Zurich or Geneva

Old Feb 12th, 2009, 06:25 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 119
Zurich or Geneva

Hi. We will be spending three nights in Luzern this July and then will have two additional nights to spend in a city and fly home from that city. Adivce would be greatly appreciated as to which city would be best to visit. It is my husband, myself, and our three children (15, 13 and 10). We are trying to decide between Zurich and Geneva. If you could only choose one city, which one would it be? Thanks!
azh111 is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 06:55 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,363
I dunno. It's kind of like Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Toss a coin.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 07:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
Zurich. I think there is more to see and do in Zurich. Zurich is also much closer to Lucerne than Geneva is.

I know a lot of people here in Fodorville love Lucerne, but I HATED it when I was there many years ago. The only thing I liked was the lake and the swans.

Switzerland is, however, one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen and I have been to A LOT of countries, sweetie darling.

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 07:10 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,363
Oh, I totally agree Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Kind of like the way a dead person who's been gorgeously embalmed is.

Go to Zürich.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 07:35 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,986
I visited Switzerland in 2006. I loved Luzern. I doubt you will be disappointed. I have not been to Geneva. I stayed in Zurich which I liked very much, I stayed at the hotel Zurichberg. It's up on a hill, overlooking the lake, away from the feel of the city. The tram ride into the heart of Zurich is about 18 minutes. You might check it out.
hpeabody is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 07:58 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,209
A few years ago we were flying out of Zurich and stayed a couple of days in a cute village,Rapperswil, close to Zurich. From Rapperswil we took the train to Appenzel and St. Gallen, lovely to see. If you put Rapperswil in the search box and check out the questions and replies maybe some of the information will help. I also think Geneva is too far.
violetduck is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
Geneva only has a couple of nice spots worth mentioning, by the lakesside and in the old town (what's left of it), but otherwise it is pretty boring, a city for office workers and administrations.

But near Geneva it gets nice.

The lakeside is great, further away from the city, the Swis Riviera - a stretch along the lake where you find Vevey,m Montreux, Territet, the Chillon castle, and great views on the otehr side of the lake, the Mont Blanc and the Swiss and French alps coming together.

Or into the French alps, Annecy for example - very nice.

But overall, in the city itself and in the surrounding region, Zürich has much more to offer.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 09:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,513
I was going to ask why you would spend all your time in Switzerland in the cities, but then I remembered you from your Yosemite post and your admission that you are "non-outdoorsy" types. So I won't try to talk you into visiting some very special places nearby but out of the cities.

Between Zürich and Geneva, I'd say Zürich is much the nicer city, and well worth 2 nights and a day. But, as DalaiLlama suggested, near Geneva there are some wonderful places along the lake, most still within striking distance of the Geneva airport IF your plane is not an early one. And you could visit the wonderful Chateau de Chillon, one of the best castles around.

The real question is whether you and your children would enjoy the trip across Switzerland by train. If not, definitely stay in Zürich.
enzian is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 10:39 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,891
Hi azh111,

Even if you folks are not "outdoorsy" as notes, that's no reason to stay in the cities surrounded by grey bricks and mortar. You don't have to hike to enjoy the Swiss countryside -- or her gorgeous sweet towns and villages. All you need to do is simply walk the streets of a town, maybe find a funicular up a mountain or a ferry around a lake, and take in some views from a mountaintop restaurant or a lakeside cafe. Switzerland is such a user-friendly place; all of its beauty will be easy to get to and really rewarding to see.

Ok so, now to your question. Zürich or Geneva? Well, as others above have said, I also favor the small towns outside of the cities. So for me, the choice would be, Rapperswil on Lake Zürich or Morges/Vevey on Lake Geneva. And because the French-influenced Lake Geneva is so different from Luzern/Zürich/Rapperswil, I think I would choose that, just for the difference. Luzern is only an hour from Zürich and maybe 90 minutes from Rapperswil, so you can easily see all three from just one base. So going to Lake Geneva would give you a real difference.

Anyway, let us know what you decide so we can help you find wonderful views and activities there.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 02:15 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I understand you have the choice to fly back home either out of Zürich or out of Geneva.

After staying in Luzern (which is the epitome of a historic small town in Switzerland with a lake and easy access to the mountains), Zürich will make a good contrast.

Zürich has a charming old town, with a wealth of cozy restaurants. I always enjoy a daily or nightly stroll through these old quarters.

Your kids will enjoy to swim in the "Kastenbäder" (quaint cage-like swimmingpools in Lake Zürich and in the river Limmat - very cool places, both during the day and in the evenings - some turn into nightclubs after dark).

http://www.badi-info.ch/Unterer_letten.html
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 07:44 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 951
I went to both Zurich and Geneva on a family trip when I was 14 (my sister was 11) and we liked Zurich best for the charm, the twisty streets, the "olden days' feeling.

The lake in Geneva was pretty but what kids is really blown away by scenery? I remember it best because there was a huge sale at Beneton (popular but expensive for teens in the US then) and we had a shopping spree.

I would choose Zurich, with maybe some day trips to the countryside.
BlueSwimmer is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 119
Thank you all - it seems that Zurich gets the most votes so that is where we will fly home from.
I have been going back and forth so much about this trip. First we were going to France and then we were told the hotel we had booked would not accept us because we are Jewish so we decided to stay in the US and see California, and that was eco friendlier and better for the US economy, but I just couldn't get excited for the trip. I love Europe too much. So thank you to everyone for your advice. We are going (not necessarily in this order) to Prague, Nuremberg (over night to stay with friends), Salzburg, Luzern and finally Zurich! Thank you for all your tips!
azh111 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,683
The hotel would not accept you because you are Jewish?

Why? How did they know you are Jewish? Is the hotel owned by jihadists?

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 08:33 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 119
I'm sorry - I should have been more clear. The travel agent was holding a room for us and we had booked a Jewish tour of Paris and the tour guide asked what hotel we were staying at and when we told her the Intercontinental Grand, she told us that they don't accept Jews and had just cancelled a large group from Israel. I googled it and saw it was true and although perhaps they might have accepted my reservation afterall, it left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Sad when politics gets in the way of pleasure!
azh111 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 09:12 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,363
<<I googled it and saw it was true>>

HUH?

What, exactly, did you google, and what did you find that led you to that conclusion?
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 09:39 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
IMHO Zurichis more a business city, has some museums and is much closer to Luzern.

Geneve is a government (UN et al) city with a prety old town and a nice lake - but is farther from Luzern.

Either city would do for just one day.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 10:16 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
>> the hotel we had booked would not accept us because we are Jewish <<

Sorry, I still cannot believe this. The Intercontinental Hotels Group is the world's largest hotel group with brands like Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and, of course, Intercontinental. It is British-based and was founded in 1777.

I simply cannot believe that they would discriminate Jews.

If this is really true this would be a major scandal in Europe - and it would be outright illegal, since the European Union has passed an anti-discrimination law.

Please, give us some more detailed information about this policy. Hearsay is not sufficient.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 10:19 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 119
google the following:
intercontinental grand paris israel

you will see what transpired. Everyone has to do what they feel comfortable with. For me, I was saddened and from now on will choose not to stay at an Intercontinental Hotel.
azh111 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 10:26 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,891
Hi,

It wasn't a group of Israeli tourists, it was an Israeli Tourism Fair with about 50 scheduled exhibitions.

They cancelled it as a reaction to the military actions in Gaza.

Here's a link:

http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/260

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 10:29 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Yes, I have googled. However, I found not one reliable source (newspaper, TV station etc.) - nothing but obscure palestinian blogs.

I am afraid you have become a victim of extremist palestinan propaganda.

And quite certainly the hotel will happily welcome Jewish guests.
traveller1959 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO