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2 nights and 2 days in Switz, what would you choose?

I have been going back and forth on my trip plans. Europe has too many intriguing places. My wife and I will be in Switz/Italy in late March. We fly into Zurich and will stay the night there. From this pt I need help. We have 2 maybe 3 nights in Switzerland, then onto Venice 2-3 nights, Florence 3 nights, Cinque Terre 2 nights and last night in Milan for morning flight. Our interests would be to see the Alps, experience enjoyable food/cheese, take a short hike if we have time and a few castles. From Zurich where would you go, and remember our first stay in Italy would be Venice, so I have to keep in mind travel time?
My initial thought: Day 2 Berne for the day, rail to Brig and spend the night, and add days to Italy.

2nd thought: Spend day 2 and night in Berne, then rail to Interlaken/Grindelwald (day trip) and rail to Brig for night stay.
3rd thought: day 2 to Lucerne and night, then next day rail to Lugano or Lucarno for the last night in Switz
Ideas? Thoughts? Keep in mind like many we are keeping a budget.


Posted by
9109 posts

I think your trying to do too much in such a small amount of time. If your only gonna be In Switzerland for two or three nights, stay in one location like Interlaken or one of the nearby mountain villages. You can easily fill two days with all the activities available in this area. I would only visit Bern if there is a rainy day; it's only an hour away by train from Interlaken. Keep in mind that even though Switzerland is a small country, the mountainous terrain makes travel over long distances very time consuming.

Posted by
6 posts

Forget Interlocken, except to get on the train up to
one of the mountain villages.
You really should skip that expensive tourist trap. Get out and see the country. The people are so very friendly and the whole place is beautiful. I was
in Switzerland March 2008 and fell in love with the place. You must do one of the scenic train rides- just sit back and be amazed. Lucerne is wonderful
as in Montreaux, but my favorite is the small
mountain top resort area of Murren. Its fun to be
where there are only a few electric cars, beautiful
snow you can just walk around in and you won't believe the scenery. Book NOW. The town of Thun is
also fun with a wonderful walk up to a cool castle.
These towns are not far apart and are easy to maneauver on the train. The trains are WONDERFUL,
exactly prompt, clean and so easy to figure out.I would leave Zurich immediately and take off for these
destinations. Bern makes a good place for base camp.
This might sound odd, but consider the Girl Scout
lodge outside of Bern, (google Our Chalet) all are
welcome, it is charming and very clean and cheap.They have some private double rooms and shared baths, again very clean. Food is very expensive in Switzerland, so plan carefully. Hit the grocery stores, like Rick suggests, and take full advantage of breakfast included deals. You could do Lucern, Warren and Thun easily in just two
days, but I would suggest dropping something else to
stay longer. You won't be sorry.

Posted by
2935 posts

Hi Justin,

Just a question. I ask this not knowing your flights of course...

Why stay in Zurich on day 1 if you want to see the Alps and have so little time? If you must and have just 2 more nights in Switzerland, I'd suggest somewhere in the Berner Oberland (we love Wengen!). There's also Lauterbrunnen, Muerren, Gimmelwald and Grindelwald.

My (distant) second choice with only this much time would be Luzern.


Posted by
11507 posts

Please keep in mind many hiking trails ( like the ones in Wengen, which is lovely) will be covered still in snow in March.. We were in Wengen in late July and hotel said the hiking trails were closed that year to June, still with snow on them..
So, my advice is stay lower.

Posted by
12040 posts

March is still part of the skiing season in the Alps, especially Switzerland. Hiking options are extrememly limited. Although I personally would jump at the chance to stay in one of the mountain villages (being a skier), if you don't ski, you'll have little to do. An area like the Berner Oberland is extremely expensive even in the shoulder season, in the winter sports season prices are astronomical. So, given that time of year and your desire to keep a budget, your initial idea to visit as a day trip makes sense.

Posted by
1358 posts

?Your itinerary sounds OK to me. I would change only a few plans. Add one night to your CT stay if

And I would not devote a day to Berne. Add it to your Interlaken stay. That will be a better choice because you can go up into the Alps and visit a few
mountain tops. Or hike.

I would not devote a day to Lucerne either. Add it to your Lugano stay. That is a more pleasant and peaceful area. Unless you have a specific reason to visit Lucerne.

Posted by
26 posts

I visited friends in Lucerne last summer and fell in love! It's a beautiful little city, and plenty of hiking to be found! Mt. Rigi is a nice day hike with some amazing views.

Whatever you decide, I hope you have a wonderful time!

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks to you all. I appreciate all the helpful ideas.

Posted by
1010 posts

My husband and I were in Lucerne, Geneva and Zurich back in 1970. We are going back to Zurich and Lucerne in June. We absolutely ADORED Lucerne. We are allocating seven nights there and three in Zurich. We are going to take the Bernina Express, the William Tell Express, the Mount Pilatus (which we loved) and the Jungfrau rail trips. I rant into a young girl today at a bookstore. She is 22 years old. Her grandmother is a travel agent. The girl said she thought Lucerne was absolutely fabulous. It is so quaint and clean. Switzerland is wonderful.