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Help finish the trip

Hi,
There are four of us arriving in Milan for one night. Next train to Verenna for three nights. Next train to Grindelwald for three nights. Next train to Zürich for one night. Drop off one person. Then three of us for three more nights. Our dilemma is what do we do for three more nights? Thinking of taking the berina express train to Tirano and then need something to do for a couple of nights to fly out of either BGY or Milan. What to do for a couple of more nights in Italy? Or staying in Switzerland a couple of more nights and seeing what? We are headed to London and do not have a flight there before flying back to the states after dropping off one more. Thus we can really go anywhere from Zürich as long as we can catch a flight to London . This is a family vacation with two daughters. Also I know depends on if we stay in Switzerland but rail pass or no pass? Thank you in advance

Posted by
4253 posts

Zurich is close to Luzern. I think Luzern is the prettiest town in Switzerland. Are you going to Grindelwald or Gimmewald? Depending on what you are looking for, many find the Lauterbrunnen/Murren/Gimmewald side of Berner Oberland more charming.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi,
Here are more details.
Arriving LIN - hotel Principe di Savoia- One night
Train to Varenna- hotel du Lac - three nights
Train to Grindelwald - hotel Gletschergarten - three nights
Train to Zürich - Marriott- One night ( One daughter flies back to USA)
Don’t know what to do next? We have three more nights available
Berina express to Tirano? Then?
Or go to Lucerne then take train to Tirano?
Or stay three more nights somewhere in Switzerland?
I’m getting nervous as I need to book 3 flights to London from somewhere?
Last daughter lives in London, thus mom and dad fly home to USA from there.
Train ticket advice?

Thank you again in advance!

Posted by
12 posts

Additional note. We are all in good physical shape and truly love enjoying doing everything. Both 007 and Jungfrau mountains, Hiking. Main goal - make memories with our adult daughters (30,33) before it gets too late. All suggestions appreciated.

Posted by
16787 posts

Sorry if this sounds insensitive, but why do all of you have to take one daughter to Zurich and spend a night of your vacation. Why not go from Grindelwald to Luzern, then the next morning drop her at Luzern station, do your hugs and kisses then send her off on the direct train to Zurich airport that will get her there in 1 hour. Then the rest of you can continue your vacation. I was thinking she might be a teenager, but she's at least 30 years old and should be able to handle that much on her own.

You are also kind of doing this backwards. Tirano is just 1 1/2 hours from Varenna on Lake Como, but you are going to Varenna first, and then making a very awkward journey from there to the Grindelwald.

So I guess you could spend another day or two in Luzern, then take the Bernina Express, which will require to go back to Zurich to get to Chur, then the Bernina express to Tirano then the train back to Milan passing right through Varenna again where you just were last week.

Posted by
16787 posts

Another alternative to the Bernina Express is the Gotthard Panorama Express. It involves a boat ride from Luzern to Fluelen at the far end of the lake and transfer to the train to Lugano. You must buy 1st class tickets to ride in the panorama cars, and there is a 24 CHF pp reservation fee not included in any pass or Half Fare Card.
Leaves Luzern at 11:12 am and gets to Lugano at 4:38 pm. From Lugano, you are just north of Milan and can get to any airport from there.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/panoramareisen/gotthard-panorama-express/experience.html

Posted by
4253 posts

Agree with Sam, and she might enjoy the independent time. When we took a train from Geneva to Paris, I couldn't get one of my daughters (age 21) in the same car as her sister and I. I felt sad that she'd be lonely. She loved it, she said she thought it of being on European adventure on her own. She did some reading and journalling and talked briefly to some of the other passengers.

Posted by
12 posts

A lot of food for thought. This trip has been the hardest plan for various reasons, daughter from East Coast only told me she had a week off less than a month and a half ago. . Only at the last minute did the daughter from London decide she had three more nights for vacation. After I’d made flights into Milan and for the one daughter out of Zürich. The problem with a train from Lucerne is on a Sunday morning, her flight leaves at 11:30 AM. My Husband is too nervous to have her leave in the morning and possibly miss her flight. He believes she should be in Zürich the night before. We don’t see each other that often anymore and really enjoy spending every minute together. Are there any issues with taking the train on a Sunday morning from lucerne to Zürich airport for her to be there at 9:30 AM? Also I did not know there was a direct train to Zürich airport from lucerne? ( Sunday ) We originally planned the trip to go from Varenna through Tirano on the Berina express. But then figured out we wanted to spend the majority of our time in the mountain area. And I’d already booked one flight out of Zürich. I know the whole trip is getting very convoluted I’m trying to make the best of the situation. What about just staying in Switzerland and skipping the Berina? Honestly don’t know what to do. Open to anything.

Posted by
12 posts

As I have not purchased any train tickets. Do you think it’s too long to go from Verenna to Grindelwald on the Berrina express instead of going the other way ?

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you everyone, Sam, I’m beginning to really like the idea of a direct train to Zurich Airport. How do I find the schedules for a Sunday ?

Posted by
12 posts

Sorry for so many replies. When I say Berina train I mean the local trains on the same track. Going crazy. Did a little bit more research it appears and correct me if I’m wrong there’s a train that Leaves Tirano to Interlaken and leaves at 9:40 am arrives about 1810 it is 7 to 8 hours about 90 minutes longer than the train through Brig/Spiez. If I’m thinking correctly that I’ll get us in Grindelwald hopefully before dark?

Posted by
12 posts

Happy Mother’s Day to all, I researched the trains I think it’ll work for the one daughter to leave from Lucerne at 8:10 AM and arrive at Zürich airport at 9:13. Even gives a little screw up time if she misses that one As there appears to be another that leaves at 8:35 and arrives at 9:42 AM. Thus, change Saturday nights hotel from Zürich to lucerne? And then what for three more nights. Please shoot me an end this madness. :-)

Posted by
4253 posts

Three nights in Luzern! Yes! You will find plenty to do. You can do one of the trips to a mountain top (Rigi, Titlus, Pilatus). If by chance you find yourself with nothing to do in Luzern, you could take a day trip to Bern.

Posted by
16787 posts

I might try putting her on the 7:10 instead. That will get her to the airport 3 1/4 hours ahead of her departure. There is a second level of security for flights back to the US.

Yes, you can get to Grindelwald by way of Tirano and Chur using the trains over the Bernina Pass. Requires at least 6 train changes and takes 10 3/4 hours. By way of comparison, it takes 6 hours and 4 connections to go back through Milan, or 6 1/2 hours and 3 connections.

Posted by
1346 posts

Just an FYI, there are two trains per hour between Luzern and Zurich Airport. One at 10 minutes past the hour and one at 35 minutes. The later one involves changing trains at Zurich’s HBF or main train station.

Posted by
12 posts

The reason I changed rain from Tirano through Saint Moritz to through brig/spiez was because the additional time on the train . After reading online the train that through brig goes through a tunnel and is not that scenic, correct? That’s why my thought was we were missing the scenic trip through Saint Moritz and we should double back into Italy after one daughter leaves. Can someone please help me, there appears to be a train that goes from Tirano through Saint Moritz through Landquart(?) to Interlaken? Someone on a previous post said it was 7 to 8 hours? Also thanks for the heads up about needing additional time back to the US from Zürich. That’s why I love the site, and everyone’s extreme informative information and kindness! The earlier train is better! If we change Saturday night to Lucerne, I’m concerned additional three nights for a total of four, is too much there? Any other towns or places?

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you rocket. Extremely valuable information and she will have to maneuver with luggage by herself and change trains. Curious how would I have known this? It appears to be only four minutes difference between each train? One hour and three minutes versus one hour and seven minutes?

Posted by
16787 posts

Here is the rail map of Switzerland. Landquart is on the far east end. Interlaken is central west. There is this huge mountain range between the two, that people come to Switzerland to see. But the railroad tracks go way to the north through Zurich to get there, or a rather slow scenic route through them that takes considerable time to get through.
https://www.sbb.ch/content/dam/sbb/de/infotexte/uebersichtskarte-sts.pdf

Posted by
12 posts

Apologize in advance. At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot. I’m on SBB site I put in Tirano to Interlaken and I have choices between 4 to 7 train changes and hours vary between about 7 to 8 1/2 hours with a whole lot of different town stops in between. How do I pick which route is most scenic and worthy of the time? Also am I reading it correctly that when it puts the money amount it is really half the real price as it is assuming one has a half price card? This is all above my pay grade.