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traveling from Munich to Switzerland, 1 night Zurich 2 nights Lauterbrunnen?

We are spending 4 nights in Munich then traveling by train to Switzerland. I made reservations at a hotel in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. I am trying to decide if instead we should go from Munich to Zurich and spend 1 night in Zurich and 2 nights in Lauterbrunnen. We are a family of four traveling with 2 young men in their twenties. They are athletic enjoy the outdoors, but also are very excited to spend time in cities. We could get off the train in Zurich to spend the day, then continue to Lauterbrunnen the same day if we do not stay over night.
After Switzerland will go to Italy (Florence, Island of Capri, and Rome).

Posted by
8889 posts

Zürich is a big city, a nice city, but that is not what you come to Switzerland for. And you have just 'done' a big city (Munich).
My suggestion would be to go straight to Lauterbrunnen. Second choice, 1 night in Luzern en route.
Florence and Rome will also give you "big city" experiences, and contrast with Munich.

Posted by
16877 posts

I would keep the three nights in Lauterbrunnen. You have 7-hour train travel days before and after Lauterbrunnen, so staying three nights there will give you two full days to explore. Zurich is a fine place to spend a day if you're catching a flight home, but not worth a day in the middle of your short trip. Rick didn't even bother to cover Zurich in his guidebook until a few years ago, and added it more for transport convenience than for sightseeing priority.

Posted by
328 posts

I agree. Three nights in Lauterbrunnen. You will be glad you did.

Posted by
12040 posts

General rule- if you're headed to the Alps, stay at each location for a minimum of three nights. With two nights, you simply can't depend on the weather to cooperate on that one full day you have budgeted. There's nothing more depressing than seeing nothing but whiteout instead of those glorious mountain views you traveled so far and paid so much to see. Two full days gives you more of a buffer.

Posted by
26363 posts

I agree with the others. Two nights only in Lauterbrunnen puts you in so much danger of disappointment if the weather is bad for a few hours.

If your lad wants more excitement there are x-games type of activities in the mountains too, like bungy, para gliding, canyoning, etc., which you won't find in Zurich.

Posted by
2703 posts


Keep your reservation for 3 nights. I agree with the others. Skip Zurich and spend as much time as possible in the Berner Oberland. You'll be glad you did, but at the same time sad you didn't have more nights. You'll see once you get there. They'll have plenty of "city time" in Munich, Florence and Rome. My only advice would be to try to add time to the Berner Oberland, not cut time.