Fun Things To Do In Switzerland

Mar 9th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Fun Things To Do In Switzerland

Hi Fodorites! I'm planning a trip this August to Italy (4th time) and Switzerland. I'll be travelling (driving a van) with 8 people, 4 of them kids from 7yrs. old to 16. It will be our first time in Switzerland. From reading other posts it sounds like maybe a town like Luzern would be a place to go to. We are not really into old museums and the sort although I enjoy it and they'll be plenty of museums & ruins to see in our stay in Rome. We'll probably be travelling up from Venezia (Venice) into Switz. if we go. We'll probabably stay 3-4 days in Switz? My question is does anyone know of fun places to go to in Switz. with the kids....maybe boating on a lake or some hiking, etc...? I really don't want to drive up to Zurich unless I have to. Thanks in advance.
positano19 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Check out the websites below (all in English) - there shouldn't be an idle moment with all that to see and do! The two "museums" aren't what you might think, they're great for kids.

WallyKringen is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Kandersteg, on the main road between Milan and Bern, would be a good choice. There is a Rodelbahn (summer luge) near the lake above town that kids and teens enjoy (at least, mine did). The lake itself is beautiful, and you can rent either a rowboat or a paddleboat. There are nice walking paths partway around the lake, or trails up to mountain huts in two directions (these would be suitable for teens but not the small children; they are steep and one has a section on ledges with cables). You reach the lake on a funny old chairlift. Look here: for information. (Select "English" and "Summer"). The town is the center of international scouting (they have a camp just south of town), so there are lots of kids from many countries in town. Another fun thing to do is to rent bikes (at the train station) and ride into the next valley, the Gasterntal, on a narrow road that is closed to most traffic. You can also walk this route. Gasterntal has a few farms and rustichotels, but is otherwise unsettled and very beautiful---it looks a bit like Yosemite valley, with cliffs and waterfalls.

There are two gondolas or cablecars that you can take up from town to two different high plateaus for views and walks. Kandersteg also has tennis courts and a swimming pool open to the public for a small fee.
enzian is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Thanks you both for the info. We'll be checking all the sites out. Enzian, can you please tell me if there are any hotels in and around Kandersteg that would accommodate 8 people. Also, how was the food around those towns when you went there. Thanks again.
positano19 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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I think Lucerne is a great center for exploring Switzerland. It is right on a major lake - with boat trips to a variety of towns,etc. Also - just around the lake are several mountains that can be ascended variously by cable car, funicular or foot - if you have a lot of energy and a little experience. Mt. Pilatus is about 7,000 feet I beleive. There's also Rigi and Titlus.

If you head towards Interlaken you will pass through Brienz - on another lake - with mountains/waterfalls on the opposite shore, which is in an area with lots of wood carvers (great for buying x-mas decorations etc.) There is also an outdoors museum there with houses/farms of various ages brought from various parts of Switzerland at which crafts of the age/countryside are demonstrated.

If you go a little further you can get to Interlaken from where you can ascend the Jungfrau - 12000+ feet - with glacier, year-round ski school, ice sculptures, dog sled rides and a heavy duty weather station, etc. On the way up you can stop at various small towns for hikes and have the option of different train/cable car options up and down.

And a little further on in the town of Thun - which is a very cute double decker town (sidewalks are covered and there is another row of little shops above) and a quite interesting midieval castle.

And the old town of Lucern itself - as well as the Lion Momument, old wooden bridge and (small) local museum can easily take a whole day.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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Hi Positano---

Kandersteg has a number of nice hotels; you could see them on the town website:

The Hotel Adler, where I have stayed, has an apartment that sleeps up to 9 people:

There are probably other apartments available but I haven't looked. Our family (a group of 7 to 9, depending on the trip) stays at the Hotel Oeschinensee, up at the lake. It's a lovely rustic mountain inn. We put the kids in the "Matratzenlager" (dormitory) and the adults take double rooms. We spend 3 nights there at a time. This does not work for everyone, however, because there is no road access: you have to either walk up (about 2 km of steep walking) or take the chairlift. A trip down into Kandersteg becomes either expensive (via chairlift) or time-consuming (on foot). So for most people a place in town would work better.

As for food, there are a number of choices. I've only had wonderful food there. The people who run the hotel at the lake have a farm as well, and serve their own organic lamb, fresh vegetables from the garden, and so forth. It's a nice choice for a dinner adventure, but you'd have to walk back down because the chairlift stops operating around 6 pm. Meals at the Adler when I stayed there were all good too. There's a small place in town where we had great lunches---soup, sandwiches, salads, etc., but I can't remember the name. And a place on the main corner in town is famous for hot chocolate. Our kids (ranging in age from 13 to 19) look forward to going back to this town so they can eat well.
enzian is offline  
Mar 9th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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The kids (especially the younger ones)would probably like the huge transportation museum in Luzern--lots of interactive stuff there for them to do.
taxatty is offline  
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