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Day trips from Zurich by train in January

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JonW
JonW
3 posts
new member
Dec 26, 2019 - 12:37 AM

I will be in Zurich for several days (January) and would like to spend 2 of those days taking train trips to some nearby cities and regions. Leave Zurich in the morning (7-8am) and return in the early evening. Hoping to spend no more than 2 hours each way on the train, then walk around towns, visit museums, etc.

1960man
1960man
2599 posts
top member
Dec 26, 2019 - 12:56 AM in reply to JonW

Due to the small size of the country, your question is pretty open ended - there aren't all that many places 'not' within 2 hours each way journey!

I recommend you conduct your own research (on line or hard copy Swiss guidebook) into Swiss towns and cities and assume that as long as they are not beyond the fast main line network they will be accessible easily by train (then double check times on the SBB timetable).

All of the 'northern half' and much of the 'eastern half' of Switzerland is (well) within 2 hours journey of Zürich. Even Bellinzona and Lugano - in the 'deep south' Italian speaking Ticino are easily reached, plus Neuchatel in the west.

This is all due to the deliberate government pro-rail policy of recent years with investment in direct high speed lines and base tunnels through the Alps.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Dec 26, 2019 - 5:48 AM in reply to JonW

Hi JonW and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

If you want to "walk around towns and visit museums etc" then Luzern and Bern are cities within easy reach. From Luzern you can also include a mountain visit to Pilatus, Rigi or Titlis if you want to get a flavour of the Alps. The Jungfrau Region (via Interlaken) is the best Alps experience within easy reach of Zurich.

The Abbey Library at St Gallen is also worth a day trip if you like that sort of thing. See www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/st-gallen-appenzell-zurich-in-autumn. You could take the direct route there and return via Konstanz (which is just over the border in Germany), Stein am Rhein and Schaffhausen or via Luzern on the Voralpen Express (which has super slick brand new trains as of December 2019).

Use the search function on this site to find details of any of the towns mentioned and in particular what to do there. eg www.myswissalps.com/lucerne/activities

I strongly recommend using the SBB Mobile app (bit.ly/2ICIUHi) for checking train, bus, boat and cable way timetables, finding fares* and buying tickets on-line if required. In the unlikely event you don’t have a device capable of running the app then you can use the timetable on the SBB website (bit.ly/2HH1U7B). If you are not familiar with using the SBB timetable it is worth first reading the instructions at www.myswissalps.com/timetable.

* The SBB website shows half-fare prices by default, the mobile app allows you to nominate whether to show full or half-fares (by editing the passenger details in settings) and is also smart enough to offer you the Saver Day Pass (www.myswissalps.com/saverdaypass) if that offers the best fare. The app can also display a platform map (at least at the larger stations) to help you make connections. You can also easily filter modes of transport (eg bus or ship).

The app (or website) will always show the fastest, most direct routes unless you tell it you want to go a longer way round by including other stations to go VIA. For example, if you wanted to follow the Golden Pass route you would need to search the SBB app looking for Luzern to Montreux via Interlaken and Zweisimmen.

Ildiko
Ildiko
911 posts
top member &
moderator
Dec 26, 2019 - 10:03 AM in reply to JonW

Hi JonW,

your question is difficult to answer, as we do not really know your interest and what kind of museum you would like to visit (technical, art, castles etc.).

Have a look at www.myswissalps.com/zurich/activities, among others you find guided tours there from Zurich, it might give you good tips.

Lucerne is a lovely town, close to Zurich, I highly recommend it: www.myswissalps.com/lucerne.

You could also check Basel, as it has many museum, among others an Art Museum and also a Toy Museum: www.myswissalps.com/basel. At www.myswissalps.com/hiking/basel you find a self guided city walk.

With Swiss Travel Pass you can enter free into over 500 museums in Switzerland, you'll find the list of participating museum at www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass/details.

JonW
JonW
3 posts
new member
Dec 26, 2019 - 3:14 PM in reply to rockoyster

Most helpful. Thank you

JonW
JonW
3 posts
new member
Dec 26, 2019 - 3:22 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thank you for the detailed response. This is most helpful

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