Trip to Switzerland, Is Lucerne wort it?

Jul 16th, 2012, 06:10 AM
  #1  
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Trip to Switzerland, Is Lucerne wort it?

Hi there,

We are a couple in our early 30's living in New York and its our first trip to Switzerland. We are planning this trip in mid August. (18 to 23)

We are landing in Zurich , stopping in mountreux for 2 days , then in Interlaken for next 2 days and were planning to spend 1 day and 1 night in Lucerne as we are flying back from Geneva.

I was wondering if we should plan to stop in Lucerne or is there any other place which you could suggest us?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance!
Preet
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Jul 16th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Hi PreetK,

The itinerary you've written is sort of zig-zagging around the country. You land in Zürich, then head south to Montreux, which is near Geneva. Then you head north again to Interlaken and then north again to Luzern.

I also wouldn't have so many one-night stays -- they give no joy as you''ll spend more time dealing with suitcases and hotel and will rob you of your "outside" time.

Here's what I would do -- it looks like you have three nights, is that right?

I would land in Zürich, take the train to Luzern (one hour), put the suitcases in a luggage locker, and stroll the city and the old town. After lunch, I would head to Interlaken and stay two nights.

Then I would take the Golden Pass train route to Montreux (via Gstaad). Again, store luggage in a locker and take a nice walk to Chillon castle, take a bus or ferry back to Montreux and have lunch outside somewhere. Then a late train onward to Geneva for your flight out.

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 16th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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ooops, clarification.

I meant, take a train onward to Geneva for an overnight before your flight out the next day.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 16th, 2012, 06:52 AM
  #4  
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Hi there,

Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I had a typo in my post.

We are taking the golden pass train for most of our trip. This is my complete trip

Aug 18 - Fly-in to Geneva from US in the AM. Take the train to Montreux in the AM.

Visit the vineyards in Vevey and spend time along the lake side. Stay at Montreux.

Aug 19 - Visit Chillion Castle in the AM. Stay at Montreux.

Aug 20 - AM panaromic train to Interlaken. Visit Mt. Schilthorn

Aug 21 - AM trip to Jungfraujoch. Boat cruise at Lake Thun in the PM.

Aug 22 - AM panaromic train to Lucerne. Thinking of Mt Rigi, Mt. Pilatus and Chapel Bridge.

Aug 23 - Lake Lucern and glacier garden. PM train to Zurich. Overnight train to Amsterdam (CNL).

I was wondering whether we should stay in Lucerne or skip lucerne and extend our stay in any other place.

Best Regards,

Preet
PreetK is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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Are you getting some kind of railpass - quite a bit of train and boat travel - look at either Swiss Pass or Half-fare Card - Swiss Pass covers trains, lake boats, city trams and buses and gives free entry to 400+ Swiss Museums like those in Lucerne - also valid in full on Golden Pass train.

anyway for lots of great info on Swiss trains, boats and passes, etc I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.swisstravelsytem.com; www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html.

If doing Schilthorn the Swiss Pass gives you 100% coverage from Interlaken to Murren - about $40 return in itself and gives you 50% off Murren to Schilthorn - about another $40 or so so the pass can be a great deal perhaps.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 06:00 AM
  #6  
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Thank you for your suggestions. I was wondering whether we should stay a night in Lucerne or just a day trip to Lucerne is good enough?

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Preet
PreetK is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 06:59 AM
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The Lucerne area is one of the great areas especialy for first time tourists. There is all, a great lake system, a wonderfull old town with medeaval a city wall and towers, Mountain excursions with and without snow, great museums etc etc etc. All this requires some time. If you can't afford this time, I would prefer not to go and to keep it for an other visit.
Panoramic train from Interlaken to Lucerne is great. You can include Mt. Titlis in this trip - see www.sbb.ch/en -. For sure you would not have time to do a second mountain trip the same day. From Interlaken to Lucerne there is the scenic Brünig railway but no panoramic train.
pore
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Jul 18th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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It looks as if you're planning to stay a night (Aug. 22) in Lucerne based on your itinerary. I think it's a good idea.

Make time to see the Lion Monument, it's quite moving!
joannyc is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions.

We are planning to reach Lucerne on 22 August before noon and are heading to Zurich on 23rd Evening. We have approximately 1.5 days in Lucerne.

Can we visit Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi on the same day or we should do 1 place in one day.
We are not a big fan of Museums but would like to explore nature and lakes

Can someone suggest me how can we make best use of our time in Lucerne?

Best Regards,

Preet
PreetK is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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n we visit Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi on the same day or we should do 1 place in one day.
We are not a big fan of Museums but would like to explore nature and lakes>

well by all means take a lake boat and incorporate it into either doing Mt Rigi or Mt Pilatus - Mt Pilatus is truly awesome as a mountain itself - Rigi is famous for its views but is not nearly the awesome mountain Pilatus is - the ascent of Pilatus is also much more thrilling than Rigi - one of the world's sttepest mountain railways goes up to Pilatus then a thrilling aerial cable way takes you down the other side back to suburban Lucerne for a bus into town.

Take the boats to Alpnachstad and then head up to Pilatus on the steep train - come back down to suburban Lucerne (Krens I think it is called) and be back in Lucerne.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 19th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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Thank you all!

I wanted to know if I need to make the train reservation for Golden pass panoramic trains or Brünig railway in advance or can I go to the station and buy the tickets. I don't want to spend a long time while buying tickets or miss trains because of no reservations. Can you please give me some idea regarding this.

Thank you.

Regards,

Preet
PreetK is offline  
Jul 19th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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If you are going to Schilthorn and Jungfrau, then you would be better off staying in Lauterbrunnen than Interlaken. If you stay in Interlaken, then you have to catch the train to Lauterbrunnen each day, and then transfer to other forms of transport.
We loved the trip to Pilatus - be aware that it will take a bit chunk of your day as the boat trip across the lake takes about 90 minutes alone.
You can easily fill in several hours in Lucerne just walking around the old town, and the river and lake. There is an interesting museum in the round/panorama (sorry, can't remember the name) near the Lion monument which is worth a visit.
marg is offline  
Jul 19th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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Thank you again for your suggestions.

We plan on taking a train from Geneva to Montreux and from Montreux to Vevey. We will be storing luggage in Vevey train station. We will take the Wine train from Vevey to Chexbres and walk to Rivaz. We will go to the castle the second day and walk around the town.

We will stay in Lauterbrunnen and not Interlaken and visit Schilthorn and Jungfrau.

For Lucerne, we are planning to visit Mount Pilaus first day and Mount Rigi the second day before we take a train to Zurich. We also plan to walk around the town and see the Lion monument.

Please let me know if you have any more suggestions for our trip. I would like to know if we need to make any train reservation in advance.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Preet Kanwal
PreetK is offline  
Jul 20th, 2012, 03:52 AM
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There are no required train reservations to my knowledge on your trains outlined and no need to make any unless say you want VIP seats on Golden Pass train Montreux to Interlaken-Ost.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 20th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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We loved the trip to Pilatus - be aware that it will take a bit chunk of your day as the boat trip across the lake takes about 90 minutes alone.>

you could go to Alpnachstad, to catch the Pilatus train, by train from Lucerne in about 20 minutes or so if time is a factor - going by boat is great if you have time.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 20th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Hi again,

I had one more question - how do we go travel to jungfraujoch and Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen ? I don't see any trains to those areas . Do we need to take boat or cable cars?

Thank you !
PreetK is offline  
Jul 20th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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In answer to your last question PreetK go to www,jungfraubhanen.ch/en all the times and fares are there
tipsygus is offline  
Jul 20th, 2012, 05:45 PM
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PreetK

I'm a bit confused - you say you are returning to Zurich to pick up the CNL overnight train to Amsterdam. This makes no sense: You can connect from Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen to Basel, there to switch to the CNL leaving Basel at 22:12 for Amsterdam (gets in at 08:56 in the morning.)

I note that the CNL out of Basel is the same one that leaves Zurich at 20:42.

2) You have five nights, aug 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and the 23rd on the train. Here's how I'd do it.

aug 18. Arrive Zurich, train to Lucerne (1 hour), see Lucerne.

aug 19. Morning train to Montreux, 2.5 hours. Personally I'd skip Montreux on such a short trip, but if you're determined, you could easily drop your bags at your hotel, then do Chillon in the afternoon (10 minute bus ride). Overnight Montreux.

aug 20. All day in Montreux for vineyards, etc. Also if you are delayed on arrival on the 19th, you have some flexibility in your schedule to see Chillon today if you didn't yesterday.

aug 21, 22, Lauterbrunnen. - In the morning, take the train (a couple of transfers, just about 3 hours) to Lauterbrunnen. You can do the Schilthorn in the afternoon.

aug 22. Jungfraujoch day.

Personally, I'd skip the jungfraujoch train and instead hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. It's an easy and lovely walk, and you really get to appreciate the mountains instead of just seeing them from a train window. To do this hike, buy a ticket to Lauterbrunnen-Mannlichen with a return Wengenalp-Lauterbrunnen. This involves a train to Wengen, and a gondola from Wengen to Mannlichen, followed by the hike to Kleine Sheidegg. Strictly speaking you could catch the train back to Lauterbrunnen from Kleine Sheidegg but it's all downhill from here to Wengenalp, and the walk is lovely. You can catch your train back to Lauterbrunnen in Wengenalp.

aug 23. A second chance to do Jungfraujoch or the above hike if it was cloudy on the 22. (If so, you can go see the open air museum nearby, or explore waterfalls, etc. The valley is beautiful. ) Or, do the Shilthorn if you didn't have time on arrival day. Personally I would only go as far as Then, in the late afternoon, grab the 17:33 train to Interlaken and then to Basel, arriving in time to have a late dinner in Basel before grabbing the CNL to Amsterdam at 22:12. (You could leave Interlaken later, but I like the idea of arriving in Basel in plenty of time to relax a bit as you don't want to miss that CNL train.)

This itinerary skips Pilatus but on such a short trip, and as you are keen to go to Montreux, I think Pilatus is too involved to cram in (long boat rides, etc.), sorry.
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Jul 20th, 2012, 06:22 PM
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Sue_xx_yy, they are flying into Geneva, not Zurich.

PreetK, why are you planning on storing your luggage at the Vevey train station? Your hotel in Montreux will hold it for you if you are arriving before check-in time. BTW, many hotels do allow you to check-in before the 2-3pm check-in time if they have a room available.
joannyc is offline  
Jul 21st, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Or they could check luggage at Geneva Airport train station and have it waiting at the station in Montreux if they really do not want to go to the hotel first.

but Vevey is only a few miles and a short trolley bus ride from Montreux so it would not take long to hit the hotel first - but IME there is not always someone at the desk if the hotel is a small family-run hotel so arrange that first.
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