Lucerne vs. Salzburg

Feb 12th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Lucerne vs. Salzburg

My wife and I are planning a trip this June and the itinerary is getting finalized. Due to time constraints we are going to have to eliminate a city. We will have two nights to spend in one of these two cities. Any suggestions? We are looking for a cool smaller city to relax and see some sights for a couple of days. Thanks for the help.
jsblan00 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 07:03 PM
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Hmm. How would you compare a Mercedes to a Lexus? Or a Monet to a Rembrandt?

Let me know, and I will answer your question.
bob_brown is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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I'll take a Ford Escort and a Bob Ross masterpiece. Does that help?
jsblan00 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Not knowing where else your trip is taking you...If I were asked where I'd like to spend two nights between these, that's tough. Salzburg for me. (I think)

pja1 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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For relaxation, scenery, and mountain/lake views, I like Lucerne.

For a cultural experience(Mozart/old town) with some potential outdoor exploration (tour, or bike ride) Salzburg wins.

Hard to go wrong. I don't think of either as especially small, though.
annw is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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the rest of the trip is
berlin 4 nights (non-refundable room)
munich 4 nights
Salzburg 2 nights
Buchen-Telfs (Interalpen hotel) 2 nights
Zurich (priceline non-refundable 2 nights)

See any wiggle room to do Salzburg and Lucerne?
jsblan00 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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I go to Lucerne quite often and while I never get tired of this beautiful city by the lake, I think Salzburg has more culture, architecture & history to offer.

Lucerne's charm & serenity are so readily absorbed that you can enjoy it in just a few hours. So if you want to do both, just do a short daytrip by train from Zurich for lunch by the famous covered bridge and a stroll through old town. Unless you want to tour the lake & Mt Pilatus with the lake boat & gondola (buy the self tour ticket at the train station).
DAX is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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I would suggest for Lucern, since you want to relax. You can take a meal or a drink along the river, without having to deal with traffic. Stroll along the lake and feed the swans. Or, you could jump onto one of the many lake boats and have a visit via the water.

Certainly both cities have lots of reasons to chose but just taking a few days to recharge your batteries, Lucern can do this better.

blackduff is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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As DAX has said, take a day trip to Lucerne from Zürich. Easy as pie! It takes about 50 min. by train one way. See for details.
kleeblatt is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 10:43 PM
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If you reduce Munich to 3 nights, then you can add Lucerne for 1 night to relax before you hit Zurich for 2 nights.
DAX is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Both are in my "top two" favorite places, so your question is a good, though difficult, one.

If I had to pick one for relaxing, I'd go with Luzern--smaller and lake/river has this calming effect, at least on us. However, Dax's idea of cutting a Munich day (and possibly a Berlin I'd add) allows you to have your cake and eat it too--as does the notion of doing a day trip to Luzern once you get to Zurich.
JN is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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ok, i think i've figured it out. We're gonna hit Salzburg for two nights, and then head to tirol and stay for two. We can then get up early and make the drive to Lucerne to eat lunch and spend half the day. We can then make the hour drive to Zurich and check in later to our hotel. Any thoughts?

I would take a day off of Munich, but we are going to use it as a base to see Dachau and Fussen/Linderhof.
jsblan00 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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I started a thread entitled 'favourite cities in Europe'. Just check it our for yourselves. I thought both were really amazing cities, perfect for tourists, but at the same time, not very touristy. But maybe it's because I went in early February.

I prefered Lucerne to Salzburg, only because the weather was perfect during my stay there, whilst it was positively drizzling the whole time we were in Salzburg. I feel like I shouldn't repeat myself here, so check out the thread- I mentioned quite a lot of my experience there. And on top of that, you can choose to visit either one of the Alpine peaks, take a boat ride on the lake.

Salzburg, I admit, was a great city too. So... actually my advice would be- to spend time in both!
Aleckii is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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I've been both places a number of times and love 'em almost equally, but Salzburg and the surrounding area offers so much more. Near Salzburg are Wolfgangsee and Mondsee (beautiful lakes), lots of mountain peaks, cogwheel railways and cable cars, salt mine tours and at least a day's worth of sights in nearby Berchtesgaden. Like Dax says, eliminate one night in Munich, keep the rest of the itinerary and squeeze Lucerne in there. One night in Lucerne should be enough. It's a pretty town with some gorgeous mountain scenery. Be sure to take a boat cruise on the lake and then maybe take the cogwheel train up to the top of Mt. Pilatus. Then you can descend by cable car on the opposite of the peak. It ain't cheap but it's a lot of fun.
Zeus is offline  
Feb 13th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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I'd recommend Lucerne over Dachau anytime anyday. I actually avoid concentration camps when I travel. Belin has one too if you must visit one.

I think you get a better and more poignant experience from the great Holocaust Memorial in Berlin without having to enter the actual gas chamber etc. The museum will provide you with plenty of Holocaust thematic experience.
DAX is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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ok ok... itinerary finalized

4nights belrin
3 nights munich
2 nights salzburg
2 nights austrian alps
1 night lucerne (Hotel Des Alpes)
2 nights Zurich

Looking forward to a great trip!

Any suggestions for enjoying Lucerne?
jsblan00 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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I've been to Lucerne twice, and it is a great city to walk around and it is really a "smaller-city" feel. I have not been to Salzburg, but friends said it was very expensive and a bit boring.
kenbob6571 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Hi jsblan00,

I wonder why you're spending two nights in Zurich. It's a great city, as cities go, but the Luzern scenery is more spectacular. I would spend two nights in Luzern (especially with a big travel day into town) and one in Zurich. Or even -- no nights in Zurich. Luzern is only about an hour from the Zurich airport by direct train, so you can conceivably stay in Luzern the night before you fly out.

So, what to do in Luzern -- take a ferry cruise on the lake, explore the lakeside villages of Weggis & Vitznau, walk around the lake, hike the mountains of Rigi & Pilatus, explore the old town with its fountains & squares & bridges & medieval buildings . . . For more info, go to

Have fun!

swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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I have a question: We will be dropping our rental car off in Lucerne, and then take the train from Lucerne to Zurich. I know this train runs every hour or so, but do we need to buy tickets in advance? This is probably a popular route, so shoul d I get them online before we travel? Thanks.
jsblan00 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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This is a tough one. Been to both many times, but I would have to say, say, say, ummmm, ahhhhhhhh - SALZBURG
TravMimi is offline  

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