Visit to Switzerland
I am contemplating a visit to Switzerland with the good lady and would
travel around by train when over there and see as much Railway interest
and scenery as
possible. Are there any of your group members who could advise me (off
list) of the
best way to go about this and suitable places to stay. We would like to
see as much of the Swiss Mountain Scenery as possible and travel on the
well known tourist railways plus any thing of special Railway interest.
I am contemplating a visit to Switzerland with the good lady and wouldI think the replies to your inquiry will also be of interest to others on
this list, so I suggest we share them online.
A good start would be information on the travel passes of the Swiss Travel
I sent Barrie a reply by Private Message
I am posting an edit here for all:
Here is a recommended itinerary for a 5 Day Trip:
Zuerich HB - Winterthur - St Gallen
Travelling by EWIV, IC2000 or ICN
St. Gallen - Rapperswil - Biberbrugg - Arth Goldau* - Lucerne
Travel by Voralpen Express along the SOB line back to the Lake of
Zuerich and then across the foothills of Schwyz to Arth Goldau. There
you can take a side trip up the Rigi, and then continue on to Lucerne
for the night.
Lucerne - Gotthard - Locarno - Domodossola - Brig - Interlaken
A trip through the famous Gotthard tunnel, see the Church at Wassen
and the many viaducts and tunnels before you enter Italian speaking
In the afternoon, take the train from Locarno to Domodossola, where
you will board a northbound train through the Simplon tunnel to Brig.
From Brig, take a train north, either on the Loetschberg route or
through the New Base Tunnel to Spiez and on to Interlaken.
Take the BLS from Interlaken to Zweisimmen, change to the narrow
gauge MOB for a ride on the Golden Pass Express to Gstaad and down to
Montreux on Lake Geneva. From there, take a train to Geneva for the
Take a train from Geneva to Brig, changing there to the MGB for a
ride on the Glacier Express heading up into the mountains and on to
St Moritz in the Engadin.
Take a train from St Moritz to Chur on the RhB, where you will
transfer to the SBB for the trip on to Zuerich.
That, my friends, is how to see the best of Switzerland in 5 days.
More info available at www.myswitzerland.com, www.sob.ch, www.sbb.ch,
I recommend that you consider a Swiss Holiday Card, which entitles
you to free transit on most swiss railroads as well as on local buses
and trams in most cities as well as discounted fares on alpine trains
and cable cars.
If you are on a budget, you can buy sandwiches at most major stations
or on the train, which is less expensive than restaurants in the
You don't say whether you are UK or US based, or how long you want to
stay in Switzerland.
I have been a tourist traveller inn Switzerland for 45 years, so I
just get on any train I fancy and wing it!
I don't like to tell people what to do too much as I think travelling
is all about doing your own thing – so I would suggest that armed
with a timetable (such as Thomas Cook) you can take almost any train
in Switzerland and get a nice scenic ride (Switzerland being
Switzerland even where there is industry and housing, just round the
next bend or a few hundred metres further on there will be farmer's
fields, mountains or lakes…
Switzerland is a small country, so I would strongly recommend trying
to stay at one or two base points so you can travel on day circuits
with just your day sacks. You can tour south from a base of Luzern to
most of `top scenic Switzerland' - even Gornergrat can be reached in
a day, but also take the swift rides to Zurich or Bern for the `main
city' experience, even Geneve can be done in a day from Luzern.
Another good accessible base is Interlaken or Brienz (see note 4
Firstly get an all-Switzerland map with the railways shown on it, eg
Michelin red national map 729
Link to loads of other Swiss maps here:
If you are a first timer, you will get all the info you need from the
Bradt guidebook called Switzerland: Rail Road Lake (find it by google
search if not in your local bookshop), eg
Despite what I said above, here are some of my key tips for Swiss
1) Mountain rack railways, funiculars etc are not usually free on the
Swiss Pass, but discounted to various levels (many 50%)
2) The two classic `high altitude' rides are the Jungfrau railway
(JB) and the Zermatt - Gornergrat railway. I personally prefer the
Gornergrat as it has such awesome open views of the Matterhorn (the
classic Swiss mountain view) The JB is rather expensive and in tunnel
a lot, but do it for the experience of being inside a mountain right
up close to glaciers, and to say you've done the `highest railway
station in Europe' or to throw snowballs in mid summer…
3) an alternative to the Jungfrau railway is to go up other nearby
mountains and get the view of the `big three' Jungfrau, Monch and
Eiger mountains from further away – eg go to Mürren (the `first' ski
resort developed by the British in the 19th century) , or up the
Schynigge Platte railway. The latter is the last in Switzerland using
the little old electric box locos pushing separate coaches and is
really a must.
4) Do plan circular routes from a base point (no need to carry heavy
luggage) so you don't repeat a journey, and mix these up
between `long' and `short' days. Eg from a Luzern base:
Luzern – Andermatt – Brig – Bern – Luzern (long) , or
Luzern – Fluelen out by lake paddle steamer, back by train (shorter)
From a base at Interlaken or Brienz:
Brienz – Luzern – Andermatt – Brig – Spiez – Brienz (long), or
Brienz – Luzern – Emmenthal – Bern – Brienz (shorter)
Use SBB online timetable to work out circular routes – just input
Luzern – Luzern and, using the advance search, add more than
one `via' so that you get a true circular route – eg Luzern – Luzern
via Andermatt and Brig
5) on scenic lines at lower altitude (the sort that undulate through
perfect `Swiss' green pastures – such as the MOB or SOB routes), do
use local services to get a `closer' feeling of being there as you
stop more often, and allied that this, do get off the train at a
wayside station, amble to the nearest classic `Swiss bench' (usually
red), and catch the next train an hour later – either back the way
you came or continuing a circular journey.
6) use a Swiss Pass (Flexi pass version if you want rest days in
between travel days)
7) make your own sandwiches by buying bread and something to put in
it from the local supermarket (Migros or Co-op are the legendary
ones), or buy tasty items from a local bakery
--- In SwissRail@..., "gordonwis" <gordonwis@...> wrote:
These posts have answered in wonderful detail, just a couple of my
Base yourself in Erstfield or Goschennen and "do" the Gothard from
there. Go back to Goschennen and get off there and take the MGB to Brig
and go from there to Kandersteg, using this as a base to explore the
Loestchberg. These two give are for a more "leisurly" approach, you
wont fit in as much as with some of the other options. Another lovely
day trip is Erstfeld - Interlaken via Goschennen, MGB to Oberwald, Bus
to Innertkirchen (its a wonderful journey, at least one Swiss PostBus
over the passes is something to experiance) and Zentral Bahn to
The possibilities are literally endless! Strongle recommend the
SwissPass - the flexibility of it is marvellous.
Finally I too would recommend the Migros/CoOp approach to making your
own lunches - its great fun and FAR cheaper the lunching in "touristy"
restaurants. (A Feldschlossen served from the trolly on the train is
also much to be recommended :-)
Jean-Philippe Noiville <jeanphilippe.noiville@...>
If you are interested in mountain scenery, I would definitely include a ride on the spectacular Bernina railway (St Moritz to Tirano, Italy)
[Non-text portions of this message and quoted text after the answer have been removed]
bob gillis <robertgillis@...>
You don't say whether you are UK or US based, or how long you want toYou can buy the Official SBB timetable at any railroad station. Also the
schedules are on line.
Switzerland is a small country, so I would strongly recommend trying to stay at one or two base points so you can travel on day circuits with just your day sacks. You can tour south from a base of Luzern toInterlaken is very good base location for the Jungfau lines, the line to
Luzern, the MOB and lines along Lac Leman.. However we toured around
from Interlaken, to Locarno to Luzern to Chur
Firstly get an all-Switzerland map with the railways shown on it, eg Michelin red national map 729 Link to loads of other Swiss maps here:Another good map is the Railroad map by Kï¿½mmeley and Frei.
If you are a first timer, you will get all the info you need from theThere is an American book The Railfan Guide to Switzerland by George
Drury. at about $18 US +shipping. I will post more info on it.
Despite what I said above, here are some of my key tips for Swiss rail tourism:In addition Interlaken to Montreux, the small lines out of Montreux and vicinity
Use SBB online timetable to work out circular routes ï¿½ just input Luzern ï¿½ Luzern and, using the advance search, add more than one `via' so that you get a true circular route ï¿½ eg Luzern ï¿½ Luzern via Andermatt and Brig <http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/query.exe/en>The Coops in Interlaken and Chur, have a nice cafeteria for both lunch and an early dinner (they close at 6 PM AIR... We usually picked up enough rolls and cold cuts at breakfast at the hotel for lunch.
We traveled in late April -early May so the only hotel reservations we made were in Interlaken for our arrival.
There was/is a nice Swiss hotel guide available back then in a book or on CD and now probably on line. The book would be handy to carry as you travel unless you take a portable PC with you.
-- Yahoo! Groups Links
Tim Hall <kalyr@...>
bob gillis wrote:
Interlaken is very good base location for the Jungfau lines, the line toI've always liked Spiez as an alternative to Interlaken. It's got an attractive lakeside setting, but it's much quieter and less of a tourist trap. I've found it makes a good base for out-and-back or circular trips across most of the country.
The Coops in Interlaken and Chur, have a nice cafeteria for both lunchAs far as I am concerned this is theft. Nest time buy the stuff at a Co-op/Migros. This sort of
thing gives other guests a bad name.
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
From: SwissRail@... [mailto:SwissRail@...] On Behalf
Sent: 11 February 2008 07:28
Subject: [SwissRail] Re: Visit to Switzerland
The Coops in Interlaken and Chur, have a nice cafeteria for both lunch
As far as I am concerned this is theft. Nest time buy the stuff at a Co-I stay at a hotel in Luzern and they always let me pack a lunch for the day,
so please don't assume the guests are stealing.
The Coops in Interlaken and Chur, have a nice cafeteria for both
As far as I am concerned this is theft. Nest time buy the stuffUp to a point, the amount some people eat for breakfast is far greater than I would eat even if I do take a roll with me.
Roll fillings will last for a few days; it can be very inconvenient to have to buy a roll every day.
[Non-text portions and scrap at the end of this message have been removed]
--- In SwissRail@..., "Rachel" <rachel.chaplin@...> wrote:
Most hotels do offer their guests a courtesy Continental Breakfast as
part of the daily room rental. Taking extra rolls and cold cuts will
not get you arrested, but it will not do anything to improve the
impression that you leave with the staff when you leave.
I work in the entertainment industry and have worked in bars and
restaurants. People who don't tip and people who "pocket" leftovers
do not help the image and reputation of their nationality, and that
hurts other guests who follow your stay, no matter what they do.
If you ask the hotel to prepare sandwiches, many of them will for a
Next time, as you are preparing your "lunch", look around and see how
people are looking at you.
We stay in hotels in Switzerland that offer bed AND
breakfast. Breakfast is paid for and is not a courtesy
offer. We have noticed a wide range of consumption
habits at breakfast from mouse like to trencherman.
Average quantity consumed must be well known by
hoteliers and I have always felt that room pricing
allows for the average observed.
I have seen several times food taken away from the
breakfast room, most often by those who have eaten
little at the table.
Perhaps habit and practice varies between countries
Just my observations.