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Switzerland itinerary - suggestions or ideas?

Switzerland itinerary - suggestions or ideas?

Aug 1st, 2011, 05:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393
Switzerland itinerary - suggestions or ideas?

Hello all!

With an apartment in Zurich finally secured (yay!), I went about constructing an itinerary. I've been to Zurich many times before, so there will not be much time spent in the city. Here's what I've come up with:

Sunday day 1 - Zurich arrival - get settled into apartment - buy groceries - go walking around Zurich to fight off jet lag - dinner with relatives - bed!

Monday day 2 - day trip to Luzerne - boat ride on Lake Luzerne - trip up to Mt. Rigi

Tuesday day 3 - trip to Thun - boat ride on Lake Thun - Interlaken - boat ride on Lake Brienze - back to Interlaken to stay overnight

Wednesday day 4 - go to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken - back to Zurich

Thursday day 5 - whole day trip to Lugano.

Friday day 6 - our relatives want to play tour guide, so they've suggested taking us to Kyburg Castle, a visit to Appenzell region and a couple of other places.

Saturday day 6 - open

Sunday day 7 - brunch with relatives

Monday day 8 - flight back to U.S.

Naturally, our plans are flexible, meaning that even though I might have the Jungfrau for Wednesday, we have to be mindful of the weather and let that dictate when we'll be visiting it. Comments / suggestions?
trafaelwyr is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,999
Are you going by car or by train - if doing all this by train then an 8-consecutive-day Swiss Pass would IMO be a great deal for you and cover all transportation virtually from get there to get go, including trains, city trams and buses, lake boats like in Lucerne and Thun, mountain trains in full to Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald - postal buses and free entry to over 400 Swiss museums such as ones in Lucerne and zurich you may want to see - anyway check out these fab IMo sites for loads of great stuff on Swiss transports, passes (and other options like the Half-Fare Card, Swiss Card, etc) - www.swisstravelsystem.com - check for local fares to compare to the pass here - and www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com. Swiss Passes currentluy, when I checked recently, were significantly cheaper if bought in North American than for the exact same pass in Europe - you can check both prices at www.swisstravelsystem in CHF (Swiss francs) and for dollar prices at other sites I mention.

And IMO for destinations you are going trains are the way to go - like in Jungfrau region cars cannot even go many places and in cities they are a hassle as well.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Visiting Lucerne and doing a boat ride and the train or cableway up Mt Rigi and back is a whole lot for one day - perhaps on your open day return to Lucerne and see the town and perhaps Mt Pilatus, which you can also incorporate a boat ride to and leave the other day for Lake Lucerne - boat to Fluelen and also do Rigi en route?

Or on the open day train to Bern, a fabulous city to me that is oft neglected by tourists - really cute city with famous Bear Pits, a lovely stretch of river and the fairly new Paul Klee Museum, a smash hit where the museum building architecture is as much a hit as the museum itself.

I am sure others will say you are packing too much into some days and that the day trips are long - but if like me you do not mind riding a few hours on a train each way - in fact I love that - then go for it IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 1st, 2011, 09:24 AM
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Hi PalenQ! Yes, we plan to utilize the Swiss rail system as much as possible. I know that our relatives would like to ferry us around by car, but being able to ride the trains over there and see the beauty of the country is what we really want to do (not to mention saving our relatives from filling up their car with gas given todays prices). I did purchase the half fare card last night for each of us (110 CHF pp and shipping was 45 CHF - they shipped all 3 in on package and refunded 90 CHF back to me!).

We have all been to Bern and that was one of the cities that got the chop when I had revised my itinerary. What my Uncle had suggested was that when we leave the Jungfrau, we head from there to Lucerne to do what we'd plan to do there and then on to Zurich.

I was hoping that this schedule didn't given the impression that we were trying to do too much. Again, our plans are flexible, but we definitely know that we want to go to the Jungfrau and Lugano, everything else can be tweaked.
trafaelwyr is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 02:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,665
Hi Traf:
Just finished posting on your other thread, then saw this one!
One comment:
One day #3, I wouldn't bother with a boat cruise on BOTH Thun AND Brienz--it would be overwhelmingly similar and take a good chunk of time. I personally like Lake Brienz better, but others may differ. Instead from Interlaken Ost, take the cruise to Brienz, then disembark and take the bus (right behind the RR station) up to Ballenberg open-air museum if you haven't been there before. Various centuries-old buildings have been moved to this many-acred site in the woods from all over Sw. with occasional demonstrations of crafts,etc (cuckoo-whistle making, meat smoking, etc)
More info can be found online in english under either Ballenberg or Freilichtmuseum Brienz.
I LOVED Rigi--good choice.
And Appenzell area with your family will be a wonderful treat too.
And of course, you are right to be felxible regarding the weather and the Jungfrau trip--too expensive to ascend in socked-in weather!
Fianlly, Ialways buy my Half Fare Card just after landing, at the RR office....NO fees!
Have a grand time!
mokka4 is online now  
Aug 3rd, 2011, 04:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393
Hi mokka4! Thanks for the suggestion of the open air museum and I will definitely look into that. Yeah, the Appenzell area is something I'm really looking forward to. A few years ago when my sister and I went over to Switzerland, our Uncle was taking us to this one area not too far from Zurich and we got to see the procession of cows being brought down. It was an unexpected bonus to our trip! I hope we get something like that this year. I probably could have waited on buying the 1/2 fare cards until I got there, but now that's one less thing for me to worry about.
trafaelwyr is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,999
Swiss Passes cover the steep entry fee to Ballenberg Open-Air museum in full - about a $25 value I would see - also gives entry to over 400 Swiss Museums

And for many the Swiss Card would be a better deal than the Half-Fare Card (and for many a consecutive-day Swiss Pass would be, if traveling much, perhaps the best deal. It costs not much more than the Half-Fare Card and also gives a train ticket from any Swiss border or airport to any place in Switzerland and then out from there to any border or airport - I did the analysis yesterday and with the Swiss franc sinking so much makes more sense for folks like molkker it seems than blindly buying the Half-Fare Card
PalenQ is offline  

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