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Switzerland June 6-15

Hi! we are a family of 5 with 3 teens (age 18, 17, 16) and going to Switzerland for the first time! Our plane tickets are booked and we have a tentative itinerary that would appreciate your feedback. For those who are very observant, yes I am also taking a trip tp Spain with my older child May 7-16. Unfortunately, we were unable to combine these two trip for various factors that are out of our control.

Here is our itinerary. 2 questions we have are about lodging: based on our activities, would Lauterbrunnen and Lucerne area be good choice?

June 5 Monday
Depart ORD at 3:50 PM

June 6 Tuesday
Zurich 7:45 AM
Train to Wengen/Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald for first lodging. Most likely Lauterbrunnen

June 7 Wednesday
Schilthorn or Jungfrau. Schilthorn recommended over Jungfrau. Less crowded?
If Schilthorn, stop by Thrill Walk on the way up. On same train route

June 8 Thursday
Skydiving with SKYDIVE Interlaken www.skydiveinterlaken.com
Trummelbach Falls

June 9 Friday
Schilthorn if not done on already
Explore Murren
Murren Via Ferrata
Northface Trail - Hike (maybe)
The Eiger Trail - Hike (maybe)
Allmendhubel Funicular (maybe)

June 10 Saturday
Explore OB more
Hike trails mentioned above
Mannlichen Hike to Kleine Scheidegg

June 11 Sunday
Check into Lake Brienz or Lucerne area
Explore lake Itswald/Brienz area

June 12 Monday
Mt Pilatus
Toboggan Ride
Hike to Tomlishorn
Explore Lucerne in the evening

June 13 Tuesday
Explore Zurich

June 14 Wednesday
Explore Bern (?)

June 15
Depart ZRH 9:50 AM

How does this look?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Grace

Posted by
2303 posts

On Sunday June 11: Iseltwald is a tiny village on Lake Brienz. Lake Brienz is about an hour from Lauterbrunnen by train. Is this where you intend to go? If so, I would do this as a day trip from Lauterbrunnen. Don’t change hotels just for this.

Look into apartments in the Lauterbrunnen area. You will not find hotels that sleep 5 in one room.

From Monday to Wednesday 6/12-14, I would stay in one place, probably Lucern. From there you u can go to Mt Pilatus. I think trying to squeeze n Bern and Zurich is too much. Spend your last night in Zurich, or take a very early (train 5:35 am) from Lucern.

Posted by
6879 posts

With a 9.50 AM flight, it is technically possible to stay in Luzern the previous night, but I'd rather stay in Zürich since you are interested in Zurich anyway.

As for Bern: I would not make firm plans, but it is a good option for a day trip in poor weather, not only from Luzern but also from Lauterbrunnen.

Posted by
60 posts

Good Morning. Thank you for your advice.

Yes we intend to stay in one lodging June 6-10 and then another lodging for June 10-14 or 10-15.
We are considering possibly staying over night in Zurich on June 14 for June 15 flight home. I guess I'll have to check the earliest train time to Zurich from Lucerne before making this decision. Looking at Swiss Travel Pass in details is next on my list.

If we want to explore Istewald, we will do that from Lauterbrunnen. Thank you!

Posted by
8421 posts

Regarding Schilthorn vs. Jungfraujoch, check the weather before either, look at the live webcams, and be prepared to go early. But it's not a question of crowding. To me the difference is that the Jungfraujoch requires hours of time in a dark train (tunnel) to get up there. I preferred the gondola ride up to Schilthorn and the comfortable area for walking around.

You have a lot of stops and hikes around listed, but all those things take up a lot more time than you think.
I think I would skip Bern. A nice enough town, but not in the mountains.

Posted by
4675 posts

I'd give Lucerne another day, perhaps at the expense of Bern or Zurich. There is also Mt Rigi ( beautiful boat ride and cogwheel train to summit) and Mt Stanserhorn ( open air cable car, 45 min trip total, for a sunset view) all covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.
Safe travels!

Posted by
1802 posts

Lauterbrunnen is nice but sits on the Valley floor. I prefer the view from up in the mountains. I’ve stayed in Murren and enjoyed it both times. Might have to try Wengen next time. The disadvantage of staying in Murren is it will take longer to get to the other side (Jungfrau) or to the train station on departure. Start your day early as rain can move in later in the day. If a day is a total rainout Bern is a possible day trip.

I see some or all of you are skydiving. There’s also tandem paragliding if anyone is interested in a less adventurous activity.

Posted by
6879 posts

I guess I'll have to check the earliest train time to Zurich from Lucerne before making this decision. Looking at Swiss Travel Pass in details is next on my list.

I checked recently: first train leaves Lucerne at 4.52 and gets to Zürich airport (direct) at 6.21. Then you have trains about 30 minutes or so. For a 9.50 AM flight, you could take the second train at 5.35 (arr. Zürich airport 6.44).
So yes, technically you can stay in Luzern, but you'd have to wake up at 4. I'd rather sleep for an extra 1-2 hours and be less stressed out, staying in Zurich itself or near the airport.

Posted by
16178 posts

June 9 is a bit confusing. You have listed the Northface Trail and the Eiger Trail, but the latter is over by Grindelwald (as is the Eiger itself).

The Northface trail above Mürren goes from the top of the Allmendhubel funicular back down to Mürren in a long sweep out and back, with great views of the peaks opposite and signage explaining the mountaineering history. It is one of my favorites, and you can start right from Mürren instead of riding the funicular up if you prefer. That is what we did. Here is a good description of the hike, a map of the path, and photos:

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/northface-trail-murren-switzerland/

The “Eiger trail” is short for one of two trails near Grindelwald, and will not fit into this day ( especially if anyone is doing the Via Ferrata). One, the Eiger Northface trail, connects Eigergletscher station ( above Kleine Scheidegg on the train rout to the Jungfraujoch) with Alpiglen, another train stop halfway down to Grindelwald. The trail makes a long traverse below the famous North Face of the Eiger. This too is a great hike, whether you do it uphill or down.

The other is the Eiger Walk, an easy 2.5 trail that connects Eigergletscher with Kleine Scheidegg. People use it to access the Eiger Northface upper trailhead, or to return from there to Kleine Scheidegg if they hike the Eiger Northface trail uphill.

This blog explains both trails:

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/eiger-trail-hike-bernese-oberland-switzerland/

Other options to reach Eigergletscher Station for access to the Northface trailhead are to take the train up from Kleine Scheidegg, or the new gondola up from Grindelwald Grund in the valley. If you happen to choose the Jungfrau on June 7, you could do that in the morning and then get off the little Jungfrau train at Eigergletscher on the way down to start the hike. From the end of the hike at Alpiglen, you would either ride the train down to Grindelwald and back to Lauterbrunnen from there, or ride the train from Alpiglen the other direction, up to Kleine Scheidegg, and down to Lauterbrunnen via Wengen on the train.

Or you could combine the Eiger Northface Trail with the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on June 10.

It’s all good. . . . But keep an eye on the weather and adjust accordingly.

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you everyone for your kind replies and advice!
You guys are amazing!
Here's the new and improved itinerary.
question of the day: Junfrau or Schilthorn? Has anyone been to both and what would you do if you had to choose one?
Thank you in advance!

June 5 Monday
Depart ORD at 3:50

June 6 Tuesday
Zurich 7:45 AM
Train to Wengen/Lauterbrunnen - Lodging location still undecided between these 2
Explore the area

June 7 Wednesday - Weather dependent - Pick one
Schilthorn or Jungfrau
If Jungfrau - Add Eiger Trail afterwards
If Schilthorn - Add Northface Trail afterwards

June 8 Thursday - Weather dependent
Skydiving with SKYDIVE Interlaken www.skydiveinterlaken.com https://paragliding-interlaken.ch/summer/special-offers/
Hader Kulm(maybe) if skydiving is done in Interlaken
Paragliding if not skydiving
Trummelbach Falls in the evening

June 9 Friday - pick one of the options below
Schilthorn and Northface Trail if not done on earlier
Explore Murren
Murren Via Ferrata - if NO RAIN

June 10 Saturday - pick one or two below
Explore OB more
Panorama Trail - This trail can be combined with Eiger Trail.
Mannlichen Hike to Kleine Scheidegg. combine the Eiger trail with the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg
Hader Kulm (?) if not done earlier

June 11 Sunday
Check into second lodging in Lake Brienz or Lucerne area
Explore lake Itswald/Brienz area

June 12 Monday - Weather dependent
Mt Pilatus based on weather this might be on another day
Toboggan Ride
Hike to Tomlishorn
Explore Lucerne in the evening

June 13 Tuesday
Explore Mt Rigi but if it rains consider Bern (?)

June 14 Wednesday
Zurich - Check in and explore

June 15
Depart ZRH 9:50 AM

Posted by
4323 posts

It looks like you have time to visit both Jungfrau and Schilthorn, so I'd say why not, but my preference was to do hiking instead of both. We stayed in Murren so it was a no-brainer--Schilthorn was a short ride versus a long train ride for Jungfrau. I know it's not what you are supposed to do, but we went when it was snowing and no visibility (it was raining in Murren that day anyway). We did go back another day when it was clear and of course that is better, but being on the mountain top while it was snowing was actually pretty cool.

Posted by
2661 posts

Hi Grace, I have a few comments. I was in Switzerland this past June. So, the same time you plan to be there next year.

The Mannlichen Hike to Kleine Scheidegg hike typically does not open until mid June, possibly earlier depending on the amount of snow on the trail. I went to Mannlichen multiple times and the first time on June 10 it was closed. It was open when I returned June 13. So, you might need a Plan B for your June 10 hike.

I don’t see the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald on your list. This is one of my favorites, so I’d think about adding this one.

Schilthorn or Jungfrau. Schilthorn recommended over Jungfrau. Less
crowded?

I’m only commenting on this one because you asked. 😊

I was not a fan of Jungfrau. At all. I took the first train up thinking it would be less crowded and it was not. It was by far my least favorite experience in Switzerland. I much preferred Schilthorn.

For your time in Lucerne, I highly recommend the boat/train ride up to Mt. Rigi, a favorite of mine. I also really enjoyed Mt. Stanserhorn. As Pat mentioned, these are both fully covered 100% with the Swiss Travel Pass. And also 100% more enjoyable than Jungfrau. 😊

It will be a great trip no matter what you decide. The wildflowers are amazing in June.

I have my Switzerland trip reports linked in my bio if you’d like to take a look at them. You can read more about my Jungfrau experience.

Posted by
2661 posts

Looks like you got lucky and Swiss/United added some earlier flights from Chicago. I only had the option of the evening flight.

Just a heads up, Swiss likes to change planes multiple times. They'll switch from the boeing to aribus and back several times. So, this might goof up your seat reservations if you have them. They've done this to me all 3 times i have flown with them and for my flight to Zurich for this coming March. I got a little nervous the first time it happened, but now i'm used to it. 😊 It's easy to go into your account and pick new seats if needed.