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France-Switzerland Trip Advice

My husband and I are traveling in June to Switzerland and Paris for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I've pretty much firmed up our plans and have reserved our Eurail tickets to travel within Switzerland and over to Paris. But, I'm torn between two itineraries and would love advice!

Basically, we're trying to decide between an extra night in Paris or one night in Bern.

Option 1: 2 nights in Montreux 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen 1 night in Bern 2 nights in Paris

This setup would give us about a day and a half in Paris and half a day in Bern (not counting sleeping lol).

Option 2: 2 nights in Montreux 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen 3 nights in Paris

This would have us skip Bern and have a little over 2 days in Paris.

I lean more towards one extra day in Paris because it's one less hotel to check into and there's so much to do there. My husband is less interested in spending time in Paris and would prefer to see a medieval town like Bern. Thoughts?

Posted by
6960 posts

Definitely option 2. There's no comparison between Bern and Paris really, and your husband can get his "medieval fix" at Chillon castle near Montreux. Also, if you've never been to Paris before, spending only 2 nights there would force you to make some very hard choices in what to see and do.

By the way, what do you mean by "reserved your Eurail tickets"?

Posted by
20299 posts

Good advice from balso. Henri IV said it best, "Paris is worth a mass". Not sure how "medieval' Bern is. Most of the buildings in the old city are 15th and 16th century. It is the capital of Switzerland, and the place where Einstein imagined the tram he was riding on traveled at close to the speed of light. He must have been running late for work that day.

Maybe a quick stopover in Bern will give hubby his fix. You'll have to change trains there anyway. Going via Visp is a little faster, but that is because of the big base tunnel under the Berner Oberland mountains. Just specify "via Bern" when you get your tickets.

Posted by
372 posts

I'm one who loves Bern, but I agree that with your options, go with the extra Paris day

Posted by
4486 posts

FWIW we found Montreux pretty underwhelming, aside from Chillon. Perhaps it was the rain? Or having come from the BO?

Posted by
8 posts

Lyon is only 2 hours from Paris, so could go there early in the morning on day 4, and spend half the day in Lyon before continuing to Annecy. Guess I was just concerned about luggage, but I assume the train station in Lyon has a place to store bags for the day.

Posted by
16507 posts

Have you looked at travel times? If you are coming from Lauterbrunnen, it will take 5 to 6 hours to reach Lyon, with 3 or 4 train changes on the way. And stopping in Annecy would add more time.

Posted by
20299 posts

The last time I was in Lyon (OK, 10 years ago), you had to put your luggage through a scanner and you went through a metal or explosives detector, ala TSA airport security, to enter the luggage locker area at Lyon Part Dieu station.

Posted by
2726 posts

I would skip Montreux and do 3 nights in Paris and four nights in Lauterbrunnen (or Murren, which I prefer). Two nights in Lauterbrunnen only gives you one full day there, which is way too short for such a gorgeous location. If you have bad weather, it will be a wasted trip. Give yourself a better chance of actually seeing those incredible mountains.

I liked Bern, but it's nothing compared to Paris. Two nights in Paris is just not long enough.

Posted by
497 posts

Option 2 is better. Also the distances aren’t too bad so you won’t be spending hours and hours traveling.

Posted by
1163 posts

Option 2. Or skip Paris altogether and spend your time in Switzerland. Thun is a lovely town, and a 20 minute train ride to Bern.