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Plan B: Move 5 nights in Milan to Basel? Or??

Hi Everyone—

My travel companions (sister and brother-in-law) and I have an April trip planned for Switzerland and northern Italy. Flying in and out of Zurich. Zurich to Milan to Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne. We will have 15-day Swiss Travel Pass.

I’m working on a preliminary Plan B in case we decide to move our 5 nights in Milan to Switzerland. We need to decide in the next couple of weeks to get a refund on the Milan hotel. And of course, come April, we might not be travelling anywhere. But I’m a big planner and so want to start on a Plan B. And I’m super excited to have an excuse for more time in Switzerland. 😊

So, I’m trying to figure out where to put an additional 5 nights.

I was looking at Vevey, as I’ve seen that mentioned in some recent posts. But is that too similar to Lucerne?

My next thought was Basel with some possible day trips to Colmar and/or Strasbourg and Freiburg.

Lugano probably not the best idea due to proximity to northern Italy.

With April weather so uncertain, though we will be prepared for everything, I’m not sure it makes sense to add additional time to the Bernese Oberland area. We are not big hikers, but do have some of Shoe’s suggested shorter walks planned for our time in Lauterbrunnen.

I’m sure there are many other great possibilities, but I’ve had my research focused on Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Carrie

P.S. This is our first trip to Europe so we do have a bit of “we want to see everything.” 😊

Posted by
1511 posts

Carrie - I would move the 5 nights from Milan to Basel. Just explore various areas of Switzerland. Stick with plan B since you like to tackle that first on your trip planning.

From Zurich, head to Lucerne. The Berner Oberland may still be filled with snowfall in April. Some of the lifts may not be open to explore the alpine villages and for hiking. Monitor how the weather fairs in April during your stay to determine your plan on exploring the Lauterbrunnen valley and touring the alpine villages. If weather is bad, then stick mainly with the Swiss cities.

A possible itinerary can like this:

Lucerne - 5 Nights / Day trips to: Engleberg, Mt. Rigi, Interlaken, and village of Thun.

Basel - 5 Nights / Day trips to: Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Colmar, Strasbourg, and Bern.

Posted by
1653 posts

I'm not a fan of Basel, personally, and wouldn't want to stay 5 nights. Do have a look at the city's attractions and see if it interests you, but I'd rather stay in Colmar and visit Alsace if it's of interest, with day trip on Basel.
But since you have a Swiss pass... Vevey is a very good idea. Very different from Luzern : language, scenery, architecture aren't the same at all. And you have many excursions from there (Chillon Castle, Rochers de Naye, Lavaux vineyards), you could even go all the way to Zermatt and see the Matterhorn if the weather cooperates and you're feeling up for it.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks for the responses RJean and balso!! One vote for Basel and one for Vevey, the two I’m torn between. 😊 And last night I was thinking of adding 2 of the nights to Lauterbrunnen for more time there and then 3 nights in Basel. I don’t know. And of course we’re still hoping to go to Italy and not use our Plan B. It’s just impossible to predict the future. But like I posted earlier, we do have to make a decision soon to get a refund on the Milan hotel. That’s the tricky part. But at least we’re in a situation where we have options. We certainly feel for those more directly impacted and know our dilemma of do we go to milan or stay in Switzerland is very minor.

Safe travels everyone!!

Posted by
7153 posts

Maybe choose Bern which is quite beautiful and also quite close to Vevey.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks for the suggestion Tim!! Bern is definitely on our must-see list—we have a day trip planned from Lucerne—but I had not considered it as a home-base option. Interesting. And probably better/cheaper hotel options than I’ve been finding in Vevey so far.

I need to talk to my sister again. Now I’m leaning towards waiting longer to make a decision even if that means missing the refund deadline for the Milan hotel. I assume if we wait to make a decision at the last minute while in Switzerland we’d be able to find some sort of last minute accommodation. It's not really how my plan ahead brain likes to work, but I guess sometimes you have to go with the flow.