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8 day itinerary - arrive Geneva, depart Zurich


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Sweta 3
Sweta 3
5 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2022 - 3:02 PM

Hello! My husband and I will be travelling to Switzerland for our first time next month. We arrive early 9/8 in Geneva and depart from Zurich on 9/16 to return to the US.

Our current itinerary is as follows:

2 nights in Montreux - Explore with day trips to the Chateau de Chillon, Castle of Gruyeres, La Maison du Gruyere, Maison Cailler Chocolaterie

2 nights in Zermatt - Explore the village with day trips to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Mt. Gornergrat

2 nights in Wengen - Jungfrau -day trip and Explore Murren, Lauterbrunnen, boat ride on Lake Brienz

2 nights in Lucerne - Explore with day trips to Mount Pilatus OR Mt Rigi, Chapel Bridge, Swiss Museum of Transport, Lake Lucerne area.

Last Day: Depart Lucerne for Zurich (ZRH) Airport early AM (~11:30am flight back home).

My question is have we packed in too much, is this a good order or should we switch. Also trying to see if we can cut down to 3 bases vs 4. Any advice will be much appreciated. I am also confused on whether we should get Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass.

Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 4:42 PM in reply to Sweta 3

Your itinerary and the order makes total sense to me. I would not change anything and I would definitely use a Swiss Travel Pass for ease/convenience. You have full/busy days and the Swiss Travel Pass simplifies hopping on boats, trains, buses, and provides free entry to Chillon, Mt. Rigi mountain transportation, the majority of museums, and 50% discounts on mountain lifts except for Jungfraujoch, which is only a 25% discount. Wishing you a wonderful trip!

Anna
Anna
3744 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2022 - 6:41 PM in reply to Sweta 3

Hi Sweta,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

Your current itinerary is well-paced and doable. I agree with Lastlook's comment that a Swiss Travel Pass might be practical for your trip. Options to purchase the pass online here: www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass/price

You can find helpful tips about choosing the right railpass here: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass

Let us know if you more information.

Regards,

Anna

Sweta 3
Sweta 3
5 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2022 - 7:42 PM

Thank you Lastlook and Anna for your responses! I feel a lot better about the itinerary.

It seems the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is the best option however I have a "9th day" getting from Lucerne to Zurich on the day of my flight. Does the pass work by calendar date? If so is it better to start my 8 days on day of arrival and then buy separate tickets to get to the airport?

Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 9:03 PM

Since you're traveling from Geneva to Montreux at the start of your trip, I would start your 8 day STP on the day that you arrive. Then you would just need to buy train tickets for your 9th day from Luzern to ZRH. If I remember correctly, your STP would be valid until 5:00 a.m. on the 9th day, so if you wanted to travel very early to ZRH, there is a 4:52 a.m. train to ZRH. Assuming you're traveling with luggage, you'll want to choose a train without any changes so that you only have to handle your luggage on/off the train once on your way to the airport. Be sure to stay on the train to Zurich Flughafen (airport), which is beyond Zurich HB (the main station of Zurich.)

1960man
1960man
4140 posts
expert
Aug 12, 2022 - 9:34 PM in reply to Lastlook

There isn't much price difference between Geneve - MOntreux and Luzern - Zurich, but the latter is a short hop to get to the airport so I agree it's the best day for '9th day'

However, getting a train at 04.52 does not help as the STP becomes invalid within 8 minutes.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2022 - 9:39 PM by 1960man
Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 9:44 PM in reply to 1960man

Interesting. You would think that if you board a train before 5:00 a.m. and don't change, that it would be valid for the entire journey. Thanks as always, for your valuable experience.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2022 - 9:51 PM by Lastlook
Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 9:50 PM in reply to 1960man

I was not only thinking of the train journey from Geneva to Montreux, but also that they might want to use their STP to visit Chillon Castle via boat from Montreux, or another longer boat from Montreux, etc.

Sweta 3
Sweta 3
5 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2022 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for the additional input. I doubt we will take the 4:52am train on the last day but this is good to know just in case. I had not considered that we will use the STP on day of arrival to start our explorations so glad you brought that up, Lastlook.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2022 - 10:00 PM by Sweta 3
Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 10:09 PM

You're most welcome. While you can walk to Chateau de Chillon in about a half hour from Montreux, it is also nice to take the boat since it stops there. I traveled with a 15 day STP again this year and put it to good use every single day - trains, buses, boats, discounts on mountain lifts, entry to a museum, etc. If you're a Freddie Mercury fan, no doubt you know about the statue in Montreux, and the free Queen museum in the nearby casino (small but worth a quick visit if that is of interest to you.)

Lastlook
Lastlook
98 posts
active member
Aug 12, 2022 - 10:52 PM

One other thought that might be of interest to you. For 12 CHF per piece, you can forward your luggage from one train station to another and pick it up 2 days later. I've done this a number of times so that I can travel with just a daypack especially on days with multiple changes of transportation. This site contains the details if you would like more information. I've used this service many times through the years including 3 times during my most recent trip this summer. I've never had any problems using this service.

Needtotravel
Needtotravel
4 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:34 PM

Having just returned from the Lake Geneva area I would definitely advise taking a boat trip on Lake Geneva, even if it is just a short one from Montreux to Château Chillon, although ideally you would take a longer one. Possibly even an evening boat trip on the lake? It is so beautiful and a nice way to get a different view of the area.

Sweta 3
Sweta 3
5 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2022 - 4:44 PM in reply to Needtotravel

@lastlook Thank you for the tip on forwarding luggage, I will take that into consideration for sure, especially when we head to Wengen. @Needtotravel I will plan for the boat ride, sounds beautiful.

Sweta 3
Sweta 3
5 posts
new member
Aug 17, 2022 - 4:07 PM

One additional question, do we need a BO regional pass (maybe 3 days) if we get the STP?

Also is there an optimal time to purchase the STP? Sooner the better or it doesn't have any impacts if I purchased the day before?

Ildiko
Ildiko
2369 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 18, 2022 - 8:24 AM in reply to Sweta 3

Hi Sweta 3,

It doesn't matter when you buy your Swiss Travel Pass. If you buy it online, you do not have to stand in line so you save time, also you can start using it right after you arrived in Switzerland. The price is the same. If you buy online, usually there is free cancellation up to 1 business day before travel, but make sure to check the fine print.

You can buy your Swiss Travel Pass here: www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass/price.

I do not think that you need the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, but it really depends on your itinerary. If you want you can make some calculations to compare the 2 options (Swiss Travel Pass only vs. Swiss Travel Pass with Regional Pass Bernese Oberland). You can use our calculation spreadsheet, please download it from here: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass

Ildiko

Last modified on Aug 18, 2022 - 8:25 AM by Ildiko

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