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Basel and/or Lucerne

Hubby and I fly into Frankfurt on a Monday in Sept. Will take train from Frankfurt airport into Switzerland. Want to see Mt. Pilatus on Tuesday and then meet up with friends on Tuesday night in Basel. We board a river cruise in Basel on Thursday.
1. Should we take train directly to Lucerne on Monday, stay 1 night in Lucerne, and then take train back to Basel on Tuesday late afternoon, or
2. Just book a hotel in Basel for 3 nights and travel to Mt Pilates from Basel on Tuesday morning.
3. After river cruise we will visit Nuremberg, any recommendations for hotel?
4. Will travel back to Frankfurt airport by train to return to US. Any recommendations on what kind of train ticket to buy: Frankfurt airport to Basel/Lucerne, trip to Mt. Pilates, Nuremberg to Frankfurt airport.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

Posted by
2845 posts

Basel to Lucerne is only an hour, so it would be simpler to spend three nights in Basel and do a day trip to Lucerne than change hotels.

Buy Frankfurt Airport to Basel and Nuremberg back to Basel on bahn.de

You can buy your Pilatus ticket when you get to Lucerne. Choose between the Golden Round trip (with a boat trip to Alpnachstad) and Silver Round trip (train to Alpnachstad).

Posted by
4370 posts

I think its a personal decision. Some people like to have a "base" for a few days and then to do day trips. Others want to avoid the extra travel time and don't mind packing up daily. I tend toward the 2nd tho I can appreciate the first especially when I'm in a city that I want to spend a few days and see how relaxing not moving can be. For me personally, I'd want to be in Lucerne that night. It may be quieter (because day trippers leave) and its just interesting to see a town at night and then early in the morning. I like Lucerne A LOT. That said, I went to Basel with low expectations and ended up really enjoying the time I spent there. Lucerne does have the advantage of having mountains!