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11 days Switzerland/Italy train advice please

Flying into Zurich in early Sept. Head for Lucerne for a night then hoping to find lodging for three nights above Interlaken. Finish the Golden Pass route to Lake Geneva for a night then train to Venice. What is fastest train choice for trip into Italy please, and what train passes do you think we would need?
And holy cow places are filling up in Murren and Wengen etc fast....other recommendations if those are booked? thanks!

Posted by
2799 posts

There is a direct train from Montreux (where the Golden pass ends) to Venice that takes 6 hours. You leave Montreux at 8:38 am and arrive Venice 14:40. I'd go for that one. I checked and for early September there were Special Offer tickets available on SBB so you pay 48 CHF instead of 107 CHF each. Not bad! Using a Swiss pass does not reduce it further so you can buy those now regardless what pass you will use. Pass queston is never easy but the Half Fare Card works well for lots of people. What places in Wengen and murren are already full? Can't make any more suggestions until we know what you have already tried. There are lots of hotels esp. in Wengen and I can't believe they are all full, unless there is some kind of even going on. Are you there on a weekend?

Posted by
61 posts

We've been plugging in a bunch of places for Murren, Wengen and Lauterbrunnen and my husband keeps getting .... two rooms left... three rooms left etc. Should we believe those posts? Will try and get more specifics. Love the advice to Venice, feared it would be a much longer day.
On that note, the only other train trip we'd need probably would be Venice to Rome. Just a straight ticket down vs eurail pass right? thanks again...

Posted by
6898 posts

I think that you will find it quite difficult to get a night train from Geneva to Italy. I don't think that there are night trains from Switzerland to Italy anymore. You can get them from Paris via Dijon and Torino or Munich via Innsbruck but I don't think there are any from Switzerland. The 6+hr run metioned above to Venice from Montreux is a great option

Posted by
2799 posts

Venice to Rome you can buy on Trenitalia and if you do it soon you should get one of the economy fares like 19 euros or so. If you are getting messages like "2 rooms left" then your hubbie is probably using Booking.com or something similar that handles bookings for lots of hotels. Not all small hotels sign up with them and not all hotels that do give them access to a full range of rooms. I would figure out which ones you like and sent a price inquiry directly to the hotel. What is your hotel budget or what are you looking for?

Posted by
12552 posts

Are you by any chance in Wengen/Mürren on the weekend, Sept. 8-9? That is the weekend of the Jungfrau Marathon, billed as the "toughest marathon in the world." There will be marathons on both days, women and some of the older mens' categories on Saturday, the rest of the men on Sunday. It is a big deal and people probably will start arriving a few days early to train at the altitude. So you better decide what you want and get it booked while you can! On the plus side, there will be lots going on and lots of good energy. We were in Zermatt right before and during thei rmarathon a few years ago and it was fun to see the course prepared and watch the run through town.

Posted by
12552 posts

I just checked the route. They start in Interlaken and run through Lauterbrunnen, up to Wengen and on up to Kleine Scheidegg, finishing near the Lauberhorn. Tough uphill course. We've hiked from Wengen up and it was great, but running would be a different thing. If you stay in Wengen you could see them run through town. If you want to avoid the race, you could stay in Mürren.

Posted by
61 posts

you guys are so great. We're not going that weekend but to the end of that week, so maybe some marathoners hanging around... ? we got reservations in Murren at the Blumenthal. Thoughts? and yes, it was Booking.com. we're learning. next ? Do you land in Zurich and head straight for Interlaken or spend a night in Bern or Lucerne to get your feet under you.
And a night somewhere on Lake Geneva... we were thinking of one of the smaller towns or Lausanne? thoughts?

Posted by
12552 posts

Blumenthal is good. We have not stayed there but we have had dinner. Location is great, right on the main (pedestrian) street, and the hotel has lots of traditional charm. As for heading straight there, that is tough call. We fly from the west coast and generally spend a night in Zurich before moving on. Luzern would serve as well and is a bit more approachable. One time ( my first) we headed all the way to the Valais upon landing in Zurich and it was not fun. Another time I made the 2hour journey to Kandersteg ( about the same as Interlaken) and I fell so soundly asleep I was fortunate that someone near me woke me up to get off the train! So if you have an extra night, I would suggest stopping in Luzern for the first night. It is only an hour from the airport by direct train, and the trains end there so you do not have to worry about getting off. There are a number of nice hotels within a block or 2 of the Luzern station. And the next day's journey to Interlaken amd onward to Lauterbrunnen and Mürren is very scenic, so you want to be awake to enjoy that.

Posted by
31319 posts

RandR, "Do you land in Zurich and head straight for Interlaken or spend a night in Bern or Lucerne to get your feet under you." What time does your flight arrive in Zürich? There's a station right at the airport and if the flight arrives in the morning, I'd probably carry on to Mürren as it's a relatively short trip. From the airport to Interlaken Ost is ~2H:15M and then add an hour or so to Mürren. Rather than stay one night somewhere else, I can't think of a better place to get over jet lag than the Berner Oberland! Are you clear on the travel route from Interlaken to Mürren? It's a bit convoluted but in reality it's relatively easy. I also travel from the west coast, and I've done that sort of thing before (ie: land in Frankfurt and then carry on straight away to Rothenburg ODT, which involved two train changes in Würzburg and Steinach). You can research rail journeys on the bahn.de website, to get some idea on the travel times and other details. Happy travels!

Posted by
177 posts

Regarding Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a good choice. Vevey would work well too as it is ideally located (short distance to the Lavaux terrace vineyards and Chillon castle) and is a bit cheaper than Montreux.

Posted by
61 posts

yes we'd be going to Venice, hopefully on that train, so we'll concentrate on Monteaux. We'll just have one night now, as we've added a fourth night in the BO, so will fit in the castle on Lake Geneva and a little bit more but then move on Sunday a.m. to Venice ... Can you please tell me, again, what train it is we need to Venice out of Mntreaux? and as we'll just train to Venice and then to Rome, does it make sense to not get a eurorail pass, just get direct tickets, is that what you were talking about for the early-bird price?
We can't find that price as we search for possible trains. ? and how soon would we need to book the Montr-Venice ride please?

Posted by
12552 posts

It is the direct train from Montreux to Venice, departing Montreux at 8:38. Tou csn see it on the Swiss rail site www.rail.ch and buy the tickets there OK, I just checked and if that travel day is Sunday 16 Sept., the Special Offer tickets mentioned above are not available. But since you are spending a number of days in Switzerland, it may be worth it to buy 3- day Flex Passes ( Saver price). Use Day 1 to travel from Zurich airport to Mürren; Day 2 to travel from Mürren to Montreux, and Day 3 to go from Montreux into Italy. The rest of your travel around the BO, including lifts and boats, will be half-price with the Flex Pass, even on non-covered days. ( one exception is the Jungfrau which is 25% off). Long journeys like this are a good use of a Flex Pass, and you get the benefit of the half-fare feature on non-covered days. The regular price for 2 tickets Montreux to Venice on SBB is 214 CHF (107 each). Using a Half-Fare card brings is down to 174 CHF for two. Using a Flex Pass covered day brings it down to 126 (63 CHF each). You can buy them on rail.ch, or you could wait and buy them when you get to Switzerland. On rail.ch there is a fare option for using a pass. Buy Venice to Rome on Trenitalia. This far ahead you will likely get an Economy or even Super Economy fare. I think you are way better off with the Flex Pass for Switzerland and Trenitalia tickets for Venice to Rome. Eurail Pass will cost you more for
less benefit.

Posted by
61 posts

Ok. We're getting there. thanks everyone. How about recommendations re where to stay in Lausanne or Vevey? sounds like Vevey has a few options and Lausanne has many. Or what about any of the other nearby tiny towns?
We've got two nights there before leaving the country. R

Posted by
12552 posts

Are you going to tIe that direct train from Montreux to Venice, departing Montreux at 8:38? It may nor stopnin Vevey---I would check on that before booking there. It originates in Geneva and probably does stop in Lausanne. I'll go check the schedule. If you are taking that train you might want to stay in Montreux or Lausanne/Ouichy.

Posted by
177 posts

Lausanne is up and down with steep hills. It is sometimes not very convenient to carry suitcases around. In contrast it is usually a short walk from most hotels in Vevey to the train station. In any case, I stayed at the Hotel Elite in Lausanne which is on a quiet street (Sainte-Luce av.) next to the railway station and very close to the subway. I liked the hotel a lot and the staff was very helpful but it was back in '06.
Of course Lausanne has stunning hotels like the Palace or the Beau-Rivage (where destituted royalty would spend the rest of their lives) but it may not be what you are looking for.

Posted by
12552 posts

I don't know which day you are going from Venice to Rome, but I just checked Trenitalia for Sept. 18. There are Super Economy fares 29euro) on most trains that day. Probably would be the same the next day but I didn't check. Regular fare is 80 euros.

Posted by
12 posts

ccess to train and multiple connections to Zermatt. So really easy for 2 people aged 70Piece of cake for younger