A week or so through Switzerland (coming from France)
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Sep 20, 2012 11:31 AM Last Post By: moredman
Sep 6, 2012 9:03 AM
Lyon - Geneva - Lausanna - Bern - (interlaken?) - Lucerne - Zurich - Basel - Dijon (and onto paris!)
From Dijon we are headed to paris for a finale of 5-6 days there before flying home. I don't mind it being a bit of a whirlwind in switzerland, but I obviously don't want to overload it too much.
What we are interested in: a little bit of everything. We can be outdoorsy and are very very active (love walking lots, biking, hiking), but also like to just relax in town for a drink and delicious dinner (and lots of coffee). We don't mind museums, but would prefer not to be in one every day (would prefer history over art--but things that are very unique are exceptions, like architecture--but that isn't necessarily a huge focus). A castle or two is awesome. Beautiful scenery is a must (although I don't believe that is lacking in Switzerland!). Basically I'm looking for a hodgepodge of things, with no main focus.
Anyway, I don't have a concrete set time for this loop quite yet (the rest of the trip may alter depending on what we want to do during this), but I'm hoping around a week's time.
We are also morning people, and don't mind getting up to train at 7am to try to have a semi-real day at our next stop after a train ride.
Thanks so much :) Oh, this would all take place mid-to-end of July in case that makes a difference.
Sep 6, 2012 12:39 PM
11) Is Lyon the starting place (as in where you live), or the airport you think you'll land at for convenience?
2) If you don't live in Lyon, where are you starting from (i.e. real home base)
Lyon is OK for 2 days or so.
Geneva can be knocked off in 1.
Lausanne 1 or 2
Bern I'd skip to be honest, but 1
Interlaken - definite miss, but the area is a definite hit - get yourselves up into the mountains nearby. Pick from Murren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. The scenery maximises in this area.
Lucerne - pass
Zurich 2 days
Basel 1 day
Dijon 1 day
Basically you have a lotta spare time vs the times I think you need to spend in this area. This could be extended into Austria and/or Southern Germany quite comfortably, if the budget can take the hit.
Switzerland is very expensive by anybody's standards.
How much money after flights do you guys have per person per day (in EUR)?
Sep 6, 2012 1:30 PM
2**oof, after reading my first message, not sure if this was made clear. We want about A WEEK in switzerland. the rest of 8 weeks are planned outside of that :)**
Thanks for the reply!
No, we are not coming from Lyon. Basically we are coming from Bordeaux to Lyon (flight), and planning to spend a day or two there before venturing into Switzerland. "Home" is in California--not so close by :) But this is at the end of our 8 week total trip through Europe. Earlier in the trip we are doing Munich (from there going down into Italy)--at least as it is planned now. I know we want to go through Dijon/Beaune/Lyon at some point anyway--so it seemed that going through switzerland from there was a decent idea...it seemed to make for less 4+ hour arduous train rides.
In terms of having "too much time", that's fine. A week is really the max we have at this point, and if I have some wiggle room that would be fine. It would be very useful to know what there is to do/see in particular towns in Switzerland (ie: why 2 days in some places, 1 in others--what are those days going to enable me to see?).
If there is something we should see in Southern Germany (I see Freiburg is very close-by, but I know little about it), I would be welcome to that suggestion too! But basically I'd like to come into switzerland from Lyon (or Dijon I suppose) and then head back out that way to Paris.
In terms of money, we are by no means on a huge budget, but we are willing to splurge a bit (at least compared to some 20-something year old travelers). This is a rare trip for us because of work/school commitments and who knows when we will return :)
Edited by: moredman
Edited by: moredman
Sep 7, 2012 9:34 PM
3I recently spent a month in Switzerland, mostly with the focus of enjoying the scenic train travel, and it truly was splendid. Everyone has different feelings about different towns, it's very subjective.
I really enjoyed Bern, walking besides the river and the botanical & rose gardens. I spent an extra 2 nights there.
Agree about Interlaken, it's very touristy and really just a base for the area surrounding it, which is truly outstanding. Base yourself up the mountain and you can train/cable car/hike around with ease. Murren was the pick of the little towns, in my opinion.
I did stay in Montreaux and Lucerne, and left as quickly as I could, not for me. Again, too touristy - these places feel 'fake' to me somehow.
Having spent most of my time further in the south and in smaller towns, not cities, I can't really add much more. Except to perhaps reiterate that Switzerland is seriously expensive.
Enjoy your trip!
Sep 8, 2012 12:04 AM
4Hey moredman, unfortunately I have to disagree entirely with post #2 and recommend Bern as well as Luzern (this will make it harder for you to decide). Both are small cities (town more really) and as I am from Switzerland I can guarantee you that they are not too touristy (unless you count in-country travel as tourism). If you want to go somewhere a bit different, I can recommend Schaffhausen (for a glimpse into "real" Switzerland) as well as Murten, where the French and German speaking parts meet in front of a lovely lake.
The good thing about Switzerland is that everything is very close and public transport is great! I would recommend getting a pass that allows you to get off and on whenever you want so if you don't like a place you can just move on.
Sep 9, 2012 7:31 AM
5Very good post Dominique1988.
I'm Swiss, and if I have / had friends visiting from California for one week in Switzerland, in summer, considering the interests you mention, I would suggest:
- 2-3 days in the french part of switzerland - geneva, lausanne, neuchatel, chateau chillon, montreux, a cruise on lac leman, a visit to a vineyard and / or a wine cellar, swimming in lac leman and / or lac neuchatel - obviously you cant do everyting in 2-3 days, it really depends on your priorities, and on the weather as well.
- 4-6 days in the german part of switzerland - berne, lucerne, schaffhausen and the rine falls, the bernese oberland or a mountain around lucerne - i would include at least one night "up in the mountains" - you could for example go to lucerne, take a boat to viznau or weggis and take the clogg train up to mount rigi - with wonderful views over the vierwaldstaettersee and the surrounding mountains. several good places to stay on the rigi, check out http://www.rigi.ch/en/welcome.cfm for more information. mount pilatus is another option, also reachable from lucerne.
Sep 9, 2012 3:38 PM
6Yes, definitely stay a night in the mountains! :) Seeing as you'll be in Bern, I can recommend Mürren - I think it's a bit less touristy but really nice: no cars are allowed in the town and the way of getting there is awesome (the last part is on a cable car). The classic is of course Zermatt, where the famous Matterhorn is. By train it takes a bit more than 2 hours from Bern so can be done on a day or an overnight trip. Check sbb.ch for public transport.
Sep 20, 2012 11:31 AM
7SO it's been a while and my plans have slightly changed. Here's what I need to know:
I am going to be flying into Geneva (from Rome). I want to spend 2-3 days in the mountains somewhere-- we will train from Geneva to mountains, and then mountains to Zurich. Where should we go? I think I'd ideally like to stay in the same place for 2-3 nights...as a relaxing, scenic, break from lots of training + traveling in other areas of europe. Hiking is a definite must and preferably somewhere to stay that won't completely break the bank. Where is easiest to get to/from by train and how do I go about it from Geneva and then onto Zurich?
I've read other threads but the travel in switzerland tends to confuse me (with all the different modes of transport into the mountains/across lakes).
Let's say, best place for two early-twenties to get beautiful scenic hiking, but still have some fun in the evenings? :)
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