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so much to do and so little time to do it

Will be arriving on a river cruise at Basel on May 5th and leave out of Zurich on May 9th. I know not much time. Not to slight Basil but i figure one day there will be plenty. I figure i have two days the 6th and 7th to go somewhere and get to Zurich on the 8th to leave on the 9th. Or maybe i just head to Zurich on the 6th and use that as a base. Have traveled a it but never been to Switzerland.

Any ideas would be most appreciated.

Many thanks for any comments.

Posted by
4148 posts

The two obvious choices would be The Bernese Oberland ( The Lauterbrunnen Valley and surrounding villages ) or Luzern , a charming city with a number of lovely places to see ,

Posted by
2774 posts

I think I would just head to Lucerne from Basel. And you can get to Zurich airport from Lucerne in just over an hour so no need to spend the night in Zurich unless your flight is super early in the am.

Posted by
6999 posts

Another vote for Luzern in that timeframe and at that time of the year (which is early for Bernese Oberland). You can skip Basel altogether, frankly.

Posted by
1080 posts

You really must go to Murren in the Lauterbunnen Valley, it is the most magical place in Europe for me. You could take the train and be there in 1/2 day on May 6th and stay till the morning of the 8th and then head back to Zurich. Trust me! This is a very special place, stay at Hotel Bellevue, just make sure you have a good jacket and fleece with you because it will be cool at night in May.

Posted by
2774 posts

Unfortunately, May is off season for the mountains and many places are closed. Hotel Bellevue in Murren is closed April 3- June 2. Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen I believe is open in May. But, I still think with your limited time, Lucerne is the better option. Lucerne has some great options for mountain excursions—Mt. Titlis, Rigi, and Pilatus.

Posted by
6 posts

Wow i can't thank you all enough for your kind and very helpful suggestions. Lucerne it is and i hope to be able to rerun the favor some day.

Posted by
2774 posts

Hotel des alpes is a RS favorite. I haven't stayed there yet, but have it booked for my June trip. I did stay at the Renaissance Lucerne Hotel this past Sept and it is very nice but a little more expensive. Both hotels are only a few minutes walk from the train station.

Posted by
2774 posts

Do you have a Basel hotel? I stayed at the Hotel Schweizerhof this past Sept. and highly recommend it. And my favorite thing to see in Basel was the city gate Spalentor, easily reachable by tram. I really liked Basel. It was a nice, normal, non crowded city.

Posted by
8594 posts

Note your cruise will likely let you disembark early AM, before hotels are open for check-in. We decided to skip Basel (nice enough city, but not in the mountains). We took a taxi from the cruise dock (Viking pre-arranged cabs for everyone needing them) to the Basel SBB rail station. The taxi driver offered to take us all the way to Luzern at a competitive rate, for that matter. We stayed at Hotel des Alpes as well. Its right across a bridge from the rail station main entrance. That makes it so convenient. Yes, there are trains that go from Luzern to the rail station at the Zurich airport (some of them require a change at Zurich HBF the-main station.

Be warned about prices. I still remember the 32CHF burger and coke at the Brit pub near the hotel.

In Luzern, you can take a short cruise on the lake, or go up any of three mountains via train/ferry/bus/gondola. The weather will be your guide.

Posted by
1379 posts

Agree with the suggestions regarding Luzern and the Berner Oberland previously provided. Another option is to go the other direction and visit the Alsace region in France. Colmar is beautiful as are the nearby wine villages along the Route du Vin.

Posted by
3 posts

Absolute agreed. Time is flying by in a blink of an eye. There is so much to see and Swizerland is so different and there are so many easter eggs to find. For example:

  • I have seen a device wich incorporates soap + water in a restroom (no extra watertub)
  • I have seen a air compressor to hose down your skis
    on the end of the slopes
  • I have seen a have duty stainless steel
    board in the hotel lobby where to put the room key in the lock and go out with a smaller mini-key so that you don't have to carry around
    the navy room key
  • I have seen a gastation chain with the brand name Rudi Trunk and a wild logo and people love it much much than BP,
    SHELL, etc.
  • I have seen trains departure on the second they are scheduled
  • I have seen live stock on farm ground where the animals are free to walk out and in the box at any time