Lucerne or Lauterbrennen for 3 days before Paris?

Lucerne or Lauterbrennen for 3 days before Paris?

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Dkburns
Dkburns
3 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2017 - 2:45 AM

We are taking a 2-week trip starting 4/2/17 in Amsterdam on a Rhine River 8-day Viking River cruise which ends 4/9 in Basel. We wanted to spend 2 or 3 days in Switzerland then take a train to Paris for three days from where we will also fly home. Since our time is precious and limited in Switzerland, we were torn on where to stay.

  • At present, we have one night booked at Boutique Hotel Weisses Kreuz, Lucerne and were considering Mt. Pilatus if we choose to keep the Lucerne plan.
  • The following two nights are presently booked at Hotel Staubbach in Lauterbrennen, but we are considering dropping one night (either one of the Lauterbrennen or the Lucerne night) so we can take a night train to Paris that evening to have a full three days in Paris starting the next morning.
  • In light of the various towns/cities already included in our trip (Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Strasbourg, etc), Since we only have 2 nights/3 days for Switzerland, should we skip Lucerne, except for perhaps a couple hour walk-through, and spend both nights in Lauterbrennen. (or another Oberland town you might suggest)?
  • Our interests in Oberland would be: moderate hike, visit Jungfrau, Trummelbach falls, a neighboring town, and see a little of the culture. I also understand from reading the forum that early April might be iffy on weather and rain. Is it possible to fit the above things into one and half days in Lauterbrennen, if we kept our night in Lucerne?

Thank you for your wonderful forum and advice.

Annika
Annika
4924 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 28, 2017 - 11:12 AM

Hi Dkburns, thanks for joining us!

I understand your dilemma. In general I'd advise to stick to one base town for such a short visit to Switzerland, to save on precious time otherwise spent on traveling and switching hotels. Of course it's doable to visit both Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen, but I doubt whether that's relaxed.

Since you're traveling in April, Lucerne might in all be a better base. It will still be wintry at higher elevations, and this also goes for a large part of the Jungfrau region. Lucerne is located at lower altitude and may thus show a little more sings of early Spring. It has a lot to offer for a 3 day stay, even in early April.

However, if you're very curious about the Jungfrau region Lauterbrunnen will do too. Just make sure to have some back-up plans in case of bad weather. You will be able to visit Jungfraujoch (with stops in Grindelwald and Wengen if you like) and make an easy hike through the Lauterbrunnen valley, including the Trümmelbach Falls, all in one day if you plan wisely. I suggest you start off in Grindelwald and return via Wengen/Lauterbrunnen in that case. The timetable will help you out.

So it all comes down to personal preferences. Still not much of an answer, I know ;-).

Last modified on Jan 28, 2017 - 4:24 PM by Annika
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2017 - 4:00 PM in reply to Dkburns

Hi Dkburns -

Annika has given you a very good and balanced perspective. If you are really interested in the Jungfrau region, you can go there, and it will impress you. But, for overall chances of a better visit, Luzern would be my choice. There are some high mountains within reach....Pilatus and Titlis.

I'll add that (near the Jungfrau) many , but not all, hotels and restaurants close sometime in April, because the snow is not so good for skiing. Fewer customers. Some of the cableways, such as the large cabin "Luftseilbahn" from Wengen to Männlichen are not running until sometime in May. I checked the 10th of April in the timetable....no service. The lifts up to Schilthorn are running, as well as the cograil for the Jungfraujoch.

Luzern (German spelling, which you will see on the signs) will be closer to Spring....lower altitude, and has more variety of attractions, good for rainy weather which is not uncommon anywhere in Switzerland in April. At he Jungfrau, it would more likely be snow.

While in Basel, try to find time for the Tinguely fountain water sculpture (Tingueley Brunnen in German) , 9 minutes walk from the SBB Basel station along Elisabethen Strasse

Slowpoke

Dkburns
Dkburns
3 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 3:30 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you Annika. Knowing that it's possible to see multiple things in Jungfrau region in one day helps to make our decision. We will now make a wise planned itinerary with backup plan just in case. Looking forward to Lucerne as well!

Dkburns
Dkburns
3 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 3:39 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks so much Slowpoke. This forum has been so helpful and a delight to read. Thanks for the advice on Basel too. We will definitely look up the Tinguely fountain sculpture. I think we've decided to go for one night Lucerne and one night Lauterbrennen. Even though it's more moving, we are actually looking forward to the train from lucerne to Interlaken, having heard wonderful things about it. Also being that we will have stayed on one cabin on the ship for 8 days, we will be up for a little moving. Plus get to experience Lucerne and Lauterbrennen. Again, you guys have been so helpful!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Jan 29, 2017 - 7:09 AM in reply to Dkburns

Hi Dkburns -

<<"Plus get to experience Lucerne and Lauterbrennen.">>

You can get a small sample of each. Good for a small sampler or foretaste of your next trip. ;-)

And, you are correct about the train ride from Luzern to Interlaken. The views from both sides are good. If I were very fussy, I might try to sit on the left until about Sarnen, then on the right up through the Brunig Pass and on the left or toss a coin down to Meiringen. Also on the left on the train from Meiringen to Interlaken. As I recall, the train reverses direction ( swaps ends) at Meiringen, but the left side to Interlaken will let you look at the lake more easily from Brienz onward. Those suggestions are good if the train is empty, but not worth making a fuss about if you don't want to or if the train is full. The views are good from both sides.

Also, please use the correct spelling for Lauterbrunnen. It will make it easier to use the timetable, among other things.

And, I promise to spell Tinguely correctly next time, since it is the same spelling in any language and only needs one "e".

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 29, 2017 - 7:54 AM by Slowpoke

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