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Help with Switzerland in May-June

Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 11:50 AM
  #1  
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Help with Switzerland in May-June

Hello, My husband and I, fiftyish, want to visit Switzerland in May or June. We are flying in and out of Zurich. Because we don't want to jump around too much, we were thinking 4 days in Interlaken, then 4 days in Lucerne and back to Zurich. I am having a time trying to decide on at least a 4-star hotel or a nice 3-star. We want a fairly nice sized bathroom and room. This is the first trip for us and I am dreaming of eiderdown quilts and snowy chalets. We will be traveling around by train and want to be fairly close to the stations. We do not want to stay up very high in the mountains, as my husband has nosebleeds. I have tried booking Victoria-Jungfrau and their regular rooms are already booked for May and June. If anyone has a better itinerary or list of hotels please help!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:02 PM
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have you thought about adding a different region to your trip? The Ticino region is so beautiful, I stayed in Locarno for 3 nights and there was plenty to do - and much more that I didn't have time for. We used the train and boats for our exploring from Locarno. The language and food will be different from the central Switzerland area. I'm not sure you will find snowy chalets at that time of the year unless you go way up into the mountains. But there are many Switzerland travelers here who might know more than I about that.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Yes, I really wanted to visit Ticino... which other area would be great to visit? We like shopping, touring, and good food. Don't know about going up in those gondolas--kind of scary. Maybe a train ride would be nice.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Hi dancer0707,

Yes, cls2paris is right, you won't find snowy chalets in May-June, especially around Interlaken, which is a pretty big town full of hotels and restaurants.
As most folks here do, I'll recommend you head to the mountain villages of Wengen or Grindelwald.

As for hotels, did you know that the Victoria-Jungfrau is a 5-star, not a 4-star? There is another 5-star in the area, the Regina in Grindelwald. I suggest you check it out if you're looking for a nice mountain experience. You can also look at the 4-star Schweizerhof in Grindelwald, the 4-star Regina in Wengen (don't confuse it with the Regina in Grindelwald), or the 4-star Caprice in Wengen.

". . . which other area would be great to visit?" Well, after 14 trips in 10 years to Grindelwald, Wengen, Montreux, Villeneuve, Gstaad, Saanen, Kuesnacht, Zuoz, Lugano, Zermatt, and Luzern -- I can tell you that you can't go wrong. You don't have enough time to see it all, so simply make a choice and enjoy it!

You can check train schedules at www.rail.ch. Note that there's a train station right at Zurich airport, and that will make your travels much easier.

s
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:51 PM
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In May/June you will find snowy chalets only near the tops of the mountains - the lowlands of Switzerland (including Zurich, Lucerne and Interlaken) are quite warm that time of year - 60's/70's.

You don;t mention what you want to do (museums, history/castles, fine dining, hiking???) so it's hard to make recos on where to stay.

But for snow you're definitely going to have to go up to - I would think at least 8-10,000 feet or so.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:19 PM
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dancer
I stayed at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Interlaken for 330 Swiss Francs/night. The hotel was lovely. Room 318 was a large corner room, with a decent sized bath, king bed, sofa, tiny "balcony" barely large enough to stand on, with chairs and table, but nice fresh air. This was in April of this year.

I also had a problem with nosebleeds when we stayed with friends in their "mountain house" in Italy for several days, so I understand the problem for your husband. I do not try to stay the night in the mountain villages in Switzerland because of that, but love touring them for the daytime. But Interlaken is really nice (although touristy), with plenty of shopping and restaurants.

I love Lucerne as well!! I think the Grand National Hotel is a 5 star, and the price is probably 600+ Swiss francs or more per night. But the location on the lakeside is absolutely gorgeous! Rooms are not "large" but the bathrooms are really nice at the Grand.

We've also stayed at the NH Hotel, probably a 3 star, smaller rooms, but OK. The Hotel de la Paix has a good location, large rooms, but not very impressive... I don't think I'd stay there again if there were other options. Price was 209 Swiss francs per night. I wish I could give you the price on the NH, but don't have that information at hand.

I love dining at La Fenice in the old city in Lucerne. Wonderful Italian food! The cost was just over 100 Swiss francs for pizza, salad and a bottle of chianti.

Old Swiss House in Lucerne is also very nice, but a more Swiss type of meal, and a more "dressy" feel to it. The fish I had (from Lake Lucerne) was delicious. My DH had stroganof. 200+ Swiss francs for the meal plus wine.

I would really have to second the suggestion to try Locarno in Ticino. It's a wonderful smaller town! The La Palma Au Lac is one of our favorite hotels in Switzerland. We've stayed there 6-8 times of the years. It's right along the lakeside, and an easy walk to shopping and lots of good Italian restaurants. Ticino is more Italian in general, while Lucerne, Interlaken and Zurich are more Swiss/German.

Do enjoy your trip. I'm off to Germany and Switzerland on Thanksgiving Day, so I'm looking forward to it very much. Hope to get to Lucerne and/or Locarno for a return visit.
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Old Nov 28th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for all your replies. We enjoy walking, local culture and food, browsing the shops and taking in all the scenery we can, nothing too strenuous. Does anyone have experience with flying Swiss from Newark, NJ to Zurich? Is it better than JFK?
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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i lived in switzerland and would always go to see the bodensee again. i find the most beautiful part of switzerland. but luzern is great, zurich...its all good enough.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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No, you won't see snowy chalets, but other summer tourist activities might not yet be in operation, especially in May.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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I flew Continental through Newark to/from Zurich. What surprised me there - the gate number was changed, and the airport employee was standing at the arrival gate warning people. If you're in a hurry, they have moving carts you take for free (a tip is expected).

I'm flying again in March, and again through Newark.
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 09:14 AM
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I've finally decided on 3 nights Interlaken, 3 nights Lucerne, 3 nights Lugano in mid-May. Is this too many nights in any of these places or not enough? Also, flying into Zurich, what would be best order to do these?
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 10:37 AM
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3 nights are enough for Lucerne, but definitely not for both Interlaken and Lugano. Since you have only 9 days you have not other option, eh?

I would head to Interlaken after landing in Zurich, then Lugano and finally Lucerne, from where you can easily get the early flights from Zurich airport.

Ingo
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Ingo, your pictures are wonderful! I wish I had a month to explore Switzerland, but I can spend a few more days or move days around if possible, maybe only 2 nights Lucerne, 4 in Interlaken, 3 in Lugano or should I just skip Lugano for next time?
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Old Dec 1st, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for the compliment on the pics, dancer.

I think you mentioned you like shopping and good food, and you are not so much into these gondolas ... too scaring for you. In this case you should NOT skip Lugano (although I personally prefer Locarno/Ascona, since it is not as noisy/busy). Lugano will be perfect for you. There are two funiculars (Monte Bre and Monte San Salvatore) which go up to mountains at the edge of Lugano and are NOT scary.

I don't recommend to reduce the time in Luzern. One day is easily spent with a lake cruise and maybe a cog-railway trip up to Mt. Rigi, the other day is good for touring/sightseeing the old town, some shopping and the art collections + architecture.

If you could, I highly recommend to add a day to Interlaken. Beside a trip to Jungfraujoch (or at least Kleine Scheidegg) by cog-railway I recommend another cog-railway ride up and down to Schynige Platte. Some of the best views IMO. The other day is good for an excursion to Thun, maybe a ferry ride on Lake Thun and a visit of a castle (Thun or Oberhofen). If you had another day you could visit a nice village in the area, maybe Brienz, or one of those in the Saanenland/Simmental (Diemtigen, Boltigen, Erlenbach e.g.).
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Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 09:32 AM
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Ingo, I certainly will add to the Interlaken segment. I was wondering what were your favorite hotels in the areas I plan to visit? We like to be where we can just walk to restaurants, shops, etc. 4 star or good 3 star is fine. Anyone else's suggestions welcome. Thanks again.
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