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Paris-Swiss trip

Hello folks, I have been reading lot of info in this travel forum, I need your help/suggestions with my upcoming travel itinerary. We are group of 8 ( 4 Adults, 2 teens and 2 children), the plan is to visit Paris and Swiss in 12 days in month of August with 5 nights in Paris and 5 nights in Lucerne (Swiss).
Paris Day 1: Land in Paris in AM hours. Evening visit to Trocadero, Champs-Élysées and Seine river cruise.
Paris Day 2: Tour Eiffel, Sandmane Walking tour, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur and Arc de Triomphe
Paris Day 3: Museum Louvre and Luxembourg Gardens (depends upon the how early we can come of museum)
Paris Day 4: We kept the day open, either planning a day trip to London( not sure it's worth to squeeze it) or explore more in Paris- need your suggestions.
Day 5: Trip to versailles palace
Day 6: Travel to Lucerne via train. Stay in AirnB for 5 days here. we are planning all 5 day trips from here.
Day 7: Day trip to Interlaken and back to Lucerne
Day 8: Trip to Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus
Day 9: Day trip to Rhine Falls
Day 10: Still looking out explore Scenic train routes Bernina express route Chur to Luzerne?
Day 11: Open for additional local attactions and Head back to Paris.
Day 12: Fly back to US

Please advise your input. Thank you!

Posted by
5837 posts

Consider a multi-city air route. For example if you really want to see London (more than a day to make it worthwhile), check air fares flying in to London Heathrow or Gatwick, train to Paris/Switzerland, return flight from Zurich. Or if skipping London, arrive Paris CDG and depart from Zurich. That would save you a day and train getting back to Paris just to depart from Europe. Note that Luzern is only a one hour train ride to the Zurich Airport with trains every half hour.

Posted by
6932 posts

Hi,
The time split between countries makes sense.
A few questions and comments for you:
- August 2019? If so, you'll need to book as soon as possible. Airbnb in Lucerne might be challenging already.
- Days 1-5 look good without the day trip to London (totally unrealistic and very expensive), Paris has a lot to offer.
Then I recommend you split your Swiss time between Lucerne and the Bernese Oberland region (near Interlaken, Mürren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald all make suitable bases in order of preference), because the day trips will exhaust the kids.
- Day 6 is only half a day of travel, so you'll have time to explore Lucerne in the PM
- Day 7: take your old Day 8 program and pick one, Pilatus OR Titilis. Can't advise which one.
- Days 8-10: explore the Bernese Oberland, a very scenic mountain region. Forget about the Rhine Falls, they're just pretty rapids.
- and a question: if the flights aren't booked, can't you fly out of Zurich instead of going back to Paris? If you can, then add a night to Lucerne, and reverse the order between Berner Oberland and Lucerne (Lucerne is close to Zürich Airport).

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for your suggestions. Due to the flight cost, we have made our Air tickets already few months ago, round trip US- Paris is much cheaper than multi-citiy option. We tried to book all one ways tickets either to begin our trip from Zurich or from Paris, Air fare was double the cost so as we went with round trip ticket to Paris. Also, we made our reservations hotels at Paris and Airbnb place in Lucerene while ago.

Posted by
3 posts

I'd explore more about Bernese Oberland and Paris attractions, London is bit intense to explore for this itinerary, consider to visit later.

Posted by
1585 posts

Vparuvelli - I sent you a private message regarding your itinerary. Take a look at it.

Posted by
11280 posts

In the future, you do not book two one way tickets. You book multi city tickets, in one city, out of another which may cost a little more than round trip but are cheaper in total than wasting time time and money to return to where your first flight landed. It sounds like you were pricing one way tickets which is not a good idea, very expensive.
In Paris, I recommend you visit Musee d’Orsay. Musee Rodin is an outdoor sculpture garden with many of his most famous works.

Posted by
803 posts

There are a number of problems with the Rhine Fall starting with it is not that impressive to look at and when we were there it was also smelly. I would go to the town of Stein-am-Rhein instead, it is a really pretty old town with a lot of half timbered and and frescoed buildings.

Too bad you are tied to Lucerne, going to Interlaken for a day to see the Berner Oberland is really short changing yourself. Interlaken is nice but so is the parking lot at the Grand Canyon.

A day trip to London would be a whole lot of stress for very little time to see any of London, save it for another trip