Me and Omar just got back from our DDLJ inspired Switzerland trip and it was literally the most stunning holiday we’ve ever been on! Here’s what we got up to:
1. London St. Pancras – Paris Gare Du Nord / Eurostar / 2hrs 15 mins
Our first leg of the journey was the Eurostar journey which we’ve gotten quite used to at this point!
One thing to bear in mind is that you have to arrive around 60 minutes before your train departs to get through all the security and passport checks.
2. Paris Gare De Lyon – Zurich HB / TGV Lyria / 4hrs 11 mins
Slightly annoyingly, you have to change stations at Paris before the next leg. It takes around 10 minutes on the metro but we opted for a taxi and it took around 30 minutes.
Getting on the train is very easy unlike the first leg. There’s no security or passport checks, you could hop on just a couple minutes before the train departs similar to a regional British train.
This part of the journey contains some very scenic views including the iconic yellow fields! The trains are double decker so do try and get on the upper level if possible to make the most of the views.
As we left in the morning we arrived in Zurich in the evening just as the sun was setting. We ended up staying here a couple nights to make the most of a full day here. Before arriving we weren’t sure whether it was worth checking out Zurich, you might think it’s just a bog standard European city – but in hindsight I think it’s definitely worth checking out. We had some delicious raclette – melted cheese on top of potatoes – from a little restaurant called Raclette Factory. I’d recommend the Alpöhi, which is mashed potatoes instead of the usual boiled potatoes.
It was also worth checking out the Swiss National Museum. It provided a nice backdrop to the whole trip and we learnt lots about the history of Switzerland!
4. Zurich – Wengen
This was the first of many regional trains we took within Switzerland. To book our journeys we used the SBB Mobile app which is very easy to use and plan a journey (it’s just a bit tedious having to put your details in every time you book a journey but I think it’s probably easy to get around that if you set up a profile).
By the end of our trip we calculated our train expenses at around £600 – we often heard people talking of a “Half Fare Travelcard” or “Swiss Pass” and in hindsight we should have looked into this further. Switzerland can get quite pricey very quickly so I’d definitely recommend calculating your train journeys and seeing whether one of the travel cards are worth it. Someone also mentioned your hotel can provide you with a travel card so definitely check that!
Also worth mentioning, trains are quite regular so we held off on booking them ahead of time so we could be super flexible.
In Wengen we stayed at Apartment Alpina. This was a lovely wooden chalet, our most spacious accommodation. If you enjoy hiking and snow sports, Wengen might take your fancy. It’s a quiet town and our apartment was just a few minutes walk from the train station. Unfortunately the restaurants here were all closed when we visited and they open at the end of May.
We spent a lot of time in Interlaken – a scenic 20 min train journey away – during our stay in Wengen so if we were to recommend where to stay for this leg of the journey, we’d say Interlaken is probably a better location (unless you like winter sports)!
Interlaken has some iconic places for Bollywood lovers like the park where Raj pulls the flower prank on Simran (just outside Victoria Jungfrau hotel) and the Yash Chopra statue. It’s also a beautiful place to explore, there’s paragliding and an incredible view from Harder Kulm (via funicular) which I’d highly recommend!
5. Wengen – Gimmelwald
From Wengen we made our way to the incredibly scenic, idyllic village of Gimmelwald.
Our route was:
Wengen – Lauterbrunnen (train)
Lauterbunnen – Stechelberg (bus)
Stechelberg – Gimmelwald (cable car)
Totalling around 47 minutes
The unspoilt, pedestrian, alpine village lies in the heart of the Swiss alps and is one of few car-free villages in Switzerland. Whenever we stepped out of our air bnb, I couldn’t help but feel this was a setting out of a fairytale.
I’d make the most of the beautiful scenes all around Gimmelwald by going on some walks or hikes. It’s also a great destination for climbers and skiers!
If you prefer a more luxurious accommodation, I’d recommend checking hotels in Mürren which is a quick cable ride further up the mountain. There are only Air bnbs/guesthouses in Gimmelwald with no dining options so you’ll likely find yourself in Mürren at some point during your stay! Mürren also is a bit more lively with cafes, restaurants and a local co-op. In Gimmelwald, you’re surrounded mainly by four-legged friends and Mother Nature.
6. Gimmelwald – Zermatt
Our journey to Zermatt took round 3.5 hours and included a cable car, bus and train. It was a nice way to round of our trip here, seeing the iconic Matterhorn and relaxing at our spa hotel.
Zermatt is a great place to shop for winter sportswear and it had its fair share of luxury shops too. I will say it’s maybe one you can leave off your itinerary unless you’re keen on seeing the matterhorn.
7. Zermatt – London
Our route here was Zermatt – Lausanne – Paris – London
Don’t forget to try some fondue (I love motie motie) and raclette! And the chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate.
We hope you enjoy your travels to Switzerland!