First Visit to Switzerland (Lake Geneva)

Old Jun 21st, 2019, 09:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,817
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First Visit to Switzerland (Lake Geneva)

Hi all, we're headed back to the Mrs. favorite city, Paris in the Fall. As an add on to our trip, we thought we would visit Switzerland for 4 nights, basing ourselves in Lausanne staying at the Palace Hotel with a lake view room. We figure on spending one day exploring Lausanne, one day in Geneva and taking a lake cruise up to Montreux on another.

For those of you who are familiar with this area, do you have any favorite places to visit, restaurants you love, things you enjoy doing? We have a list of places to see (the main sites in each city) and restaurants (bistros, casual spots mostly), but would love to hear of places you like and would return to and possibly expand our choices.

Thank you.
curiousgeo is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2019, 10:28 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,046
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love the Farmer's Markets that happen in the streets various mornings. in Vevey on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Montreux's is on Friday. I'm sure Lausanne has one as well.

Walking the quai (lakeside promonade) in Vevey or Montreux is pretty spectacular.

Rochers de Naye tram up the mountain out of the Montreux train station if the weather is clear.

A half day trip to the castle in Gruyere.

Of course Chateau de Chillon but I'm sure you knew about that one already.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2019, 01:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I enjoyed taking a boat over to France - Evian-les-Bains - famed for mineral water and its casino.I;d take trains and boats in Switzerland - a nice day trip by train could go to Gruyeres- great walled old town with cheese factory - little bit farther down the tracks is the Broc Factory - Nestes' Caller Chocolate plans for Willie Wonkaesque tours.

For lots about Swiss trains check www.sbb.ch - Swiss Federal Railways site - BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com. No to Swiss Pass as you're not travelling out of that small area much. The Half-Fare Card may be however. Gives you half off everything that moves practically in Switzerland. But even then it may not be worth it given your intentions. Hotels may have some kind of day passes.

If into particle physics CERN welcomes visitors and is on the edge of Geneva - straddling the French border.

For awesome high Alps you can take a bus from Geneva to Chamonix, an Alpine resort superb. If going consider spending a night to fully have a chance to get into the high Alps.

Last edited by PalenQ; Jun 21st, 2019 at 02:01 PM.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2019, 04:05 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,817
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Pal and suze, appreciate your input. And yes the Chateau de Chillon is on our list, as is the St. George chapel.
curiousgeo is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2019, 04:30 PM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you haven already seen it, you might take a look at my trip report, particularly post # 28.
My delightful sampling of Switzerland’s gems, with many thanks

Unlike many Fodorites, I really enjoyed Lausanne. I hope you do, too!
kja is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2019, 09:42 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,989
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi curiousgeo,

My favorite things from Montreux (my favorite base):

Walking along the flowered lakeside promenade to Chillon (about 45 minutes), maybe continuing to the sweet town of Villeneuve (about another 40 minutes), then take bus # 201 back to Montreux.

Walking the vineyards of the Lavaux, between Vevey and Lausanne. Maybe stop in the town of Lutry and enjoy its nice little dock area and old town.

Getting lost in the winding streets of Vevey's old town.

My favorite restaurant in the area is the Jaman, in Glion, above Montreux (fabulous views from the town though not from the restaurant). They have a formal restaurant as well as a "Pinte," like a casual pub. Another great restaurant is le Mazot, in Vevey-- always packed with locals.

Have fun as you plan!

s

Last edited by swandav2000; Jun 21st, 2019 at 09:56 PM.
swandav2000 is online now  
Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 06:46 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,046
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ouchy is the lakeside neighborhood in Lausanne, that's nice to walk around, have lunch.

(kja) I didn't hate Lausanne just enjoyed Vevey and Montreux more.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 07:24 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes Montreux and Vevey are much more romantic as the lake is right in town with esplanades - smaller towns- lovely towns.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 08:37 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,817
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow great information everyone, especially kja's trip report and swandav2000's recommendations. Looks like we will definitely stop in Vevey returning from Montreux. We were going to ferry over then train back.

Visiting museums, cathedrals, farmers markets and just wandering through the old towns of places we visit are some of our favorite activities, so sounds like this trip is perfect for our first time.
curiousgeo is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 08:42 AM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm glad you found some useful information in my TR. Enjoy your first time in glorious Switzerland!
kja is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:37 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,312
Likes: 0
Received 12 Likes on 1 Post
Yvoire on the lake is a beautiful, flower-bedecked,, medieval town. Worth a couple of hours and maybe lunch.
joannyc is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2019, 07:50 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You need to know that the Lausanne Palace is quite a long way from the lake and while you might have a lake view room don't think it will be ON the lake. The Palace is very nice but being in Ouchy (lakefront area of Lausanne) is even nicer. Down there you will find the Beau Rivage which is a great hotel and the Hôtel d'Angleterre more or less next door. Not as good as the Palace and the Beau Rivage though.

The market in Vevey is not in Vevey at the moment - it is in la Tour de Peilz which is the next town along the lake. Still happens on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Reason is the Fête des Vignerons (18 July/11 August) has taken over the place du Marché in Vevey with the arena for the performances. (That seats 20'000). Market in Lausanne - big one on Saturdays on the Place Ripponne and smaller ones on other days of the week there aside from Mondays.

Since you mention museums - do not miss the amazing Chaplin's World at Corsier near Vevey. (Bus from the Vevey station takes about 10mns). It is in his old home and you really do feel his presence. It is amazingly inter-active and surprising too. You need about 2 hours there and get there when it opens at 1000 because it does get very crowded. In Lausanne there is the Musée de l'Art Brut which is a rather unusual place...

Another museum worth the trip which is about an hour from Lausanne here in Martigny - the Fondation Gianadda. It is a world class art museum and this summer their exhibition is Rodin and Giacometti. Done in tandem with the Musée Rodin and Fondation Giacometti in Paris it will really be something not to miss. Lunch in the sculpture garden at the Gianadda is always nice and right next door to it is a Roman amphitheatre which is used today (for cow fights and open air cinema) and the Barryland museum - St Bernard dogs (with dogs) and the St Bernard pass.

One last thing that you also need to know is that in the cantons of Valais, Vaud and in France bordering the "lake of Geneva" we do not call the lake "Geneva" - we call it le Léman which is what the Romans called it. You will see a LOT of references to this and might wonder what is this "Léman" thing !! It is the lake.

4 days is not much time here...

Last edited by Hambagahle; Jun 24th, 2019 at 07:53 AM.
Hambagahle is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2019, 10:17 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,046
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They aren't going until "the Fall". The Fete will be well over by then, no? Back to the usual locations of the pedestrian street on Tuesday and the square on Saturday??
suze is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2019, 12:58 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If in Montreux overnight consider taking the train up thru the vineyards that are terraced down to the lake on this huge slope and then waltzing down thru the vineyards on workers' roads with full view of Lac Leman the whole way.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2019, 11:56 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The market will not return to Vevey until October. Yes the Fête will be over on 11 August but the huge arena has to be dismantled, trees re-planted etc. That takes time.
Hambagahle is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2019, 02:48 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,817
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Topping this to report back on our visit. First of all we loved Lausanne, a small city with a medieval feel with its steep, winding cobblestone streets. We stayed at the Lausanne Palace hotel, our spacious room had a magnificent view of Lac Leman and the distant Alps. Weather for the most part was sunny, cool and clear, just our arrival day rainy and grey. Trains from Geneva airport were a breeze though next time we'll download the app.

First day was spent exploring the city center, Place St. Francoise, Place de la Palud, the cathedral, Escaliers du Marche, wandering around stopping off for lunch and coffee. A nice easy first day. Day two was spent in Geneva, which I really didn't care for much. We went to the Cathedral, old town, Place du Bourg de Four, Quartier des Bains, and down to the University and back to the station. It was fine but not something I would do again or choose to stay.

Our last day had been planned for a lake cruise up to Montreux and Vevey but I awoke feeling a bit under the weather so we spent an easy day in town. The Saturday markets were up and running so we walked through them admiring all the fresh produce, breads, cheese and offerings stopping for samples when offered. Crowded with locals as well as visitors so it was a fun morning. Also found an amazing bookstore where we spent over an hour browsing around. The afternoon was spent at the lake promenade area with a stop for coffee on the terrace of the Beau Rivage hotel where we pretended to be fashionable guests lol. Quite a nice hotel and the lakefront rooms there must be spectacular.

All in all we really enjoyed our visit, good food, friendly people, great service from our hotel and easy to get around even with our tourist only French. We would like to return someday as we really wanted to do the lake cruise up to Montreux and explore Vevey. Again thanks to everyone who responded to my questions.
curiousgeo is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2019, 04:32 PM
  #17  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sorry you weren't feelibg well that last day, but am so glad you enjoyed Lausanne -- I think it's seriously underrated! Thanks for reporting back.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2019, 11:44 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad you liked Lausanne. It is generally a hard place for first-timers to navigate but you managed! If this was your first trip to Switzerland I hope it won’t be the last and that you will come back to see there other three linguistic/cultural regions of our country.
Hambagahle is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2019, 08:13 PM
  #19  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hambagahle View Post
Lausanne ... is generally a hard place for first-timers to navigate.
You always say that, but I had no difficulty and curiousgeo seems to have managed quite well. And I don't remember seeing anyone on Fodor's ever complain about it, or even comment on it. I wonder whether your assumption is warranted for those who come to this web-site.
kja is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2019, 12:54 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,744
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kja, I felt the same. Lausanne was absolutely easy to navigate (with a printed map) and I enjoyed my time there VERY much.
Ingo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:52 AM.