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A week in Switzerland after Paris?

I will be in Paris for 3-4 days in July 2019 for a wedding and would like to take about seven days after that. I'm considering Switzerland. I'd like to only stay in one or two cities and maybe take a day trip or two but don't want to spend all my time checking in and out. I had considered Italy, but prefer somewhere cooler in July (I'm from Texas -- I get enough of the heat at home).
1. Is this a good plan? I was assuming I'd take a train from Paris to Geneva or Lucerne. Is Lucerne a good place to stay for the duration, planning day trips from there or should I plan on two stays?
2. Hotel recommendations for solo traveler? Safe, clean, nice views, close to train stations?
3. What are three or four can't miss sites/cities/attractions in Switzerland? I'm not into strenuous hiking and outdoor activities but walking tours of cities or short hikes are fine. I enjoy boat trips and train trips very much.
4. Should I just stay in France instead?
Thanks fellow travelers?

Posted by
7463 posts

Lucerne and a town in the Berner Oberland like Grindelwald, Wrngen, Murren. Easy to connect by train and gondolas/lifts.
A must see if weather is clear- the Jungfrau.

Posted by
7080 posts

Forget Geneva and go directly to Lauterbrunnen and plan trips from there; for example go to the top of the Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen. You should consult some kind of guide book to make sense of the geography and to reference the sites/cities/attractions in Switzerland mentioned here. Guide book will help you decide where you want to go based on what piques your interests; the same if you want to tour France instead.

Posted by
9996 posts

With seven nights I would spend 2 in Luzern and 5 in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Specifically, I would stay in Lauterbrunnen because it is central with access to both sides of the valley. You can spend your days riding lifts and trains and taking nice easy (or hard!) hikes. Rick Steves' Switzerland guide covers the area very well, but don't stay in his recommended Gimmelwald. It just is not convenient.

If you have 6 nights, make it 2 Luzern and 4 Lauterbrunnen.

We always get an apartment in Lauterbrunnen, but many here recommend the Hotel Staubbach or Hotel Oberland. The whole town is convenient to get around.

Posted by
8 posts

These are very helpful. If I travel by train from Paris to Lausanne for two days, then train to Lauterbrunnen for four days, should I go back to Geneva to fly home, or go to Zurich or Basil? Is one more scenic en route?

Posted by
6513 posts

You said Lausanne - did you mean Lucerne? A bit of a difference, although both are nice.

You are more likely to find non-stop flights back to the US from Zurich. There is a rail station at the Zurich airport which makes it easy.

Posted by
4211 posts

I agree with Laurel. I absolutely loved Lucerne (divided by a river and on a lake and surrounded by mountains) It might be best to end in Lucerne because if you use the Zurich airport it is about an hour away. Lauterbrunnen is stunningly beautiful.

Lausanne is near Geneva and on Lake Geneva. It's known for wine and cheese among other things. It's nice, but I believe the real stars of Switzerland are Lucerne and Berner Oberland(Lauterbrunnen) Watch the weather forecasts. In both Lucerne and Berner Oberland there are excursions you can take to the top of mountains, but they only seem worthwhile if there is visibility. In Lucerne, I really enjoyed the boat ride across the lake to Vitznau and the train ride to the top of Rigi.

Posted by
1092 posts

Baconc, I am doing the opposite in May/June next year. I fly into Zurich, train/gondola/train up to Murren for 4 nights. Train back to Lucerne/Luzern for a night. Train from Lucerne to Zurich HB (Main train station) and catch a TGV directly to Paris Gare de Lyon.

Posted by
20802 posts

Check fares out of all the Swiss cities back to your home airport. For me, Zurich is by far the cheapest, but it's possible that it will be different for your routing.

Posted by
8 posts

The forum has persuaded me. Lucerne will be my base for 3-4 nights, then fly home out of Zurich. I'd welcome recommendations for hotels in Lucerne that are near train station and moderately priced.

Posted by
4211 posts

I don't know what you consider close to the train station, but try Drei Konige. https://www.drei-koenige.ch/de It is well priced, and we liked it very much. The staff was helpful, and breakfast was excellent. I believe it was 1/2 to 3/4 mile from the train station and about 1/3 mile off the river. It had local charm and was in a more residential area.