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Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

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Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

Hello

I have 5-6 days in Switzerland (21/9 to 26-27/9) after the Mont Blanc trek and seeking advice on my itinerary. My plan is to spend half of the time exploring Switzerland's nature landscape and the other half the historical and cultural landmarks that make up the country. For the nature side, I was thinking Thun, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. For history, culture that's represents Switzerland, I was thinking Bern and Lucerne. I may have too many places here, happy to cut back based on suggestions.

Some questions below:

1. Where is (are) the best place(s) (most central and accessible to transport) to base myself if I want to see Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfrau region (the Eiger) and Lucerne? My trek finishes in Geneva so I will start from there.

2. What is the difference between Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen? I've heard both are amazing but if short for time, I may need to choose one. I prefer the more quaint settings than the more bustling places if this helps...

3. Would Bern or Lucerne give a better representation of the history and Culture of Switzerland?

4. How different is Thun to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen? It may be a possible miss if I'm running short on time...

5. Days recommended at each place would be most welcome!

Many thanks in advance!

Theresa

6 replies to this topic
canada
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1. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

Bern or Thun should be your base.

Lauterbrunnen is a single street village in a deep valley, but a transport hub in the Oberland. Grindelwald is bigger, has a tourist bus park and more shops. Thun is bigger still. It also has a wooden bridge over a weir, shorter than the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. Both have painting related to Black Death.

On history, the Swiss Confederation started in a meadow at the south end of Lake Lucerne. You won't be there. The name Swiss comes from Schwyz, and you won't be there as well. The Dying Lion Monument commemorates the slaughter of their youngsters hired to defend the French King at the Tuilleries, outside the Louvre. The reason for these mercenary force and the French Revolution happened to be the same: consecutive years of volcanic eruptions in Iceland cut down sunlight and caused poor harvests across Western Europe. If you want to see the difference of housing, visit Ballenberg.

Martigny...
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2. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

You don't have much time here and you should limit what you want to do so that you can really get a feel for the place.

Choose one mountain village - Lauterbrunnen is excellent because of easy access to either the Männlichen which is part of the Jungfrau massif and is where Wengen is OR to teh Schilthorn area above Mürren. One day you could explore one side, the next the other.

Then one town. Luzern has a lake (a historic one at that since that is where Switzerland was founded in 1291) and is a pretty town with a nice, compact old town. Bern has a larger old town, is where our Parliament is (you can visit that free of charge if you are there when Parliament is not sitting) and has a long and fascinating history. You could stay in one and visit the other in fact. For Bern see this

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g188052-c127052/Ber…

Getting from Geneva to the Oberland will take you via Bern. So why not stop there first? Then after two nights carry on to Lauterbrunnen...

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3. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

Thank you both bofoster and Hambagahle for your insightful comments and suggestions. It certainly has given me a better feel for the places and an idea on how to reshape my itinerary.

Hambagahle - you're right in that I need to limit my places and see them well.

Based on your comments I will revise as follows:

1. Sat 21 depart Geneva for Bern (Sun 22, Mon 23, Tues 24 - day trip Luzern)

2. Wed 25 depart Bern for Lauterbrunnen (Wed 25, Thurs 26)

3. Fri 27 depart Lauterbrunnen for Lausanne (meeting friend).

A few other queries:

1. I'm using the rome to rio site to estimate travel time and train prices between destinations. Is there a special ticket system or pass I could purchase that is more economical than the one-way tickets? If there is such a thing?

2. How much should I expect to budget for a basic hotel/hostel room in Bern and Lauterbrunnen? I'm a light sleeper and don't sleep well in dorm share type rooms unfortunately... Don't need anything fancy, just a quiet room to myself to rest for the night.

3. I'm also a vegetarian, will there be simple meal options in Lauterbrunnen? I assume Bern will be OK as it's much bigger than Lauterbrunnen....

Many thanks for your advice!

W. Palm Beach, FL
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4. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

I've found the Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen to be quite reasonable and the food is great. They have several vegetarian items on their menu and the chef will usually be glad to work with you if you have any special requests.

http://www.hoteloberland.ch/

canada
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5. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

1. For transport timetable and fares (and various passes), use www.sbb.ch.

2. Owner of Hotel Oberland happens to be an Australian.

3. If you can take dairy products, you will have no problem with vegetarian meals in Switzerland.

Australia
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6. Re: Bern, Thun, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Lucerne

Thank you both mountaintopper and bofoster - these are helpful tips! : )

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