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Vicky Dec 9th, 2005 01:19 PM

Tell me your Swiss highlights - yes I will be researching
 
Great airfare to Zurich March 21-28 on United $473.75. Will be visiting Lucerne (2nights), Lugano (1 night)Interlaken (2 nights)Wengen (day trip) and end up back in Zurich to spend some time before flying home. Both my friend and I will be doing significant research but I'd like to poll anyone who's visited these places about your favorite spots, restaurants, shops, or sights. We are staying at the Magic Hotel in Lucerne and the Linder Grand Hotel Beau Rivage in Interlaken. Zurich hotels are looking very expensive and few offer twin beds. Any ideas under $150?

cls2paris Dec 9th, 2005 02:17 PM

In Zurich, I stayed at Hotel Arlette. Twin room was under $150/night but can't remember for sure what the price was. It was a short walk across the river to the train station. My favorite part of Zurich was sitting outside in the old town and watching the river go by, it might be too cold for that in March. In Lucerne, if the conditions are ok, you could take the trip to Pilatus. The full trip is a boat ride across the lake, cogwheel train to the top and cable car/gondola to the bottom. Again, not sure if the weather would be conducive for that. Both are fun towns to wander around though!

Robespierre Dec 9th, 2005 02:26 PM

About 30 miles west of Wengen is the town of Gruy&egrave;res (that of the famous cheese) where you will find the HR Giger museum. Giger was the artist who designed the monster in <i>Alien</i>, so if you like what you see at hrgiger.com, you may find it worth the trip.

There's a great restaurant across from the train station, whence a tram will take you up the hill to the old town and the museum.

FainaAgain Dec 9th, 2005 02:32 PM

My Swiss highlight is ice-cream. Any kind, anywhere, yes, it's SO good!

There is hotel Metropole (?) in Interlaken with &quot;Top of the Met&quot; restaurant. While the food is just OK, go up there for the view, order cofee or &quot;jacque coup&quot; ice-cream. Across from the hotel is a restaurant, don't remember the name, with an adjacent chocolate shop, go inside for the chocolate ART! It's amazing what they sell there! Chocoholic paradise :)

Also in Interlaken, if you have time for it, &quot;nostalgic train&quot; - about 40' narrated circle around the place.

BeniciaChris Dec 9th, 2005 03:03 PM

The wine in Switzerland is a well kept secret. We had a traditional fondu in a wine cellar in Chamoson. It was the highlight of our trip. The last name of the vitner is Nanchen

Travelnut Dec 9th, 2005 07:03 PM

We stayed at Hotel Goldener Stern in Lucerne (http://www.goldener-stern.ch/) and enjoyed going up to the Musegg walls overlooking the town... looked for painted buildings in the old town...took a lake cruise to Weggis...

In Zurich, we stayed at Hotel Leoneck (http://www.leoneck.ch/), a bit past the Arlette mentioned above. We liked walking from Bahnhof toward the lake on the left bank with photo stops at St Peters (hugh clock on the tower) and the Chagall windows at Our Lady.

Then we crossed over to the right bank and meandered around the Niederdorf area...

There are great articles/journals listed at:
http://myswitzerland.igougo.com/

cls2paris Dec 9th, 2005 07:48 PM

Oh, I forgot about the Chagall windows! They are worth a stop!

swandav2000 Dec 10th, 2005 04:28 AM

Hi Vicky,

My favorite hotel for Zurich is in a suburb of Zurich called Kuesnacht, about 10 minutes by S-bahn from the city and about 20 minutes by direct train from the airport. The hotel is the Romantik Seehotel Sonne (www.sonne.ch), and here's a link to my review with pictures: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...itzerland.html

In Luzern, my favorite thing is, of course, the lakes, and a ferry cruise. Hop on a ferry and go to a lakeside village and explore. Here's a link to the ferry timetable: http://www.lakelucerne.ch/index.cfm?page=236&amp;lang=E

From Interlaken, you should find some of the gorgeous walks that have been posted here.

I must respectfully disagree with Robespierre about going to Gruyeres from Wengen -- it's about 3h30 by train. I limit my daily excursions to two hours each way. I like Gruyeres and have been there twice, but it's better seen from Vaud/Lake Geneva area/Montreux.

Sorry, no advice for Lugano. I didn't care for it at all!

s

Robespierre Dec 10th, 2005 05:48 AM

Well, I wouldn't spend 7 hours to get there and back, either. I only mentioned Wengen for the sake of locating the town.

But if you stop in Gruy&egrave;res on the way from Interlaken back to Z&uuml;rich, the added travel time is only 3 hours total. To fans of the truly bizarre, that shouldn't be too much out of the way.

kleeblatt Dec 10th, 2005 06:09 AM

Lucerne area:

Go to Mt. Rigi for alpine meadows and brown swiss cows. Nice walking too.

Go to Engelberg/Titlis for walking in the snow and intertubing.

Do a ferry ride around the lake to get a feel of Switzerland.

Mt. Pilatus is also doable.

Lugano: Lugano is a big city that has a nice old town.

-Walk to Gandria and take the ferry back to Lugano. You can visit the Smuggler's museum along the way.

See Morcote.

-Visit the three castles in Bellinzona.

-Go to Ascona and enjoy a relaxing coffee along the lake. Take a walk towards Locarno (the path ends at the river so you have to turn around and walk back).

Take the Palm express or Centovalle train ride.

Enjoy Switzerland!

Vicky Dec 10th, 2005 02:27 PM

I'm copying all these posts. Anything intersting to do at night? We like to dress up and have a drink at a piano bar or enjoy a folk show if it is in an interesting venue.

kleeblatt Dec 11th, 2005 07:53 AM

There's a folk show at Stadtkeller in Lucerne. It's supposed to be very good. Stadtkeller is in the old town, near Manor and Beate Uhse.

Cicerone Dec 11th, 2005 08:53 PM

I am sorry but a lot of these things will be hard to do in March. Walks in Swiss meadows and cows for instance, the cows are not up in the meadows in March because there are no meadows in March; they will be melting that late in March. You will have mud and some dirty snow patches. YOu are also very likely to have fog and rain and won't even see the mountains or even the mud in front of you.

Late March is very iffy in the mountains (this is why you go the great airfare). You will find that hotel and restaurants in the Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau area are closed. Check this yourself by clicking on &quot;Hotels&quot; above and choosing &quot;Europe&quot; then &quot;Switzerland&quot; and taking a look at particular hotels, you will notice many in the Bernese Oberland and Grabunden/St Mortiz group (including many perennial favorites on this board like the Alpenrose in Wengen) that are closed in the spring and fall months (which have the same weather issues). This is because it is the shoulder season.

Ferries are not running on most lakes with the possible exception of Lucerne.

Ascona and the Lugano area is really not nice in March, it is quite cool there and not much is blooming yet.

If you can move your trip to earlier in March you can still hit winter in the mountains, or later into late April or early May you will get some spring (but even then it is chancy in the mountains).


kleeblatt Dec 11th, 2005 10:17 PM

Oops: missed the March part.

Have to agree with Cicerone. Weather is iffy. However, November is very iffy too and we had a great November, right up to the end of the month. In fact, we are actually suffering a water shortage in a few parts of Switzerland right now because of the lack of rain in the fall. There are some ski areas that aren't allowed to make artificial snow for their slopes because of the lack of water. This shouldn't be a problem in March, though.

And, of course, you will only find plastic cows at that time of the year in the alps.

However, there are ferries running on the lake of Lucerne, Titlis will still have snow, Lugano will still have palm trees and, if the weather is lousy, you can still visit Bern, Thun, Lugano and Lucerne towns for day trips.


isabel Dec 12th, 2005 03:56 AM

One of my highlights in Switzerland was Bern. And it's something that should be enjoyable in March, which much of the mountain areas won't be. I'd try to fit it in. Can be done as a day trip from Interlaken, although I see you only have two nights there. Do you really only have 5 nights in total. Anyway, Bern, and also Murten, a small town about a half hour from Bern, were probably my favorite places. Murten is a walled small town, Bern is the capital but also a UNESCO world heritage site, and for good reason. Consider at least a day there, even if it means less time in Zurich.

travelchic Mar 13th, 2006 03:38 AM

tagging

marigross Mar 13th, 2006 09:54 AM

tagging

LSUvetgirl May 9th, 2006 05:07 AM

tagging also!

Robespierre May 9th, 2006 05:22 AM

I want to suggest that rather than tagging, you make links to threads you want to get back to.

Right-click the thread title at the top of the column, select &quot;Bookmark&quot; or &quot;Favorites&quot; and save the link in your &quot;Travel&quot; folder. I have mine broken down further by country.

You can find a link filed in this way much quicker than scanning your own posts that you've tagged.

ronkala May 9th, 2006 07:57 AM

Robespierre,
Thanks for that great suggestion. I also had been topping Swiss threads so I'll have info for next years trip. I'm adding the others to my favorites list next.


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