Base for Day trip to Alps? Help!

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Mar 5th, 2016, 06:09 AM
  #1
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Base for Day trip to Alps? Help!

We will be taking a driving tour this September, starting in Frankfurt, driving down the Romantic Road from Wurzburg, crossing through Switzerland (and perhaps cutting along Austria and Liechtenstein), going back west to Paris, and then returning to Frankfurt.

I am hopeful that some of y'all can help me with the best base for a day trip to the Alps. My current choices - and they may sound ignorant - are Liechtenstein, Zurich, Luzern, or Basel. We don't want to base any further south than that due to time constraints.

Finally, we would plan on staying two nights at whichever location we choose as a base.

Any advice you could give would be most welcome. Thank you from Nashville, Tennessee!
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Mar 5th, 2016, 08:50 AM
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My own personal choice would be Luzern.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 09:11 AM
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Interlochen. Great spot, easy to train to, right in the middle. Even better would Lauterbrunen, a short few-minute train hop from Interlochen.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 09:47 AM
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Since you will have a car, it is an easy drive from Luzern to Interlaken and surrounds. We just did that drive a year ago, and may repeat it again in the next 10 days. Of your four options in the original post, Luzern IMO is the most scenic, and it has beautifu nearby sights such as Pilatus and Titlis.

Parking in Luzern is a bit of a problem. I have yet to stay in a hotel with free parking. If you stay near the lion monument and Bourbaki, you can park at the Coop parking for about $30 for 24 hours. Down the street just another 70 yds or so, north, would be City parking which might save you another $5 for 24 hours.

Hotels in that location include Ibis Styles and the Ambassador. Both are clean and basic and include breakfast. Have stayed at both numerous times. Will be at Ibis next weekend.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 01:40 PM
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Would it be better to take a bus or train from base for the day trip? I have a car and don't know if that is a feasible option. Thanks to both of you for your responses earlier today.
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Mar 5th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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IME you could do no better than to drive to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region, to me the highlight of the Swiss Alps for many reasons - one is the myriad of gondolas and toy-like trains taking you into higher climes/climbs - hiking trails for all abilities.

Grindelwald is my favorite as it has awesome views - the best IMO of any place you can drive to. And yes cars are banned from most Alpine areas up in the hills but public transit is so so great - check these sources for lots on getting around the Jungfrau area: www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check their European Planning & Rail Guide's Switzerland chapter; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

Interlaken has no close-up views of the glacier-girdled high Jungfrau Massif - only in Grindelwald can you drive to a place with such awesome views (Lauterbrunnen's views are nice but not nearly as sweet since it lies in a deep gorge -but it can be a nice base too with trains going into the high Alps.

The fabulous Jungfrau Region:

https://www.google.com/search?q=jung...HUIJCpoQsAQIGw

Near Lucerne is Engelberg, which you can drive to and then take the famous revolving cable car up to near the summit of Mt Titlis but though awesome high Alps there is much much more to see and do in the Jungfrau Region but for one day Engelberg could be a nice base city to park the car in as well.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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By car Interlaken is not much longer south than Lucerne and so so much more an awesome base - nothing to compare with it in the Lucerne area even though Engelberg (which would take about as long to drive to as Interlaken perhaps) offers a mini-Jungfrau type scene.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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Napster, driving is very easy in Switzerland. The roads are very well maintained. Just don't speed! You'll get your picture taken and a ticket will arrive some time later in your mailbox!
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Mar 8th, 2016, 03:05 AM
  #9
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Thanks, folks! This is all very helpful.
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