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Visiting Switzerland for 8 days, Where to stay

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May 19th, 2015, 03:35 AM
  #1
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Visiting Switzerland for 8 days, Where to stay

My wife & I will be visiting Switzerland for 8 days in early august. We will be flying in and out from Zurich. My itinerary at the moment is to visit Zurich, Lucern, Interlakken, Montreux & Zermatt.

Our primary plan is to do lot of walking tours, visit mountains & lakes, do scenic trips on cog railways and perhaps some wine tasting trip to a vineyard.

I am having a hard time figuring out, Which place to stay for the duration of the trip. Should I be staying in two places?
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May 19th, 2015, 04:19 AM
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Instead of Interlaken, stay in one of the nearby towns that are actually in the mountains. Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, and Murren are good choices. Tiny Gimmelwald is my personal favorite. All are very scenic and great starting points for hiking.

Arriving in Zurich if the weather forecast is good, I would head straight to one of the Berner Oberland towns I listed above. Then go to Montreux and then Luzern. If the forecast is poor, I'd shuffle the order a little.

Skip Zermatt and Zurich on such a short trip. Luzern has frequent hour-long trains directly to the Zurich airport, so you don't even need to stay in Zurich the night before your return flight.
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May 19th, 2015, 05:04 AM
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Yes, you will need to stay in more than one place - the things you want to visit are too far apart to do as day trips without wasting a lot of time. Agree with poster above.
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May 19th, 2015, 05:39 AM
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Staying in small towns sounds like intriguing idea. Did you stay in hotels or Bed & Breakfast type places?

So, if I understand your suggestion right, you are suggesting to stay in Luzern & one of the Berner Oberland towns for the duration of the trip?
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May 19th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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Are you there for 8 days/7 nights, or 9 days/8 nights? I'll assume 7 nights and great weather the whole time.

I'd stay 3 nights in the Berner Oberland, then 2 nights in Montreux, then 2 nights in Luzern. If you want to scratch Montreux, then you could add two days to the B.O. which would allow you day trips to some fine non-mountain sights in the area.

In the B.O. if you want to be pampered then your best options are probably hotels in Grindlewald. There are many options for comfortable and homey B&Bs or pensions throughout the area. A good guidebook will have many such listings.

Speaking of early August, keep in mind that August 1 is Swiss National Day, basically their July 4th. Expect some closures but also special events, overall a great day to be in Switzerland!
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May 19th, 2015, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up regarding Aug 1, We are actually arriving on Aug-1 morning. Do you think we would have difficulty getting to the hotel from Airport that day?
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May 19th, 2015, 06:54 AM
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Hi PennJersey2015,

I would actually advise you to avoid Grindelwald (as well as Interlaken) in August. August is prime time for tourists and tour busses; since Grindelwald is as high as they can drive, that's where they all drive to and off-load all the passengers. Unfortunately, the little town can't absorb all the down-loaded day-tripping visitors, and they crowd the sidewalks and congregate at the entrances to shops and cafes. I found it really unpleasant.

The villages of Wengen and Mürren are car-free and, in contrast, are peaceful and beautiful even in August. Even though they are smaller, you won't run out of things to do and see or places to eat. For more information, see

www.myjungfrau.ch

It would be helpful if you could give us a more clear understanding of how many days you'll be in Switzerland. I wouldn't go to Montreux for just 2 nights -- that's just one full day to sight-see, and you really can't do justice to the area with that short time. If you have 8 nights, I would spend 3 in Montreux, 4 in the Jungfrau area, and 1 in Luzern/Zürich before the flight out (Montreux provides a nice contrast because it's in the French sector). If you only have 7 nights, I would do 4 nights in the Jungfrau and 3 in Luzern/Zürich.

Alternately, yes, there are a few places where you could stay that put all your destinations within a 2h train ride -- they are Brig, Thun, or Bern. However, most folks would prefer to have a true mountain experience and spend time high up enjoying the views and ambiance of a mountain village.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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May 19th, 2015, 06:54 AM
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The trains will probably run as usual.
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May 19th, 2015, 06:59 AM
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You will be traveling daily it seems solook strongly at an 8-consecutive-dy Swiss Railpass that would cover nearly all your trains in full - save those to mountain tops and then gives you a discount - anyway for lots of neat info on Swiss trains and passes check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Andyes if you really want to do lots of hiking, etc you need to pare your travel down - right now you will be mainly on trains much of the time - I'd forego Zermatt perhaps since you will already see an Alpine Wonderland in the Jungfrau Region - to me and many the absolute highlight of Switzerland.
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May 19th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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Thanks a lot swandav2000 for your suggestions, We are in Switzerland for 8 nights. At the moment I am leaning towards not going to Montreux & Zermatt. I will Probably split time BO & Luzern.
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May 19th, 2015, 07:24 AM
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The good news is that you can't make a wrong decision -- wherever you end up, you'll likely have a great vacation!

Have fun!

s
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May 19th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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Yup, skip Zermmatt and Montreux and enjoy the evening fireworks on August 1!
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May 19th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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On August 1st, trains etc. will run like on Sundays, that means every 30 to 60 min (between Zurich airport and Zurich main city about every 15-20 min).
Some towns have beautiful 1st August fireworks, others do almost nothing. Some fireworks take place on July 31st already (for example at Biel/Bienne or Rhine Falls
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/e...175080344.html
http://www.biel-seeland.ch/en/events...fest.1930.html
http://www.zermatt.ch/en
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May 19th, 2015, 03:09 PM
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Lucerne offers many easy sweet day trips - yes put more days in there and less traveling around - boat rides on Lake Lucerne, to me Switzerland's most gorgeous lake, are great - the classic ride goes from Lucerne to Fluelen at the fjord tip of one arm of the lake - from there you can take the train quickly back to Lucerne.

If going south to Lugano or Italy you can take the boat to Fluelen and take trains from there on the Gotthard mainline south to Lugano and Italy.

Mt Pilatus and Mt Rigi are two other easy day trips that can incorporate boat rides.
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May 19th, 2015, 05:50 PM
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Thank you PalenQ for your suggestions. I am pretty much decided on this trip to base in Lucern & one of the villages in Berner Oberland. I just need to decide on how to split the stay between them.

Have you taken the trip to Lugano from Lucern, is it worth it? How long did it take to to get to Lugano.
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May 20th, 2015, 05:12 AM
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Lucerne - Lugano by train: 3hrs OW, trains every hr
Fluelen (upper end of lake Lucerne) - Lugano by train: 2 1/4 hrs

But you should stay more than 1 day at Lugano, a local transport hub for day and half day trips by boat, train, cablecar, gondola, bus, etc. to tons of scenic places in Ticino or Northern Italy, to outstanding churches, museums (open air too), botanical gardens.... and even to EXPO 2015!
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May 20th, 2015, 06:20 AM
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Lugano to Lucerne is one of the most gorgeously scenic mainlines in Europe - a quirky thing happens around Weissen and its Weisskirch where the train does circles inside and outside of a mountain so you see the exact same church three times - each time as the train goes in a different direction.

the train after the Gotthard Tunnel is also scenic - starting in 2017 this will basically be all in tunnel after the opening of the 35-mile long Gotthard base tunnel so then the scenery will mainly be of tunnel walls - but for now yes very very sweet.
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May 20th, 2015, 08:16 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=gott...=1600&bih=1075

Ah yeh - Gotthard line is one of the most scenic mainlines in Europe!
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May 20th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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We had 11 nights in Switzerland last September and stayed in Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt and Montreux. Had tons of help through this forum. For your stay, I'd definitely cut out Zermatt. Montreux was just beautiful, so my vote would also go with 2 in Lucerne, 3 in the BO, 2 in Montreux. It's a beautiful train ride and you will have your vineyards and lake views. In the BO, we opted not to stay in the mountaintop villages, fearing being clouded in. They are small and in the evenings there is not too far to roam. It was very easy in the morning to catch the trains up to Wengen, Murren, and we do not regret not staying up there. If weather was bad, we had more options from Interlaken and would have gone to Bern. We lucked out with perfectly clear days but you never know. You will love it.
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May 20th, 2015, 09:38 AM
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Yes indeedy for an Alpine stay keep a flexible schedule if rain sets in - not at all unusual anytime of summer or year and then yes day trip to the like of Bern, one of Switzerland's nicest cities IME - especially in rain as it has many covered walkways in the town center.
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