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-   -   switzerland and france for 7 days (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/switzerland-and-france-for-7-days-939176/)

minhajbinsabir Jun 15th, 2012 03:10 AM

switzerland and france for 7 days
 
dear all
I lives in dubai and planning to visit switzerland and france in september 2012,
I am traveling with my wife and son who is 2 years old . I wanna know
Is weather in september is good to visit with my family ?
i have to travel 3 days by train ,
geneva to paris (return )
geneva to interlaken
interlaken to zurich

Is taking a family pass will save some money or i take tickets as i wanna move.?
for Jungfrau do i have to dedicate the whole day?

thanx
minhaj

nytraveler Jun 15th, 2012 04:33 AM

Not sure what you mean by Geneva to Paris return. If you think you are taking a one day trip to Paris and back from Geneva - this is a big mistake. the fastest train is about 3.5 hours - so you would be spending 7 hours on the train, just sitting, to spend a few hours there. Silly for adults and IMHO not possible with a 2 year old - unless you want a really exhausted, bored and cranky child.

For Jungfrau you need to allow most of the day and also that you have warm clothes. The top is always covered in snow (temps may be as high as 40 in midsummer) - but the mountain is so high the top is often in the clouds and you can see nothing. We had to wait 3 days toget a day clear at the top, althouhg it was clear in the valleys all 3 days. Be ready with an alternate plan.

Weather should be pleasant that time of year - not too hot, but do plan on seeing some rain.

PalenQ Jun 28th, 2012 06:18 AM

marking for later comment

PalenQ Jun 28th, 2012 09:56 AM

For 2-year olds there is no reason to buy a Family Pass since under 4s always go free and never need a ticket - but the Swiss Pass could be a good deal for you depending on how long you will be in Switzerland. A 4-consecutive-day pass cost be really cost effective and cover all travels from get to Geneva to get out of Geneva.

For longer periods look at a 3-day Swiss Flexipass - anyway check out these fantastic IMO sites for lots of great info on Swiss trains, lake boats (in Geneva and Interlaken a sweet thing to do and Swiss Passes cover them in full - just hop on) - www.swisstravelsystem.com;; http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html; www.ricksteves.com. If you can indicate how long your will be in Switzerland it would make a difference in the type of pass, if any, I and others may recommend.

PalenQ Jun 28th, 2012 10:47 AM

For your Paris to Geneva trains be sure to go to www.voyages-sncf.com and see if you can secure one of the limited in number discounted online fares - can be much much cheaper than just showing up - but since they are non-changeable, train specific and non-refundable I believe be sure of your dates. Once in Geneva use a Swiss Pass, if it suits your overall plans, to scoot around Switzerland.

PalenQ Jun 28th, 2012 02:14 PM

Note that you are traveling in September well then on 4-day Swiss passes - consecutive and flexipasses there is a 2 for the price of 1 sale during that time - a great deal that you should aim for - 2 passes for the price of one - even on Saverpasses.

Nidwaldner_Chris Jun 29th, 2012 06:33 AM

Hi, My husband and I lived near Luzern for 5 years and my husband and I took our then 2-1/2-year-old son to Switzerland last year. First, September is a beautiful time of year for Switzerland, though mornings are cool and days are shorter. Yes, you do need to dedicate at least 1/2 day for the Jungfraujoch. That being said traveling with a 2-year old you may want to take a slower pace. Are you saying you do not want to stay in the Interlaken region overnight? I think that would be a mistake. Also, for what it's worth in all the years I spent in Switzerland I never did make it up the Jungfraujoch, there are so many other interesting things to do.

As an example, here is what we did in our 9 days last July.

Day 1: Arrive Zurich and train right to Luzern (we generally find it cheaper to get a 1-month halb-tax (half-fare) card then any other type of train pass, your child is free and buses and most cable cars are also half-fare. However, if you can get the 2-for-1 pass mentioned above). Stayed at the Etap Luzern City.

Day 2: Sightseeing Luzern (walked along top of old city wall and up towers (kids love this) and since it was raining went to the Swiss Transport Museum (also great for young kids). Train to Engelberg in the late afternoon. Based at the Youth Hostel in family room. (Swiss hostels are very clean and they are very family orientated. This one had a play room-great for rainy days). We either ate at the hostel or at the Coop restaurant in town. Coop's and Migros's grocery stores often have nice little affordable cafe's.

Day 3: Great family hike up the Brunni cable car and chair lift and hiking back down to top of cable car station. Kids love the alpine slide here and play area.

Day 4: train and bus to vist friends who live on the Buergenstock. From there Funicular down to Kehrsiten to catch the ferry to Luzern and then train to Engelberg. Definitely fit in a ferry ride on Lake Luzern. We ended up on the Paddle steamer (Dampfschiff) which my little one loved. Or I could suggest Train and cable car up to Niederickenbach. This is a real little mountain village. Neat to hike around a little.

Day 5: Another great hike with little kids. Local free bus to end of Engleberg valley to cable car up to Fuerenalp and then hike down to Abenet for cable car down to Stafeli and then back down road to bus. Stop at the Alpenroseli for roesti! Also took gondola up to Truebsee up from valley under Titlis to walk around lake a little. Another nice playground here for kids.

Day 6: Rainy day. Glad this was a planned travel day to Lauterbrunnen. Based in family room at the Valley Hostel (very nice place. Nice lawn with awesome view of waterfall and you can cook your own meals here).

Day 7: Train up to Wengen and then cable car up to Maennlichen and hike down to Kleine Schedigg. Train back to Lauterbrunnen.

Day 8: Rainy day. Train to Grindelwald. Great indoor public pool with waterslide. After it cleared we did an easy hike around the town. Train back to Lauterbrunnen.

Day 9: Bus down Lauterbrunnen Valley to cable car up to Muerren. Hike Muerren-Winteregg-Gruetschalp along rail line (awesome views, stop at the restaurant at Winteregg for kids to play or can get train if kids are tired). Buy yogurt and cheese right from the farm at Winteregg. Cable car down to Lauterbrunnen.

Day 9: Morning went up and hiked Muerren-Grutschalp again before train. The intercity trains to Zurich airport from Interlaken (well almost all inter-city trains) has an awesome play car at the end!

Hopefully you get some ideas on how to spend your time. We had a ball and all the easy hikes were easily doable with our 2-1/2 year old. I thought this trip really gave a feel for the real Switzerland. My son loved all the trains.

PalenQ Jun 29th, 2012 08:37 AM

Chris - did you just buy tickets as you went or used some kind of pass? Curious. thanks

Nidwaldner_Chris Jun 29th, 2012 09:11 AM

PalenQ, we bought tickets as we went with the 99sfr 1-month halb-tax card.

PalenQ Jun 29th, 2012 12:13 PM

Nidwaldner - is the the Half-Fare Card as often talked about here - if so it is now 110 Swiss francs and can be a great deal as it was for you.


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