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Pre booking in Switzerland??

Hello,

We are spending a few weeks touring in Switzerland in the middle of Sept this year - do you suggest pre booking our accomodation or is it safe to arrive in a town/city and obtain accomodation??
We are looking at following Rick Steve's Switzerland itinerary.
Thanks

Posted by
26 posts

I would definitely pre-book. My husband and I went through the Interlaken area last Spring and absolutely LOVED it. I would highly recommend staying a bit farther up the mountain in Wengen. It is an easy train ride from Interlaken and Lauterbruenen; peacefully set aside in the country, but also frequently visited by world class skiers so pre-booking is needed. Hiking is great, the views are like something that has been "photo shopped". There are pricier hotels and also privately owned spaces that are more fun in my opinion. We found our wonderful converted old alpine lodge on Booking.com. I just can't say enough good about it!

Posted by
11234 posts

I can't directly answer your question, but I can say that I found that Swiss hotel websites don't have all the rooms available on their own booking engines. I had to e-mail hotels to get the rooms I needed (and in 2 of the 3 cases, got a Rick Steves discount as well). So, if you are going without reservations, be sure to call the hotels directly or visit them in person - don't just go by what's shown on their website.

In general, in these days of advance booking being very easy with e-mail and Internet, the best rooms in each price category tend to get taken, and those without reservations get what's left over. Of course that is a generalization, and for some places it's not a problem, and if you have a car you can always head down the road to find a room. But if you have your heart set on being in a specific place at a specific time, it's best to reserve.

Posted by
11450 posts

If following a RS route would definatley pre book myself.. you will likely always find A room but the less expensive but decent ones will be filled so you are left with pricey ones or dumps.. mid September is still a very popular time for tourists in Europe.. lots of folks figure they are "missing the crowds of summer" but going in September.. and yes its a bit quieter.. but its not quiet season.

Posted by
206 posts

We spent three weeks in September a couple years ago traveling around Switzerland and the only pre-booking we did was first and last night. After that, in the evening from our current hotel we'd go online and choose our next hotel, or sometimes we'd just go to a town and let the tourist office pick us a hotel. Never had any problems and they were all good hotels. Also, we get our hotels early in the day, always before 3pm, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing. If you're only using Rick Steves' hotel recommendations, those may fill up faster if a lot of people are doing as you are. Happy travels. P.S. Switzerland is expensive.

Posted by
1565 posts

Rick is a big advocate of just popping into the local TI and asking for a room. My travel partner would go into cardiac arrest if every single hotel wasn't pre-booked. This is one of those window or aisle, train bus or car arguments - you have to know your own comfort level. And if you have specific needs or requirements or need to keep a budget, while you may always be able to get a room, it will likely not meet all your needs.

Posted by
1264 posts

Mid-September is a little after peak season so you probably won't have any trouble finding the type of room you want on arrival. Just call or email a day or two in advance. I do this all the time when I am not traveling in peak season and have never had to go further than my second choice for lodging. It's great because it gives you maximum flexibility in your itinerary.

Posted by
3696 posts

I did not prebook in Switzerland even in the summer, but I can be flexible and not freak out if I don't know where I might be staying that night. It is easier if you have a car and don't want to follow a schedule. I get stressed out thinking I have to be at a certain hotel by a certain time... but some people get stressed out if they don't have a reservation... different travel styles, but I always feel if I have a car I am ok. I can just drive to the next town if there is nothing available.

Posted by
3113 posts

If you know where and when you want to visit, why not pre-book? Often you can get a good rate or some "perk" thrown in by booking in advance through a hotel's own website. I was glad we had pre-booked our balcony rooms in Murren that looked out over the amazing mountain views. I don't know if we would have had the same view from the room just walking up........

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you for all your replies... Would you have the name of that accomodation in Murren please?

Posted by
3113 posts

Hotel Jungfrau in Murren. We were given an early booking discount when we booked direct with the hotel. The balcony room had a view that was so gorgeous I am not sure there are words to describe. Very friendly staff and a good breakfast.

Posted by
262 posts

September is a wonderful time to visit Switzerland. I recommend you only book your first few days in advance and then book a day or two in advance as you travel. If you find that there is the forecast for rain in one region, take a train to the sunny part of Switzerland. The weather varies by elevation and location. By having flexibility, you can choose the Swiss weather you want. The trains make it easy to see the sights even as you travel to your next stop.