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Geneva or Lausanne

We will be flying into Zurich.
Booked President Wilson hotel in Geneva but now wondering if I should change and book in Lausanne. If so, suggestions on hotels would be appreciated.
Also we will have three days ( May 18-21) in Switzerland before we leave on a river cruise to Amsterdam.

Any and all suggestions on a place to stay in Amsterdam (May 28-31)

Posted by
8889 posts

Forgive me for saying so, but I would say neither.
My guess is you are flyng in to Geneva, and want to end up at Basel (all Rhine cruises start there).
For your 3 nights, do you want mountains, lakes or a city?

  • If mountains, go to the Berner Oberland (one of Mürren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald). Info and hotels here:
  • If lakes, plus a small city, plus mountains, go to Luzern.
  • If cities, split your time between Bern and Basel.

All these places are easily accessable by train from Geneva airport, and then on by train to Basel.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for your suggestions. We are flying into Zurich because of the flight times and prices.
Will check out the links you sent. Thank you.

Posted by
6073 posts

Agree with Chris. Sounds like you are taking the same cruise I did. We didn't have quite as much time as you before the cruise, and we spent 1 1/2 days in Basel. We ended up liking Basel very much. If its Viking, sometimes they will do a short tour of Basel right after you get to the boat. But at the top of my list would always be Berner Oblerland and/or Luzern.

Have fun!

Posted by
267 posts

Would recommend Luzern only an hour by train from Zurich...great medium
sized town with boat rides, Mt Pilatus, dining & charming sights.

Posted by
32264 posts


I agree with the others - neither!

Lucerne or the Lauterbrunnen Valley will be a much nicer location to recover from jet lag and enjoy some spectacular scenery for a few days. Lucerne has direct trains to Basel SBB with a travel time of about an hour, so very easy to get to your cruise.

For a place to stay in Amsterdam, I'd suggest buying a copy of this - . Pack it along on the trip as it will be a good resource to plan sightseeing.

Posted by
15662 posts

I just spent a couple of weeks in Western Switzerland.

I would suggest either Lucerne or Bern. Both are available via direct train from Zurich airport. Each about a one hour trip.

In Luzern I can recommend the Ameron Flora-- I've stayed there twice-- and the Hotel Savoy in Bern. Both are a few minutes walk from their respective train stations and in the heart of everything.

I was also in Geneva and honestly not a place for tourism.

Posted by
33299 posts

So if you land in Zürich and need to get an hour down the line to Basel, why have you picked going all the way across the country to Geneva, or a little closer, Lausanne?

There must have been something that attracted you. What was it? What caught your eye?

Posted by
5127 posts

I loved Luzern, and it is a very easy train ride from the Zurich airport. We stayed at the Hotel Des Alpes, and had a room facing the Chapel Bridge, right on the water. [Ask for a room with a balcony.] The hotel is a quick walk from the train station. I'd return in a heartbeat!

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you everyone for your help. I think, based on all your suggestions, we will look to stay in either Lucerne or Lausanne.
Any suggestions on what not to miss?

Posted by
464 posts

In Amsterdam we really liked the Dikker 'n Thijs Fenice Hotel which is on the Prinsengracht Canal. Ask for a superior room with a canal view. We had a small balcony. This hotel is in a great central location near a tram stop and within walking distance to the flower market on the Singel Canal, the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum as well as the canal boat rides.

If you go to Lucerne see the Chapel Bridge, the Lion Monument, and walk to the Museggstrasse to the Old City Wall to the Schirmerstrasse Tower and Zygterm Clock tower which give you lovely views of Lucerne. We had a great meal outside at Opus overlooking the Reuss River and a view of the Chapel Bridge.

If you choose to go to Lausanne the waterfront promenade on Lake Geneva is lovely and lunch outside at Chateau D'Ouchy is a treat. The Old town of Lausanne has a cathedral and interesting shops. The Lavaux Vineyards in Lutry are a World Heritage site and have gorgeous views. Castle Chillon is nearby in Montreux and is very interesting. You can take a boat ride from Lausanne on Lake Geneva to towns on the French side also.