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8 adults with diffrent opinions on where to stay in Switzerland: HELP!

8 adults with diffrent opinions on where to stay in Switzerland: HELP!

Old Aug 17th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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8 adults with diffrent opinions on where to stay in Switzerland: HELP!

Going to Switzerland on our way to Italy in Oct. 3 days-4 nights. arrive late afternoon in Zurich. Plan to spend one full day in Zurich then go to Swiss "home-base" afterwards. Group deciding between following:
1. Lucerne
2. Interlaken
3. Murren
4. Gimmelwald
5. Grindelwald

Group interested in various things: alps/outdoor interests & city-culture/musuem interets. Which city/town can offer both?
Lodging & dining recomendations also very welcomed!
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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If you want mountains, scenery, and hiking then stay in Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. If you want some city culture plus some mountain venues then go to Luzern.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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i just got back saturday from switzerland. zurich for one full day is great. the old town is large lots of pedestrian only streets. the river going dow nthe center of the city is beautiful.
gimmelwald is a sleeply town way up in the mtns. i mean sleepy. the gondola stops there and few people get off most transfer and go all the way up to schlithorn.
grindelwald is a touristy town with lots of restaurants and shops....it is on the east side of the mtn. if i went back to the area i would stay in lauterbrunnen or wengen( such a beautiful little alpine village). it is more peaceful than the touristy grindelwald. luzern is a cute town and we used it to rest after jet lag for one day.... a bit of a distance to get up to the alps. there is a very nice picasso museum there......... you can do 2 nights in the alps and one night in luzern......you can get a real taste for the alps in 2 nights and a taste of the city in one night....cute but not much to it. ....
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Here's another vote for Luzern as a base.

For mountains, Pilatus from Luzen/Stans and Titlus from Engelberg should satisfy the alp desires.

Luzern, IMHO, is one of the most beautiful and elegant cities in Europe.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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We rented a cute little chalet in Brienz for 8 days and with our Swiss Rail passes we went off in all directions and saw some amazing things. We sat down each evening and decided where we would go the following day, yes we spent some time on the trains but they are so clean and run like clockwork. We often had picnic lunches on the train as we went onto another adventure. We found that basing ourselves in one place for that amount of time was well worth it.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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I would also recommend Brienz. We spent two weeks there in July 2007 and because we liked it a great deal we returned in November 2007 for three weeks before going to Venice for the holidays. We stayed in a vacation rental both times.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Lucern gives you the best of both - a small city atmosphere and sights and lots of hotel/dining choices and very quick access to lake and several mountains (you can hike if you choose or take trams or cable cars up the mountains, walk.hike as much s you want from the nearby villages.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Because Switzerland is a very safe country with an excellent train and bus system, why don't you pick Interlaken? That way you could stay at the same base (apartment or hotel) and go your own separate ways each day and reconvene in the evenings.

That way all individuals can select what he or she wants to do each day. If several are going to the same place, about the only trip that might take advanced planning is the Jungfraujoch.

If I were doing such a trip for myself I would stay in Lauterbrunnen because I am partial to the mountains. From Lauterbrunnen you can easily reach many other destinations in the Berner Oberland. Mürren, Wengen, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Meiringen, Brienz, Thun and Spiez are very easy to reach by train from Lauterbrunnen.

Luzern is a little farther away, but by car it is easy to reach. The major hurdle in terms of time is the Brünip Pass because there is often a slow procession of cars ascending or descending the pass. Otherwise, the road to Luzern has been greatly improved in recent years with more tunnels.

By train from Interlaken Ost the trip takes 2 hours via no-change connections every hour beginning at 7:04.

Coming back there are several one-change connections until 23:00.

Those are some suggestions for major centers. Brienz is a small but delightful village on the north shore of the Brienzer See. Spiez and Thun are two other towns on the Bern side of Interlaken.

However, if seeing the mountains is a high priority, I suggest Lauterbrunnen because everybody would have daily schedule flexibility.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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I might add that Gimmelwald is little more than a hamlet. It has nice views but there is not much there and transportation wise you are tied to the cable lift to Stechelberg and the bus to Lauterbrunnen.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 01:43 AM
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Hi ktspspiv4,

With the interests of your group, I would pick Luzern because it has everything eveyone wants -- nature and mountains and lakes and museums and shopping and architecture. You can take a look at it at

www.luzern.org

If you want to be closer to the bigger mountains, I'd suggest Thun, which is like an un-touristed Luzern. It has interesting architecture, great rail connections, a lake, a river, a castle, shops, and of course it's not far from the big peaks.

Have fun!

s
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Thank you all so much. I think you all have shared some similar information that will better help us. Based on what I have read from you all & from others we know who have traveled to Switzerland, it does seem that the most recomended places to make home-base would be either:
1. Lauterbrunnen
2. Luzerne
3. Interlaken

Would anyone have time to share some lodging, dining & any other ideas that would help us?
Thank you again for all the great advice!
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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You first !
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