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5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

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Exeter, United...
posts: 3
5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

Hi, I am wondering if someone can help me on planning my 5D/4N itenarary in Switzerland as a part of my Eurotrip. We (my mom, auntie, and I) will travel from Stockholm to Geneva on 31st January 2014 and will arrive at approximately 6p.m. My next destination is Italy, starting from Milan, probably around 4th or 5th February 2014.

Based on my research, most people recommend to visit Montreaux and Chateau de Chillon, Interlaken, Jungfrau, and Zermatt. (Apart from Zurich and Lucerne because I don't think I have enough time to go up north)

I have some questions:

1. Is it possible to visit all those places I mentioned before within 5 days? If yes, could you please give me some recommendations on the itinerary? If not, which one should I omit or maybe replaced by a place nearby? I was thinking Geneva > Interlaken and Jungfrau > Montreaux > Zermatt > Milan but I'm not sure whether it is doable or not.

2. Which city has direct transportation to Milan? I am fine with night or bus. However, a night train or bus is more preferred as it means I will have more time in Swiss and save some accommodation costs.

3. Which website to buy the tickets and when do they start selling the ticket?

Thanks for sparing some time to help me! :)

Exeter, United...
posts: 3
1. Re: 5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

As an additional information, we love scenery more than museums. I am also interested in visiting Mont Blanc and Chamonix if time permits. :)

Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 21,281
reviews: 132
2. Re: 5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

You don't have a lot of time and your actual sightseeing time is going to be cut into because it gets dark early (but not as early as in the UK!!)

Arriving at 6pm in Geneva (by air I assume?) you might want to go straight to Montreux. There are two trains an hour that leave the airport station for Montreux and it takes about 1hr 15mins to get there so you should be able to be there in time for a late-ish dinner (by our standards).

Spend the next day walking around Montreux, visit Chillon and maybe take the cog rail train up to the Rochers de Naye if the weather is clear

Feb 2 You can take the "Golden Panoramic" train over to Interlaken via Zweisimmen and Spiez. IF you are travelling First class it is well worth seeing if you can reserve the front row VIP seats which are in front of the driver. Very dramatic with snow on the ground!! Normally I would not suggest that anyone stay in Interlaken because it is a terrible tourist trap but at this time of year you won't get a hotel in the mountains so it is the only thing to do for a night or two...

Feb 3 IF the weather is clear at the Jungfraujoch go up there. If not just limit your time to visiting either Wengen or Mürren - both car free resorts and, in the snow, pretty as well.

Feb 4 - train to Spiez, connect to Brig. Spend the next one or two nights in Brig.

Feb 5 vist Zermatt for the day. It takes about 1hr 20mins from Brig to get there and you would have time to go up to the Gornergrat for fabulous views and to explore the village which is lovely. If you have to get to Milan that evening you can take a late afternoon train from Brig which takes 2 hours. On this you must have a reserved seat and when you buy your ticket the seat res. will come with it. If you can spend one more night in Brig then you could stay up in Zermatt longer but since it will be dark around 6pm or earlier perhaps this isn't worth it.

Note that I suggest Brig because getting a room in the mountains for a night or two will be near on impossible and the nearest town to Zermatt - Visp - is not the greatest place in the world to stay. Brig is pretty, with a lot of character.

With such a limited time you simply do not have the time to go to Chamonix and see the Mt Blanc. You would need to either extend your visit here OR drop Interlaken and the Jungfrau region. Were you to do that you can visit Chamonix in one day from Montreux. Trains run roughly once an hour from Martigny to Chamonix and Martigny is about 30mins from Montreux...

For train info / fares /timetables etc see www.sbb.ch/en You might also look at the option of getting a Swiss pass and you will find this under Leisure and Holidays on their site.

Exeter, United...
posts: 3
3. Re: 5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

Hi Hambagahle, thank you very much for your fast and detailed reply.

Firstly, I am so happy about the "Golden Pass" recommendation, it looks interesting. However, I'm confused when I checked their website http://tickets.goldenpass.ch/, that they have two 1st-class cars. Are both of them located in front of the driver? or do I have to book only the seats on the first row on first car? If thats so, do you know when I can start buying the tickets? I'm pretty sure it will be sold quickly. Normally in the UK they sell 3 months in advance, but I don't think it's the same in Switzerland.

Secondly, based on what you mentioned, it means I won't have time to travel Geneva itself. Do you think it's not worth it?

Thirdly, I tried to search the hotels on the mountains (I checked on Zermatt) and a lot of hotels are available for 1-night booking. If I can only pick 1 place to stay overnight, which one do you recommend? Interlaken, Jungfrau, or Zermatt?

Last of all, should I consider swiss pass for my trip?

Thanks in advance! Cheers

Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 21,281
reviews: 132
4. Re: 5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

The Goldenpass site actually has a plan of the various cars and an indication as to which direction the train moves in. you want to book the first row in the first car. And this only applies to the "Goldenpanoramic" trains which leave Montreux and Zweisimmen twice each day in each direction. (0944 and 1544 from Montreux).

Normally you should be able to reserve the seats 60 days prior. You do not need a ticket to reserve the seats as it is a separate transaction. You can book the seats and get your ticket on the day of travel if you like. This will not change the price of either.

Geneva is a wonderful city. And well worth exploring. But I didn't mention it because you simply do not have time for everything and you were specific about Montreux. Take a look at this -


If you decide to spend the first night in Geneva you could walk around the old town the following morning. Unless you spent most of the day there though you would not have enough time to see the UN and the CICR as well.

If you can get a hotel in the mountains get it in Zermatt. Interlaken is not in the mountains.And it is tacky! And even though the car-free villages near the Jungfrau are interesting they are not nearly as beautiful as Zermatt. And certainly look at a Swiss pass. It has limitations - on the train to and from the Jungfraujoch it only provides a 25% discount from and to Wengen. So take that into account. You should also look at a Half Fare Card which will get you 50% off everything including mountain trains and most cable car rides. HFC does not provide any museum entrances though... but it looks like you aren't going to have a lot of time for those anyway!!

5. Re: 5D/4N Swiss Itinerary

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