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Extra time in Switzerland

My wife and I are taking the RS 12 day Switzerland tour in May. The tour ends with two nights in Bern (May 31, June 1). Our flight leaves from Zurich on Sat (June 4th ) at 1:30 pm. We have a couple of free days. Would Bern be a good home base (minimize hotel changes) ? We would extend our stay at the RS hotel. We would certainly go back (day trip ?) to the Berner Oberland area, especially if we didn't have good weather during our two days there. We could also do day trips to new places or revisit those we really liked on the tour. We like quaint towns and scenic opportunities, less so museums . With an afternoon flight in Zurich, I was thinking of taking advantage of the dependable train service to get us there in the AM, and not spending the previous night there. Is this a good plan ? Suggestions ? Thank you very much.

Posted by
497 posts

Where does the tour end before leaving you in Bern? Can you bail on the Bern days? Either way I would get out of Bern. I’d go right back to the BO then early train to Zurich on the 4th since you don’t have to be there early. Otherwise I would have no problem with a night or two in Zurich, we have been to Switzerland lots of time, this trip last summer/fall first one where, due to transits, we ended up with days in Zurich and discovered we really liked it. If you only get 2 days in the BO on this tour I would go straight back to the BO.

Posted by
173 posts

I agree...go right back to Berner Oberland, Murren especially! My favorite place on earth.

Posted by
8528 posts

I took this tour in 2019 and loved it! I would not extend the time in Bern but get myself back to Murren. There is no comparing the experiences at these two locations. Bern is an interesting city, but it just doesn’t compare with the Alps.

I did take the train to Zurich airport from Bern on my day of departure and it worked fine.

The leave tour early advice is poor advice, bit the return to Murren is not.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the replies. From everything I read, the BO (Murren) is where we want to be. We would use Bern only for home base on those last two days (Is there a better location for our base ?). Would go back to BO if weather is good (still worth going back in bad weather ?). Was thinking staying in the same (RS tour) hotel would be a plus and would give us some flexibility. We could take day trips based on weather, other things we'd like to see or see again . Do day trips make sense ? I'll check Murren to Zurich trains. We'll want to be conservative on getting to the airport Sat. Thanks Very Much.

Steve

Posted by
5019 posts

The train from Bern to Interlaken Ost is only an hour, which is remarkable to me that the BO is so accessible. So yes, go back to Murren or Wengen, as its a wonderful area to relax after a great tour. We LOVED that RS Swiss trip. I have been back to Switzerland twice after that tour, so it really started my love affair with that beautiful country.
Also, train to Zurich the morning of your flight; the efficiency of Swiss trains is unparalleled !
I'm jealous that you'll be there, and wising you safe travels!

Posted by
7002 posts

Mürren to Zürich airport the day of a flight is perhaps a bit of a stretch, taking 3.5 hours. Still OK if your flight is mid-afternoon, but in that particular case, Interlaken could be a good compromise, shaving a bit more than 1 hour off the journey.
We typically don't recommend staying there on this forum, but in your case it works, and you'll have had the experience of staying in the mountains during the tour anyway.
Interlaken opens up day tripping opportunities on and around Lake Brienz too, which is beautiful.

Posted by
33131 posts

There are 2 trains per hour from Bern to the airport station in Zürich. The ones at xx:02 take 1:12 and go right to the airport; the ones at xx:31 take 1:20 (or 1:13 with a change in Zurich but probably more effort than the 7 minutes saves). No need for a 1:30pm flight to be moving hotels to be in Zurich the night before.

Posted by
1466 posts

Hi campnsteve,
If you’re looking for quaint towns beyond Bern, medieval Murten and Fribourg are both about 25-40 minutes by train from Bern.
And don’t worry about making your flight out of Zurich on the same day you leave the Berner Oberland. Swiss trains always run on time, in my experience. And the airport is less than 20 minutes by train from downtown Zurich
Have a great trip!

Posted by
1379 posts

Bern would be a good base following the tour. How about not booking anything until you've experienced some of Switzerland and spoken with your travel partners? As you're touring around you may learn of a place(s) you wish to see.

Posted by
5019 posts

I would worry about hotel availability in the smaller towns, such as Murren. Good luck and safe travels!

Posted by
1466 posts

Trivago.com shows Murren now has vacancies (even the Hotel Edelweiss) for June 1,2 & 3..
I wouldn’t wait to reserve once your dates are firm because spectacular Murren is a Swiss mountain village of only 450 residents and maybe a dozen
hotels.