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Flying into Geneva, where to visit from there?

Flying into Geneva, where to visit from there?

Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Flying into Geneva, where to visit from there?

I am slowly, but surely figuring out my plans to Europe this May, but the one place that is giving me trouble is Switzerland because I'm having a hard time narrowing down where to see, since I only have a couple of days, and I probably won't have the chance to come back for a long time. I am flying into Geneva on May 21 and then flying from there to paris on May 24. I need help deciding where to visit.
At first I wanted to go to Lucerne, but now I'm thinking about staying closer to Geneva so that I don't spend as much time traveling. I would like to stay somewhere that is beautiful in Switzerland by the mountains, though I would like the city to be big enough that we could walk around the city and have somethings to do there. Where do you suggest I go? I am working with a relativly small budget, so I would like somewhere that has lower-priced hotels. If anyone could give me suggestions on where to go, and where to stay I would appreciate it so much.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2005, 03:14 PM
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I know that you said you are looking for a destination in Switzerland, but what about Annecy in France, which is only a 30 minute drive from the airport in Geneva?

Annecy is on a beautiful lake, and has a lovely old town for strolling, shopping, drinking, etc. You can make a day of taking a boat trip to all the different towns that dot the lake, and there are also several hiking trails in the area.

We stayed at the Imperial Palace, which was a bit too ritzy and snobby for my taste, but I'm sure other posters can make more reasonable suggestions!

Anyway, have a great time!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 01:58 AM
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Hi mdellar,

Lake Geneva is one of my favorite spots on Earth, and I get there as often as I can! I think you'll have a great time there -- but do remember that this is the French part of Switzerland, with Belle Epoque architecture, not cozy brown-wood chalets.

If you want to get to that Swiss-chalet-mountain-feeling place, the closest to Geneva would probably be Chateau d'Oex or, farther along, Saanen or Gstaad.

Anyway, if you decide to stay at Lake Geneva, either one of Vevey or Montreux would fit your description of an interesting destination/base for daytrips. Montreux is a resort town, rather built up and rather modern between the lakeside promenade and the old town uphill. Vevey is more residential and local. Both have an assortment of two-star hotels.

And, again if you decide to stay at Lake Geneva, here is my standard list of activities:

Spend a morning walking along the 11km flowered lakeside promenade from Clarens to Villeneuve, passing the Chateau Chillon between Territet and Villeneuve; there are plenty of cafes to stop and have a coffee & snack along the way to replenish your strength. There are also plenty of benches to sit and read, watch other walkers, or simply stare at the majesty of the lake and the mountains in the distance.

If you make it all the way to Villeneueve, top off your long walk with a wonderful pizza & beer lunch at a lakeside café in Villeneuve, then take the ferry back to Montreux (I think the ferry stops in late Sep/Oct).

Spend a morning walking up to Montreux's old city and the old church for fantastic panoramic views from the church’s terrace. Have lunch at the Hotel/Restaurant du Pont at 12 rue du Pont (I had a ravioli in cream sauce with shaved truffles that was out of this world!). Montreux’s website is at www.montreux.ch

Spend the morning in Vevey hunting down the antiques shops in the old town. Then have lunch at the Hostellerie de Geneve on the Pl. Marche. Vevey’s website is at www.vevey.ch

Be sure to walk from Vevey to the town of La-Tour-de-Peilz, just a few blocks. Walk along the lake past stately trees and park benches until you come to an old fort, a small park, and the port. You'll see lots of folks out playing in good weather.

Take the train (the “wine train”) from Vevey to Chexbres, then spend a morning walking the vineyards down to the lake, hitting Rivaz & St. Saphorin. For lunch, find the Auberge du Rivaz (in Rivaz . . . ) with a terrace lake view or see if any of the cellars are having a cheese/wine tasting. Website: www.lavaux.ch/sentier2.htm

The lakeside village of Cully, just east of Lausanne, is a picturesque stop and has two recommended restaurants, the Auberge du Raisin and the Au Major Davel.

The lakeside village of Lutry, just two miles east of Lausanne, has a well-posted tour of medieval buildings as well as some good wine caves for tasting. Website: www. lutry.ch

Spend a day in the mountains, taking the train to the resort of Gstaad. On the way back, stop at Chateau d'Oex for lunch.

Take the funicular from Territet up to Glion and have lunch at the Hotel Victoria, enjoying its panoramic views of the lake.

Spend an afternoon in the medieval village of Gruyeres, making sure to sample the berries in creme-double. Website: www.gruyeres.ch

Spend an afternoon in Nyon at the Roman museum and the Caesar's columns nearby. The Fodors guide recommends a meal at the Auberge du Chateau just steps from the Roman museum. It was closed when I was there, but it looked charming. Website: www.nyon.ch

Go to the small, charming village of Celigny. Not much to see here but a picturesque place (it was actor Richard Burton’s home during the last years of his life). Have lunch at the Auberge du Soleil -- great prix fixe feast!

Spend the morning in the town of Morges, just west of Lausanne. Morges has a cobbled main street that is lined with shops and patisseries; it has a flowered lakeside promenade that signs say runs all the way to Lausanne; and it has a large, green park next to the lake that is filled with stately trees. Here's the Morges tourism website: www.morges.ch/view.asp?DomId=51

The website for the tourist office of the region is: www.lake-geneva-region.ch

My personal travel journal (w/photos) of Montreux: http://www.igougo.com/planning/journ...JournalID=7825

Hope this helps!

s
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 05:15 AM
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I agree with S' that you don't have to travel very far from Geneva to enjoy Switzerland. May I suggest that you look at the site bnb.ch to see a number of reasonably priced bed & breakfasts? Look at those highlighted on the map at Montreux, Glion, Corseaux, Tour-de-Peilz, Vevey, and Cully. From any of those locations, you can daytrip into the mountains to Chateau-d-Oex for beautiful views and a wonderful folk art museum. For graceful old cities, you can visit Lausanne and Bern by train. J.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Thank you so much for the great replies! Do you have any recommended places to stay in this area. I tried looking online, but everything I found was too expensive. Also, is Gryon very close to what you are talking about or a very good place to visit? I found a chalet/hostel there called the Swiss Alps Retreat that was well prices. Again, thanks for your remarks!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 09:55 AM
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In a word... Vevey!

It's one hour outside of Geneva, incredibly easy to get to on the train, and has the best overall atmosphere and ambience IMO among these lovely lakeside towns.

I know there are reasonably priced (for Switzerland) hotels because I've seen them mentioned here on Fodors (I am lucky enough to stay with friends who live there so don't have a personal recommendation). There's even a well respected hostel which is right off the town square on the lake.

I would chose from exactly the things Swandav has listed. With only 3 days you need go no futher than this!!
www.vevey.ch
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Hi mdellar,

The two-star Hotel Negociants (www.hotelnegociants.ch) in Vevey has had good reviews here. Rates are 85 chf for a single and 130 chf for two. It's right in the old town, easy to get to from the train station. Do a text search here to find info. I know of some two-star hotels in Montreux, but I haven't heard any reviews of them.

There is a hostel in Montreux, and you can even make reservations. It's about a 20 minute walk down the lakeside from the train station, and it sits just a stone's throw from the lake in Territet. The website won't come up for me now, but go to www.youthhostel.ch and search for Montreux.

I haven't ever been to Gryon, but that'll be about an hour by train from Montreux & Lake Geneva. Its tourist website is sponsored by its sister city, Villars, and is at www.villars.ch. I've been to Bex & Aigle & Leysin, all in the same general area -- I wouldn't particularly go back. If you want a lakeside resort, I think I'd find something closer to the lake. Maybe try www.rooms.ch (an association of budget hotels in Switzerland).

Have fun!

s
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Old Apr 3rd, 2005, 07:14 PM
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As I said above, I would choose Vevey.

But in Montreux on a budget I would proably stay at Hotel Helvetie, right on the main street in the middle of town. I visited it last summer (didn't see a room but looked around at the common areas). Kind of a faded splendor decor.

There is another Wilheim (something) up in Old Town which looked OK but is *right* on the train tracks which concerned me a bit for the possible noise.
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