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Two Week September Switzerland Itinerary

My son and I will be visiting Switzerland for the second time in September. We will be flying in and out of Zurich. We will be staying for two weeks and have a tentative itinerary as follows (with two nights in each except for Zurich which is one night.

Lucerne

Bern

Murren

Zermatt

Geneva

Basel

Zurich

We will be purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass and will attempt to stay in private room hostels when possible. How does the above itinerary sound in terms of cities, towns, areas being visited? Thank you.

Patrick

Posted by
8 posts

Switzerland is a small country, and traveling from city to town is quick. Have you visited Montreaux, French speaking area? Chateau Chillon is nice to visit when there. Maybe you can train from Geneva to Montreaux. Bern can be seen in one day. Basel...not much there other than a base to start a Rhine cruise northward. Lucerne and Zermatt are worth donating two days. You may want to consider crossing into the Italian Alps from Zermatt: or another pass. I think you have extra time to visit other bordering areas from Switzerland. Geneva is a financial city with not much to see, but I could be incorrect.

Posted by
8889 posts

Patrick, you don't visit Switzerland for cities, you visit it for mountains. I would skip Zürich and Geneva, and do Bern as a day trip from the Jungfrau region (Mürren), on whichever day has the worst weather. I would also do the trip as a big circuit, so you can get in at least one of the most scenic rail route. You say 2 weeks, that would be 13 nights in Switzerland.
My suggestion would be:

  • Land Zürich, immediate train to Chur. 1 night (this is a positioning move, but you will see lots of mountains on the way).
  • Glacier Express route to Zermatt. 3-4 nights
  • Train to Montreux. Visit Château de Chillon, walk vineyards. 1 night.
  • Train to Mürren, via "Golden Pass" train. 3-4 nights. Alternatively Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. Use a bad weather day for Bern.
  • Train to Luzern. This is the scenic Brünig pass route. 3-4 nights. Boat trips on lake. Trip up local mountain. Possibly day trip to Basel, but you might run out of nights.
  • Train from Luzern direct to Zürich airport, only 70 minutes. Fly home.

You can trace this route out on the Swiss Rail map here: https://www.sbb.ch/content/dam/sbb/de/infotexte/uebersichtskarte-sts.pdf

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. The suggestions are much appreciated and quite helpful.

Posted by
768 posts

I used to live in Geneva, and like the city, but I agree wholeheartedly with Chris. Mountains are what you want.

Posted by
59 posts

This looks like great fun. Saving this for the future! How long, though, are some of the trips on the trains?

Nancy

Posted by
768 posts

The longest trip to "get into the mountains" might be Geneva to Lauterbrunnen, and that is 3.5 hours with a train change in Bern and a final one in Interlaken Ost. The trains are relaxing and scenic.

Posted by
6102 posts

I like Chris's suggestion, though, if possible, I'd add Bern as a possible day trip for Luzern. Bern is the capitol and a great little city for a 5-8 hours. There is a great Einstein exhibit at the History museum and the medieval old town is quite interesting. But, of course, it isn't Luzern! So make sure you have enough time for Luzern (and Berner Oberland)