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What to see in June 2020

Planning a trip to Switzerland for 10 days at the beginning of June 2020. We plan to arrive in Zurich and either return from there or another airport. Must sees and dos are the Glacier Express-First Class, the Matterhorn and Jungfraujoch. What else is a must see? Are self made plans better or a tour company for the whole trip or day trips.
I will be traveling with my 85 year old mother.

Tentative Schedule June 9-18
Day 1 Arrive in Zurich Am-Sightsee
Day 2 Train to St Moritz-Sightsee
Day 3 St Moritz-Glacier Express Excellence class to Zermatt arrive PM
Day 4 Zermatt-sightsee/Matterhorn
Day 5 Train to Lucerne, stopping in Bern for the day
Day 6 Lucerne-Day trip to Mount Pilatus/Lake Cruise
Day 7 Lucerne-Day trip to Jungfraujoch/Bernese Oberland
Day 8 Lucerne-Sightsee
Day 9 Train to Zurich
Day 10 Depart Zurich

Are two back to back day trips too much?

Posted by
20920 posts

Without knowing what appeals to you, it is difficult to make suggestions. Any good guidebook will cover the must see items very well. So...... spend some time at your local library checking out guidebooks and travel DVDs especially the Rick Steves' DVDs. That will give you some idea of what is available and what might appeal to you. Second, any mobility issues with your 85 year old mother?

Whether it is self-planned or tour is mostly personal preference. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Tours are easy since a lot of the logistics -- hotels, transportation, etc. - is handled for you. On the other hand, a tour lock you into a schedule that may not meet your total objectives.

Posted by
7201 posts

You may want to give serious thought to taking your elderly mother to the Jungfraujoch. The air is very thin and altitude sickness is not uncommon.

Posted by
602 posts

You have mentioned sights but no other interests, art, cities, history, etc. Knowing that would help picking stopping points. Zurich is a major hub for international travel from the US, so arriving and departing from there might be easiest.

The Glacier Express goes from St. Moritz to Zermatt or the other way around, and the Excellence fare includes train travel from your starting point on day 1 and back to your next preferred stop on day 3. That is three of your ten days. Question 1 - When? At the beginning, in the middle, at the end of your trip. Of course, you can see the Matterhorn from Zermatt, so question 2 is how much time do you want to spend in Zermatt? Question 3 then is can you use the Glacier Express Excellence ticket back from Zermatt after a day(s) stop in Zermatt?

The Jungfraujoch is in the Bernese Oberland accessed from Bern or Lucerne through Interlaken. Getting back to Berne/Lucerne is easy enough from either end of the Glacier Express, and you can go on to Interlaken/Lauterbrunnen/Murren/other villages from either of those places in a few hours. It might be nice to spend two nights in Lucerne though to slow the trip down a bit, and plan to spend the day on the Lake steamer that goes the length of the Lake of Lucerne. You can also take the steamer one way, and a train back to shorten the trip.

Berne, Lucerne and Zurich all have outstanding museums if you are interested. I particularly like the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and the Marc Chagall windows in the Frauenkirche myself.

Some examples:

For myself, doing the Glacier Express either at the beginning or end of the trip would make the most sense. I also particularly dislike staying only one night in places, but that is me. A possible circular route could be - a full day in Zurich to get over travel (nights 1 and 2 in Zurich) - train Zurich to St Moritz (night 3 in St Moritz) - Glacier Express to Zermatt (night 4 and 5 in Zermatt) with a day touring the Zermatt area - train back to Bernese Oberland (night 6 and 7 in the Oberland, I like Lauterbrunnen/Murren) and a Jungfraujoch day trip - train to Lucerne (night 8 and 9) and spend a day on the lake or in the lovely town - train back to Zurich for afternoon departure on day 10.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks everyone for your input. I have my mother visiting/consulting with her doctor to see if she is able to visit Jungfraujoch. Its a place id love to experience but maybe on another visit.
I’ve browsed through several tours and really do not like the idea of trudging along with fellow tour guests so a self planned trip it will be.
I’ve a friend in the travel industry that will aid me in making my reservations.
I am a cheese lover and grew up around dairy farms. Any areas in particular that would be best to experience? Also where are the best chocolatiers located?
I want this to a be a relaxing trip, short walks but no hikes. I read about the museum that housed Picasso’s pieces and that peaked my interest.