January trip to Switzerland.

Old Dec 18th, 2007, 04:45 AM
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January trip to Switzerland.

Hello :
I am taking a trip to Zurich and Geneva for total of 8 days end of January... (this is the only time i have).
I have 3 days in Zurich and 4 days in Geneva.

Can anybody recommend where can i go around in Zurich(3 days) and Geneva(4 days) keeping the Weather conditions in mind

Any input would be appreciated.
Cheers !
BigB786 is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Have you already booked hotels? if not, I would not spen so much time in teh cities. Both Zürich and Geneva are fine but the beauty of Switzerland lies in the mountains - you should really go out there, and not just on day trips (Engadine, Berner Oberland, Wallis, central Switzerland etc.) For day trips many of these areas re simply too far, or do you want spending 4-5 hours on the train every day?
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Instead of staying in Geneva proper, you could head out to Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. These are beautiful towns right along Lac Leman easily reached by train. In Montreux visit Chateau de Chillon.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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Zurich is very nice to me, I didn't go to Geneve
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Zurich is primarily a business city. I think you would see much more of Switzerland if you made Lucerne one center (lots to do in the town, trips up mountains, and easy access to some cute small towns).

We also loved Geneva, along with the lake and all the towns along it. But - it doesn;t sound like you're interested in the Berner Oberland - which IMHO is the best of Switzerland.

It sounds like you're not interested in winter sports - but you should still visit at least some of the smaller towns - either by train or car - to get a feel for the real Switzerland.

I would probably spend 3 nights in Lucerne - seeing some things from there, another night or 2 in a smaller town above Interlaken - seeing Brienz on the way there and then Thun on the way to Geneva, for perhaps 2 nights. (We usually do road trips and this would be easy by car - not sure about train, you would have to check the route - but I believe Switz is very well served.)
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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The countryside really is where you'll experience the real Switzerland. The suggestions above of Lausanne, etc. and Lucerne are good ones. You'd be talking right at an hour by train (one-way) for both trips from the big cities, so it's not like you'd waste all that much time on travel. Personally, I'd spend more time in the German-speaking region, but that's just my preference.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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And I love the French-speaking region best... it's a matter of personal preference.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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Hi BigB787,

I strongly agree with altamiro that Switzerland's best is found in the small villages and towns out in the countryside, and you'll spend too much time in transit if you stay only in her big cities. I urge you to investigate some of the charming villages you might have heard about from this or other boards --

In the Berner Oberland, look at Wengen, Mürren, or Grindelwald.

In the Valais, look at Zermatt, Brig, Saas Fee, Reideralp, or Bettmeralp.

In central Switzerland, look at Luzern, Weggis, or Vitznau.

These are the most-frequented areas of the country and a good place to start.

***for suze -- I know how much you love the Lake Geneva area, and you know that I do, too. But have you seen the other areas to form your personal preference?

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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Some good advice so far. I would agree that the countryside is really what is more worth seeing in Switzerland rather than her cities (although I think Zurich has a lovely old town and many very good museums so would not rule that out for a few days, I donít quite feel the same about Geneva, at the end of Switzerland I would pick Lausanne for a large city).

The mountain areas will really be lovely in January, should be very deep in snow and you do not have to be able to ski to enjoy them. You can take cable cars and little trains up mountain sides to great views, there are packed winter trails for walking, horse drawn sleigh rides to enjoy the beauty. You can cross country as well. I find the Swiss countryside actually more beautiful in winter than in summer (although you canít take ferry rides on most lakes, which is the one drawback, but the deep white snow against the blue sky does make up for a lot.) Jan is a great month to take one of the scenice train rides like the Berninia express to see the glaciers and the countryside.

In January in the mountains the world downhill ski championship is generally held in Wengen around Jan 18 or so, check a website. You may want to attend (it is very interesting and a real fun atmosphere), conversely hotels can be very hard to get in the village and the valley, and getting up into Wengen via the train over the event days can be quite difficult, plus a bit of the quiet beauty of the valley is of course disturbed by the thousands of fans, television crews etc (not to mention the Swiss Air force flying overhead in formation). But a great event if you like the big downhill. Also in Jan in the St Moritz area there is generally a snow polo festival on the lake which is wonderful, and a there is often a winter ballooning festival in Gstadd. I can check on these dates. Any of these would be interesting to attend, or something you may want to avoid as they may make hotels more expensive or the places more crowded.

Do some reading on the various areas and you may come up with some alternatives to just Zurich and Geneva.
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