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11 nights Switzerland (coming from Paris)

We are planning a Switzerland Itinerary coming from Paris for 11 nights from 2 November. We are trying to put together a realistic itinerary of Switzerland's highlights. Some places we would like to visit if it's the right time of year are:

Berner Oberland, Jungfraujoch, Lucerne, Bern?, Zermatt. We would like to do a scenic train ride on our stay if possible and worthwhile.

We are not skiers however we enjoy appreciating the scenery and snow ( if any)

Any suggestions to put together an itinerary would be greatly appreciated, advising where to start in Switzerland coming from Paris.

After Switzerland we are travelling to Germany (15 nights) and Eastern Europe (Prague, Vienna and Budapest - 10 nights). Advice would be greatly appreciated where to leave from in Switzerland at the end of our stay and which country to head to. We are flying back to Australia at the end of either Germany or Eastern Europe.

Thank you for your suggestions

Posted by
27507 posts

That's a pretty good wodge of time in Switzerland.

As you are not skiers can I jump to the conclusion that you will want to walk? Or do you prefer to ride mostly and not hike or walk?

Arriving from Paris I would spend a couple of days in Basel, a fun loving beautiful unique city on the border of France (Alsace), Germany (the Baden portion of Baden-Wuerttemberg) and Switzerland. The Rhine runs through it.

On the way to Basel, (from Gare de l'Est) you will pass through Strasbourg and Colmar which are well worth their own time, and at Strasbourg you are very close to the northern Black Forest, Gengenbach, and Baden Baden.

In your other post you said you wanted to go to Baden Baden (I think). If that is for the Spa baths, there are many of those all over Germany that are not mentioned in the Rick Steves enthusiastic description of the spas in Baden Baden. If you elaborate on which spa interests you, if I am right, Tim, Tom, myself or others may have suggestions about better fits.

But you won't get much closer to Baden Baden than when you pass Strasbourg.

Prague, Vienna and Budapest are not generally referred to as Eastern Europe except by people still dealing with the Cold War. They are generally considered as Central Europe.

Luzern (I use the local spelling as the local language is German not French) is a lovely town and I love it in all seasons.

Switzerland is quite a small country so I don't think it matters from which town or city you leave - the fantastic Swiss trains, ships and Post buses will get you where you want to go...

Posted by
191 posts

Hey Tanya,
Take the ? off Bern! I have always felt Bern is a bit underappreciated when there are discussions of where to stay and what to see in Switzerland. In November especially when the weather can be a bit dicey, a lot of the wonderful Old Town markets and arcades are under cover protected from the weather. There is the Klee museum, the cathedral, the city walls, lots of medieval architecture and you are never far from the Aare river. Plan a minimum of two full days here in this beautiful city. Also, be sure to research the Christmas markets in whatever cities and towns you are planning to stay in since you will be in Europe during the Christmas season. Bon voyage!

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you Nigel for your suggestions. We are neither hikers or riders, however we don't mind some walking in reason (more me than my husband due to his fitness levels). Do you think I have allocated too much time to Switzerland and would be best allocating to it somewhere else we are visiting? As mentioned we are going to Germany and Central Europe plus Paris 6 nights and London 6 nights.

I am interested in your suggestions of some other spas in Germany you mentioned in your post please.


Posted by
11280 posts

I spent 10 nights in Switzerland in September 2014, divided as 3 in Luzern, 4 in Mürren, and 3 in Lausanne. I flew into Zurich and out of Geneva, but did not see these cities (both airports have train stations). From Luzern I saw Mt. Rigi (taking boats to Vitznau and from Weggis). From Mürren I took the Allmendhubel, the Schilthornbahn, and the Lungfraujoch, as well as walking the valley floor and seeing the Trümmelbach Falls. From Lausanne I saw Chateau de Chillon and a bit of Montreux and Vevey, as well as Audrey Hepburn's grave in Tolochenaz.

I had a great trip, and I think you will too. I didn't get to Bern or Basel - next time.

One piece of advice that I got here and am VERY glad I followed was to spend at least 3 nights in any mountain location, since the weather there is both unpredictable and rapidly changeable, and the activities there are very weather dependent. That goes triple in November compared to September. One day in Mürren was cloudy, and that was my day for the valley walk and the Trümmelbach Falls. If that had been my only day, I would have either had to skip the other activities, or spent a lot of money on them for not much return.