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Switzerland & Italy in under 2 weeks

Trip details:

Hi Snigdha,
I have already engaged with another ninja, so I would need your help with my stay in Switzerland (2-5) days may be.
As per your suggestion, I have dropped Vienna. So now, all I know is that I am reaching Interlaken at 12 midnight on 6th September and leaving from Rome on 20th. From 6th-19th I would be in Switzerland n Italy.
I have read a couple of your blogs and have been mighty impressed.
we cant start with broad breakup of number of days in Swiss and Italy and then work on the former.
Would need specific help on:
1) Stay in interlaken, given that am reaching there at midnight.
2) Things to do there and how many days
3) Travel from Switzerland to Venice

... Show more

Switzerland and Italy - 13 Days:

Switzerland and Italy is a good combination to visit during the span of a single trip because they complement each other in terms of the sights, sounds and things to do. So, you have made a good choice here. I have put all the places that you have the option of visiting in the map below so that you get a good understanding of the geography.


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Day 1 - September 7, 2014:

Day#1


12.00am arrival at Interlaken West by train


All the stay options that I have recommended are at a 5-minute walk from Interlaken West, so you can just walk to the B&B.


TIP: Whenever you book the B&B, please advise them about your arrival time before booking itself and take a confirmation that someone will be there to check you in.


Start with Paragliding in Interlaken. The paragliding company picks you up from you hotel around 8.30am and then drives you up in the hills. The entire activity takes about 2 hours. The company I recommend for this is - http://www.alpinair.net/paragliding-flights/


TIPS:



  1. Have a really light breakfast.

  2. Paragliding depends a lot on the direction of wind. If, for some reason, you are not able to fly on day#1, interchange the itinerary for day#2 with that of day#1 and try your luck the next day.


Post the flight, they leave you in the centre of Interlaken in a park called Hohe-Matte. You can see beautiful views of hills around here and the Yash Chopra plaque. A scene from DDLJ was also shot here.


You can then walk around the main street “Höheweg” in Interlaken and do some window shopping or just take in the feel of the place. This main street runs between Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost Railway Station and has everything to see in Interlaken. Towards the Interlaken OST Station, you can see the "Japanese Garden", the 150-year old Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and a local small church.


Post lunch, rent bikes from http://www.flyingwheels.ch/ , ask Frank or Miriam for best possible routes and then just cycle around. My recommendation: drive through Unterseen and other villages around, the lakes and then cycle at a local airstrip. You can swim in the lakes too.


You can also consider booking this trip with them - http://www.flyingwheels.ch/guided-tours/discover-the-hidden-spots-around-interlaken/ (TIP: Please book in advance and see their website for the clothes and gear)


Return from the biking/swimming session, relax and have an easy evening.


FOOD



  1. Restaurant Chalet – Good for Swiss cuisine. Do try their fondue. Address - Postgasse 1, Interlaken 3800.

  2. Taste of India Restaurant – Good and authentic Indian Food. Address - Central Strasse 6, Interlaken CH-3800

  3. Coop Restaurant – Decent food at budget prices. It’s on the second floor of the Coop shop opposite Interlaken Ost. Offers good buffet with an assortment of lunch fare - sandwiches, salads, hot food, quiches, desserts, pastries, fresh fruit, juices, beer, tea, coffee, hot chocolate etc. Address - unter Boening strass 10 | 3800 interlaken, Interlaken.

  4. Swiss Youth Hostel near Interlaken OST has a very good restaurant on the ground floor, called 3a Restaurant lounge that offers good multi-cuisine options. Address - Am Bahnhof Ost  Untere Bönigstrasse 3

  5. If you fancy a drink, visit Brasserie 17. It has a nice indoor and outdoor seeting and live music. Address - Rosenstrasse 17, Interlaken 3800.


 A view from the top of the mountain, Interlaken:


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Day 2 - September 8th, 2014:

Day#2


Half day trip to Jungfraujoch and Kleine Scheidegg


Walk to Interlaken Ost and then take the Bernese Oberland Railway to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. There is a train every hour and your Swiss Pass will cover this journey. From there you have to transfer to the Wengernalp Railway and will have to purchase a ticket to Jungfrau. Your Swiss Pass will get you a 25% discount on this ticket.


The Wengernalp Railway will take you to Kleine Scheidegg. From here you need to take the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe. This entire journey will roughly take 2.5 hours. Step out and enjoy the fabulous views of Aletsch Glacier and the Jura Mountains. It’s also possible to walk across the glacier behind the Monsch on a marked path. You can then return to the station and first visit the Sphinx observation terrace and then visit the Ice Palace for the Ice Sculptures. Then take a train back to Kleine Scheidegg.


You can have lunch at one of the following,



  1. Restaurant Bahnhof Röstizza Kleine Scheidegg - Good food with a regional touch. Address - Röstizzeria GmbH, 3801 Kleine Scheidegg.

  2. Restaurant Eiger Nordwand – Good views and good food. Address - 3801 Kleine Scheidegg, Kleine Scheidegg.

  3. Restaurant Grindelwaldblick – Good place for lunch. Address - BETA Grindelwaldblick, Kleine Scheidegg 3823.


Then go on a hike of your choice from this list - http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/destinations/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/


Depending on the closest station to your end point of the hike, you can then take a train back to Interlaken.


TIPS:



  1. Check the weather forecast before this day trip, as a good weather and visibility is essential for enjoying Jungfraujoch.

  2. This place is normally always cold, hence keep a jacket, gloves, cap and wear water proof shoes.

  3. The air at this altitude might be thin, so do take care.

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Day 3 - September 9th, 2014:

Day#3


Visit Lauterbrunnen, Murren and Schilthornbahn. If time permits, then Grindelwald.


Walk to Interlaken Ost and then take the Bernese Oberland Railway to Lauterbrunnen. There is a train every hour and your Swiss Pass will cover this journey. First see the Staubbach Falls from the centre of the town itself. Then take a bus from the train station or walk for about 3kms to see the Trümmelbach Falls.


In case you want to hike, you can upto Wengwald by walking up the trail starting beside the Townhall. Then cross the river and follow the signs to Wengen until you see a sign pointing towards Wengwald. Hike up this way until you see great views of the Lauterbrunnen valley. This walk will take about 1.5-2 hours if going slowly.


In Lauterbrunnen, do try the local Swiss chocolate. It is made fresh in the shops and you can sit in any of the shops and drink hot chocolate or coffee. You can also try the Café – Airtime Action. You can then have lunch at Hotel Oberland - they have great food and at reasonable prices. Address - 3822 Lauterbrunnen.


Post lunch, you can take a Furnicular from Lauterbrunnen to Murren and then a cable car for Schilthornbahn. At the top of the cable car is the world-famous Piz Gloria revolving restaurant, which offers stunning panoramic views over the Alps.


The Piz Gloria was used as a set in the James Bond film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' and has a 007 exhibition in the lower level. The restaurant revolves about once an hour and out the back is a stunning viewing platform. On clear days the views from Piz Gloria stretch as far as Mont Blanc, taking in the Jura mountains and Vosges Mountains. Closer to home are the peaks of Titlis (3238m), Jungfrau (4158m), Mönch (4107m), Eiger (3970m), Morgenhorn (3623m), Weisse Frau (3630m), Blümlisalp (3657m) and Hundshorn (2928m). After this, head back to Murren and generally walk around and enjoy the village.


In case you have quite a bit of time, take a train to Grindelwald. Enjoy the village and views and then go for the Glacier Gorge Walk. This is an easy walk from downtown Grindelwald (photo below) and you can walk along a catwalk above river flowing from the Lower Grindelwald Glacier through canyon walls.


Return to Interlaken.


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Day 4 - September 10th, 2014:

Day#4


Day-trip to Lucerne (photo below)



Take a train in the morning. There is a train every 50 minutes and the duration of the train journey is about 2 hours. Lucerne is a pretty compact town and can be explored in a day and on foot. I am dropping all museums as you are not interested in them. To best explore this city, do a walking tour. You can start your walk in the heart of Lucerne at:


1. Schwanenplatz - Translated as Swan Square, it lies on the north bank of the Reuss River and is reached by crossing the bridge, the Seebrücke, from Bahnhofplatz on the south bank, site of the train station.


Adjoining the square on the west is:


2. Kapellplatz - This is the site of St. Peter's Church. The church, the oldest in Lucerne, was built in 1178. In the center of the square is a fountain commemorating Carnival revelry in Lucerne.


From here, continue west along a major shopping street, Kapellgasse, until you reach the:


3. Kornmarkt - This is the old Grain Exchange or Corn Market, which is today the site of the:


4. Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) - A Renaissance building from 1602, the town hall has impressive masonry, a tremendous roof, and a tall rectangular tower. The tower is a good vantage point from which to survey the crowded market scene on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.


To the left of the town hall is the:


5. Rosengart Haus - This 17th-century building houses some Picassos from the Rosengart collection. The town house is entered at Furrengasse 21.


After leaving the museum, follow Rathausquai east toward Schwanenplatz again, but only to cross the:


6. Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) - The symbol of Lucerne, this covered wooden footbridge crosses the Reuss River, leading to the south bank. Built in 1333, the bridge is 170m (558 ft.) long and crosses the river diagonally. It's one of the best-preserved wooden bridges in Switzerland, used originally for defense. There's also an octagonal Wasserturm (Water Tower), used variously as a prison, a torture chamber, and an archive. The bridge was always known for its 122 paintings that hung from its arched roof. Some of them were done in 1599 by Heinrich Wagmann, illustrating the daily activities and dress of the people. The bridge was damaged in a fire in 1993 and two-thirds of the original paintings were destroyed or severely damaged. Lucerne city officials directed that copies be made. After a $2.1-million reconstruction, this landmark bridge was reopened in the spring of 1994.


You can consider lunch at Burgerstube, Bahnhofstrasse 30, 6000 Luzern 7. They offer a wide variety of cuisine and food options. Another option is LUZ Seebistro, Bahnhofplatz, 6002 Luzern. This is a nice lake-side bistro. You emerge onto Bahnhofstrasse; you can continue right (west) until you see the next covered bridge across the Reuss, the:


7. Spreuerbrücke (Mills Bridge)


Built in 1407 and restored in the 19th century, this wooden bridge spans an arm of the Reuss. Its gables are painted with the Dance of Death, a mural by Kaspar Meglinger dating from the 17th century. The mural commemorates a plague that swept through the city.


Cross the bridge and take a sharp right to reach:


8. Mühlenplatz (Mills Square)


This square dates from the 16th century. This was the old site of Lucerne markets.


From Mühlenplatz, walk down Kramgasse (to the east) to reach the:


9. Weinmarkt (Wine Market)


Here you'll find a lovely old square with a fountain, west of Kornmarkt. Long ago the mystery play Confraternity of the Crown of Thorns was performed here. Among the colorful old dwellings on the square is the Müllersche Apotheke, a "drugstore" from 1530.


Directly northeast of the Weinmarkt lies:


10. Hirschenplatz (Stag Square)


Another landmark square of Lucerne, it's filled with restored buildings, many of them with painted facades and wrought-iron signs. In 1779, Goethe stayed at the Goldener Adler, which is located here.


From Hirschenplatz, head east along Weggisgasse, walk to the intersection of Mariahilgasse and turn left up the hill.


At the top follow the stairs up through the park to the:


11. Musseggmauer – Climb the Schirmerturm and enjoy the walk around. There are 9 towers in all here. Walk along these ramparts and then return to where you started.


Head left (northeast) out of the park and then continue down Musseggstrasse, passing underneath an arch in the city wall and continuing on to Musuemsplatz. Then turn left till you reach Löwenplatz. This is the site of:


12. Panorama


Panorama is one of the largest canvases in Europe, covering 1,009 sq. m (10,861 sq. ft.) and curving in a circle around a central platform. Painted in 1889 by Edouard Castres and contained in a round building that was designed especially for it, it depicts the bloody retreat of the French army into Switzerland during the Franco-Prussian War.


Here you can have lunch at Old Swiss House at Löwenplatz 4 6004 Luzern. They have Swiss and French cuisine.


The next stop on this tour is not immediately visible from Löwenplatz, but requires a brief detour north along Denkmalstrasse. Within about a block of Löwenplatz, high above your head, you'll see one of the most famous statues in Switzerland, the:


13. Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument), photo below


Carved in deep relief into the sandstone cliff above the town, the monument is an allegorical reference to the bravery of the Swiss Guards who died in the Tuileries of Paris in 1792 trying to save the life and honor of Marie Antoinette. During his grand tour of Europe, Mark Twain called the "Dying Lion" of Lucerne "the saddest and most poignant piece of rock in the world." Designed by the great Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, the statue was dedicated in 1821. 



Retrace your steps back to Löwenplatz, then head south along Löwenstrasse all the way to the lake and Kurplatz, a few steps east of Schwanenplatz, the site of the:


14. Kursaal


This spot is a casino-and-restaurant complex on Kurplatz on Nationalquai.


Above Nationalquai, view the twin towers of the Catholic:


15. Hofkirche (Collegiate Church of St. Leodegar)


Named after the patron saint of Lucerne, this is the most important church in the city. There was once a monastery at this site, but the present Gothic-Renaissance building dates from the 17th century. The interior has rich wrought-iron work, carvings, and a famous organ from 1640, with 4,950 pipes. Concerts are presented in the summer. The church also has a beautiful courtyard with arcades.


A good way to end the tour, where you are now standing is:


16. Kurplatz


From here, you can take in the best view of the lake from its northern rim. You can also take steamers from this area to visit various resorts along the lake. The view from here encompasses not only the lake, but also the Alps from Rigi to Pilatus. The quays are lined with trees, hotels, and shops, ideal for exploring on foot. At the end of the promenade is the lido, called Lucerne's "Riviera." A must try places for cakes in Old Town in Lucerne is Heini Conditorei, Falkenplatz / Hertensteinstrasse 66, 6004 Luzern



For the second half of the day you can do a trip to Mt. Pilatus.


Take a train to Alpnachstad (or boat if running) and then take a mountain train up to the summit for spectacular views for miles and miles around. You can also try any of the local restaurants for a quick bite at a café. For return, take an aerial chairlift to Kriens from where you can get city buses (No 1) back to downtown Lucerne.


Return to Interlaken.


Leave for Venice the next day.

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Switzerland - comments and queries By Snigdha Jain
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Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, thanks for writing to me for planning your Switzerland trip and the kind words on my blog. It’s good that you have dropped Slovenia and Austria, as they are big and beautiful countries and need time. Hence it makes better sense to visit them separately.

In terms of overall breakup for number of days between Italy and Switzerland - since you broadly have 13 days (6th to 19th) I would recommend 8 - 9 days for Italy and 4-5 days in Switzerland.

Before I can help you with your questions and the actual trip planning, I will need the following information -

1. Do you have a broad budget in mind for the trip or a per day budget? Is this a budget holiday or a luxury one? Do note, that when I say budget it does not mean a hardship holiday. it just means making small tweaks in terms of places to stay, exploring more on foot than cabs, etc.

2. Are you traveling solo, as a couple or with family etc. Need to plan for activities and cities accordingly.

3. What are your interests - e.g adventure sports, hiking, nature, museums, sightseeing etc? Are you ok to walk and explore?

4. In terms of options to stay, do you want to stay in hotels or hostels? Hostels are a option for more budget stay with good rooms for single / double occupancy etc. Only thing missing is room service.

Look forward to your thoughts on the same.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

  1. Broadly I am planning to spend arnd 3.5-4 lacs (max) on the entire trip. It includes airtravel (90k) and other stuff like insurance, food etc too. So it would qualify as a budget holiday. 
  2. Traveling with my wife 
  3. Out of all what you wrote, museums are passable. Would like to do all others, adventure sports, hiking, nature, sightseeing and if possible sply in switzerland camp in a village.
  4. Hostels are fine and wherever possible would like to stay in an airbnb property if it adds local flavor to the place. What would be the price differential between hostel n a hotel. Either ways, am not hung up on room service at all. Howver as am traveling with my wife, pvt bath is a must
Havign seen your blog, I would love if you can help me with some ideas around experiences too. I dont mind an offbeat kind of holiday as long as it adds to the charm of the place.
Also, as am reaching interlaken on 6th September arnd midnight, would you suggest where can i put up? Has to be close so that even if I dont get a cab its manageable.
Nihit

Snigdha Jain wrote:   Hi Nihit, Thanks for your response and I'll send across options for everything. Just one last question, you are arriving in Interlaken by train right? Do let me know the name of the destination station in Interlaken. Interlaken has a couple of train stations, so want to recommend stay options accordingly. Thank and regards Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Yes, by train. Station is Interlaken west. I guess thats the same station for arrival..

Snigdha Jain wrote:   Thanks Nihit. Give me 2 - 3 days and I will revert with detailed options for travel, stay, and things to do.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Sure Snigdha.

However in the interim if you fnd good stuff for me to read please keep them coming. 

Thanks


Interlaken and Around By Snigdha Jain
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Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit,

As discussed, please find below my recommendations for your Swiss Trip in September.

Since it’s a short 3 – 4 days trip, I suggest that you stay in one place and explore around. Since you are arriving in Interlaken, I suggest you keep that as a base and explore the beautiful Bernese Oberland area. Interlaken is a useful base for numerous day trips (with good hotels and restaurants) and two train stations and between two lakes with boats going up and down. This area is best known for its natural beauty, adventure sports and very many hikes and trails all around.

Based on our discussions, I am listing down the things to see and do in and around Interlaken. I am mixing free and paid options to balance the cost of the trip. Once you decide on the number of days and what all you want to do, I’ll put together a detailed itinerary with logistics, eating options, etc.

  1. Interlaken and its neighbor Unterseen don’t have much to see and do per se, hence you can cover it in one evening with just walking or cycling around.  In case you like long walks then I suggest a walk along the shores of lake of Thun (Thunersee) or lake of Brienz (Brienzersee). Interlaken is situated in between these 2 lakes and hence both these are about a ~2 – 3 hour walk (in total) and you can then just sit by the lakes and relax. You can then take a bus or boat for your return to your hotel. If you don’t want to walk, then you can rent cycles and go around by yourself too. You can also swim here (if you guys do) or take a local boat around and see the small villages and towns. You can do all this by yourself and don’t need a guide at all.
  2. Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe - is very touristy and expensive but it’s an unforgettable experience in its own way. The train journey is beautiful and the views are spectacular. You can read more on this at - http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/places-to-visit/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe/experiences/
  3. Hiking – There are numerous trails around Interlaken but the most panoramic hike is to the Schynige Platte (Schynige Platte - Faulhorn - First). This is a slightly difficult and long trek but worth the effort. There are shorter trails around too, and based on your fitness levels you can choose one from this list - http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/destinations/schynige-platte/hiking-trails/. In case you don’t want to hike you can just visit Grindelwald First and see the beautiful landscape all around, try cycling or trotti bikes or zip lining.
  4. Glacier Gorge Walk – This is a half day trip but I personally love these as we don’t get to them in India. This is an easy walk from downtown Grindelwald and you can walk along a catwalk above river flowing from the Lower Grindelwald Glacier through canyon walls.
  5. E-bike and explore the Lauterbrunnen – Valley of the 72 waterfalls area. E-bikes are not as strenuous as regular bikes and are a beautiful way to explore this region and the lakes. This is a full day activity you can read more on this tour at - http://www.flyingwheels.ch/guided-tours/lauterbrunnen-valley-of-the-72-waterfalls/
  6. Paragliding – A must if you have never done this before. There are a couple of options to choose from and you can check this link for more info - http://www.alpinair.net/paragliding-flights/. This takes about 2 hours and I prefer adventure sports in such countries as they take all safety precautions.
  7. Niederhorn and Beatenberg- this is again a half day trip where you can take a cable car up to Neiderhorn, enjoy panoramic views around and then either walk down or come down using a trotti or a scooter bike.
  8. If limestone caves are of interest, then you can do a half day trip to St Beatus Caves.
  9. In case you want to visit a city close by, Lucerne is beautiful and just a 2 hour train ride away.

Additional Comments –

  1. Public Transport in Switzerland is amazing and everything including hill tops are easily accessible and convenient. But it’s expensive.
  2. There are options of numerous water sports here, but I haven’t recommended that as I feel that you can try those sports in quite a few other places (in India too). In case you still want to try them, Outdoor Interlaken is the best tour operator for that.
  3. There is an option of visiting castles etc around here, but I haven’t added that as I feel that after Paris you can drop that and enjoy nature which Interlaken is more famous for.
  4. I haven’t recommended a Swiss Rail Pass yet, as it will depend on the activities that you decide to do and how much public transportation you will end up using.  Also, a Swiss Rail Pass includes all public transport in Interlaken and around but not for Grindelwald.
  5. I will revert separately on options for stay in Interlaken and onward travel to Venice.

Please feel free to revert with your thoughts on the same.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I glances thru it, loved the feedback n replies. Thanks a ton.

About stay, I think I can make it 4-5 days (5th day leaving Switzerland). Either its your description or generally am liking Switzerland more than Italy.

I think you said, that you would tell about stay separately, is that right?

I will get back to you with a detailed reply later in the day.

As an aside, would you have similar experitze in Italy, primarily (Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Tuscany Region). Both in terms of stay and what to visit. As you know, its expensive place and finding a good place to stay is tuf to come by plus traveling with my wife makes my choices scarce.

Do let me know

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit,

Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts on the plan. The thing about Europe is that every country is different and offers a unique experience. And similarly Italy is very different that Switzerland.

I have been to Venice and Florence (including Tuscany and Cinque Terre) and can help you with options for stay and things to do. These places are expensive and hence my suggestions to cut costs are as follows –

  1. Stay only 1 night in Venice and be consider the option of apartments. You will save quite a bit.
  2. Florence – You can keep Florence as a base and do day trips to Cinque Terre, Pisa and Sienna. Cinque Terre is beautiful to stay for the night but the problem is that it’s touristy & expensive and if you are looking to stay in each place then you are literally moving with luggage every day.

I’ll look for some good places for Italy and revert. In the interim, I hope this helps.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha


Travel from Interlaken to Venice By Snigdha Jain
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Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Since you are arriving by a specific train to Interlaken, I am assuming you are not purchasing the multiple country euro rail pass.

For travel from Interlaken to Venice, I suggest you take a Swiss Rail train. For a flight you will have to first travel to a city (e.g Zurich, Basel etc) by train and then take another train / bus to the airport. On the other hand the entire journey to Venice by train is about 6.50 – 7 hours and will be more convenient than flying. Also the train station in Venice is right in the centre of the city.

Per the time table below - you have multiple train options available, but I suggest you either take the morning 8.05am or the one at 13.32 with only 2 connections. Both these trains have the minimum changes (only 2), take roughly 6.5 hours and have adequate time between connections (in case you need to change platforms or the incoming train is slightly delayed). Depending on the date, the price of these tickets is anywhere between Euro 85 to 100.  

http://timetable.sbb.ch/bin/query-p2w.exe/en?id=x42c.4kpw.kgw6.w4w8

Thanks and regards

Snigdha


Stay in Interlaken By Snigdha Jain
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Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Interlaken is a very small place and doesn’t have any areas per se that are recommended. Since you are arriving in Interlaken at midnight, I have recommended places to stay that are within a 5 minute (max) walking distance from the station. Have a look at them and let me know if you need more options -

Option via Air bnb – This is a one room apartment  - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/701928. However this needs a minimum stay of 4 days and has a cleaning fee.

Other options in B&Bs are as follows –

  1. The Hotel Rugenpark B&B - http://www.rugenpark.ch/index.htm – This is a non-smoking budget accommodation in Interlaken with numerous facilities.
  2. B&B 18 - http://www.bb18interlaken.ch/1652/index.html - This is a small B&B with only 3 rooms
  3. City Chalet Interlaken - http://www.citychalet.ch/

When you write to these places to check for availability, please do clarify that you will check-in around midnight. As its important they have someone available to check you in.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

I thought I replied to you, but guess the reply wasnt submitted. Damn!

This plan broadly looks ok. Let me know what do you think of a 2 day trip. Something like:

  1. Day 1: Interlaken Ost - Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg - Jungfraujoch
  2. Day 2: Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald - Kleine Schedegg - Jungfraujoch

Can stay at Gimmelwald or Lauterbrunnen. Also, check this https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/switzerland. Out of these I am ok to skip others but think may be Lucerne could be good.

What do you think? Also, if you are ok, I can make additional payment can we can start working on the Italy part of my trip. Let me know.

 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

What do you think about Murren.  https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/switzerland/berner-oberland

And how do we do Schilthornbahn . Same link

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit,

Please find my comments below -

1. Any specific reason that you want to visit Kleine Scheidegg & Jungfraujoch on both days?

2. Instead of Gimmelwald or Lauterbrunnen, you can also consider staying at Grindelwald. Only problem with moving stay locations a lot in short trips is that you are constantly checking in and checking out. Also smaller places of stay have limited train connections.

3. In Switzerland, the places close to Interlaken are Bern, Zurich and Lucerne. The rest of the places are at quite a bit of travel and hence not worth the travel time in a short trip. And amongst these 3 places, Lucerne is a beautiful town and definitely worth a visit.

4. Additionally, I would suggest that dont pack many villages / town visits in 2 days. Instead add more activities / things to do in any village that you visit. This will help you truly enjoy and experience the place.

5. I would be happy to help you with Italy too.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

  1. Sorry, meant to say was go to Junfrauch on day 1 stay somewhere n comeback via another route.
  2. Agreed and I feared that too. Lets skip that as well.
  3. Agreed and you suggested a trip to Lucerne. So lets do that.
  4. Point taken
  5. Thanks. Will make the payments for the Italy trip.

So basis this shall we work on detailing the stay in Switzerland?I guess 3 days in Interlaken and 1 in Lucerne with moving out to Venice on day 5 looks like a decent option. Your take?

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit,

Sincere apologies, but just ignore the point 2 in my email above. This area has a couple of villages - http://jungfrauregion.ch/en/Holidays/VILLAGES and you can chooose to stay in any one of them. All the villages are scenic, beautiful and in the hills.

In case you want to hike and explore the areas around you can check the following link and choose a village accordingly - http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/destinations/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/

Based on the village you are staying in, you can consider -

1. Day 1 - Take a train to Jungfraujoch from Kleine Scheidegg and spend half a day here. You can then return to Kleine Scheidegg and take any one of the walking trails that you like.

2. Day 2 - Half day walk in Lauterbrunnen. You can see the caves, waterfalls, etc. And then take a Furnicular from Lauterbrunnento Murren and then a cable car for Schilthornbahn 

3. Day 3 - Visit and stay in Lucerne

I hope this helps.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, I think our comments crossed each other. I have replied with a 3 day plan for this area and you can leave for Venice on the 4th day.

I suggest that you do a day trip to Lucerne and back, as else you will literally be moving everyday. Venice is too expensive and hence you should just stay there for 1 day.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I think in the earlier plan you suggetsed e-biking n paragliding. Are you suggesting to skip this?

I feel that may be we make switzerland to 4 days n going to Venice on 5th?

Do you think otherwise. Also, before you finalize this, could you suggest a broad brakup of stay in Italy. This will help us fix how long to stay in Italy n Switzerland.

I think as per current breakup, my trip looks like. 2.5 days in Paris. 0.5 days travel to Interlaken. 3 days in Interlaken n Lucern. 0.5 days to Venice. 9.5 days in Italy.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi, now full reply went for a toss....Anyways here it is again -

I am not sugesting that you skip paragliding and e-biking. I thought you wanted to skip it and hence suggested the 2 day plan. However if you are doing a half day walk in Lauterbrunnen, then you can drop the e-bike tour to Lauterbrunnen. Instead on day 3 you can first do paragliding and then rent cycles and go around the villages and lakes near Interlaken. You can swim or try some water sports or just picnic by the lake.

Another option is a trip to Grindelwald. You can try paragliding here, then go for a gorge walk and then just enjoy the nature all around. However if you select this option then you should stay in one of the villages and not in Interlaken.

For Italy, the broad break-up will be - Venice - 1 day, Florence & around - 4 - 5 days, Rome and around - 3 - 4 days. Also, do you plan to drive in Italy?

Things to do in Italy are as follows and you can make your selection -

Venice - Half day in Venice, half day in Burano, or a day trip to Verona (village of Romeo & Juliet)

Florence - 1 day in Florence, half day in Pisa, 1 day for Cinque Terre, 1 day trip to Siena or a night stay in a farm in Tuscany, 1 night stay in Lake Como

Rome - 2 - 3 days for Rome, then need 1.5 day if you want to visit Capri.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

Basis all this can you send the detailed plan for stay in Switzerland. As you suggested sometime back that you would send the detailed plan around logistics, eating places etc.

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, sure. I'll send across the detailed plan by this weekend. :)

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

Look forward to a detailed plan this weekend. Also, lets get started on the Italy plan as well.

Am paying up right away. I plan to apply for my visa next week and get a very good idea about the trip by next week.

Does that look doable?

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, I'll post the detailed travel plan for a 4 day trip in Interlaken & around in the itinerary section today and confirm once done (as you dont get an email update once these sections are completed).

In my previous post, I had sent across broad options for Italy and I'll work on that as a base and post a broad outline and links by today. Just a quick query, have you paid already? In case you havent, please create a new request for it so that we can start a fresh page for Italy.

Thanks and regards

Snigdha

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I have paid. Didnt you get a notification?

I added a new request but I cant see the same in my dashboard.
Will check with support team at planmy.travel

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I would suggest you to go ahead and plan italy as well while i figure out stuff my planmytravel team.

I do not want to waste a Sunday else then things get delayed for a week.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, no I didnt get it. And I'll anyways share the broad plan for Italy.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Quickly, I will reach interlaken at 6mid night. So I should plan to leave/checkout of Interlaken on 10th, right? to Lucerne/

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

yes, you check-out for Venice on September 10

PlanMy.Travel Admin wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

Nihit has made an additional payment for $20 (INR 1194) for the Italy leg of his trip. There was no notification probably because of some technical glitch. I'm looking into it. Please go ahead and plan the Italy leg on this same trip page.

Cheers!

Aashish


Visa By Nihit Nirmal
Replies (+)

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Would you have specific suggestions for Visa application.

I would not ask you to help me with this at all. Will just need suggestions that too what you would know beforehand.

Do I apply at France or Italy embassy? would I need all booking details for visa purpose?

 

Nihit

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi Nihit, for the schengen visa -  you need to apply from either the country of entry or from the country with max stay. Additionally, you will need a full plan and confirmed boookings. I am listing all the documents below, but do check on the concerned emabassy website for the updated list or for any other specific requirements that they may have.

Requirements:

  • Original passport must not be older than 10 years also it must be valid for at least THREE MONTHS longer than the intended stay. Your passport must have at least TWO BLANK PAGES to affix the visa.
  • One application form with ALL COLUMNS filled in and signed by the Applicant.
  • ONE RECENT PHOTOS in the size of 35-40 mm width with white background. The face should cover 70-80 % percent of the photo area and the photograph must be not older then 6 months.
  • COVERING LETTER in original from the applicant, introducing himself/herself, explaining the purpose and duration of the visit and the itinerary for the corresponding period in brief.
  • Proof of EMPLOYMENT and LEAVE letter on company's letterhead.
  • Evidence of STATUS in India, such as individual Income-Tax return, Form 16A, Bank Statement, record of ownership of Real Estate, Share Certificates, Deposits, Investments.


In the absence of a Referee or sponsor the Applicant must submit:

    • Bank statement Or Salary Slips for the recent 3 months
    • A confirmed hotel reservation corresponding with the (desired) period of stay

 

  • Copy of OVERSEAS medical insurance policy, including medical emergency evacuation cover (equivalent to 30000 euros) corresponding with the (desired) period of stay.
  • Copy of Confirmed AIRLINE Reservation
  • Copy of the Bio Data Page of the Current Passport (1st and Last Page)
  • Leave Letter from Company
    Important!
    • Supporting documents from a Referee must be included with the application for the visa and must not be sent directly to the Consulate General.
    • All faxes must be photocopied and in A4 size paper.
    • Minor applicants(<18 years) must possess individual passports with a written consent from both their parents as well as the parents’ signatures on the application form. A copy of the parents’ passports should be included to authenticate the signatures on the consent letter. Copy of the Death Certificate or Custody Proof should be provided, where applicable.
    • Each application must be supported by a copy of all the requisite documents

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Snigdha

 

 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Everything else is fine, only am worried about is

    • A confirmed hotel reservation corresponding with the (desired) period of stay
Do I need to book all my hotels before apping? Any idea if this can be worked around. Will engaging a trvel agent help?

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

The way to work around that is - book stay options with zero cancelation fees and then cancel them once you get the visa. Having a travel agent will not help, as they too will need confirmed bookings.


Italy By Snigdha Jain
Replies (+)

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Please find below the broad trip outline for your Italy trip. Based on the number of days, proximity etc, I am dropping a trip to Milan, Lake Como , Capri and Positano islands.

I would have loved to add Capri to the trip, but for that you need a day extra as you need to stay in Sorrento and do a day trip to Capri.

Venice – to spend half of Sept 11 exploring Murano / Burano, seeing Venice by twilight and half of Sept 12 in exploring Venice.

Florence – Sept 13 – Reach Florence in the evening and check in in the hotel.

Sept 14 – Half day tip to Pisa. Half day exploring Florence.

Sept 15 – Day trip to Cinque Terre. Here you can explore the beautiful villages and hike in hills amongst vineyards from one village to another.

Sept 16 – Either a day trip to Tuscany and stay the night in a farm or do a day trip to Siena or San Gimignano.

Sept 17 – Leave Florence and reach Rome. Explore Rome.

Sept 18 – Explore Rome

Sept 19 – Day trip to Pompei

Sept 20 – Depart from Rome.

Do let me know if this broad plan seems ok.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Sorry, I think I missed this.

Reaching venice on 11th and reaching florence on 13th makes 2 days in Venice.

So, I need to book hotel in florence from 13th to 17th. Will they make partial bookings from 13th to 15th and on 17th?

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, sincere apologies and I made a mistake with dates. Please find below the revised dates and plan - 

Venice – to spend half of Sept 11 exploring Murano / Burano, seeing Venice by twilight and half of Sept 12 in exploring Venice. Take a late afternoon train for Florence (only 1 day in Venice)

Florence – Sept 12 – Reach Florence in the evening and check in in the hotel.

Sept 13 – Half day tip to Pisa. Half day exploring Florence.

Sept 14 – Day trip to Cinque Terre. Here you can explore the beautiful villages and hike in hills amongst vineyards from one village to another.

Sept 15 – Either a day trip to Tuscany and stay the night in a farm or do a day trip to Siena or San Gimignano.

Sept 16 – Leave Florence and reach Rome. Explore Rome.

Sept 17 & 18 – Explore Rome (you can also do a day trip to Naples)

Sept 19 – Day trip to Pompei

Sept 20 – Depart from Rome.

Do let me know if this broad plan seems ok. 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

This looks ok. How does this place look for stay in Florence? Also, stay in a farm in Tuscany looks exciting, is it worth it?

How about 12th to 16th in Florence itself and some day trips? 

Some of the properties here looks very economical. Can you suggest if they are good.

https://www.airbnb.com/s/Florence--Italy?checkin=09%2F12%2F2014&checkout=09%2F16%2F2014&guests=2

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, a farm stay in Tuscany is fun and you can spend 2 nights there (as a day trip is just a touch and go). Its like staying in a village vineyard with loads of relaxing, cycling around, wine tasting, cooking lessons etc. It also helps if you drive as you can then drive to the other local villages and explore etc. 

You can stay in Florence from 12 th to 16th. But Rome also has a lot to see and needs 2 - 3 days. 

What is your per day stay budget?

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Day per stay budget has gone for a toss :D

Interlaken is 8.5k / night. I was really thinking of 5k per night but seems like that aint happening. The link I shared about florence stay, there are quite a few of them at 5k or less per night. They might have shared bath etc. but I guess in a flat I can make do with that.

I like the sound of what you said about Tuscany, but its a region, right? What place do you exactly have in mind? Expense?

Driving, would I need separate license or my Indian license will do? Could be fun.

Rome I would rather do in 2 days than 3.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, Central Europe is expensive and since you are going with your wife, you can't compromise much on that. 

Tuscany is a region and you can stay in any one of th local villages. Let me work on  this and send you a couple of options by tomorrow (along with Venice, Florence and Rome)

For driving, you will need to take an international driving license that you get on your India license from the RTO. Only thing is it's the other side driving.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

ok. i will wait for it tomorrow.

just that the rate at which the rooms are going out..its scary. plus they are so much cheaper n its a bulk of my stay so I really want to save here.

let me know how I do I divide mmy stay between florence n village. n do i do, florence-village-florence-rome or florence-village-rome.

WIll check for international driving license? but is it the only way to travel to a village. it might be too much of a hassle then.

wud stick to public transport then.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

For Florence, check out the following -

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/853820?checkin=09%2F12%2F2014&checkout=09%2F17%2F2014&guests=2&s=bzjZ

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/150675?checkin=09%2F12%2F2014&checkout=09%2F17%2F2014&guests=2&s=wY9g

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/331294?checkin=09%2F12%2F2014&checkout=09%2F17%2F2014&guests=2&s=LomW

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Is there a touring company that can arrange 2 day trip to tuscany?

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

This is what I think I would want to do. 

11th and 12th - Venice. I think I would get 28 hours there. Wish this could have been little more. Lets discuss.

13th - Florence n Pisa

14th-15th - 2 day trip to Cinque Terre. Looks like train journey is possible. http://www.tripadvisor.in/Travel-g187895-c140988/Florence:Italy:How.To.Day.Trip.To.The.Cinque.Terre.html. This link is only for commute perspective, staying there could be fun.

16th - 17th - 1.5 day trip to Tuscan farms. See this http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g187901-d1412337-Reviews-Agriturismo_Guardastelle-San_Gimignano_Tuscany.html , http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g187901-d551151-Reviews-Hotel_Sovestro-San_Gimignano_Tuscany.html Not too far from San Gimignano, I guess a mile. People seems to have gone there without car as well. Plus looks like there are wine tasting etc. that can be done here. So may be getting stuck is not a problem. Thoughts?

17th - 19th: Travel to rome and do whatever I can of the place. 

Also, now I am open to see if a shared bathroom works for me. Not hell bent on a private bath. 

Let me know what do you think about this

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

You want to stay in Venice for 2 nights? I dont advice as its very expensive and not much to do. Time is better spent in Florence or Rome.

My thoughts on your plan otherwise, too much movement. You will again be checking and checking out nearly every day. If you are ok with that, this seems ok.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

See this,

Buongiorno Nirmal,
any public transport comes here but we're only 1 km from San Gimignano. When you'll be in town go at the tourist office to get a map of the area and ask them for Azienda Agricola Sovestro in Poggio - Agriturismo Guardastelle".  We are down the "Via vecchia" (a safe back road), just 10/15 minutes walking from San Gi you'll see a big yellow house on the right. Take that road and at the end of the vineyard turn down left. 100 meters and you'll be in front of the cellar! If you have big luggages and you prefer to have a taxi we can book one for you.
 
http://www.guardastelle.com/

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

This looks good.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

Can we talk for say 5 minutes sometime today/tomorrow?

Nihit

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, unfortunately I am traveling and back only on Tuesday… However you can write to me and I’ll respond asap

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Actually there is some confusion arounf florence.

4 days in florence vs, stays at Tuscany/Cinque Terre. My thought was that may be staying in these places is worth the effort, you seem to think otherwise.

So wanted a clearer sense about what is advisable n what is not. If we plan to do it, whats the plan n things like that, which probably is better done on call than mailing, as it would go back n forth.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

As I had written, more than worth its a matter of personal choice. Cinque Terre and Tuscany are beautiful places and lots to explore by staying and seeing them by dusk / night is definitely worth it... But since you have limited time, max you will end up staying in one place in 1 night. Which means that you will be checking in and checking out nearly everyday. I personally dont recomend doing that as it gets very hectic. If you think you are ok with it, then I can plan it accordingly. Else you can drop one place and do a 2 day stay in either Tuscany or Cinque Terre. 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Seems like getting to a village in cinque terre is probably easier. what would you suggest if we can do only a 1 overnight stay and ofcourse we are not renting a cab.

So either its the farm I mentioned or somewhere in cinque terre.

Let mw know

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Reaching Cinque Terre on public transport is easier... They have a cinque terre card that allows unlimited travel between various villages.... So commuting between villages is convenient and easy.... However its hilly and you have to walk uphill...

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

lts freeze this then. Will stay overnight in Cinque Terre.

Could you suggest where to stay? Vernazza?

May be spend some time in Levanta. 

Is Cinque terre, couple of hours in Levant n Pisa posible in 2 days?

Then one day we can do Sienna may be. 

 

 

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Florence – Sept 12 – Reach Florence in the evening and check in in the hotel.

Sept 13 – Florence

Sept 14 – Day trip to Siena

Sept 15 – Half day trip to Pisa. Then reach Cinque Terre.

Sept 16 – Cinque Terre

Sept 17 - Leave Cinque Terre and reach Rome

Sept 18 & 19 - Rome

Sept 20 – Depart from Rome.

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Vernazza is one my favourite islands and you can stay here. However in Cinque Terre all the islands are about a 3-5 minute train ride away, so its ok even if you stay at any other island. At Airbnb you can check this one out - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1853233?s=-BhJ There are other options on Airbnb too.

Even if you dont get a place to stay here you can check in Riomaggiore at http://www.limonicamere.it/Thule/Thule/Index.html

Levanto is a 20 minute train ride from Riomaggiore and you can visit it anytime you want.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

airbnb room was outstanding..looks taken though.

Can you suggest other as b'ful places?

Also, wouldnt it be a hassle to carry all luggage to pisa-cinque terre as we are going to Rome directly from Cinque Terre?

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

For that propoerty, they have written that even if it looks taken, to still write to them and check as they have some tech issues.

Else, this one has good reviews and is still available -  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/987975?checkin=09%2F15%2F2014&checkout=09%2F17%2F2014&guests=2&s=7YuU

In Pisa, you can leave the luggage in a locker at the station. Pisa anyways doesnt have much to see apart from the Leaning Tower, so you wont take much time.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I have written to the first guy for stay, if he does not reply will book the other one.

Can I bother you one last (hopefully :P) last time.

Do you think out of Day 1 and Day 2 of florence we can do florence in half a day and 2 day trips to where n where?

Should it be Siena, I know I suggested Siena, what do you think of one of cycling tours. They r expensive though, 80 euros per person but includes meals. Ay other suggestions you have? I will stick to it :). Not too keen on buildings/architectures etc. More experience kind of stuff.

Lastly, do you think we can skip lucerne and stay around. Is Lucerne worth it. I am getting a feeling that its passable for may be we do that just half a day. Once we freeze on these 2..would need your help to book trains etc. However I am not moving staying in lauterbrunnen now. Will stay in Interlaken all the time and anywas these places are just 20 mins away. Not worth the hassle.

Back to florence...As of now, I think i will book 12th arrival n 15th checkout from Hotel Deco.

Rome, places  you have suggested for stay, are they good commute wise? Is Rome safe for a BnB or should I pick a hotel? I think there are cheap hotels in Rome. 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Booked Andrea's place in Vernazza

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

From Venice to Florence.

There is a super economy first class ticket for a train at 6:30 reaching florence at 8:30 one another at 9:30.

Second class super economy ticket that is available for 55 USD is at 4:30 I guess. As I have just one day in Venice, I thought may be stretching this a bit wouldnt be a bad idea. Thoughts?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I shouldnt be reaching any place in Italy later than 9 pm or so. I understand Italy is not like Switzerland wrt safety. Comments?

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hi, my response on each of your comments / queries below -

1. You will reach Venice in the afternoon of Sept 11. Hence my recomendation will be spend about a day there and then leave for Florence in the afternoon of Sept 12. In this manner you will not be rushing through Venice. If you are ok with this, then you will need Sept 13 for Florence.

2. Siena is a good and well connected option for a day trip in Tuscany. Apart from cycling other options here are - hiking and cooking lessons. Based on your preference we can finliase between Sienna or any other place.

3. In Switzerland, per my comments in the transport section - you just need to buy the Swiss Pass and not individual train tickets. With this pass, you can board any trian. Lucerne is a beautiful place and definiitely worth a half day trip.

4. Rome is safe with reputed BnBs and Rome is quite nearly as expensive as Venice.

5. Your understanding is correct, Italy is famous for pickpockets and stolen luggage. Hence do reach everywhere in day time and keep your passports and money in small bags and wear them inside your clothes.

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

1) Ok, so 4:30 - 5:30 everything is fine. Got it/

2) Can you suggest some options?

3) Got it

4) Got it again 

5) Got it yet again!

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Are you traveling this week? If not, may be we can close all lose ends.

Also, couldnt find the ticket at 120 CHF. I think it was 140 CHF or so

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

85888 03578

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hi Snigdha,

Can we start putting together finer details of Swtizerland n Italy?

Its a month remaining and even I got lazy n busy with office work in last few days.

Nihit

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, I have already completed the Switzerland details in the itinerary section.

For Italy, do let me know the final booking dates, hostels, trains etc and I'll send accords the detailed day wise plan.

TC

Snigdha 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

yeah, I agree that you mostly done the Swiss part. I was referring to our disussion around Lucerne etc. where we said we can figure out later how do I spend the last day. Also, what are your thoughts on Bernina Express? It seems to be expensive but does it look viable and is it worth it?

w.r.t. Italy the bookings have been made as per the discussions.

11th reaching Venice by 2 pm. Staying at a bnb and then then traveling at 7 pm on 12th to Florence.

12th to 15th am in Florence and staying at Deco.

15th I leave for Cinque terre and come back on 17th to reach Rome the same day. None of these 2 trains are booked.

18-19 Rome and 20th I fly out of Rome to back to India

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Lucerne is beautiful and worth a visit even if you do a half day trip. For the balance part of the day, you can visit Mt. Pilatus.

If you dont want to do this, then you can do a day trip to Niederhorn and trotti bike around. You can read more on it at - http://getsetandgo.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/visiting-niederhorn-and-riding-a-trotti-bike/. This is super fun too.

Bernia Express is popular with tourists, but very expensive and you will anyways see a lot of this reqion and views while traveling from Interlaken to Venice. Plus the route is slightly different and if you take this train then you will need to spend one night in Milan. 

I'll update the itinerary section for Italy 

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

Hey, will you be in Mumbai this weekend.

This is my last weekend before we leave for europe and last week I was in Amsterdam so tht got wasted.

WOuld you be available?


Side question By Nihit Nirmal
Replies (+)

Nihit Nirmal wrote:  

I will be in Amsterdam for a workshop from 22-24 August (Wed-Fri).

Can you let me know if I could do a small trip before or after the workshop. Ideally after and not more than a day.

In case I will need to plan will make necessary payments, abhi just seeking suggestion.

Berlin/Luxembourg/Brusells are some options. Anything that looks exciting to you?

Snigdha Jain wrote:  

Hey, for day trips from Amsterdam, you can consider the following -

1. Bruges instead of Brussels, or you can do Cologne in Germany. They are close and nice to see cities.

2. In Netherlands itself, you can consider the following - https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/going-dutch-on-a-day-trip-from-amsterdam

3. Berlin and Luzembourg are a bit far and Berlin definitely needs a lot more time.


Local Transportation and a Swiss Rail Pass:

Take a Swiss Rail Pass as this is super convenient and broadly includes all public transportation including buses, trains (except high speed trains), boats, cable cars, gondolas, etc. This pass will include unlimited and all public transportation in Interlaken area, return trip to Lucerne, all trips to Wengen, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, etc. It will also provide 50% off on select aerial gondolas, train from Grindewald to Grindelwald First, train to Jungfrau etc. There are additional discounts on museums etc and you will also be eligible for a discount with this pass on your ticket to Venice.


I am unable to attach the map here which shows the entire connections with this pass. Hence would request you to visit this link and download the map - http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/en/home/support/Frequently-Asked-Questions.html?id=137558


Now you are reaching Interlaken on September 6th and leaving on September 10th. If you stay in Interlaken all 4 days, there is no issue and you can just book a second class 4 day pass for EUR 221. As you are anyways taking a train out on the 5th day.


However if you are staying in Interlaken for 2 days and then in a village for 2 days, you will need to book one separate ticket from that village to Interlaken on the last day (as it’s the 5th day and the pass would have expired).

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Travel from Interlaken to Venice:

For travel from Interlaken to Venice, you can take a Swiss Rail train. Per the time table below - you have multiple train options available, but I suggest you either take the morning 8.05am or the one at 13.32 with only 2 connections. Both these trains have the minimum changes (only 2), take roughly 6.5 hours and have adequate time between connections (in case you need to change platforms or the incoming train is slightly delayed). Depending on the date, the price of these tickets is anywhere between Euro 85 to 100.  


http://timetable.sbb.ch/bin/query-p2w.exe/en?id=x42c.4kpw.kgw6.w4w8


Please book these tickets in advance.

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Travel in Italy:

Italy has two train companies - the Trenitalia (governemnt run) and the Italo Treno (private run).


I recomend book your connections from Venice to Florence and the connection from Florence to Rome via Italo Treno. They are good, new trains, have a variety of seating options (economy, premier, etc) and offer fabulous deals. You can book the tickets at http://www.italotreno.it/EN/Pages/default.aspx 

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Stay in Interlaken:

Based on the final activities and travel plan, you have 2 options -


1. 2 day stay in Interlaken and a 2 day stay in one of the villages in the hills. This might get a bit hectic, but this works better if you want to do a village stay in Switzerland and make the most of your trip.


2. a 4 day stay in Interlaken itself and day trips everywhere.


Interlaken is a very small place and doesn’t have any areas per se that are recommended. Since you are arriving in Interlaken at midnight, I have recommended places to stay that are within a 5 minute (max) walking distance from the station.


 Option 1 - The Hotel Rugenpark B&B - http://www.rugenpark.ch/index.htm – This is a non-smoking budget accommodation in Interlaken with numerous facilities.


 Option 2 - B&B 18 - http://www.bb18interlaken.ch/1652/index.html - This is a small B&B with only 3 rooms


 Option 3 - City Chalet Interlaken - http://www.citychalet.ch/


Option 4 - via Air bnb – This is a one room apartment  - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/701928. However this needs a minimum stay of 4 days and has a cleaning fee.


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Stay in Villages:

Options for a 2 day stay in either Lauterbrunnen or Wengen.


Stay in Lauterbrunnen –


Option 1 - Hotel Staubbach – Slightly expensive but good hotel - http://www.staubbach.com/en/index.htm


Option 2 – Hotel Crystal – a good B&B option - http://www.crystal-lauterbrunnen.ch/seiten/hotelbilder.htm


Option 3 – Budget Hostel stay - http://www.valleyhostel.ch/


 


Stay in Wengen -


Option 1 - Hotel Alpenrose - This is a Wengen's first tourist hotel and the south facing rooms have beautiful views - http://www.alpenrose.ch/ 


Option 2 - Hotel Caprice - A modern hotel with wooden interiors. http://www.caprice-wengen.ch/


Option 3 - Hotel Edelweiss - a good budget option http://www.edelweisswengen.ch/Default.aspx?page=Hotel


Option 4 – via AirBnb – Good room - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2037180?s=e4ji

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Stay in Venice:

Italy overall does not have very good quality stay options. Nearly all buildings are old and devoid of a lift. Hence before booking the stay make sure to check on the floor of the room. Additionally, all hotels / hostels have an extra tourism tax (Euro 2 - 3) for each night stay.


In Venice I recommend not staying around the touristy centre as it can get very expensive, noisy and crowded. I am also recomending using AirBnb options in Venice as I have found them to be better than the local B&Bs and hostels. Besides staying in residential neighborhoods provides a more non-touristy and local experience.


Option 1 – via AirBnb – in Calle Arco - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/798846?s=bddR


Option 2 - via AirBnb – in Cannaregio - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1733701?s=BfnE


Option 3 - via Airbnb – in Cannaregio - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1675120?s=NbUt


Let me know if these are ok or if you need more options.

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Stay in Florence:

Option 1 – Hostel Archi Rossi – Good location, decent stay and a budget hostel. http://www.hostelarchirossi.com/


Option 2 – Hotel Alessandra – Budget stay near the Old bridge. http://www.hotelalessandra.com/


Option 3 – Hotel Deco – Extremely basic budget stay but with an awesome location. Close to the train and bus station and the Duomo. http://hoteldecoflorence.com/


Option 4 – via Airbnb - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1699661?s=3CK4

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Venice Stay - Option 3:

I dont why my third comment is not showing. In case it doesnt show again, I'll post this under the Italy tab


3. B&B Livia Olivia - A B&B about 4 km from Venice and you need to take a water bus. The room rate is 4K per night and its available on booking.com

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Rome :