Old Jan 20th, 2000, 07:00 AM
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: Our family will be spending about 5 days in Switzerland in Mid March (March 19 - 23). We are interested in seeing historic areas ("Old Towns", castles, museums, etc.).

What are the best parts of Switzerland for this, and what are good resources for finding reasonable lodging (small hotels or guest houses around $100 per night).
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 11:55 AM
Bob Brown
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I think the most interesting towns in Switzerland are Bern, Luzern, and Geneva. Basil is ok; Zurich has been reviewed many times in recent posts.
At opposite ends of the nation, you might consider Neuchatel and Samedan.
I would get a copy of the Fodors guide book to Switzerland and key off of that.
As for hotels, I am not much help because, except for 3 nights, we have rented apartments and took day trips from our base.
We did find the Hotel le Trift in Zinal to be a small, charming 2-star place to send 2 nights while we explored Val d'Anniviers.
Luzern has several good museums, particularly the transportation museum. We enjoyed that one because it has a good cross section of all types of conveyences, particularly cable lifts like gondolas, telepheriques, etc.
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 03:04 PM
richard j vicek
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Good evening, Chuck
One area to look into before making your final decision is the Berner
Oberland. Surf into the following
urls for additional information.
If you stay in Interlaken, you can
take day trips to Montreux, Bern
and Luzern. Boats run on both
Lakes Thun and Brienz...
Good surfing, Richard of Hickory Hills
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 03:32 PM
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Best resources for hotel hunting are two extensive websites: www.hotelguide.ch and www.swisshotels.ch. Almost every city or village has an old town or historic area, and castles kind of dot the landscape randomly. You might want to decide if you want the mountain/Heidi experience, a more French atmosphere in the western part, or the balmy southern Ticino. I believe Bern might be a good spot for you -- it's a great grown-up medieval city. Luzern also has history dating to the 8th C and is not far from the place where the CH got its start in 1291. I second what Bob Brown suggests; get a guide book from the library and see which pictures thrill you. Head there. You'll find history and castles nearby. For the record, Karen Brown's guide gives this itinerary for Medieval Switzerland: Geneva, Gruyeres, Murten, Solothurn, Regensberg, Schaffhausen, and Luzern. Check them all out (www.gruyers.ch; www.murten.ch etc).
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 03:39 PM
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I just checked and it appears Murten does not have a website. Many Swiss towns do, so try them all. Or you can just use your search engine to find more info on the towns.

Also -- meant to say, check out the towns and just PICK ONE for your five-day stay. Surely not enough time to hit more.
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 05:53 PM
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Thanks to all for all your help.
Old Jan 22nd, 2000, 06:00 AM
Don and Linda
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We have four Switzerland travelogues posted
on our non-commercial web site, TheTravelzine.com.
For hotels, restaurants, planning and packing tips visit:
Old Jan 22nd, 2000, 01:32 PM
dan woodlief
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Bern and Luzern should definitely fit the bill for old towns, history and museums. Also, the Chateau de Chillon, a superbly restored 12th century, lakefront castle around Montreux would be a good choice. I know Rick Steves has covered the chateau as well as Murten in his book and tv shows, so you may find some good information there.
Old Jan 22nd, 2000, 02:05 PM
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A great website for small family run hotels is www.rooms.ch. Found a very satisfactory hotel in Wengen through this site.
Old Jan 23rd, 2000, 06:08 PM
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I went to Montreux in September 2 years ago and it was great! My husband was on business and I got to go also. Another lady and myself did the Chateau de Chillion and it was great. We stayed at the Montreux Palace and took the bus to the castle which was only like 15 minutes away. The people are very friendly and helpful. You go to the back of the bus to buy your ticked at which stop to get off. You cross the street and you are at the castle. You can take as much time as you like. We had such a good time. The bus runs very often. Hope this helps if you need more imformation that I might help with let me know.
Old Feb 20th, 2000, 03:29 PM
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chuck -
my grandparents lived in locarno, switzerland when i was a kid so i used to spend every summer there. i'm not sure what you are looking for but i think this area is great. it is in ticino, the only italian speaking canton, in the southern part of the country. the whole region is full of fantastic lakes that stretch into italy, and, of course, the alps. the weather is warm (there are even palm trees), you can swim, rent boats, take cable cars up mountains...and of course the food is wonderful. the region is almost italian but not quite - still distincly swiss. there are a lot of small towns quite near each other: locarno, lugano, bellinzona, ascona - all of which have their charms. locarno has a lovely old town, bellinzona is known for its castles. you can probably take a train from wherever you're flying into to bellinzona, then another train to locarno or lugano. one of my favorite trips as a child was a boat ride from locarno to ascona. there is so much to discover in this area, i highly recommend it!


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