Interlaken or Lucerne?

Old Jan 10th, 2003, 08:56 PM
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Interlaken or Lucerne?

I'm trying to figure out which city (or another?) my family should use as a base to see parts of Switzerland for a week next July. Which city is better for a family? Which has better rail connections?
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 04:54 AM
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Hello Erich, my guess is Lucerne. You can run some tests by visiting the SBB website and plugging in some daytrips to see the length of time you'll be on the train using Lucerne as your stay-put home base. I know it is possible to day-trip from Lucerne to Lake Brienz and the Jungfrau, to Zurich and its lake towns like Rapperswil, to Altdorf, to the outdoor museum at Ballenberg, to Berne, etc., but you have to like riding trains. It's a great adventure. J.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 05:51 AM
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hi erich--my vote for Lucerne. Amazing town with lots to do around it. Be sure to take a boat ride on the lake and hike in the mountains. Hotel Alpha is a very nice, central and affordable hotel in Lucerne. In july lucerne has their blueballs festival which is a blast (blues music--but to canadian girls it means something very different). hope this helps.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 09:01 AM
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Thanks very much for this information. It confirms my own hunch. Do you (or anyone else reading this thread) have any experience with the Hotel Beau Rivage in Weggis? Apparently, the hotel is on Lake Lucerne and accessible by boat from Lucerne itself. It sounds lovely in my guide book, but I wonder whether it will be too isolated and too much of a hassle to try to get from the hotel to the train station. Would love the opinion of someone who has explored the area.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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I would vote for Lucerne over Interlaken any day as a "base" especially for first timers to the area.

Regarding the question about Weggis. That is a charming little town, but I would not recommend staying there if you plan to come and go a lot. Boats are fairly infrequent, and it would be easy to get stranded elsewhere in the evening with no easy way to get back to Weggis, for example. I've just booked to stay there for a couple nights this summer for the first time, only because we plan to stay pretty much right there exploring Rigi, one of the few mountains we've missed in the past.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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Hello again. I'm sure S' will see your thread and comment on Weggis (Her trip report is around here somewhere--maybe a Weggis search will find it.) Thought I'd mention that friends stayed at the Hotel Roggerli ( in Hergiswil, which is on the rail line just outside of Lucerne -- probably a suburb. While it is not a traditional village, the price might be right. If you do plan to stay put in one city and want the greatest choice of rail connections, Lucerne itself is probably your best bet. J.
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 04:17 PM
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Hello Erich,

I also agree that you've settled on a good choice for your family vacation next July! There's really so much to do on Lake Luzern that you and your family won't want to leave.

I've spent a few days in Luzern, and just last November I spent a few days in Weggis at the Albana Hotel. I walked past your hotel and thought it was very, very charming! It's a five-star, right? It has a prime location directly on the lake and also has a private "beach" type area on its shore. It's a little distant from the Weggis pier, about a 15 minute walk. I'm sure they'll send a car for you if you let them know which ferry you're taking.

I recommend you check your luggage through from the airport to Weggis. It will be much much easier for your whole family to make the connections and the short walk from the Luzern train station to the port and onto the ferry without trying to juggle suitcases as well.

But, as others above have noted, Weggis is not the most convenient place for connections. It's about a 20-minute ferry ride to Luzern. If you want to spend your week exploring the various lakeside villages, walking or biking some trails, exploring the peaks of Titlis, Pilatus, and Rigi, or simply delving into Luzern itself, Weggis will work fine. But if you intend to take longish day trips, you'll find yourself frutrated. I spent one night "out" in Luzern, missed the last ferry back to Weggis, and took the train & bus connection that took more than an hour. You'll have more connections in July than I had in November, but it'll still be less convenient than Luzern.

You can find all the connections at (on the "Travel/Timetable" pages, click on "options" and enter "boat only") or Be aware, though, that the summer schedules are not up yet and may not be up until May.

It might also be difficult to keep your children entertained in Weggis if they're small or energetic. There's really nothing nothing nothing there except the hotels, a few small shops, a few restaurants, and the lake.

Well, so, I'm not so sure this information will help. If you find my Weggis trip report (I think I called it "Montreux and Weggis in November"), you'll find a link to some photos I took. If you can't find the link, I'll send it to you. It's an utterly charming town, but staying there does have its drawbacks.

Happy researching!!

Old Jan 12th, 2003, 09:46 AM
richard j vicek
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Gooo afternoon, Ench
Personally would pick Interlaken ( the Berneroberland) over Luzern. There
seems to be much more to do and see in
Interlaken, much to see at the end of
the BOB, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.
check ( you
do stay in Interlaken, pick a hotel close to the Interlaken Ost Station, which is also the dock for the ships that ply Lake Brienz and Interlaken
other station and the docks for Lake Thun. Richard of LaGrange Park, Il.

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