5 nights switzerland

hi we have 5 nights to spend in Switzerland (we will be driving in from Colmar and heading back out towards Lyon) and we would like to spend maybe 2 nights in one spot and three nights in another. Can anyone suggest where would be best? We are travelling with an infant and a 5 yr old and thought we could include a scenic train ride somewhere. I have read that some of the most beautiful areas are not accessible by car - but can we leave our car nearby and then catch bus into town to stay? i know 5 nights is very short but that is all we have so looking for suggestions in order to make the most of our available time.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
4379 posts

First of all you don't need a special "Scenic Train" because Switzerland is just covered with amazing scenery all over the place. The best way to see is to actually be out in it. With that said...head for the Interlaken "area". When you get to Interlaken keep on going until you arrive in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This is where you'll see much of the amazing scenery. Park your car in the parking garage in Lauterbrunnen and choose a hotel either in the valley or Murren or Wengen located on either side of the valley. It's a shame you'll have a car because the Swiss train system is absolutely wonderful. If you need another destination you could possibly consider the Lucerne area. Lucerne has a pretty little medieval town center. There are some small village lake resort very near such as Weggis where you could spend a couple of days and enjoy boat rides to Lucerne or Mt Pilatus. In Weggis you'll also be right at the base of the Rigi for another spectacular mountain journey.

Posted by Beth
Boulder, Colorado, USA
215 posts

See the Matterhorn!! park in Tasch and take a short train ride to Zermatt There is a train up from there with awesome views and easy to get off and walk, then catch the next train. Lauterbrunen is also great - see the Eiger
great car park in Lauterbrunen or your lodging may have free parking. Hope for sunshine and enjoy the trip!

Posted by Rachael
Melbourne, Australia
24 posts

Thank you! I shall do some searching about your suggestions online.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2396 posts

Since you will have a car, and assuming you are driving between April and October, you cannot miss the central mountain road passes of Grimsel, Furka and Stuten!!! They are stunning, easy to drive provided you keep a moderate speed, and offer many vantage points. I plugged a "circular" very scenic route in the mountains here (http://goo.gl/maps/SIZng). You can pick parts of it depending on where you are travelling from/to. If you can also drive over the Alps (on a much, much slower route of course) when heading out to Lyon. Suggested route from Täsch (near Zermatt) which would take a whole day of driving but is 50% scenic and 20% extremely scenic http://goo.gl/maps/FxJHP

Posted by Chris
Mahone Bay, Canada
310 posts

Rachael, I agree that somewhere in the Lauterbrunnen Valley would be a nice base for several nights. Depending on weather you could either go up into the mountains or take day-trips to Bern, Gruyeres, etc. Our 2-year-old loved playing around the Fountain in Gruyeres (and since the square has minimal traffic and roads in and out, it was a good opportunity for him to safely get rid of some energy). He also loved our visit to the Ballenberg Open Air Museum one rainy morning. We haven't taken him to Bern, yet, but I know he will enjoy seeing the bears when we do. We had one sunny day during our stay and visited Murren - our 2-year-old loved the mountain train ride and watching the paragliders taking off from the hill just outside town. We had a nice (jogging stroller-friendly and should be 5-year-old friendly) walk from Murren along side the mountain railway to Grutschalp (where the cable car heads down to Lauterbrunnen) with fantastic views of the snow-capped mountains the whole way along. We'll be back for a longer stay this fall with our now 3-year-old and infant and have chosen to rent an apartment near Interlaken because we know there will be lots to do in the area. He loves trains so we're thinking of a day-trip to either Lucerne or Zermatt while we are there. You will only have a few days, though, so I'd just stay in the Lauterbrunnen Valley if the weather is clear. Have fun, we love traveling Europe with our little ones.

Posted by Rachael
Melbourne, Australia
24 posts

Andre - thank you for your maps and suggestions! I'm not sure we will have time to do the full Alps drive but we will definitely fit in something from your smaller mapped route. What a great way to show the area - thank you.
Chris - thanks for your child friendly suggestions too.