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Montreux, Interlaken, Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen?

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May 18th, 2014, 09:33 PM
  #1
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Montreux, Interlaken, Lucerne or Lauterbrunnen?

Hi all,
My sister and I are planning a trip to Europe at the end of this year (i.e. a European winter). We are both young and full of energy (I will be 21 and she will be 18 at the time) and have decided after much thought and advice we would like to split up our six nights in Switzerland between two destinations (three nights each). I was thinking of spending three nights in Montreux then three nights in Interlaken. However, my friend suggested Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen. What would you recommend?
Many thanks in advance.
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May 18th, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Hi hilary0993,

Montreux would give you the greatest contrast to Interlaken -- as Interlaken is in the German section and is nearby the high mountains, Montreux is in the French section. It resembles the French Riviera in architecture, interiors, language, and some style.

However, wintertime isn't its greatest time, unless you mean during the Christmas markets. In winter, it is more or less deserted. The city's gardeners do keep things interesting, though, with sculptures and some decorations along the lakeside path, and of course you'll only be sharing the place only with residents. There are plenty of walks to take along the lake and in the hills behind the lake, and there are plenty of other towns to visit that will still be interesting (Vevey, Morges, Chateau d'Oex, Gstaad, Gruyeres).

Luzern is a great place, too, and it would be difficult to choose between them. Luzern has wonderful mountains-spilling-into-lakes scenery and a beautiful and interesting old town. Luzern is also in the German section, and it is surrounded by peaks.

Maybe you should look through a few guidebooks to see how they describe the two places, and then take some time to look at photos from google's "Images" search engine. See if one or the other is drawing you.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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May 18th, 2014, 11:43 PM
  #3
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What dates would we need to be in Montreux in order to catch the Christmas markets and festivities? Unfortunately winter time is the only time my sister and I can travel together. All these places look beautiful in winter though, judging on some photos I found with a simple image search. It is such a hard decision! Thanks again for your help swandav2000! Looking forward to what others have to say
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May 19th, 2014, 12:18 AM
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Lauterbrunnen might be a bit dark and gloomy in winter since it's in a narrow valley. I'd do Lucerne and Interlaken personally but Montreux is certainly nice too.
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May 19th, 2014, 12:29 AM
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Hi again,

Here's a link to the Montreux Marche de Noel

http://www.montreuxnoel.com/en-1-presentation.html

There are actually 5 markets located in various sites, but only one of them is free! You have to pay for all of the others (which angers me no end).

They run from 21 Nov - 24 Dec.

These markets are not **at all** like German Christmas markets, though. There are not a lot of Christmas-themed goods for sale; most of the stalls are just for merchandise (cell phone accessories, kitchen ware, scarves and shawls, and lots of candy stalls). The food stalls sell foie gras, pizza, and fondue rather than sausages.

Having said that, I myself will be trying to get there during the market days. It's wonderful to be able to grab some foie gras or sit down for some quick fondue. I also bought two of my favorite (expensive) shawls there.

It will be packed. You may find hotels already sold out for the dates (I stay in apartments these days, and even they are getting sold out for those dates).

You could easily stay in Vevey -- your hosts will give you a Riviera Card that makes all the town busses free, and bus #201 links Vevey & Montreux.

Have fun!

s
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May 19th, 2014, 04:28 AM
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Frankly, I think it would be helpful to know if the two of you want to do a anything else besides looking at scenery. And three whole days of those Christmas markets can get pretty old and pretty fast.
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May 19th, 2014, 04:34 AM
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Dukey1, there's tons to do beside the Christmas markets, as I noted:

<>

s
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May 19th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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Hi Dukey1, if we stay in Montreux it means we will be able to make day trips. If the weather is gorgeous we could make a day trip to Zermatt, or if the weather is a bit gloomy we could make a day trip to Geneva
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May 19th, 2014, 02:25 PM
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Are you planning on winter sports? If so I would pick completely different places. For general sightseeing I would pick Lucerne as having the most to see/do both in the town and quite nearby.

But for winter sports you need to be higher up in the mountains.
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May 19th, 2014, 02:53 PM
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I'm crazy about Montreux. Or even better the next town over (back towards Geneva) Vevey.
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May 19th, 2014, 03:16 PM
  #11
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Hey @nytraveller. Unfortunately not, niether my sister or I are particularly talented in skiing or the likes. We might have a play around on the Matterhorn if time permits but we're not too phased either way. Thanks for that suggestion @suze, Vevey has actually been suggested to me a couple of times already, I'll have a good look into it
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May 19th, 2014, 03:19 PM
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I have a friend who lives there. I've stayed in both Vevey (3 times) and Montreux (2 times). They are both gorgeous and right on the lake (Lac Leman). Vevey feels a little "more Swiss" to me and has nice pedestrian streets downtown, more reasonably priced local cafes, farmers street market twice a week. Montreux feels a bit more "international" to me and the main road runs right thru the center of town. Both are great, I'd go back to either in a heartbeat.
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Feb 7th, 2016, 06:51 AM
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Dear All,

Thank you for kind replies.. I really appreciate you taking time out to help fellow traveller.. Helped me to sort out my itinerary

I don't want to rush my holiday as many travellers do when time is short, in desperation to cover lot of things.

Switzerland has exceptionally beautiful & lot to offer for everyone. I believe, it will not justify if I do not spend time at select locations.

Hence, my goal is to have a relaxed holiday and based on the feedback, I seek your advice for following two options:

Option 1: 3rd May ~ 10th May ( 11th May departure)

[a] 3rd May start from Innsbruck to Mountreux via Glacier express, change of train from Brig
[b] 3rd evening enjoy Mountreux Stay for 2 nights
[c] 4th - Chateau de Chillon/ Cheese factory etc/ Vevey
[d] 5th - morning depart for LAuterbrunen (Golden pass) - spend evening local visits
[e] 6th - Gindelwald/ Jungfrau
[f] 7th - Depart for lucern (local visit - museums etc and relax)
[g] 8th - Lake trip etc
[h] 9th ~ 10th - Zurich visit

Now to me also this looks extremely exhausting, but needed to put this to forum to know whether its practical and doable..
------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 2: 3rd May ~ 10th May ( 11th May departure)

[a] 3rd May start from Innsbruck to Lauterbrunen via Glacier express, change of train from Brig
[b] 3rd - relax in lauterbrunen
[c] 4th - Gindelwald/ Jungfrau
[d] 5th - Schilthorn/ Interlaken ...?? if possible
[e] 6th ~8th : Lucern area including visit to Bern if possible
[f] 9th ~ 10th - Zurich visit

To me this looks more relaxed and in line with my thought process.. but guidance needed form forum
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option 3: 3rd May ~ 10th May ( 11th May departure)

[a] 3rd May start from Innsbruck to Mountreux via Glacier express, change of train from Brig
[b] 3rd evening enjoy Mountreux Stay for 3 nights
[c] 4th - Chateau de Chillon/ Cheese factory etc
[d] 5th - Vevey and local sightseeing
[e] 6th ~8th : Lucern area including visit to Bern if possible
[f] 9th ~ 10th - Zurich visit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Request the forum members for following advise:

[a] Though evident, need to know which is better from logistics and my objective point of view - specially from the seeing the real Switzerland
[b] Though I have been researching, what would be top sightseeing options, based on option finalised
[c] I there any way I can optimise my travel / itinerary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope I am not asking too much..

Thank you all in advance

Best regards
vivek
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Feb 7th, 2016, 10:15 AM
  #14
kja
 
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@ vksingh -- please see your other thread.
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