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Wheelchair accessibility in Switzerland

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Jul 3rd, 2014, 10:15 AM
  #1
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Wheelchair accessibility in Switzerland

We have 4 nights in Switzerland (2 in Bernese Oberland area, 2 in Lucerne). There are 4 of us (including one in a wheelchair) and we will be driving up from Italy. I am trying to plan the best trip possible accessibility wise.

BERNESE OBERLAND area (Grindelwald, Wengen, Murren, Lauterbrunnen)
-We'd like to take a day trip up to the Jungfraujoch but how accessible is it? Once up there, is there a deck/platform area(s) for wheelchairs to take in the views? It's an expensive trip and I'm just wondering if it's worth our time and money? Any other mountain excursions you'd recommend over the Jungfraujoch? That seems to be the most popular but is it the best for our situation?

-I know Wengen and Murren are car free so we'd have to park (somewhere by the train station?, does anyone know how much it costs to park?) and take a train into the village. Is the train into the village wheelchair accessible? Once we get into the village, are there hotels that are accessible? How about paths and trails? From what I've read, most people recommend Wengen over the other cities, but is the hassle of parking outside town, and taking a train into town (with a wheelchair) worth it over staying in Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen?

-As for Grindelwald vs Lauterbrunnen, would you recommend one over the other? What are the main differences? Which one would be best suited for our situation?

-Also, when recommending a particular city to stay in, please take into consideration ease of access to the train stations going up the mountains.

LUCERNE
-We'd like to do the Golden Round Trip, but how accessible is it? Are the boat ride across Lucerne, the train up the mountain, and the cable car/gondola down all accessible? How about when you get to the top of the mountain, is there a deck/platform area(s) to take in the views? Is the trip (as I'm sure it's expensive) worth it for a wheelchair user?
-Any specific areas in Lucerne you'd recommend that have great accessibility (walkways, paths along the lake to take in the views, etc)?

I want to utilize our time in Switzerland as best as I can with the constraints of a wheelchair. Any tips for both of these areas is greatly appreciated!
traveler8586 is offline  
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 10:36 AM
  #2
 
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I hate to say it but I think most of what you're asking about is NOT wheelchair accessible. Part may depend on how you appproach things. The train up to the Jungrau has steps. There may be an alternate means (cable car - that you can get a wheelchair on?) - but you MUST go to the web sites for these sights and attractions individually and check them out. If one isn't in a wheelchair it just isn't something one thinks about.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 10:47 AM
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This might help with the research

http://europeforvisitors.com/switzau...witzerland.htm
sandralist is offline  
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 11:00 AM
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i think nytraveler paints a grimmer picture than the reality. If memory serves, most of the trains we traveled on had accessible cars. When we headed up to Wengen with our bags, we looked for these, as it was much easier to roll the luggage onto the accessible cars. Also, this website states that jungfraujoch is wheelchair accessible:
http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/tr...uestions-tips/

at Rigi, there were definitely viewing platforms that were accessible, and I think the second class deck of the boat you could roll right on. I can't remember about the train though.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 12:33 PM
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I was in Murren last week. There was a man in a wheelchair on the gondolas with us. The access
platforms looked very doable and there are attendants everywhere.

There are wide paved roads through the town and there's a wheelchair accessible trail that
follows the old railway to its last stop. A gradual but long hill at that end of the trail. Views are
wonderful - Jungfrau, Eiger and surrounding Alps plus cow bells and flowers. No yodelling
though.

Also a popular walk along the Lauterbrunnen valley floor - almost totally flat. Great if it is
raining.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 02:46 PM
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I tend to agree with the above posts, broadly speaking. For a very long time, the Swiss mountains were a place deliberately sought out by invalids and recommended by doctors for cures. And Switzerland is a very modern country well-focused on using technological means to assist people in accessing the mountain peaks. I mean most of us cannot get anywhere there without mechanical assistance, wheelchair or no!

That said, you can't assume the place you arrive is the right one for getting the access if you are coming with a wheelchair. You will need specifics, not tourist recollections.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 05:07 PM
  #7
 
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I STRONGLY urge the OP to look at the web site of each of transport and attraction so they understand what the opportunities are and locate correct entrances. One cannot simply walk up and assume everything will be accessible (see the info on Neuchwanstein above which requires advance notice for handicapped visitors).
nytraveler is offline  
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Some info regarding Swiss Rail travel for walking impaired:

http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-service...-impaired.html

Here's the call center info for specifics on individual stations:

http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-service...-handicap.html

Regarding the Jungfrau, I found this on their site:

<<
Reservation for groups is essential. Maximum 10 persons per group (max 3 wheelchairs per train composition). Please inform the railway personnel at the station of departure so that a member of staff is available to assist with changing trains at Kleine Scheidegg. The Jungfraujoch is also wheelchair accessible. The entrance to the Ice Palace is fitted with a stair lift.>>>
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