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Early march - Jungfrau or head to France or Germany?

Early march - Jungfrau or head to France or Germany?

Old Nov 1st, 2019, 06:38 AM
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Early march - Jungfrau or head to France or Germany?

I realize this is very subjective, but would appreciate your opinions.

My husband, 7yo daughter and I are flying into ZRH on March 7 and out on the 13, 2020. We booked the tickets based on a great deal and her spring break schedule, and are now planning how to spend our week. It is the first time in Europe for both of them.

I was thinking we would spend several nights in Wengen, but am having second thoughts. We don't ski, and it sounds like March may be iffy for hiking. Maybe it would be better to stay in the valley? My other thought is we fly into ZRH and spend a night in Lucerne or Bern and then go to Alsace... or Bavaria... for a few nights. I can manage swiss prices, but the idea of paying less in another country is appealing and since they haven't been to Europe I almost feel like we can't go wrong either way.

Our priorities: charm/sense of place (we're the type that loves a family-run hotel with a pub/restaurant), scenery, cultural activities. We love being outdoors but not looking for strenuous activities.

Thank you!

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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 07:19 AM
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Accounting for day of arrival (which is a throwaway) and day of departure (which isn't usable for touring), you'll actually have 5 days on the ground, so not much time. You can pretty much assume that the weather will be unpleasant anywhere in that territory at that time of year (though you might get lucky - who knows these days?), so I wouldn't stray far. And of course it depends in large part in how you plan to get around, which you haven't mentioned.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for your reply. Planning to get around via train/public transport.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Hi TarHeel,

What about something radical?

Learn to ski. I learned when I was over 30, and though I never got good, I certainly enjoyed myself. Your daughter is the perfect age to learn, and a week's worth of lessons would really make for amazing memories...and a new activity for her.

Many hotels in Wengen offer 5 or 6 night packages that include room, half board, and ski pass; just add on the ski rental and then the lessons. Maybe do a 2-hour lesson in the morning, then you'll be free in the afternoon to ski on your own or explore nearby villages. I'm betting your daughter will want to ski all day.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 08:50 AM
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Hi,

One vote for Bavaria. This April my family spent several nights in Paris, Geneva, and Munich. There was a football match on the day we stayed in Munich: Bayer Munich vs Dortmund. The atmosphere was amazing there. At the weekend, we joined culture activities in the park also. Food was fine and the scenery was beautiful.

1go2vn
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 09:15 AM
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Thanks 1go2vn! I wonder where would be the easiest/best place in Bavaria from Zurich. I keep hearing wonderful things about Munich but it might be a bit far for this trip.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 09:17 AM
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She would love to learn to ski. I hadn't thought about how easy it would be to do a half-day to give her a taste of it. Something to think about, thanks!
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 10:17 AM
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Weather is always unpredictable in the Alps. Early March can be relatively warm, sunny and cloudless. or cold rainy, foggy and windy.
Almost all resort towns in the Alps offer well prepared winter hiking trails, for example from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, from Riederalp to Fiescheralp (Aletsch area), from Zermatt to Riffelberg, or along the goms Valley or the Engadin Valley.
Ski lessons make sense if you engage a private guide for your family for at least 3 days. In only 1 day, you will learn nothing and waste your time and money.

As an alternative, you could check Lake Lugano or Lake Maggiore, both 2 1/2 hrs by train from Zurich airport. There will be no snow for sure and the climate would be warmer. But there too, rain cannot be excluded.

You may also be interested in medieval Swiss towns with rather unconventional museums like museums of
19th century musical boxes and orchestrions
montaineering, glaciers and climate change
transports (from all kinds of 19th century trains, cog wheel railways, public stagecoaches up to modern space travel)
rebuilt celtic Lake Dwellers Village
Time mesuring and watchmaking
Swissminiature
Smuggler museum
Albert Einstein Museum
etc. etc.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 10:28 AM
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Thanks neckervd! I'll check some of these museums out.

We live in Florida, so being around snow is nice and it's good to know there are some groomed trails even if we're exploring on foot. I think instead of a week in the Jungfrau region we can do fewer nights there and add a town in the mix.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Lago Maggiore would be my choice, if staying in the Alps isn't what the OP chooses. Not sure if the cable car up into the Dolomiti is open in March, but at least you have beautiful views of the mountains.
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Old Nov 1st, 2019, 09:05 PM
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IMO, Zurich is underrated, Lucerne is glorious, Bern is a gem, Lakes Lugano and Maggiore are both wonderful, etc. Given that you already have your air tickets, I'd encourage you to get a good guidebook on Switzerland and see what appeals and what back-up options you can identify. (As neckervd noted, the weather is unpredicable, so you would always do well to identify a plan and an alternative.) Getting around Switzerland by public transportation is incredibly easy, and it can be a sheer delight to sit in one of those trains and watch the stunningly glorious scenery from a place of comfort.

I went at a different time of year, but you might nonetheless find some useful information in my trip report:
My delightful sampling of Switzerland’s gems, with many thanks

Good luck!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 04:59 AM
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" Lago Maggiore would be my choice, if staying in the Alps isn't what the OP chooses. Not sure if the cable car up into the Dolomiti is open in March"

The Dolomits are hundres of miles east of Lake Maggiore.
All cable cars AROUND LAKE MAGGIORE will work in March, namely:
Locarno - Orselina - Cardada - Cimetta,
Intragna - Pila Cosrta,
Verdasio - Rasa,
Verdasio - Comino,
Prestinone - Piana Vigezzo
Sementina - Mornera
Monte Carasso - Baltico
Laveno - Sasso del Ferro: weekends only
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Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 09:37 AM
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Zürich is so boring. Then you have all those catty women and homosexuals at Sprüngli pointing at your shoes. Ugh.

I couldn't imagine being in Wengen in March. That is the shoulder season. You could have lots of mud at Mannlichen.

Thin,aristocrat 😛
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 02:37 AM
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I don't think that Zurich is underrated in this forum, unlike Basel, Bern and many smaller towns like
Solothurn, Aarau, Sursee, Schaffhausen, Willisau, Fribourg, Murten, La Neuveville, Neuchatel, Yverdon, Orbe, Romont, Sion, Brig, Locarno, Wil SG, Stein am Rhein and - of course - Aosta, some 20 miles from the Swiss border.

Last edited by neckervd; Nov 3rd, 2019 at 02:44 AM.
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Old Nov 5th, 2019, 06:35 PM
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Hi,

You can take a direct train from Zurich to Munich easily. It takes about over 4 hours. If you like motor/car, don't miss visiting BMW museum in Munich.

1go2vn
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