Need a suggestion for a home base for 3 nights

Need a suggestion for a home base for 3 nights

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Posts: 13. This thread is closed.
DonnaO
DonnaO
3 posts
new member
Apr 2, 2015 - 7:30 AM

Hi

Very soon we will be in Switzerland! we arrive in Basel on Sunday Apr 26th and will have 4days and 3 nights to explore. We will travel on the 4th day, Wednesday, to Zurich and stay overnight there, since we will be departing on Thursday Apr 30th. We need help choosing one location to serve as a home base for the first 3days. we prefer not to change hotels many times for such a short stay. we enjoy hiking, taking in scenery, good food and exploring local culture. We will not have a car. We plan on taking trains to the various points of interest. I know April is between seasons so I am not sure what is still open. Rain can be a factor too in our chances of getting nice views in the Alps, so I was thinking the home base should have things to do in case of inclement weather. Can you make suggestions?

thank you!

Donna

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 2, 2015 - 7:08 PM

Hi Donna,

Is this your first time to Switzerland? If so, Lucerne is generally recommend for first-timers and short stays. It has nearby mountains but also plenty of bad weather activities, and a historical town center. It's just an hour by train from Zurich. Of course there are more options, like Montreux.

For your night in Zurich, this page about airport hotels and this one about the city center are worth to look into.

Annika

Last modified on Apr 2, 2015 - 7:09 PM by Annika
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 1:04 AM in reply to DonnaO
DonnaO said:

<<". Rain can be a factor too in our chances of getting nice views in the Alps, so I was thinking the home base should have things to do in case of inclement weather. Can you make suggestions?">>

As noted before , Lucerne works well in a variety of weathers. it is really nice town, and, in April, you might well not be trampled by the tourists who are first timers. By June or July, there are a lot of them.

However , if you really truly mean "in the Alps," you might look at Bern.

It is closer to the Berner Oberland ( Jungfrau, etc.) and offers a pleasant sightseeing experience in its own right. Lucerne is perhaps nicer for a first time tourist, but once you mention the Alps, Bern gets you closer.

The nice thing about Switzerland is that the distances and times between really nice places are not excessive for travel.

DonnaO
DonnaO
3 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2015 - 5:50 AM in reply to Annika
Thanks for your response. Yes we are first timers. I was thinking Lucerne. Berner Oberland is still reasonably accessible from Lucerne, correct?.
DonnaO
DonnaO
3 posts
new member
Apr 3, 2015 - 5:59 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Will snow in the mountains hinder train travel? Are some of the public transportation routes closed in April due to snow or the fact that it is the slow season? I am wondering if we will be able to explore some of the peaks in Berner Oberland? Or would we be better off sticking to the mountains around Lucerne?

thanks!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 9:26 AM in reply to DonnaO

DonnaO said: Thanks for your response. Yes we are first timers. I was thinking Lucerne. Berner Oberland is still reasonably accessible from Lucerne, correct?.

I would be a rather long day trip.

Train - Luzern to Lauterbrunnen - 2 hours and twenty minutes, and another 20 or 30 before you are in Wengen. The mountain trains will be running, unless spring floods in the valley have caused any problems. Unlikely in April.

However, it is not impossible. We had planned to do it, on one trip. However, schedules changed, and we ended up driving from Morschach- 45 minutes to the east of Luzern - all the way to Lauterbrunnen - about 2 hours. We then took the cograil up to Wengen, and the lift up to Männlichen. Most beautiful day up there I ever saw. Had lunch, walked to Kleine Scheidegg, train down to Lauterbrunnen with stop for ice cream on the terrace of the Hotel Silberhorn near the station in Wengen, got our car, and drove back in time for dinner at about 7 PM.

However, even thought the cograil mountain trains are running, for skiers and sightseers, there will be a LOT of snow, and you won't find many walks.

Lucerne is a much better bet. I forgot that you were going in April. The cog rail up to Pilatus is probably not running, but I think the cable car from Kriens is. You might look into that if you want to get up high.. Very close to Lucerne.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 9:34 AM in reply to DonnaO
DonnaO said:

Will snow in the mountains hinder train travel? Are some of the public transportation routes closed in April due to snow or the fact that it is the slow season? I am wondering if we will be able to explore some of the peaks in Berner Oberland? Or would we be better off sticking to the mountains around Lucerne?

thanks!

See my other post. Mountain pass roads in the high mountains do not open until June. The trains run with few or no problems, all year round. Ski lifts are variable...plenty of snow for skiing in April, so they run. In the summer, the main ones are open for sightseers and hikers. In between seasons - and April or May fit that description - many are not running or closed for maintenance.

My first post was triggered by the word "Alps." That usually means the Berner Oberland or other major mountain chains. The mountains near Lucerne did not come to my mind when I saw that word. I'd look into Pilatus and Rigi. Both are very near Lucerne.

vikicork
vikicork
44 posts
active member
Apr 3, 2015 - 11:08 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Im certainly no expert having been to Switzerland just once and planning to go again this summer but I would recommend Lucerne .Berne is mostly farmland from what I saw and though very nice Lucerne would be better.you can visit several mountains in the Swiss " Alps" chain like Pilatus ,Rigi or Stanserhorn each with their own unique character and mode of transport .Besides Lucerne itself is very scenic .April would be a great month to visit .

If you are planning to visit the Bernese Oberland area near Jungfrau ,theres not much difference between Lucerne and Berne but I think theres plenty around Lucerne itself

look into getting the regional pass for the Lucerne area versus getting the half price pass .

Last modified on Apr 3, 2015 - 11:11 AM by vikicork
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 2:13 PM in reply to vikicork
vikicork said:

Berne is mostly farmland from what I saw and though very nice Lucerne would be better.you can visit several mountains in the Swiss " Alps" chain like Pilatus ,Rigi or Stanserhorn each with their own unique character and mode of transport .Besides Lucerne itself is very scenic .April would be a great month to visit

Canton Bern indeed has a lot of farm country, but includes a great variety of geographies. Much of the Emmental region is in Canton Bern, and hiking or walking there is very popular amongst the Swiss. The "Big Name" alps, in the Bernese Highlands ( Berner Oberland) are obviously in Canton Bern. For that matter, Canton Lucern has a lot of farm country, too.

The city of Bern itself is the capital of Switzerland. It is not a farm. ;-)

The arcaded old town is worth a detour. It does not have the overall beauty and character of the city of Lucern, which gains a lot from the lake and the surrounding mountains.But, it does have a lot to see, and is well worth a stop over on a train ride going through or a day trip from elsewhere. In April, the Rosegarden will not be the attraction it is in June or the Summer, but the walk to it from the Bahnhof is a nice stroll, and the views of the city from the Rosegarden are quite nice..

I support your comments about Lucern as a preferred destination for a first time visitor. If you go in the high season, a lot of other people from all over the world are demonstrating that they believe it, too.

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 2:33 PM in reply to vikicork
<<"
vikicork said:

If you are planning to visit the Bernese Oberland area near Jungfrau ,theres not much difference between Lucerne and Berne but I think theres plenty around Lucerne itself. ">>

If you look at the map of the Cantons in this Wiki article, and compare it with other maps of Switzerland that show the cities, etc. you'll see that Bern is a very large canton, and holds within it major lakes, the Alps , the Jura, and good part of the so-called Mittelland, which is where the farms and rolling hills are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantons_of_Switzerland

I've attached one picture of the Jungfrau massif. I don't think you'll find anything like it in Canton Lucern.

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Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2015 - 3:08 PM
Mount Titlis is one of the higher peaks easily accessible from Lucerne. Be sure to check out the Tell-Pass versus the Swiss Half Fare Card like vikicork suggested. If you plan to travel outside the region too, then a Swiss Travel Pass might work better.
Ejazz
Ejazz
3 posts
new member
May 1, 2015 - 12:41 PM in reply to Annika

I will be in Switzerland from 24 May to 2 June. I have already booked accommodation in Hombrechtkon for the entire stay. My question is - how do I plan the itinerary if I want to visit Lucerne, mt pilatus, Rigi, mt Titlis, Interlaken, Berne, Geneva, Basel, the alps train, and Zurich town. Can I add more? I would prefer hiking spots. Also what is better for me - A swiss pass or point to point tickets?

Thanks

Ejaz

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
May 1, 2015 - 12:53 PM
Welcome to MySwissAlps, Ejaz! Can you open a new topic please? This is someone else's thread. Please see the forum rules. Thanks a lot!

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