Three Days in Switzerland??? =P

Old Aug 10th, 2008, 09:52 PM
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Three Days in Switzerland??? =P

I know it sounds crazy, but if you had to make the best of just three days there, what would you do?

I am assuming I should use Zurich as my base and just do day trips?

How would you plan your (brief) trip? I'm looking mainly for scenic beauty. Thanks.
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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I wouldn't use Zurich as a base if you're after great scenery. Not that it's ugly - just that it's a big city and not that close to the really lovely scenery.

The first time I went to Switzerland mnay years ago I had one night in Zurich, one night in Luzen and one night on Lake Luzern [in Youth Hostels]. Even in that short time Luzern whet my appetite. Luzern is only about an hour from Zurich, but from there you can do a variety of really scenic trips, by train, ferry etc.
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 10:05 PM
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You don't say when you'll be there. If I had just three days and the priority was scenic beauty, I'd stay the three days in the Berner Oberland. Wengen is our favorite.

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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 10:25 PM
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Since you have but three days, I would head to Lucern. You can certainly get a taste of the excellent scenery from a base in Lucern. Lucern is just 1 hour by train from Zurich also.

Mt Pilatus, Mt Titlis and Mt Rigi are all fairly close for some fine mountain views.

Lucerne with it's old world type charm, cobblestone streets offers an experience that has thrilled tourists for many many years now.

I saw an episode of I love Lucy where they were in Lucern. LOL

Now if it's good enough for Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel, you just know it is a fine fine place

Now playing:

Lucy in the sky with dddiamonds by The Beatles
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Hi, all.

The trip would be for Labor Day weekend.

So maybe one night in Zurich and two nights in Lucerne? We'd like to try to do one town/area each day.

Any other must-sees in the area that can be done as a daytrip from either Zurich or Lucerne?

Thank you.
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 11:19 PM
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I'm not sure why you want one night in Zurich unless you want to recover from a long flight, or you really enjoy big cities. That said, a ferry-ride on the lake and some tram/train rides into the hills can be very relaxing. It's just that your time is so limited, and it's not hard to get to Luzern from the airport. From Luzern you could travel the very scenic train route to Interlaken, and then change to the small train up to Lauterbrunnen nad beyond. [Wengen entails a change at Lauterbrunnen on to an even smaller train. It's a lovely trip.] You would need a full day to enjoy this and return to Luzern. Certainly you need another day to explore Lake Luzern and the surrounding mountains. That means you really do need to stay three nights in Luzern, if you decide to use that as your base.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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I agree with Suelynne move on from Zurich ASAP unless you have a particular interest in bank headquarters. Lucerne is so easy to get to and such a great place to see other places from. Three days isn't that much and I wouldn't waste time by spending it in Zurich. It is a nice enough city it's but there isn't much there for tourists.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Hi, all.

So, we arrive in Zurich on Friday evening and depart from Geneva on Monday morning.

How nice is Bern, btw? Is it comparable to Lucern?

Thank you.

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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 12:34 AM
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>How nice is Bern, btw? Is it comparable to Lucern?

Bern is not comparable to Luzern at all. Bernīs old city sits on a rock spur over a river valley, and is recognised as World Cultural Heritage. OTOH you donīt have a lake and the mountains on the other end.
Just google for pictures of either city...
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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Hi U,

We recently visited Zurich.

It is a nice town to visit for a day, but if you are interested in scenery I also suggest skipping it.

Luzern is lovely.

You should also consider the area around Interlaken (Bernese Oberland).

The Swiss Rail people offer a pass that gives you discount return fares from the Zurich Airport to many towns.

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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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I agree with the other posters that you should visit the Berner Oberland. To me, the mountains and the gorgeous green valleys are the essence of Switzerland. The cities leave me a little cold.
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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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I live in Zurich, and I think it has more than banks, and is quite pretty with a lovely lake, and old town, shopping, museums, opera, ballet, symphony, boats, cafes. I'm not young anymore, but young people I meet say there is quite an active nightlife as well. There is plenty of hiking/scenery nearby as well.

I feel pretty good about Bern as well and think it was harshly critiqued above. Has a couple wonderful museums as well as it's special architecture and the clocks and such.

I also love Luzern and agree it's a nice location for a number of day trips to scenic places.

I'm a scenery lover myself. And, IMHO, scenery is what Switzerland excels at. Unfortunately, Switzerland can also also excel at crappy weather. So, you should plan some other activities in case the weather isn't cooperative. What's nice about Luzern is there are plenty of different museums to see if the weather is bad - The Rosengart Collection, The Contemporary Art Museum, The Glacier Museum (fascinating if you like science at all), boat trip to Hegiswil for a glass museum, boat trip to the Crillon Castle in Montreux if you like that sort of thing...etc. etc.

If you are a bit tired and it's a pleasant day, you can pick up the boat portion of the Wilhelm Tell Express in Luzern. You can have a lovely lunch on board and pass some gorgeous scenery for a couple hours. It's a paddle wheel boat...

Alternatively, you could do the Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi trips from Luzern. Vitznau where you get the train to Mr. Rigi is pretty scenic for a lunch spot and you can take a chair lift up to a scenic restaurant or do some hiking there.

If the weather is going to be nice, then head to the Berner Oberland and scenery out...

With only just 2 days however, you might want to consider exploring Geneva and surrounds?? I'm sorry I don't really know this area but I'm sure you can find some scenery there as well.

Perhaps there is a great train trip from Zurich to Geneva that is scenic? Check Palenque's Scenic Train thread.


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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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Some great suggestions above. If you would consider renting a car in Luzern, you could go there from the airport, spend the first day in town, next morning pick up a car, drive through the scenic passes at Berner Oberland, spend the second night in the Interlaken area, then on to Gryuere and Montreux, spend the 3rd night in Montreux/Vevey or Lausanne and leave from Geneva.

I would probably skip Geneva on this trip.

A bit ambitious but will cover a lot of scenic ground in the shortest distance between Zurich and Geneva, more or less.

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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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<<I would probably skip Geneva on this trip.>>

I meant other than leaving from the airport.

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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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There's certainly a great scenic train route lying between Zurich and Geneva, namely the Golden Pass route from Luzern to Montreux. Naturally it's not the quickest route, but if you enjoy train travel I can recommend it - I've done it twice, once in spring and once in autumn. It's just a question of whether you wish to spend a day on that. Geneva, while it has an interesting old town, is the least scenic of the cities mentioned, IMO. Zurich is much nicer.
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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Zurich is primarily a business city - and while it is situated on a nice lake and has a couple of good museums - it;s typically not what you go to Switzerland for - which is mountains.

I would go immediately to Lucerne (about an hour by train from the station in the airport basement) which is a much prettier and tourist focused town, You can take a boat ride on Lake Lucern, stop at cute little villages and ascend Mt Pilautus, or Titlis - depending on your preference - by cable car or railway. (Lucern also has an adorable old town, a nice church and several good museums.)

Then I would do a day trip to one of the smaller towns (Wengen for choice) in the Berner Oberland. You can go via Interlaken (also cute) and consider ascending the Jungfrau - about 12,000 feet by train is the weather is good. Or just walkd and explore a couple of the smaller towns.

We always do Switzerland by car - since we prefer the freedom and like to drive in europe - but train is perfectly simple.
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Old Aug 16th, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Well, since you're flying out of Geneva, my suggestion would be to spend the last night in Lausanne, Vevey, or Montreux. These are beautiful cities on Lac Leman and an easy train ride direct to the Geneva airport (I would skip Geneva other than going to the airport).
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Old Aug 17th, 2008, 12:27 AM
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2 days Wengen (Berner Oberland) or Luzern
1 day Lausanne, Vevey, or Montreux

Use the train!
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Old Aug 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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I'm a bit confused by the later postings... if you are using Zurich as your "base"... what the heck are you doing in Geneva, the other end of the country?!?!
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Old Aug 18th, 2008, 12:33 AM
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Sorry for the confusion.

Long story short, I have to fly out of Geneva. My friend lives there, and I am staying with him the final night. I have no plans to do anything there except to sleep, really.

So, we are now going straight to Lucerne from the ZRH airport and spending the first two nights there.

We will do the Lake Lucerne boat trip the first day (any particular one better than the others?) and a trip up one of the mountains.

Day Two: Interlaken/Berner Oberland

How does this sound?

I'm thinking we will also have to skip Bern (even tho it's sort of on the way to Geneva), unless you think it's worth it to stop there for dinner or something?

Thanks again to all.
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