5 days Lucerne or visit somewhere different too?

5 days Lucerne or visit somewhere different too?

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Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 10:24 AM

Hi

myself and my husband will be in Lucerne May, 2017, we are travelling Europe for 6 weeks celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We will be in Lucerne for five days, perhaps visiting Swiss Alps, doing the day trip, Jungfraujoch and Bernese Oberland. Nothing set in concrete yet but we go to France for our next stop. I am wondering if we should do a few days in Lucerne then visit somewhere different on our journey to Paris for two nights?

We also are thinking of visiting Interlaken-Trummelbachschlucht underground waterfalls. Like the sound also of riding a glass ceiling cable car to see the glacial waterfalls up close.

Thank you.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 6:08 PM in reply to Juleslove

Hi Juleslove-

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

When in May?

Luzern is certainly good for 5 days, especially if you plan to do any walking or hiking. However, I think I'd split my sleeping time between Wengen (or another town in the valley south of Interlaken) and Luzern.

Interlaken is a good transfer point and connection to the rest of the world, but not much of a destination its own right.

In May, Luzern will definitely be in the midst of Spring. In the Bernese Oberland, it will be the tail end of winter, and the degree of "Springness" will depend strongly on altitude.

May is low season in the B.O. Summer season starts a little bit at June 1, and is pretty much fully in place by June 15th. By then, most hotels are open, as well as restaurants, cable ways, etc. Some are open in May or late May. Lots of snow on high trails in May. The floor of the Lauterbrunnen valley is pretty well into Spring.

www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

Slowpoke

Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 10:28 PM

Hi

Thank you.

We will be in Lucern around the 21st til the 26th at this point. I am trying to book accommodation for all places we will be visiting so I thought I would perhaps find out if I should spread our five days around, your plan sounds good. Not being to Lucerne before, I am trying to familiarise myself so I get the best of our time there.

I have seen your recommendations for accommodation, we are looking at mid range, not hostels or five star really. Is it going to get quite cold at night?

Juleslove

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 12, 2016 - 11:05 PM in reply to Juleslove

Hi Juleslove-

<<"We will be in Lucern around the 21st til the 26th at this point. I am trying to book accommodation for all places we will be visiting so I thought I would perhaps find out if I should spread our five days around, your plan sounds good. ">>

I like to do that,too. And, most places give a little bit extra to pre-books, such as a better room. Don't use a booking service...deal directly with the hotels, in English or the language of your choice. The hotels will be pleased at not paying a fee to the booking service.

On those dates in May, some of the special features of the Jungfrau region will be starting up. More on that later. But, I'd recommend starting your stay in Luzern ( German spelling...it is a German speaking canton) and pushing the Jungfrau region to the end of your stay.

I'd not recommend more than two bases, unless you really like to move around.

<<"Not being to Lucerne before, I am trying to familiarise myself so I get the best of our time there.

I have seen your recommendations for accommodation, we are looking at mid range, not hostels or five star really. Is it going to get quite cold at night?">>

Not in Luzern. Maybe in the Alps. At night, the hotels will provide heat if necessary, and sometimes even when you don't need it. You can turn it off almost everywhere.

I use 2* and 3*. Both are clean and comfortable, but there are a few more amenities in 3*. Somewhere, there is a list of exactly what the Swiss Hotel Associaton requires of each star rating. Does not affect cleanliness. Almost universally good.

The Luzern page linked in the earlier post mentions hotels.

We used to stay at the Schiff, before they shut down. I'll post a picture from there (not available on this computer) to show you why you should stay along the river. Des Alpes is close by...almost but not quite as good a view.

Are you interested in some nice walks or hikes?

Slowpoke

Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 13, 2016 - 11:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

I just checked out Wengen, it looks lovely. So if I decide a few nights in Lucerne, then a couple in Wengen, we can do the Jungfraujoch train ride whilst there? Is it worth getting a Swiss rail pass considering we are doing a couple of trips within Switzerland? I worked out that booking our own trains throughout Europe was cheaper than getting a rail pass. We do like walking/ hiking. Also should we book trains prior within Switzerland or is it easy just to get on one without booking?

Thank you for all the info and links too!

Last modified on May 13, 2016 - 12:01 PM by Juleslove
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 14, 2016 - 1:52 PM in reply to Juleslove

Hi Juleslove,

Yes, a rail pass will certainly make sense for your stay in Switzerland. This may be different for other European countries, but Swiss public transportation is expensive. Even if you plan to make just a few trips, a rail pass will help you save money. Which is best should be decided once your itinerary is fully finalized, but looking at your current plans I suggest you consider a Swiss Half Fare Card. You can compare and calculate options as explained here.

You don't have to book trains, other than a few international and scenic trains. Please see here for more information. (Discounted) tickets can be bought at stations before boarding.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 14, 2016 - 4:14 PM in reply to Juleslove

A picture that I mentioned is attached.

Also, see this thread:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/how-to-plan-a-5d4n-alpine-trip-to-switzerland

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 15, 2016 - 12:44 AM

Thank you Annika, I just had a look at it, sounds like the way to go, do you know if I can use that to enter Switzerland from Venice and exiting Switzerland to Paris?

I see what you mean about on the lake, looks so nice.

We have decided to spend 3 in Luzerne and 3 in Bernese Oberland, as I mentioned, the Jungfraijoch train ride is a must and we would like to do a walking tour, easy one, don't want to hike up hills. I have been checking out Wengen, as well as Murren and Lauterbrunnen, not sure where we want to be based yet. We would like to book a hotel sooner than later.

Last modified on May 15, 2016 - 12:46 AM by Juleslove
Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 15, 2016 - 12:58 AM

And I can't believe how many hotels are fully booked out, even on their sites, we won't be there for another twelve months too.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 1:03 AM in reply to Juleslove

Hi Juleslove- they a are not fully booked, they are closed. Most hotels in the Alpine Regions don't reopen from the between seasons break until early or mid June.

If you really want to go there, you can find decent places, but you'd be better off to visit in mid June or later.

Is the Silberhorn in Wengen open? It's not bad.

Luzern will be open, generally.

Slowpoke

Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 15, 2016 - 2:13 AM

It's opened, says that hotel is Lauterbrunnen though? I am hoping to budget $250 australian dollars, that's not too far off but even if we reserve we will still get charged a fee, I would rather book one that's free cancellation, no cancelling fee.

As long as we can still do the jungfraujoch and a walking tour end of May, our annual leave is set in place now so don't really want to change it?

Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 15, 2016 - 4:06 AM in reply to Juleslove

$250 per night. (-:

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 6:30 AM in reply to Juleslove

<<"but even if we reserve we will still get charged a fee, I would rather book one that's free cancellation, no cancelling fee. ">>

I don't understand that . Even my preferred, well-known "classically Swiss" hotel in Wengen, the Hotel Schönegg, only charges cancellation fees starting 30 days before your date of booking.

www.hotel-schoenegg.ch/

www.hotel-schoenegg.ch/Unterkunf t.aspx

I did not suggest the Schönegg, even though there prices (which are

about 35% higher than your target price), because this year they open

on June 3 for the summer season. That is not an unusual opening

date.Late June is a good bet in the region, because most things are open

and the school holidays have not begun yet.

And, if you book directly with the hotels, by telephone or through their web sites, there is no fee. Most hotels prefer that...it saves them a fee, too. I also find that if I telephone directly, after looking at the web site to understand booking costs and availability, that sometimes I may tend to get slightly better rooms or a few CHF off of the listed prices...maybe a little better view, or a little larger room, than some others in the same price range.

Hotel Silberhorn is also in Wengen. Their calendar shows the typical pattern of closing in November and December, and, this year at least, they are open in late May. Next years' calendar looks like they have not edited it yet, or that the hotel might be closed for some reason. Based on this years pattern next year would have rooms available.

In that case, if I wished to stay there (I have, it's fine, and, as you note, not cheap. Terrific location) I'd telephone now to understand availability

www.silberhorn.ch/en

That area was "colonized" by the English years ago, and everyone speaks English.

I picked them because i thought that the might be open, not because they are cheap. They are not.

I did not suggest the Schönegg, even though there prices (which are about 35% higher than your target price), because this year they open on June 3 for the summer season. That is not an unusual opening date.Late June is a good bet in the region, because most things are open and the school holidays have not begun yet.

There are lots of nice hotels cheaper than those two in Wengen.

Here is another way to find hotels there. You might also post in the Accommodations Forum. I think I'd start there....Arno and Annika know that region extremely well, and will jump in quickly..

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/accommodation

Some other ways to look in this Website:

www.myswissalps.com/ho tels

and,

www.myswissalps.com/ho tels/budget

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Grindelwald is a reasonable choice also:

www.myswissalps.com/gr indelwald/hotels

and,

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland/hotels.

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 15, 2016 - 11:44 AM in reply to Juleslove

Hi Juleslove,

As for your question concerning the Swiss Half Fare Card: all details about its validity can be found here. For your inbound journey from Venice, it's valid from Domodossola or Chiasso (when traveling to Lucerne, Chiasso makes more sense). When traveling to France, the Swiss Half Fare Card is valid up to the Swiss border (most probably Basel if you're traveling from Wengen).

Please refer to www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/italy and www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/france for information on additional full fare tickets for the Italian and French portions of your journey.

docholiday
docholiday
3 posts
new member
May 15, 2016 - 6:30 PM in reply to Juleslove

Things to consider in the Luzern area: look at the Tell Pass for in-area transportation, including public transportation within Luzern city proper. It is good for all that I mention next.

A boat trip to Vitznau and the cog railway up the Rigi make a great day trip ; easy, scenic hiking abounds on the Rigi, and dinner on the mountain or at the Schiff Restaurant at the Luzern end of Vitznau is suggested.

Engelberg and a trip up Mt. Titlis is highly recommended as is a trip up Pilatus. The mountains are definitely for clear weather, and in late May be sure to have a jacket or sweater, or both, and sunglasses.

I enjoy reading a book on one of the lake steamers if the weather turns foul. The Tell Pass will get you from Luzern to Flüelen and back; note how the scenery changes when the boat heads south into the Urnersee.

Walking around Luzern city is fairly easy; the old town is compact and lovely, check out the famous bridges, see the Lion Monument, art museums, and take a peek in one or more of the many churches.

You will not have time for all that is suggested, but keeping an eye on the weather and picking and choosing should be rewarding. The Tell Pass is also good for transportation to Interlaken. My wife and I have used Vitznau as a base for 2 - 4 week visits to central Switzerland for many years, and we have always been able to keep busy. Enjoy.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 15, 2016 - 7:34 PM in reply to docholiday

Hi Docholiday -

<<"from Luzern to Flüelen and back; note how the scenery changes when the boat heads south into the Urnersee.">>

In my opinion, the best part of the Vierwaldstaettersee.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

Slowpoke

Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 19, 2016 - 9:16 AM

Wow, thanks so much for all this advise everyone, it is so handy to chat to people who know, I definitely have some homework to do for sure. I wish I had three months, I want to do it all, great links here by the way, I am so looking forward to this trip. Does anyone know much or have experienced the underground waterfalls?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 19, 2016 - 6:25 PM in reply to Juleslove

<<"Does anyone know much or have experienced the underground waterfalls?">>

None of the above, but they are a good lternative in the Jungfrau region if the weather up top is cloudy.

<<"As long as we can still do the jungfraujoch and a walking tour end of May, our annual leave is set in place now so don't really want to change it?">>

Late May is really chancy for the best walks.

At altitudes above 2000 meters, roughly, the trails may or may not be open.

This one is one of the best in Switzerland and is easy:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

It is easy enough to be nicknamed "The Grannies' Trail.

Target open date is June 15th, but can vary a lot.

Pictures from up there are attached.

A great walk that surely will be open is accessible by train and is not far away. It will definitely be open in mid-May....lower altitude and warmer weather in the Rhone Valley. The mountains are not as dramatic, however:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/hohtenn-lalden

For pictures, see:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Juleslove
Juleslove
9 posts
new member
May 25, 2016 - 12:39 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you

Only yesterday i booked into Endweg in Grindelwald, its pretty cheap, do you know this one, i can cancel just wanted to book something so i dont miss out. Wasnt much available in Wengen, ive looked also st Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. I love lakes and waterfalls so am wondering if thats a better destination for us. Is it just as easy to get to Jungfraujoch?

There is Alpenruhe Klum, or chalet Tila available.i eill also email hotels, we dont want to spend more than €650 for 3 nights if we can help it, will be there from 21st til 24th May.

There is Ferienwohung uf dr Liwwi, Eiger, Gletschergarten, Spinne, Alpenhoff in Grindelwald. In Lauterbrunnen, there is a few like Silberhorn, Schutzen. You mentioned in a post i think that your fav area is Winderswill?

Love this site and all your input, I am so appreciative, when i first started to plan our Europe trip, never being before, i was so overwhelmed, was going to hand it over to a travel agent but i am more confident in planning this trip myself and sites like this really help, it is not my husband's thing so its all me doing the planning but I'm learning and am really enjoying it. 😊

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
May 25, 2016 - 1:00 AM in reply to Juleslove

<<"Wasn't much available in Wengen,">>

Could be because they are closed then...go in June.

Grindelwald is fine, but has a more commercial tone than Wengen.

However, did you telephone places that interest you? That often gets a room when none show on the computer. Especially if you call in June, when they are open.

Not sure that anyone mentioned these links, but they are invaluable for planning itineraries:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

map.search.ch/?x=-20216m&y=-29968m&z=16

Slowpoke

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