The perfect 7-day Itinerary for a week in Central Switzerland.

Last fall (I keep telling you it’s the best time to visit) my Sister-in-law and nieces came for a visit and had the best time- here is what we did!

Except for arrival day these are in no particular order because each one can be done in one day traveling to-and from Ennetbuergen. Obviously the days you visit Lauterbrunen and Hike would be enjoyed more in Sunshine weather, so try to plan accordingly.  Also a list of alternative ideas are at the bottom.

Arrival Day (Thursday):

When arriving from a long flight most people have the inclination to sleep -(I always need a nap) be careful  no to nap to long and stay up till evening if possible – this will help you re-set your clocks. If you can just walk around the village-


 ennetburgen church

  • Check out the church – yes its okay to go inside, and even take photos, just be reverent and respectful.
  • The graveyard behind the church is lovely
  • The seeplatzli park on the lake front is a must do even if you don’t have small children its lovely to sit at the benches overlooking the lake and watch the swans.
  • Stop at the only place in town to find Gelato.
  • Take a boat trip (check for schedules) from the “ship stop” in Ennetburgen just past the Gelato place and make sure to sit on the outside balconies for fresh air.
  • Take a walk up on the top of the Burgenstock (click here for suggestions).

top of burgentock viewsmap

Day 2 (Friday):

colmar

Spend a day (or a day and a night and another day) in Alsacs- Colmar and  Riquewihr, France Click here to see 40 of the last storybook towns.

Day 3 (Saturday):

engleburg

If you don’t stay in France try checking out Engelberg…… Lots to do!

Day 4 (Sunday):

touring lucerne tour in lucerne
Tour Lucerne-

  • Visit the local LDS church for services in German and with English translation. Service begin at 9:00am.
  • Although Sunday isn’t a market day and the shops are closed- it can be a perfect day to walk around the city for a tour. I give a really good tour that takes about 2 hours. For walking tours in English or German meet at the train station but book in advance and check the schedule for seasonal availability. For market days you’ll have to visit before noon  on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Shops stay open a little later on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Day 5 (Monday):

meggan

Interlaken area is a must do, and the most popular tourist area in Switzerland. Lucky for us it’s only about an hour by car or 1 and a half by train. I always recommend the train because the ride takes you through beautiful mountanin scenery, that is best enjoyed on a train where you are free to walk around an take photos from the windows.

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  • My favorite place in the Bernard Oberland has to be Lauterbrunen. This picturesque valley was the inspiration for Rivendale -Tolkins magical land of the elves in the Lord of the Rings Trillogy. It’s a great place to bring a picnic and take a walk to – Trümmelbach Falls.
  • From Lauterbrunen catch a mountain train to Murren or Wengen.

swiss flag murren

Day 6 (Tuesday):

trotti bikes

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Day 7 (Wednesday):

Head to the french region- its a lot to pack into one day so get an early start!

Chateau-de-Chillon-Castle-Montreux- copy

  • Visit the chocolate factory in Broc . We like to visit the Chocolate factory first then head to Montreux to tour the castle.
  • The Castle Chillion in Montreux-  it is beautifully situated directly on the lake. My favorite part was the dungeon! There are lots of lake front restaurants in Montreux but you’ll be on a bit of a tight schedule to fit all three of these attractions into one day so I recommend bringing a picnic an enjoying it by the castle.
  • Then head to Gruyere (one of the 40 storybook towns left in Europe). Click here to see what there is to do . I have been to the cheese factory- home to a little museum exhibit,  but the real pleasure is just to walking around this walled village soaking up the beautiful views. My children played on the ramparts of the city walls for over an hour, using their imaginations to travel back in time. Watch the sunset and have dinner under the stars.

gruyeres

Some alternative ideas:

  1. Alpamare– This is a really fun waterside park- go in any weather. Buy tickets online so you don’t have to wait in lines- plus it’s a little cheaper!
  2. Stein am Rhein– I haven’t been yet, but I want to go and it has come recommended often.
  3. Basel Zoo- Basel market is great too- make a day of it and hit both places, they aren’t far from each other and the trams in Basel are fun and easy to use.
  4. A day in the Italian Canton  of Ticino:
  • We love the beach in Ascona (its free).
  • Locarno is fun to walk the promenade.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Playgrounds perfect for some fun and relaxation.

Near our house there are a few great mountain playgrounds with nearby restaurants and scenic hiking paths. All are accessible by public transportation, however if you prefer to take the car you can park at the lifts. A few on this list can even be reached with-out the gondola, just park your car nearby the playground and walk.

Our top 2 favorites are with in about 10-15 minutes from our flat in Ennetburgen.

Stockhutte– -is open from 8:30 to 12:00 / 13.00 – 17.30 clock / descent from Stockhütte 12.50 clock
Weekend-continuous operation.

buy a Gondola ticket:

  • adults are 18 chf- with 1/2 tax 9chf
  • kids are 9 chf -with Junior Card Free

We love stockhutte for many reasons, it’s close to our house, we enjoy renting the trotti-bikes, they have great walking paths, the kids can spend hours on the playground, and they have a large enclosed rabbit pin where you can go inside and play with the bunnies.

playground montage

TIP: If you aren’t from around here you and the kids might love trying some of our favorite Swiss soda’s. Try a Rivella- Blue or Red are the kids favorites (you don’t want to know what its made from), Beckenried’s Orangemost (orange soda made in a nearby village), and Apelshorle is my favorite because it’s made with real apple juice and is not terribly sweet. 

Wirzweli-is open from 7:40 until 6:20 and cable cars run every 20 minutes.

Buy a Gondola ticket:

  • adults are 18 chf- with 1/2 tax 9chf
  • kids are 9 chf -with Junior Card Free

playground

 Wirzweli has a fun playground with a large “tree” house, a pine cone slide contraption, teeter-toters and slides and all the normal trappings of a good playground, I wrote about it here. There are large grilling areas if you prefer to picnic and a restaurant if not.

  TIP: The ice-cream sundae’s at the restaurant are delicious and the kids are probably satisfied playing while you watch them from the deck of the restaurant. Lucky for me, my kids usually prefer a popsicle which is far less expensive. 

*also note -May 23  the lift and Playground open for the season (prior to that you can take a bus up to the restaurant and walking trails) There are usually plenty of parking places near the gondola and if you take the train there is a shuttle from the station to the gondola, or enjoy a short walk.

 

Three more favorites are with in about 15-25 minutes from our flat in Ennetburgen.

Seelisburg– is open from 8:30 until 6:30 during warm weather.

Seelisburg can be reached by car, or bus from the stans train station. It is a senic drive. Lake Seelisberg is between the mountains and is filled with stunning turquoise water. There is a playground, BBQ place, Kiosk, Beach Volleyball and toilets. You can rent deck chairs and rowboats. There is also a Camping site which you can use if you decide to stay:). I think there is a small entrance fee of about 4.50 vhf adults and a few franks for kids, they also have a family deal that with 2 paying adults and kids are free.

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Bruni– is open from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm may 24- Oct. 19, and from Oct 19-Nov 23 8:20am -5:00 pm- cable cars run every 20 minutes. Park in the large lot in Engleburg next to the Gondola, or take the train to Engleburg and walk or bus to gondola.

Buy a Gondola ticket:

  • adults are 18 chf- with 1/2 tax 9chf
  • kids are 9 chf -with Junior Card Free

trampolin at bruni

climbing wall at bruni

There are lots of kid oriented activities at Bruni other than just the playground. I wrote about it here. My family loves the summer time toboggan run that reaches speeds of 40 km per hour and is 660 meters long. Click on the link for pricing and details.

Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli– is open from 7:40 until 6:20 . The snow is usually melted by May and thru October.

Getting there:
Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli
Horbisstrasse
6390 Engelberg
Tel. 041 637 15 58
There is some parking near by, but limited and be prepared to walk.  If you decide to take the senic train ride to Engleburg you can ask their about public transportation options, or enjoy the easy walk up to the park, roads are not usually high traffic and on a nice day the mountain views are stunning.

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coco on bridge

The Park is one of the more unique and delightful in the area, I wrote more about it here. It’s kiddie heaven! Lots of room for playing, with a little lake to navigate rafts on (rafts are provided-just borrow from the dock- no fee), suspension bridges to cross, towers to climb… There are grill pits for those who want to still the hunger they’ve worked up being outdoors. This playground has a lot to offer, and the kids are sure to love it!

Tip : Pack a swimsuit in the summer necessarily (or change clothes ) a , because only about 50 cm deep lake will your kids guaranteed to dropped fountains entice .

* also note: The Robinson playground Grotzenwäldli is privately maintained and exemplary maintained. The necessary expenditure is financed by donations. It is therefore requested to make a small contribution in the respective point for the barbecue wood used .

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TIP: Its also worth noting the the senic train that runs between Luzern and Engelburg offers a kids “scavenger hunt” promotion from June- October. You simply have to pick up a form (available at the train station, before boarding the train) and fill in the answers along the way. You only have to have a handful of answers correct to redeem the prize and it applies to trips taken originating in Luzern, Hergiswill, Stans, Dallenwill and other stops along the way. The prize last year was a treasure chest filled with lots of goodies from stickers to chocolates!

A playground Where Huckleberry Fin Meets King Arthur

spiel platz bridge

There is one very unique playground we love to visit called Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli. It’s design could be described as something like Huckleberry Finn meets king Arthur. It’s a sweet place to spend the day or just a few hours and is sure to inspire lots of imagination.

engleburg mountains

spiel platz sign

spiel platz slide

spiel platz bridge and rafts

huckleberry family

When we were last there I met the little old man who seemed to be the caretaker and he told me that he and his family built the playground many years ago and he still comes everyday to tidy up, check the equipment and lock up the park at night. The love that built this place is obvious from it’s fanciful design to its meticulous upkeep.

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There is a wooden fortress with a rope suspension bridge stretched across a real moat. Of course there are also the normal trapping like swing sets and slides but my kids (AND Husband) seemed to gravitate toward the water. Bring swimsuits and dry clothes because the children are sure to want to get wet either swimming in the shallow pond or when having fun tipping rafts that are casually anchored at the shoreline (no charge) waiting for a new captain.

spiel platz grills

Like all the playground and recreation areas that I have seen-  there are picnic and grill places to eat and the firewood is provided. Because the park is privately funded, there is a donation box to help support its maintenance and to donate toward the firewood you may use.

huckleberry fin AXEL

If you are in the area (Engelberg) , you should definitely make a stop at Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli.

engleburg view2

Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli is open from sometime in the morning until sometime in the evening . The snow is usually melted by May and thru October.

Getting there:
Spielplatz Grotzenwäldli
Horbisstrasse
6390 Engelberg
Tel. 041 637 15 58
There is some parking near by, but limited and be prepared to walk.  If you decide to take the senic train ride to Engleburg you can ask their about public transportation options, or enjoy the easy walk up to the park, roads are not usually high traffic and on a nice day the mountain views are stunning.