What to do in Switzerland in November?

What to do in Switzerland in November?

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dude620
dude620
9 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2017 - 5:36 PM

Hello All!

First let me thank everyone for reading this and possibly offering up your suggestions!

Background:

I'm taking my mom (who does not speak english) on a 7-8 day (6-7 nights) trip to Switzerland on the 2nd week of November, this is our first time there. My plan is to fly into Zurich, stay there for a few days (not sure how long yet, maybe 2 nights?), then go off to Bad Ragaz for the Thermal Springs since my mom loves those things (maybe stay a single night in one of the Spa Hotels?).

If possible I would like to go to Lucerne for a day or 2 and see the area since I've had good things about it. I was thinking I can continue the rail and head into Geneva, stay there a night and fly out of there the next day.

A few questions I have are:

I've read that most people know English, is this true? I'll have some phrases down by then in German/French (maybe get a book?), but I will in no way have the skill to communicate if they do not.

What are some good places to eat in Zurich, Bad Ragaz (Might just eat in the hotel), Lucerne, and Geneva? I love eating and would love to try the local foods and specialties.

What is there to do in Zurich? My mom isn't overly keen on museums (but I am) so we'll probably just go to the Swiss National Museum (I'm a sucker for history). The other days I'm not too sure what to do except visit the local areas and shop till she drops (figuratively). Are there any shopping areas that you guys would suggest?

In Bad Ragaz? I'm pretty set on going to the Spring/Spa, do you guys have a suggestion on which one?Also was wondering if there's anything else you guys would suggest.

In Lucerne? I think Lucerne is going to be our main sight seeing destination. Just take it easy and relax while visiting the local shops and seeing the sights, but if you guys have any suggestions it'll be HIGHLY appreciated.

In Geneva? I really have no idea what to do here except the same thing as in Zurich. Suggestions Needed. I can also completely skip Geneva altogether and then I won't have to have a book of phrases for French :D

I'll be looking into a bunch of the rail systems in Switzerland on how to get around, but suggestions for scenic train routes would be great.

Anyway, thanks again for reading!

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 17, 2017 - 6:07 AM in reply to dude620

Hi dude620 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Yes, almost everyone will speak fairly good to excellent English - especially at the hotels, train stations, tourism area). It is always nice to pick up a few phrases to try out the local language though! :) In northern Switzerland is German and in south-western Switzerland it is French (and Italian in the very far south).

I haven't been to Bad Ragaz so can't comment on restaurants there. For Zurich there are many many options open to you. A couple favourites of mine is the Zeughauskeller, Volkshaus and Swiss Chuchi.

Lucerne is a great choice. For a list of recommended activities in the area click here.

We also have a Geneva information page here - what makes you want to visit Geneva?

If you are looking for options on panoramic trains click here. Some you may be able to fit into your route/schedule but some you won't be able to unless you change your plans.

Use the Swiss railways timetable to plan your trips around the country and read more about various rail pass options here.

Lucas

Last modified on Aug 21, 2017 - 9:03 AM by Arno
dude620
dude620
9 posts
new member
Aug 17, 2017 - 2:30 PM

Hello Lucas,

Thanks for the reply!

I'll definitely get a few phrases down and then embarrass myself in front of people. But it'll be fun haha.

I'll definitely keep those restaurants in Zurich in mind

Thanks for the list on Lucerne as well.

I'm actually thinking of forsaking going to Geneva until next time I get to go over. Might not have the time to visit.

I'll definitely look into the panoramic train routes, thanks so much.

Thanks for all the information!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 3:29 PM in reply to dude620

Hi dude620-

Check this out. Very modern and stunning thermal baths in Scuol:

www.engadin.com/wellne ss-gesundheit/baeder/enga din-bad-scuol/?R=1&S=2

You can make it speak English ;-)

Surely a lot cheaper than the Quellenhof in Bad Ragaz:

www.resortragaz.ch/en/ grand-hotels/rooms-suites/grand-hotel-quellenhof-spa-suites.html

Scuol is a bit out of the way, but the area has been famous for hot springs for centuries.

Slowpoke

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 17, 2017 - 3:31 PM in reply to dude620

Also, just be careful when planning any mountain excursions (if you are planning any). You are in between summer and winter so some cable cars will be closed for maintenance and some smaller towns will be very quiet.

dude620
dude620
9 posts
new member
Aug 17, 2017 - 5:10 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for the suggestion Slowpoke!

I'll definitely take a look into the cheaper option at Scuol then, could do to save a buck or 2 :D

dude620
dude620
9 posts
new member
Aug 17, 2017 - 5:11 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks for the heads up Lucas, I'll be sure to check up on those.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 6:10 PM in reply to dude620

<<"

I'll definitely take a look into the cheaper option at Scuol then, could do to save a buck or 2 :D">>

Hi dude620- -

I don't know what else there is at Bad Ragaz. All know is that the Quellenhof is for those have a lot of spare cash.That includes royalty, movie stars, and others who prefer to remain quiet about how they spend their money. A friend who was a member of the Swiss Consular Corps took us in for a cup of coffee after we visited the Schlucht at Altes Bad Pfäfers with him.

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/tamina-schlucht-baederkultur-und-naturspektakel.html

The Quellenhof has a nice sculpture garden in front of he hotel, coverng a couple of acres or a hectare, more or less. Pretty much in the heart of Bad Ragaz.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Aug 17, 2017 - 6:19 PM in reply to dude620

Hi dude620

<"What are some good places to eat in Zurich, Bad Ragaz (Might just eat in the hotel), Lucerne, and Geneva? I love eating and would love to try the local foods and specialties.">>

Check this thread and links there in for some restauarants:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/quality-zurich-restaurants-open-sundays-urgent

The Kronenhalle near Bellevue station/stop meets your criteria.

www.kronenhalle.ch/?LG=EN

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 17, 2017 - 6:20 PM by Slowpoke
Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Aug 18, 2017 - 6:59 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi,

I will repeat Lucas' question: "what makes you want to visit Geneva?" as this was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw your list of places to visit. If I might make a suggestion, why not go to Lausanne instead of Geneva? This part of French-speaking Switzerland, along the north shore of the Léman (Lake Geneva) is absolutely beautiful, not the same as it would be in August, but still wonderful to see, and definitely not as warm. I don't have time to say much more right now, save to suggest you look into visiting Chaplin's World, just a bit east of Lausanne, in Vevey. As for needing to speak French in this area (Romandie), people will certainly appreciate any and all efforts you make to speak French, but you will always be able to find people who can communicate very well in English. Here is the website for Chaplin's World. and you will see that even it is done in French, German, and English. www.chaplinsworld.com/ en

One other thing you might consider on a sunny day is taking one of the lake boats from Lausanne (Ouchy) over to the French side of the lake or east from Lausanne to view what is known as the Riviera from the water. Here is the website of the CGN (Compagnie Générale de Navigation) and you will notice that it too is in French, German, and English. A sign of the times in Switzerland in 2017. www.cgn.ch/en-gb/accueil.aspx

Here is a video about the Léman that you might find interesting: youtu.be/QNQ0LDb5Fjc

dude620
dude620
9 posts
new member
Aug 19, 2017 - 4:52 AM

Hey Slowpoke,

Thanks for the extra info and for the restaurant suggestion. I got a lot to choose from now!

Hello Peterli,

I honestly just thought of Geneva cause when I think of places in Switzerland I think of Zurich and Geneva!

But it looks like I won't really have the time to visit.

So far I'm booked to fly over on the 5th and arrive on the 6th. Booked 3 nights in Zurich so far. Looking into places at Bad Ragaz and also Scuol, just comparing the 2 and see which one my mom might like more since I'm only going to the springs cause she would like it.

I just looked up some pictures of Lausanne and would REALLY REALLY like to go and see the area! Do you have a suggestion as to how to get there from Zurich? I'll probably have to decide whether to go to Lucerne or Lausanne now... tough choice really...

Thanks again for the information guys!

Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Aug 19, 2017 - 5:36 AM in reply to dude620

Hi again,

I wouldn't cut out Lucerne from your plans, because it is such a beautiful area. I was just suggesting replacing Geneva with Lausanne. Lausanne is closer to Zurich than Geneva and there are many trains, running about two every hour, that will take you from Zurich to Lausanne via Berne. You could even go back to Zurich by a slightly different route, the one that goes via Neuchâtel. That way you will see more of the country. Most of the runs from Zurich to Lausanne will take you a little over 2 hours. The trips via Neuchâtel are just as frequent and take perhaps an extra 15 minutes. I am sure that a railway expert (like Lucas) will be able to point you to more accurate information, and whether some sort of train pass would be an economical option

.

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