<<<<Museums/walk in old parts of cities?>>
A little in Lausanne and/or Luzern, as we are travelling France and Italy in our trip as well - we will probably have our fair share of these sorts of sights in the remainder of our trip. We would love to celebrate Switzerland's alluring landscape.">>
Luzern is full of tourists at any time of the year, but there is good reason. The site on the river and lake is beautiful; the mountains are close by . The old town is attractive- just to walk around in.
No matter how often you read about the Lion of Luzern, seeing it in person is compelling. My then 8 year old granddaughter, who was bored with "scenery" spent quite a bit of time looking at it when we visited in 2009. See attached.
Less well know, but a unique experience, is the Bourbaki Panorama.
Those links don't do it justice. No one of any age who has seen it with me has failed to be impressed.
If i can find my images, I'll post them.
Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersse, the lake of the four forest cantons) in my opinion is the most beautiful Swiss lake to explore by lake boat, especially the southern end. Lots of walk/hikes nearby, and you don't have to worry about exertion at high altitudes, which can be tiring at first on walks with climbs.
This thread deals with the southern part:
So does this:
www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tellskapelle -how-long-is-the-walk
Unless they have the funicular from Kehrsiten to Bürgenstock running, Hammetschwand is hard to reach a bit off the usual tourist track, but we return frequently. You won't have time, but keep it in mind for the next trip:
Three minutes from the main station in Luzern is the Rosengart Collection. An amazing collection of Klee's and Picassos. Not what you typically find in Italy.
Your friends are correct....Luzern deserves a visit. If people have only two or three days to spend in Switzerland, it is always my first recommendation, and Arno and Annika usually mention it in that context, as well.
Lake Geneva is high on my list, as well.
Lausanne has the Olympic Museum. I've not been there, but it gets good reviews on this forum. Ride the funicular down to the lake at Ouchy and walk to it.
The views of the lake are quite nice, and lunch at a lake front hotel at Ouchy is a lot of fun. Snowman and I ate at a grand hotel there, whose name escapes me. I'll ask him, if he does not see ths post. Definitely not cheap, but a wonderful setting with great food. I'm sure that you can also enjoy Ouchy with out spending a lot of money, too.
When I worked in Geneva, I'd always look forward to the train ride to Lausanne. Not super-spectacular, but nice on both sides of the train.
With 5 or 6 nights, you have chosen three places to sleep. Ordinarily, we'd recommend using only two, but you want to keep on the move.
From your answer about trains -
We are hoping our travels between Geneva-Interlaken, Interlaken-Luzern and Luzern-Milan - would supply us with enough scenic train rides.">>
I discern that you are not going to Switzerland just to ride the trains, as some people do. I agree with your comment. The stretch from Montreux as far as Montbovon on the way to Interlaken is spectacular and is part of the Golden Pass route.....don't go via Bern unless you are really short on time.
Luzern to Italy is a lot faster these days, because the new, super high speed, "Gotthard Basis Tunnel" under the Gotthard starting at Erstfeld just opened. It is a big deal for Switzerland, bringing the Ticino in closer contact with the main part of the country north of the Alps. Longest rail tunnel in the world. The scenery inside is rather boring, however.
Instead, the old rail route over the Gotthard Pass is one of the most amazing pieces of rail engineering in the world, and highly scenic. If at all possible take that route via Göschenen. on the "Gotthard Panorama Section." It adds about an hour and one half to the journey.
If you have not used the timetable yet, this would be a good chance to learn how to force a slower route than the default (fastest) route. Put an intermediate stop in the "via" or "connections" box. Göschenen for the Gotthard, Zweisimmen for the Golden Pass section between Lausanne and Interlaken, and Meiringen may be needed for the section between Interlaken and Luzern. That's a nice part of the Golden Pass route, as well.