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Paris to Switzerland by air, car or train?

Paris to Switzerland by air, car or train?

Jan 19th, 2005, 06:24 AM
  #1  
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Paris to Switzerland by air, car or train?

We are a family of six and considering flying from Paris to Geneva or Zurich and then renting a car to travel through Switzerland and on to Germany. We want to see the swiss alps and do a luge run as well as visit Lucerne where I have relatives. How far is Geneva from Gimmelwald and has anyone stayed there? Is it fun for family? Any other suggestions for great alpine villages with teens? Or should we try to fly into Zurich and then go the swiss alps? What about Lake Geneva and Chateau de Chillon --worth a visit? Need advice on where to fly into and where to go besides Lucerne. Thanks!
Nancy45 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #2  
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I just wanted to add that we were looking at Easyjet for air. They fly into Dortmund or Geneva and not Zurich as I had posted above. Would renting a car in Dortmund to travel through Switzerland and then into Germany since we will drop off the car in Frankfurt be reasonable?
Nancy45 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 07:09 AM
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I'd take the train, simply because it's a more pleasant experience in every way.

You check in at Gare de Lyon instead of schlepping out to a remote airport and standing in interminable lines.

You step onto the train with all your baggage in sight at all times.

You sit in comfortable seats with plenty of leg and elbow room, and watch the French countryside glide by.

You arrive at the city center one or two platforms from your next leg. Starting from when you leave your hotel in Paris, you'll arrive at the train station in Switzerland at about the same as flying (less than 4 hours), and much less stressed.

I would choose Lausanne as a base, and take the kids up to Gruyeres to see the H.R. Giger museum (giger.com) in the old city.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:40 AM
  #4  
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So you think taking the train (any idea how I can check prices? Swiss rail won't give me any pricing info this far out online) to Geneva and then renting a car is best with a plan to drop off the car in Frankfurt?
Nancy45 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 10:08 AM
  #5  
 
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RailEurope is quoting Paris-Geneva $125 first class or $96 second, children 50% off. But I don't know if that's definitive, and may not reflect summer pricing.

If I were doing it, I'd get a rail pass and forget about the car except for destinations that can't be reached by train. The Swiss pass gives you the run of the country (including lake steamers and some, but not all, mountain railroads) for dirt. Try this:

http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/passes/france_switzerland_saverpass.htm

The France/Swiss pass also gives you 50% off full-fare Eurostar tickets.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 11:01 AM
  #6  
 
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And if any of your kids is under 16, they can ride free with you with the Swiss family card, which costs nothing.

The Swiss public transportation system, including trains, boats, and busses is extensive, prompt, and clean. I much prefer it to driving. There are also a lot of rental bicycles, for really local touring.
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