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ZURICH Switzerland: 1 or 2 nights after Berner Oberland ??

ZURICH Switzerland: 1 or 2 nights after Berner Oberland ??

Old May 28th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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ZURICH Switzerland: 1 or 2 nights after Berner Oberland ??

Tell me about Zurich, through YOUR eyes. Is Zurich a place you'd like to spend MORE time in, and why? Or is Zurich NOT really your cup of tea? Please join in with your subjective views. I enjoy the discussion!

We are spending 1 or 2 nights in Zurich at the end of our first trip to Switzerland. I am thinking it might be a huge transition, coming down from the mountain, literally, and into the city??

I've chosen a Zurich hotel which is a few blocks from the old town of Zurich...so it's both quiet and convenient. Haven't booked it yet but I've emailed them. My decision is: should we spend 1 or 2 nights in Zurich? Nobody can answer that for me. But I would enjoy hearing about YOUR view of Zurich. 8-)

This is our itinerary for 15 nights: ( Please note that these are our "bases", and we will enjoy day-trips from these bases. We will have a Swiss Pass. (And yes, we do realize that Murren & Wengen are close together. We love mountains!).
Fly LAX to Zurich
3 nights: Lucerne
5 nights: Murren
6 nights: Wengen
1 night: Zurich
Fly home Zurich to LAX (flight is around 1:00 in the afternoon)
Melissa5 is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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I like Zurich very much. But I can nose about in department stores, chocolate shops, antique shops for hours. It's really that kind of city. And it's very picturesque. I would say two nights.
Cimbrone is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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Since we're flying into Zurich also, I was curious how far the airport is from the old town area of Zurich? What are the transportation options between the 2 places?
deladeb is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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I'm also curious. We are staying at the Holiday Inn at the airport because we are flying early from Zurich. The Hotel has a shuttle to take to Downtown Zurich though.
pookymimi is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 07:17 PM
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Eleven nights with Murren and Wengen seems like a lot,,,,unless you are Avid hikers. BOth are hanging up on the mountains (opposite sides of the valley). Of course there are day trips, but one must get down to the train station in Lauterbrunnen (by cog, Wengen,,,,and gondola/Murren) to even get started to go on a day trip. They ARE both beautiful however, as well as Lauterbrunnen.
Two nights in Zurich adds up to ONE DAY,,(or 1 1/2) and I'm sure you'll enjoy Zurich,,, even a second full day.
You'll enjoy Lucerne also!
mari5 is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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I agree with mari5's observations. If your day trips are anything other than hikes from Murren & Wengen, neither are particularly convenient "bases" to get to public transportation from. Also, as you noted, these towns are so close together that 11 out of your 15 days you are essentially starting all of your day trips from one place and would necessarily retrace much of your route on every day trip that you took from these towns. There are plenty of other towns in which you could base yourselves in the mountains outside the Lauterbrunnen valley - although the Lauterbrunnen valley is spectacular.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:03 PM
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11 nights in Wengen and Murren? I think you will be bored to tears. Keith and I are only staying 4 nights in Wengen. One day will be spent going to the Schilthorn, one day will be spent taking the Mannlichen cable car to Kleine Scheidegg and walking down to Wengen. We will probably explore Murren and Grindelwald on our last day there.

We are spending one night in Luzern so Keith can see it. I have been to Luzern before and really don't care for it too much. I love the lake, but I think the city is boring.

We will be in Zurich for two night at the beginning of our trip, and one night before we fly home. We will spend our last night at the Baur au Lac Hotel taking in the atmosphere.

I wish we had more time in Zurich so we could take the train to Winterthur.

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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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Hi Melissa5,

I personally don't like big cities, so that's why I don't spend any time in Zürich. But as Cimbrone notes above, there is plenty there to keep you happy, if you don't mind the city-ness of it, lol! There are the Chagall windows in the cathedral, the architecture, etc. I also really like the very sweet town of Rapperswil down the lake -- take the ferry one way and the train to return. Rapperswil has a small castle on a hill, a delightful old town, and a cafe-lined little harbor. It's just a pleasant way to spend a day.

As cities go, I prefer Basel, so you could even take a day-trip there. It'll be about an hour by train. I love its old town and its river walk.

For delabed -- there is a train station in the basement of the airport, and trains leave for downtown just about every 20 minutes or so. You can get the exact schedules at


Simply use

From Zurich airport
To Zurich

For everyone else -- this poster has another thread going where she noted her preference for staying in both Wengen and Mürren. Lots of folks have already given her advise about it.

Have fun!

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Old May 29th, 2010, 01:48 AM
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swandav2000 is right...I do have another post where everybody has discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Wengen and Murren. Click on my name and look for the very long discussion about "base" hotels in Switzerland.

I posted this new question to get viewpoints on Zurich.

Cimbrone: Since you enjoy Zurich I'm curious if you have a favorite Zurich hotel or a favorite part of town to explore? A favorite place to eat?

Will it be sweltering hot in July at night in Zurich without any A/C in the room?

Thin: I haven't heard of Winterthur? a day-trip from Zurich?

Swandav2000: Rapperswil sounds very pleasing! Or as you say we could do a day-trip from Zurich to Basel if we had 2 nights in Zurich. Do you enjoy Basel more than Bern or Zurich? Is it the atmosphere in Basel that you love? I tend to enjoy small villages and small towns a lot more than cities. But there are some lovable cities on my list (Rome, Italy; Austin, Texas; and London of course ! )

Has anybody been to the zoo in Zurich? My husband is a biologist and he likes to visit zoos if they have anything especially rare. Sometimes zoos also provide a more "local" experience.

We realized we need to spend a minimum of 1 night in Zurich at the end of our trip before flying Zurich to LAX. This is for practical reasons. I need to decide whether it would be worth spending 2 nights in Zurich and what we would do with that extra time.

Guidebooks provide a list of sites in Zurich. But I like to get everyone's personal reactions to Zurich, both pros and cons. This brings Zurich to life for me.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:00 AM
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Hi again,

I've only spent a few hour in Bern while I've been in Basel for several trips of a few days each, so my experience is quite different.

Bern is of course very German in feel, language, etc. It still has the mountain feel to it because they are so close.

Basel has another feel entirely. Because of its many pharmaceutical companies and its location where three countries meet, its residents are truly international. You are as likely to hear English or French as you are to hear German (German IS the official language). The old town is spectacular, and the riverwalk is really pretty. Basel also has more museums than the number of residents warrant --

But of course it's a small city for all that. It has the feel of a large town rather than a big city.

Oh, but Rapperswil also has a deer park!

The good news is -- this is a win/win decision!

swandav2000 is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:20 AM
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>Has anybody been to the zoo in Zurich? My husband is a biologist and he likes to visit zoos if they have anything especially rare. Sometimes zoos also provide a more "local" experience.

The Masoala Rainforest Hall in the zoo is very interesting - probably even more so for a bilologist.
altamiro is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:34 AM
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I like Zürich. Spent three nights there last year in winter and enjoyed my time in this city. Stayed in the Comfort Inn Royal which was la-la. My room was fine, the rooms of my friends were not. Location was pretty good, though, close to the old town, tram stop in front of the hotel.

I would recommend a hotel with A/C in July. You never know, it is quite cold now and we might see the opposite extreme in July.

I think two nights in Zürich is definitely not too much. Or three nights. The old town between the river and the Bahnhofstrasse has a small town ambience to me, especially around Lindenhof square and St. Peter's. I also liked the excursions to the surrounding hills (Uetliberg, Dolder Grand). The Kunsthaus has a very interesting collection for fans of art. I haven't seen the zoo but my friends rave about it.

Here's the link to my Zürich page on Virtualtourist.com:

Ingo is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 05:36 AM
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I spent a lovely afternoon wandering round the Zoo in Zurich a few years ago, throughly recommend it, in fact I didn't see all of it. Another nice half day trip is Uetliberg, trains go from the Hauptbanhof every half an hour and it's a lovely walk to the top from the station, and longer if you want to ealk the planet way.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:14 AM
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Definitely have a coffee and dessert at the Cafe Schober--newly renovated and given, it seems, the new name Peclard (???) Very old-world, sweet little confiserie and cafe. http://peclard-zurich.ch/ We also very much enjoyed the Restaurant Pot au Vert, a vegetarian restaurant with innovative cooking. It's in a hotel very close to the train station. They have a website.

We stayed at a Best Western near the train station. It was fine, but nothing to rave about. There are some very nice hotels in Zurich if you want to splurge. One with the word Stork in it is right by the river and pretty famous.

I completely agree with Ingo about the area he mentions. Very charming. On the other side of the river, around Kirchestrasse, you will find a good number of antique shops and used bookstores if that's your thing.

Another day trip from Zurich is to Einselden (sp?) Abbey. I've never been, but it's on my list for next time. A pilgrimage church and baroque masterpiece.
Cimbrone is offline  
Old May 29th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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This is the hotel I was referring to: http://www.storchen.ch/index.php?article_id=1&clang=1

And the abbey I mentioned is spelled Einsiedeln.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:58 AM
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With respect to the Bern vs. Basel question, it really depends on your interests. I've spent more time in Bern because DH used to attend meetings there, and it is charming and great for walking around. I love Basel, however, because of the wonderful museums and cultural vibe. Basel just seems more vibrant to me.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Well since you asked...

I'm not a fan of Zurich (or Luzern for that matter). But...I'm not a city person by any stretch and Zurich is full on city.

Two nights in Zurich will give you bascially one full day to explore... and you'll never know if you like the place or not until you try it out, so go for it. It'll give you an entirely different perspective of Switzerland after your time in the BO.

Do you like chocolate? There's a chocolate factory near Zurich that you can easily reach by train. There are many nice street cafes too, where you can pull up a chair, have a coffee or drink and watch the world go by.

We always spend one night in Zurich before our departing flight. Last year it was the Radisson Blu at the airport, which also has a train station in the basement so it was ultra convenient. The hotel has good weekend rates, but during the week it's quite $$$$.
Melnq8 is online now  
Old May 30th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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What a lot of fun ideas! Sounds like Zurich old town has lots of charm and things to do...and the day-trips possibilities from Zurich are endless! Basel and Bern both sound enticing.

Do we like chocolate, Melnq8 asks? Oh yes we are in love with chocolate!

altamiro: Thanks I will find the link for my husband for the Masoala rainforest at the Zurich zoo and see if he wants to check that out.

I'm NOT a city lover...I love small towns the best...but sometimes cities can have charming sections which have the charm of a small town...and cities do have museums and night-life. We aren't big on night life, but now and then it can be fun for a special night out. Normally our idea of night-life would be a casual dinner and a barefoot walk on the beach in the moonlight!

The hotel I'm considering for Zurich has a decent price for standard rooms (by Zurich standards)...but a very high price for an air-conditioned room. It's important for my husband to sleep on our last night in Zurich because after the long flight from Zurich to LAX...he has to get a rental car and drive us home to San Diego through LA traffic! So I want him well-rested.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 02:46 AM
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Melnq8: I'm curious about the Radisson Blu at the airport, which also has a train station in the basement? Did you have a comfortable, quiet night's sleep there? Getting a good night's rest is especially important for us in Zurich because after the long flight from zurich to LAX, we have to drive a rental car from LAX home to San Diego! Hopefully we will get some sleep on the flight (but you never know about that.)

Were you pleased with your stay at the Radisson Blu? Was the bed comfortable? How was the room temp? (I know their windows don't open.) Was it quiet...well sound-proofed?

There is a hotel in a quiet area of Zurich, convenient to see the old town area...which I'm interested in...Romantik Hotel Florhof. Sounds very lovely. (Their system is down at the moment.)

Thanks everybody for the viewpoints and tips on zurich! I'm enjoying hearing about your favorite Zurich sites, places to eat, hotels, and day-trips! Also both Bern and Basel sound enticing as day-trips from Zurich.
Melissa5 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 03:01 AM
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Hi Melissa -

Yes it was quiet - sound proof windows. I'm a very light sleeper so I'm picky about these things too.

My detailed review of the hotel is here:

Melnq8 is online now  

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