Where to go in Switzerland for 3 days?

Old Sep 24th, 2004, 08:36 AM
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Where to go in Switzerland for 3 days?

Next July, I will be travelling to Switzerland. My wife and I both have varied interest, scenery, history, shopping, good food. We will spend 3 days in Geneva inclduing touring the lake, 4 days in Interlaken also toruing the mountains and were thinking of 3 days in Zurich.

However, we were wondering if there is a better site than Zurich for the last 3 days. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of Switzerland could suggest another city or area.

Thanks for the help
David
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Will you be flying into Geneva and out of Zurich (a good idea, "open jaw" as the airline calls it), and driving between the two.? (or will you be on the train)?
Geneva is lovely, but three days there is MORE than enough,..the same with Zurich. However IF you want big cities then they are the choices.
There are such lovely towns and smaller cities throughout the country...Saas Fe, Zermatt, etc along the valley region,..then on the northern route there are beautiful sites also, and even those cities bordering Germany...and even cities enroute like Gsaad etc.
You have made a wise choice with Interlaken...so lovely and close to Lauterbruten, Wegen, Murren, Grindenwald etc...all wonderful. The smaller towns of Switzerland are SO atmospheric, fresh, and beautiful!
You will have a great trip. July will be a lot more crowded than Oct or April, costs more, more tourists, availability less etc...but I'm sure you will make the best of it.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Will fly into Geneva and then after Switzerland we are going to Italy - Bellagio and flying out of Milan.

Thanks for the help

David
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 10:19 AM
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Forgot to mention we will have a car for travel

David
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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Hi davidjac,

I wonder if you chose Geneva as a base because of hotel points or because you like big cities? If not, consider staying in one of the smaller towns or villages on Lake Geneva -- maybe a hotel with a view of the lake & mountains. You may want to look at staying in Morges (44 km from Geneva), Montreux (84 km from Geneva), or Vevey (82 km from Geneva).

I personally don't like big cities, so I would, in addition to avoiding Geneva, also avoid Zurich. Instead of Zurich, I'd go to Luzern, where the scenery is more dramatic (mountains are closer and seem to spill directly into the lakes) and the countryside is more beautiful (well, to me anyway!). In Luzern, you can explore the old town, take an excursion to see Zurich (only an hour away), explore the villages around the lake, and take an excursion up to the peaks of Titlis, Rigi, or Pilatus.

If you decide to keep your plan to stay in Zurich a few days, be sure to get to Rapperswil farther down on Lake Zurich. It's a small town with a beautiful lakefront, a fascinating castle, and a charming old town.

Hope this helps.

s
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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I agree with S, pick Luzern instead of Zurich.

Regarding Geneva or the smaller towns on Lake Geneva I must I admit that I personally prefer Montreux/Vevey, but think that if you are very much into shopping/history Geneva is maybe a better choice. It is - like S said - simply bigger and offers more variety of shops/sights. Of course Geneva lacks the charm of the smaller towns and the scenery is not as impressive.

If I were you I would not stay in Interlaken but go further up into the mountains. Again, I am not sure if shopping/history is that very important for you, the area is more well-known for the breathtaking scenery and the villages up in the mountains clearly offer better views (even from your hotel room!).

BTW, the car will not be of much use for you. Driving/parking in the cities is a hassle, and for going up to the mountains you need to take mountain railways and cable cars. And for day trips from Luzern railway/ferries are the way to go.
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Old Sep 24th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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I also recommend Montreux or Vevey over Geneva. However, as to your 3 extra days, I would suggest staying somewhere in the Ticino area since you're headed to Italy. Perhaps Locarno or Lugano. They're both beautiful and interesting and give you a much different feel than the other places you'll be visiting in Switzerland.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Another vote, David, for Montreux or Vevey on Lac Leman (visit Lausanne, please, and walk the vineyards of the Lavaux) and Lucerne instead of Zurich. I was going to suggest Lugano, but I won't because you're going on to Italy. (Unless you'd like to make it two nights in Lucerne and a single overnight in Lugano on your way south. There are two wonderful little lake villages nearby, Gandria and Morcote.) Sounds like a wonderful trip. J.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Lausanne,Luzern,Lugano,Montreaux would be my suggestions.
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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I too support staying in Montreux or similar on Lac Leman but I would highly recommend visiting some of the amazing museaums, facilities in Geneva. The Red Cross Museum and the UN are both great places to tour. The old town of Geneva is also interesting and worth a walk. Lucerne over Zurich is a very good suggestion although Zurich does offer a good museum (behind the railway station) and some lovely churches. Lucerne is very beautiful and has some amazing scenery around it, such as the trip up Pilatus. If you do pick Zurich, the boat trip to Rapperswil is a real treat. Of course, Lucerne offers some very nice boat trip opportunities itself!

I am in the minority on the board as I prefer to stay in Interlaken and visit the other towns, I like the choice of restaurants at night and find Interlaken more convenient for a range of day trips than the, admittedly very pretty, mountain villages.

You can't really go very wrong with Switzerland!
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Old Sep 25th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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I absolutely love the region outside Geneva along Lac Leman. Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux are all gorgeous. Each has an "Old Town" and a stretch of the quai (sceneic walkway) lakeside.

Since you have a car, from Geneva, maybe a 1/2 day trip to the castle at Gruyere (like the cheese)?
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