I would like to share my experience of Swiss travel which was for 12 nights and 13 days. This forum was immensely helpful to plan and execute my itinerary. Thanks to all the moderators and members for maintaining this forum.
People of Switzerland are extremely helpful and approachable. Right from the moment of our arrival we got support which was beyond expectation.
We travelled during the first week of May 2023 with my wife and 5 year old kid. During our stay we experienced all type of weathers. But, the country is thoroughly enjoyable even with cloud and rains.
We purchased 15 days Swiss Travel Pass for 1st class. This was immensely helpful. There is not much difference between 1st class and 2nd class, but in general we observed 1st class coaches are way less crowded. We travelled extensively by train and never had any issue keeping our luggages. The toilets are also very clean and maintained.
For kids below 6 years Family pass not needed. But at Zurich airport information centre we were advised to get a family card for my kid. While booking through Klook, we didn't get the option as my kid is below 6. Thankfully I got a family card for my kid. At least 4/5 places I was asked to show the family card even when my kid is below 6.
Day 1: We arrived at Zurich around afternoon. Our ABnB was booked at Luzern. The lady at Zurich airport information centre suggested us to board a direct train to Luzern. The journey was quite scenic. Train and bus service across Switzerland is super efficient with sufficient frequency. Rest of the day we relaxed. Please keep in mind store closure time, however COOP Pronto and Migrolimo stores are generally open till 10 pm.
Day 2: From Luzern we had a plan to cover Mt.Titlis, Mt.Rigi, Luzern city and Zurich. We kept 3 whole days at Luzern. And thankfully we did so. As weather is bit unpredictable hence frequently we were keeping a tab on weather. on our day 2 we saw that Mt.Titlis is clear till noon. Without any delay early morning we started our journey towards Mt.Titlis. To keep a tab on bus and train timing SBB app was helpful. And, we got a very nice view of Mt.Titlis. Suggest to arrive as early as possible so as you can enjoy thoroughly. The journey from Luzern to Engelberg and towards Mt.Titlis is just picturesque. Don't buy the Mt.Titlis tickets in advance as you can plan the trip based on weather condition.
Day 3: On the 3rd Day we ventured towards Zurich. First we visited Rhein falls. There is a direct train from Zurich HB. We didn't buy the 5 CHF ticket, instead walked over the bridge. It was simply awesome. Post to that we explored the old city of Zurich by foot. We went to China Garden by boat. While returning we visited Lindenhof. This is very close to Zurich HB. I used Google map with Live view which was very helpful.
Day 4: This day was reserved to visit Mt.Rigi. First we took a cruise to Vitznau. Again the cruising experience was awesome. From Vitznau we hopped into a cogwheel train which goes upto Rigi Kulm. The day was cloudy but as we had enough time so we got a clear view from the top. While returning we got down at Rigi Kaltbad from where we boarded a cable car towards Weggis village. The view was as scenic as usual. From Weggis once again we took a boat towards Luzern.
Day 5: Morning we boarded the Goldenpass panoramic train to Interlaken. We were treated by jaw dropping scenic beauty. I don't think any camera can do any justice to the beauty we experienced. Soon got tired of clicking pictures and just started grasping the beauty as much as possible. Our stay was at Lauterbrunnen. We stored our luggage at the ABnB and returned back to Interlaken. Next we went to Harder Kulm. On our way to the top it was raining cats and dogs. After we reached at the top it was fully cloudy and nothing can be visible. But, after waiting for 30 mins all the clouds cleared off and not only we got a great view of the city of Interlaken and also treated with a rainbow. Late in the evening we returned back to our stay. The journey from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen is again scenic and bit different. There are ample number of trains running between Interlaken to lauterbrunnen.
Day 6: Previous day we verified that weather at Jungfraujoch will be clear till 2 pm. Again we started early from Lauterbrunnen towards Jaungfraujoch. We went through Wengen and returning via Grindelwald. At the train we bought our tickets. With STP there was 25% discount. I believe it costs around 146 CHF each. As the cost is on the higher side, so make sure to visit only when the weather is clear. Keep 1/2 buffer days. The experience at Jaungfraujoch is unimaginable. We got a clear view of all the peaks. Explored all the other activities over there. Suggest to keep 5/6 hours for the entire journey to the Top of Europe. While returning we explored Grindelwald village. By now I am short of words to explain the beauty we experienced.
Day 7: Quite a relax day for us. We explored Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren and a few places at Interlaken which we could not visit earlier. Evening we hopped to a train towards Basel. After reaching Basel we explored the city on foot. Retuned late at our place. Benefit of STP is that you can do some impromptu planning without thinking much about cost. The scenery towards Basel is different, it's more towards industry.
Day 8: Early morning we checkedout and boarded a train towards Interlaken. Today we are supposed to travel by Belle Epoque train to Montreux. The reservation was done beforehand. Ticket is included within STP. First we went to Zweisimmen, from there boarded the Belle Epoque train which will take us to Montreux. Zweisimmen known as a gateway to Gstadd region. Not only the scenic beauty starts changing but also the architecture of houses. Coming to the train, it a different level of grand train ride with a touch of old days luxury. Scenic beauty throughout the journey never disappoints. By 2 pm we reached Montreux. Rest of the day we explored the city on foot.
Day 9: Started the day in a relaxed way. Post breakfast we went to the promenade which is by the side of lake Geneva. Then hopped into a ferry towards Château de Chillon. The ride was short but nice. As we didn't have much time so couldn't explore the fort. Took a bus ride back to our ABnB. Later in the day we started our journey towards Zermatt. Post reaching Zermatt, we explored the city by walking. Got a glimpse of Matterhorn.
Day 10: Early morning we hopped into a cogwheel train towards Gornergrat. With STP we had to pay 55CHF for each adult. Start of another majestic journey. When we reached the top, it was cloudy. Nevertheless, we spent a few hours, at times we could see some of the peaks. After reaching Zermatt, once again we wondered within the lanes of this beautiful town.
Day 11: It's the day to explore Glacier Express. What a journey it was. The coach was full and a little crowded. Initially we were not so impressed. But, as passengers started settling in, things started getting better. The landscape kept on changing over time. Food inside the train was tasty. By evening we reached at St.Moritz. Our ABnB was by the side of St.Moritz lake. Personally this town became my favorite. The city was very quiet and calm. First time we experienced that buses are running late within the city. But didn't cause any issue for us.
Day 12: We are on our way to Tirano by Bernina Express. One of the most memorable journey while passing through Bernina Pass. An engineering marvel it was. We passed through ice, greenery, hills, waterfalls and what not. End of the train journey we were complimented with ice tea and some chocolates. I am glad that i decided to take this journey. We explored city of Tirano for an hour and then hopped into the Bernina Express once again for our return journey.
Day 13: Morning was relaxed. By afternoon we started our return journey towards Zurich Airport. There was no direct train to Zurich. We had to change at Landquart. Overall journey was for around 3.5 hours. Good part of travelling by Swiss train is one can still experience the scenic beauty at its best. Not to mention that the journey was as enjoyable as always. Swiss trains and natural beauty never disappoint. Late night we boarded our flight back to home.