How many days in Lucerne and Bern?

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Jun 19th, 2018, 11:18 PM
  #1
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How many days in Lucerne and Bern?

Hi all,

I know this is subjective but I'm just wanting advice/opinions on how many nights to stay in Bern and Lucerne? I'd originally planned 3 nights Bern, 2 nights Lucerne, but the more I research I'm wondering if we should reduce time in Bern and add more time to Lucerne or elsewhere. Would 2 nights in each be sufficient to get a good feel for each city?

Thanks!s
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Jun 19th, 2018, 11:23 PM
  #2
kja
 
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Are you using the cities as bases, or are you asking for information about time in the cities themselves? if the latter, I'd suggest 3 nights for each, but that really depends on your specific interests! Honestly, you can only get a real anchor on the time YOU need by thinking through what you want to do in each city, checking opening hours, and plotting things out on a calendar....

I found both cities delightful and hope you do, too!
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Jun 20th, 2018, 12:53 AM
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Both cities have good museums where you can easily spend a whole day or more
Lucerne: Transport Museum and Rosengart Foundation
Bern: Paul Klee Museum, Art Museum, Einstein House, Historic Museum with Einstein section, Natural Historic Museum with big cristals from the Swiss Alps, Alpine Museum, Museum of Communication .......
Without museums, count 1 day for each city.
Day trip possibilities to surrounding lakes (Lake Lucerne, Lake Thun, Lakes Murten, Neuchatel and Biel) and mountains (Pilatus, Brienzer Rothorn, Stanserhorn, Rigi, Titlis, Klewenalp, Stoos, Niesen, Beatenberg, Stockhorn, Harder, Schynige Platte, Weissenstein, Chaumont .......) are endless.
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Jun 20th, 2018, 01:14 AM
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Hi cassie15490,

Did you know how close these cities are to each other? They are only about 1h or 1h30 apart by train, depending on what time you chose. So moving bases (pack up, check out of one hotel, then check in again and unpack) would take more time than just doing a day-trip or two.

But if it were me and I had to move bases, I would spend 4 nights in Luzern and 1 night in Bern. My own prioritiy is scenic beauty, and the landscape of mountains-spilling-into-lakes is nearly irresistible for me.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Jun 20th, 2018, 07:47 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=jungfrau+region+images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&sou rce=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUuYSkyuLbAhWm4IMKHUOvBHE QsAQIKA&biw=1536&bih=758

If never been to Switzerland IMO skip Bern and spend a few days in the wonderful and awesome Jungfrau Region up from Interlaken - little in lovely Lucerne area can rival this area - ensconce yourselves in lovely mountain village like Wengen and use the myraid of toylike mountain trains and thrilling aerial gondolas and hiking paths go off in all directions.

Trains are great between Zurich Airport and Lucerne and Interlaken area - for lots on Swiss trains (and passes like regional passes like Tell Pass and Berner Oberland Pass) check www.sbb.ch; www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts).

I'd spend may 2 nights in Lucerne and rest in Jungfrau Region.

Or maybe you are already going to this area? If so then if wanting tosplit 5 days between Lucerne and Bern base in Lucerne and day trip to Bern, one day fine for most in this beautiful city on a gorgeous lake with many sweet day trip possibilities. But if not going to or been to the high Alps head for dem hills.
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Jun 20th, 2018, 08:07 AM
  #6
twk
 
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Originally Posted by cassie15490 View Post
Hi all,

I know this is subjective but I'm just wanting advice/opinions on how many nights to stay in Bern and Lucerne? I'd originally planned 3 nights Bern, 2 nights Lucerne, but the more I research I'm wondering if we should reduce time in Bern and add more time to Lucerne or elsewhere. Would 2 nights in each be sufficient to get a good feel for each city?

Thanks!s
Without knowing your full itinerary, it's hard to comment.

Is this the sum total of your time in Switzerland, or are you spending some time in the mountains in addition to the time in Luzern and Bern.

Are you strictly interested in the cities as opposed to the mountains?

Personally, I think you can do Bern in a daytrip, and if you are spending anytime in the Berner Oberland, a Bern daytrip is an excellent bad weather alternative. So, that's where I would add the Bern time if the BO is part of your itinerary.

If it's just Luzern and Bern, I would opt for more time in Luzern, because I'm assuming that you are going to do things like a lake cruise, and possibly a mountain excursion to Rigi or Pilatus. If you were thinking of basing in Bern for excusions, I would base somewhere else and do Bern as the excursion. Bern is a lovely town, but the rail system makes it so easy to get to that you don't have to actually stay in Bern to see it.
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Jun 20th, 2018, 12:00 PM
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I think two days in Lucerne is enough. It was for me, there isn't that much to do there. However, if you plan to do something outside the city, that's another story. I did not, so that was the time in Lucerne itself. The lake cruise doesn't really take up that much time, after all, if you just do a short one (I think only an hour, but I forget details). Other than that, I went to a couple museums, I think, as well as went to look at that lion everyone does, but what I really enjoyed was the Bourbaki panorama which a lot of tourists don't seem to go to (it isn't mentioned above).
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Jun 20th, 2018, 03:52 PM
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Yup, Lucerne itself is small and few time-consuning things to do so a day is fine for it itself but it can be a lovely base for forways by boat or train around the lake and environs - such as boat to Vitnau for train to Mt Rigi or boat to Alpnachstade for Pilatus train or train to Engleberg/Titlis - these are great if not going elsewhere but if going to say Jungfraun area then what you see there will be as or more awesome than Lucerne's day trips pretty much. But still do a day boat trip like Lucerne to Fluelen at end of lake maybe getting off at Brunig or some neat town for lunch and take train quickly back to Lucerne from Fluelen - anyway so if staying in Lucerne itself several days could be neat if going to other places maybe not.
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Jun 20th, 2018, 04:30 PM
  #9
kja
 
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Again, it really depends on what you want to see and do. Whatever anyone says, there are PLENTY of things to keep some of us fully engaged for two full days in either of these cities.
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Jun 21st, 2018, 06:03 AM
  #10
 
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Yes but most folks don't come to Switzerland to see museums and things in cities themselves. But if want to OK.
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Jun 21st, 2018, 11:33 AM
  #11
 
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Yes but most folks don't come to Switzerland to see museums and things in cities themselves

They don't? You know what "most folks" are interested in? Interesting.
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Jun 21st, 2018, 01:31 PM
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Yes I think so after reading so many Swiss trip plans on Fodors - the vision of Switzerland ethced in many folks' minds is not cities or museums but heading to the awesome high Alps and staying in a mountain village. Folks with loads of time will include cities like Lucerne, Montreux, Zurich, etc but on limited time and first time I do think most foreign travelers do have that vision in their mind. I stand by that statement but should have said IMO.

What do you think is what most first-timers to Switzerland are expecting to see if time as a priority? Cities or Alps if on limited time.

And Lucerne can be a wonderful base to experience neat Alpine places like Engelberg and Titlis and Pilatus (practically in Lucerne) and Mt Rigi and boat rides are really neat. Ciies can be nice for bases but most IMO want to head for the hills and Switzerland's ballyhooed natural wonders found in places like Jungfrau, Zermatt and Engadine. I may be wrong and again should have said IMO.

Cheers!
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 12:56 AM
  #13
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Hi all, thanks for your feedback. Sorry for the late response, I thought I'd posted a reply days ago but obviously it didn't go through!
I should have mentioned my full itinerary to put Bern and Lucerne in context:
We're starting off with 3 nights in Geneva, then moving on to Bern as this gives us a break in travel on the way to Wengen. We've got 3 nights in Wengen, then heading to Lucerne to break up the travel to our next stop which is Strasbourg (3 nights). Next moving to Stuttgart (3 nights) and then onto Zurich (3 nights) and head home. So Bern and Lucerne aren't acting as bases per se, just nice cities that happened to work out perfectly for the middle parts of the trip. As it stands we've got 3 nights in Bern and 2 nights in Lucerne (if I'd only booked one extra day so we could have had a nice 3 nights each across every city!)
So we're getting a wee taste of everything (I hope), with the cities, alps, mountains, lakes, rivers etc
I'd be very grateful to hear any recommendations for what we could see in each place.
Many thanks!
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 05:27 AM
  #14
 
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Sounds neat but curious what plans are for 3 days in Bern itself or is it a base? I'd put more days into Lucerne because it has so many neat day trips as mentioned - could be done from Bern too but Lucerne is oh so so much more beautiful in its setting - many hotels have lake views.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 06:31 AM
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I really like Bern but the highlights can be seen in a daytrip. I'd scratch Bern as a base and add all 3 nights to Wengen, making 6 days total. Sounds like Wengen overkill but it's not; you'll see why once you get there. You can take in Bern as a day-trip from Wengen.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 06:33 AM
  #16
twk
 
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Originally Posted by cassie15490 View Post
Hi all, thanks for your feedback. Sorry for the late response, I thought I'd posted a reply days ago but obviously it didn't go through!
I should have mentioned my full itinerary to put Bern and Lucerne in context:
We're starting off with 3 nights in Geneva, then moving on to Bern as this gives us a break in travel on the way to Wengen. We've got 3 nights in Wengen, then heading to Lucerne to break up the travel to our next stop which is Strasbourg (3 nights). Next moving to Stuttgart (3 nights) and then onto Zurich (3 nights) and head home. So Bern and Lucerne aren't acting as bases per se, just nice cities that happened to work out perfectly for the middle parts of the trip. As it stands we've got 3 nights in Bern and 2 nights in Lucerne (if I'd only booked one extra day so we could have had a nice 3 nights each across every city!)
So we're getting a wee taste of everything (I hope), with the cities, alps, mountains, lakes, rivers etc
I'd be very grateful to hear any recommendations for what we could see in each place.
Many thanks!
OK, that tells us a lot.
You might want to check out one of the other posts that appears on the first page at the moment, of someone who is concerned about the poor weather forecast for his two scheduled days in Wengen. I would add either all 3 Bern days, or 2 of them, to Wengen. You can see Bern on one of those days you base in Wengen, and use it as a rainy day getaway (if spending six nights in Wengen, you can almost count on two of them not being ideal for high mountain activities).

Bern is an attractive city, and a little bit different from most with its uniform greenish sandstone buildings in the old town center. It's definitely worth checking out. And, certainly, there's nothing wrong with wanting to see the urban sights of Switzerland in addition to the mountains. But the logistics are such that it just makes more sense to use the Berner Oberland as a base to visit Bern, as a target of opportunity when weather is bad in the mountains, than to tie yourself down to certain days being in Bern. What if the 3 days you spend in Bern are the three best weather days in the BO, and the 3 you have allocated turn out to be lousy? Basing in the mountains, and being willing to use the trains for daytrips, will give you the most flexibility and minimize the chance for weather to spoil your trip.
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Jun 22nd, 2018, 07:32 AM
  #17
 
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What if the 3 days you spend in Bern are the three best weather days in the BO, and the 3 you have allocated turn out to be lousy? Basing in the mountains, and being willing to use the trains for daytrips, will give you the most flexibility and minimize the chance for weather to spoil your trip.>

and this is a real possibility and Bern is a fairly short train ride from any Jungfrau base.
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