TRIP TO SWITZERLAND

Old May 21st, 2012, 05:56 AM
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TRIP TO SWITZERLAND

Hi, we are a bit lost. Want to go to Switzerland for 12 - 14 days and stay "off the beaten track". Fly in to Zurich, though of going to Rapperswil, Stein am Rhein, Lucerne, see the Jungfrau etc. fying back from Zurich, do a little round trip. My biggest problem is how do you find out the train cost between the villages, we thought of staying in 3 places for 4 days each and then take trips from there. We love old towns, mountains, lakes etc, we don't want to rough it, but is on a bit of a budget (coming from South Africa, our R is so weak!) I would love some advise, so scared that we go there and miss half of the "must see" places. Is self catering an option, thought we would save on food costs, and be part of the everyday life! O, planning on going from middle September onwards.

Any suggestions will be highly appreciated.

E
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Old May 21st, 2012, 06:54 AM
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Go to sbb.ch and put in the town or city you will be doing day trips from and then where you want to travel to. You can get the individual prices that way. Add them up and then compare with the Swiss Pass. You will get a 15% discount if two of you are traveling together. Covers all transportation - trains, trams, buses, boats. Also note that the Swiss Pass will also give you 1/2 price off the mountain trips and free museum visits, so you might want to consider that as well.

I'm sure other Fodorites will chime in here about itineraries.

Switzerland is expensive - the restaurants are outrageous. Just got back from there a month ago (our third time). So, self catering probably would save you money, but I've never done it.

Expensive as it it, Switzerland is fabulous. You will have a wonderful time no matter what.
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Old May 21st, 2012, 07:06 AM
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Thank you very much, it is all a bit daunting!!
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Old May 21st, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Hi addict!
I stayed in Rapperswil and made daytrips in the Fall of 2010.
Also went to a different area of Switzerland that same year in June, taking daytrips as well.
Click on my name and scroll down to my two trip reports if inclined to read more!
You'll have great fun!
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 02:50 AM
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Hi mokka4, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip reports! Now I can't wait to go.....! Rapperswil will be the place to stay, I think. Did you buy a train ticket that covered all the trips, or per trip? Would you recommend Hotel Jakob? and the meals in the hotel, are they affordable?
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 05:24 AM
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If you want eat reasonably inexpensively then I recommend trying the cafes in the supermarkets like the Coop and Migros good food and inexpensive. There is also the Manora vegetarian self service restaurants. If there is a restaurant in any of the stations they are very often good value as well. Take advantage of the meals available in whatever hotel you book. I would certainly investigate the various travel passes available from the Swiss Rail network www.sbb.ch/en
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 06:11 AM
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Make sure you get to the Berner Oberland. Stay 4-5 days in either Interlaken (big town with easy trips to various mountain areas), or Wengen, Murren, Lauterbrunnen, etc. (small mountain towns).
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 07:39 AM
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Hi addict!
I used the Half-Fare Card in June 2010 (50% off most every train, bus and boat, varying reductions on mountain funiculars). I think it now costs about 109 CHF for a month.
In October I used point-to-point tickets as I had figured it out to be cheaper. Various passes may allow you to be more spontaneous, but since I knew where I was going most days, and knew I wouldn't likely deviate, the passes would have been just a bit more costly for me.
Hotel Jakob was 'no frills' with a tiny reception, but economical (100chf single room), pleasant, clean and well-situated on the main square. The cafe-resto is smallish,but cosy and the food was good (I got half-board dinner on two nights--their choice of main course, about 25-30 CHF per meal-salad, main with side and simple dessert).
One drawback-no fridge in room.
I agree that many supermarkets offer a nice, fresh selection of prepared foods for takeout (main markets are Coop and Migros in Switzerland). There is an extensive undergound shopping network under Zurich's main train station (Hauptbahnhof)-called Shop-ville!- with MANY reasonably-priced take-away meals, often less than 15 CHF.
As noted by the poster above, be sure to travel to the Interlaken area for fantastic (though costly) trips up into the mountains. Another personal favorite in this area is the lake town of Brienz, a wood-carving village of chalets climbing upward, and ringed by snow-capped mountains. A quick bus ride leads to Ballenberg Open-Air Museum.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 07:52 AM
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What time of the year would you be going?
(Many mountaintop excursions close in late October.)

As for self-catering apartments (Ferienwohnungen), I have travelled this way nearly exclusively since 1996! It is MUCH cheaper, and you DO live as a local, going to the bakery for morning rolls, to the grocery for fruit and cheese, and watching the local kids get off to school....
It CAN'T be beat for price! We leave in just 48 hours for an apt in Bamberg, Germany--390 Euro (about $500 US) for 7 nights in a two story townhouse with 2 bedrooms, kitchen, dining area and large living room!!!!! We also have a covered terrace/garden area to dine al fresco!
Only problem with FeWo is 1) Depending on the time of year, the landlord may not rent for less than 7 nights and 2) Many FeWo charge an end-cleaning fee (Endreinigung) that can be a deal-breaker, so ask.
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