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7days in Switzerland

Singapore
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121 posts
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7days in Switzerland

Hi all,

My husband and I(both in early 30s) have finally booked our tickets to Europe from 10 – 24 February ’13. We’ll touch down in Zurich on the 11 Feb (Sun) and stay until 16 before we leave for Monaco on 17 Feb to continue our trip to Barcelona.

Have read through TA and did my research around Switzerland on the places to visit. I’m plotting my itinerary and hope to heed advices from experts here.

10 Feb (Sun) – Zurich

Touch down around 1.45pm.

Purchase Swisspass and board train to hotel for check-in before visiting Zurich City.

*Did I miss out alot in Zurich on a Sunday?

11 Feb - Morning rail to Lucerne.

Leave luggage with hotel before leaving for Mt Piltaus or Mt Rigi.

12 Feb - Stay in Lucerne for Mardi Gras Carnival.

Head to Lion Mounament, Chapel Bridge and back to city for some shopping.

*Has anyone got any idea what time the Carnival usually starts and end?

13 Feb - Board train to Chur, from Chur, board Glacier Express to Zermatt.

Spend the day around Zermatt town.

*As I'll be heading to Bern on the 15 Feb, is this route time wasting just to board the Glacier Express, should I head on to Bern today instead and from Bern to Zermatt on the following day on rail?

14 Feb - Visit Matterhorn. (via Gornergrat Bahn)

Dinner in Zermatt to celebrate Valentine's Day.

*Are there any thermal springs in Zermatt like those in Leukerbad?

15 Feb - Board train to Bern.

Check in to hotel before exploring Bern; The Bear Park, Clock Tower, Albert Einstein’s home, Prison Tower.

16 Feb - Board train to Geneva.

Check-in to hotel before visiting Lake Geneva, UNOG-Palais des Nations, Patek Philippe Museum.

17 Feb - Take easyjet to Monaco.

*Is flight the cheapest, most straight forward way? I've googled and found another way by rail, but it seems to involve some transits and takes a day to reach Monaco.

18 Feb - 24 Feb; Monaco & Barcelona.

I’ve visited Switzerland once, for only 3days about 5years ago (without the husband) in a Tour Group, have covered Jungfraujoch, Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument and would now like to re-visit scenic places which are usually left out by Tour groups.

Hence, would appreciate suggestion of any places I didn't cover or aren't worth visiting.

Many Thanks!

1. Re: 7days in Switzerland

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Removed on: 9:34 am, June 21, 2013
Singapore
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121 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Thank you Maja for the detailed information of the Fasnacht which I have been desperately looking for!

However, I'm just wondering the reason to hold back on buying the Swiss pass until my second day? As I was thinking of getting the 8days pass on Day 1 and fully utilize it for my 7days there.

Also, I was thinking of heading to Luzern (from Bern) on 11 Feb(Mon) early morning, leave our luggage at the hotel before heading for Mt Pilatus or Mt Rigi until late afternoon. Is this still a good idea considering The Tagwach happening at 6am?

Any specific area should I look out to stay, which is going to be accessible yet safe at night?

3. Re: 7days in Switzerland

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Removed on: 9:34 am, June 21, 2013
Goldau, Switzerland
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for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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4. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Hi beckyliss,

Nothing to ad on Maja's great advice abourt Fasnacht. I learned a lot as I never visted it.

Glacier Exxpress:

The Glacier Express brings you from ZERMATT - www.zermatt.ch - to ST. MORITZ or DAVOS or vice versa. It does not pass Berne - www.glacierexpress.ch/EN/Pages/default.aspx -. As this is a long trip I would recommend you stay in a hotel at one of the starting places. The name Glacier EXPRESS does not mean that this is fast rolling train. You could start from Chur but then you wuld miss the Albula valley which is very scenic.

A scenic train ride which is closer to Lucerne would be the goldenpass line - www.goldenpass,.ch - from Lucerne to Montreux (with some changes). You could interrupt your journey at a place of the Jungfrau area - www.myjungfrau.ch -, at Spiez or at Gstaad (or other places between).

At Montreux - see www.montreux-vevey.com and Top Questions about Montreux (TA Montreux forum) you would be pritty close to Geneva.

Happy planing

pore

5. Re: 7days in Switzerland

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Removed on: 9:25 am, June 22, 2013
Singapore
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6. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Hi Maja, Thank you for the clarification and the breakdown on the costs, I'm pretty bad in math, thats why it takes me longer to digest the figures. :)

Just wondering if I would miss out anything if I leave on Ash Wednesday, 13 Feb the start of the fasting?

Hi Pore, thanks for the pointers, I've done alot more research on the alternative routes yesterday which I like to share for more advices.

Should I do Bern before or after Zermatt?

Bern before Zermatt:

[Luzern – Bern] in about 1h26mins away.

After staying in Bern for a day, I can take the rail from [Bern - Visp, Visp – Zermatt] within 2hrs.

OR [Bern - Spiez, Spiez – Brig] where I alight at Kandersteg in between for a walk/sightseeing then catch the train back again, Kandersteg to Brig and [Brig – Zermatt], in around 4hrs.

After my stay in Zermatt, travelling to Geneva is about 3h48mins.

If I do Bern after Zermatt:

Luzern to Zermatt route; [Lucerne - Interlaken(Golden Pass), Interlaken – Spiez] then [Spiez – Brig] where I alight at Kandersteg for quick sightseeing then catch the train to at Kandersteg to Brig and [Brig – Zermatt], in total of about 5hrs or more.

After my stay in Zermatt, travelling to Bern [Zermatt – Visp, Visp – Bern] is about 2hrs 15mins.

A few of more questions;

Is the Luzern - Interlaken connection the Golden Pass?

I read that Golden Pass is just a normal train, except that the first class has more panoramic views. Is the Golden Pass worth the effort?

Whats the difference in Brig and Brig Bahnofplatz stations?

Can Geneva be completed within a day and is the railway, airport and city close together? I should only be doing sightseeing around the city and is quite interested in UNOG-Palais des Nations, Patek Philippe Museum and view of Geneva Lake plus Jet dÉau, is there anything I missed out?

Do you recommend a night stay at Geneva or should I continue my holiday onto other places?

Thanks again!

7. Re: 7days in Switzerland

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Removed on: 9:25 am, June 22, 2013
Goldau, Switzerland
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for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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8. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Hi beckyliss

Just an idea! If you go from Lucerne to Berne via the Emmenthal - on www.sbb.ch/en input from Lucerne to Berne via Langenthal - you will pass TRUBSCHACHEN. You could stop there and visit the great Kambly experience - kambly.com/en/…kambly-experience.html - where you can fill up your stomack with goodies. From the railway station just follow the red carpet.

To get the scenic Brünig railway (Northern leg of the Goldenpass Line) on the SBB website input from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost via "Brünig-Hasliberg". Otherwise the itinary will guide you via the "flat" land.

Have a great trip

pore

Wodonga, Australia
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9. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Very interesting!!!!

Singapore
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121 posts
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10. Re: 7days in Switzerland

Hi Maja & Pore,

Thanks a lot on the advices, I’ve plotted an outline of my holiday in Switzerland now! Except for my stay in Zermatt might be shorten to only 1 night since almost all the hotels are already fully booked and we can only afford the available hotels for a single night. :(

A few more questions on the route of travel;

How do the rail ticket works if I go without a Swiss Pass? i.e. After reaching Spiez from Bern, do I purchase a ticket at Spiez Station for a trip Kandersteg and after 1-2hours in Kandersteg, I get to back to Kandersteg station again to purchase one more ticket to Brig? OR should I purchase[ Spiez – Brig], alight at Kandersteg without paying extra when I hop back to the train(1 or 2 hours later) to continue my trip to Brig?

Same applies to [Luzern – Bern], if I stop in between at Trubschachen for Kambly experience Or [Zermatt – Visp, Visp – Geneva] with a break at Montreux?

After Maja’s pointers, we estimated our travelling expenses vs the Swiss Pass and realized it indeed doesn’t really justify if it weren’t fully utilized in our route. And the Swiss Flexi doesn’t really work for our route too? Hence, we are thinking of getting the ZurichCARD and probably a 4days pass but whether the first 4(in Luzern, Luzern, Bern & Zermatt) or the last 4(in Bern, Zermatt, Zermatt, Geneva). I understand that Zermatt is practically car-free, should I say that the Swiss Pass is redundant in Zermatt except for some discounts in Gornergrat Bahn?

Thanks!