Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

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Mongoose
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Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by Mongoose » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:37 am

Will be in Switzerland for a few days and I am having trouble deciding where to stay.
We land in Bern 7pm on Monday and need to fly out of Geneva 11am on Friday (4 nights).
Was thinking we would go somewhere we could hike for 2 days and then finish in Geneva for the last 2 days.
Would Lucerne be a good choice? We won't have a car and will be on public transport- would you advise purchasing tickets in advance or is it easy to just do it in country?

Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks!

michaelsieg
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by michaelsieg » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:55 am

I grew up in Bern, you will like it, even though it is not as fast paced such as Zuerich or Basel.
If you like to hike, go in the Bernese mountains, you should consider going to Grindelwald or Muerren. (great hikes in those areas) and consider taking the train up to the Jungfraujoch. Interlaken, about 40K from Bern, which is nearby to Muerren and Grindelwald also has great hotels and could be a base for the hikes. Other nice hikes are in the Blausee/Oeschinensee area, in which case you would take the train to Kandersteg.
In Bern, consider to see the Klee museum and just enjoy the city. A walk along the Aare river from Bern towards Muri (about 4K) is nice, there is a little restaurant at the river (Elfenau) that is usually open until late October (closed in Winter).
Have a great time - from Bern to Geneva you can take a intercity train, you should get there in about 2 hours, and there is a rail station directly at the airport of Geneva.
Hope this helps - enjoy your trip
Michael

mikeast
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by mikeast » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:08 am

Kandersteg is a wonderful place to hike. The scenery around Lake Oeschinen in the Alps is as good as it gets. Kandersteg
is also home to The Kandersteg International Scout Center (KISC) founded by Baden Powell. I've been there
every year for the past three years attending Boy Scout events. Easily accessible by train. You can stay at the Scout Center for
a small fraction of the cost of local lodging if you don't mind hostel style accommodations (clean,comfortable, no frills and sharing bathrooms). All staff members are required to speak English and they can help you do anything you want to do in the area.

Jim85
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by Jim85 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:53 am

Interlaken and, on a clear day, take the train up to Jungfraujoch. Wow.

dickenjb
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by dickenjb » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:06 am

We loved Grindelwald. The train to Jungfraujoch is very expensive but fun. You can hike 2 km across the glacier to a mountain hut for lunch and get away from most of the tourists.

Lucerne is also nice, we spent two nights there.

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Rainier
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by Rainier » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:25 am

I also recommend Interlaken, Grindelwald and taking the train up the Jungfrau.

I wish we went to Zermatt to see the Marterhorn.

Trains are very easy and go everywhere.

rjbraun
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by rjbraun » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:48 am

Rainier wrote:I also recommend Interlaken, Grindelwald and taking the train up the Jungfrau.

I wish we went to Zermatt to see the Marterhorn.

Trains are very easy and go everywhere.
I've been to the Matterhorn (and Interlaken and the Jungfrau), and it is indeed spectacular. Our hotel in Zermatt had a spot-on view of the mountain; it was really nice.

I agree, train travel in Switzerland is quite easy, though it can also be quite expensive. I've always traveled by train but am not sure if one would be better off with a car, to get to some of the more remote hiking areas. That said, one can certainly see and do plenty without a car.

dickenjb
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by dickenjb » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:18 am

rjbraun wrote: I agree, train travel in Switzerland is quite easy, though it can also be quite expensive.
Everything in Switzerland is expensive. Full stop.

Only "bargain" was 20 CHF an hour for our boys to rent stand up paddleboards on Lake Geneva.

technovelist
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by technovelist » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:34 am

dickenjb wrote:
rjbraun wrote: I agree, train travel in Switzerland is quite easy, though it can also be quite expensive.
Everything in Switzerland is expensive. Full stop.

Only "bargain" was 20 CHF an hour for our boys to rent stand up paddleboards on Lake Geneva.
If they still have rail passes those can be a bargain, although for only a few days they may not pay off.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

rjm_cali
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by rjm_cali » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:48 am

So many places - so little time but if you're in Lucerne and the weather is good then I'd *really* recommend the Rigi Bahn (cog railway) for the most spectacular view of Lake Lucerne

http://www.rigi.ch/Home-en

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DonCamillo
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by DonCamillo » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:58 am

The most memorable hike of my life was from Zermatt, hiking up the Trift Valley, across the glacier and to the top of the Mettelhorn, with a great view of the Matterhorn in the background. The next day, take the cog railroad up to Gornergrat and hike down. The train getting to and from Zermatt was also a bucket list experience.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:16 am

In August 2014, I spent 7 days in Zurich and 7 days traveling around Switzerland. During the "travel" time, I spent 3 nights in Brienz, a village on the northern shore of Lake Brienz. Brienz itself is very picturesque, one of its street is considered "the most romantic street in Europe." It is backed by mountains with numerous hiking trails. There is a frequent train and boat service to Interlaken and other points along the lake.

I recommend visiting it for a couple days.

Victoria
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prudent
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by prudent » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:04 pm

I don't know much about Switzerland, but their flag is a big plus!

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VictoriaF
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:05 pm

prudent wrote:I don't know much about Switzerland, but their flag is a big plus!
The Swiss flag is positive; otherwise, it's neutral.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Mr-et-Mrs-R
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Re: Anyone familiar with Switzerland?

Post by Mr-et-Mrs-R » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:16 pm

Wife and I spent 3 weeks in Switzerland this summer for our 4th wedding anniversary.
We did pretty much everything everyone here is saying- Interlaken, Grindelwald (Wengen and Murren), Zermatt, Lugano (Morcote), Zurich, and Geneva. By large and by far, Wengen and Murren for a short few day stay. Outstanding views, hikes, meals, and adventures. If you do stay in Wengen, the Hotel Caprice (caprice-wengen.ch) which we felt was a good deal and just steps from the station. Ask for room 16; outstanding view of the valley. In Murren, we stayed at Hotel Edelweiss. Typical sports hotel, which was fine since we where out hiking everywhere.
We came out ahead with the rail pass- even for a short pass the discounts are worth it (specially if you do go to Jungfraujoch!).

Zermatt is also very lovely! Hotel Bristol with a view of the Matterhorn is where we stayed at. Certainly worth the mountain tax. Beware, as we where told a dozen times or so, watch your bags.

If you have any specific questions, ask.

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