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5 days Swiss,Paris trip with Basel as base location

5 days Swiss,Paris trip with Basel as base location

Mar 1st, 2016, 03:15 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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5 days Swiss,Paris trip with Basel as base location

Dear All Fodorites,

We are a group of 5 people (incl 6 yr old kid and my parents).

In first week of May, want to do a Swiss Paris trip in which we would like to visit places like Mt. Titlis, Interlaken Jungfraujoch and Bern/Zurich if possible then move to Paris for 2 days.

I have an option to make Basel as my base location as I have friends residing there at 15 min tram ride from Basel station..

I would like know:

From Basel using Intercity trains, how easy or hectic it would be to do 1-day return trip each to Lucerne+Mt. Titlis, Zurich/Bern .... then 1 or 2 Nights stay in a hotel in Engelberg/Interlaken (for Jungfraujoch).

Having a base location can save us from checking-in/out of hotels with luggage,kid,sr. citizens and some $$ on hotels but definitely the travel time and money spent in commuting,tickets (may procure Swiss family pass- 4 days) is something worth considering.

Do you think it is workable plan or I should actually stay in Lucerne for 2 nights each instead of to-fro from Basel.

My purpose of trip would be more on relaxing and sightseeing, have a kid and parents so adventure sports is not in the to-do list

After all these, I would want to go to Paris for 2 nights and then depart for my Country from Paris itself

Eagerly waiting for any suggestions, feedbacks.

Thanks in advance ,
Gaurav
gaurav123 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 04:27 AM
  #2  
 
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Sorry - basel is not a great place for what you want to do. You should consider either Lucerne (much better for Mts. Titlus and Mt Pilatus) or Interlaken or one of the town in the foothills for the Jungfrau.

Be aware that ascending the mountains is VERY weather dependent. Often the tops are socked in by clouds and ascending makes no sense since you just can't see anything at all. You need to check first thing in the am to see what the weather is at the top (you can google the web sites) and then move quickly since clouds tend to roll in later in the day. So having to take a long train ride TO the mountain before you can start to take the cog wheel railway or the gondola up just raises the risk of losing the good weather.

We had to spend 3 days in Interlake before we got a day that was clear at the top of the Jungfrau - and this isn;'t uncommon.

Think one hotel is a great idea - but Basel is too far from the mountains you want to see.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 05:49 AM
  #3  
 
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The Swiss Pass can be a great deal for folks like you who are basing and traveling longish distances by train - for lots of nice info on Swiss trains and passes check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check out this site's online European Planning & Rail Guide's Switzerland chapter for lots of ideas on where to go) and www.ricksteves.com.

To me the Jungfraujoch area around Interlaken is the absolutehighlight of Switzerland for folks looking forthat dreamy Alpine wonerland - stay a few days right up in the hills in a mountain village like Grindelwald or Wengen and be eyeball to eyeball with soaring glacier girdled peaks - toylike trains and gondolas going off in all directions.

Yes you can day trip in from Basel but the experience is much more awesome if you actually stay here IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 10:11 AM
  #4  
 
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From Basel using Intercity trains, how easy or hectic it would be to do 1-day return trip each to Lucerne+Mt. Titlis, Zurich/Bern .... then 1 or 2 Nights stay in a hotel in Engelberg/Interlaken (for Jungfraujoch).>

Go to www.sbb.ch- Swiss Federal Railways online site for schedules but Switzerland is so small that practically anyplace in central Switzerland is an easy enough day trip from Basel (which is also a fine city - spend some time there as well).

Lucerne and Mt Titlis in the same day can be done if you want an ephemeral look at Lucerne (which some will say is fine - that the city itself is the main attraction - just to see its lakeside setting and famous covered wooden bridges, etc.

Lucerne to Engelberg is probably a bit over an hour or so and then ince in Engelberg you have to take the famous revolving cable car up to near the Titlis summit.

If going to Jungfraujoch reason skip Mt Titlis as you'll have several Mt Titlis' in that wonderful area - perfect place to spend a few days.

Bern and Zurich - again an easy train ride from Basel - Bern is a bit more manageable and to a bit nicer. Many are underwhelmed by a too modern and big and busy Zurich.

Bern and Lucerne could easily be twinned in one day trip.

Basel to Lake Geneva is also easily done - Montreux area - Chateau Chillon, cute lakeside cities of Montreux and Vevey - short boat ride on the lake (Swiss Passes cover full fare on lake boats as well as city trams and buses)- I understand why you want to base in Basel but unfortunately it is in the extreme southwestern part of Switzerland and not centrally located but can be a base for what you want.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 05:00 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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As PalenQ noted, check http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html -- all the info you need, all in one easily navigated and authoritative web-site!
kja is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 09:27 PM
  #6  
 
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Hi gaurav123,

I think Basel will make a decent base for what you want, since you say you'll spend an extra night or two in the mountains.

Basel is a wonderful city, where I've visited 3 or 4 times; its historic center is lovely, with intriguing shops and cafes to discover as you meander the wandering streets. Its riverwalk is also very pretty.

Basel - Luzern is just over an hour, so that's a very easy day-trip, and Basel to Engelberg is about 1h50, so it's also quite easy to do. Basel - Zürich and Basel - Bern are both about an hour, so again, very easy for day-trips.

For your mountain excursion, Engelberg or Luzern would work fine. However, if you want to see the Jungfrau, you should base yourself closer than in Luzern/Engelberug -- that's simply too far to go for a day-trip. If you decide you want to see the Jungfrau region, you should base in Thun, Interlaken, or Lauterbrunnen. (I rarely recommend Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen for visitors to the Jungfrau region, but since you're going in May, they are among the best/closest option. The mountain villages of Wengen and Mürren may not be the best in May.)

I disagree with PalenQ above that Montreux is easily done from Basel -- that trip is about 2h40. That's too long imo for a decent day-trip.

PalenQ made a slight error saying that Basel is in the extreme southwest of the country; of course it is in the extreme north or northwest of Switzerland.

Have fun as you plan it all out!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Mar 1st, 2016, 09:56 PM
  #7  
 
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>>I think Basel will make a decent base for what you want, since you say you'll spend an extra night or two in the mountains.<<

I don't actually see how that is possible - As I read it you only have a total of 5 days for Basel, another mountain base in Switzerland AND Paris. Is that correct?

To get 2 days IN Paris you would need to stay 3 nights and that eats up most than half of your total time. To get 4 days in Switzerland - you'd need 5 nights, but that doesn't leave any time for Paris . . .
janisj is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 10:18 PM
  #8  
 
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Oh, thanks for that correction, janisj, which I see now but missed on my first read.

gaurav123 -- please clarify the total number of nights you have. It may be simpler to use a format like:

1 -- arrive Switzerland, see Basel
2 -- day-trip to Luzern, Engelberg & Titlis
3 -- day-trip to Bern & Zürich
4 -- train to Paris, explore the neighborhood
5 -- Paris Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame . . .

etc.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 04:56 AM
  #9  
 
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>>Oh, thanks for that correction, janisj, which I see now but missed on my first read.<<

You didn't necessarily mis-read -- I might be wrong. I guess we need some clarification. The tread's titles says >>5 days Swiss,Paris trip<< but maybe gaurav123 really means five days in Switzerland plus 2 days in Paris????
janisj is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 05:09 AM
  #10  
 
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Did a dummy search for going into Paris : it is a 3 hours trip only.

Ven. 20/05/2016 Bâle SBB Railway 10:34 SNCF
Seconde
Retour en Sec
Paris Gare De Lyon
13:37 Train 9214
TGV Lyria Mini

Another train at 8 34 - gets you of course at 11 3? into Paris. Prices I found were 90 and 120 € per trip. Didn't check for lowest lowrest prices.
Whathello is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 10:02 AM
  #11  
 
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gaurav- how many days are you doing Switzerland - 3 or 5?
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 12:25 PM
  #12  
 
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From Basel using Intercity trains, how easy or hectic it would be to do 1-day return trip each to Lucerne+Mt. Titlis, Zurich/Bern .... then 1 or 2 Nights stay in a hotel in Engelberg/Interlaken (for Jungfraujoch).>

janis: this seems to say 5 days in Switzerland - 3 day trips plus 1 or 2 nights in the Interlaken area. (Engelberg is where Mt Titlis is - if doing a day trip they would not stay there - but probably meant Grindelwald or some mountain village in the Interlaken area.

So it does seem five days in Suisse.
PalenQ is offline  

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