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5 days tour of Switzerland

Hi Iam planning to travel on 28th June to Switzerland from Paris by train TGV LYRIA with my wife & 9 years old son. Since our first time in Europe i am confused which are the places to visit in short time and which station should i pick to arrive in Switzerland to Paris. We would like to see the ALPS and experience the beautiful nature. The list of intrested places are Geneva, Bern, Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Lucerne & Zurich/Vaduz and from there we head to Italy by train on 3d July. thanks

Posted by
16863 posts

Ok, go to Luzern for 2 days, then the Berner Oberland (beneath the Jungfrau) for 3 days. To get to Luzern, get off the TGV in Basel and get a train from there. Then train to Interlaken (very scenic ride) then on to Lauterbrunnen. From Lauterbrunnen you can visit the Jungfraujoch, the Schilthorn, and lots of alpine scenery. Get 2 Half Fare Cards at Basel station along with a free Swiss Family Card so your son can ride with you for free and all of your train tickets in Switzerland will be at half price.

Posted by
3551 posts

As was said I second Lucerne and Berner Oberland .
Perfect and both wonderful.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the valuable tips, do i need to buy the Regional pass and half fare Swiss card . also what clothes should we get as its summer.

Posted by
16863 posts

If you are going to the Jungfraujoch, a Half Fare Card for 120 CHF per adult will save you money. The temperature at the Jungfraujoch can be 0-15 deg C even in the summer, so having a jacket will be good idea.

Posted by
13 posts

thanks Sam its clear to have Swiss half fare card rather than the regional pass for my journey

Posted by
721 posts

Well, 6 places in 5 days seems a bit much, especially if you want to EXPERIENCE the Alps.
Is there something specific in Bern or Zurich you need to see, or are they just familiar names? Compared to the Alps, they are fairly boring.

Here's what I would do: I'd spend 3-5 days in Lauterbrunnen and 0-2 days in Lucerne. First, take the TGV from Paris to Geneva (3 hrs, reserve in advance, see www.seat61.com ). Assuming you get there around noon, you could spend 3 hrs there. There's free bikes (www.geneveroule.ch), a walk or bus ride to John Calvin's church, where you could climb the bell tower. You could even walk out on the pier next to the Jet d'Eau (water plume) and get within 10 feet of it. All stuff a 9 yr old should like. Then take the train to Lauterbrunnen or Lucerne (3.5 hrs).
The glass office in the middle of the Geneva train station has experienced free travel experts who will explain what you need. They will route you thru Bern, where you have to change trains anyway. There you could look around for a bit if you need to, because there are trains at least every hour (SBB.ch).
If going to Lucerne, your kid should enjoy walking over to the "Dying Lion" Monument, and right there is the "Glacier Garden" where kids and adults like the "hall of mirrors maze".

If going to Lauterbrunnen, then at Interlaken Ost (not West) you change trains again, and find the train cars (around track 1A) that say "Lauterbrunnen" on the side. Once in Lauterbrunnen you are now IN the alps. On the clearest day, you should do the Jungfraujoch train ride (takes most of the day). On the dreariest day, you can walk down the valley (about 45 min) to Trummelbach Falls (Google image it).
Walks for the other days: Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (best), Grutschalp to Murren, train to Grindelwald to cablecar to First then walk to Bachalpsee (Google image it)--followed by Grindelwald cable car to Pfingstegg where kids and adults love the Rodelbahn (Google image it). All of this will make more sense after studying this map:
http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Jungfrau-Grindelwald-region-summer-map

Posted by
13 posts

will the euro rail pass be befitting for my travel from France to Switzerland and Italy. Will it benefit the sight seeing trips in Switzerland and Italy.

Posted by
16863 posts

The Eurail pass only gives a 25% reduction between Interlaken Ost and the rest of the Berner Oberland, like Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfraujoch. That is why I suggest getting 30-day Swiss Half Fare Cards. You can also get a train specific advance purchase tickets for the TGV from Paris to Basel, which you get a discount. The other problem with the Eurail pass is that you will need to purchase seat reservations for the TGV train to Basel, about 10 EUR each or thereabouts for each passenger. They also limit the number of Eurail pass holders on the train, so you can still get shut out of the train you want if you do not make reservations soon enough. Italy, trains are less expensive, you might also find a "Bimbi Gratis" deal where kids ride free on the fast Freccia and InterCities trains. Regional trains for short distances are very cheap and you can thank the taxpayers of Italy for that. In Italy, the Freccia trains require a 10 EUR seat reservation to be purchased for each passenger, and 4 EUR (I believe) for InterCitiies trains. Regional trains do not require reservations.

All in all, the Eurail pass is not a good value for what you will be doing.

Posted by
13 posts

Day 1 arrive Geneva by train from Paris at 14.28 hours check in hotel and later Geneva city tour Place du Bourg-de-Four, St. Peter's Cathedral, lake by walk
Day 2 Catch train at 06.42 from Geneva to Lauterbrunnen arrive at 10.00 am keep the baggage at Stechelberg Hotel and proceed Schilthorn trip via Stechelberg and coming back do the Trummelbach Falls sleep over at Stechelberg Hotel
Day 3 – Plan to do the Schynige Platte and Lake Thun and any other acitvoties if there is time and sleep at Stechelberg Hotel
Day 4 – check out early morning and proceed to Lucerne by train arriving at 08.00 am keep the luggage’s at Lucerne station and proceed to mount Pilatus or titlis and half day tour baalcne spend in Lucerne city tour lake, chapel bridge. Sleep at Lucerne hotel
Day 5 Train to Zurich to catch flight to Venice at 13.00 hours from ZRH airport.
I have figured out that 3 days Swiss travel pass (CHF 432- for 2 adults child free) for us is good which will cover the above train journey, except the cable car we need to pay at Mount Titlis(CHF 124 return trip) and Schilthorn trip(CHF 138 return trip) with the swiss pass 50 % discount for 2 adult and 1 child 9 years.
Your valuable input and advice are appreciated.

Posted by
1423 posts

Day 1 arrive Geneva by train from Paris at 14.28 hours check in hotel
and later Geneva city tour Place du Bourg-de-Four, St. Peter's
Cathedral, lake by walk

I would revise Day 1 by skipping Geneva entirely and going straight to Lauterbrunnen. This would add 3.5 hours to your rail journey on Day 1, but you would gain extra time in Lauterbrunnen and avoid a very early wake-up on Day 2. Geneva is a pleasant city, but it's no match for the beauty of the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Everything else looks reasonable given your time contraint.

Posted by
16863 posts

If you do the 3-day travel pass, it will only cover you for days 2, 3, and 4, so you would also have to to buy tickets for the 3 of you to Zurich airport from Luzern on day 5, which would cost a total of 75 CHF (30x2+15). So that would still be 10 CHF less than buying 2 4-day passes at 518 CHF. If you go to Pilatus or Rigi, the Swiss Travel Pass will cover you, but you will have to pay extra for Titlis.
So it looks like you have it covered.

Edit: if you go to Lauterbrunnen right away from the airport, it will screw up your pass calculations as you would then have 4 travel days plus the last day from Luzern to Zurich airport.

Posted by
13 posts

thanks Sam & Eddie for the reply i have my hotel booking done in Geneva and was thinking that 3+ hours extra journey to Lauterburnne could be bit tiring. will have to stick to the strict schedules to execute the trip as planned.

Posted by
13 posts

thanks Sam & Eddie for the reply i have my hotel booking done in Geneva and was thinking that 3+ hours extra journey to Lauterburnne could be bit tiring. will have to stick to the strict schedules to execute the trip as planned.

Posted by
13 posts

with my above itinerary what clothe should i carry for myself and my wife and 9 years old kid for the mountain trips as from there we are moving to Italy don't want to carry extra clothes unnecessarily. your suggestions please!