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5 days in Switzerland

Phoenix, Arizona
4 posts
2 reviews
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5 days in Switzerland

We are an early 30s couple living in Arizona, USA planning to visit Switzerland for 5 days later this month and would like some suggestion on our itinerary. This Switzerland visit is a part of a 3 week trip through Western Europe (Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris-Switzerland-Venice-Vienna-Bratislava-Zilina (we are attending my cousin's wedding in Zilina, Slovakia at the end of our trip). We plan on buying Eurail 15 day continuous pass in Amsterdam and validating it for the dates Sept 11 - Sept 25. We have hotels booked for Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris already, but don't have any solid plans after that. So far we came up with this for the Swiss part:

Day 1 (Tue 9/17):

We are leaving Paris on Tuesday Sept 17th towards Luzern. We should arrive to Luzern in the afternoon which will allow us for a short city visit. Plan to stay 2 nights in Luzern.

Day 2 (Wed 9/18):

Visit to Titlis.

Day 3 (Thu 9/19):

Take a train to St Moritz, I was thinking about going through Andermatt, and take the Andermatt-St Moritz portion of Glacier Express as this should be covered by Eurail (or is it only from Disentis? I got conflicting info on that...). But perhaps another route would be better. 2 nights in St Moritz.

Day 4 (Fri 9/20):

St Moritz. Not sure what to do yet.

Day 5 (Sat 9/21):

St Moritz to Venice via Tirano/Milano riding the Bernina express on the first part.

We might also leave Switzerland on Sunday Sep 26th instead of Saturday. We would like to spend at least 2 days in Venice, but we have to arrive to Bratislava (or at least Vienna) before midnight September 25th as that's when our Eurail pass expires. We were thinking about taking a sleeper train from Venice to Vienna on Sep 24 evening.

Please let us know if this is realistic itinerary or if we could choose something else. We are very open to suggestions. The Switzerland part is supposed to be the 'nature' segment of our trip so we would like to spend our time in the mountains and mountain villages. We are also avid hikers, we realize we probably don't have much time to do any major hikes, but we would like to hike in the beautiful Alps at least a little bit.

Another worry that we have is the weather - we would hate to spend our time in Switzerland in rainy weather. What if we didn't book any hotels or trains in advance so that we have the flexibility to change route day-to-day? Would this be a good idea? We had good experience with this strategy in USA and Costa Rica before, BUT we had an own car or rental and the accommodation options were fairly plentiful as well. Wouldn't want this to backfire on us stranded at night with backpacks on our shoulders with all the hotels booked solid.

Also - perhaps too much time spent in trains with this itinerary? We realize the Alpine train rides are a part of the Switzerland experience but maybe we would enjoy it more with less transport time...not sure. Also, we would want to make sure that the route is covered by the Eurail pass (perhaps few franks here and there, but definitely don't want to pay another few hundred CHF after spending $660 on the pass....).

Thank you very much for your responses, we are still quite lost on what to do in Switzerland. Please be free to suggest even radical changes to the itinerary, as I mentioned nothing at all is booked beyond Paris at this point. We were considering other places in Switzerland as well - Zermatt, Interlaken, Como, etc. before and are open to changes.

Thanks again!

Phoenix, Arizona
4 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: 5 days in Switzerland

After reading up more on the scenic trains it seems like the best part of Glacier Express is the one not covered by Eurail (around Zermatt). Would you be able to advise on a good scenic route to traverse Switzerland if one wants to get from Vienna to Paris?

Thank you.

Phoenix, Arizona
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 5 days in Switzerland

Sorry, I made a mistake, the last sentence in the previous post should have been:

Would you be able to advise on a good scenic route to traverse Switzerland if one wants to get from Paris to Venice?

Thank you

Phoenix, Arizona
4 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: 5 days in Switzerland

Another question - how does the French or Italian side of Alps compare to Switzerland? E.g. would Chamonix be a good destination in the second half of September?

The highest peaks seem to be concentrated around the I/F/CH border. Is French or Italian side significantly cheaper?

One thing we are interested in is to see a glacier and glacier cave - there is one accessible on Titlis and I think Matterhorn as well. Anywhere else? What area of Alps is best suited for spectacular day hikes?

4. Re: 5 days in Switzerland

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