We are flying to Geneva on the 5th of March and out of Zurich on the 11th. We are a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what to do while we're there; which route to take, where we should spend the little money that we have! If anyone has any recommendations we would be more than appreciative. I don't mind the touristy stuff (although am not sure we can afford it), but I'd love to know what you think the must see attractions are for the little time we have there. FYI: we are not skiers, we will be renting a car, interested in possibly visiting a cheese factory.
For a cheese factory you can go to Gruyeres about an hour and 1/2 from Geneva.
It's hard to suggest 'must-sees' without know what you like to do. Do you want to stay in valley and look up at the mountains? Do you want to take an excursion up a mountain? Do you like to hike? Do you like folklore shows, open air museums? Boat rides on a lake? There are just so many wonderful things to do in Switzerland.
Thanks for asking for specifics :) Finding an affordable hotel is key-although at this point we're not sure in which places to even look. We know Lucern will definitely be in there and have heard wonderful things about Chamonix. Excursions up a mountain would be nice, short (60-90 min) hikes, walking tours through a city, not big on shows or shopping (other than chocolate of course).
Also, because it'll be the second week of March the weather is a big factor. Won't it be too cold for boat rides? I think we'll have to factor in the daily weather for potential in sight seeing.
Hit at least two guide books and look at their suggested itineraries. The good news is, the country is full of mountains so you'll see lots of them if you head south-ish. If you need/want to go up into them, that requires planning esp. since there are many options.
You can read a lot about our priorities and favorites at http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/switzerland. The hotels and sightseeing details for these are fleshed out in Rick's Switzerland guidebook.
and please keep in mind that Switzerland is one of (if not at the moment) most expensive countries in Europe, so this concerns me:
"the little money that we have!"