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First time Switzerland Itinerary: Please help!!!

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Jan 12th, 2018, 11:58 AM
  #1
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First time Switzerland Itinerary: Please help!!!

Hi there,
I am planning a trip to Switzerland for about 5-6 days with my boyfriend in July(We are also going to a few other countries in Europe). There is so much to see and so much to do so I am not sure if I squeezed in too many things in my itinerary and if it is possible to do all of these things within the amount of time we will be staying there. I would like any advice or critique on my itinerary rough draft below. Are there things listed that you feel like I could remove and do one thing instead of the other? (or are there any MUST SEES that I missed?) Do I have enough time to do and see the things I listed with the amount of days and are there certain activities that could be done together on the same day etc? And Lastly, in terms of the order that I do things, is there a better order to do them in terms of using time wisely? Thanks everyone for any help or advice. Overall I want to see beautiful mountains and views, some falls, go hiking/walk scenic trails, visit some lakes, and some castles. I really enjoy flowers and animals as well.

[We will be in Paris before Switzerland]
Day 1:
-Wakeup super early & Take a train from Paris to Zurich
-Then take train to Schaffhausen city and see the rhine falls (dont plan to spend more than about 2-3 hours here)
-Then afterwards head to Lucerne and check into our room. (If we have time to do something listed for following day 2 or 3 at this point, then we will do so after checking into our room) Please give input

Day 2: & Day 3:
Spend two days in Lucerne (Not sure of best order or the time each activity will take) What should I group together for a day?
-Visit Lake Lucerne (Either take a paddle boat steamer from Lucerne and between villages on the lake or just take a walk around lake)
-Mount Titlis & Titlis Cliff Walk
-Cruise up Mount Pilatus on Cableway
-Kapellbrucke, then
-Head to Jungfrau region/interlaken: Take a direct train from Lucerne to Interlaken
-Check into hotel in either Murren or Wengen (not sure yet)

Day 4: Day 5: (Again not sure what I can group together in 1 day and best order of the following places to visit/ time they take to visit)
-Lake Thun-->visit Oberhofen Castle
-St. Beatus Caves
-Lauterbrunnen:
Schilthorn(on way back stop at Trummelbach Falls), Staubbach Falls
Jungfraujoch
-Grindelwald ??
-Murren: Hike the North Face Trail
-Wengen: Manlichen to Kleine Sheidegg trail

Day 6:
-Head to Montreux to see the Chillon Castle
-Then go to Geneva: Visit Lake geneva and view the Jet d'Eau
-From here we will be flying from Geneva-Santorini, Greece
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Jan 12th, 2018, 01:08 PM
  #2
 
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I'd say Lucerne and Interlaken area itineraries way too rushed and lots of traveling. But anyway with all that travel some kind of Swiss Pass should be a great deal - covers most of your conveyances in full and some with hefty discounts - for lots on Swiss transports and passes (like Half-Fare Card) check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.sbb.ch (compare fares here to the pass); www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com.

There is a nice riverside walk Schlauffhausen to Rhine Falls and also a train station right at the falls.

Mt Pilatus is IME often clouded up or fogged over - keep that day felxible.

Take the Golden Pass scenic train Interlaken-Ost to Montreux - way prettier than mainland route via Bern/Lausanne - spiffy panoramic observation cars, etc. Then put bags in Montreux station left-luggage andwalk the few miles along the idyllic lake on paths to Chillon or take buses (valid with Swiss Passes which cover urban transports, postal buses; lake boats and give free entry to 470+ Swiss museums.
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Jan 12th, 2018, 07:42 PM
  #3
kja
 
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I agree with PalenQ: I think this plan is overly ambitious – and I say that as someone who travels HARD and fit a lot into my time in Switzerland. It isn’t clear to me that you are giving sufficient time to getting from place to place, and it doesn’t seem that you are giving yourselves any latitude if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times and or get some estimates of the time needed on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Hope that helps!
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Jan 13th, 2018, 01:12 AM
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Of course too ambitious, but there's too much to see and do in Switzerland ... Drop the Rhine Fall, it's not that spectacular IMO and totally out of the way. In Lucerne do the Pilatus round trip that includes boat, funicular, cable car and bus, then explore the old town. The other day do a boat cruise with stop in Vitznau, take the cog-train up to Rigi, do a hike down to Kaltbad, cable-car down to Weggis and boat back to Lucerne. Not much time that day as you're planning to move to the Jungfrau region ...

In the Jungfrau region drop the Beatus cave, unless you're a big fan of caves. Stay in Wengen. On the first day take cable car up to Männlichen, hike to Kleine Scheidegg, cog-train up to Jungfraujoch and back down if you don't mind spending the extra money. The other day is best spent on the other side of the valley, Mürren/Schilthorn with Trümmelbach falls.
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Jan 13th, 2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
I'd say Lucerne and Interlaken area itineraries way too rushed and lots of traveling. But anyway with all that travel some kind of Swiss Pass should be a great deal - covers most of your conveyances in full and some with hefty discounts - for lots on Swiss transports and passes (like Half-Fare Card) check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.sbb.ch (compare fares here to the pass); www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com.

There is a nice riverside walk Schlauffhausen to Rhine Falls and also a train station right at the falls.

Mt Pilatus is IME often clouded up or fogged over - keep that day felxible.

Take the Golden Pass scenic train Interlaken-Ost to Montreux - way prettier than mainland route via Bern/Lausanne - spiffy panoramic observation cars, etc. Then put bags in Montreux station left-luggage andwalk the few miles along the idyllic lake on paths to Chillon or take buses (valid with Swiss Passes which cover urban transports, postal buses; lake boats and give free entry to 470+ Swiss museums.
Thank you for your feedback, PalenQ! I feel as if they may be too rushed as well. I had a hard time since there were too many things i'd like to see. Someone suggested taking out rhine falls, so if I do so I may just go straight to Lucerne from Paris and skip Zurich so I can spend more time there...as well as Jungrau region. Thank you for sharing the links on the Swiss Passes. I will be needing one without a doubt. Also thanks for the tip on which train to get to Montreux, since i've never been before that is really helpful. And of course where to put our bags!! I actually wondered about that. Thank you so much! Very helpful.
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Jan 13th, 2018, 07:46 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
I agree with PalenQ: I think this plan is overly ambitious – and I say that as someone who travels HARD and fit a lot into my time in Switzerland. It isn’t clear to me that you are giving sufficient time to getting from place to place, and it doesn’t seem that you are giving yourselves any latitude if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times and or get some estimates of the time needed on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for giving me feedback, I now realize I put way too many things in my itinerary given the short time we will be there. And the fact that you are a hard traveler helps convince me more. I admit I am not an experienced traveler, so I will try to make a more realistic itinerary. Someone suggested taking out rhine falls and in that case I may skip Zurich and go straight to Lucerne from Paris, so I can have more time. And i'll try to shorten the amount of things I want to see to lessen travel amount. Thanks again for the advice!
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Jan 13th, 2018, 07:53 AM
  #7
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Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
Of course too ambitious, but there's too much to see and do in Switzerland ... Drop the Rhine Fall, it's not that spectacular IMO and totally out of the way. In Lucerne do the Pilatus round trip that includes boat, funicular, cable car and bus, then explore the old town. The other day do a boat cruise with stop in Vitznau, take the cog-train up to Rigi, do a hike down to Kaltbad, cable-car down to Weggis and boat back to Lucerne. Not much time that day as you're planning to move to the Jungfrau region ...

In the Jungfrau region drop the Beatus cave, unless you're a big fan of caves. Stay in Wengen. On the first day take cable car up to Männlichen, hike to Kleine Scheidegg, cog-train up to Jungfraujoch and back down if you don't mind spending the extra money. The other day is best spent on the other side of the valley, Mürren/Schilthorn with Trümmelbach falls.
Thank you so much for your feedback, this was very very helpful. I appreciate that you gave me actual possible things I can do each day rather than simply telling me I have squeezed in too many things. This gives me a better and realistic idea of what I can do since i've never been before. I am thinking of taking out rhine falls like you suggested. In that case I could just go straight to Lucerne from Paris and skip Zurich? That would save us some time. Everything you suggested sounds great and will definitely consider doing that. Thanks again so much for your help!!
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Jan 13th, 2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
Of course too ambitious, but there's too much to see and do in Switzerland ... Drop the Rhine Fall, it's not that spectacular IMO and totally out of the way. In Lucerne do the Pilatus round trip that includes boat, funicular, cable car and bus, then explore the old town. The other day do a boat cruise with stop in Vitznau, take the cog-train up to Rigi, do a hike down to Kaltbad, cable-car down to Weggis and boat back to Lucerne. Not much time that day as you're planning to move to the Jungfrau region ...

In the Jungfrau region drop the Beatus cave, unless you're a big fan of caves. Stay in Wengen. On the first day take cable car up to Männlichen, hike to Kleine Scheidegg, cog-train up to Jungfraujoch and back down if you don't mind spending the extra money. The other day is best spent on the other side of the valley, Mürren/Schilthorn with Trümmelbach falls.
I also noticed that you didn't mention Mount Titlis in Lucerne. Do you think it is more worth seeing Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi over Titlis? Just curious of your honest opinion since I have no idea which is better.
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Jan 13th, 2018, 09:29 AM
  #9
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Well I updated my itinerary based on some suggestions. Thanks!

[We will be in Paris before Switzerland]

Day 1: Lucerne
-Wakeup super early & Take a train from Paris to Lucerne and check into our room
- Pilatus round trip
-Explore the old town and kapellbrucke

Day 2:
-Boat cruise with stop in Vitznau
-Cog-train up to Rigi, hike down to Kaltbad, cable-car down to Weggis and boat back to Lucerne.
-Head to Jungfrau region/interlaken: Take a direct train from Lucerne to Interlaken
-Check into hotel in either Murren or Wengen

Day 3: Jungfrau region/interlaken
- Cable car up to Männlichen, hike to Kleine Scheidegg
-Cog-train up to Jungfraujoch and back down

Day 4:
-Oberhofen Castle
-Schilthorn
-Trummelbach Falls
-Murren: Hike the North Face Trail

Day 5: Montreux & Geneva
-Head to Montreux to see the Chillon Castle
-Then go to Geneva: Visit Lake geneva and view the Jet d'Eau
-From here we will be flying from Geneva-Santorini, Greece

How does it look now? I am a little iffy about day 4, should I do one of those things on day 3? I was not sure when I could best fit in visiting the Oberhofen castle or north face trail.

Last edited by ohemgeex336; Jan 13th, 2018 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Typo
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Jan 13th, 2018, 10:22 AM
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You don't need to see Mt. Titlis if you go to the Jungfrau region later. Beats Mt. Titlis by far.

Will you spend the night in Geneva? If not, day 5 has too many things to do, unlike you fly late in the evening. If you stay overnight and have the full day 5 you could visit castle Oberhofen enroute to Montreux.

You cannot squeeze castle Oberhofen in day 4 together with Schilthorn, a hike and the Trümmelbach falls. These alone take up the whole day.

Otherwise your itinerary looks pretty good now.

Last edited by Ingo; Jan 13th, 2018 at 10:22 AM. Reason: To add a thought ...
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Jan 13th, 2018, 11:34 AM
  #11
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Thanks again, always very helpful! Now that you mention it, it might be better to stay the night in Geneva, that way we wont be rushed and can see all we want plus we can fly to Greece a lot earlier the next morning and have more time there. (Makes more sense)
I feel so much better now that my itinerary is more in order. Really looking forward to the trip!!!
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Jan 14th, 2018, 10:15 AM
  #12
 
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The day to Interlaken area is just too much - spend another day in Lucerne and do the boat ride and Rigi and that will be a full day.

then take Brunig Pass rail route to Interlaken (could take Golden Pass train or regular trains).
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Jan 16th, 2018, 02:07 PM
  #13
twk
 
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Hopefully, you will have good weather, but Pilatus, Rigi, Jungfraujoch, and Schilthorn are all weather dependent. If you have low clouds on any of those days, you aren't doing those trips (or you are wasting money). With such limited time, I think you are trying to see too many mountaintops. I spent two weeks in Switzerland in June of 2016 and only saw 2 of the 4 you listed.

Your planning would be simpler if you were flying in and out of Zurich--since you are flying out of Geneva, it sort of seems a shame not to spend more time in that area (and seeing the Jet d'Eau wouldn't be high on my priorities for Lake Geneva, either--the Eastern end of the lake is much more interesting).

The plan to spend 2 nights in Lucerne, two in the Berner Oberland, and one in Geneva, isn't undoable, but I think you will feel kind of rushed. Since you have to go to Geneva, if it was up to me, I would do something like 3 nights in the Berner Oberland, and two on the Eastern end of Lake Geneva (somewhere East of Lausanne, whether that's Montreux or one of the smaller towns). But, if you slow down, and don't try to do too much, your 2-2-1 plan will be OK.
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Jan 16th, 2018, 02:32 PM
  #14
 
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Day 4 - scrub Oberhofen Castle - for one thing takes most of a day to take boats there and back from Wengen or Murren and 2nd IMO is a so so castle (Spiez' is much more impressive) but the other things you have on that day are awesome and will take most of day. And Day 3 is full too - don't just take the train to Jungfrauoch but spend some time there - hike to the nearby tip of the Alp's longest glacier, frolck in snow - explore ice caves - have a meal with a view from enclosed restaurant. Again to put in Oberhofen would require a half day from that area and back.
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