2 1/2 Day in Switzerland

Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 06:41 AM
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2 1/2 Day in Switzerland

I need some advise. We are a group of four people that are booked on a Viking cruise on the Rhine leaving Basel on a Tuesday evening, 2022. We have decided to spend the preceding weekend in Switzerland, so arriving Saturday am, and meeting boat on Tuesday. I am thinking of staying in Lucerne until Tuesday because it is a short train ride from the Zurich airport and onto Basel and it looks like a lovely city to visit. I canít decide which city would be best for the weekend Lucerne or Interlaken, we really would like to see both places. Do you think we could do a day trip from Lucerne to Interlaken on that Sunday, it will be Easter Sunday. Can we get at least a taste of this region in just a one day trip? Iím thinking arrive in Zurich Sat morning, train to Lucerne, check into a hotel and take an easy rest of the day in Lucerne. Then early Sunday morning train to Interlaken, go to Jungfrau and then back to Lucerne by train. Spend Monday in Lucerne and then onto Basel late morning on Tuesday. I know itís busy, but this is our only time in Switzerland and I want to see as much as possible. Any thoughts?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 01:14 PM
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I would not try to do the Jungfrau from Lucerne. For one thing, whether or not to make the trip is totally dependent on the weather (no point in going if there is a low cloud ceiling), so you can't simply lock in one specific date for the Jungfrau because that's what fits your itinerary. Lucerne is a lovely town with some easier to reach peaks nearby. With your limited time, I would just stay there. It's a good choice for a short stay.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 01:50 PM
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I think Lucerne would be a perfect location for your short stay. You can visit Mt Pilatus (by boat and funicular) or Mt Rigi (by boat and cog railway), both are spectacular and make for a great day out. Wander around the old town. Museums and art galleries if the weather is not nice.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 02:37 PM
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Do Lucerne or Interlaken but doing both would involve a lot of travel.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 08:52 PM
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In 2018 we took the Viking Rhine Getaway River Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam which sounds like what you are doing. We booked extensions through Viking of 2 days before in Lucerne and 2 days after in Amsterdam. We had a great time and we really enjoyed our 2 days in Lucerne. You may have seen it already but I posted a fairly detailed trip report that also has a link to some of our pictures. Hopefully you will have as much fun as we did. Please let me know if you have any questions. Here is a link to the report:



Viking Rhine Getaway River Cruise Ė August 2018
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Old Feb 23rd, 2021, 02:28 AM
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Neither the cog wheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus nor the Lake Lucerne boat to Alpnachstad will run before May.
But don't worry: there are tons of other day trip possibilities. All will depend on the weather.
There will be no fine weather guarantee for April anyway: there may be rainfall at Lucerne, snowfall at Jungfraujoch, and warm and sunny weather along Lake Geneva, Valais or Ticino.
A train ride from Lucerne to Jungfraujoch takes 3 1/2 hrs OW; change at Interlaken Ost, Grindekwald Terminal and Eigergletscher.
A train ride from Lucerne to Lake Lugano would take 1 1/2 hrs OW (direct trains).
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Old Feb 23rd, 2021, 06:15 AM
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Thanks

John 183 I did read your trip report and really enjoyed it, thank you.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2021, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kleeblatt View Post
Do Lucerne or Interlaken but doing both would involve a lot of travel.
Do you have a preference and why? I am torn between both places and it seems itís impossible to do both.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2021, 12:21 PM
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Lucerne

I loved Lucerne! Beautiful walk around a lake, etc. I also went to Interlachen and took the train to the jungfrauyock, there was snow on the mountain and I skied a bit. If you could manage to squeeze in these two places and add a day or two to your trip, I think its worth it. Wasnt really too impressed with Zurich. Lucerne was the best!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2021, 02:42 PM
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I work in Lucerne twice a week and live in the area so I know it perhaps too well to see the city's charm. However, Neckervd is right about the weather although in recent years, some of our best weather has been in April.

If you dare to chance it, you might want to wait until the last minute to book your hotels and decide on your destination based on the weather. For amazing weather, Interlaken/Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen offers more snow and mountain village feeling in the middle of the alps. Lucerne, on the other hand, offers a medieval old city with a day trip to either the Rigi, Pilatus or Engelberg. You could even go south to Lugano or Locarno for a day if you want something completely different or if the weather is dismal in the Innerschweiz.

So, as you can see, it's a tough decision and you'll just have to base it on what you really want to see and do in such a short time.

Good luck
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Old Feb 24th, 2021, 12:06 AM
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2 1/2 days are close to nothing. I am with the others: Focus on one destination. And more: Focus on a destination that has mountains and scenery at its doorstep but also things to do for bad weather days. It is good to have a plan B in case the weather does not cooperate. You cannot count on blue skies. The weather is changeable in the Alps and the chances of postcard-perfect conditions are far below 50%.

Lucerne is the perfect answer to this.

Interlaken - I wonder what for. 150 years ago Interlaken used to be a posh resort that was popular with high society. Nowadays it is hardly more than the gateway to Berner Oberland. The true attractions of this area are not in Interlaken but further up in the mountains. These are to be explored from one of the mountain resorts. Your limited timeframe would be too tight for that, and April is a bad season for the high Alpine areas anyway.
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