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9 day iternary to see the best of switzerland

My family and I were planning on a 9 day trip to Switzerland.
We will be landing in Zurich on 25th of June 2015 at 13.40 and will be leaving from Zurich on 5th of august- 18.25 return flight.
Please could you suggest the best possible iternary for these days including Bernina express.I have made a sample iternaery,
25-zurich to appenzel
27-appenzel to lucerne
29-lucerne-interlakken-lucerne on golden line pass
30- lucerne-lugano on william tell exp
2-lugano-pontresina or st Moritz(which is better) on bernina exp
5-depart zurich
Should i spent a day in zurich or add that extra day elsewhere and head straight to the zurich can i include jungfrau region ,is that worth a visit. Other suggestions are welcome.
Would a swiss flexi pass or a flexi pass with half card combination better for the trip.
My son is 15 and he will be travelling with us so how do i get the family card online.
awaiting a reply soon/Thank you/Anita

Thank you.

Posted by
20296 posts

I assume you mean your trip is July 25 to Aug 5.
The only way to get a definitive answer is to price up the all the trips with a spread sheet for the different pass options, then weigh a convenience factor for having to buy tickets with the Half Fare Card on nonflex days. But my gut says you may be best served by paying up for the 15 day Swiss Pass with the Family Card. You are taking a lot of long trips during your stay. The pass also covers you for local transport on days you are staying one place and free entrance to many museums.
You can actually just buy your passes and get the family card at the Zurich airport train station when you arrive.
If you want to visit the Jungfrau region, you can do that from Interlaken on the day you go there.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you so much for the info.
Also would like to know which is the better route to take .

Route 1-zurich airport(25th June)-appenzel(25th and 26th)--lucerne(27thand 28th)-interlaken(29th)-lucerne-lugano(30thand 1st)-pontresina(2nd and 3rd)-zurich(4th).

Route 2-Zurich airport-appenzel-pontersina(via chur on bernina exp)-lugano-lucerne-interlaken-zurich.
Also would like to know if zermatt is worth a visit ,avoiding interlaken.
Thank u

Posted by
20296 posts

The second route makes a bit more sense in that it is a big circle. Route 1, you go to Appenzel, then double back through Zurich to get to Luzern. Zermatt is beautiful if the weather is nice, but with only a day, if you have bad weather and can't see the Matterhorn, you'll be disappointed. I'm not saying avoid Zurich, but it is a big city with big city attractions.

Posted by
6 posts

thank u,
also would like to know if william tell express is worth it as it takes almost 5 hrs to lugano or should i just take a normal train as it takes half the time

Posted by
16894 posts

Rick prefers the regular train over the slow boat ride that's included in the William Tell package.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for the prompt reply. Based on all this i have made a final itinerary for your perusal.Please do check and let me know about any alterations required.
25th June-Zurich airport to Appenzel,Stay in Appenzel.
27th-Appenzel to Chur to Pontersina and stay in Pontersina.
(would like to know if there is glacier express running between chur and pontersina and if the ride will be worth it )*
29th-Pontersina to Tirano on Bernina exp and Tirano to Lugano by the bernina bus, Spend night in Lugano.
30th-Lugano (Day Trip to Bellizona castle /Cruise on lake lugano to village Gandria)
!st July-Lugano to Lucerne by train.
2nd-Lucerne (Golden round trip tp Mt Pilatus /Cable car ride to Stanserhorn)
3rd-Lucerne to Interlaken by golden line pass.Stay in Interlaken
4th-Interlaken(Day trip to Jungfrau and back to interlaken)
5th-Interlaken to Zurich Airport.
Some Questions-------
1.Please could you guide me with things to do in Appenzel and Pontersina and Interlaken .
2.Also would like to know the recommended places of accomodation in these places without burning your pocket.
3.Should I Include any better places or delete any of the places in the Itinerary.
4.Can i include a visit to a chocolate factory if it is worth it.
5.Planning to get a swiss flexi pass for 15days with half card for the whole trip,is that good?
6.Since Iam travelling with my husband and son aged 15yrs ,planning on getting a family card -can i get it in the airport while i validate our passes or should i get it before arriving in Zurich.
7.The best site to buy the passes online?
8.Would like to know if there is Glacier express from Chur to Pontersina or should i take a normal train?

Thank you and looking for a reply soon so that i can finalize my trip.

Posted by
1 posts

I am reading this with interest since my wife, Kalyani, and I are planning a similar trip some time in July-Aug.

Posted by
6 posts

No issues , still waiting for someone to reply so that I can finalize the Itinerary.

Posted by
32228 posts


A few thoughts on the questions in your last post.....

  1. The best way to get an idea of things that appeal to you in each of the places you'll be visiting would be to use the Switzerland guidebook. If you don't have a book store close that stocks it, you should be able to easily and inexpensively download an E-book version in Kindle or iBooks format.
  2. Same suggestion for places to stay. The guidebook has listings for reliable lodgings in various price ranges. Keep in mind however that Switzerland is generally on the pricey side, so you'll have to budget accordingly. The trip to the Jungfraujoch is one of the most expensive trips in that area. The trip to the Schilthorn is a bit cheaper. One tip on visiting the Jungfraujoch - be sure to check the weather before go, as you won't be able to enjoy the great views if the top is all fogged in.
  3. That's somewhat subjective so a bit difficult to answer. My opinion - I'd delete Potresina as I believe your time would be better spent elsewhere. I haven't stayed there but have passed through and it didn't appeal to me as a destination to visit. Also, I'd suggest staying in Lauterbrunnen rather than Interlaken as that's slightly closer to the Jungfrau and would also be easier to go to Mürren or Gimmelwald for a short visit.
  4. I don't have any information on chocolate factories, but there may be some information in the guidebook.
  5. Swiss Passes can be complicated so I'd have to spend some time "number crunching". Generally speaking, Passes will save money in Switzerland. Hopefully Laura or one of the others can provide more specific details on that.
  6. Again, hopefully one of the others can help with that.
  7. You can buy Rail Passes from this website -
  8. You could take the Bernina Express from Chur to Pontresina. However, the Panorama cars only have a few runs each day, so using the "regular" trains would provide a greater choice of departure times.

As your trip is only a short time in the future, you'll need to get cracking and get your Itinerary finalized and get some hotels booked, as that can be a busy time of year for tourism.

Posted by
69 posts

I agree with one of the previous posts that your time in Pontresina could be cut back. A couple years ago, we rode the Bermina Express and stopped en route to spend the night at the Romantik Hotel Muottas Murgal, which was worth it for one evening. We continued the train to the Italian border, switched trains to Como (stayed in Bellagio and had a wonderful time). On our trip last year we stayed a few nights on Lake Lugano. I prefer Como over Lugano (unless you need to do some high-end shopping or investment banking). We rode the boat around Lake Lugano and stopped in Gandria. You should know that there is not much in the little town (several places have closed which were in Rick’s book - it was dead the day we were there).
I agree with Ken, stay in Lauterbrunnen instead of Interlaken. It is amazing.
Have you considered focusing your time more in the central area of Switzerland? Some of my favorite places: Luzern (atmosphere), Lauturbrunnen (magical scenery, waterfalls, trails), Jungfrau (why not?), Wengen/Murren (views! the Allmendhubelbahn Funicular above Murren now has lovely ergonomic benches to catch some zzzs while listening to cow bells and enjoying the fresh air), and castles around Interlaken (we stopped in Spiez last summer and had a blast). Most Swiss train stations have lockers so it is easy to stop and tour a site or town.
Happy travels!