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a VirtualTourist member asked on Dec 6, 2016

Switzerland

Base suggestions for a trip to Switzerland

I will be in Switzerland in May for about 8, 9 days. I was thinking of staying in 2 places and doing day trips from there. It seems that Lucerne and Bern are good choices. Comments and suggestions are welcome. The main purpose of the trip is the usual - Alps, lakes, lush valleys, etc.
Can someone also tell me about the Swiss card. I will be using trains for all my trips in the country.
Thank you



13 Answers


answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member from York

Try bahn.de site . Put in departure place and where you want to go,this gives you journey and times. If you use the button you see stopping place which could be of interest. ,--If you look at my Schaffhausen page on VT the Transportation tip might help you about Swiss Pass.




answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member from Boston

Bern and Lucerne are OK choices for bases, though I'd consider visiting towns closer to the Alps, such as Saas-Fee, Zermatt, Kandersteg, Château d'Oex, and Mürren. Consider also visiting rustic Appenzell, Montreux and Lake Geneva, and the Italian speaking region of Ticino, staying in Lugano or Locarno.

There is no "Swiss Card" anymore, though you can purchase various half-fare cards and travel passes. Here is a link to an overview.

[original link]

For tickets and timetables, visit Swiss rail's website at [original link], or download the free SBB Mobile App from the App Store or Google Play.




answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member

A must do is the Centovali Scenic railway - we picked it up from Stresa took us to Locarno where we got the boat back. Do beware that sometimes if there are not enough passengers on the boat they will try and cut the boat trip short so make sure that the boat finishes at your departure point.

Another expensive trip is the Jungfrau railway but well worth it. Ticino is pretty but Lugano was just another large town. I would add Interlarken and Lake Brienz

Bern is cute and do the sunset cruise on Lake Lucerne - but Lucerne these days is another large city and I was disappointed with the town itself - the lakeside is pretty. There are a number of prettier places as outlined by the reply above such as Murren, Kandersteg etc.

You could consider basing yourself on one of the lakes such as Maggorie where there used to be some form of discount on the boats -




answered on 12/7/16 by
a VT member

Thank you. My plan is to take the train from Vienna to Lucerne and spend a few days there including the Jungfrau day tour (yes, it is expensive). Then go to Bern and do a few day trips from there. And continue to Frankfurt. So the base needs to be easily accessible on that route.
I will look into your suggestions for alternative bases such as Murren and Kanderstag.
Too bad there isn't a Swiss Card anymore. I know that train travel isn't cheap.




answered on 12/8/16 by
a VT member from York

I just want to point out that Swiss Card is not Swiss Travel Pass it is still around.Go Swiss Travel Pass on line.




answered on 12/8/16 by
a VT member from Boston

Alectrevor, the "Swiss Card" was discontinued in 2015. There still exists a 30 day "Swiss Half Fare Card" that can be used on its own or as a supplement to a Swiss Transfer Ticket or Swiss Travel Pass Flex.




answered on 12/8/16 by
a VT member from York

I am saying that the SWISS TRAVEL PASS is still around ,not the Swiss Card.




answered on 12/8/16 by
a VT member from Boston

OK, you were missing a few punctuation marks, so I misunderstood.

You are correct, Swiss Travel Passes still exist. You can even cobble together an option similar to the Swiss Card (for transport anyway) by purchasing a Swiss Transfer Ticket plus a CHF 60 supplement to attach a Half Fare Card to it. These passes can still be of value, but much less so than a few years ago, I'm sorry to say.




answered on 12/14/16 by
a VT member from Malaysia

Yes, the Swiss Pass is really worth it!! I travelled Switzerland using the Pass for 14 days, I love it and can't think of anything else to save more money than the Swiss Pass. It is not only about the saving on the train, but you can enter most of the museum, castles, or attractions in Switzerland for free. In additional, you get 50% off of some mountain train or cable car in certain tourist area like Zermatt. You don't have to buy or book tickets in advance in most cases, but some popular scenic trains need to book in advance. I travelled Switzerland like traveling in a big city with the train functions like a city metro.

[original link]




answered on 12/16/16 by
a VT member

Thank you. You have all been very helpful and I appreciate your suggestions and advice.

I will have 8, 9 days for Switzerland. Like i said, the plan is to take to enter Switzerland by train from Vienna and depart to Frankfurt. Nothing is planned right now in Switzerland. If you were to do this what would be your advice?

The trip is in May.
Thank you.




answered on 12/17/16 by
a VT member from Boston

The places I would visit are the Lake Constance area, Appenzell, and Kandersteg. For Lake Constance, you might save a bit of money staying on the Austrian side in Bregenz, or even a short train ride away in Dornbirn. If you must stay in Switzerland, consider Rohrschach. If your trip is early May, consider substituting Lucerne or Interlaken for Kandersteg. But that's just what I would do. I recommend you browse VT's Switzerland travel guide to figure out what you might want to do.

[original VT link]




answered on 12/18/16 by
a VT member from Malaysia

I think Switzerland is nice everywhere. Wherever you go, you will enjoy yourself very much. If you are coming from the North, you shall visit Basel, then Bern. I have not visited Basel, but heard a lot of great things to see in the city. I love Bern very much, I recommend to stay overnight there. Take the train to Brienz, nice and beautiful little town and so much charm. Don't forget to take a boat to Interlaken. Zermatt is the beautiful and take the cable car to the Matterhorn!! If you are heading to Italy after Switzerland, I recommend St Morris & Bellinzona & Lugano...

Take the Bernina Express from St Morris to Tirano, Italy. It includes in your swiss pass, but you need to book the seat in advance at any railway station office.




answered on 12/19/16 by
a VT member from Boston

About the Bernina Express: reservations are required for a seat in one of the panorama coaches, but every train has one or two ordinary second class cars that don't require reservations.





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