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Assistance choosing 2nd Switzerland destination (in addition to Geneva)

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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:19 AM
  #1
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Assistance choosing 2nd Switzerland destination (in addition to Geneva)

My husband is attending a conference in Geneva April 19 - 23rd, and I have decided to leave the little ones with my parents and go with him! I will probably meet him in Geneva on the 20th or 21st. We will need to leave Switzerland on the 27th. This will be his first time in Switzerland. I spent a week in Lucerne and Interlaken years ago with my sister, but am not familiar with the rest of Switzerland.

We will have three days in Geneva during the conference, where we will have evenings and parts of the days to spend in Geneva. Then, we will have three additional days to travel to another location. I am debating between Zermatt and Lucerne. Which would offer better variety in late April after Geneva? I'm leaning toward Zermatt right now, although Lucerne is attractive because we could return to Atlanta from Zurich on a nonstop flight.

We are also considering a day trip to Montreux from Geneva. My questions are:
-how many days are recommended for Zermatt?
-is the altitude in Zermatt difficult to handle for some? I will be six months pregnant, so that might be a deciding factor.
-how does Zermatt compare to Lucerne?
-travel to which destination will have a more scenic train ride

I'm a little overwhelmed, I must admit. Thanks in advance!
KatieL is offline  
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Can't help you on Zermatt as I haven't been there, but as long as you are in Geneva, you might consider Vevey and Lausanne, as well as Montreux, for day trips.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Zermatt is a mountain town at the end of a long, deep valley. Late April is end of regular ski season, there's not exactly much to do there except a few hikes on (probably muddy) trails, if you're not skiing. And gazing at the Matterhorn and the other mountains, of course.

I'd go to Lucerne in your case. A lovely small city, picturesque, located at a beautiful lake, enough mountains around. In late April flowers will already be in bloom. Make an excursion up to Mt. Rigi, a cruise on the lake.

Or go to Lake Thun - stay either in a village along the lake or in Thun itself. Thun is the smaller version of Lucerne, not as overrun with tourists. You can also do excursions to the mountains (Kleine Scheidegg, maybe Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn, but also less expensive other mountains) and a cruise on the lake. Thun is closer to Geneva, btw.

If you want a scenic train ride then travel from Geneva via Montreux and Gstaad to Thun. In case you settle for Lucerne, take the same route but continue from Spiez (a town at Lake Thun) via Interlaken to Lucerne.

I.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Another vote for Lausanne, VEVEY, and Montreux as nice places to see from Geneva (just an hour or so by train and also right on Lac Leman)
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Jan 28th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Suze and Christina, would you recommend those day trips to Geneva over traveling to Lucerne, Zermatt, or Thun? I'm not sure we could do both, since day trips won't be possible on the days my husband has to attend the conference. We could stay in Geneva the entire week and just do day trips though, if that would be preferable over traveling to another city.

Ingo, thank you for the detailed information. I think Lucerne and Thun both sound like great options. I'll do a little more research on things to do/see in those places.

Thanks all for your suggestions!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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well, I haven't been to Zermatt or Thun so can't compare to them. But I have been to Lucerne and since you've already been there, anyway, yes, I would recommend those as day trips instead. Seems easier, also. Lausanne is a bigger city with interesting things to see, and the other two are smaller and more casual. I think Vevey is on the train line, but forget -- I might have gone there by bus from Montreux instead of train, but I'm sure you could do that, also.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Me neither, haven't been any of those other places to compare. I have a dear friends who lived in Vevey, now in Montreux so I have been there 5 different times to visit her.

Yes Vevey is right on the train line. But it's also conveniently connected with Montreux by bus as well. I like either of these over Lausanne because of their smaller size. From the train station in Vevey it's easy to walk anywhere in town. Pretty much the same in Montreux. Not so much in Lausanne. Also the main part of the city of not on the lake there, Ouchy is the lakeside neighborhood of Lausanne.
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