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Lucerne, Our First Trip in Switzerland

 << Previous Post: Flying To Switzerland With Turkish Airlines << 


Since we're going to fly out from Zurich, hence we decided to skip this city and will return again on the last two days of our trip in Switzerland. We began our journey by heading to Lucerne, the gateway to the heartland of Switzerland. 

HOW TO GET TO LUCERNE FROM ZURICH AIRPORT

From Zurich Airport or locally known as Zürich Flughafen, there are trains running every hour to Lucerne and the journey takes nearly an hour and 10 minutes. In case you have Swiss Travel Pass, you can use the pass for this route.  


I would highly recommend to take the direct train from Zürich Flughafen to Lucerne such as IR75 and IR13 instead of IC8 and IC5 because the latter are not direct trains and they require to change to another train (you can identify this with the small dot in middle of the line). You can check out the train timetable from SBB Mobile Apps.


LUCERNE'S ATTRACTIONS

Since the accommodation we booked in Lucerne are not ready yet for us to check-in, therefore we took this opportunity to explore and venture this small and lovely city first. Because majority of the attractions are just within reasonable walking distance, both of us don't even bother to take the city bus and just enjoyed exploring the city on foot. 

1) Old Town (Altstadt) of Lucerne

If there is one thing I love the most when comes to Europe, it will always have to be the city's old town. Full of charming squares, the medieval old town of Lucerne is claimed to be one of the prettiest old town in Switzerland and you get to spot numerous of colourful and beautiful painted murals on the buildings. This place is not just a perfect spot for phototaking, but you can do some shopping here too.  

How To Get To Old Town of Lucerne: Less than 7 minutes of walking from Lucerne Train Station






2) Chapel Bridge

Being the landmark of Lucerne, Chapel Bridge is said to be the oldest and earliest wooden covered footbridge of Europe and it was built in 14th century as a protection for the city. Despite the bridge was burned down in 1993, it was rebuilt immediately within few months. It's pretty fascinating walking over this covered footbridge as you get to see artworks and paintings depicting the history of Lucerne as well as 12th century city life. 




3) Musegg Wall (Old City Wall)

If you are looking for a spot for panoramic view of the entire city of Lucerne, then you should head to Musegg Wall (the old city wall). There are few towers remain open to the public and you can ascend for amazing view overlooking the old town and lake. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as the climb up to the tower is quite challenging.  

How To Get To Musegg Wall: Approximately 17 minutes of walking from Lucerne Train Station




4) Lion Monument

Located on the north side of the Reuss River, this iconic Lion Monument is to commemorate the Swiss solders who lost their lives in the French Revolution. The American prominent writer Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world." 

How To Get To Lion Monument: Around 15 minutes of walking from Lucerne Train Station



5) Lake Lucerne

If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, why don't you utilise this pass by taking the incredible boat ride across Lake Lucerne as this is covered by the pass. You can even take this ride heading to Mount Rigi which I will blog more about this in the next few post. Trust me, you will thank me once you did so cause it's one of the amazing things we did in Lucerne. 




OUR ACCOMMODATION IN LUCERNE 

Since Lucerne is a great base to explore few of Swiss renowned mountains such as Mount Titlis and Mount Rigi, therefore we chosen to base and stay here for 3 nights. Normally I will choose to stay in the hostel for my past Europe trips but mainly due to the pandemic and because at that point of time the Malaysia government hasn't scrapped off the PCR test 48 hours before taking the flight back to Malaysia, both my husband and I agreed to avoid hostel at this moment. We set our budget RM300 per night per person and luckily, we managed to find the one that suit my preference - ideally good location and most importantly, there's a kitchen. 

Galaxy Serviced Apartments  
Date Stayed: 26 April - 29April 2020 (3 nights)
Room Rate: CHF349.50 for a studio apartment (paid directly to Booking.com) with additional of CHF4 city tax per person per night (paid upon check-in and you can pay either in cash or card). In total, we paid approx. to RM1,697 for 3 nights stay. During the check-in, a security deposit of CHF200 is reserved and will refund after check-out.  
We found and booked this accommodation directly from Booking.com





 Things I Like About This Accommodation:

  • A kitchenette stocked with utensils, fridge, microwave, dishwasher and even coffee maker
  • Lift within the property so we can save our energy, especially with our huge luggages
  • Three supermarkets just nearby (Aldo, Coop and Migros)
  • 12 minutes walk to Luzern Train Station

Things I Dislike About This Accommodation:
  • Even the room is ready but they only allow us to check-in at 3pm, or else there is an extra charge of CHF30. However, they allow us to store our luggage inside the room before the check-in time
  • If you are driving with car, sadly to announce this that there is no free parking provided and public parking is pretty expensive. 
Whether for a short trip or long overnight, Lucerne is definitely one of the cities you shouldn't miss when visiting Switzerland. 
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Flying To Switzerland With Turkish Airlines


For our trip to Switzerland, we chosen to fly with Turkish Airlines. It's not my first time flying with this airline as I have experienced with them for my trips from Zagreb (Croatia) as well as Podgorica (Montenegro) to Istanbul, Turkish but of course, this is my official maiden flight on the long haul type. Initially my choices are between Qatar and Singapore Airlines but when you come across a round-trip fare for less than RM2,000, oh boy this is so hard to resist. Another temptation that I unable to control myself from keep spending on. 

#1: Finally after 2 years, 1 month and 9 days, now I'm flying overseas and never thought Switzerland will be my first pick

#2: It's not my first time flying with Turkish Airlines but this is my first time flying with them out from Malaysia as previously I flew with them out from Europe countries. 

Turkish Airline's Amenities & Services:
  • For economy class passenger, each is entitled to check-in luggage per-bag weight of up to 30 kg.
  • Access a full range of complimentary in-flight entertainment, onboard food including main meal and breakfast as well as amenity kit which contains a sleep mask, ear plug, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and lip balm.  

#3: Don't know why but I'm so excited to see this board again. It's like the board of happiness to me. 

Here are the in-flight food for our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul:

#4: The main meal - Grilled salmon with ratatouille and saffron risotto served with chicken caesar salad, humus and chocolate cake. 

#5: The breakfast - Scrambled eggs with smokey turkey cheese toast 

After survived the almost 12 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur, finally we safely landed at Istanbul Airport and we're going to transit at this airport for nearly 3 hours before continue with the last leg. Probably due to it was a red-eye flight, both my husband and I managed to have a good sleep and we didn't even get to watch any movies throughout the long haul flight. I don't even noticed whether were there any snacks or sandwiches are served in between the main meal and breakfast time. 

#6: Can't believe I'm back to Istanbul Airport after 2 years 


At Istanbul Airport, you can find all sorts of restaurants and cafes such as Burger King, Carl's Jr, Subway, Starbucks, Shake Shack and even Yo! Sushi. However, both of us didn't feel hungry and so, we didn't spend any of our money at this airport. The airport wasn't that crowded and we managed to find seats for us to have a rest before continue with the next flight. However, one thing I dislike about Istanbul Airport is that each passenger is only allowed to connect to the airport free WiFi for a very short period of time, like maximum of 1-2 hours only. Although one able to access the free Internet by receiving SMS using the mobile phone number or entering passport number at the kiosk, but then each of these only allowed you to connect for an hour.  

#7: In-flight meal from Istanbul to Zurich. In case you did notice this, the breakfast is exactly the same as the one from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul. No choice but to finish them cause it's a sin to waste food, right? 

With a total of 18 hours (12 hours flight from KL to Istanbul, 3 hours of transit and continue with another 3 hours flight from Istanbul to Zurich), finally we have arrived in Zurich International Airport, the largest international airport of Switzerland. The immigration clearance was pretty fast and smooth. The officer doesn't even bother to check our vaccination certificate and he was spontaneously asking few questions like how many days we are going to spend in Switzerland and how's our trip planning be like. Straight we went collected our luggage and guess what, no one even bother to check our luggage too. I shouldn't worry too much about all the food I packed in my luggage at the first place. 

For our trip in Switzerland, we don't intend to begin with Zurich first cause we decided to save this city on the final two days before leaving this country. Hence once we got out from the arrival hall, immediately we headed to the train station which located in the underground building next to the airport. It's pretty easy anyway, just follow the train station signboard. 

#8: You can easily spot this signboard once step out from the arrival hall.

And we instantly activated the Swiss Travel Pass we bought from Klook. Wondering how Swiss Travel Pass works? You can check out my post on Swiss Travel Pass Guide.

#9: Zurich Airport Station is locally known as Flughafen Zürich 

So that's all about our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Zurich International Airport flying with Turkish Airlines. Stay tune for next post about our adventures in Lucerne and more. 
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Swiss Travel Pass Guide


If you are travelling alone or even in 2 to Switzerland and want to fully rely on the public transportation, I would highly recommend to get the Swiss Travel Pass where this pass gives you unlimited travel on the public buses, trains, trams and even boats throughout the nation with hassle-free. Not just this pass applies on the public transportation, you can even get free admission to over 500 fascinating museums and also get up to 50% discount on most mountain excursions to Swiss Peak. This pass is specially designed for foreign visitors who are non-residents of Switzerland and Principality of Liechtenstein. 



Swiss Travel Pass Categories

Swiss Travel Pass is divided into 3 different categories based on:

a) Consecutive or Flexible 

b) First Class or Second Class

c) Validity Period of 3, 4, 6, 8 and 15 days

Swiss Travel Pass - Consecutive Days 

Validity/Class

First Class (CHF)

Second Class (CHF)

3 Days

369.00

232.00

4 Days

447.00

281.00

6 Days

570.00

359.00

8 Days

617.00

389.00

15 Days

675.00

429.00

Consecutive Pass is where you get unlimited travel within the set of selected days. For example; if you choose Consecutive 8 Days Swiss Travel Pass and you select the start date to travel on 1st January, then your pass is valid till 8th January midnight. 

Swiss Travel Pass Flexi 

Validity/Class

First Class (CHF)

Second Class (CHF)

3 Days

424.00

267.00

4 Days

514.00

323.00

6 Days

610.00

384.00

8 Days

649.00

409.00

15 Days

706.00

449.00

Swiss Travel Pass Flexi gives you unlimited travel within 1 month from the selected start date. For example; if you choose Flexi 8 Days Swiss Travel Pass and you select the start date to travel on 1st January, then you pass is valid till 30th January and you can travel unlimited 8 days within these 30 days.   

Boat is included in Swiss Travel Pass too and you can ride for free


Where To Buy Swiss Travel Pass

Generally, you can buy this pass at staffed Swiss rail stations but do take into account that there might be a queue, especially during the peak hour. So for more conveniently, you can directly purchase this Swiss Travel Pass through online which not only helping you in saving your precious time, but it also ensures a digital back-up in case your printed copy gets lost or damaged. You might also get lower price than the official prices you'd pay in Switzerland as there might be some offer and promotion that is available by the online retailer. In our case, we bought this pass from Klook, our favourite travel platform and instantly we got our Swiss Travel Pass via email right after we had made payment for it.  


During the purchase of this pass, all you need to do is to key in your name, gender, date of birth, passport number, nationality and your departure date. Make sure that all your details are same as accordingly to your passport cause the train inspector will randomly check both of your passport and Swiss Travel Pass together. Do take note of the departure date, it's actually the date that you want to start using this pass in Switzerland, not your flight departure date.  

How To Use Swiss Travel Pass

It's pretty simple - just hop on and off as you like as long as you have the Swiss Travel Pass with you. The only thing you need to take note is the cabin class; whether it's the First Class or Second Class. Second Class pass holder is not allowed to be in the First Class cabin, so make sure you don't get fine/penalty for this silly and clumsy mistakes.

This is First Class Cabin which only First Class passholders are allowed to sit here

You can differentiate this cabin class by the number indicated on the train; 1 for First Class and 2 for Second Class. And this applies on the boat as well, but not for the buses and trams where you can just sit at any seats you want. This is why both of us considered that the Second Class passes are way more enough for us than the First Class passes.  

Platform display board where you can refer to know where you should stand before boarding 

Talking about seat reservations, you don't have to reserve any seats and you are allowed to sit anywhere as you like on most of the trains as well for the boats. However, seat reservations are mandatory for premium scenic trains like Glacier Express and Bernina Express and this is where you need to pay additional fees for the seat reservation, eventhough these particular trains are covered under Swiss Travel Pass. 



Is Swiss Travel Pass Really Worth To Buy?

Obviously YES! Although Swiss Travel Pass might seems pricey, but I can definitely conclude that we have no regret of buying this pass cause it's indeed helping us save tons of money, especially when our itinerary is packed with lots of places to visit. 

Take a look of the breakdown I did of all the places we went throughout our 11 days trip around Switzerland and this fare is calculated per pax: 

From 

 To

 CHF

 Mode

 Zurich Flughafen

 Luzern

             30.00

Train

 Luzern 

 Engelberg

             18.40

Train

 Engelberg

 Luzern 

             18.40

 Train

 Luzern 

 Vitznau 

             28.00

Boat

 Vitznau 

 Rigi Kulm

             45.00

Boat

 Rigi Kulm

 Vitznau 

             45.00

Cable car

 Vitznau 

 Luzern 

             28.00

Cable car

 Luzern 

 Basel

             34.00

Train

 Basel

 Bern

             41.00

Train

 Bern

 Luzern 

             39.00

Train

 Luzern 

 Interlaken OST

             33.00

Train

 Interlaken OST

 Iseltwald Dorfplatz

               6.00

Bus

 Iseltwald (See)

 Interlaken OST

             16.60

Boat

 Wilderswil 

 Lauterbrunnen

               6.00

Train

 Lauterbrunnen

 Murren

             11.20

Cable car

 Murren

 Lauterbrunnen

             11.20

Cable car

 Lauterbrunnen

 Grindelwald via Zweilütschinen

               9.00

Train

 Grindelwald via Zweilütschinen

 Interlaken OST

             11.20

 Train

 Interlaken OST

 Sigriswil

               9.20

Bus

 Sigriswil

 Interlaken OST

               9.20

Bus

 Interlaken West

 Vevey

             61.00

Train

 Vevey

 Geneve

             28.00

Train

 Geneve

 Lausanne 

             22.80

Train

 Lausanne 

 Interlaken West 

             56.00

Train

 Interlaken West 

 Frutigen

             17.40

Train

 Frutigen

 Interlaken West 

             17.40

Train

 Interlaken West 

 Zermatt

             81.00

Train

 Zermatt

 St Moritz

           152.00

Glacier Express

 St Moritz

 Zurich HB

             76.00

Train

 Zurich HB

 Sargans

             33.00

Train

 Sargans

 Vaduz

               8.00

Bus

 Vaduz

 Sargans

               8.00

Bus

 Sargans

 Ziegelbrücke

             14.40

Train

 Ziegelbrücke

 Kilchberg ZH

             23.20

Train

 Kilchberg ZH

 Zurich HB

               6.80

 Train

 Zürich Hardbrücke

 Zurich Flughafen

               6.80

Train

 Mount Titlis

 

             48.00

50%

 CHF

        1,109.20


Can you imagine how much we saved by using Swiss Travel Pass - a total of CHF680.20 for 1 pax (approx to RM3,156) when we bought the Consecutive 15 Days Swiss Travel Pass for CHF429 per adult. That's absolutely one huge sum of money we managed to save from this pass. Swiss Travel Pass is really super worth to buy if you are always on the move from one spot to another, travelling on a long distances and taking premium panoramic trains like Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Another thing I like about this pass is the flexibility to board on any of the public transportation without the hassle to queue at the counter station or kiosk. Like I mentioned earlier, just hop on and off at any place and anytime as you like. Definitely one stress-free pass for those who want to fully rely on the public transportation around Switzerland. Oh yeah! You can even use Swiss Travel Pass to the neighbouring country of Liechtenstein, the sixth smallest country in the world.  


Last but not least, don't forget to download SBB Mobile Apps for you to check the timetable and fares for your desired route. 

To know more about the validity of Swiss Travel Pass, you can refer here

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