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Need help in Planning a Switzerland Vacation

Need help in Planning a Switzerland Vacation

Old Jul 9th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Need help in Planning a Switzerland Vacation

I will be travelling with my wife to Switzerland in mid-August for 5 days. This is our first visit to Switzerland and need help in planning it. This is the tentative itinerary we have in mind and need help in refining it. Only the inbound and outbound flights have been purchased till now, rest of the plan is flexible at this time.
Day 1: Arrive in Zurich (around 5:30 pm)
Day 2: Take a walking tour of Zurich. Leave for Lucerne. Stay in Lucerne or Vitznau (I may be able to get free night at Sheraton Hotel @ Vitznau with Starwood points).
Day 3: Visit Mt. Titlis or Mt. Pilatus. (Need to know which excursion should we do.
Day 4: Interlaken area
Day 5: Mt. Jungfrau
Day 6: Take Golden Express to Geneva
Day 7: Fly home from Geneva early morning

Do you think this makes any sense or I am missing some major attractions. Also I need recommendations on hotels in these places. My budget is around $150 per night.

Also does it make sense to buy a Swiss Rail pass or buy point-to-point tickets.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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The first thing I'd do is for such a limited trip, cut out Zurich. When you land there, you can take a train from the airport right into Lucerne for the first night.

Are you planning on all those other nights except Geneva at one hotel?
How much hotel jumping are you planning? Basically Interlaken/Jungfrau and area are easy from one location -- maybe Grindelwald.
I'd also consider the last day before Geneva in Montreaux or Lausanne.
You can check RailEurope to see if a pass is a good deal for you, but I suspect in your case it is, as it looks like you'd be training and/or boating every day. Enjoy the lake steamers -- I think they're one of the most valuable bonuses on a Swiss Pass.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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You're planning to visit some of the most beautiful places! I agree with Patrick on a couple of things: Lausanne is only 45 minutes by direct train to the Geneva airport. It's a graceful old city just a lakeboat ride from the lavaux vineyards and the castle of Chillon. Going directly to Lucerne from the Zurich flughafen will give you fewer moves, and that's a good idea because your time is so short. You're going to have a wonderful trip. J.

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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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I havent been to Switzerland in many years but the trip you are planning is the exact itinerary of the trip I took years ago. Its lovely.

I agree with the other posters. I would go directly to Lucerne and spend your first night there too. Its a lovely city - Zurich is much less appealing for a vacation. Its pretty but really had a bigger city feel and is a big business district. You want to get away from the rat race right?

You could take a walking tour around Lucerne pretty easily in one day. If I remember, I think you can take a cable car up to Mt. Pilatus easily for some beautiful views. The whole town is very charming and romantic. Very "european."

I too would not spend much time in Geneva. Not as charming as the other towns mentioned - again more of a business city and not as relaxing. Again - it will jar you back to reality too soon.

Interlaken area is beautiful. You can take a train to the top of the Jungfrau, see the Eiger glacier. Also, for a day trip, the town of Murren is a lovely alpine village above Interlaken. Dont know about the rail pass in terms of the best buy. I do remember that the trains are a wonderful way to get around Suisse - on time, clean, great scenery.

Sounds like a lovely trip. Have a wonderful time

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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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Another vote for skipping the big cities (Zurich, Geneva). On the Geneva end unless your departure flight is terribly early in the AM it is very easy to train in from Montreux, Vevey, or Lausanne directly to the airport.

Someone above mentioned not spending so much time in Geneva, but the way I read it you only have 1 day, right?

A helpful tip for Swiss cities is their website usually found at websites like:
suze is online now  
Old Jul 10th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for all your responses.

* I am open to staying at one please or stay 1-2 nights in different cities.
* We have a flight from Geneva at 7:30 am so staying far out of Geneva may not be an option. We were thinking of staying at the Holiday-inn close to the Geneva Airport.

Thanks in advance.
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