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Appenzell or Not

I am planning on arriving in Zurich in the morning and traveling directly to Appenzell for 1 night so we can see Ebenalp’s cave church then heading to Lucerne for 1 night before staying in Lauterbrunnen for 4 nights. I am wondering if I should forgo appenzell for two nights in Lucerne? Anybody been to both Lucerne and Appenzell?

Posted by
193 posts

I have been to both places and I would say the cave church (Wildkirchli) is definitely not worth a trip for its own sake. If you’re spending a few days hiking in the Appenzell area, the church is a nice little five minute stop along one of the trails but I wouldn’t recommend making a trip out of it. Part of its popularity is the fact that it’s just a short walk, maybe 15 minutes, from the top of the Ebenalp cable car, and thus can be visited by non-hikers. Yes, there are some nice views from that area, but those views aren’t nearly as spectacular as you will get from Mt. Pilatus overlooking Lucerne. Go straight to Lucerne and spend two nights there to allow a full day of sightseeing.

Posted by
32201 posts

I've been to both and Appenzell is definitely worth a visit (IMHO), but you simply don't have time to fit three destinations into that short time frame. At least two nights are necessary for even a short visit. I agree with the previous reply that heading straight to Lucerne and then to Lauterbrunnen would be best. There's a rail station right in the Zürich airport so the trip to Lucerne is an easy one, even with jet lag.

Posted by
52 posts

I've been to both. Skip Appenzell and go directly to Luzern. Luzern is the German way of spelling it as it is in the German speaking part of Switzerland. All the local signs will say "Luzern". Lucerne is the French spelling of Luzern. Appenzell is best appreciated if you have a few days to explore the area.