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what to do in eight days in Switzerland

We are arriving Geneva and returning to US after 8 days from Vienna. My hope is to travel in Switzerland , Prague and finally spend last two days in Vienna before heading back home.
we are planning to spend half-a day each in Geneva, Jungfrau, Bern, Zurich and take night train from Zurich to Prague.
Is this itinerary good or any suggestions ? we just need to be in Vienna at least a day before so tht we can see Vienna and head home.
Should we consider Eurail pass/Swiss pass or is it easier to but point to point tickets/seat reservations in advance ?

Posted by
1353 posts

a half day isn't enough for any of those locations. 8 days is not enough for switzerland, prague and vienna in my opinion. Since it sounds like you already booked your flights I would suggest pick one location in Switzerland (I would choose the berner oberland), then maybe one stop between there and Vienna (I would choose Salzburg), then end by spending a couple of days in Vienna.

Your proposed itinerary would have you spending 6 of your 8 days on the train!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Jill! Based on your suggestion we are skipping Prague.
Below is our new itinerary. Couple of questions if anyone can answer for me please -
1. Since we are doing several short train trips in Switzerland and Vienna is a Eurail or Swiss rail pass any good for us ?
2. This may be our only visit to Vienna and Switzerland for the near foreseeable future (next Europe trip we plan to visit different countries); Any suggestions on the destinations in our itinerary ?
Day 1 Fri afternoon fly in to Geneva ; checkin to hotel in Geneva
Day 2 Sat Leave for Bern by morning train ( 2 hrs journey time); night stay in Bern
Day 3 Sun morning Bern to Interlaken train stay in Interlaken area
Day 4 Mon Train to Jungfrau and spend the night at Lauterbraunnen Valley
Day 5 Tue Train to Zurich and checkin to hotel in Zurich
Day 6 Wed Train to Insbruck night stay in Insbruck
Day 7 Thu Train to Salzburg checkin to hotel in Salzburg
Day 8 Fri Train to Vienna
Day 9 Sat evening return flight

Posted by
1353 posts

If you are 28 or younger a railpass is probably a good idea. You still have a lot of one night stands and are covering a LOT of ground! Why stay in interlaken? Lauterbrunnen is only 30 minutes away by train. I would just spend 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen. Along those lines - Zurich and Innsbruck you could most likely see in 1/2 day each. Why not make on of them a stop on your way to your next destination so you don't have so many 1 nighters. If you don't have Rick Steves Switzerland and Austria guidebooks I would suggest that they would be a very good investment.

Posted by
12040 posts

Alpine weather is notoriously fickle, so if seeing and exploring the mountains is a priority, your best option would be to pick one spot and stay there for a minimum of 3 nights (giving two full days). Otherwise, if you try to pigeon-hole a particular mountain excursion to a specific calendar day without the benefit of a short-term weather forecast, you could easily lose that entire day to bad weather. Staying for two or more days hedges the bets a little more in your favour.

Posted by
451 posts

Day 3 don't spend time in Interlaken. Head straight for the Luaterbrunnen Valley. It is only an hour further by train and well worth it. Interlaken is NOT in the mountains. Lauterbrunnen is. I agree with Tom and spend as much time in the mountains as possible.