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8 full days Luzern, Lauterbrunnen & Zurich itinerary suggestion & feedback

This will be 2nd second time going to Switzerland (last time was winter) so this time we are going in the greens during end of May next year focusing on few regions so it will be a different experience and as I usually like to plan in advance, here are my itinerary that I planned for the past week. Please let me know your thoughts and feedback! =)

Day 1:
Arrive Zurich airport 6am. Travel to Lucern and drop baggage in hotel (staying for 3 nights)
Then we head to Mt Rigi (second time as we loved it last time and probably the only excursion we have repeated this trip). Will be intending to go round circle trip for boat/cable car/boat. I believe we will finish before 4pm and if so, we will walk around old town. Good thing is that it goes dark at 9pm so can enjoy the sunset somewhere + dinner. Rest
(Overnight Lucern)

Day 2
First thing in morning, head to Bürgenstock excursion for catamaran cruise/funicular and hike for the Hammetschwand Elevator. I see that there is a famous Bürgenstock resort infinity sweeping view swimming pool where you can actually book it for 4 hours which is between 8am-12pm but it cost CHF190 per person, still considering it though, not sure if it is worth it. If we opt to take it plus going to the lift and back, would probably conclude and back to Lucern at 3pm or 4pm.

Then walk around/stroll around old town before going for the 2nd excursion around 7pm which is to Stanserhorn cable car (good thing is they open till like 10pm), so we want to try to take advantage of the 9pm sunset and enjoy the view at the top!
(Overnight Lucern)

Day 3
Mt Pilatus
Takes the whole day taking the golden round trip including the activity of toboggan run. I suppose we will finish and arrive Lucern by 5pm. Dinner at Luzern town or sunset cruise dinner
(Overnight Lucern)

Day 4:
Provided we have completed the previous few days activities, first thing in morning, we will take train and head straight to the Junfrau region and we chose our base in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. Drop our baggage and will start taking the cable car to Männlichen for hike (including the Royal Walk). Then go back to Wengen before cable car closes around 5pm and explore the town before heading back to hotel by train to rest/dinner
(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 5:
Jungfraujoch top Europe excursion which takes the full day. We will go first thing in the morning to beat the crowd and activities we will are likely to do are hiking to Monchsjoch Hut, snow fun park, ice palace, Alphine sensation etc
(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 6:
There is a possible that we will do paragliding in Murren as I heard this is a MUST do even better than paragliding in Interlaken. So if we do in early morning at 7:45am, assuming we conclude at 9am/10am including preparation and going back down etc, we will head to Grindelwald First to do activities. I assume that would take 1/2 day. Then walk around Grindelwald and Murren town. PS: I am not sure if Harder Kulm actually opens till late for the funicular, if so, we will do this last activity
(Overnight Lauterbrunnen)

Day 7:
If previous activities have been completed, we will head straight to Zurich early morning, drop the stuffs at hotel and head to Rhine Falls for few hours. Then stroll around in Zurich town and go for Lake Cruise etc
(Overnight Zurich)

Day 8:
In early morning, we will head to Berggasthaus Aescher (in Wasserauen station) for the famous house cliff. Travelling is around 2 hours. We will take the Ebenalp cable car + a bit of hike. After that, we will go to Apenzell to walk around. If have time and mood, MAYBE go to St Gallens to see the library before heading back to Zurich & walk around in town
(Overnight Zurich)

Day 9:
Flight at 1:30pm. Have breakfast cafe nearby at 9am. Check out at 10:15am (10 min walk from hotel to Zurich station) and head to airport & fly home!!

Posted by
104 posts

(continue due to maximising the space words)

In terms of buying pass, that is my strategy in which I have compared and calculated as this will save me quite a bit

I will purchase Half Swiss travel card (CHF 120) + 3 days Top Europe pass (CHF 159) as that will include all the excursions that we intend to do for free including Jungfraujoch admission (where swiss pass is only provides 25% discount)

Additionally, it would actually save me money if I buy a few Saver Swiss Day Pass separately for 4 days likely for Day 1, 2, 7 & 8 rather than buying half price for fare/activity for each (including it is free for Mt Rigi & Stanserhorn excursions). They are out 2 months in advance and it cost as low as CHF29 (swiss half fare) or CHF39 on average . The reason why I do not want to buy this way even it is cheaper if I buy like a week early is because I am not sure on the day of check out in Lucern and Lauterbrunnen whether we will keep doing more activities on the spot in case not finished previous day so we may stay a bit later or go early as planned. I was just doing a quick check via SBB app, imagining if I was to buy a ticket a day or two later, it would cost more than the Saver Swiss Day Pass itself so probably not worth the risk UNLESS i am very sure that I will be leaving in early morning after check out, but even so, you still save like CHF15 at max.

So adding up, the total for 120+159+116 (29x 4 days) comes to CHF395 for the 3 passes (and additional few CHF single ticket to the airport on the last day) so comes up to CHF400.
Swiss pass for 8 days is CHF389
Yes it is cheaper by CHF11 , but there are lots that you need to pay 50% cable cars/funicular all in the Jungfrau area whereas the Top Europe (3 days pass) includes everything AND also, it does not include Jungfraujoch excursion which is ONLY 25% discount so you pay around CHF169, i believe, so you have to add these and that too.

So if your itinerary is similar to my one, you can consider my strategy for buying this pass and you will save a couple to few hundred CHF per person depending on the activities you intend to do

At the same time, there are a few questions I'd like to ask

1) Will we be able to have a chance to see the cows during end of May/start of June?

2) I heard it is considered a good season due to low rain during the month?

3) In case I do buy point to point SBB, correct me if I am wrong, from what I understand...
Say...I buy from Interlaken to Rhine Falls (Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station), obviously, you will need to change train in Zurich, we can actually go to the hotel and drop the baggage first before continuing the journey as long as I finish on that train to that destination, is that correct?

Anyways, your thoughts and feedback on my itinerary would be very much appreciated!

Thank you for now!

Posted by
522 posts

Yes, the cows are out in springtime. You will see them at lower elevations, where they can graze. They do not go up into the mountains until later.

May/June is very beautiful but be aware that some mountain hikes might still have snow or poor hiking conditions and could be closed. You may or may not have rain, overcast skies or fog. This past spring was very sunny and clear in the Berner Oberland but the year before was not.

Yes, you can spend time in Zurich before continuing on your journey but if you use public transportation in Zurich to get to your hotel I think you need to buy a separate ticket for that.

Posted by
2354 posts

Regarding the Top of Europe pass: I believe that the cable car from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald to Murren is not covered. To get to Murren you would need to take the cable car from Lauterbrunnen, then the train to Murren. Also keep in mind that busses are not covered by that pass.

Both the Jungfraujoch and paragliding activities will be weather dependent. Make sure to check the webcams before heading up to the Jungfrau. There’s no point in going if the weather is bad. You might want to prioritize these activities in case weather is bad on one of the days you are there.

Posted by
104 posts

Thank you for the reply!

As for Mt Pilatus round trip, I am aware that you can either do this option for direction

i.e. take boat to Aplnachstad, then cogwheel up to the Pilatus before descending down to Kreins by cable car/dragon ride and then take the bus from Kriens back to Lucern

OR

vice versa direction

Here's the thing, which direction you think it is better in terms of view and experience? We intend to go very early in the morning to beat the crowd and also to play the toboggan activity in which I am aware you need to get off at the Fräkmüntegg station when descending from the top

Your thoughts?

Posted by
2771 posts

Drop our baggage and will start taking the cable car to Männlichen for
hike (including the Royal Walk).

Just a note that while the cable car from Wengen to männlichen starts running on May 26th, the walk from männlichen to kleine Scheidegg (if you intend to do this) does not usually open until mid-june. When I was there this year, I got lucky and the trail opened the second week of June.

Posted by
104 posts

Hi Carrie

Oh what a shame!
Thanks for letting me know though
But even though the trail is closed when we go and the cable car opens from 26th May onwards, are we allowed to go to do the Royal Walk, see the big cow slide and stuffs like that?
Or its completely closed once we reach Männlichen and there's nothing you can really do?
At least we can take the cable car to see something?
lol

Posted by
8586 posts

Minor comment. Interlaken is at the foot of the mountains not in them, so any paragliding there, will likely be taking you up the mountains anyway.

Posted by
2771 posts

Hi Chan. It’s definitely still worth going up to Männlichen—my favorite place in Switzerland. 😊 I just wanted to alert you to the fact that the trail might be closed. You could get lucky and it opens early. It all depends on the amount of snow on the trail.

Another great walk that I don’t think is on your list is the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald. Spectacular views!!

Stan’s mention of paragliding in Interlaken reminded me of this video. It might be worth checking out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u37nLgfotfY