Imagine turquoise and perfectly clear water from the Swiss Alps flowing through the rivers and lakes, with ice-capped mountains littering the background. These are rare and spectacular sights for city dwellers around the world. But for people living in Switzerland, it's merely their backyard.
In this itinerary catered specifically for elderlies, retirees and seniors, we'll bring you around Switzerland via the nation's famous scenic railways, with a pitstop in Paris to satisfy that food and shopping bug in you.
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Day 1: Flight into Zurich, Switzerland
Buffer time to settle down, adjust for time difference and explore Zurich city.
Zurich is a global center for banking and finance. For tourists, a walk in Zurich Old Town and a Lake Zurich cruise are definite must-dos.
Zurich Old Town
“Zurich's Medieval houses, contorted, narrow lanes and guild and town halls from the Renaissance period offer an attractive backdrop for world-class entertainment. A tour of the Old Town lets visitors experience Zurich's multifaceted past. The backdrop turns into a living history of characteristic buildings and the people that lived and acted out their lives in them.” -- Source: Myswitzerland.com
If the weather is good, it’s a really enjoyable walk with nice architecture, interesting cafes and restaurants. In the summer, you’ll even see people sunbathing naked in the city, near the lake.
If you are planning to stroll in the afternoon in summer, make sure you have sunblock, umbrella, sunglasses and/or a cap. The sun really do burn.
You can download the walking route and city map here.
Download the Zurich City Guide App
Like most lakes in Switzerland, Lake Zurich is beautiful. What's perhaps a little different is that because of the low tax rate and high property prices, this area plays host to many magnificent houses and villas of the upper echelons of society.
Take a river or lake cruise and soak in the awesomeness of Switzerland's high standard of living.
You can download the latest map and timetable of Zurich lake and river cruises here.
Check out unique and themed cruises here.
Other attractions to consider:
Uetliberg – Zurich’s home mountain
Bahnhofstrasse - Shopping Street
Swiss Finance Museum - The first and only financial museum in Switzerland
Kunsthaus Zurich - Largest Art Museum in Switzerland
National Museum Zurich - Swiss History Museum
Swiss Casino Zurich - Largest casino in Switzerland
And many more!
Zurich Tourist Travel Pass
To travel within Zurich, you can purchase the Zurich Card where you can have unlimited 24 hours or 72 hours, 2nd class travel on tram, bus, train, boat, cable car and certain boat trips, free or reduced admissions into museums, discount on tours and more.
There is also the Zurich Card Bike which is slightly more expensive but includes everything in Zurich Card plus rental of classic or e-bike.
Day 2: Travel to St. Moritz, Explore St. Moritz
High in the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz is the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism and very popular as a winter sport location. In summer, there's hiking, biking, fly fishing, sailing, rowing and many other activities to do.
For us, this is where we start our journey on the Glacier Express scenic train.
Travelling to St. Moritz from Zurich
The most economical, fuss-free and scenic way to travel to St. Moritz and around Switzerland is via the train. For non-European tourists, we have access to the Swiss Pass and the Eurail Pass, which allows for unlimited travel on the Swiss train network. In the next section, we'll compare the two to see which one you should get.
Is Swiss Pass or Eurail Pass better?
If you are planning to travel within Switzerland, get the Swiss Pass. If your trip includes other parts of Europe, then which to get will depend on what you plan to do. For both passes, you can choose:
The number of days you want the pass to be valid for
1st class or 2nd class
Flexible or consecutive days redemption
Price - Eurail Pass is slightly cheaper
For a 15-day, flexible redemption, 1st class adult ticket, the Swiss Pass costs ~700+ CHF whereas the Eurail Pass costs ~ 657 EUR (at time of writing, the exchange rate between CHF and EUR is about 1 to 1). You can potentially get it cheaper on websites such as klook.
Let us help you compare and find the best deals for you.
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Coverage - Which is better depends on where you are going
If you are travelling within Switzerland, Swiss Pass is better
Swiss Pass covers not just inter-canton rail transport, but also local transport, such as buses and trams within a city. Eurail Pass mainly covers inter-canton rail transport.
For those transport that are not free, such as certain funiculars and cable cars up the mountains (which can be really pricey), Swiss Pass allows for ~50% off. You will have to pay full price for Eurail Pass.
If your travel includes places in Europe outside of Switzerland, Eurail Pass may be better. If you are travelling within Switzerland or want to visit many mountain tops in Switzerland, pick the Swiss Pass.
Related: How to use the Eurail pass?
Things to do in St. Moritz, Switzerland
If you only have one day, do these
Take funicular, cable way up the mountains, enjoy a scenic overview of St. Moritz and then take a stroll around Lake St. Moritz.
Corviglia, Piz Nair Mountains
Depending on where you stay in St. Moritz, there are different routes up the mountain. Given that we will only be spending a day in St. Moritz, stay near the train station, take the train up from St. Moritz Dorf to Corviglia and depending on your preference, either trek down or take the cable way from Corviglia up to Piz Nair and then back down.