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Alternative to Zurich for Last Night in Switzerland

Alternative to Zurich for Last Night in Switzerland

Old Jan 4th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Alternative to Zurich for Last Night in Switzerland

I will flying out of Zurich on a Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. this summer. I am debating whether to stay in Zurich my last night or in one of the surrounding towns. I will have a car and would like to stay within a 45 minute drive to the airport. I have never been to the Zurich area, any advice on alternatives to Zurich would be appreciated for instance smaller quaint town. Will be traveling with two teen daughters and wife and traveling to the Zurich area from Lauterbrunnen. Thanks.
KenP is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2007, 10:10 PM
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Hi KenP,

You have quite a few alternatives.

I've stayed in the town of Kuesnacht right on Lake Zurich several times, the last time at the Seehotel Sonne (www.sonne.ch) and loved it. One big plus about this hotel is that it is just down the street from the train station, and trains go right to the airport in about 20 minutes -- so you really won't need your car.

Another place I really enjoyed is the Hirschen am See (www.hirschen-meilen.ch) in Ober Meilen. It was a bit far from the train station, but if you decide to keep you car, it'll be ok for you.

Finally, you could really stay in the city of Luzern as well. There are direct trains from Luzern right to the airport that take about an hour, so it's not bad for your last night.

Hope this helps!

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2007, 02:35 AM
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Well, personally I think Zurich is extremely quaint and charming, so I would recco that you spend your time there rather than trying to pick another place. IMO neither Kushnact nor Meilen have the charm of Zurich, they are modern suburbs really; neither has the old town areas like Zurich, nor the great selection of restaurants nor the museums if you get a rainy day. I think the teens would be bored in either place and you will end up going into Zurich anyway. (The Sonne is a lovely hotel however, and Meilen does have some pretty views.)

Parking in Zurich can be a bit of an issue unless your hotel has it (but this is the case in many towns, e.g. Laterbrunnen), so if you can I would look into driving right to the airport on Saturday and dropping off the car, putting your big bags into storage or sending them via train from Lauterbrunnen (see below) and then just hopping on the train into Zurich with just small overnight bags so you can walk to your hotel. You may even be able to check in for your flight the night before (if you aren’t flying a US airline like Continental), which would save you a lot of time and hassle in the morning. Take a look at the airport website for info on that.

Zurich has a ton of stuff to do and see, I have posted on this before, do a search under my name or I can repost suggestions. On Saturdays in summer there is a great flea market down by the lake which the teenagers and your wife may enjoy, runs from about 7:30 am to 4 pm. You can do ferry rides, bike rides and walks in addition to seeing the lovely old town and there are numerous excellent museums if that is your interest or if you get a rainy day. (It rains a lot in Switzerland, it’s one of their little secrets along with the numbered bank accounts.)

The only caveat to my Zurich recco is if your trip is the weekend of August 11 which is the Street Parade in Zurich, 17 hours of non-stop hip-hop music and some strung-out teenagers. While extremely orderly (this is Switzerland) it is loud and crowded and not my idea of a good time, and I wouldn’t let a teenager near it.

If you want to store luggage at Zurich Airport, there are lockers at Zurich airport in addition to a manned luggage room. The lockers are located on the same level as the train ticket office, off behind the escalators down to the tracks. Follow signs for “Bahn” or “Railway”. If you have very large pieces, you will need to use the manned luggage room. The cost is about US$3 per piece per day, the cost is about the same for the lockers, you need exact change for the lockers. The website for Zurich airport is www.zurich-airport.com.

Check the airport website for whether you can check-in on Saturday for your flight. Many non-US airlines allow you to check-in (including luggage) up to 18 hours before the flight.

You may also be able to send your large luggage from Lauterbrunnen right to the airport, you would have to buy at least one one-way train ticket for this, but it might be worth it. You may qualify for fly-rail as well, which means you can send luggage on ahead and it will go right onto the aircraft. You have to be ready to give up your luggage (other than carry ons) a day before, so this takes some organization, but can save time. If you qualify for this, you may want to return the rental car in Thun or Interlaken and take the train back to Zurich. Take a look at http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...er/flyrail.htm, see the text in red at the bottom on the page, as this is what applies to you flying to the US, i.e. you can't check-in for your flight at the train station, but you can check your bags to the airport. You may be able to use "Fast Baggage" which guarantees delivery in 8 hours, take a look at http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...isegepaeck.htm

If you do drive from Lauterbrunnen to Zurich, consider stopping and having lunch outdoors on the terrace of the wonderful Gasthaus Brunig Kulm restaurant which hangs off the cliff with a great valley view. This is one of the last places I know of other than the Villa d'este that will prepare crepes suzette at your table. You can then shopping for antiques (and cowbells!) at the little shop just beyond that. The restaurant is just before the top of the Bruning Pass, on the right:

Gasthaus Brunig Kulm
Brünig Passhöhe
3860 Brünig
Tel: 41 (0) 33 971 17 08
Fax: 41 (0) 33 971 17 49
[email protected]

The Brokenhaus (second hand shop), is in the small collection of shops and the train
Cicerone is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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As was discussed on another thread, an option that I would suggest would be to stay at an airport hotel that has free shuttle service. Drop your car off the night before. The hotel shuttle will come to the airport to collect you and take you back to their hotel. The next morning the shuttle will return you to the airport. IMO you do not have enough time on your departure morning to do much except get your family to the departure desk by at least 7am. If you would like to go into downtown Zurich that last night, take a bus/train/taxi as a car would not be needed.
Margo is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Someone on Fodors keeps mentioning a wonderful place north of the airport called The Hotel zum goldenen Kopf in Bulach. You might want to check it out. Looks like a nice place.

I considered it on my last trip to Zurich, but wanted to stay in the city since I had never been there.
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