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2.5 days in Geneva: recommendation and suggestion

2.5 days in Geneva: recommendation and suggestion

Old Sep 21st, 2004, 12:04 AM
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2.5 days in Geneva: recommendation and suggestion

My wife and I will be going to Geneva (taking the overnight train from Florence the night before) on Oct 21. We'll stay in Geneva for 2.5 days before we fly back home.

I've heard Zermatt is a beautiful village to visit. Just wonder if it is possible to have a "day trip" to Zermatt from Geneva. The train-ride is around 3.5 hrs? Would it be too rush?

Some tour-guide book suggests a day-trip to Mount Blanc & Chamonix (by Key Tours?) Any recommendation?

Also, would one and a half day (our flight back home is at 14:35 Saturday)in Geneva good enough to tour the city?

Any advise/suggestion is appreciated

Anselm
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 01:46 AM
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It is unfortunate (after a fashion at least) that the night train you'll be taking will pass fairly close to Zermatt on the way to Geneva. The train arrives in Brig around 6:30 in the morning or so and Brig is the place you would have to return to from Geneva in order to change trains for Zermatt!

The trip up to Zermatt from Brig has some very pretty scenery and then there is the further possibility of taking the Gornergrat railroad from Zermatt up to the viewing area which affords spectacular vistas. You could possibly store your luggage at the station in Brig and take the trip up to Zermatt and back down and then continue on to Geneva. But that would mean doing so fairly early in the morning.

There are a lot of possibilities for daytrips from Geneva; you could go to Montreux and visit the Chillon castle; or take the rack railway from Montreux up to Rochers de Naye for unforgettable views over Lac Leman...the trip up is worth it in and of itself.

Others, I am sure, will offer further suggestions for trips to nearby Mont Blanc, etc., from Geneva.

Have a great trip.
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 01:48 AM
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Zermatt is possible as a day trip, but would be a long day. Mount Blanc would be much closer. Mt Blanc is not as dramatic as Zermatt, but the whole area is very beautiful. Zermatt is not actually a little village, I find it a bit crowded and much of it is modern, but the Matterhorn is beautiful.

You might want to look into stopping at Zermatt on your way out from Florence. It is on the way, and many trains go through the valley adjacent to Zermatt. You can get off at Brig, store your bags there, and take the little train on into Zermatt. (You could also store your bags at the station in Zermatt.) You can stay around Zermatt for the day, and then go back to Brig, collect your bags and go onto Geneva. I looked up the train schedules, and from Florence you can take the 11:10 pm train which gets to Brig at 6:35 am. You can get to Zermatt from Brig in about and hour, and could have breakfast while the sun rises over the Matter horn. . . .

I personally think that Vevey, Lausanne and Montreux are much nicer towns than Geneva, with much more beautiful lake and mountain views. They are also smaller and more charming than Geneva. You might want to base yourself in Vevey or Lausanne, and you can go into Geneva for a day if you want, the train trip from Vevey or Lausanne would be about 30 minutes. Trains run very frequently. Also, if you based yourself in Vevey or Lausanne you would have a bit of a shorter trip if you decide to go to Zermatt as a day trip from the Geneva area.
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the info. Just wonder how does the luggauge storage in the train station work? Is it like a big locker and is it safe? We'll be carrying a medium size hard-shell luggauge case (~40 inches X 20 inches) Would it fit?

I'm from Vancouver, Canada. Just wonder if Zermatt somewhat like Whistler in Vancouver where they have a village/city at the base of the mountain and U can buy ticket for the "cable-car?" to ride up to the top of the mountain for the view?

Your advise is appreciated.

Anselm
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Old Sep 21st, 2004, 04:48 PM
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Logging on as another big fan of Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux (all within a little over 1 hour along the lake outside Geneva). Charming towns. Rochers de Naye scenic tram and the castle at Chateau de Chillon are both great. I'm not a big fan of Geneva myself (except for its efficient airport and train station). My personal recommendation would be to spend your days along Lac Leman, towns mentioned above.

If you do a 'search' using Vevey and Montreux there are several good threads from when a couple of posters (myself included) were there this summer.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 01:46 AM
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I have not stored luggage in Brig, so can't say for sure if there will be lockers and/or a manned luggage storage room. If there are lockers, they may not be big enough for large suitcases, so you may end up using the manned room anyway. There is a large luggage room in Zermatt. Both would be very safe. (This is Switzerland). In either station, look for a blue sign with a suitcase painted in white, this will direct you to the luggage room and/or lockers. You can also ask, you will find English-speaking personnel on the trains and in stations.

In Zermatt, you have a few options as to how to go up the mountain. You can take a series of cable cars up what is almost the face of the Matterhorn to the top of the Klein Matterhorn ("little Matterhorn"). There is an ice cave or ice palace there (sorry never seen it) and you can also get good views of the valley, not as great views of the Matterhorn as it is so close to you. Another option is to take the cable car railway up the Gornegrat. I would recommend this over the cable cars to the Klein Matterhorn. The Gornegrat trip is a fun train ride up the mountain with excellent Matterhorn views the whole way. There are stops along the way where you can get out, take in the view, and continue up on the next train. You might want to go all the way to the Gornegrat station first for views, etc and work down. If there is not a lot of snow, there are walking trails that you could take down to lower stations. At the Rifflealp stop is the excellent Riffelalp 2222 hotel, which has a lovely outdoor restaurant with the great Matterhorn view. There is also a more casual cafeteria type restaurant at the Riffleberg station. (You could also walk down hill a bit from the Riffleberg station to the Riffleberg Hotel which also has a nice restaurant.)

You can also take a cable car to the Schwarzsee lake where you get a reflection of the Matterhorn in the lake, and there is also a restaurant and some walks. I don't know how to do this as I have only skied Zermatt in winter when the lake is covered. Others may have advice on this.

Note that the cable cars and the Gornegrat train are somewhat expensive, I think about CH50 per person, could even be more. I believe you can tickets for just certain stations, so if you don?t' want to go all the way to the Gornegrat station or the Klein Matterhorn station, you could go to lower stations for a lesser price. The Gornegrat railway stations is across the street from the main railway station in Zermatt. To get to the cable cars for Klein Matterhorn, you could walk or take a bus to other end of town where the first cable car station is located. If you have the time, money and inclination, you could of course do both the Gornegrat railway ride and the cable car to Klein Matterhorn
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Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:28 AM
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If you fly from Florence to Geneva you should get a great view of Mont Blanc, much more impressive than from the ground. On a clear day you can see it from Geneva.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 11:13 PM
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Thanks for all the valuable info. I'm trying to book a hotel in Geneva / Lausanne (with reasonable price: I'm looking for <$120 US). I've checked the hotel in Lausanne and they are all seemed to be pretty expensive. Any hotel suggestions (w/ reasonable rate)in Lausanne?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Hi Anselm!
I just got back from Switzerland where I based myself in Lausanne for 9 days. I stayed at Hotel Elite, off Rue de Petit Chêne, near the train station. It was less than $108/night for me because I stayed there 8 nights and it was a single room. But go to their website anyway and see if you can swing it. The reason being is that you may find savings in other ways. They are right up the hill from the train, bus AND metro stations. They are just down the hill from the center of town and the old town so you are walking distance from a lot of the major sights. Also a big breakfast is included in the price and you can probably skip lunch. They also had great service. Contact them and maybe they will give you a deal. There are other hotels in the same area (Agora, Hotel de la Paix, Hotel Victoria, Alpha-Palmiers)but they are more expensive - however check their sites and other travel sites to see if they can beat the rate. You'll have all the same location advantages (except not necessarily the free breakfast.)Do get some time around the Lac Leman area. I went to several towns and cities nearby. Favorites were Bern (especially at night), Neuchâtel and Fribourg. Montreux has a casino on the lake with "nickle" slots (take your passport). And let me tell you about my Friday. I went to Broc to the Cailler chocolate factory where I sampled free chocolate till I was sick - then got on the train and went way high up to a resort town called Les Diablerets. No extra charge - covered on the Swiss Pass. The scenery will absolutely take your breath away GUARANTEED. Have fun - I'm insanely jealous - I've only been back 10 days....
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Hi. You've received great advice. If you're still having difficulty finding a hotel within your price range, try neighboring towns like Cully, Morges, Rivaz, all on the rail line. Or perhaps visit the bnb.ch website to see if there are any bed and breakfasts in Lausanne. J.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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My husband and I were easily able to tour the whole town in one day, all walking. We followed the day tours described by Fodors, just connected them all and could walk around the entire city - it was a gorgeous and fun day; and no we were not running everywhere and were able to stop at several cafes for wine and coffee so you won't feel rushed. I have to say that Geneva was not one of those places I had on my "to do" list, but the opportunity arose and now I'm in love with the city. It reminded me of a story book city.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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I know Hotel Elite in Lausanne has a website. I was planning to stay there (simply from internet research) but ended up able to meet friends in Vevey earlier, so did not. I'm glad to hear a good report about it, for future trips. Thanks scheraulei!
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