Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Please give opinions/advice on itinerary, Switz/Germ/France

Please give opinions/advice on itinerary, Switz/Germ/France

Old Jan 7th, 2001, 08:54 AM
Posts: n/a
Please give opinions/advice on itinerary, Switz/Germ/France

I've been researching & have found lots of good info here, both from my questions and from many others. While we want to see a lot, some of these days' plans might not actually take a whole day, since we want time to wander, sit in a sidewalk cafe, do some shopping, etc. While we want a touch of museums, we're not interested in spending hours & hours there. We don't want to be running like maniacs from dawn 'til midnight! Here's a tentative itinerary for Sept 2001:
Fly into Zurich, train to Lucerne.
6 nights in Lucerne--a couple of days to explore Lucerne, day trip to Grindewald (can you do Murren in the same day?), day for Mt. Pilatus, day for boat ride down the lake.
Train to Strasbourg, 7 nights there, rent a car. Day for Strasbourg. Couple of days north (pottery stops) & south of Strasbourg (Riquewhir, Colmar, Ribeauville, etc.) Day trip to Heidelberg, 1 or 2 day trips to Black Forest (Wes Fowler posted 2 routes that both sound good.)
Train to Paris, 7 nights there (St. Germain). A day for Porte de Vanves flea market, picnic lunch Bois de Boulogne, Eiffel Tower. Day for Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur, St. Ouen flea market if we can get there on the right day. Day to explore St. Germain, Luxembourg Gardens, Procope, Musee D'Orsay. Day for Notre-Dame, St. Chappelle, Louvre (couple hrs. here OK). Day for Versailles. Day for Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe.
Some are negotiable if we seee something that interests us more. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 09:51 AM
Posts: n/a
Much as I enjoy Luzern I'd not spend a week there. One could probably fill the time reasonably profitably, but there are other places with excellent sights.

To answer a specific question, yes, Grindelwald and Muerren may be visited, easily, in one day.

However, if you'll do it on a day trip you may want to make a mountaintop your destination rather than a village. I'd strongly suggest the Schilthorn as both better value and better view than the more heavily promoted, and quite expensive, Jungfraujoch. (More info at

Better than a day trip, though, why not split your time in Switzerland between staying 2-3 nights in Luzern and 3-4 nights in the mountains around the Jungfrau? Strong recommendation for Muerren, though Wengeng a good second choice. Grindelwald an acceptable third or so.

Our extended suggestions for a short visit to our favorite country at www.twenj.com/swissshort.htm

Old Jan 7th, 2001, 02:32 PM
Posts: n/a
Ed: Thanks for the suggestion. The more I read, I was considering splitting the time in Switzerland. Will think about 3 nights Lucerne, 3-4 nights in Murren. Anyone else have ideas?
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 04:52 PM
Posts: n/a
I think it is a good idea to split up your time in Switzerland too. We spent 2 nights in Lucerne and 3 in the Murren area on our trip. The mountains around Murren and Grindelwald are unbelievable!!
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 05:06 PM
Posts: n/a
From what you describe as the ideal day in the first para., I can tell that we see vacations the same. So here are a few suggestions based on those parts of your itinerary I know well.
First, I would advise limiting my time in Swiss cities, such as Luzerne, and concentrate, instead, on the mountain villages such as Grindelwald. We, in fact, have found Grindelwald so inviting that we spent 3-4 days/visit for 4 visits. In our opinion, having spent some time in French cities, o spend time in a Swiss city, we feel, is to lose most of the distinctiveness of what Switzerland offers. We did like Lucerne, but we found an afternoon and the following morning to be quite sufficient. I would very much suggest you look at 3 or more days in Grindelwald and/or another similar town. The to-do's there are many. A recommendation on a hotel---our favorite--- is the Chalet-Hotel Gletschergarten. It has about 30 rooms. It is very clean and proper and, as the name implies, it is a chalet. Run by a very charming couple, the 3rd generation in the family running the chalet. Your room will look directly out on the 2 glaciers, the Eiger, the Monchen, and a few other awesome peaks. In fact, your are encircled by mountains. One can hear the glaciers crack in the evening. There are many lifts, a train, a telepherique, etc. And a train goes to the top of the Jungfrau right through the Eiger. Amazing!
Regarding the Paris itinerary, I presume you will use the Metro. If you have not decided or are uncertain, please check further, because it is the cheapest, fastest, and best transport in Paris. On Sacre Coeur, take the little rail car up the hill and walk down; the gardens on the hill are worth walking through. Behind the cathedral at the top, you'll find restaurants specializing in french onion soup. Allow time to get off the Metro at Pigalle (on your way by metro to Sacre Coeur) and check out the "sinful" part of Paris.
By all means, do the Eiffel Tower at night so that you don't blow an hour in line; also, so that you can book dinner at the Restaurant Jules Verne which is in the tower. It gets 2 stars from Michelin (excellent), so you can do your dining extravaganza and see the city at night in one fell swoop.
I suggest that you do one very late night "on the town" in Paris. Take in the show at the Lido (near Arc de Triomphe) at 10 PM or midnight (fabulous show efficiently run) and then check out the Alsacienne restaurant across the street from the Lido, but a few blocks in the direction toward Place de la Concorde.
Last comment: I think your itinerary in Paris is going to leave you saying, "If this is Tuesday it must be the Louvre". I sense intense burn-out!
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 05:53 PM
Posts: n/a
These are good ideas. Thinking more & more of splitting the Switzerland time. In Paris, although I want to see Versailles, we'll probably leave it to the end of the week, and if there are too many things left, we may skip that (& try for it another time). Can't have dinner at Jules Verne, though, as my husband has a thing about heights (I haven't even convinced him to go up, let alone eat there!) Thanks for the input. Keep it coming...
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 07:28 PM
Posts: n/a

I agree with the other posters about splitting your time in Switzerland. I would even go further and also consider splitting your 7 days in Strasbourg.
You will be so close to the Rhine Valley, that it would be a shame to miss it if you have'nt been before. Just a bit too far for a day trip from Strasbourg probably, but there are lots of lovely riverside towns between Mainz and Koblenz, that you should consider for,say, 2 nights in lieu of Strasbourg. Towns such as Rudesheim, Assmanhausen, Bacharat and Boppard spring to mind immediately. There have been favourable posts on the Hotel Krone and Hotel Cafe'Post at Assmanhausen, the Alt Kolnisher Hotel at Bacharat, and the Belle Vue at Boppard. Allow time for the wonderful day cruise on the Rhine River from all of these towns.
From the Rhine Valley there are half hourly trains to Cologne, connecting into the excellent high speed Thalys trains direct to Paris.
I realise you don't wish to be charging about, but with good weather, the Rhine is really too good to miss.
A car might be handy, but certainly not essential as there is a terrific service of trains and boats, on both banks of the river.
Old Jan 8th, 2001, 10:05 AM
Posts: n/a
Tony: Thanks for all this info. I think this time around we'll probably stick with Strasbourg, as our hotel is covered there with some exchange points & is in a good location. Also, there seems to be a good amount of sites we're interested in. Hope this won't be our last trip to Europe, so maybe we can catch the Rhine next time. I appreciate your input!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -