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Sapphire Aug 26th, 2010 07:39 AM

Luzerne or Daytrips from Zurich?
We have 2 days in or near Zurich in mid-September. We arrive around 9 am on a Tuesday and have a flight to Stockholm leaving on Thursday around 10 am. We stopped in Zurich for one night last September and took the ferry around the lake, visited museums, etc. We had thought of visiting Luzerne, staying there Tuesday night and returning to Zurich on Wednesday. I have read the posts about things to do in Luzerne and the alternative of taking possible daytrips from Zurich, such as visiting nearby Rapperswill.

Just yesterday, someone told us how much they enjoyed visiting Lauterbrunnen and I'm wondering whether it might be a good option for us or whether it is too far to go on this short visit? I realize that the "last minute" timing of our planning may limit our options as well, but would welcome your input. When we visited last September it was too cloudy to see the Alps until we flew above the clouds on our way to Kenya. Hoping for better weather this time. Thanks for your help!

justshootme Aug 26th, 2010 08:31 AM

I'd take a train from the airport in Zurich to Lucern the journey takes about an hour. Spend the night in Lucern and explore the city and surrounding area on Tuesday and Wedenesday. Wednesday late evening I'd head to Zurich, and stay overnight here. You can spend both nights in Lucern but that would mean an early start on Thursday morning to take the train to the airport. Check trains schedules first, before you deceide what to do. I prefer to be in the city I am flying out of the day before especially if I have a morning flight.

As for Lauterbrunnen, you really don't have enough time to visit the area on this trip.

Ingo Aug 26th, 2010 09:02 AM

Totally agree with the previous poster. Lauterbrunnen and the BO are too far for this short time. Go to Lucerne.

cls2paris Aug 26th, 2010 09:06 AM

I enjoyed a short day trip from Zurich to Schaffhausen to see the Rheinfalls. Also Stein am Rhein is an interesting town to visit from Zurich. Lucerne is also beautiful and I agree to stay there one night if you are going there.

Sapphire Aug 26th, 2010 11:32 AM

Thank you all! Just the kind of input I needed to help me pull the trigger.

latedaytraveler Aug 26th, 2010 06:17 PM

cls2Paris, another vote for Lucerne - a very charming city.

Sapphire Aug 26th, 2010 11:41 PM

I have booked a hotel in Lucerne for Tuesday night and a hotel near the Zurich airport for Wednesday night. Looking forward to our trip!

kleeblatt Aug 27th, 2010 12:34 AM

Instead of a hotel near the airport, you might want to consider two nights in Lucerne with a morning train to Zürich. Check the train schedules. There are early morning trains leaving from Lucerne to Zürich Airport. The train station is in the basement of the airport.

hockeynutmom Aug 28th, 2010 06:43 AM

Leave Zurich by train or car and head to Lucerne. It is a beeautiful lake town with lots to see and do. We stayed at the Hotel Europa on the lake and it was lovely.

russwuf Aug 31st, 2010 08:53 PM

there is no Hotel "Europa" in Lucerne

Sapphire Sep 5th, 2010 05:19 PM

Exploring whether to take the train or rent a car for the trip from Zurich to Lucerne the morning we arrive and the back again the next day - late in the afternoon. Are the routes comparable in terms of scenery? I haven't priced the rental cars yet, but saw that the cost of 2 round trip train tickets from Zurich to Lucerne (46.00 CHF).

If I buy tickets ahead of time for taking the train from the Zurich airport to Lucerne (without needing to change trains in Zurich) but our flight is delayed and we arrive later at the Zurich airport than scheduled, will they honor the tickets for a train that leaves later that morning? Or is it better to wait and buy tickets when we arrive? I am looking at a train that leaves 90 minutes after our flight should arrive in Zurich.

Thank you all for your help!

swandav2000 Sep 5th, 2010 09:46 PM

Hi Sapphire,

Having a car in a city, either Luzern or Zürich, will be a lot more hassle than it's worth. Navigating the narrow, winding medieval streets while trying to avoid pedestrians, trams, busses, and other cars won't be fun -- and then add in the one-way streets! Don't forget that parking is not easy to find, and it's also expensive. And also don't forget that gas in Europe runs around $8/gal.

In contrast, the train takes you from the airport to Luzern in an hour, flat, with no changes and no hassles.

If you think that you may be taking more trips in either Luzern or Zürich (ascending Pilatus, Titlis, or Rigi; taking a cruise on the lake system of Luzern, seeing Rapperswil on Lake Zurich, etc), you may want to buy some kind of discount card or pass to cut the train costs for you. I personally always get the Half Fare Card for my Swiss visits -- it costs 99 chf and gives you half price on nearly everything that moves in the country.

As for your question about train tickets -- the normal ones you buy are good for the entire day, so no it doesn't matter if you take a later train. It only takes about 30 seconds to buy tickets, so you can easily wait and buy them then.

Have fun as you research!


Sapphire Sep 6th, 2010 05:16 AM

Thank you for the quick response. We had assumed that we would take the train to and from Lucerne, ascend Pilatus, etc. but were originally concerned about having to change trains in Zurich with our luggage (we will be enroute to Stockholm in conjunction with my husband's work and will each have checked a suitcase) and have small carry-ons. Seeing that there are some trains where we don't have to change trains in Zurich is a big help.

The links folks have posted for previewing the train schedule are very helpful. I like having an idea of what is available and have printed out the information that will help us find our way. When we were in Zurich last September, it was easy to buy tickets to go to the city. But after a full day of sight-seeing (after an overnight flight with very little sleep) we were rather brain-dead. We had trouble figuring out where to catch the train back to the Radisson Blu airport hotel from downtown Zurich and could find no one to help us. Two police officers finally came to our rescue and helped us figure it out. Admittedly, we live in the suburbs and rarely travel by train and when we do, the options are much more limited than in Zurich, so others may not flounder as we did!

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