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Switzerland questions: Geneva, Interlaken, Lucerne, and Zurich

Switzerland questions: Geneva, Interlaken, Lucerne, and Zurich

Old Apr 5th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Switzerland questions: Geneva, Interlaken, Lucerne, and Zurich

First, I’d like to thank those who have responded to my previous questions. With the help of those responses and reading many other posts here, I have solidified our plans quite a bit. Below is our current itinerary.

April 21 – I arrive in Geneva mid-day. (My husband will already be in Geneva for a conference)
April 22 – Geneva
April 23 – Geneva – will take a lake cruise of some sort. Maybe to Montreux for the day.
April 24 – Travel Geneva to Lucerne, through Montreux and Interlaken (Montreux to Lucerne will be on Golden Pass trains)
April 25 – Lucerne
April 26 – Lucerne
April 27 – Travel to Zurich at some point
April 28 – Fly home from Zurich

We will be staying at HotelEdelweiss (http://www.manotel.com/edelweiss/en/) in Geneva, Palace Lucerne (http://www.palace-luzern.ch/meta/home/) in Lucerne, and the Zurich Marriott (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...marriott-hotel ) in Zurich.

My specific questions are:
• Is there somewhere quick to get breakfast at the train station in Montreux?
• Is 15 minutes enough time to change trains in Interlaken with luggage?
• How likely is it to get lockers at the Interlaken station if we have a longer mid-day break between trains?
• If we are doing some basic souvenir shopping (t-shirts, magnets, small items for our kids at home, etc.) is Interlaken a good place? We may have a couple hours there and thought it might be a good way to pass the time.
• We will spend time in Geneva, Lucerne, and Zurich. If my husband wants to buy a watch or other expensive Swiss item, where is the most logical place to shop? Interlaken is also an option if it is significantly less expensive.
• Which mountain should we visit from Lucerne, Mt. Rigi or Mt. Pilatus? Do we need to reserve these excursions in advance?
• We need some restaurant suggestions for three dinners in Geneva, two in Lucerne, and one in Zurich. We want to try traditional Swiss food and also enjoy high quality contemporary cuisine. Our budget can vary. We won’t have all expensive meals, but definitely want a couple really nice ones.

Thank you all in advance for taking the time to read and respond! I appreciate all of the help.
KatieL is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2013, 01:14 PM
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In Lucern you can get very nice meals at the Widen Mann (they have more than 1 restaurant - I beleive 1 more casuale) and the Balances.Belview hotel - where we had a really lovely dinner one night.
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Old Apr 5th, 2013, 09:34 PM
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Hi KatieL,

Why do you want to eat breakfast at the train station at Montreux? Is that for the day you travel to Luzern on the Golden Pass? If so, just go to one of the shops and buy some fresh bread, cheese, coffee, etc. There is a Relay store in the train station. There is a small Coop across the parking lot from the train station, so if you have time, you can go there.

I doubt the ferry boats on Lake Geneva will be running often in April, but you can check the schedule at


When you check it, you'll see that the trip from Geneva to Montreux takes 5 hours -- that will waste your whole day.

Instead, I suggest you take the train to Montreux (about 60-90 minutes), then get off and walk to the famous castle of Chillon along the lakeside promenade (about 45 minutes). You can return to town on the bus that run parallel to the lake; the fare is about 2,80 chf per person for this trip.

Alternately, I would suggest you head to either Morges or to Yvoire, France, for the day.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Apr 5th, 2013, 11:11 PM
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I can give some Geneve dinner pointers...first off, know that it will be expensive (I'm sure you do, but just in case). Consider that the date you get there is a Sunday, and many restaurants are closed. That said, Auberge de Saviese (Rue des Paquis 20) was where I had my first ever meal in Geneve (on a Sunday, no less). Traditional Swiss fare, fondue, raclette, etc. Another place I really enjoyed was Casanova (Quai du Mont-Blanc 3), which had nice views of the lake and the jet d'eau. Good steaks and fish.

One other thing...if you're doing a daytrip only to go back to Geneve, I'd suggest Lausanne as an option. I spent a few times up there strolling the lakefront and absolutely loved it. Also enjoyed the Olympic museum while there.
broncoal06 is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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From mid April until mid June, boats from Geneva up to Montreux run only Saturdays and Sundays. 1 morning cruise and 1 afternoon cruise from Geneva up to Yvoire are possible every day. The afternoon cruises between Vevey and St. Gingolph (2 hrs stop over at Chillon castle possible) or the 2 daily cruises between Lausanne and Chillon castle are more scenic, however. You may also start and/or end your cruise at Evian (bus and train from Geneva)and change boats at Lausanne Ouchy.
Timetables: http://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadm.../2013/3150.pdf

There are many restaurants around Montreux railway station. As trains between Geneva and Montreux run at least every 30 min, there is no need to hurry up with your breakfast. Just start a little earlier at Geneva.
There is a minibar with coffee, tea, croissants, sandwiches, etc. on board of the Golden Pass trains Montreux dp 8.44, 9.44, 11.44, 13.44, 14.44, 17.44. It is furthermore possible to get a full breakfast in the train Montreux dp 8.44 if you book it ahead.

15 min is too much time for a train change at Interlaken.

There are hand luggage lockers at Montreux and Interlaken.

The best shops for luxury watches are at Geneva and Zurich. But Lucerne isn't bad too. The prices are the same every where.

Interlaken has many souvenir shops. But you will find the same stuff at Lucerne too.

The famous Pilatus cog railway doesn't run in April (too much snow). It's posible to go there by gondola, but that's only half the pleasure. Rigi would be the better choice.

There are tons of good restaurants at all the places you will stay. At Geneva, I like the popular restaurants in the old city, like the Brasserie de l'Hôel de Ville http://www.hdvglozu.ch/page41.php
neckervd is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2013, 06:06 AM
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Thank you all so much! I might need to check the railway timetables again, as I was under the impression that there were only two panoramic Golden Pass trains leaving from Montreux each day. I figured we would have to leave Geneva early and have about 45 minutes at the Montreux train station. We could pick up some breakfast items and eat them on the train. I'll look into the schedules some more to see if I can figure it out. The 15 minute connection in Interlaken made me a little nervous only because I don't want to get stuck there overnight with our hotel reservations in Lucerne. I'm a little confused.

Anyway, Thanks again and I'll do some more timetable studying.
KatieL is offline  
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