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6 day Itinerary for Switzerland

by Prasanth
(Doha, State of Qatar)

Dear Fida,

We are planning to visit Switzerland coming Sept 2013 and I've made a rough itinerary as below. Could you kindly help me to fine tune it.

28th Aug: Fly to Milan, and then proceed to Menaggio (Lake Como) and overnight stay

29th Aug: Travel to Lugano by Bus and then from Lugano to Flüelen by Train and then From Flüelen to Lucerne by Boat/Cruise (I think all covered in Swiss pass).

29th Aug: Afternoon round trip cruise in the lake Lucerne and/or a short walk through Lucerne city.

30th Aug: Ttravel to Engelberg & Mt. Titlis (full day excursion).

31st Aug: Do a "Golden Round Trip" to Mt. Pilatus (full day excursion). This makes 3 nights in Lucerne.

1st Sept: Travel to Interlaken (Lucerne to Brienz by train- and Brienz to Interlaken by boat). Small day trip to Beatenberg (catch bus #1 from Interlaken west train station - 20 minute ride only - then might proceed to Niederhorn by cable car).

2nd Sept:
Full day trip to Jungfraujoch.

3rd Sept: Travel to Montreux (via Gruyères (to see cheese factory) and Bulle (Chocolate factory) by train.

4th Sept: Take a walk on the Lakeside Promenade Fleuri and a visit to Château-de-Chillon.

5th Sept: Travel to Doha from Geneva

Also is 8 day Swiss saver pass, the best option for above plan?

Regards, Prasanth

Answer to

6 day Itinerary for Switzerland

Hello Prasnath,

Nice itinerary. It's a bit sad you only have time to change bus to train in Lugano. The Tessin/Ticino is close to my heart and truly a beautiful part of Switzerland. Otherwise it's all good, and I only can add a few suggestions:

August 29: The Wilhelm Tell Express from Lugano to Lucerne is a first-class trip only. So if you have a Saver Pass second class, you'd have to upgrade. And a reservation is mandatory.

You could do the trip independently. Travel by train second class from Lugano to Flüelen, then board a boat - departure every full hour between 11 am and 5 pm (17:00 hours). Upgrade on the steam boat.

According to your itinerary, you plan to take another boat trip the same afternoon. Since the trip between Flüelen and Luzern already covers the whole length of the lake, and the Golden Roundtrip to the Pilatus ads another stretch of boat trip, I'd recommend using the time differently. Either exploring Lucerne or stay longer in Lugano and catch the last boat in Flüelen.

August 30: The mountain ride between Engelberg and Mount Titlis is not included in any pass. You receive 50% discount.

August 31: With the Swiss Pass, you need a connecting ticket between Kriens and Alpnachstad.

September 1: The Bus from Interlaken to Beatenberg - all the way to the end of the very long village takes approximately 40 minutes. There are several stops along the way. You could walk from "Beatenberg Waldegg" to "Beatenberg Station" - easy and practically straight on (about 45 minutes to an hour).

Beatenberg on a sonny slope high above Lake Thun
The view to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau from Beanteberg

The view to Lake Thun and the mountains are beautiful. But if you want to go up to the Niederhorn for more scenic views, I'd recommend taking the bus all the way to "Beatenberg Station" (the last stop).

There you have a choice: either go up to the Niederhorn or take the funicular down to "Beatenberg Bucht" and return from there by bus to Interlaken West - and if time permits, stop at the Beatus Caves.

Note: Beatenberg to Niederhorn is not included in the Swiss Pass but you receive 50% discount.

Stalactite formations in the Beatus Caves
Beatus Caves between Beatenbucht and Interlaken

Spetember 2: Jungfraujoch - have another plan on hand in case the weather is not good. There is a chocolate demonstration at the Chocolateria Schuh in Interlaken every day at 5pm. More options here, as well as tips for Gruyères.

And here some more ideas for the Swiss Riviera.

If you do the trips as outlined above, you'd safe money buying a Half Fare Card and point-to-point tickets (about CHF 109 savings) instead of an 8-Day Swiss Saver Pass. But there are perks the Swiss Pass offers and the Half Fare Card does not. Free museum entrances, including Open Air Museum Ballenberg near Brienz, free city transport, discounts on city tours, etc.

Use this example to figure out the best pass option.

Enjoy your Swiss Holiday,

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6 day Itinerary for Switzerland
by: Prasanth

Thanks for your response… much appreciated

Actually we have made a small amendment in the itinerary since I came to know that I can get a visa from Swiss embassy directly at my place. So we will be flying directly to Zurich and then go to Lucerne and stay there for 4 nights and also be able to include Mr. Rigi trip. Just a few questions:

Do we have to make an advance reservation for our Mt. Pilatus trip (Golden Round Trip) or can we do it on our own?

You'd mentioned in one of the posts that there is an option to travel by Zentralbahn narrow gauge railway from Lucerne to Interlaken (via Brienz). Is this a different route? Is it the main station in Lucerne where we will be boarding this train?

Also thinking about travelling to Gruyeres and Bulle and return to Interlaken on the same day instead of proceeding to Montreux. Does this make sense? Will we able to see the cheese making?

And sorry if I've asked too many questions as this is our first ever family trip (4 adults and 4 kids) so a bit concerned… also this is a DIY trip.

Many Thanks again…

6 day Itinerary for Switzerland
by: Fida

You are welcome Prasanth!

You don't have to make reservations for the Pilatus Golden Round Trip, and yes, you can do it on your own. Get detailed information at the Tourist office directly in the Lucerne train station.

There are different routes to reach Interlaken from Lucerne, but the trip with the Zentralbahn/Golden Pass Line is the most scenic one. For more information refer to this page, and scroll down to "Days 5 and 6: Lucerne to Interlaken Ost". The train leaves from the main train station in Lucerne (actually, there's just one).

Yes, you can visit Gruyerès from Interlaken and return to Interlaken instead of going to Montreux. Not sure why you want to go to Bulle tough. Do you mean the Cailler chocolate factory in Broc? Here is a bit more information on this trip (scroll down to plan for the 13st)

If you want to see how alpine cheese is made "the old fashion way" in Moléson-sur-Gruyères (the way it's still done on many alps and more interesting to see than the factory-way of doing it) you would have to leave very early from Interlaken (and don't forget to make a reservation).

Of course, this would be a very long day (not sure how your kids would handle that) You might just want to visit "La Maison du Gruyère" instead. Make sure you will be there at the right time to see how cheese is made.

You could do it as a round-trip so you don't have to travel the same route twice: Interlaken - Spiez - Zweisimmen - Montbovon - Gruyères (and Broc) then return from Gruyères via Bulle and Bern to Interlaken. Check schedules at the SBB website (Swiss Federal Railways).

Don't worry, it's very easy to find your way around Switzerland. The only drawback maybe is that trains have to be changed quite often. So travelling light makes things easier.

Hope that helps,

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