Last minute trip advice

Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 09:14 AM
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Last minute trip advice

Hello all,
I am impulsively going to a concert in Zurich on July 9. Since I'll be in Switzerland, I'd like to extend my trip by about 10 days (timeline is flexible) and see some more of the country.

I'll be traveling alone (40 year old woman) and mostly looking to see the main sights and beautiful scenery. Since I'm extremely late to planning and don't have much time to research, I'd like to prioritize convenience in transportation and lodging. I don't mind touristy places, am weary of going off the beaten path on my own, and would stick to easy walks/hikes.

Here's my working itinerary:
Zurich - 2 nights (concern on night 2)
Lucerne - 2 nights
Interlaken - 3 nights
Zermatt - 3 nights
Back to Zurich to depart home

Does this itinerary sound good? Should I instead consider the reverse path (going first to Zermatt etc)?

I am very open to suggestions! Thank you in advance.



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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 01:12 PM
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Zermatt may not be a good idea given the recent floods and damage in that area. You need to check on that.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cathy16
Hello all,
I am impulsively going to a concert in Zurich on July 9. Since I'll be in Switzerland, I'd like to extend my trip by about 10 days (timeline is flexible) and see some more of the country.

I'll be traveling alone (40 year old woman) and mostly looking to see the main sights and beautiful scenery. Since I'm extremely late to planning and don't have much time to research, I'd like to prioritize convenience in transportation and lodging. I don't mind touristy places, am weary of going off the beaten path on my own, and would stick to easy walks/hikes.

Here's my working itinerary:
Zurich - 2 nights (concern on night 2)
Lucerne - 2 nights
Interlaken - 3 nights
Zermatt - 3 nights
Back to Zurich to depart home

Does this itinerary sound good? Should I instead consider the reverse path (going first to Zermatt etc)?

I am very open to suggestions! Thank you in advance.
Your plan is a littI don't know what you plan to do in Interlaken, especially since you don't want to go off the beaten path. I would add at least one of those nights to Lucerne. It's the kind of place where there's plenty to do, but not on a flying visit.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cathy16
Hello all,
I am impulsively going to a concert in Zurich on July 9. Since I'll be in Switzerland, I'd like to extend my trip by about 10 days (timeline is flexible) and see some more of the country.

I'll be traveling alone (40 year old woman) and mostly looking to see the main sights and beautiful scenery. Since I'm extremely late to planning and don't have much time to research, I'd like to prioritize convenience in transportation and lodging. I don't mind touristy places, am weary of going off the beaten path on my own, and would stick to easy walks/hikes.

Here's my working itinerary:
Zurich - 2 nights (concern on night 2)
Lucerne - 2 nights
Interlaken - 3 nights
Zermatt - 3 nights
Back to Zurich to depart home

Does this itinerary sound good? Should I instead consider the reverse path (going first to Zermatt etc)?

I am very open to suggestions! Thank you in advance.
Your plan is a littIe busy for my taste.

I don't know what you plan to do in Interlaken, especially since you don't want to go off the beaten path. I would add at least one of those nights to Lucerne, or maybe skip it altogether and split the time between Lucerne and Zermatt.

Lucerne is the kind of place where there's plenty to do, but not on a flying visit. We spent nearly a week in Lucerne, taking day trips to Basel and Brienz. (This was my second visit to Lucerne.) We particularly liked Basel and would have gladly spent another few days there. Brienz has had several bad landslides in the past year. We went there to take the little steam train to the top of the Rothorn; that seems to be running, so the landslides must have been well away from there. I've never been to Zermatt.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 02:42 PM
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Well, if you want touristy, you're on the right path. But, please, please let me talk you out of Interlaken. You'll understand when you see it. Go up a bit further to Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindelwald or Murren. However, I suspect finding accommodation at this late date will be a real challenge in these areas.

Other areas in the BO to consider if accommodation becomes an issue is nearby Wilderswil, Thun, Lake Brienz or even Kandersteg.

I'd only reverse the itinerary if you have trouble finding accommodation. Look at accommodation in Berner Oberland first, then Zermatt, and go from there.

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 23rd, 2024 at 02:48 PM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 02:52 PM
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Thank you for the advice! I though Interlaken was more convenient to access trains to/from other cities (like Lucerne or Zermatt) and perhaps have a bit more activity in the evenings for dining, but I will certainly look at the other towns you mentioned.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 03:05 PM
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You'll find excellent transport links from Lauterbrunnen as well.

Interlaken has become a hub for large numbers of visitors from Asia; it no longer feels Swiss, with it's Indian restaurants, prayer rugs, etc - especially in summer high season. Part of this is due to a popular Korean Netflix series that was filmed near there; part is due to it being the gateway to the Jungfrau region and a tourist magnet in its own right.

If this appeals, by all means, go to Interlaken. I made the novice mistake of staying in Interlaken on my first visit to the BO - and that was about 20 years ago. It's only gotten worse.

If you're looking for something that feels more Swiss, keep going up. Not only will the views improve, but you'll actually feel like you're in Switzerland.

Trust me on this.

It's no hardship to get from one village to another - the Swiss transport system is second to none.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 03:08 PM
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Excellent, thank you so much. Do you think the number of nights in each location is reasonable? I have some wiggle room both in terms of my total number of days and the number of days per place.

Also, is there something perhaps not as "touristy" you would suggest I look into?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 03:21 PM
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I think it's all rather rushed, but certainly doable if you're short on time and are just looking for a taste. Two nights is only one full day afterall. Travel days between locations can be time consuming as is getting sorted in a new town/village, which many people tend to overlook. I'm very much a three night minimum kind of person, but I'm retired and my trips are a month or longer, so I'm flexible. I never count on seeing much on a travel day, other than from a train carriage window.

The BO is probably the most touristy place in Switzerland, as is Zermatt and Lucerne. And for good reason - you'll get a huge bang for your buck scenery wise in this area, so it's perfect for a first time visitor. However, planning a last minute trip at the height of the season is going to mean crowds and high prices. As long as you're prepared for that, go for it.

I've already suggested Wilderswil, Thun, Lake Brienz and Kandersteg. You might look into Rapperswill instead of Lucerne (which is a short trip to Zurich on day of departure), but it's in a different category - it's a beautiful small town, but may not be what you're looking for.

Lucerne is very much a city and many people like it. It was full on busy when we last visited in October, which put me off, but we prefer quieter places, you may not.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 03:22 PM
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My post has gone into moderation...it'll turn up soon hopefully.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 12:56 AM
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As I said upthread you need to check on accessibility of Zermatt and that area following heavy rain and landslides.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 04:30 AM
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Thank you for all your input. Some of the comments went into moderation and I didn't see them until just now. I did see the news of the floods in Zermatt and have scratched it from this visit.

I've also heard your concerns about the pace of the trip and am adjusting the number of nights in Lucerne and swapped Interlaken for somewhere higher in the mountain.

When I said I didn't want to "go off the beaten path", I meant I didn't anticipate going on 6 hour hikes into the mountains or take several busses to reach an isolated lake or lookout. I'm not that adventurous. But, I would like to take some easy walks along lakes or mountains to admire the scenery.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 09:35 AM
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You will be spoiled for choice as far as hikes go - something for everyone just about anywhere in Swtizerland. The nice thing about Switzerland is that you can often take a cable car or funicular to the top of a mountain and then take easy to moderate hikes from there, stopping for lunch enroute at a bergrestaurant. So very civilized!
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 01:04 PM
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Going to see Taylor Swift?

I'd dump Interlaken and go to Montreux if you can find a spot. The Montreux (so-called) Jazz Festival will be going on . . . lots of headliners NOT jazz related at all. And it's one of the best music festivals for ambiance (and beauty) I've been to. Lots of free things to do there. But, yeah, on the 20th, Soft Cell and Duran Duran play!
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 11:59 PM
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I think the itinerary is fine. I'm not an Interlaken fan either but it's really only a hub for the mountains and villages around it. The flooding will have receded in Zermatt by then and hopefully we'll get our summer back. It's been raining far too long.
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 03:10 AM
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As I said above, Brienz has been affected by several serious landslides in the past year; the last I heard, a number of homes had been evacuated. I don't know how much of the town is off-limits. The little steam train up the Rothorn seems to be still running.
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 07:50 AM
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Brienz

I love Brienz, and have stayed there several times. Even named a dog after this town.
That said, I was also made aware of the rockslides, and panicked.
After further investigation, it appears that there is ANOTHER Brienz in Switzerland (Graubunden), and THAT much smaller town suffered the damage, NOT BO Brienz!
Additionally also, that as a solo traveler, I LOVED Rapperswil, just 30 minutes south of Zurich!


Last edited by mokka4; Jun 25th, 2024 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Add info
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 08:51 AM
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If I can make a suggestion for something that combines nature and art, spend a day at the Bad Ragartz international outdoor sculpture exhibition held every three years in the attractive spa town of Bad Ragaz. It's about two hours from Zurich by direct train (no changes) and it's actually quite a scenic ride. We were there a week ago and really enjoyed it.


Bad Ragaz

Last edited by WeisserTee; Jun 25th, 2024 at 08:57 AM.
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 08:53 AM
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Some photos from the exhibition (it's free and is clustered mostly in the town park, but there are sculptures scattered all around the place).






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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 08:54 AM
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Two more ...







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