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Swiss Honeymoon - Itinerary

Planning and hoping to go to Switzerland in June 2022 for our honeymoon. We've got 2 weeks, and are debating 2 different itineraries, one that's entirely Switzerland and one that includes a bit of France. Either way we plan to arrive in Zurich June 19 and depart July 3rd. There are so many towns that look lovely in Switzerland, but we want to somewhat limit how much we move around because it is a honeymoon trip and we want time to relax.

First Option - including France

Arrive Zurich, Train to Zermatt - 3 nights Zermatt

Zermatt>Wengen - 3 or 4 nights Wengen (not sure how long we need here, we want to do some hikes, see other small towns, and maybe check out Lake Brienz while we're in the area)

Wengen>Strasbourg - 4 nights (hoping to see Strasbourg itself, Colmar, and maybe a German village daytrip as well)

Strasbourg>Zurich - 3 nights (hope to do one day trip to Lucerne or Basel)

Second Option

Arrive Zurich, Train to Zermatt - 3 nights Zermatt

Zermatt>Wengen - 3 nights

Wengen>Lucerne - 3 Nights

Lucerne>Basel - 2 Nights

Basel>Zurich - 3 nights

So I guess the questions I have are - are Lucerne and Basel unique enough that we should keep the whole trip in Switzerland? Or is Lucerne easy enough to do in a day trip from Zurich? The romantic charm of the Alsace region of France and a break from the high prices in Switzerland does seem appealing but Switzerland has been so high on my bucket list for a long time, I just want to make sure we're planning to see the best of it and giving it enough time.

Posted by
25760 posts

Is this your first trip to Europe?

By the way - congratulations...

What do you plan to do with 3 days in Zermatt?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks!

This is not my first trip to Europe, but all my previous trips were done solo and were very city focused. Lisbon, Dublin, Amsterdam, Vienna etc.. so more set up in one spot then maybe do some day trips.

Zermatt is top of my fiancé's list to see the Matterhorn, but maybe 3 nights is a bit long?

Posted by
415 posts

One thought: you could go to Basel first once you arrive. Base there for a few nights and day trip to Strasbourg, Colmar and a city/village in Germany. Freiburg perhaps. Then head to the mountains. End up in Lucerne where you can easily day trip to Zurich if you like and it’s super easy to take the train to the airport from Lucerne.

Posted by
1357 posts

I heartily recommend sleeping in Lucerne- what a romantic city. The Hotel Des Alpes is on the river with a view of the Chapel Bridge, and if you book early enough, you can actually get a little balcony. Book directly with the hotel- it's about 20% cheaper than a 3rd party, and they have a very generous cancelation policy. From Lucerne, you can ride a lake boat to the cogwheel train that goes up to Mt. Rigi.

Lucerne is an easy hour train ride to/from the Zurich airport. Many of us either start or end at Lucerne, as airport access is so easy. Those Swiss train are remarkably reliable.

IMHO, more nights in Lucerne and less nights in Zermatt.

Also, I prefer Murren over Wengen, but it's a debated often here. In any case, nicer staying in the Alpes than in the valley. Look into Hotel Bellevue in Murren if you do that option, and again, book direct. [Often their emails come into my Junk file, so beware, as they answer emails promptly.] Also- I don't think you'll regret one more day in the Alps.

Strabourg/ Colmar are delightful, but check in advance for any French labor strikes, that could interfere with the trains.

Congrats and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
1357 posts

PS- IMHO, there are more charming Swiss towns than Zurich. Use the days elsewhere.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Pat, I really appreciate this advice/perspective! We're a tied to Zurich at least one night because we booked tickets to a concert, but still maybe less nights in Zurich and Zermatt and more somewhere else is the way to go.

Posted by
1297 posts

Since mountains are a high priority (as they should be!), you should be prepared to do things out of order depending on the weather. Three nights in Zermatt/Wengen (or any nights) is a waste if the forecast is poor. I'm talking about a big front with forecast of solid rain for 2-3 days, not the usual afternoon shower. Normally, it's clear in the morning and clouds-up in the afternoon.

Posted by
5979 posts

If it were me, I'd skip Strasbourg, maybe visit Colmar. Actually, I'd just stay in Switzerland. You could make it a circular route starting and ending in Zurich. Luzern should be stayed in, not a day trip - its the mountains and lake accessible from Luzern that make it worth it.

Posted by
920 posts

I like the idea of combining a bit of France in with your Switzerland trip. Rather than stay in Basel consider staying in Colmar. It's only about an hour away and much more romantic/charming IMO - and there are some fabulous wine route towns nearby. I've never been to Zermatt but Wengen is great and you may want another night there. Also, Lucerne is beautiful so maybe only your last night in Zurich?

Posted by
34 posts

comments:

  1. Skip France on this trip. Decide what is appealing to you about Strasbourg and find it in Switzerland (except the pricing but YOLO). Perhaps the Montreux-Vevey area would give you romantic ambiance. Maybe define more what you mean by "romantic" and the experts here can guide you to an alternative in Switzerland that won't require 2-3 hours of travel.

  2. Zurich is a fine city but with limited days spend your time elsewhere except where necessary (concert!).

  3. We love both Wengen and Zermatt, but for sure the Matterhorn is one of a kind and Zermatt is a wonderful town. They are not the same, and if you can fit in both that would be great, but if you think about removing one to limit your transitions and relax, I would save Wengen for another trip and go to Zermatt on your honeymoon.

Posted by
34 posts

I see that your actual question posed was whether to visit Lucerne and Basel instead of going to France... Maybe you don't need both of them to save time? They both have old historic city centers. Lucerne has the advantage of having some local peaks if weather is nice. Also has the lake. Basel has lots of museums. I have not been to Basel since I was a child but I love Lucerne and would highly recommend you include it in your trip.

Posted by
34 posts

Sorry for multiple replies! Excited to help plan! Another thought - three bases - Lucerne, Zermatt and Montreux/Vevey. The latter is in the Suisse Romande French speaking area and might give you some of that French romance you were looking for.