Looking like it’s straight out of a scenic postcard, Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. The country is covered with beautiful mountains, villages and lakes. Each and every attraction has its own beauty. Switzerland is one of the most popular tourist places in Europe, practically in the bucket list of all avid travelers around the world.
Plan a Trip
The country is full of attractive tourist places and each place will give you a different experience. While planning for a trip to Switzerland, first identify the attractions to cover. Try not to rush over all the places just to do a check mark on the places. Relax and enjoy the calmness and sound of the nature, the fresh air and the blooming beauty of flowers around you.
Switzerland is a quite expensive tourist place. It’s always better to go with a proper planning because it could save you few bucks. Start planning with below points in mind:
- Number of days
- Places to visit
- How to commute
3 Days Plan
I will give you a plan for a 3 days trip to Switzerland. I started my journey from Basel, France airport, which is on the north border of France and Switzerland and booked my hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is ~1hr train journey from Basel airport. Find the train schedule http://www.raileurope-world.com/spip.php?page=sales&re_domain=ptp&re_oper=results
Lucerne train station is in heart of town. The first I did was to purchase a 3 days commute pass from Swiss tourism. https://www.swissrailways.com/en/node/66?currency=USD
The Swiss Travel Pass entitles you to unlimited travel on consecutive days throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days.
This pass also covers scenic routes and local trams and buses in 75 towns and cities and offers 50% reduction on most mountain railways and cable cars. The Swiss Travel Pass also includes the Swiss Museum Pass, allowing you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions.
Journey begins – Day 1
The Rigi is a mountainous area near Lucerne, between Küssnacht am Rigi, Goldau and Gersau. It’s a typical Swiss green landscape with meadows, forests and grazing cows. Since 1871, it is well connected by cogwheel train.
Getting from Lucerne to Mount Rigi by Boat
Boats leave Lucerne from the dock just north of the Lucerne Bahnhoff. It really is best to leave early in the day. The top of Mount Rigi often gets covered in clouds in the afternoon. You can travel through boat ride, toy train and cable car, which are covered entirely in the Swiss pass. You can either take a toy train or cable car to reach on the top of Rigi mountain. Of course, you can hike as well.
Rigi has a phenomenal beauty all around it. It feels like you have reached heaven. Clouds are passing by so near to you, with a cool breeze. You can see the sun rays through clouds in an infinite spectrum. I walked to top of the mountain from toy train station. It was such a spectacular view that time spent on taking pictures seems worthless. You want to capture all views in your eyes and in your memory.
You can have a delicious lunch at the peak of the mountain with the breath-taking view. While descending I decided to hike down to get more closer view of nature. There are cows scattered around and the sound of breeze is peaceful, with no disturbance. The tingling cow bell is the icing on the cake. It feels like you can spend hours, with open eyes and being with the nature.
While hiking down you will find a good break area with few shops and restaurants. From there I took a ride from cable car to the bottom. With that the day ends. Took a boat ride back to Lucerne town, had dinner and came back to my hotel.
Golden Pass Train
Golden pass train route ( https://www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass ) is the best experience and highly recommended. Don’t miss it. And good news is, it is full covered in Swiss pass. You need to change few trains to cover the complete route. A day before onboarding, I took details of train routes from Swiss tourism centre. The journey finished in Montreux (https://www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass/gettingthere ). I took the route that goes from Lucerne to Montreux (golden pass route) and enjoyed the amazing views from train enjoying delicious Swizz chocolate drink. Complete tour will take around 3 hrs. This tour passes from another famous tourist destination Interlaken, which is another popular tourist destination. If you wish, you can spend some time there as well. But I decided not to. My train experience ends in Montreux. I walked around in Montreux for few hours and took a direct train back to Lucerne.
Day 3 I started my journey for Mt. Titlis (https://www.titlis.ch/en ). From Lucerne I took a train for Engelberg, which is the foot of Mt. Titlis. From there I took rotating cable car which will take you to the top of the mountain. Swiss pass will cover half the price of rotating cable car, but it’s still a good deal. (https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-in/titlis-aerial-cable-car-with-rotating-gondola.html )
Reaching 10,626 feet (3,239 meters) above sea level, Mt. Titlis is Central Switzerland’s highest peak and probably its finest vantage point. The mountain has a cutting-edge transportation system. The revolving cable car turns 360 degrees during the ride to the top station at 9,908 feet (3,020 meters). Those lucky enough to be inside the car are graced with stunning panoramic views of Alpine peaks, sheer rock faces, and an icy crevasse-cracked glacier.
Activities at the Titles
This is what to expect once you have reached the top of Mt. Titlis:
- An amazing view of a high alpine world of rocks and snow;
- The ‘Ice Flyer’ chairlift allows you to ‘fly’ over the glacier and see it up close. The fare is not included in standard cable car tickets to the Titlis. The lift takes you to the Glacier Park, where you can enjoy the snow using snow tubes, sledges and more. This is the place to go to for guaranteed snow. There is often snow at other places at the top too, but not always as the climate is getting warmer. In Winter, the park is located at the mid station Trübsee instead;
- You can take a walk into the Glacier Cave; a tunnel in the ice of the glacier;
- The Titlis Cliff Walk is a spectacular suspension bridge to see the mountains from a different perspective;
- There are several shops and restaurants;
- Several hiking trails start or end at the mid station of the cable car, Trübsee. One can walk to the Trübsee and combine that with a visit to the Titlis;
- In Summer, you can rent a rowing boat to explore the Trübsee, the lake near the mid station. Booking in advance is recommended.
Interlaken is an anther place to stay. It is a small town and very peaceful.
With this, I came to the end of my journey. Indeed, it was a short trip but a very memorable one. There are still many places to explore in beautiful Switzerland.
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