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5 nights in Switzerland in December

Hi everyone,
I have been reading a fair bit in this forum about travelling in Switzerland and they have been all very helpful.
Initially I was going to go to Lucerne, stay there for 2 nights, then take the train to Matterhorn for a night and travel to Interlaken for the last 2 nights. (I was trying to get on to as many scenic express trains as I can I guess). However after reading all the posts, we decided that it would be way better to spend (still) 2 nights in Lucerne, and along the Golden Express, spend 3 nights in Lauterbrunnen. Might go on the Jungfraujoch if weather permits as well. We will be in Switzerland from 20/12 to 24/12 and will take the train from there to Paris. I have a few questions:

  1. How does the itinerary sound?
  2. Which pass should I buy? (contemplating the Transfer ticket since we will be training from Vienna to Zurich to Lucerne and then Golden pass along the way to Montreaux, take the train to Geneva to train to Paris). Would a 4 day pass be better?
  3. Where should I stay in Lauterbrunnen? Anywhere around that area is good or a particular part of it is better?
  4. What shall we do there since we are not really ski-ers.

Thanks in advance!!

Posted by
16835 posts
  1. If that is what you want to do, nothing wrong with that.
  2. Certainly not the transfer ticket, as you will be able to get a Sparschiene ticket from Vienna all the way to Luzern for about 49 EUR if you buy several moths in advance. And your best train to Paris will be to Lausanne then a TGV Lyria to Paris. You can buy that ticket again 3 months in advance for 40 to 60 EUR. So you have 2 major rail journeys in Switzerland, Luzern to Lauterbrunnen and Lauterbrunnen to Montreux.
  3. Better secure lodging in Lauterbrunnen ASAP. Christmas is family ski holiday season in Lauterbrunnen.
  4. Sledding, winter hiking, enjoying the apres-ski, even if you don't ski.
Posted by
10059 posts

We spent 4 nights in Lauterbrunnen at New Years a few years ago. It was wonderful! You can do winter wandern on groomed trails and ride magnificent lifts and mountain trains! There are amazing walks to take with nothing more technical than a pair of hiking boots.

We like staying in Lauterbrunnen for the convenience to both sides of the valley. Beware: after a winter trip there you will want to go back in summer!

My gut feel is that you need a Swiss Half-Fare Card and also a Berner Oberland Regional Pass for the lifts in the area. Do get a hotel ASAP. We decided last minute on our New Years trip and the pickings were slim!

Posted by
16835 posts

I think a Half Fare Card and a Regional Pass is overkill. For one thing the Regional Berner Oberland Pass is not even offered after October 23. The Jungfrau Hiking and Sledging Pass does not have price information yet.
Luzern to Lauterbrunnen is a 40 CHF full fare ticket, and the Lauterbrunnen to Montreux via Zweisimmen is 60 CHF full fare. Unless you have over 240 CHF of full fare tickets, the Half Fare Card is throwing away money. Now if you do the Jungfraujoch excursion, that is 182 CHF full fare, so then a Half Fare Card would pay off. But you seem to be iffy on that one.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you Sam & Laurel for your responses. I do want to get on to booking asap (and it seems like a lot of hotels have been booked out for that date). So basically anywhere around Lauterbrunnen is good to stay?
Don't get me wrong, I would love to do the Jungfraujoch (I think quite the whole reason why we stay in the area to be honest), but it seems like waiting for good sunny day is like lottery, hence the uncertainty. Thanks for the advice RE passes, I'll skip the transfer ticket and look at other alternatives.

Posted by
10059 posts

For one thing the Regional Berner Oberland Pass is not even offered after October 23.

Did not know that Sam. Thanks. We did have one the January (2014) we were there. Perhaps the products are changing. I would suggest the OP check locally on arrival to see if the BORP or another local pass make sense.

Posted by
16835 posts

Yes, check back as there is also a hiking and sledging pass. Even a 4 day ski-pass is 219 euro and is good on all the trains and lifts to Interlaken, except the Jungfraujochbahn above Kleine Scheidegg. You don't need to have skis to use the ski-pass.