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Help with first trip Itinerary to Switzerland in Feb

Help with first trip Itinerary to Switzerland in Feb

Old Oct 26th, 2022, 05:28 PM
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Help with first trip Itinerary to Switzerland in Feb

Going for 8 days/7 night in mid Feb. We are non-skiers but want to enjoy the mountains.

Plan

1) Day 1- Arrive in Zurich around 1:30 PM- immediate train to Lucerne. Check in, settle in, dinner, short walk nearby if we are up for it.
2) Day 2- Do one of Mt. Titlis, Pilatus, or Rigi. Explore rest of Lucerne time permitting
3) Day 3- train to St Moritz. It will be my birthday so only 1 night panned to eat fancy, window shop, splurge at nice hotel. Looking for romantic setting with beautiful views. Have to look more into it but any advice if we are we expecting too much from St Moritz? 1 night hotel is running about 990 CHF at the hotel I am looking at..
4) Day 4- Glacier express to Zermatt. Going back and forth on this. Many places I read say its a must do (mostly likely our one and only trip to Switzerland) but the 8 hr duration seems a bit long. We are leaning towards doing it just for the experience and will probably fall sleep for part of it anyways.
5) Day 5- Zermatt. Excursion to Gornergrat, see Matterhorn, do some snow activity for non-skiers
6) Day 6- Train to Bernese Oberland- was planning on staying in Interlaken but see that people are advising against it after reading the forums. Maybe stay in Grindelwald or Murren? Would like to visit the Gruyère cheese factory and Maison Callier chocolate factory today (do something a little bit different and I think my wife would enjoy them).
7) Day 7- excursion to Jungfraujoch
8) Day 8- train to Zurich to catch 2 pm flight

Please let me know if we are planning too many stops. Would like to hit the highlights of Switzerland but also don’t want to feel exhausted. Any different suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!



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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. Only have time for one short comment right now but others will chime in . . .

7 nights doesn't net 8 days. What you actually have free on the ground is six full days to see and so things. Day 1 is just travel, immigration formalities, and getting to Lucerne or wherever you decide to stay the first night. Plus you will want to be IN or on the outskirts of Zurich the night before your flight out. So I'd go back to the drawing board and figure out what you can manage in six days . . .
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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Welcome to Fodors. Only have time for one short comment right now but others will chime in . . .

7 nights doesn't net 8 days. What you actually have free on the ground is six full days to see and so things. Day 1 is just travel, immigration formalities, and getting to Lucerne or wherever you decide to stay the first night. Plus you will want to be IN or on the outskirts of Zurich the night before your flight out. So I'd go back to the drawing board and figure out what you can manage in six days . . .
Thanks but looking for helpful replies. “Going back to the drawing board” doesn’t mean anything and you might as well not reply.

I accounted for Day 1 as a travel day by pretty much just saying we are arriving in Lucerne and eating dinner. As far the last day, maybe we will stay in interlaken or Lauterbrunnen because the train schedule starts pretty early and we should be able to get to Zurich airport before 10 am… Unless the trains aren’t reliable and in that case we could leave to Zurich the night before.
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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 09:06 PM
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What about this itinerary? Cut out St. Moritz and glacier express. Gives me 2 days in each place in case weather is not cooperating. Less travel and longer stays.

Day 1- Stay Lauterbrunnen/Murren straight from Zurich airport

Day 2- Stay Lauterbrunnen/Murren- explore nearby villages

Day 3- Stay Lauterbrunnen/Murren- excursion to Jungfraujoch

Day 4- Zermatt- Gornergrat

Day 5- Zermatt- free day

Day 6 - Lucerne- Mt Pilatus

Day 7- Lucerne - Explore lucerne

Day 8- Lucerne to Zurich airport to catch 2 pm flight


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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 10:06 PM
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Hi sOgupt09,

I would go ahead and stay in St Moritz (or a nearby mountain town), but go there directly from the airport. I wouldn't necessarily do the Glacier Express (like you're thinking, I did find it too long) but instead do the Bernina Express, which is shorter and more dramatic. Stop in Poschiavo town and explore and eat, then return; the trip is about 2h.

From there, you can go to the Berner oberland. Is there any reason you are not considering Wengen for your time there? It is car-free, so nicer imo than Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, but it is easier to get to than Murren.

And then, yes, end your trip in Luzern.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Oct 26th, 2022, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by s0gupt09 View Post
Thanks but looking for helpful replies. “Going back to the drawing board” doesn’t mean anything and you might as well not reply . . .
Okaaaay - gee, I thought I was being helpful??

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Old Oct 27th, 2022, 05:38 PM
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I thought you were.
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Old Oct 28th, 2022, 04:37 AM
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If you want an upscale hotel, good food, shopping and mountain views, then the Gstaad region is a lot closer than St Moritz (nicer and friendlier too, IMO, we always found St Moritz a bit "hard", but YMMV). The Bernina Express is beautiful but you're under a bit of a time crunch with this trip.

The Ermitage Hotel in the next village over from Gstaad is a lovely 5-star spa hotel (splurge on the Saane suite with fireplace and balcony giving great views to the mountains). Meals included and the food is quite good. https://www.ermitage.ch/en The price is roughly the same as your St Moritz hotel, only it covers all your meals as well (there is a coffee and cake service mid-afternoon, make sure to tell them it's your birthday). https://www.ermitage.ch/en/rooms-sui...e-senior-suite

Gstaad itself is a less than 10 minute ride away with all the fancy shopping you could wish for. And (again, just our experience), much warmer and nicer service than in St. Moritz. Another nice thing: the Gstaad ski bus is free and takes you around the greater village area for a bit of sightseeing.

FWIW, from Schoenried, it's not a long trip trip to Gruyeres (and is a pretty ride), but I think that's pushing your itinerary too much.

From Schoenried, go to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Murren for your Bernese Oberland experience. Then on to Zermatt. Or go to Zermatt first and then to Grindelwald, etc. That would put you closer to Zurich for the end of your trip

Finally, you really should be in Zurich the night before your flight. Otherwise you'd need to take an extra early train to get to the airport on time and that could be stressful. On the upside, there are some very nice hotels in Zurich (including the new Hyatt right at the airport), good restaurants and absolutely tons of shopping!

Last edited by WeisserTee; Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:02 AM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2022, 05:15 AM
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By the way, the Ermitage has several dining rooms (one of which allows guests to bring their dogs with them). You get your own table in one of them for your entire stay, which means you can come down for meals whenever you want and your table is waiting for you. However, you can also ask to rotate through the dining rooms and have a different one every night. You'd only be staying one night, so I recommend asking for this one pictured below. We've dined in most of the rooms and this was our favorite.


FWIW, the food was delicious and it's an extensive menu with several choices for starter, main course, etc each night. Not like some hotels where there is just a limited selection when you take the half (or full) board option.
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Old Oct 28th, 2022, 05:34 AM
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my previous post to this thread seems to have gone AWOL. Pinged moderators.
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Old Nov 9th, 2022, 06:18 AM
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SOgupt - By doing all the travelling you have listed you are cutting into sightseeing time. AND you are not taking the February winter holidays into account. Ski resorts - all of them - will be hyper-busy in February and more especially from about 7-28th with waves of children and their families coming to ski during the children's winter holidays. It is going to be VERY hard to find a hotel room for one night in St Moritz and for a couple of nights in Zermatt. And that also accounts for the high prices you found in St Moritz. Hotels in the ski resorts quite simply are not very interested in guests who come for just a night. Plus to get to and from St Moritz you will be doing about 5 hours of train rides on the day you go there and almost 8 the next day. Much as I love the Glacier Express (and I take it as often as I can...at least a couple of times a year) I think that is way too much train time for anyone but a dedicated railway buff.

I would also stay away from Gstaad in February when it is jammed with the "rich and famous" and you need a mink coat to go to the supermarket.

So what to do ? Drop St Moritz. Add a night to Luzern and schedule a couple of nights in Interlaken. Interlaken in summer is a tourist trap but in winter it is a good base to use to visit the Jungfrau region to the south. Probably Zermatt is a non-starter for reasons given above...but you could spend a few nights in Montreux and then if you get a nice day, make a day trip to Zermatt from there. There is an enormous amount of very varied things for tourists to see and do in the Montreux Vevey area. You could even make a day trip to Chamonix and see the Mt Blanc, for example.
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