Switzerland Itinerary Help, Please

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Mar 21st, 2012, 01:45 PM
  #1
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Switzerland Itinerary Help, Please

I am planning a first time trip to Switzerland arriving Friday, May 25 and departing Saturday, June 2. I have not yet booked the flights but by looking at seats available we will most likely fly into Zurich and out of Geneva. It is still a possibility that we leave from Zurich.

My husband and I are in our late 30's and love hiking and the outdoors. Here is our tentative itinerary:

Fri 25 - arrive in Zurich/take train to Luzern - explore Luzern/rest
Sat 26 - Luzern/Mt Pilatus - spend night in Luzern
Sun 27 - train to Murren
Mon 28 - Murren
Tue 29 - Murren
Wed 30 - Murren
Thu 31 - train to Bern - spend night in Bern
Fri 1 - morning in Bern take afternoon train to Geneva - spend night near airport
Sat 2 - flight home

I have booked the Eiger Guesthouse in Murren so far, but I am able to cancel the reservation. I chose Murren because I've read it has a lot of hiking opportunities nearby. We plan on hiking most days, seeing some waterfalls, visiting nearby villages and going to the Schilthorn.

My main concern is that we are spending too much time in Murren. Will there be enough to do (hiking-not nightlife) in the area to keep us busy? Will we find the cable car ride to Murren a hassle? I know there are other villages nearby (Wengen/Grindelwald/etc) - do you have to take a cable car to all of these or can you walk between villages? Would it be better to stay in Lauterbrunnen because it's more central? But I hate to give up staying in the Alps.

Also, staying the night in Bern is not set in stone. Is there a better choice – possibly Thun?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Mar 21st, 2012, 02:34 PM
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Hi,

I would not give up any time in the Berner Oberland. We stayed 4 nights in Wengen (we're not hikers) and never wanted to leave. We wished we had planned more time there. We did the Jungfraujoch trip, visited Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and did a lot of walking. There's no place like it in my opinion. To reach Wengen, Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch is all by cog train, not cable cars. They are located on the other side of the valley from Muerren. Me, I'd stay in Muerren, since you have the reservation, and I'd rather be above the valley instead of in it, meaning in Lauterbrunnen. The views are simply out of this world beautiful.

Paul
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Mar 21st, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Thanks for your input, pja1!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 04:14 AM
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I really liked Bern, although others on this forum do not always think so highly of it.
There is a long street of double arcaded shops and cafes for browsing and people-watching. Walk to the opposite end of town and climb the hill to the Rose Gardens for great views of the Aare River and the old town and a cold beer at the outdoor cafeteria. Of course, the bear pits.
Lake Murten is less than an hour away if you had time to squeeze in a little lake cruise.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 04:52 AM
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I would not necessarily recommend a hotel in Geneva (if you leave from there) that is "near" the airport. You can easily stay at a hotel in town and be at the airport by train in 15 minutes or less and the train station at the airport is adjacent to the terminal.

As a possible alternative to Pilatis you might consider a trip to Engleberg and the ascent of Mt. Titlis.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Why are you flying out of Geneva? Stay in Bern another night and leave from Zurich ( 1 1/4 hours from Bern) to fly home. This way you will have more sightseeing time and not just moving to Geneva, wasting a day IMO, to catch a plane.

We loved Bern. Lots of side trips from there (Basel is only 1 hour away; Neuchatel; Fribourg - this last is one of my favorite towns), etc. etc.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 09:04 AM
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I also think it is kooky that the OP is flying out of Geneva when she is exploring the eastern half of Switzerland.

However, it only takes about 30-40 minutes longer to take the train from Bern to Geneva Airport rather than Bern to Zurich Flughafen.

BUT, doesn't a plane ticket like that (into Zurich/out Geneva) cost MUCH MORE than flying in and out of Zurich????

I also don't understand why OP is going up to Mt. Pilatus with only a short time in Luzern (I would take boat ride on lake) when she can go up to the Schilthorn from Murren.

OP also hasn't done much research if she thinks she can just "walk" from Murren to Grindelwald. ROFL!!!!!!!!!

Something about this post just smells bad.

Tschuss,
Pepper
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Thank you to those who have provided helpful, constructive advice! I really appreciate it! To those who seem offended by my very existence, I'm sorry for you.

I will check into Mt. Titlis and Engleberg. I was thinking Pilatus because of the Golden round trip including a lake cruise and cog railway. And I've read there is an alpine sled track that sounds fun.

As for leaving via Geneva vs Zurich - the cost is the same either way. If we leave from Zurich I have to sit in the middle seat. If we leave from Geneva we will be able to sit in a 2 person area. To me this makes the extra hour out of the way travel worth it.

As I said, I am a first time traveler to Switzerland and in the early stages of planning so I am not an expert. I'm merely asking for kind strangers to help me out.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:21 AM
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OK, Blanche Dubois, calm down!

You received an awful lot of very good advice here so I don't know why you are upset.

Tschuss,
Pepper of Fodorville
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:27 AM
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I love Bern and find there's a lot to do there. Floating down the Aare in the summer, especially.

Close by is Wiriehorn, great skiing in the winter, and bike riding in the summer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXEMoe2BdRA
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:39 AM
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Surfergirl, I loved the youtube link. Thanks! I don't think I'm that adventurous, though! My husband would be all for it. I'm thinking renting a bike in the Lauterbrunnen valley is more my speed.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 05:08 AM
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LoveLexi - Yes the trip to leave from Geneva is not that far vs. Zurich. And I understand not wanting to sit in the middle seat on the trip home. However, you practically have to do away with a whole day of sight seeing in Switzerland just to get an aisle or window seat. I can't imagine doing that.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Between Bern and Geneva, it's a short distance, and between Lausanne and the Geneva airport, you are passing by some wonderful scenery on the north short of Lac Leman, so it's quite a nice journey!
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Mar 25th, 2012, 05:00 AM
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As to your original question, you will love Murren! Lots of hiking opportunities and beautiful views from the town. Enjoy!
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