Bern or Luzern as a base

Dec 30th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Bern or Luzern as a base

We will be travelling to Switzerland the last 3 weeks in June using the train. Any suggestions on Bern or Luzern as a base for 5-7 nights to see the Luzern, Zurich, Bern, and Basel areas. We arrive Zurich airport at 1830 on a Friday.
We will also be staying in Lausanne. Lauterbrunnen, Pontresina and St Gallen.
Hotel suggestions 3-4 * in either Bern or Luzern would be appreciated too.
Vanman is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Hi Vanman,

Luzern's four lakes give it the edge by quite a margin in my book. The mountains-spilling-into-lakes scenery is just spectacular, and then you can take ferry rides around the lakes and stop in the villages to explore. Or you can take gondola rides up to the mountains and walk the trails.

If you want to buy more hotel for your money, try staying overnight in one of the villages of the lake instead of Luzern -- Weggis (, Vitznau (, or Brunnen (
swandav2000 is online now  
Dec 30th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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Agree that Luzern is a much more beautiful city, with more to do/see and easy access to many more sights/areas you want to see. We found Bern to be cute, but essentially good for only a day trip - and frankly, kind of boring.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Been to both, definitely Luzern!!
P_M is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Agree that Luzern is your best option. We have stayed at the 4* Des Balances Hotel on two occasions and highly recommend it. It is located on the River with glorious views of the lake and mountains. It is also just across the bridge from the train station. The last time we stayed there we paid a little under $200 for a river view room.
bettyk is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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Well that was quick and unanimous for Luzern. Thank you.

Any hotel recommendations for Lausanne & Pontresina?
Vanman is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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Hate to disagree. However, we've stayed in both places and Bern is a better hub. The trains to places like Lauterbrunen are much more convenient from Bern.
Myer is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 10:21 PM
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I agree with the votes for Luzern. As for Lausanne, I stayed at the Carlton this past summer and it was very nice -- great breakfast was included. It's in a quiet area, about halfway up the hill from the lake to the main part of town. If you like to walk up hills, this is the place!
drempel is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 11:13 PM
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I visited both cities too. While Bern was quaint and pretty, I enjoyed Lucerne more.
francophile03 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 02:29 AM
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I personally like Bern more, but I'm an architecture fan and Bern's old town is unique. For most travellers Luzern is probably the better choice.

For Pontresina I can recommend Kochendörfer's Hotel Albris, a nice 3star hotel. Have stayed there some years ago and was very pleased. I had coffee and cake on their terrace last Oct - staff was again very friendly, their famous cake excellent as usual. I was disappointed that they renovated the dining hall and removed the old, dark wooden panels. It's now brighter, more modern. However, they have one dining room for hotel guests only (which has some (new and bright) wooden panels, and another restaurant, which has very modern interior (read: cold).

I was told at the reception that the guest rooms are still cosy, comfortable and the views have not changed

Location is quite central, right next to the post office, where the buses stop. As far as I know they offer a shuttle service to the railway station, which is 10 minutes walking time below the village.
Ingo is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 05:33 AM
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Hi. While staying in Lausanne, Bern will be an easy trainride away --it's a lovely old city with my favorite collection of painted fountain figures. Also possible as daytrips from Lausanne are Murten, Avenches, and Solothurn. J.
jmw44 is offline  
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