Going to switzerland this september-advice?

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jayk238
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Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:36 am

Planning on strausburg fr- basel- Interlaken- luzern-Lausanne. We wanted to see zurich, lugano etc but decided not enough time.

Our trip is 10 days plus an extra day for flught in and another day for flight out

We will be getting the swiss travel pass.

Any suggestions on what to do? Where to go above or what places to eat/stay? Thanks.

neilpilot
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:57 am

I worked in Basel back in 2007.....suggest a day trip to Colmar Fr, just under an hour via Fr train. Alternatively, you could plan a stop over on the way between Strasbourg & Basel.

Try the ice cream at MÖVENPICK. A chain all over, with a location in Basel.

BTW are you sure the Swiss travel pass is a good value?

mslaw
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by mslaw » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:02 am

Excellent question. The transportation in Switzerland looks incredible, well covered and reasonable price. However, the “card” options are worthy of Boglehead calculation!
Right now I’m looking at adding a Jungfrau Pass to a Swiss Travel Pass, just for convenience.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:21 am

DW and I took a trip to Switzerland a couple years ago. If you get the time, try to take a trip to Brienz, a charming small town on the edge of Lake Brienz. The view of the lake is breathtaking, and there a pretty neat wood carver's shop in the town.

The other portion of Switzerland that we really enjoyed greatly was Grindelwald and the tram ride up to Kleine Schiedegg. Even in May, the mountain tops were a snow-capped sight to behold.

We did hit Strasbourg as part of our trip, but I personally wouldn't be in a rush to go back, especially to the downtown area; it was way overcrowded for my taste (but that's just me). If you do go to Strasbourg, try to time your visit so that you can take in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It's a beautiful building (at least on the outside; we unfortunately were there at a time when the Cathedral was closed to tourists for services :( ).

We only got to spend a very short time in Interlaken (it was a stopover between two other points), but from what I saw it was a very nice town. I'd love to go back and spend a little more time there.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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jayk238
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:25 am

mslaw wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:02 am
Excellent question. The transportation in Switzerland looks incredible, well covered and reasonable price. However, the “card” options are worthy of Boglehead calculation!
Right now I’m looking at adding a Jungfrau Pass to a Swiss Travel Pass, just for convenience.
Wait what? Are you me?

Jokes aside about thread control,

Where and when are you going

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jayk238
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:21 am
DW and I took a trip to Switzerland a couple years ago. If you get the time, try to take a trip to Brienz, a charming small town on the edge of Lake Brienz. The view of the lake is breathtaking, and there a pretty neat wood carver's shop in the town.

The other portion of Switzerland that we really enjoyed greatly was Grindelwald and the tram ride up to Kleine Schiedegg. Even in May, the mountain tops were a snow-capped sight to behold.

We did hit Strasbourg as part of our trip, but I personally wouldn't be in a rush to go back, especially to the downtown area; it was way overcrowded for my taste (but that's just me). If you do go to Strasbourg, try to time your visit so that you can take in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It's a beautiful building (at least on the outside; we unfortunately were there at a time when the Cathedral was closed to tourists for services :( ).

We only got to spend a very short time in Interlaken (it was a stopover between two other points), but from what I saw it was a very nice town. I'd love to go back and spend a little more time there.
We will be using interlaken as a step off point for 3 nights so we can enjoy gimmewald, klein scheidigg, grid elwald etc since theyre all near by.

Definitely looking forward to this part. Thanks!

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jayk238
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am

neilpilot wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:57 am
I worked in Basel back in 2007.....suggest a day trip to Colmar Fr, just under an hour via Fr train. Alternatively, you could plan a stop over on the way between Strasbourg & Basel.

Try the ice cream at MÖVENPICK. A chain all over, with a location in Basel.

BTW are you sure the Swiss travel pass is a good value?
What would the alternative be?

bubbadog
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by bubbadog » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:04 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:21 am
DW and I took a trip to Switzerland a couple years ago. If you get the time, try to take a trip to Brienz, a charming small town on the edge of Lake Brienz. The view of the lake is breathtaking, and there a pretty neat wood carver's shop in the town.

The other portion of Switzerland that we really enjoyed greatly was Grindelwald and the tram ride up to Kleine Schiedegg. Even in May, the mountain tops were a snow-capped sight to behold.

We did hit Strasbourg as part of our trip, but I personally wouldn't be in a rush to go back, especially to the downtown area; it was way overcrowded for my taste (but that's just me). If you do go to Strasbourg, try to time your visit so that you can take in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It's a beautiful building (at least on the outside; we unfortunately were there at a time when the Cathedral was closed to tourists for services :( ).

We only got to spend a very short time in Interlaken (it was a stopover between two other points), but from what I saw it was a very nice town. I'd love to go back and spend a little more time there.
We will be using interlaken as a step off point for 3 nights so we can enjoy gimmewald, klein scheidigg, grid elwald etc since theyre all near by.

Definitely looking forward to this part. Thanks!
We were in Interlaken 2 years ago and loved it. Beautiful place!

It will be a great place to hang out for three days.

Enjoy :sharebeer

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AerialWombat
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:42 am

While near Lausanne, consider a day trip to the Jura Mountains. Beautiful, green, gentle rolling hills. Breathtaking views.

If you like cheese, there are some amazing local cheese makers in this area, too. Best gruyere on the planet is had here (where it originated).

On the train, keep your bag on the floor or seat next to you. Don’t put it up on the overhead luggage rack, as walk-by theft is common, despite ultra low overall Swiss crime rate. Ask me how I learned this statistic. :)
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

neilpilot
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:18 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:57 am
I worked in Basel back in 2007.....suggest a day trip to Colmar Fr, just under an hour via Fr train. Alternatively, you could plan a stop over on the way between Strasbourg & Basel.

Try the ice cream at MÖVENPICK. A chain all over, with a location in Basel.

BTW are you sure the Swiss travel pass is a good value?
What would the alternative be?
Alternative to MÖVENPICK ice cream? .....if in Bern, try Gelateria de Berna.

As for rail travel, we go to Europe annually, but almost never use rail except intercity. We usually rent a car, and often fly between distant cities. However, when I've use rail and looked at the Eurail Pass it has always seemed over priced and somewhat inconvenient. Maybe the Swiss travel pass is a better idea. https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/ ... ail-passes

However, does it work for your travel into France? As you probably know, in Basel there's a Swiss and French rail station. When I used the French rail from Basel I always bought tickets online, since the ticket sales at the French station were limited, higher priced, and only automated. That was in 2007, so maybe it's changed.

rich126
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by rich126 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:27 am

Are you going to go to the glacier, jungfroch (?)? The view up there, if weather is clear is amazing.

And Switzerland is very $$$. Personally I wasn’t a fan of Geneva but enjoyed Bern. Lausanne is beautiful. Have a great trip.

sabhen
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by sabhen » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:28 am

Loved my last trip to Switzerland. I took a train from Paris and used Railpass purchased in the US all the way to Hamburg, Germany. Along the way, I stopped in Bern and Vienna. Loved both, especially Vienna. Bern is a beautiful town with a lot to see including museums. I missed seeing the Einstein museum as I was there on a Monday and it was the day the museum was closed. Einstein spent his early life there and I would recommend a visit there. I will definitely be back.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:20 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:57 am
I worked in Basel back in 2007.....suggest a day trip to Colmar Fr, just under an hour via Fr train. Alternatively, you could plan a stop over on the way between Strasbourg & Basel.

Try the ice cream at MÖVENPICK. A chain all over, with a location in Basel.

BTW are you sure the Swiss travel pass is a good value?
What would the alternative be?
I suspect most people don't use the trains enough to really benefit from a travel pass.

The alternatives are (1) pay for each ticket or (2) rent a car.

However- sometimes the travel passes come with discounts for otherwise very expensive tickets, for example the Jungfraubahn.

The other advice for Switzerland- take money, bunches of it, or credit cards with a high limit.

Notsobad
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by Notsobad » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:40 pm

The half price pass worked out for us and was cheaper than the Swiss rail pass. You have to calculate the total cost based on your planned route. You can find out the prices at
Www.sbb.ch

This site works much better than rail Europe for routes with any complexity.
After we tallied our planned itinerary, the half price pass worked out better than either the rail pass or retail prices.

Enjoy your trip.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:59 pm

Lugano is far from the rest of your itinerary, so you did well to skip it. Perhaps you could add it to a future trip to northern Italy.

I don't know how much time you will have in Lucerne, but Zurich is an easy day trip from Lucerne by train. The one-way trip is about an hour. Zurich is a beautiful and very historic city, but frightfully expensive. I was happy to be on the train back to Lucerne after an expensive lunch in Zurich.

You will love Lucerne. I love to look at the lake at sunset.

Lausanne is a transportation hub as well as a fascinating city. From Lausanne you can easily travel by train or by car to Montreux, Gruyere, Geneva, and Neuchatel, all of which are wonderful. From Lausanne you can take the lake boat to any number of destinations in Switzerland or France.

Unlike an earlier poster, I am quite fond of Geneva. It's the Swiss gateway to France.

The Swiss rail passes are far superior to the Eurorail passes.

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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by eddot98 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:59 pm

Double cream over meringue. Sinful, but delicious. Never seen it anywhere but Switzerland.

Another suggestion to rent a car.

pierremonfrere
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by pierremonfrere » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:43 pm

Go paragliding in Lauterbrunnen. That was my favorite part of Switzerland.

And save alot. Switzerland is way more expensive than neighboring countries.

bberris
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by bberris » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:20 am

Also check out a Saver Day Pass. 52 CHF on weekdays, more on weekends if you buy in advance. A 3 day flexible swiss pass is $281.
I had to use a mastercard to buy mine, visa would not work.

eurobogle
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by eurobogle » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:21 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am
We will be using interlaken as a step off point for 3 nights so we can enjoy gimmewald, klein scheidigg, grid elwald etc since theyre all near by.
The lakes around Interlaken are nice places to relax in the evening. You could take a local bus to "Bönigen See" for lake Brienz or "Manor Farm" for lake Thun. The beaches are mostly free but there are some private areas if you prefer. The riverside walk between Interlaken Ost and Bönigen is nice too and takes about 45 minutes one way.

tj218
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by tj218 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:36 am

In the Interlaken area, Schynige platte is a MUST. Probably one of the most awesome places I have ever been. You can hike up or take the train and then from there you have an Alpine Garden, hikes (1.5-3mi loops) or longer with views of the mountains and with a view down on Interlaken and the lakes. Definitely check the weather before you head up. though.

theplayer11
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:55 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:21 am
DW and I took a trip to Switzerland a couple years ago. If you get the time, try to take a trip to Brienz, a charming small town on the edge of Lake Brienz. The view of the lake is breathtaking, and there a pretty neat wood carver's shop in the town.

The other portion of Switzerland that we really enjoyed greatly was Grindelwald and the tram ride up to Kleine Schiedegg. Even in May, the mountain tops were a snow-capped sight to behold.

We did hit Strasbourg as part of our trip, but I personally wouldn't be in a rush to go back, especially to the downtown area; it was way overcrowded for my taste (but that's just me). If you do go to Strasbourg, try to time your visit so that you can take in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It's a beautiful building (at least on the outside; we unfortunately were there at a time when the Cathedral was closed to tourists for services :( ).

We only got to spend a very short time in Interlaken (it was a stopover between two other points), but from what I saw it was a very nice town. I'd love to go back and spend a little more time there.
We will be using interlaken as a step off point for 3 nights so we can enjoy gimmewald, klein scheidigg, grid elwald etc since theyre all near by.

Definitely looking forward to this part. Thanks!
look into staying in Beatenberg , not interlaken..views of the lake and alps are breathtaking

caffeperfavore
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by caffeperfavore » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm

Get up into the mountains and out of Interlaken. We spent five nights in Wengen, up the mountain from Lauterbrunen and loved it. The views are amazing. From there we did a number of surprisingly gentle but gorgeous hikes, explored the lakes around Interlaken, explored the waterfalls, and just soaked up the scenery. I can't wait to return. We considered staying in Interlaken and I'm so glad we didn't. I don't even consider myself outdoorsy but I just loved being up there. I could happily hike for days there.

bad1bill
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by bad1bill » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:45 pm

In addition to 50% off the mountain railroads like the Jungfraubahn and Gornergrattbahn, the Swiss Rail Pass gives you access to numerous museums as well as bus services to off-the-beaten-path towns....

scifilover
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by scifilover » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:49 am

If you go to Stechelberg, an easy trip from Interlaken, you can take the cable car to the top of the Schilthorn. This has the revolving restaurant at the top featured in one of the James Bond movies. Actually, there are four gondola segments of the trip to the top. The first one takes you to Murren, the highest alpine village in Europe. Along the way you can get off and back on for the rest of the segments. Spectacular views at the top and along the way.....not cheap but supposedly included with some versions of the Swiss Pass.

My first trip to the Bernese Oberland was in 1985. At that time, you got 2.45 SwFr per 1 US Dollar. Now it takes more than one dollar to buy a single CHF.

On one of our trips, we took a Swiss Postal Bus from Lugano to St. Moritz....included with the Swiss Pass, and takes you over one of the highest mountain passes in Europe. Goes through many 1 lane tunnels, narrow mountain switchbacks.

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wintermute
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by wintermute » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:12 am

One advantage of the Swiss rail pass is you don't need to worth about buying the right tickets. It can be confusing enough finding the right platform, station, train. It saves time. It also gets you discounts for Jungfrau and Piz Gloria too (iirc).

Make sure you see the falls in Lauterbrunnen. You might see some base jumpers, some with wing suits. There's a nice little restaurant in Grindelwald, right across from the train station, to the right of the post office / hotel.

Check out Rick Steve's Switzerland vids on youtube, and others'.

researcher
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by researcher » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:48 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:36 am
Any suggestions on what to do? Where to go above or what places to eat/stay? Thanks.
I don't have any first hand suggestions, but if you haven't already watched this TV series (featured on PBS), they are a must watch...

http://www.smarttravels.tv/RealRailTV/s ... witzerland
http://www.smarttravels.tv/RealRailTV/s ... nter-magic

mak1277
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:55 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm
Get up into the mountains and out of Interlaken. We spent five nights in Wengen, up the mountain from Lauterbrunen and loved it. The views are amazing. From there we did a number of surprisingly gentle but gorgeous hikes, explored the lakes around Interlaken, explored the waterfalls, and just soaked up the scenery. I can't wait to return. We considered staying in Interlaken and I'm so glad we didn't. I don't even consider myself outdoorsy but I just loved being up there. I could happily hike for days there.
The bolded would be my recommendation as well. We spent 3 nights in Interlaken and went up into the mountains each day...it was always a bummer coming back down to the hotel. Interlaken reminded me of a cruise ship port, compared to the smaller mountain towns which were much more quaint.

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jayk238
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:42 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:55 am
caffeperfavore wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm
Get up into the mountains and out of Interlaken. We spent five nights in Wengen, up the mountain from Lauterbrunen and loved it. The views are amazing. From there we did a number of surprisingly gentle but gorgeous hikes, explored the lakes around Interlaken, explored the waterfalls, and just soaked up the scenery. I can't wait to return. We considered staying in Interlaken and I'm so glad we didn't. I don't even consider myself outdoorsy but I just loved being up there. I could happily hike for days there.
The bolded would be my recommendation as well. We spent 3 nights in Interlaken and went up into the mountains each day...it was always a bummer coming back down to the hotel. Interlaken reminded me of a cruise ship port, compared to the smaller mountain towns which were much more quaint.
But where would we stay? Are they cheaper up there?

John Doe 123
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by John Doe 123 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm

We stayed in Gimmelwald for 3 days. The Bener Oberland region above Interlaken is probably the most amazing place I have ever been. I cannot recommend it enough. If I get to go again I might stay in Murren which is one stop down mountain on the cable car. It had equally beautiful views and seemed to have more shops/amenities if I recall correctly. I hope to go back some day but need to wait for our 2 year old to grow a bit.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:09 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:42 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:55 am
caffeperfavore wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm
Get up into the mountains and out of Interlaken. We spent five nights in Wengen, up the mountain from Lauterbrunen and loved it. The views are amazing. From there we did a number of surprisingly gentle but gorgeous hikes, explored the lakes around Interlaken, explored the waterfalls, and just soaked up the scenery. I can't wait to return. We considered staying in Interlaken and I'm so glad we didn't. I don't even consider myself outdoorsy but I just loved being up there. I could happily hike for days there.
The bolded would be my recommendation as well. We spent 3 nights in Interlaken and went up into the mountains each day...it was always a bummer coming back down to the hotel. Interlaken reminded me of a cruise ship port, compared to the smaller mountain towns which were much more quaint.
But where would we stay? Are they cheaper up there?
There's a number of different hotel, rental, and B&B type options in Murren, Wengen (which are on opposite sides of Lauterbrunen valley), and nearby hamlets like Gimmelwald. Same for Lauterbrunen on the valley floor, although still surrounded by great scenery, just not quite as high up. Wengen puts you on the same side as the Jungfrau peak, while Murren is on the Shilthorn side. Neither Murren or Wengen is hard to get to from the other though and each is worth the journey. Don't know if they're cheaper, but it all depends on what type of accommodations you're looking for. However, I would not choose Interlaken to save some money. To me, the mountains are the Swiss experience and are worth paying extra for (if that's even the case). I suggest you check out Tripadvisor to fine tune your recommendations and to get a feel for the options. Both are very small towns, but that's part of the charm. I also recommend getting a copy of Rick Steeve's Switzerland book from the library as I think he pretty much nailed the options in this area. I'm glad I took his advice to stay in the mountains.

Also note that Swiss hotels aren't exactly known for their value and some can be downright austere. Granted you can find luxury if you want it, but you will pay for it.

Be sure to look into what the weather will be like in late September. I have no idea, but hopefully the hiking trails will be clear of snow. However, if you ski, then this opens up other possibilities. :happy

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jayk238
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Re: Going to switzerland this september-advice?

Post by jayk238 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:05 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:09 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:42 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:55 am
caffeperfavore wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:36 pm
Get up into the mountains and out of Interlaken. We spent five nights in Wengen, up the mountain from Lauterbrunen and loved it. The views are amazing. From there we did a number of surprisingly gentle but gorgeous hikes, explored the lakes around Interlaken, explored the waterfalls, and just soaked up the scenery. I can't wait to return. We considered staying in Interlaken and I'm so glad we didn't. I don't even consider myself outdoorsy but I just loved being up there. I could happily hike for days there.
The bolded would be my recommendation as well. We spent 3 nights in Interlaken and went up into the mountains each day...it was always a bummer coming back down to the hotel. Interlaken reminded me of a cruise ship port, compared to the smaller mountain towns which were much more quaint.
But where would we stay? Are they cheaper up there?
There's a number of different hotel, rental, and B&B type options in Murren, Wengen (which are on opposite sides of Lauterbrunen valley), and nearby hamlets like Gimmelwald. Same for Lauterbrunen on the valley floor, although still surrounded by great scenery, just not quite as high up. Wengen puts you on the same side as the Jungfrau peak, while Murren is on the Shilthorn side. Neither Murren or Wengen is hard to get to from the other though and each is worth the journey. Don't know if they're cheaper, but it all depends on what type of accommodations you're looking for. However, I would not choose Interlaken to save some money. To me, the mountains are the Swiss experience and are worth paying extra for (if that's even the case). I suggest you check out Tripadvisor to fine tune your recommendations and to get a feel for the options. Both are very small towns, but that's part of the charm. I also recommend getting a copy of Rick Steeve's Switzerland book from the library as I think he pretty much nailed the options in this area. I'm glad I took his advice to stay in the mountains.

Also note that Swiss hotels aren't exactly known for their value and some can be downright austere. Granted you can find luxury if you want it, but you will pay for it.

Be sure to look into what the weather will be like in late September. I have no idea, but hopefully the hiking trails will be clear of snow. However, if you ski, then this opens up other possibilities. :happy
I have the rough guide and the RS books.

Im not sure about snow- the weather prediction says typically its bw 50-60 in september and in the mountains drops another 10-30 degrees dep on elevation.

Unsurprising.

However, a heatwave is upon europe and is extending into switzerland paris etc- so who knows how it will be then

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