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Frankfurt to Switzerland for a quick 2 days, do-able?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
There's a chance business might bring me to Frankfurt and, if it did, that I might be able to tack on a couple of days to ski. How hard would it be to get to Switzerland for, say, a day of travel, two days of skiing, then back to Frankfurt for a 10 a.m. flight home?

I have absolutely no experience with European travel, so treat me as a newby on this front.
post #2 of 15
Easily doable by car.

Frankfurt - Basel (CH border city) 2.5 hrs. Count on roughly 5 hrs to a major ski destination like Engelberg, Davos or even Verbier. More smaller but fine areas closer to the Zurich area.
post #3 of 15

Frankfurt to Switz

Get your map out. Garmisch closer, then Austria, then Switz. Easily doable on your schedule. Rent a car or take a train ( trains run on time in europe). Check the Holidays in Europe, I would not recommend going on a European holiday unless you like crowds, pushing in lift lines etc. Like here midweek, non holiday is the best. Call in advance or do on web, get your lodging reservations now. Have fun!!
post #4 of 15
So, what, you're working all day on, say Friday, and you want to ski the weekend, with a Monday flight back? Screw the train or driving the whole way if you have to work into the afternoon Friday. You can get a flight direct from Frankfurt to Zurich, Geneva or Innsbruck. Zurich would be your best bet for frequency. Rent a car in Zurich. I'd go Engelberg or Flims/Laax from there, both easy to get to. You might be able to get an early enough flight Zurich-Frankfurt to allow you to stay in Zurich (airport hotel) on the Sunday night (let's say a 7am flight from Zurich, check thru there; easier to do if you're flying Lufthansa or United, which are partners with Swiss). Be easier if you could fly back to the States directly from Zurich, though. It's easy to drive in Switzerland, no worries there. If you go for the Geneva option, you might want to consider a taxi or shuttle to Megeve or Chamonix rather than driving.
post #5 of 15
Another option:

Overnight train.

Years ago, I did that from Vienna to St. Anton.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback.

More info in answer to questions: I'd basically have all day Friday free, and would be looking to ski Saturday and Sunday and then leave Monday morning around 10 a.m.. Probably couldn't fly in or out of anywhere but Frankfurt.

The train is intriguing, but more than anything else I like the fact you all feel it's very possible to pull off. Thanks again!
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Garmisch closer, then Austria, then Switz. ( trains run on time in europe)
Not really true.

By the time you even enter Austria from Frankfurt you've almost reached f.i. Interlaken/Jungfrau region or Engelberg. Garmisch isn't more convenient, offers worse skiing and trafficwise can be a pain to drive to.
Good thing in eastern Switzerland is the dense highway system - unrivaled by Austria or Bavaria - which allows quick access to virtually any good resort there. Only downside is the pricey highway vignette (toll) which is 40 SF no matter how long you are staying (valid for a full year though) and the lots of speed cameras around Basel.

Be careful about the train option:they often run behind schedule these days which can create a problem upon switching trains with short overlaps. Right now there's anyway a major unresolved railway strike going on.
post #8 of 15
Drive Time would depend on what time of the year & weather conditions.

February is the kids holidays in Germany & the Autobahns are jam packed.

The 2.5 hr quoted earlier is with the foot to the metal. Once in Switzerland or Austria speed is considerably reduced.

Trains operate reguarly from Frankfurt to Basel or Zurich but most the Ski areas are 3 hours further on from there.

Here is an example Frankfurt to Engelberg by Train fast 5hrs 27 mins 3 changes

Frankfurt(Main)Hbf Fr, 23.11.07 ab 16:05 5:27 3 ICE, IR, S, BUS Preisauskunft nicht möglich
Rückfahrt hinzufügen Engelberg(CH) Fr, 23.11.07 an 21:32

You can use this to find more routes www.dbahn.de

I would consider Austria rather Switzerland if travelling by car. The resorts are much easier to get to.

Whatever, A weekend skiing from Frankfurt is not a problem , thousands of Germans do that !
post #9 of 15


Stanton, great post, this is why epic is such a great site.
post #10 of 15
Just checked Frankfurt to St Anton under 6hrs door to door !

You cant drive it in that time.

Frankfurt(Main)Hbf Fr, 23.11.07 dep 11:50 5:56 1 ICE, IC 93,60 EUR
Choose return trip St. Anton am Arlberg Fr, 23.11.07 arr 17:46

The Station in St Anton is right in town. Just get out the train and buckle your boots up or as locals do wear them

To get cheaper tickets you need to book at least 7days in advance.

This year in Austria,Switzerland is looking to be Epic.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, fellas, Stanton especially.

I'll let you know if it comes off.
post #12 of 15
Yes, it's possible. Leave Friday morning or afternoon, and with the fast ICE trains in Germany, you can get to Innsbruck in just over 5 hours, Oberstdorf in Bavaria in 4.5 hours, and St. Anton is 5.5 -6 hours. I think Davos is about 6-7 hours away, etc.

Then after skiing Sunday, it's usually possible to catch a train around 4-5 PM and be back in Frankfurt before midnight.

Try the websites for the federal railways:

post #13 of 15

There is a National Rail Strike in Germany this week and it is set to continue. Hopefully there resolve it before the ski season gets going.
post #14 of 15
Oh, there's also one in France, so getting around France and Germany is not so easy at the moment. Just wait until Belgium splits into two countries. . .
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by stanton View Post
I would consider Austria rather Switzerland if travelling by car. The resorts are much easier to get to.
Disagree on that one when starting off from Frankfurt. But as you said it really doesn't matter too much, so many options....
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