group of 4 to drive, just not as much fun, IMHO. To answer another question that (I think) you were asking - you really don't need reservations for any of the intermediate forms of transportation out of Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald - they run pretty much continuously and you can just buy tickets there. I'm not as sure about the Jungfraubahn. We were there in winter and it was busy, but not overly crowded - if you're sure that's where you're going you might want reservations (if they take them - I don't know).

I'd totally forgotten about the trip up the Firstbahn gondola, which is a great recommendation. As I type this I'm looking at a photo on my desk of the view from Schreckfeld, the second of the three stops on the gondola, across the valley to the Schreckhorn and Eiger, with the two of us quaffing Rugenbrau before we continue skiing on down into the valley. Gets my vote for the most beautiful place I've ever been - the Schilthorn is a more unique experience, however.
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 11:50 AM
  #12  
dan woodlief
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Try to save what you can on the transportation. You should know before going that the Jungfraujoch excursion is very very expensive - worth it certainly, but expensive. The current listed rate is 137 CHF from Grindelwald Grund station and about 142 from Lauterbrunnen. The Schilthorn is somewhat less expensive.
 
Aug 10th, 1999, 04:26 PM
  #13  
Seamus
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At risk of conjuring up visions of plaid shorts and paisley shirt accented with a vinyl fannypack... I chose to do the Jungfraujoch tour via motorcaoch from Zurich. Tickets from the tourist office in the train staition, departure from the parking lot across from Hotel Walhalla near the train station. The scenery was great, with strategic stops along the way for photo ops, and no worry about driving. And the ticket price included the fare for the cogwheel trains, with preferred seating. This is a true daylong trip (about 2 or so hours each way from Zurich)and not having to hassle with driving was great. While I generally am more of an independent cuss and prefer driving, this was a tour I'd recommend.
 
Aug 14th, 1999, 06:56 AM
  #14  
Eileen
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Since you are in your late 20s, I think that you will enjoy staying in Zurich. It's not just a big city, there are also a lot of things to see and a lot of shops (Bahnhofstrasse) to visit. Based on my experience, Zurich is the most fun Swiss city.

If you want to go on a day trip, then Luzern is a good place to visit. By train, it's only 45 minutes away from Zurich. Since Luzern is quite small, you can just walk around and explore the city. You can also take the funiculaire to see Chateau Gutsch; a castle that has been converted into a hotel.

I would also suggest Geneva but it is a bit far and will take you 3 hours+ to get there.
 
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