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Geneva to Zurich

Hello, myself, my husband and my 2 teenagers are flying to Geneva, and after 8 days we are flying back to the US from Zurich, we are planning to see as much as we can in Switzerland and possibly lake Como or any destinations that make sense with our trajectory, we are also considering to rent a car and make a road trip out of it, would love to hear suggestions on how to plan this vacation, thanks in advance

Posted by
7089 posts

How old are the teens? If they are 15 or less, they travel free if they are together with a parent with the use of a Swiss Family Card. This makes train travel quite economical: 2x 8-day Swiss Travel Passes would cover the whole family. Even if only one of the teens is 15 or less, you can still save a bit.

But if all 4 of you need full-fare tickets, then perhaps have a look at car rental options. A car is less convenient than the train in my opinion, but it might save you quite a bit of money.

As for a possible route for 8 days/ 7 nights, a "classic" would be:

  • Montreux area, 2 nights (heading there straight from Geneva airport). Highlights include lake views from the shore and from above (Rochers de Naye), terraced Lavaux vineyards, Chillon medieval castle.

  • Berner Oberland, 3 nights. If travelling by train, you would travel via the scenic Golden Pass railway from Montreux. Places to stay include Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald in the valleys, and car-free Mürren and Wengen up in the mountains. Highlights revolve around the incredible mountain scenery and record-breaking mountain railways.

  • Luzern, 2 nights. If you go by train, you should go via the second half of the Golden Pass railway (Luzern-Interlaken Express). Very pleasant lakeside city with a cute historical center, and great excursions on the lake and on surrounding mountains: Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn to name but a few.

If you are taking the train and if your flight out of Zürich is later than 10.00am, you do not need to stay in Zürich for your final pre-flight night, because the train from Luzern takes barely over one hour.
If you are driving, I would head to the airport the night before, because there is more uncertainty.

You mention Lake Como: I sincerely believe that it is too far from the Geneva-Zurich axis to be visited in an 8-day trip. It would have been possible if you had landed in Milan. But with Lake Geneva and Lake Luzern, you will already have your fair share of scenic lakes!

Posted by
2859 posts

I really like balso’s suggested itinerary. To me, the trains are part of the experience in Switzerland. We spent most of our time on the Swiss trains looking out the window and taking pictures.