Suggestions for Switzerland trip

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Material Guy
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Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by Material Guy » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:04 am

We will be visiting Switzerland at the end of this month and we have four days there. We will be based in Zurich. Here's our tentative plan and I am looking for any suggestions.

Day 1 Arrive Zurich morning. Walk around Zurich, rest, get over jet lag.
Day 2 Lucerne by train. Take boat to to Alpnachstadt and Mount Pilatus. Back to Zurich.
Day 3 Interlaken by train. Maybe another train to Lauterbrunnen. Back to Zurich.
Day 4 Either visit Berne or spend time in and around Zurich.
Day 5 Leave early morning train to Frankfurt.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? We are four - husband and wife, 16 yr old son, 12 yr old daughter. Kids are keen on the trains there. So plan to travel mostly by train.

Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Many thanks!

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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by hicabob » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:21 am

Take one of those "cog driven trains" up a mountain! - Beautiful and quite the unique train experience.
We rode the Mt. Pilatus Railway years back - highly recommended. Takes lotsa $$ too - the prices will impress you.

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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by rmelvey » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:46 am

I am in Zurich right now. So far my favorite part of the city is the old industrial district that is becoming more of an artist spot. Lots of cool shops in the arches of the old viaduct.

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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by Dave76 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:56 am

It's been so many years, but I think you've got it covered. The kids will probably enjoy the transport museum. I did. Highly recommended for the kids.

The Stanserhorn (Lucerne) is a good alternative to Pilatus. If you're into architecture, visit the Jesuit church in Lucerne, the medieval watchtowers that protected the city, and the Church of St. Leodegar. There was a restaurant in the third tower. I'm not sure if it is still there. I ate there in 1981. St. Leodegar's towers date from 1409. The original church was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1633. Many of my ancestors were baptized in that church as far back as 1660.

Beautiful views of the Jungfrau from Interlaken. Some nice shops there that sell beautiful curtains and other laced fabric items.

Don't bother with Davos.

You might want to visit Locarno/Ticino if you have the time. The food in that canton is the best.

I'm not crazy about Zurich, to be honest. 1/2 day there is enough.

My parents were there only about 3 years ago. So I will ask them for more info and will post it.

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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:21 pm

I'd block off as much time as I could in the Bernese Oberland. Yes, you should check out Interlaken, as you're planning to do. But you should definitely head deeper up into one or more of the valleys. The view from Männlichen is fantastic, if you wanted to take a gondola up there. Try to plan a trip on the Jungfraubahn up to Jungfraujoch.

That part of Switzerland is probably the most beautiful area I've been to on Earth.
Stay on target...

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Material Guy
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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by Material Guy » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks for all of your responses.

hicabob, we were planning on taking the cog train on Mt. Pilatus.

rmelvey, hope you are having good weather in Zurich and no rain!

Dave76, I did read about the transport museum. It is a backup if the weather is bad and we can't get to Mt. Pilatus. Alternately if we spend an extra day in Lucerne that is on the schedule. Might not have time for Locarno/Ticino but will keep them in mind.

JupiterJones, I am hoping to go beyond Interlaken and closer to Jungfraujoch. Hopefully we can do this on a day trip from Zurich.

Is Berne worth a visit?

Again, appreciate all the information.

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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by jasc15 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:49 am

Seems like a lot of travel time to return to Zurich each day. I can recommend the transport museum in Lucerne. I spent several hours there looking at trains and aircraft engines.

Lauterbrunnen is wonderful. The cog railway up the Jungfrau is a beautiful ride if the weather is good. The first time I visited, I passed on the cog rail because it was solid overcast; you couldn't see any of the snowy peaks. My second visit was clear blue skies, and it was a totally different experience. On the western side of the valley are several small villages accessible by cable car. I visited Murren, and Grindelwald, and they are great for a relaxing walk. Very quiet, and I think there may be several places to eat up there too.

If you know anything about sailing, you may be able to score a boat on lake Thun. I happened to meet someone who was a sailing instructor while in Interlaken, and he was able to convince some English guy to rent us his boat for a few hours.

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Material Guy
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Re: Suggestions for Switzerland trip

Post by Material Guy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:28 am


Thanks for your suggestions. Returning to Zurich each day is a bit of an irritant but we have to do this and our hands are tied in this regard. Anyway, the Swiss rail system makes this easier I think.

Good point about taking the cog railways up mountains if it is overcast! Then it might be better to stay below.

Transport museum in Lucerne, yes.

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