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5 days in Switzerland - where to base ourselves?

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5 days in Switzerland - where to base ourselves?


Our family (2 adults and a 5 year old boy) are flying into Zurich and plan to spend 5 days in Switzerland in July this year, and leave on the Bernina Express to italy on day 6. We want to base ourselves in one place as the rest of our italian holiday will be moving around.

We are planning to stay in Chur the night before the Bernina Express.

A couple of questions:

(1) Which city to base ourselves in? Zurich seems obvious, but what about Lucern? We aim to travel around each day by train, but don't want to go more than 3 hours each way each day as child will get bored.

(2) if you can reccommend a city - any good family accommodation that is close to the train stations? We were thinking Air-BnB but have read a few horror stories - but having a kitchen would be great with the child and eating out. Not fussed about having a hotel breakfast.

(3) Travel Pass - is it worth getting the Swiss Pass or the Flexipass for us two adults- as I understant the Bernina express is included (minus the reservation fee) and would be good not to think about transport. or Point to point?

(4) Any places that are must see - and easy to get to and from with passes and within timeframe?

Thanks in advance. I have been doing lots of independant searching but find don't want to miss anything out but still have a relaxing time.

Edited: 4:40 am, March 27, 2014
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1. Re: 5 days in Switzerland - where to base ourselves?

Oh and I forgot to mention:

(5) is there anywhere that my 5 year old aussie son will see snow in July - he REALLY wants to touch real snow!


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2. Re: 5 days in Switzerland - where to base ourselves?

If Zurich or Lucerne depends very much on your interests: Zurich is larger, more cosmopolitan, offers the best choice of shopping, eating out, cultural events and museums. Lucerne is more romantic, closer to the mountains, but also more touristy. Your son might like the very attractive transportation museum in Lucerne with tons of historic trains, cars and airplanes. On the other hand, Zurich offers an attractive zoo.The two cities are only a 45min. train ride away, so you can easily visit one from the other on a day trip. Fortunately Lucerne and Zurich are both located on a clear lake, which invites for a cooling bath.

There is one mountain not far from Lucerne (but reachable from Zurich as well) where snow is guaranteed in July: Titlis above the village of Engelberg, where you can walk on a glacier. Other popular mountain destinations in this area are Pilatus, Rigi and Stanserhorn - however in summer they won't be snow covered.

3. Re: 5 days in Switzerland - where to base ourselves?

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