Our first trip to the Swiss Alps, and we want to see the scenery, not the cities. We will be coming from Munich, and hoping to spend three days in Switzerland. Not much time, I know, but if we had to choose an area to visit, what would your suggestion be? We are thinking either Zermatt (Matterhorn) or to Interlaken to visit the Jungfrau Region to Gimmelwald. Also not sure if we should drive or take the train. We are not used to trains, so any help on that would be greatly appreciated. Would the Europass work from Germany to Switzerland?
"We plan on staying somewhere in the Garmesh area, then to Munich from Switzerland." Wait, before I comment further, let me see if I understand this. You're staying in Garmisch, then you want to go to Switzerland then back to Munich? Also, what time of year?
Your choice might depend on where you are going next.
We plan on staying somewhere in the Garmesh area, then to Munich from Switzerland.
My thought was that if you were continuing on to Italy, Zermat might be the best fit logistically. To France, Bernese Oberland. From Munich and back these are similar logistically. Interlaken is about an hour closer, but from there you want to get up into the mountains. I've never been around the Matterhorn. The BO is great. I'd want another day at either because, with 7+ hour trips coming and going, you only have one full day there and what if it rains? Perhaps someone here can suggest a third alternative closer to Garmisch.
OK, now based on the information you provided me in the private message... I would skip Switzerland for this trip. Early May is a marginal time to visit the Swiss Alps. From GaP, either by car or by train, it takes the better part of a day to reach the Berner Oberland and even longer to arrive in Zermatt. It probably wouldn't take as long to return to Munich, but I seem to recall that the shortest train connection from Interlaken is a minimum of something like 4+ hours. Weather is very fickle in the Alps, and with only a short time window, you risk traveling far out of your way only to arrive in an area blanketed in fog and rain for the duration of your visit. The best strategy for the Alps is to pick one spot and stay there for several days. I think GaP is a good choice because if the weather turns bad, you can easily daytrip to Füssen, Linderhof, Oberamergau, Mittenwald, Innsbruck and even Salzburg. Meaning, sites that are less weather dependent. The Berner Oberland and Zermatt, by contrast, offer far fewer rainy day options. If you were traveling in a statistically drier time of the year (late summer, early fall)... Switzerland might be worth a sidetrip. But I think in early May, this isn't the best use of your limited time and money.
Thank you, Tom, for your input. Great info.