Switzerland in Oct End - Nov Beginning

Old Oct 9th, 2014, 03:34 AM
  #1  
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Switzerland in Oct End - Nov Beginning

Hello All,

I am travelling to Switzerland for the 1st time from 27th Oct to 5th Nov.
I will be landing in Zurich and then I am planning to stay 4 nights in Niesenstrasse, Interlaken and 4 nights in Schwizi's, Interlaken.
I was thinking abt doing one day trip to Zermatt, Geneva and Lucerne. I believe some of the attractions will be closed due to maintenance and bcoz of off season.
Can you all pls advise about how should i plan my trip and which attractions should i visit?

thanks,
pulin
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 04:41 AM
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You really are going at the worst possible time of year. The weather will be cold but not really snowy for winter sports (except at the mountaintops where there is always snow). Nor will you get the late spring summer of wildflowers, meadows filled with cows, alpenhorm players etc - they're all gone until spring. So I'm not clear on what you want to see or do.

You are correct that many things (hotels, restaurants, cable cars, etc) are closed around this time for renovation/upgrading before high season.

I'm not clear what you mean on visiting Zermatt, Geneva and Lucerne. I fyou mean to do all this in the same day - it's not really possible.

And it you're looking at spending the whole time in Interlake - in 2 different hotels - this just doesn;t make a lot of sense. I would identify (google is your friend) some places you can get to (for instance what transit up the Jungfrau is still running on what schedule) and stay at two separate centers - so you have a chance to easily see a number of different places without spending the whole day on the train.

If you tell us what you want to see we can help - but since we don;t know you just aren;t sure. Do you want hiking? shopping? seeing glaciered mountaintops? castles? City museums? Why are you going if you don't have some idea of what to see/do?
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 04:52 AM
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For the last three years in a row, I've taken the last week of October and first week of November off to go daytripping around Switzerland (due to a special off season cheap train pass offered to Swiss residents at that time of year). My recs:
Gruyeres
Romont
Bern
Thun (town and lake but cruise schedules are limited then)
Lugano
Luzern
Rigi
Zug
Stein am Rhein
Appenzell
Montreux
Vevey

not advised:
Wengen
Gstaad
Grindelwald, Murren etc
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 04:56 AM
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Also recommend Murten and Solothurn, plus my city of Basel, of course!! Basel hosts a large autumn fair at that time, which is fun to visit.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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thank you so much for your response. i need to get lots and lots of info from you for my trip...

I am more interested in seeing beautiful and scenic places for which switzerland is famous for. I am more interested in visiting glaciered mountain tops like Jungfrau, titlis, Matterhorn etc.

I believe that Glaciers Express will be shut and hence i am planning to take a local train that goes on the same route.

I am also interested in visiting small towns / museums / castles and all other places of interest for tourist. I am not at all interested in hiking nor in shopping.

I was intending to say that I can plan one day trip to each of the places like Zermatt, Lucerne and Geneva.

Can you pls suggest me how should i plan my itienary. which places should i stay and for how many days. I have still not done hotel/apartment reservation. I will be arriving in Zurich on 27th Oct night and will be departing from zurich on 5th nov morning.
Your suggestions and advice can really help me plan my trip.

thanks,
pulin
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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I have also been to Switzerland during the same basic timeframe and have found to be less crowded and with manageable weather.

If you are going to Zermatt mainly to view the Matterhorn peak be VERY aware that it could be completely shrouded in clouds. Yes, the scenery up to Zermatt is interesting but what I would recommend is visiting Luzern and taking the half-day trip up to Engleberg and then taking the three-stage cableway to the summit of Mt. Titlis. Stunning views and not as many issues with cloudy conditions.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 06:50 AM
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@Dukey1 & @WeisserTee
thank you so much for your suggestions.... will definitely note that...
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 06:57 AM
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can you all please help me with itienary from 27th Oct to 5th Nov
Dukey 1 as you had visited during the same timeframe, advise and suggestion from you will be very helpful.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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May be you have a look at
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html
http://www.swisstravelsystem.ch/en/
http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/query.exe/en
and choose the places you are really interested in.

Jungfrau railway, Schilthorn cableway, Gornergrat railway, Bernina Express, Voralpen Express, Pilatus railway, Golden Pass, Loetschberger, Centovalli Express/Vigezzo Vision, etc. will of course all run between Oct 27th and Nov 5th. There will be no Glacier Express, however.
But all these panoramic train and gondola rides make only sense if the weather is fine. This latter is always unpredictable in the Alps.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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The weather can be very variable at that time of year; expect the unexpected! Last year, it was quite mild. I went to Wengen one day when it was supposed to be snowing hard, got there, and found it warm enough for the predicted snow to be nothing more than heavy rain. No visibility and no snow. I was glad I hadn't bought a special ticket for that day. I simply turned straight around and went to Thun for a relaxing lunch.

On the other hand, when I went to Appenzell the previous year, there was deep snow in the mountains and several inches on the ground in the town itself. Some of the outdoor tables at the cafes had a foot of snow on them. I got a great photo of a bench covered with a mound of snow -- and gold and orange autumn leaves. I even used one of my October shots from Appenzell for a snowy winter scene in the Fodors Advent Calendar I posted last December.

I suggest you find bases that you can still enjoy even if the weather isn't cooperative.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 09:21 AM
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I am very sorry but I cannot suggest specific itineraries other than general recommendations. YOU need to pick a couple of places which seem the most appropriate and then also decide what other things you can fit in.

I have no idea what an ideal time frame for you might be in any of the cities mentioned above.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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If doing those day trips by train investigate some kind of pass - the Swiss Pass might be a great deal - hop any train anytime - no queuing for tickets - valid not only on regular trains but trains from Interlaken to Grindelwald, Murren, Wengen - all nice day trips from Interlaken.

Anyway some superb IMO sources on Swiss trains and passes (there is also the Swiss Card, Swiss Transfer Ticket, Half-Fare Ticket, etc to consider) - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 05:10 PM
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Be very aware that you cannot plan visits to mountaintops in advance. We were in Interlaken 3 days - in June - before we got one day that the Jungfrau was clear at the top and it was worth the time and money to ascend. Two of the those days were perfectly clear in the lowlands but the mountaintops were wreathed in clouds. So we did day trips - one to Thun (adorable town with great castle) and one to Gruyere (similar) but we had a car and could go wherever/whenever we liked.

So I would pick two different towns from which to do trips - perhaps one Interlaken and one near Geneva - or perhaps Lucerne - so you have a variety of different places to go on days with bad weather.
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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lol! Just a quick note on nytraveler's comment --

Of course you can go wherever/whenever you like using trains and busses in Switzerland. They run frequenty and go practically everywhere; in the worst case scenario you will be forced to enjoy a cup of coffee or some ice cream at the station, watching the people come and go, for 10 minutes while you wait for your train.

s
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 10:43 PM
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Just don't want future readers to get the wrong idea that they need a car for practicality or flexibility --

s
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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I have driven in Switzerland and found it tedious - oh you can take the autobahns (after buying the requisite toll decal) but then you see very little except trucks and wind blocks, etc.

Side roads I found very tedious as they are often sinuous in this Alpine country and often IME plagued with lots of traffic. Plus the driver must often keep his eyes peeled to the road and misses the lovely scenery.

Now certain parts of Switzerland are neat by car but the parts most tourists want to see - the rugged Alpine regions many times private vehicles cannot even go there but must be parked in expensive parking lots at edges of towns - like Zermatt about 3 miles out and you have to take the shuttle train in, etc.
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 01:33 PM
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nytraveler makes a salient point about planning to visit mountain tops - keep a flexible schedule and the first clear day go for it as it may be the only clear day for days in this one of the wettest climates in Europe.
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Even if you can't see the mountaintops, it doesn't mean the scenery isn't interesting. We're high above Zermatt right now. No view of the Matterhorn from our Matterhorn-view room...but we watched an amazing thunderstorm breaking down in the valleys. So don't right off visiting someplace simply because the skies aren't 100 percent perfectly clear.
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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"write off" of course...
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Old Oct 10th, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Ah a thunder storm in the Alps - they say in summer there is about one a day in the Interlaken area and I saw a big one once in Grindelwald and tit was awesome how the water cascaded off the sheer facade of the Jungfrau Massif - I echo Weiseer Tee's idea that overcast skies may not be a wipe out in an area like that. But if like some you only go to Zermatt to glimpse the unique famous facade of the Matterhorn then just a day or two there could make that iffy.
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