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Best base in Switzerland

We'll be flying into zurich in May and wonder where the most convenient base would be. Zurich appears too big and expensive to be practical.

Posted by
10344 posts

What things to you want to do and see?

Posted by
16460 posts

Luzern is pretty much the choice. Good town to stay in and well connected by rail to the rest of Switzerland.

Posted by
807 posts

Well actually if you wanted a central base then Olten would be the best choice. It is pretty much the main switching point for trains in the German speaking part of Switzerland. So you have easy connections to Bern, Basle , Zurich, Lucern, Zurich airport and so on. And in addition you have inter city trains to Geneva, Milano etc....

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks to all for the advice. The plan is to use local transportation to get around.

Posted by
16883 posts

Public transport is well connected throughout Switzerland. You can get connections and timings through the Swiss transport site ( or the similar DB train schedule link. A Swiss Travel Pass can cover 3, 4, 8, or 15 days of travel, either a consecutive period or the same number of days spread over a month.

How long you stay at any one home base depends, of course, on how much time you have and where/how far you want to go on day trips. The Berner Oberland is another favorite area, not for coming and going any long distance, but for a couple of days of more focused trips up the mountains on both sides of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Posted by
2412 posts

Bern is a quick train ride from Zurich, good sized but has stuff to do and excellent tram system (which will be free with the pass your hotel gives you). And it has train service to everywhere.

And you can stay with excellent hosts Gabriela and Marc