Notices

Skip Zurich & go straight to Luzern?

Old Jan 6th, 2005, 08:57 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Skip Zurich & go straight to Luzern?

Our plane gets to Zurich from the US in the afternoon on May 6. We have a car. In your experienced opinion would you stay one night in Zurich and one in Luzern or pass on the big city and stay in Luzern for 2 nights?
We're taking friends with us for their first time to Switzerland and want them to experience the Wow of Switzerland right off the plane. What say ye?
Charliemom is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 09:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 85
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want to experience friday evening rush hour on the Swiss highway jet-lagged as you will be, go ahead to Luzern. Your friends will enjoy it.

Seriously, two recommendations:

Either:
Take the train from Zurich airport to Lucerne and pick up the car at Lucerne on May 7.

Or:
Pick up the car at the airport and stay the night at Zurich.
raspberry7 is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 09:54 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I usually try not to do any driving (or major driving anyway) immediately after a transatlantic flight. Sometimes I feel terrific - but more often I am bleary eyed and jet lagged and a day or 2 w/o a car is a Godsend.

Raspberry's suggestion is a good one - to take the train directly to Luzern, wander Luzern that day, and then pick up a car the 2nd day.

Since there are four of you, there is a very good chance at least some of you will be exhausted and suffer jet lag. A day walking outside and car-less is a big help for recovering.
janis is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2005, 11:27 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with taking the train to Luzern...the WOW of Switerland will start with the fact that UNLIKE most cities in the US you can GET on the train right at the airport and they are fast, efficient, clean, and on-time.

The trip from Zurich to Luzern takes about an hour by train and for part of the way parallels the shore of Lake Zurich so it is fairly scenic.

One day in Zurich isn't enough to do it justice..those who have never stayed long enough to appreciate its many offerings would say one day/night is/are TOO much!!! Luzern is much more picturesque and for a short stay in Switzerland you are better off spending your time there.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 12:30 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The day before you arrive (i.e., Thursday May 5) is a holiday here in Switzerland (the Ascension) and most people are off work. Whether this will add more to the traffic on roads on Friday is hard to tell, but if you can arrange it, I would agree with the others that you take the train directly from the airport train station to Lucerne. The drive to Lucerne has very few if any scenic parts so you wonít miss anything going via the train, and on a normal Friday traffic will be quite bad around Zurich starting in the late afternoon, and you could also hit a lot of weekend traffic heading to the mountains.

What time does the car rental office in Lucerne close? Most offices close around 5 pm and as this is a holiday weekend, they may have shorter hours, so you may have to pick up the car in Zurich anyway. Confirm when and where you can pick up the car in Lucerne. As you are staying the night in Lucerne, you could also just go directly from the Lucerne train station to your hotel, stay the night, and pick up the car the next morning. Again check on opening hours for the car rental agency in Lucerne on Saturday May 7. You donít need a car in Lucerne at all, so I assume you are going to outlying areas for day trips and therefore could pick up the car on Saturday without having to lug all your bags and baggage to the rental agency from the train station.

Zurich by the way has a population of 450,000 so it is hardly a ďbigĒ city, esp compared to places like Paris, Rome and London. I totally agree with the above poster that it offers so much to see and do, it has a huge wow factor in so much being packed into an organized, clean, safe and very charming small town.

Cicerone is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 01:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our plane lands on Wednesday, 19th january at 16.50. Can we get a train to Lucerne from the airport? Can you recommend a nice hotel in Lucerne with good views?
moncauchi is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 02:09 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The website for Swiss Rail is rail.ch. It is easy to use.

From the website, it appears that there is a direct train from the airport train station to Lucerne (i.e., no changes required) about every hour, departing at 47 minutes after the hour. Other than that, the is a train departing every hour at 13 minutes past the hour that goes to Lucerne via a change at the main train station in Zurich (Zurich HB or Zurich Hautbanhof). At some times, there is also a train to Lucerne via Zurich HB that departs at 20 minutes pas the hour. Check the schedule. The direct train takes about an hour, if you change in Zurich HB the trip takes about an hour and 15 minutes. Changing at the main train station is easy, and you will arrive and depart on the main ground level train platforms, so you wonít have a long walk between train platforms when changing trains.

With your arrival time, my guess is that you could maybe make the 17:47 direct train if you get through immigration and baggage claim quickly; otherwise you should easily make the 18:13 non-direct train, and could definitely make the 18:47 direct train. The airport is generally not crowded in the afternoons (most US international flights depart and arrive in the morning), so you might have a good chance of making the 17:47 direct train.

There is a ticket office in the airport train station, there are also automated ticket machines that are not hard to use. You can take luggage carts on the escalators all the way down to the train platform.

You donít specify a hotel budget. My favourite hotel in Lucerne is the Park Hotel Burgenstock on the mountaintop, it has great views, but I am not sure it is open in the winter months, check with them. You would need to take another train up to it as it is in Burgenstock, which is above Lucerne. The Lucerne Palace is also a very good hotel in town. Both are fairly expensive. Take a look at lhw.com for details on both. Run a search here for other hotel suggestions as Lucerne is popular on this board.

If you arenít wedded to staying in Lucerne and want to actually be in the mountains for hiking, skiing and just shear beauty, go to Wengen or Murren and stay there for a few days.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd get the car in Zurich and head for Rapperswil, one of the lovliest places for an introduction to Switzerland, and an easy drive from Zurich. There are several nice hotels in Rapperswil with a view across the lake. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 12:32 PM
  #9  
JN
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 852
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I second or third the recommendation to skip Zurich and head directly to Luzern. Train ride is easy and views are great. Also, car parking in Luzern is expensive. If you don't need the car till leaving, you might delay your pickup until just before heading out of town.

As for hotels, we've liked two with river/Pilatus views: Des Alpes and Schiff (both 230-25 chf/nt double with breakfast included. More expensive ones with great views are Des Balances and National, Schweizerhof and Montana.
JN is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 12:34 PM
  #10  
JN
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 852
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oops--meant to post "230 to 250" chf--not 25.
JN is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 620
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally, I would get a luxurious room @ Bar au Lac in Zurich, (my wife and my favorite hotel in Europe), go into Old Town and get some schnitzel and goulash(soup) and rosti and then get a wonderful nights sleep and shower before heading out on your adventures. just my opinion, don't under rate Zurich, it's a great town, very polished.
richardsonsnm is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
elnap29
Europe
5
Apr 24th, 2017 09:04 PM
astimesser
Europe
3
Aug 23rd, 2016 11:17 AM
hiki08
Europe
2
Jan 8th, 2014 08:14 AM
AB321
Europe
9
Aug 12th, 2007 11:08 AM
dflawyer
Europe
6
Jan 17th, 2004 05:18 AM

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 - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO