Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Taking train from Paris to Switzerland- where to go? Only have 2 days to spend in Switzerland...

Taking train from Paris to Switzerland- where to go? Only have 2 days to spend in Switzerland...

Old Sep 25th, 2005, 06:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Taking train from Paris to Switzerland- where to go? Only have 2 days to spend in Switzerland...

I have been searching the message boards but don't see anything about what cities in Switzerland are close enough to Paris that are also fun. My husband and I are in our mid to late 20s and wouldn't mind doing some hiking. I was considering Geneva but there doesn't seem to be much hiking there. Any suggestions? We have only 2 days for Switzerland, unfortunately.

Thanks.
jaggies7 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2005, 06:51 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wanted to add that we will be there end of October...
jaggies7 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2005, 06:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,581
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Look for Swiss itinerary posts here on Fodors that include Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. These are 3 smaller towns along Lac Leman within approx. 1 hour of Geneva by train. There are several posters, myself included, who absolutely adore this region.

Geneva would be your easy train ride from Paris (I think it's about 5 hours on the high speed train). Then continue on to Vevey or Montreux would be my suggestion. Hiking is more walking and could be in the vineyards in the hills, along the lakeside, or for instance take the tram called Rocher de Nayes that goes up the mountain from Montreux, people hike along this path and catch the tram back down.

www.vevey.ch
www.montreux.ch
suze is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,581
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Maybe someone else can suggest a true "hiking in the mountains" kind of place to go??
suze is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try this area it is not to far from Geneva.

http://usa.myswitzerland.com/en/infra.cfm?rkey=801
xxx30 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:18 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Genève and Lausanne both have TGVs from Paris and the journey time is less than four hours. The other option if you're short of time would be to come back overnight: there is a sleeper from Zürich to Paris, for example.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:57 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As Mr Hammer impliues, you might like to go to Switzerland and back in bed, in sleepers, so as to have all your waking hours in Switzerland. The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable, with the times. Paris Est board about 2220, leave 2242, arrive Landquart 0739, Chur 0750, and Chur 2113. Then Landquart 2123, Sargans 2139, Zurich 2139, Paris Est 0646. The train has second-class compartments with two berths, and crowded second class couchettes with six berths. The one-way fare, with berth, is about 145 euros, so the two of you both ways would cost about 290 euros. Of course, you avoid two hotel bills. The return fare by day, one way, is about 200 euros, and to Geneva about 140 euros. Of course you can book in the travel centre of any big railway station in Paris. Or I can tell you of agents who book by e mail or phone, if you ask me to.

Ben Haines, London
[email protected]
ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 02:53 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Late October is not a great month for walks in most of the mountain areas, so the suggestion of walks in the Vevey/Lausanne end of Lake Geneva area is actually a very good one, as that is a much lower elevation and doesn't have same issues you will find in the mountains (see below). Also, you can take the super-fast TGV train from Paris to Lausanne in about 4 hours without any changes necessary. There is very good walking in the vineyard areas and if you want flatter walks, along the lakes. You can also bike and do winetastings, and the area is so beautiful. Lots of good hotels. Take a look at weaterhbase.com for historical average temps and rainfall.

Places like the Engadine, the Bernese Oberland and the Zermatt/Saas Fe area, which have great walking, are not at their best for walking in late October as is really too late for fall walking. Lots of hotels are closed. It is often rainy and foggy in the mountain areas (and actually in most of Switzerland). Worst of all, you may also find that cable cars and cog wheel trains may be closed for annual servicing, so you can't even get up to the walks in the first place. Ferries generally do not run after October 1 so places like Lucerne and the Thun area loose a great deal of their attractiveness. IMO these areas are too far for a 2 day trip anyway, unless you take a night train to Zurich and even then, that is a LOT of train travel for 2 days. Night trains sound like a good idea until you actually do one. . . and two trains over 2 days with trying to do walks in between is a recipe for a bad trip IMO. . . .
Cicerone is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 04:12 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,430
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Hey...Switzerland can be GREAT in the fall. I've hiked in the mountains on Oct. 25 in shorts. Of course, I've played in fresh snow in the first week of October. You can get it all.

The ferries operate on the Lake of Lucerne all year round. Most places are still open in October. They usually close in November.

Since you are only there two days, I'd follow Suze's advice. If it does rain, definately tour the castle Chillon. Or go shopping in Lausanne. If it's nice, get some advice from your hotel where the nearest mountain (or vinyard?) hikes are.

Enjoy!
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 06:35 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,581
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Cicerone- I love the idea of a fast train direct from Paris to Lausanne (didn't know you could do that but will come in handy for me in the future! thanks). Personally with only 2 days I'd skip Geneva entirely, and spend it instead in Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux, maybe add Gruyeres.
suze is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello Jaggies7

I took the train from Paris to Mulhouse/Basel, Switzerland and just like you, I only had 2 days spend so here is what I did and it was worth it.

It was a 4 hour train ride. When you get to Mulhouse, take a tram to the Grand Station where you can get all the connections to the other cities.


Day 1
leave Paris at 5:00 a.m. arrive Basel at 11:20 a.m.
while in Basel, Visit the Picasso Musem which holds the largest colleciton of Picasso paintings in the world.
take the train to Geneva and enjoy this beautiful city
From Geneva, take the train to the beautiful city of Montreau (25 minutes)
Hike up to the monastery and view lake geneva from there.

From Montreau, take the train to the capital, Bern and spend the night there

Day 2
From Bern, take the train to Lucern and take the cable car up to Mt. titlis. Beautiful view from 10 thousand feet. at about 3500 feet, cable car stops for people who would like to hike by the lake.

From Lucern, Take the train to Zurich for some sight seeing

From Zurich fly out.

Manny
Manny is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,581
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Great ideas from Manny (but -teeny correction- the train from Geneva to Montreux takes a little over 1 hour).
suze is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 07:14 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi,

Will Spring be a better time to go since someone mentioned October weather is not so good and many shops or services may be closed ??

Is it true Sring will have a longer daylight too ?(am told the sun sets later) So can have a longer sigt-seeing time in the day ?? Is it true ?

Someone mentioned overnight trip from Paris to Switzerland, will alot of good sights be missed ?? Is the scenery from Paris to Switzerland great ?? Will I get far better ones within Switzerland itself that I can miss out the cross-border ones ??

Thank you !!
EUROPE ! EUROPE ! My Dream !!
chinesefan is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Around the eqinoxes (20 March and 22 September), sunrise and sunset are twelve hours apart throughout the world. Europe is in the northern hemisphere, so the days get longer after 20 March and shorter after 22 September.
The scenery between Paris and Switzerland is generally not as good as the scenery in Switzerland. I'd suggest doing the train journey overnight in one direction to save time, but it depends entirely on your tastes and your itinerary.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 08:19 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Geoff,
I realise how important is geography now.
chinesefan is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2005, 08:23 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Manny,

Your 2 days plan was interesting but sounds rush and tight. Appreciate if you can fill in how much time is needed for sight-seeing in these places:
Basel, Monteux, Lucerne/Mt Titilis and Zurich.

Any sight-seeing in Geneva and Bern ? Arn't they worth spending some time ?
Thanks.
chinesefan is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2005, 11:41 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,273
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Any one of those places are worth two days or much more, except maybe Montreux which is just a bunch of pretty promenades along the lakefront with glorious views that can be seen from many other points also. Nearby castle Chillon is worth a visit, though, but that's all done in one day easily. You can hike up to Glion or Territet, that's nice.

If you want to sightsee and also go hiking, just stay in Basel - by the time you settle in, there's time for lunch and one or two in-town targets to visit. The next day you take a tram or a suburban train to a springboard point for a good hike, maybe catch a concert that evening, and you're done.

Instead of Basel you can do the same in Bern where there might be (at the risk of starting a Basel-Bern feud) maybe even more indoor attractions, and certainly tons of good hikes!

The same could be said about Luzern - two days will go by really quickly there, too.

Basel is the closest to Paris, of course, as the crow flies. Lausanne is on the fast trains TGV, but it's not too interesting a place itself, although you can certainly go for great hikes in the countryside from there.

Geneva is a rather bland big city for business and international diplomacy - sometimes there are great exhibits at the Palexpo, and they have good classical music. You could take the train to Nyon and the little private train up to places like Arzier and St. Cergue and beyond for Jura mountain hikes. Or, if they run, take the boats up and down the lake - www.cgn.ch.

WK
WallyKringen is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2005, 12:08 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
chinesefan: regarding the scenery from the TGV. I took the TGV from Lausanne to Paris in early March leaving early in the morning. The scenery was exquisite; snow covered mountains, tiny chalets with smoke curling from the chimneys, fox and deer seen from the train. Once out of Switzerland it was not quite as interesting but I enjoyed it. Don't know if there would be snow at the end of October.
gomiki is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
schnookies
Europe
7
May 30th, 2008 10:23 AM
arewethereyet
Europe
10
Aug 18th, 2007 05:34 PM
nankypoo
Europe
33
Apr 8th, 2007 06:35 AM
missinform
Europe
15
Oct 24th, 2005 07:36 AM
ozgirl
Europe
18
Jun 3rd, 2005 04:38 PM

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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:12 AM.