Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help with Switzerland/Austria/Germany vacation plans

Help with Switzerland/Austria/Germany vacation plans

Old Mar 10, 19, 12:29 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,753
Help with Switzerland/Austria/Germany vacation plans

We scored a low miles trip this June to Munich. Arrive Wednesday, June 5th, depart Monday, June 17th.
Family of 4, with two kids 13 & 15. There are a couple of must dos to fit in. Neuschwanstein Castle, Europa Park Amusement Park in Rust Germany, and Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, which runs June 13th-16th. We would like to do EuropaPark not on a weekend to lessen the crowds.
Would need to be back in Munich the evening of the 16th, as we leave early on the 17th. We are planning a couple days in Munich at either end of the trip to cover that city.
We have already done western Germany/Alsace area of France, so we want to concentrate the free time in Switzerland/Western Austria. Mainly outdoor activities, as the kids eyes glaze over after a couple hours of museums, city centers, etc.
Kids like Mountain coaster, hikes, zip lines, etc.
We would like to do a scenic train ride, but I think the 4-6 hour rides I saw referenced here are a bit long for them. Was hoping for a base somewhere for 5 or 6 days to not have to switch hotels often. Would there be an ideal location somewhere in Switzerland? Austria? We will have a car, so travel should not be an issue.
Have Marriott points to spend, but not many places offer rooms for 4 people on points. So AirBnB, VBRO may be the way we go.

Any ideas, suggestions, etc. on activities, locations would be appreciated. I know very little about Switzerland and Austria not named Vienna.
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Mar 10, 19, 5:40 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: K+K
Programs: *G
Posts: 4,309
In the summer some of the ski resort operate alpine roller coasters... example is in Imst, Tyrol (="west austria")

https://www.imster-bergbahnen.at/de/sommer/

around those areas lots of "sporthotels" operate as a base for hikes, tennis, swimming, horse riding, many times with those facilities built into the resort
deniah is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 7:42 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: HH Diamond, IHG Plat, GHA Black
Posts: 1,636
Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
Would there be an ideal location somewhere in Switzerland?
Well if outdoor activities are your thing, I'd base either in Zermatt or one of the villages in the Jungfrau area (Wengen, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen). Jungfrau area in my mind has more things to do like scenic hikes, summer luge, coasters, scenic cable car rides, etc.
shuigao is offline  
Old Mar 12, 19, 8:59 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,753
Originally Posted by shuigao View Post
Well if outdoor activities are your thing, I'd base either in Zermatt or one of the villages in the Jungfrau area (Wengen, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen). Jungfrau area in my mind has more things to do like scenic hikes, summer luge, coasters, scenic cable car rides, etc.
We are leaning that way. I knew Switzerland was going to be expensive, but the train fares were shocking. My TATL flights were cheaper than a 2 hour train ride.
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Mar 17, 19, 3:50 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,753
We are going to stay in the Jungfrau area. We will have a car, since we need to get from Munich, and then we need to get to Rust, Germany and back to Basel, Switzerland.
It looks like we will have 5-6 days to explore that region. It seems that most of the places recommend getting to any higher elevations in the morning for best views.

We want to do:
Top of Europe & surrounding activities
Gelmer Funicular
Do some hiking, biking, summer coasters, etc.

Right now, we have three choices for places to stay:
1. Renaissance Hotel in Zurich on points
2. 3 star hotel in Lucerne for ~$240 a night.
3. AirBnB in Isenthal, Switzerland

I realize the Zurich one will be a drive, but saving a ton of money.
Any better than the others? Any other suggestions?
Isenthal
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 9:48 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1MM *G (recovered GS), SPG Nothing, Hilton Nothing, AA Nothing
Posts: 798
I highly recommend the Hotel Rigi in Vitznau in the 3-star range. Not right in Luzern but a pleasant boat (or train+bus) ride away. Per room rate is close but for only one room. They also have an apartment for ~ CHF 350/night that has three bedrooms, kitchen, balcony.

If you mean up away from the lake, Isenthal is really, really remote and a bit hard to get to (one bus per day, driving on a beautiful but insane one lane road that is closed at times when the bus comes the other direction!). Definitely a cool place and spectacular scenery and hiking (if the weather is good), but if the weather is not good you are kind of stuck in an out of the way place. FWIW there's a wonderful Fish-specialty restaurant in Isleten (on the lake near Isenthal). Home

Last edited by CarlTheWebmaster; Mar 18, 19 at 9:48 am Reason: add restaurant link
CarlTheWebmaster is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 3:11 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1MM *G (recovered GS), SPG Nothing, Hilton Nothing, AA Nothing
Posts: 798
Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
We are going to stay in the Jungfrau area.
Right now, we have three choices for places to stay:
1. Renaissance Hotel in Zurich on points
2. 3 star hotel in Lucerne for ~$240 a night.
3. AirBnB in Isenthal, Switzerland
I think I misunderstood. Surely you don't plan to stay in Zurich / Isenthal / Lucerne as a base for exploring the Jungfrau region? That's all pretty far away. If you meant Jungfrau + a few nights in these other places, then great! Otherwise you may want to reconsider.
CarlTheWebmaster is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 4:00 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,753
Originally Posted by CarlTheWebmaster View Post
I think I misunderstood. Surely you don't plan to stay in Zurich / Isenthal / Lucerne as a base for exploring the Jungfrau region? That's all pretty far away. If you meant Jungfrau + a few nights in these other places, then great! Otherwise you may want to reconsider.
The hotel in Zurich is just a back up plan. If we end up there, we would have to rethink our plans.
We will have a car, so we will be driving to locations. Google maps is showing just over an hour from Lurcerne to the Jungfrau area. Part of the adventure will be finding what is along the way. I do see that Isenthal adds time to that commute
We want to really do activities that are available in the Jungfrau area, but in general area as well. (Cog trains, summer coasters, scenic trains, cable cars, boats, water falls).
I think we want to do the Top of Europe and activities around there. But we also want to spend a bit of time in Lucerne. We would like to ride the Gelmer funicular.
We wanted to potentially do several things on this site. https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/grindelwaldfirst/
It is a bit overwhelming to figure out activities and distances and places for a family of four to stay on a reasonable budget. From reading on here, Interlaken seems to be a place to avoid.
We are totally open to other suggestions.
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 4:10 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Programs: DL
Posts: 119
Lake of Constance is great, has cities for culture/shopping/dining, but also outdoor activities galore. Borders Germany, Switzerland & Austria, and is close to the Alps & Basel.
altabello is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 5:16 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Jose, California
Programs: UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 125
I am not sure why you think Interlaken is a place you should avoid?

I am the kinds of guy who likes museums, old town squares with cobble stone streets, and so on. However, when I went to Switzerland a few summers ago, I decided to make Interlaken my base. One of my main goals was to visit Jungfraujoch, and was concerned that the weather would be bad on the day I plan to visit it. Because I was staying in the morning, I could get up early in the morning, see if the weather was perfect for a good view from the Top of Europe, and then head up. If not, I did other stuff, like day trips to Lucerne and Bern, boat trips on the twin lakes on either side of Interlaken, hiking and so on.

Interlaken is definitely a place for outdoor activities. I even tried tandem hang gliding, which was really cool.
sooge_sj is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 10:50 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: HH Diamond, IHG Plat, GHA Black
Posts: 1,636
Originally Posted by sooge_sj View Post
I am not sure why you think Interlaken is a place you should avoid?
The prevailing wisdom is to stay not in Interlaken itself, but up in the mountains (Wengen, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen etc) as they are close enough to be just as accessible to Bern, etc, and yet have more character / charm. YMMV.
shuigao is offline  
Old Mar 19, 19, 7:34 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1MM *G (recovered GS), SPG Nothing, Hilton Nothing, AA Nothing
Posts: 798
(Cog trains, summer coasters, scenic trains, cable cars, boats, water falls).
Not to add to the plethora of choices/options, but the entire Lucerne area is really great for this, particularly with the William Tell pass (good on all cable cars, boats, bus, etc.). We tend not to get a car for this sort of trip so you may be seeking something else, but the Tell pass approach allows for an incredible array of activities (including Tierpark/zoo in Goldau and Alpamare indoor water slide park which is great with kids especially on a rainy day) without needing to drive or park anywhere.

It's not 'top of Europe' but that always seemed like a tourist-packed nightmare to me. We've been to Interlaken/Grindelwald numerous times and never to top of Jungfrau; had many nice hikes along the foot of the Eiger and elsewhere. Of late (last 6-7 years) we keep returning to Vitznau / Weggis near Lucerne. Cog railways galore, great hiking, etc. Pilatus has alpine slide and ropes course, bikes to rent all over, and lots more besides.

If you do really want to focus on the Jungfrau area, consider staying in Murren or Lauterbrunen (Wengen is also amazing).

Lastly on Isenthal. It is really cool, but really (really!!) out of the way. Worth a day trip to see it but I would think very long and very hard about staying there as a base even for the Lucerne region.
CarlTheWebmaster is offline  
Old Mar 20, 19, 9:08 am
  #13  
nrr
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: AA Executive Platinum; 2MM AA Delta Platinum
Posts: 8,639
When you are in Luzern (Lucerne) should the weather be bad, visiting the Transport Museum (Museum, Planetarium, IMAX) is a good alternative--even if the weather is good.
CarlTheWebmaster likes this.
nrr is offline  
Old Mar 25, 19, 2:35 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Helvetia
Programs: AS; BA Silver; UA; HH Gold
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by altabello View Post
Lake of Constance is great, has cities for culture/shopping/dining, but also outdoor activities galore. Borders Germany, Switzerland & Austria, and is close to the Alps & Basel.
The Bodensee (Lk. Constance) is a nice place, though if you want to be hanging out in the mountains, it's not quite the same thing.

That said, the Zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen is awesome, and Lindau is pretty cool. And if the OP is in Zürich for a few days, a drive around the German side of the lake is a pretty nice trip. And you can bag Liechtenstein along the way.
greg5 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread