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alexandra772 Jan 8th, 2018 01:33 AM

Lucerne > Germany > Scotland tips needed pls
Hey all,

I've put together the below super-rough starting itinerary for my trip to Europe in mid-May through early June this year:

3-4 nights in Lucerne, Switzerland (Mt Pilatus is a must for me)
An extra few nights somewhere close by in Switzerland
Then fly or catch a train to Germany (Neuschwanstein Castle and surrounds)
For the last leg of the trip, I'll finish up in Edinburgh Scotland for a friend's wedding.

Please can you guide me on:
- Recommended # of nights to stay in Lucerne (is 4 too many?)
- Places nearby Lucerne that I need to visit and how long to spend there
- Best way to get to Germany (happy to take the train if the scenery is worthwhile!)
- Any other tips and tricks

I'll be away for 16 full days (+2 days flying from Australia).

Thanks so much!

Fussgaenger Jan 8th, 2018 04:30 AM

Suggest you take the train to the Rhine/Mosel Castle area instead of Neuschwanstein. You've already spent several nights in the Alps. Why not see something different? And on the Rhine and Mosel, the castles are real ones with roots in the Middle Ages (not the late-19th century kind with fake castle exterior like N'stein.) Getting to N'stein takes 6-7.5 hours by train from Lucerne, but in 5 hours you can reach Bingen, the gateway to the scenic Rhine Valley.

Rhine Castle map:

Marksburg Castle (Braubach, Rhine Valley)

Rheinfels Castle (St. Goar, Rhine Valley)

Reichsburg Castle (Cochem, Mosel Valley)

Burg Eltz, walk from Moselkern, Mosel Valley)

Not ALL the castles in the area can be visited, but the ones named above all offer tours.

Fussgaenger Jan 8th, 2018 04:32 AM

Look into flying out of the Rhine/Mosel region from Frankfurt Hahn airport (near Cochem) when you move on to Scotland. Ryanair serves that airport and offers cheap flights.

neckervd Jan 8th, 2018 04:56 AM

"Recommended # of nights to stay in Lucerne (is 4 too many?)"
All depends on the places you plan to visit in town and outside.
You will need more time if you include museums (like the Rosengart Collection with many Picasso pictures or the Swiss Transport Museum).
You can easily do 10 different day trips from Lucerne, all depends on your interests.

"Places nearby Lucerne that I need to visit and how long to spend there"
You don't NEED to visit anything; all will depend on your interests.

"Best way to get to Germany (happy to take the train if the scenery is worthwhile!)"
For the Lucerne - Neuschwanstein kitsch castle leg, I would take the train.

Shortest itinerary via Zurich - Kempten, about 6 1/2 hrs.
Most scenic itinerary:
Lucerne dp 7.18 - Gotthard railway - Schoellenen railway - Andermatt 9.21/9.28 - Glacier Express line - Samedan 13.45/14.13 - Lower Engadin railway - Scuol-Tarasp 15.23/15.30 - PostBus - Landeck 16.52/17.20 - Fern Pass - Reutte ar 19.42.

PalenQ Jan 8th, 2018 05:49 AM

Trains best for Germany as said above - for Fussen and Mad Ludwig Castles take train Lucerne-Zurich-Fussen - no airports near Fussen I believe with flights so train is best option. Could stop for night in Lindau en route - gorgeous city;

yes fussgaenger's Rhine suggestion great and near Frankfurt Airport. Book train tickets far in advance at for any trains involving Geermany. Great sites for trains; and

Or do Fussen then end in Munich for a few days and fly to Scotland from there.

annhig Jan 8th, 2018 07:44 AM

We had 4 nights in Lucerne in August last year and had no difficulty filling our time there - we spent a day exploring the city, using the little tourist train to get our bearings and then visiting the places we thought interested us most, a day cruising round the lake on one of the boats, and another using the boat to get over to the mountain railway up to the top of Mount Rigi, and then the cable car and gondolas at the top which bring you back down again.

We also had an evening on a Jazz boat which had a great band playing all night while we ate a very good dinner.

there were still parts of the lake that we had not properly explored and excursions we hadn't have time to do when we left.

You won't run out of things to do.

PalenQ Jan 8th, 2018 07:59 AM

check out Swiss Travel Pass for Switzerland - good on trains, buses, boats, practically everything that moves and plus sites I gave in above post.

Yes like annhig I've spent several days in Lucerne as base and have gone to:

Engleberg and Mt Titlis - far different from Pilatus and Rigi which are nice too - this is the awesome high Alps with perpetual ice and snow

Mt Pilatus - often obscured in clouds or mist IME so keep flexible schedule. Take boat to Alpnachstad and ride thrilling mountain train up and return via cable car to Krens in suburban Lucerne - each way different of course.

Rigi - low-level summit comparitively and known for views and incessant Alp Horn blowing (Swiss equivalent of bag pipes!)

Boat ride to Fluelen at other end of eastern fjord-like tip of east arm of lake and take trains back to Lucerne.

And so many more Rutli Meadow over lake where Swiss Confedration was born - William Tell et al.

Einselden nice train ride for famous pilgrimage mecca.

Bern - neat larger city for inclement days - nice covered walkways in town center and famous iconic beer pit near downtown.

4 days will go by fast.

PalenQ Jan 8th, 2018 11:46 AM

Oh the Swiss Transports Museum on the lake near Lucerne - lovely walk along lakeside esplanade or bus or boat - is a wonderful museum even if not a train/cable car/cars, etc buff:

And there is a Swiss Chocolate ride to learn all about Swiss chocolates!

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