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Switzerland Itinerary: Swiss Rail Pass, Interlaken

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Switzerland Itinerary: Swiss Rail Pass, Interlaken

I am traveling to Switzerland in late July/early August. I like to move quickly and planned the following itinerary:

1) day in Zurich

2) day in Lucerne

3) day in Bern

4) 2 days in Interlaken

5) day in Zermatt

6) day in Geneva

7) fly out to Budapest....

Based on that itinerary, I have two questions:

1) Should I buy the rail pass? I'm a female traveling alone and want to be able to move around quickly. If I buy the rail pass, which one do I get and how far in advance do I need to buy it? Is there any AAA discount with any of these passes?

2) I've been trying to figure out where to stay- Interlaken or Murren. Is it really that worthwhile to stay in Murren? I've heard either one is fine. It looks like it takes under an hour to travel between the two. Is there some sort of pass I should buy with the rail pass that works for the cable cars? Also, what is the difference between Murren and Interlaken in terms of things to do. It seems like they both offer similar things- bike riding, hiking, etc.

Thanks so much!!!

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2 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Switzerland Itinerary: Swiss Rail Pass, Interlaken

If you plan to change base everyday, you are wasting valuable daylight sightseeing time. Bern is about one hour away from Zurich, Lucerne, and Interlaken; and two & quarter hours to Geneva or Zermatt.

These distances are on average cost less than a day using a Pass. So the balance hinges on whether you will be making some expensive mountain excursions. The Swiss Pass is not just a train pass, it is a transport (trains, buses, boats, aerial cable cars) and for entry to hundreds of museums. The part I like about the Pass is that I can decide where to see that day after sitting down on a moving train.

Interlaken is a town with a few thousand souls on lower grounds, Murren has a few hundred, and on a mountain ledge facing the 3 mountain peaks (Eiger, Monsch and Jungfrau). Best place to relax with feet up in late afternoon to watch the reflection of the golden setting sun.

Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: Switzerland Itinerary: Swiss Rail Pass, Interlaken

Wow, this is a tiring itinerary that leaves you traveling more than seeing anything, but to each her own! I'd stay up in Murren or Wengen as opposed to Interlaken. Much different experience and unlike anywhere else.

Personally, once you see places like Wengen, Interlaken, Zermatt, Lucerne, you're probably going to wish you spent more time there and didn't waste it in Zurich, Geneva & Bern. The former is what makes Switzerland so special. The latter are just expensive, nice-ish cities.

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