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Switzerland - 8 day itinerary need advice and tips

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Apr 25th, 2014, 06:51 AM
  #1
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Switzerland - 8 day itinerary need advice and tips

We a family of 4 with an older child and a 5 year old son and we have charted out the following itinerary for travel early June.
Day 01 drive to Fribourg and reach Lauterbrunnen in the night. We will probably spend an hour in each location at the most. Do you think this is doable?? Lauterbrunnen is our base for most of the trip.
Day 02 Do paragliding, do attractions like Schynige platte and Harder Kulm and if time permits do Seil Park.
Day 03 train to Jungfraujoch (do ice palace, and would they have dog sledding in June ??), then train to Grindelwald and do the hike to Bachalpsee lake then return and do the gondola ride to First Bahn. Would we have time to even do Glacier Gorge ????
Day 04 - Lauterbrunnen sights like Staubbach and Trummelbach falls, then head to Murren via Grutschalp and do the hike to Murren and then do Schilthorn
Day 05 Wengen and hike to Kleine Schiedegg
Day 06 Drive to Thun, then Bern and Gstaad
Day 07 Drive to Brienz and then Lucerne and drive to Zurich
Day 08 – Spend in Zurich.


Do you think the above is doable? any tips?

We are looking to rent a car and buy a Swiss Half Fare Card. I have heard that parking in cities like Geneva can be very expensive and hard and would appreciate views on whether it makes sense to get a rental car. We are doing primarily to have flexibility.

Since we are having Lauterbrunnen as base, we will be taking train journeys from there, is it easy to find parking at the station?

How cold does it get on top of Jungfraujoch? Do we need Winter Jackets?
Thanks in advance..
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Apr 25th, 2014, 06:59 AM
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HI - Not sure why you have a car in the first place.

Also not quite understanding what you wrote: "Day 01 drive to Fribourg and reach Lauterbrunnen in the night. We will probably spend an hour in each location at the most. Do you think this is doable??" Do you mean one hour in Fribourg, but then what do you mean by one hour in Lauterbrunnen and yet you will be based here?
Also, where are you driving from to get to Fribourg?
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Apr 25th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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BTW - Days 6 and 7 seem a bit manic. But I'm sure other Swiss experts will chime on this.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Instead of the half-fare card I would look at a Jungfraubahn Pass, valid on many trains and cables in the Jungfrau region, including Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn and other trains you will be taking - this may well be better than the Half-Fare Card.

and get the free Family Card that means anyone under 16 traveling with a parent always goes free, even on the expensive Jungfraujoch train. Get that locally along with the Jungfraubahn Pass, sold at stations in the region, including Interlaken.

For lots of great info on Jungfrau Region trains check these IMO superb sites: www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

since you will be using a Half-Fare Card only in the Jungfrau region its initial cost - about $140 and then paying 50% for anything else bakes the Jungfrubahn Pass perhaps a much better deal (I have not done the math but expect so).
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Apr 25th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/
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Apr 25th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Day 1:
A somewhat decent visit of Fribourg needs about 3 hrs and ist best done on foot. But don't forget the very interesting places some 20 miles around Fribourg:
Gruyeres/Broc castle, medieval town, museums, cheese diary and chocolate factory,
Tiny walled medieval city of Murten along the scenic Lake of the same name and the Roman amphitheatre and museum of Avenches nearby,
The medieval city center of Berne and the many outstandign Berne museums.

Day 3:
Count 2 3/4 hrs for the train/gondola ride from Jungfraujoch to First, 4 hrs for the hike from First to Bachalpsee and back and half a hour for the gondola ride from First to Grindelwald. Last departure from First at 17.00 (18.30 in high season).
First possible arrival at Jungfraujoch at 9am.
Count at least 2 hrs for the hike from Grindelwald First Bahn station to Gletscherschlucht and back.

Day 6:
I suppose you will sleep at Lauterbrunnen. In this case it would be easier to drive first to Gstaad and then to Montbovon - Gruyeres - Bulle - motorway - Fribourg - Berne - Thun.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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You are trying to pack way too much into these days.

Seeing Thun, Bern and Gstaad in one day MAY be physically possible - but would be essentially drive bys. For Bern you need most of a day and to see anything in Thun - again more than half a day - unless you just want to look at the outside of everything.

Also - for the day you are doing Jungfrau (and you can;t pick this in advance, many days it's too cloudy at the top so you need to be flexible) you need to allow at least 5 hours to ascend, see much and then descend. You don't need a winter jacket but you need layers (I wore a tee, long sleeve shirt, sweater and jean jacket - which was enough even going outside onto the glacier - but might not be enough if you spend several hours outside).

You really need to rethink this and SLOW DOWN if you want to see anything.

And why are you renting a car if you want to go everywhere by train?

And where are you starting from? You don;t descend into Fribourg from a helicopter.
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Apr 25th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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How cold does it get on top of Jungfraujoch? Do we need Winter Jackets?>

In August when I was there they said the average hi tempt up top was 32 F or 0 C - but no need to bring a winter coast and lug it around - just layer a bit and pick a sunny day when it will not seem that cold - just bring a few sweat shirts or sweaters and layer.

Maybe pack some old stuff you can jettison after doing the Jungfraujoch!
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Apr 28th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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weather reports in the Jungfrau Region with live cam streaming from the Jungfraujoch summit are ubiquitous - on every hotel TV it seems - in store windows at the tourist office, etc. Plan accordingly - may be warmer than you thought. Several years ago I was there - the summit- in the heat wave of all time and the temps on Jungfrau summit was 30 C - 86 F when normal temp was for that day 0 C or 32 F.
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Apr 28th, 2014, 08:45 PM
  #10
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We land in Geneva and travel to Lauterbrunnen where we have accomodations and plan to visit Fribourg on the way
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Apr 28th, 2014, 10:37 PM
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If I had only one day, I would spend it in Lucerne over Zurich. Transport Museum is a half day by itself. Lion Monument also good.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 04:53 AM
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Lucerne is a smallish big city - easily manageable in a day if need be - try to do a late afternoon boat ride on lovely Lake Lucerne- can even take a boat to the Transport Museum!
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Apr 29th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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have_fun - Lauterbrunnen and Fribourg are wonderful IMO.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 10:46 AM
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Seeing Thun, Bern and Gstaad in one day MAY be physically possible - but would be essentially drive bys.>

Bern has enough for a nice whole day - Gstaad's beauty is outside of the city - up in the hills - another whole day

Thun well that could be a nice few-hour stop between Gstaad and Bern.
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May 7th, 2014, 07:45 AM
  #15
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Thanks all for your responses. it has been really helpful for us. I have revised the itinerary and just needed one more piece of advice. Based on my calculations, the 6 day Jungfrau Rail pass seems better than the Swiss Half card. it is however on par with the Bernese Oberland pass (6 day BO is more expensive). Can someone guide on what more would one get with the BO pass? Does BO pass cover boat ride and train to Pilatus? I am guessing both Jungfrau and BO passes cover Thun and Brienze boat rides but wanted to confirm this as well
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May 7th, 2014, 11:12 AM
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Each one has a map of validity on the official sites. BO I believe does cover the boats on the two lakes bookending Interlaken. Does BO give similar discounts to say Jungfrau Railway - a big kahuna of fares?
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May 7th, 2014, 12:19 PM
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http://www.regiopass-berneroberland....e-of-validity/

cvan't see a legend on it I assume the white lines on lakes indicate valdity on boats - looks like Shilthorn is half-off and Jungfraujoch 25% off? Maybe you can find a legend that indicates what the black and red dashed lines mean?
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May 7th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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Well moi stupid - just scroll over to the left for the legend - I can't tell whether boats are covered or not or what the discount is for Schilthorn - just says discount - apparently Jungfraujoch is 50% off?
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May 7th, 2014, 08:32 PM
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yes thanks. Both the Jungfrau rail pass and BO passes cover our itinerary. Looks like BO also covers 50% to Titlis and 100% to Pilatus from Luzern. What is the best option to purchase BO passes? Order online or purchase at a train station once we get there? Will we be able to buy at Lauterbrunnen or is it only available at the larger stations?
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