Help me get from Zurich to Paris

Reply

Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:06 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Help me get from Zurich to Paris

I need help planning part of my 2.5 week honeymoon next May. I've got the Paris and Provence parts pretty much down but am having trouble with the Switzerland portion! Here it is: We arrive in Zurich at 11:30 a.m. Weds. May 16th and have 3 days in Switzerland before we need to be in Paris on the 19th to check into our apartment. We need to be at the apt. to get the keys by 7 p.m. so I don't care if we get to Paris late and don't have that day there - we'll be there til the following Saturday - so I'd rather spend part of the day in Switzerland depending on how long it takes to get from whereever we are to Paris.

We had originally thought about doing the Glacier Express, maybe on Thursday, taking it from Chur to Zermatt but not sure I want to "waste" an entire day on a train. So now I am thinking of maybe just a "partial" scenic train instead. We really want to see the Alps but are not big hikers so even if we stay in Lausanne or Montreaux that would be fine too. But also we would love to ascend one of the mountains, either Jungfraujoch or the Matterhorn, and do the tours and everything. So I'm having trouble figuring out the best route! Do we skip Zurich and immediately take a train upon our arrival to our next destination? Or do we spend a night in Zurich, then on Thursday morning go somewhere else - but where? I would like to stay in two different "towns" during those three nights but am not sure where. OR, do we stay in Zurich one night, Thurs morning take the Glacier Express (we'd have to get to Chur first to board) and then Thursday night stay in Zermatt or somewhere in that area? Then I have to figure out how to ultimately get to Paris on Saturday. TGV from Geneva? Or is there a better place from which to get the TGV?

Help me make the most of these three days!!

jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:30 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,652
You could also consider the overnight train Zurich to Paris.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:31 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
But that would mean 3 days in Zurich?? I don't think I want to do that. I would rather move east to west.
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:32 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,912
take the train, it turns round 8 times on the way and you wake up in a ball on the floor
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,498
Hi jenblase,

How about this: from Zürich, go directly to Grindelwald, or maybe Wengen, and spend the night of the 16th there. You can go up the Jungfraujoch the next day, then travel to Lucerne to spend Thursday night. From there, you can take the Golden Pass scenic route to Montreux, and spend Friday night in that area. There is a TGV direct from Lausanne to Paris that takes 3:40 and arrives in Paris (Gard de Lyon) at 5:00 pm, plenty of time to pick up our keys.

You can view the various route options on the Swiss train website: www.sbb.ch
enzian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:30 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
That sounds like a nice idea, Enzian... but rather than switch hotels three times, what if we stayed in Wengen 2 nights - then took the Golden Pass on Friday?
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:27 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,498
That's actually a better idea than my suggestion. You can meet the Golden Pass Route trains in Interlaken. The most scenic stretch is supposed to me from Zweisimmen (a short distance after Interlaken) to Montreux. So you will be getting the best of it this way. If you put Interlaken and Montreux into the SBB website as starting and ending points, some of the routes will take you through Bern---not the Golden Pass Route. The trains that follow the scenic route go through Zweisimmen, and are designated as "Golden Pass".

My only hesitation is that Wengen might be a bit high to stay in May, weather and snow-wise. I've only been there later in the summer. But I do know lots of people on this board do go there in May---maybe someone can clarify this for you. Otherwise, Lauterbrunnen would work well for a two-night stay too. It's in a valley below Wengen, and the village has more charm than Grindelwald. Getting up the Jungfraujoch from there would be just as easy as from Grindelwald; you'd be on the same train that goes through Wengen.

Then your third night could be in Montreux or one of the smaller towns along the lake---all lovely possibilities.
enzian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
Lauterbrunnen is a good base for the Berner Oberland because you can go up both sides of the valley from there. Both the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn are easily reachable from Lauterbrunnen.

You can leave Lauterbrunnen at 9:50 and be in Paris shortly after 17:00 via Lausanane. Take the TGV from Lausanne.

The train is more of a TV until it reaches Frasne where the tracks become suitable for speed in the 300 kph range.

Swiss trains are not in that speed category.

It is an easy connection with changes in Interlaken Ost (required anywhere you go by train from Lauterbrunnen outward), Bern and Lausanne.

You will have plenty of time to make all connections.

If you can roust your self out for a 5:54 start out of Lauterbrunnen, you can take the TGV from Bern to Paris, Gare de Lyon. Again, via Frasne.

Or you could go Bern, which is fairly small as national capitals go, and be ready to leave Bern at 8:23.

The train station in Lauterbrunnen is close to the Oberland and the Silberhorn hotels. There is one closer, but I don't suggest it.

The Crystal is ok too, and it is about a 5 minute walk from the train station, if you walk fast. I can do in about 10 minutes at my age, with no difficulty.
It is slightly downhill all the way!!

bob_brown is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:18 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Thanks Enzian and Bob Brown for the ideas. I like the idea of Lauterbrunnen for two nights, however I checked tripadvisor for hotels and there don't seem to be very many. Hotel Staubbach is the highest rated, but the thing that everyone seems to like about it is the waterfall view (if you can get it) and other than that the rooms and beds are in need of updating. I would like something a little more upscale (this is our honeymoon after all). Any other suggestions, in the BO region?
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 04:59 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,566
Hi jenblase,

I was going to suggest Thun earlier, but you seemed pretty happy with the idea of staying in Lauterbrunnen so I didn't.

Anyway, Thun isn't in the mountains; like Interlaken, it lies at the foot of the lakes but within easy commuting distance to the Jungfraujoch and the mountain villages. Thun is a real city, so you'll have access to dining, shops, and of course the Thun castle. It's on a major rail line, so it'll be very convenient for your further journey to Montreux.

One thing in Thun's favor is its position right on the lake -- stupendous views! Also, Thun is pretty much overlooked as tourists rush to Interlaken and the mountains beyond. And there are good ferry rides around the lake.

Information at www.thun.ch.

If you want to go an entirely different route, you could stay in Gstaad, at the very far-western edge of the Berner Oberland, where it joins the French-speaking Canton Vaud. Information at www.gstaad.ch.

Good luck!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 05:01 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,566
Sorry -- hit "post" too soon.

If you want to retain your idea to stay in Wengen, look at the Alpenrose (www.alpenrose.ch), where I'm going to stay in Jan. Also the very plush Caprice is well liked here.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Swandav, both Alpenrose and the Caprice don't open until the following week (25th) so I'm out of luck there. I checked Hotel Bodni in Grindelwald and they open on the 17th, one day later than what I need!! It seems that the only place that is open in the BO region is Hotel Belvedere in Grindelwald, and it sounds rather nice, so I think I'm going to book there for two nights. They quoted me 255 chf for an "executive" suite on the 5th floor, Eiger view, including two dinners and two breakfast buffets. Sounds pretty reasonable to me!

Then Friday we will do the Golden Pass from Interlaken to Montreaux, then Saturday depart from Lausanne to Paris on the TGV. So now I need a place to stay Friday night. If I stay in Lausanne for that night, will I be able to get a Lake Geneva view? Or is that not directly on the lake like Vevey, etc. I don't think I want to stay in Montreaux proper.

Thanks everyone for your help - this is coming together quite nicely!
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 10:19 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,566
Hi again,

I believe that a lakeview room in Lausanne will be pretty pricey, as most of the city sits above the harbor (Ouchy). The Ouchy hotels will be expensive (I think . . .)

How come you don't want to stay in Montreux? It's smaller than Lausanne --

I only know of two lakeview hotels in Vevey; one is the five-star Trois Couronnes, and the other is a Best Western property in La Tour-de-Peilz (looks nice, and I've thought about staying there before).

You may also want to think about staying in the delightful little vilalge of Morges. There are two lakefront hotels there -- one, again, is a Best Western hotel, the Mont Blanc (I ate there once and loved the meal!), and the other is the four-star La Fleur du Lac. I had a snack at La Fleur, and it was nice. It's just a bit remote from the rest of the village, but wasily walk-able along the lake. Modern decor. Morges will be closer to the airport than Lausanne or Montreux (obviously!).

Good luck!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 10:57 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Swandav, what about Hotel Victoria - you've stayed there right? I could take the cable car from Montreux upon arrival on Friday. My only concern would be getting to Lausanne the next morning to get on the TGV to Paris. Ugh this all sounds exhausting.
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:00 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,566
Hi again,

Yup, I've stayed at the Victoria four times over the years; it's my favorite hotel for ambiance & service. The views are spectacular, a panorama over the lake (you get a good idea from its site at www.victoria-glion.ch). One of my favorite things is lunch or after-dinner drinks on its patio.

But it's pretty out of the way. From Montreux, you take the train; or you can talk to Territet and take the funicular (I love the funicular, and I prefer that section of the lake too).

To get the schedules for the Lausanne connection, just use www.rail.ch and of course use "Glion" as your departure. Of course you enter "Paris" as your destination to get the whole picture.

The hotel is about two blocks from the Glion station.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:01 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,566
uuumm. That's "walk" to Territet, not "talk." Pretty funny, that!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:34 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,165
I would stay right in either Vevey or Montreux (I'm curious why you specifically don't want Montreux). You can get lake views in either town, but they are plenty expensive. That said, it would be incredibly easy to then walk to the train station and take the very short ride to Lausanne for your next connection. This sounds MUCH more relaxing then the other ideas you're considering for this single night imo.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 01:19 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,165
jenblase~~ I think it sounds "exhausting" because you're trying to be too elaborate with this little one night stay-over.

Above I meant the lake *front* hotels are expensive, but maybe that's OK since it's your honeymoon. I know in Montreux there are other hotels that have views, by virtue of sitting up on a hill.

Arriving late Friday, and needing to get to Lausanne on Saturday for your next train... no way would I want to be having to take a tram etc. etc. to get to my hotel. Plus you'd be stuck there not able to walk around town or lakeside.

My favorite thing (I have been to Vevey/Montreux 5 times) is to simply walk along the quai (lakeside promonade), have a meal at one of the incredibly charming smaller local cafes or restaurants,

... you'd even have time to go to the Saturday AM early morning Farmers Market in the town square at Vevey and put together an amazing picnic to take with you on the train with you!!
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 01:42 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 656
You're right Suze, I'm stressing out too much about one night. Any good hotel recs for Montreux/Vevey for me? A lake front hotel isn't important but a lake VIEW would be nice.

I was reading about the Saturday morning market in Vevey on another one of your threads - putting together a picnic for the train ride sounds perfect!!
jenblase is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 3rd, 2006, 02:37 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,165
Jenblase, I'm lucky enough to stay with friends who live there, but am familiar with the location of hotels in both towns. I'll see if I can make some suggestions.

I always mention the market(s) because I think they are such an amazing and fun thing to participate in. They are very *local* not made for tourists. People really do their weekly shopping there. You'll see. Not to mention the quality of food (baked good, cheese, dried meats, fruits, vegetables, flowers, pizza, preserves, etc.) are ta die for!!!
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:42 AM.