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Trip report 2 weeks all over Switzerland May-June


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Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 2:48 PM

We just returned from a wonderful 2-week trip. Please see our trip highlights/suggestions below.

Geneva (2 Nights): We went to CERN (worthwhile if you can get slots), took a day trip to Annecy (full day is too much; half day is fine), Plainpalais Weekend Market (can skip), spent time in Geneva Waterfront and took a lake cruise (both are very pleasant in the evenings). We could not go to Philip Patek (closed Sunday and Monday) or climb the cathedral for views (closes at 5 PM I think) but overall, we enjoyed Geneva.

Montreux (2 Nights): We loved Montreux, especially the long lake front promenade with lovely flowers and public art. We went to Chillon Castle (was very good, especially combined with a 45 minute walk back to our hotel), took a trip to Gruyeres (half day is sufficient to see the town and castle) and went to Chexbres to for the vineyards (a must if you like wine). We could not go to Chaplin Museum or go to Lausanne due to lack of time. We are also glad that we did not take the chocolate train (we were on the same train going towards Gruyeres) as it looked very touristy and people were herded in buses to various locations.

Wengen (3 Nights): After debating where to stay between Lauterbrunnen, Murren and Grindelwald, we chose Wengen and it turned out to be an excellent choice with great views and less number of tourists. We went to Kleine Scheidegg (took train up and hiked 2 hours down to Wengen), Schilthorn (we liked Birg one stop below better as it was less crowded and had good views), walked through Gimmelwald and went to the impressive Trummelbach falls. We also took a day trip to Bern. Bern is a beautiful city (we did a walking tour and went to the Einstein Museum).

Lucerne (2 Nights): Lucerne is another lovely city. We stayed right by the water and the covered bridge. The old town has some very impressive buildings. We enjoyed trip to Mt.Rigi (we took the boat to Vitznau for train and took cable car down to Weggis). The 360 degree views of surrounding mountains and lakes were impressive. We climbed the city walls for great views of Lucerne, went to Rosengart Museum (small but good collection of Picassos) and saw the Bourbaki Panorama (one of the most interesting “paintings” ever). We took a day trip to Basel, which we did not like as much but we enjoyed views from top of the Cathedral.

Ascona (3 Nights): We took Gotthard Panorama Express to Bellinzona and from there on to Locarno/Ascona (the best part was a 3-hour boat ride from Lucerne to Fluelen for taking the train). We loved Italian side which had a very different vibe from rest of the country. We absolutely loved the very charming Ascona with its lakefront. It is practically a suburb of Locarno 15 minutes away. Locarno does not have major attractions but is a beautiful and clean city with hardly any traffic (hopefully the residents of Locarno realize how lucky they are to live there). In Locarno we went to Madonna Del Sasso church, which is worth going but we were not as impressed with Cimetta/Cardada mountain tops (especially compared to Mt.Rigi). We took a trip to Lugano, another beautiful lake side city that is bigger than Locarno. We did the Gandria Olive Trail walk, which was fine but not worth going out of the way for. We also went to Bellinzona for a short trip (needs a longer trip) to see Castlegrande castle (impressive castle with great views). We did a day trip to Valle Verzasca, a dreamy valley with stone house villages, famous stone bridge and nice hikes. It was one of the highlights of the trip.

Zurich (1 Night): We spent the last day in Zurich. We went to Fraumunster (with its amazing Marc Chagall stained glass windows) and Grossmunster Churches. We also did a lake cruise, which was nice. Beyer Clock and Watch Museum was small but interesting. More time was needed in Zurich to do it justice.

Other:

Travelling in Switzerland was a breeze. In the 65+ countries that we have been to, it is easily the easiest country that we travelled to.

Swiss Travel Pass is a must. It made all the difference in streamlining and simplifying our travel greatly

We enjoyed food in Switzerland. Little pricey but high quality, especially breads and cakes (not to speak of chocolates and dairy products). We mostly subsisted on sandwiches and Turkish street food with few splurge meals in between.

Overall, Switzerland exceeded our expectations. We expected beautiful vistas and clean cities but we found much more. Trip Photos: photos.app.goo.gl/Niai WXc7ABsUbiUk6

Arno
Arno
15709 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 14, 2019 - 3:22 PM

Hi Srini katta,

Thanks a lot for the wonderful report and images! You managed to get a good taste of the various regions of Switzerland within two weeks. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. You saw a lot but there's still much more to explore. Hopefully you'll be back one day. Thanks again!

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 3:50 PM

Thanks Arno. We will definitely be back for Matterhorn, Bernina Express and Film or Jazz Festival (ideally combined with Como/Milan/Cinque Terre).

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 3:51 PM

Also a shout out to Maria for helping out with our itinerary

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 1:11 AM

Really enjoyed and appreciate your summary and suggestions. I'm Montreux for the Jazz fest this early July. Curious if you considered the Lavaux Area and Montreux? Regarding your IT and your great experience-- would you suggest the Bellizona, Ascona and Valle Verzasca "area" above all that you visited? Or the Lucerne area to see the Saubbach or is it Trummelbech Falls? Apology for spelling. After all the events at the Montreux Jazz fest, we'll be loving a scenic shift... but only have three days after the festival to explore. We are flying out of Zurich. Thanks for any advise!

Last modified on Jun 15, 2019 - 5:00 PM by Annika
Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 1:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Suzanne - For a change in scenery, Italian side would be ideal but I don't think you have enough time as you will be flying out of Zurich. Perhaps you can go to Lucerne, which is on the way to Zurich. You can also stopover in Bern, which is a beautiful city. Near Zurich, you can go to Rhine Falls. Trummelbach Falls are in the Interlaken/Lauterbrunn en area. I would not go there just for visiting the Falls.

Assuming that most of the Jazz festival activities happen in the evenings, you can visit lot of nearby places during the day time. We stayed in Montreux and went to Lavaux area (Chexbres for Vineyards). You can visit Chillon Castle, Gruyeres, Chaplin Museum (Vevey) or take boat from Lausanne to Yvoire in France.

Enjoy!

madduris2000
madduris2000
32 posts
active member
Jun 15, 2019 - 9:03 AM in reply to Srini katta

Great TR Srini.
I guess your thinking is similar to mine. I am going on my 3rd trip to Switzerland. In an earlier trip I covered Zermatt area and did a day trip from Zermatt to Jungfaraujoch. In another trip I was in Lucerne area.
This time I am going to Switzerland from 1st Oct to 3rd October just to stay in a single place,walking around the hills. Just like you did, I propose walk down the hill and then go up in train.
Initially I proposed to have base in Lucerne ( a second time- since I fell in love with that town in last visit). But now i am wondering if i should stay in wengen/ lauterbrunnen etc.
I am 65 years old and my wife is 60 and she has slight breathing difficulty while walking up hill. We come from a hot weather country.
Can Srini or any other experts advice which town meets my requirements?
.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 1:54 PM

Thanks so much Srini! My husband and I stayed in Wengen, visited Jungfraujoch and some areas surrounding, went to Zermatt and took the Glacier Express to St. Moritz. That was a ski trip for our first anniversary. 19 years ago. He is on a panel at Montreux speaking and we've lovely friends there to see, and new to meet, no doubt, but I will so enjoy cutting away from the Montreux to explore the Lavaux Valley, trying to bypass the really touristy things. Though challenging. In the past, being with artists and musicians, everyone stays out very late, sleeps by day and then plays all night. Literally. From Montreux we'll explore taking the train to Lucerne-Bern. Would I need to find hotel in both or is a day trip to Bern enough?? and a day perhaps in Zurich...did you like Zurich? Normally we are just passing through? Last question for you...did you go to Brig or Thun perhaps? I don't recall? I was reading...sound quite lovely but time is limited! Just curious. I'll send my update in hopes it helps other travelers...pass it on. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness.

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 2:18 PM in reply to madduris2000

madduris2000 - I am not an expert by long shot but you may be better off staying in Lauterbrunnen at a lower altitude and exploring near by places. Lucerne is indeed lovely and would be a great choice as well with lakes, mountains and small towns close by.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 2:23 PM

Thank you! So many options. Too little time. Will explore all and will jump back on this forum to report back. Suggestions very welcome and appreciated.

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 2:42 PM in reply to Removed user

Suzanne - Day trip to Bern is enough but you may consider staying overnight if you have time. It is really lovely and somewhat off the tourist trail- unlike Lucerne.

If you are looking for a hotel recommendation, Des Balances in Lucene is well located. Zurich is busy but parts of the city are nice.

We did not go to Thun but passed through it. We went to Birg, which is a cable car stop on the way to Schilthorn (tons of tourists).

I recommend Domaine Bovy in Lavaux for wine tasting with amazing views. You need to reserve in advance.

Hanging out with Musicians and Artists in Montreux sounds amazing. I am envious :-)

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
238 posts
active member
Jun 15, 2019 - 2:46 PM

Madduris2000 salute to your spirit. I travelled with my parents who are in their early 70 and we stayed in Interlaken. No doubt it is super touristy but it is very convenient for transport accommodation and food.

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