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Switzerland: 5 nights

Switzerland: 5 nights

Old Oct 4, 18, 10:08 pm
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Switzerland: 5 nights

I am helping friends plan a trip to Switzerland. They have 5 nights to spend in Bern, Interlaken, and Lucern. 2 nights in 2 cities, 1 night in the third.

which city is least scenic, least pretty, least things-to-do? Of these three, where would you spend only 1 night?

and then, with a max of 2 days in those cities, what would you recommend they see? The reason for the visit to Interlaken is, among other things, the zip line adventure near Grindelwald. And there supposedly some waterfalls in/near Bern that have piqued their interest.

Last edited by kevinsac; Oct 5, 18 at 12:38 am
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Old Oct 4, 18, 11:50 pm
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No doubt the resident Swiss will chip in soon, but FWIW I would spend 2 nights in Lucerne, and 3 in Lauterbrunnen/Wengen/Grindelwald instead of Interlaken. Bern can be done as a day trip from these villages.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 11:15 am
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First, I'd like to hear you define what '5 nights' means. Where are they arriving from, how and where? How are they planning to travel between places? There is a difference between someone driving from Strasbourg and arriving in say Bern, by car vs. someone flying from N. America and actually arriving in Zurich airport in the early morning for example. Then there is also the question of when are they leaving and from where at what time?

Their 5 nights is a relatively short time and you need to be clear as to just how much time they will really have to spend actually seeing/doing things in Switzerland. For example someone flying in from N. America to Zurich and then heading to Bern, Lucerne or Interlaken on the same day will in fact have next to no time to spend doing anything on that first day as well as being jet-lagged to whatever degree and unable to do much of anything even if they had time to do so. If they have a flight out of Zurich in the morning of day 6 after their 5th night, they may need to get to Zurich the night before which would mean that day 5 is also mostly a write-off.

When you say '5 nights' it may well be that they only in fact have 3 or less actual days to spend doing/seeing things. You need to clarify their timetable so we can give advice that fits the reality of their timellne.

As for which to spend time in, that depends on their interests of which you need to again provide more info. 'Least things to do' depends on what they like doing, not what I or anyone else would say has the least things we like doing. So far, all I would say is stay in Grindelwald if they want to do the zip-line thing there.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 1:19 pm
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Boy, I feel like I’m been thru some psycho-analysis session with that reply!

They are leaving by train from Zurich HBF on a Thursday morning. 1.5 hours to Bern. Spending 1 or 2 nights there. Then will be taking the train about 1 hour to Interlaken. Spending 1 or 2 nights there. Then taking 2 hour train to Lucern. Spending 1 or 2 nights there. Then taking 45 min train back to Zurich HBF and want to be there Tuesday afternoon.

Its a group of young ladies on a trip to Switzerland. Once business is over, they are looking for fun (sightseeing a little by day, city, lakes, wall falls, maybe catch a glimpse of Heidi — and probably spend a few hours a night having dinner and a beer in a local restaurant). They are not museum-types. Imagine a 1960s movie, 5 carefree girls, walking spontaneously down the street, singing Yodel-lay-e-o. Or do-re-mi.

How did they pick these three cities? They probably looked at some pictures on line, found something pretty, and said I want to go there. Not the way I plan my trips, but this is their adventure, not mine. You probably put more analysis into your response - and me trying to help them - than they did picking these three cities.

As far as “least touristy” ... if someone said to me, I’m coming to Northern California and have three days to spend in either Sacramento (my hometown) or San Francisco, I’ll always direct them to SF. Sure, there are great things to do in Sacramento, but it’s a lot “ less things to do” here.

They have 5 nights to be gone .... before they need to be back in Zurich .... not sure how else you want me to define 5 nights????

Last edited by kevinsac; Oct 5, 18 at 1:24 pm
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Old Oct 6, 18, 10:15 am
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Well I thought the examples I gave made it clear why I asked you to define 5 nights. If they are 'on the ground' in Zurich at the start of morning one, then that is what we need to know. If they are leaving from Zurich on the afternoon of a 6th day, then that is what we need to know.

I understand your relatively easy choice between Sacramento vs. San Francisco, however it is not a good analogy when you are referring to Bern, Lucerne and Interlaken. You would do better to think of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Now how clear is the choice between them? I think you would need more info before suggesting one over another in that case.

You refer to short train rides between places which is correct. However moving from A to B does not consist solely of the train travel time. Each move will in fact result in the loss of half a day or so of time that cannot then be spent doing/seeing things in a place. So they will leave Zurich in the morning and move to Bern. Fine, at what time will they leave and at what time will they be unpacked in their hotel in Bern and ready to go out and start seeing/doing things? I suggest to you that in fact it means they will start with a half day in Bern plus the evening. The same when/if they move to Lucerne and when/if they move to Interlaken. So you are now down to 3.5 days total to see/do things. If they need to be in Zurich for a mid-afternoon flight, then leaving from Lucerne on the 6th morning should work.

If they spend 2 nights in 2 places, they will only have a half day to spend in a third place. It's simple math. They will get 1.5 days in 2 places and a half day in a third place. So the question then becomes, what is 'best use of time', not 'how many can we squeeze in even if it isn't enough time in one or more of the places.'

The only actual interest you have mentioned is the zip line. That is going to take up half a day alone. It is near Grindelwald which can be accessed from Interlaken at the cost of time. It would make more sense to stay in Grindelwald. That is without factoring in that most people familiar with Switzerland will tell you to avoid Interlaken and stay in a smaller village like Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, etc. Given the zip line, the obvious choice in this case is Grindelwald.

Given they have limited time, I would combine only Grindelwald and Lucerne, forgetting all about trying to include Bern. That will give them a realistic total of 4 days to see/do things. Train direct from Zurich to Grindelwald. That will take 3 hours by train meaning they will probably get there mid-afternoon on day 1. Time to look around the village and then enjoy a typical Swiss dinner somewhere.

Day 2: Up to First to get that adreniline rush on the zip line or if anyone would prefer to skip the zip line and try the Mountain Carts or Trottibikes. Maybe they will spend the whole day and try all three. Back to Grindelwald for dinner and a drink or two. https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/grinde...t/first-flyer/

Day 3: Move to Lucerne. They can travel directly to Lucerne by train in about 2.5 hours. That would give them the afernoon in Lucerne. Or they could take the Golden Panorama train but that might require some time waiting for a connection and therefore a bit later arrival in Lucerne. The advantage to the Golden over a 'normal' train is of course the Panorama cars. https://www.google.ca/search?q=golde...w=1366&bih=657 Afternoon and evening in Lucerne.

Day 4: In Lucerne sightseeing, shopping, etc. and a day excursion to somewhere like Pilateus or Rigi perhaps. A boat trip to Viznau might appeal to some or a visit to the Burgenstock Resort. All of which you will find in this very good article by a young single American writer on her visit to Lucerne. Note her suggestion of the tourist office and the Tell-Pass. Reading her article, they might well decide to simply spend their entire time in Lucerne and the area. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/t...iews-lake.html

Day 5: In Lucerne doing anything they didn't do on day 4. It would also be wise to acknowledge that any 5 travellers may not all want to do the same things at the same time. There is nothing more annoying to the early riser ready to head out at 9am than the late, hungover riser who can barely make it down from their room before 11am. For that reason, agreeing beforehand that all 5 may or may not do the same things all together is probably a good idea.

Day 6: Train to Zurich Flughaffen and their flight home.

"5 carefree girls, walking spontaneously down the street, singing Yodel-lay-e-o. Or do-re-mi.", is fine in a movie but 5 intelligent carefree girls who have put a little thought into it beforehand are more likely to see/do more with their time.
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Old Oct 6, 18, 10:38 am
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If they want to walk down the street spontaneously singing do-re-mi, then they should be including Salzburg in their trip.

Actually, dulcius is asking you some pretty relevant questions and providing some very good information/insight.

If the girls are as carefree as you say, you could just let them make their plans and, if, there are any mistakes, well, experience is a great teacher. I’m still learning little life lessons.

Last edited by FLYMSY; Oct 6, 18 at 2:40 pm
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Old Oct 18, 18, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by FLYMSY View Post
If they want to walk down the street spontaneously singing do-re-mi, then they should be including Salzburg in their trip.

Actually, dulcius is asking you some pretty relevant questions and providing some very good information/insight.

If the girls are as carefree as you say, you could just let them make their plans and, if, there are any mistakes, well, experience is a great teacher. Iím still learning little life lessons.
Funny how the OP hasn't even bothered to acknowledge my second response isn't it.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 12:28 pm
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Ok. Ummmm .... thanks. I appreciate your reply
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Old Oct 23, 18, 12:49 pm
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What about Aarau as a base?

This thread is helpful to me as I plan a trip for next September. It was suggested to me by a Swiss-born friend that staying in a place called Aarau would be centrally located to visiting Bern, Interlaken and Lucern...and maybe Vaduz? I know people don't like little Liechtenstein, but I want to go!

How does this sound: Arrive in Zurich around 8 am on a Saturday from North America, spend two nights there, then move to some centrally located town for 4 nights (Monday - Thursday), taking a day to travel by car to Bern, Interlaken, Lucern and Vaduz, then taking a train on to Munich on a Friday to go to Oktoberfestand the Munich area (Neuchwanstein, Dachau) for 5 nights, then taking a train to Vienna for three nights before flying back to North America.

Sorry...I know I got off into other countries there, but people are so knowledgeable here, i thought I'd ask.

Thoughts?
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Old Oct 27, 18, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
I appreciate your reply
Don't encourage him
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Old Oct 27, 18, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by deniah View Post
Don't encourage him
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Old Oct 27, 18, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by deniah View Post
Don't encourage him


dont worry, I !
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