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Where to stay ?

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Fort Lauderdale, FL
posts: 27
reviews: 28
Where to stay ?

We are a married couple in the 40s traveling to Switzerland in June. We are looking forward to outdoor activities (some light day hiking). I am more adventurous, my wife less so. We are flying into Geneva at noon on the 19th, then taking the train to Montreaux for the night. Then off to the Jungfrau region - where to stay? How many nights?

From there to Zermatt for a couple of days...

then onto the Glacier Express to Chur (should we keep going?) then from Chur to Lucerne.

From Lucerne to Engelberg (for the day?) and up Mount Pilatus..

Then on 6/27 Lucerne to Zurich, fly home on the 28th...

Questions:

Still working on what pass to get for the train... any ideas? I'm thinking of paying cash from Geneva to Montreux and from Lucerne to Zurich, then some pass for the rest.

Where to stay in the Jungfrau region? While we like hiking we would like to stay somewhere close to some things we can walk to as well, some sort of little town would be nice.

Should we get off the GE at Chur? Don't really want to spend the night there, from there it is doable to get to Lucerne without it being a LONG day. What passes make the GE free (even 2nd class)

Lucerne to Engelberg or from the Jungfrau region?

Any other ideas would be great. Thank you so much !

3 replies to this topic
Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,334
reviews: 126
1. Re: Where to stay ?

I think you have too many stops in too little a time. And probably you need to choose either Zermatt OR the Jungfrau region to make sense out of it and also not to feel you are rushing about. IF you want to spend time in the Jungfrau region sightseeing - lakes, Ballenberg, mountain villages etc - then drop Zermatt. On the other hand if your primary interest is hiking then drop the Jungfrau region and spend the time in Zermatt.

Let's look at the two versions:

1. Arr Geneva, train to Montreux. Spend night. On to Zermatt. 20-22 in Zermatt 23 Glacier Express to Chur and transfer to Luzern via Zürich (2hrs). 24-26 in Luzern. 27 to Zürich and 28 home.

2. Arr Geneva, train to Montreux. Spend night. Goldenpass train to Interlaken and on to Wengen or Mürren or Grindelwald for 20-22. 23 train via Spiez to Visp and catch GEX at Visp instead of zermatt. Get off at Chur and transfer to Luzern - rest as above.

Now to answer the questions:

Which pass - I would look at the Flexi pass. If you got the 3 day one you could use this for the "heavy travel" days and in between it works as a Half Fare Card and gets you 50% off the fares. Flexi when used as a Swiss pass will cover the GEX 100% in either class but not the seat reservation fee of 33frs/pp. You must book seats in advance online on their site. www.glacierexpress.ch And then just get on the train and show the pass.

In the Jungfrau region - Wengen, Mürren are both up on the mountain. Mürren less accessible than Wengen. Grindelwald is lower and bigger so more choice of hotels etc. OR stay down by one of the lakes (not in Interlaken!) in a town like Spiez or Brienz. there are walking paths both in the mountains and around the lakes.

When in Luzern you have ample time to go to Engleberg as it only takes 45mins but if you have been in Zermatt or the Oberland do you really need to do this? Engelberg is not the most lovely resort in the alps and most people go there to go up Mt Titlis. (So they can get into the snow!) If that is your purpose then fine. But otherwise I would skip it. Do go to Rigi and take the boat over to Vitznau and the train up... And if you have time go to Hergiswil and tour the glass factory there - www.glasi.ch - it is a very interesting tour and they have two lovely shops full of their hand blown glass which makes great souvenirs! (It is heavy glass for the most and easy to pack).

I assume since you have done a lot of research you already know the SBB site but in case not here it is -

www.sbb.ch/en

Fort Lauderdale, FL
posts: 27
reviews: 28
2. Re: Where to stay ?

Thank you for your response ! I do try to pack too many things into not enough days. Will cut out Zermatt and the GE, so now we have the Montreaux area, Jungfrau, Lucerne for 9 days. Will take the Golden Pas train from Montreaux to interlaken, then on to somewhere up the mountains. Will cut out Engleberg as well..

Should I still get the flexi pass? How much are the cable cars/ trains in these areas?

thank you again for your great info !

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,334
reviews: 126
3. Re: Where to stay ?

You need to do the maths on the question of the usefulness of a pass. Without doing this it is impossible to say what or which would be cost-effective.

Create an excel spreadsheet and enter all your daily travel costs and total by day. Get the numbers from the SBB site but watch out! Their default fare is the Half Fare Card, Second class. You need to click on "Fare/Buy" and enter "No reduction" (or you can simply double the fare they give, remembering also that it is one way and not a return fare). Add in also an estimate for town buses and also fares where you would get a discount with a pass. Then compare to the overall cost of the passes.

Looks to me as though you have two heavy travel days - Montreux (and note spelling!!) to the Oberland, Oberland to Luzern) as you said earlier Geneva to Montreux and Luzern to Zürich isn't all that much. And the minimum Flexi pass is 3 days... also bear in mind that both the Swiss Pass and the Flexi will only get you 25% off the train to the Jungfraujoch from Wengen or Grindelwald to the top and back to W or G and only 25% off the Schilthorn cable cars from Mürren to the top and back to Mürren. The passes will cover the BLS boats on lakes Thun and Brienz 100% AND (as long as you are using the Flexi as a pass that day) both will get you into Ballenberg. Transport Museum in Luzern is only a reduction with the pass.

It is complicated and I wish I could help more. But a spreadsheet is really the only way to see things clearly. And if the numbers are close bear in mind that having the pass gives one a tremendous feeling of freedom - hopping on and off all transport at will!

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