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Best flight route for Switzerland 12 day tour

I am going on the 12 day Switzerland group tour in July (traveling solo), and have started looking into RT flights from Boston, MA. The tour begins in Zurich and ends in Bern. Details noted on website:

Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Zürich International Airport (ZRH). Zürich is a 90-minute train ride to Luzern (where the tour begins) and a 75-minute train ride from Bern (where the tour ends). You can also arrange to fly into Zürich and out of Bern (BRN) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites.

Anyone who has either been on this tour and/or planning on going and booked tickets have any feedback on your experience – pros and cons – would be greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU!

Posted by
1078 posts

We did this tour 3 years ago and loved it! You finish in Bern and there are direct trains from Bern to the Zurich airport (75 minutes). Most of us went the day before our flight just to make sure that there was no way we would miss our flight home. We stayed at the hotel in the terminal so it was a easy walk to the check in desk but you could stay in Zurich just as well.

Of all our RS tours (8) this is the one I would do again, in fact we plan on doing the RS my-way Alpine tour, next year if everything works out.

Posted by
4901 posts

My favorite RS tour! I fell in love with Switzerland and have returned twice since.
Add one -two days at the beginning, in case your incoming flights are delayed, and because Lucerne is so charming and comfortable. Go to Mt Rigi and Mt Stanserhorn ( open air Cabrio cable car) on your own.
It's a fantastic journey.
Ps
You may want to correct your typo- you end in Bern, not Berlin!

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks (especially re: the typo!). What about the actual flights - which combination did you do?

Best,
RM

Posted by
25 posts

I’m taking this tour in May. I’m arriving 2 days early in Luzern and plan to stay one extra day in Bern then stay 2 nights in Zurich before going home. I’m also contemplating if I could do a day trip to Liechtenstein from Zurich. I booked a RT flight to Zurich.

Posted by
16457 posts

Just fly RT to Zurich, instead of trying to book a departure from the small Bern airport. You will have more choices and probably better prices. As noted above, the train from Bern goes directly into the Zurich airport, taking 1 hour 16 minutes, if you want to spend your last night in Bern instead of Zurich. But Zurich is nice too (with more expensive hotels).

Posted by
4465 posts

Zurich is a major international airport; Bern is not. So you'll need to transfer somewhere, either in Europe or somewhere in the US. I can't imagine anyone flies Boston to Bern. Train to ZRH, keep things simple.

Posted by
20289 posts

Swiss International has 2 nonstops everyday between Boston and Zurich. Right now, looking like about $1650 r/t with one checked bag. Very nice airline, just got back 2 days ago.

Posted by
626 posts

This tour was great. Recommend arriving a day or two early to relax and enjoy Lucerne and the surrounding area. The rail transportation system was outstanding - easy to navigate and on time. I took the train from the airport to Lucerne upon arrival and also from Bern to the airport on day of departure. There were no issues at all.

Posted by
4465 posts

depending on flight details, ZRH has several onsite and nearby hotels if you don't want to (or can't) stay in the city

Posted by
6470 posts

You can also arrange to fly into Zürich and out of Bern (BRN) — choose
"multicity" on flight-booking websites.

Sorry for being direct, but anyone that suggests flying out of Bern really doesn't know what they're taking about. While Bern does have an airport it is tiny and basically only has flights to a couple of holiday destinations. There hasn't been any flights from Bern to a large hub in many years.

Posted by
6788 posts

While Bern does have an airport it is tiny and basically only has
flights to a couple of holiday destinations. There hasn't been any
flights from Bern to a large hub in many years.

That's true. The only flights to/from Bern are all to Mediterranean destinations (Mallorca, Cyprus, Crete, Kos, Rhodes and Antalya).

Swiss flies nonstop between Boston and Zurich every day (though tickets are not cheap).

You could also take your pick from 20 other much more affordable one-stop airline options (look at TAP for some surprisingly inexpensive one-stop tickets; check layover times though). Prices vary a lot by day and other details.

Posted by
1817 posts

You can also arrange to fly into Zürich and out of Bern (BRN) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites.

Indeed. But you will find out that it will start with a ground level flight from Bern to Zurich operated by the Swiss Railways.

(You can also book to/from Luzern and a few other places in Switzerland. Many train stations have IATA codes now).

Posted by
25 posts

Great, thank you! Will report back once I book tickets. This will be my third RS group tour. Very excited.

Posted by
25 posts

Update - Bought direct flight RT Boston to Zurich on Swiss Air. Got a headache trying to get cheaper pricing and tackling all the various stops, layovers etc. Things too unstable in flight industry to trust I'd get there in one piece! Went for the more expensive but less stressful. Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Posted by
2724 posts

Thanks for the update. Swiss Air is great. I always travel with them when I can. I even flew in and out of Zurich this past March to get to and from Italy.

Zurich airport was a little bigger than I expected, but I found it easy to navigate. And the train station right in the airport is super convenient. There’s a coop grocery store and Brezelkonig sandwich shop right near the train platforms (up one level I think). So, you can grab a sandwich and snacks before hoping on the train.

Have a great trip!!