Switzerland for 4 days

Oct 5th, 2013, 04:43 AM
  #1  
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Switzerland for 4 days

Wife and myself are travelling to Geneva from Paris on 30th Oct '13. We will be staying at a friends place in Geneva for 3 nights and perhaps go to Zurich for 2 nights. Please help in fixing an itinerary so that we can enjoy the most out of our limited time and budget. Would love to squeeze in a day trip to Lucerne and Jungfraujoch (top of the Alps). Also, am so confused about the Swiss Rail Passes - given the time we will be there, which one should we pick, buy online or just buy at station for point to point travel. PLEASE HELP
Muntasir is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 06:08 AM
  #2  
 
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Will you have 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 days at your disposal?
You cannot go to Jungfraujoch and Lucerne the same day, unless you just want to change trains at Lucerne without visiting the town.

What do you want to do at (boring) Zurich? Some people go to Zurich in order to buy luxury watches (from 1000 EUR upwards on an open end scale); but you can do that at Geneva as well.

The highest mountain of Western Europe is the Mont Blanc; OW journey time from Geneva to Aiguille du Midi (3840m) 2 1/2 hrs, round trip fare 100 EUR. The cableway runs until Nov 3rd.

If you absolutely want to go to Jungfraujoch (3450m), you may do so; OW journey time from Geneva 5 1/4 hrs, round trip fare 275 EUR
neckervd is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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I would bag Zurich which is primarily a business city.

Instead I would stay in the BO area - Interlaken if you want to try to ascend the JUngfrau (if weather coopertes) or Lucern - where you probably have a better chance at Pilatus or Titlus - which are lower and so you have a better chance of having clear weather at the top.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 06:23 AM
  #4  
kja
 
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FWIW, I enjoyed Zurich, which has some great museums and stained glass.
kja is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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I agree that Zurich is only boring for those of the same nature. There is a wealth of art museums and other venues and IF that is one of your primary purposes then you should consider including it.

A lot of people think Geneva is "the boring city" in Switzerland BTW.

For the time you are in the country a pass might not be the most economical way to get around.

Look, how friendly are you with that "friend" in Geneva? With so few days and with what you would want to see and do i would BAG a night with the friend, get out of Geneva and spend that 24 hours, or as much as possible IN the Berner Oberland and you could do that trip up to the Jungfrau. You can see the SCENERY highlights in a day.

Go from there to Luzern and even if it is for only a night it is better than not at all.

If you are willing to skip Zurich you could simply leave from Luzern and go to the Zurich airport by rail if you are leaving from there.

Lots of possibilities here for sure.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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There ARE good museums at Zurich (like Rietberg or Landesmuseum) but if you are interested in art and culture, you should of course visit the museums of Basle, Berne, Lucerne, Geneva, Solothurn, Neuchatel, Prangins, Schwyz, Martigny, Winterthur, Chur (and many others) too .....

But most people in this forum prefer to know as less as possible about Art, Culture and History of the countries they plan to visit.
neckervd is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Also, am so confused about the Swiss Rail Passes - given the time we will be there, which one should we pick, buy online or just buy at station for point to point travel.>

Well go to ww.sbb.ch - Swiss Railways official site to see what train fares are for your projected trips and then compare to the cost of a 4-consecutive-day Saverpass - which would cover not only trains but boats on Lake Geneva - wonderful cruises) and Lake Zurich and also all city buses and trams, postal buses - virtually anything that moves in Switzerland.

And if into museums the Swiss Pass is valid at 400+ Swiss museums and sites - about a $20 per ticket value.

anyway to help sort that all out check out these IMO fantstic sites - www.swisstravelsystem.com; http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html; www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 11:03 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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neckervd wrote: "But most people in this forum prefer to know as less as possible about Art, Culture and History of the countries they plan to visit."

> neckervd: I wonder what makes you believe that most Fodorites aren't interested in art, culture, or history? Certainly three at some who aren't, but just as certainly, there are some (like me) who are very interested in these things! In fact, one of my reasons for joining Fodor's many years ago is that it did include many people with interests in, and knowledge of, the arts, culture, and history of travel destinations. FWIW, I wish you wouldn't assume a lack of interest in those things, not just because of my own interests, but because I am concerned about how it will affect the future of this board. If we don't acknowledge or address artistic or cultural or historic sites, then those who are interested in them won't find Fodor's useful and might stop using it. And those who don't know better won't know what they are missing. PLEASE don't create a self-fulfilling prophecy by your assumption that we are not interested in these things!
kja is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 12:03 AM
  #9  
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Thank you all for all the ideas. So, if I do omit Zurich, and my intention is to go up ANY of the mountains (preferably in a cable car)and enjoy the views from top, which one should I do:

Mont Blanc
Titlus
Jungfraujoch

I may squeeze in 5 days in total (inclusive of 3 nights in Geneva).

As I will be staying at Geneva for atleast 3 nights, can you suggest which of the following to do and possible mode of transportation and cost:

Montreaux: 100 km
Lausanne: 70 km
Gstaad:100 km(amazing swiss valley)
Gruyere: 100 km
Chamonix(France): 100 km (to highest peak of Alps)
Muntasir is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 03:10 AM
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Hi Muntasir,

You can do Gstaad and Gruyeres on the same day; they are not far apart by train. When you see Montreux, you should also spend some time in lovely Vevey, just next to it along the lake.

For all of this, of course, I recommend using the wonderful Swiss train system. Hop on the train and enjoy the views!

Swiss rail site at

www.sbb.ch

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 6th, 2013, 07:27 AM
  #11  
 
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Mont Blanc etc: I can only repeat what I wrote yesterday.

A decent visit of Gruyeres (cheese diary, castle, museums, medieval city, city walls, chocolate factory at Broc) takes a whole day. It's certainly possible to go to Gstaad and back after this visit, but I cannot imagin why. Gstaad is just a accumulation of hotels, chalets, restaurants and shops in a not too exciting cow paddock landscape.
Gstaad can serve as a (expensive) base for the famous Tsanfleuron Glacier hike: bus and gondola to Glacier 3000 - Glacier hike to Devil's Bowling Pin and Sanetsch Pass - gondola to Gsteig - bus to Gstaad. But that would take a full day.

kja, I hope with you that there are at least some people interested in art an culture in this forum.
But I read almost every day sentences like:

We are not interested in museums
We don't want to waste our time in Athens
We prefer Neuschwanstein to any other castle
More than 1 day for Florence is a waste of time
Louvre is not worth the visit, go to the flea-market instead
Milan is boring, Lake Como is better
We just want to see Pompei and Amalfi, but certainly not the museums of Naples
etc. etc.

Hard not to get a pessimist under these circumstances
neckervd is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 07:33 AM
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LOL neckervd,

I have many, many times spent two or three hours at Gruyeres and found it enough. I enjoy seeing the cheese dairy, the city walls, the graveyard behind the city, etc. I haven't gone inside the castle until about my 5th visit and certainly don't think it needs to be done on the first visit.

Gstaad is a beautiful, gracious wooden-chalet town nestled in an incredibly beautiful valley, surrounded by beautiful, green rolling hills. I've based there for about four visits myself (not very expensively) and find that walking from town to town along the valleys or walking the mountain pastures above (Wispile for instance) to be sublime. Two or three hours is enough to appreciate the sweet town and the valley, and to sample a meal in one of their fabulous restaurants.

neckervd, you prove the truth that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 6th, 2013, 11:15 AM
  #13  
 
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ttt
PalenQ is offline  

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