What kinds of things do you enjoy doing? Museums, lakes, high mountains, cities, hiking? Would you prefer to stay in German speaking areas? How long is your trip going to be? If you give us some more information this will help.
We want to see the beautiful scenery we've heard so much about switzerland, the beautiful villages, and interesting places to visit. We like to stroll and walk, but are not on this trip for hiking. Some points of interest would be nice, but don't have to see a bunch of museums and churches. (Have done enough of that to last a lifetime!) I've been told to go to Lucerne for sure, and Bern. What do you all think....many thanks!
Well, you're in luck -- as really the whole of Switzerland is incredibly beautiful with great scenery and picturesque villages.
The bad news is that it's a huge haul from Austria to Luzern, and you didn't say where in Austria you're coming from. So, for example, the trip from Vienna to Luzern takes 10-12 hours; from Salzburg it'll take 6-8 hours.
I suggest you consider a stop in the eastern portion of Switzerland, the past closest to Austria, especially around the beautiful Engadin valley. The trip from Salzburg to Chur is 5-6 hours. Now, the Engadin is a unique and different part of Switzerland -- no brown wood chalets here. Its architecture is of ancient stone, and the houses and buildings are decorated with colorful sgraffiti. Of course, the mighty Engadin mountains are there, and this is the sunniest part of Switzerland. Another good thing is that a lot fewer American tourists find their way here, and when I spent a week in the town of Zuoz, I didn't see a single souvenir shop.
For more information on the Engadin, see this recent magazine article:
For more information on these areas, see
For train schedules, see www.rail.ch.
For your departure, Zurich airport is the larger one, and most international flights are there. The Zurich airport is very close to Luzern, about an hour by direct train. No need to head to Geneva unless you simply want to see it.
Thank you! We will be traveling from Salzburg. So we dont mind taking the train and viewing the gorgeous scenery. Just want to spend maybe one night in each place. Want to see the best switzerland has to offer. What about the matterhorn? Is it very far from Luzern? And what about Grindlewald? Thanks!
Now is the time to start using the Swiss rail site (www.rail.ch) to research each of your trips.
I usually limit my day-trips to two hours in each direction or else I've forgotten the best before I even get back to my base town.
Also remember that you lose half a day each time you move your base, what with packing up & checking out, then checking in & unpacking. Remember, too, that the faster you travel, the less you see & remember. I recommend that you stay in one place for three nights.
I see that you want to see "it all," but I don't think you'll really enjoy it. I've been to Switzerland about 14 times since 1995 and still haven't seen it all.
Thanks!!! Appreciate your advice!