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Favorite cities in Switzerland

We are going taking the train to Zurich in early July and have 3 days in Switzerland. We plan on renting a Harley and riding in the Swiss Alps. A friend told us he preferred Geneva to Zurich but would love other suggestions on favorite cities and bike routes, as well. We know the mountains are beautiful wherever we stay!

Posted by
199 posts

How about Lucerne? Not too big, not too small. Lots of scenery.

Posted by
16874 posts

I would think with a Harley you would want to be out of the cities in the courntyside, enjoying those twisty roads over the pases. We hiked up to the top of one of those a few years ago, I think it was Grimselpass or another in that area. It was lunchtime and there were several hundred motorcycles (mostly BMW's) parked there as it is a very popular route.

Posted by
186 posts

Zurich is way too expensive, and overrated in my opinion. Get out of there quickly and see the rest of the country. The mountains and the rest of the country
really are beautiful. Cheers!

Posted by
2023 posts

We just returned from Switzerland. Enjoyed a day trip to Stein Am Rhein-north of Zurich and an hour or so train ride. Also visited Bern as a day trip and found it interesting. IMO the Berner Oberland is exactly what one pictures Switzerland to be-all about the alps and hiking. Zurich is super expensive.

Posted by
33 posts

Eddie, we just returned last month from a trip to Germany and Switzerland. We originally were going to rent a bike for Alps touring but for various reasons decided to go by car instead. We found the book "Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Beyond" by John Hermann to be most helpful in planning. I would recommend that you take the circle route that encompasses the Furka, Grimsel, and Susten passes. It was absolutely beautiful by car and would be even better on a bike. It's not too far east of the Berner Oberland which I would recommend as a great area to visit as well. And it's also not all that far south of Zurich, either.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks so much for the valuable info! We have one room booked in Zurich but could easily get out of it. I'm very spontaneous and would like to travel around before I make a commitment on where to stay, but my wife enjoys the security of a reservation. Does anyone know how difficult it would be to get a Bed and Breakfast outside the main cities? Any suggestions on places to stay? We have 3 days in Switzerland.

Posted by
833 posts

I think you should keep your one night in Zurich. I loved exploring and walking along the lake. If you are interested in the countryside I would visit other cities and travel more around Switzerland, but unless you have a destination to head to immediately you may have fun visiting Zurich for one night. It's a nice, clean city. (Of course, Switzerland is a nice, clean country haha).

Posted by
258 posts

The Jungfrau region will give you that quintessential Swiss Alpine experience/flavor. Just spectacular mountain scenery, endless hiking opportunities, etc. Def 1 of my favorite regions of Europe. BUT, IMHO, IF one has the time, the big cities of Switzerland provide great experiences for travelers, too. Zurich is pretty, sophisticated, small and easy to navigate, has world-class museums and restaurants, and is just a very enjoyable city in which to spend a few days. I found Geneva equally as enjoyable; a different pace/aesthetic than Zurich, but certainly a world class and very cosmopolitan city. And spotless (!), in that typical Swiss way!

Posted by
358 posts

On my recent tour of Switzerland my favorite cities were the Luzern,Lugano,Zermatt, and Bern.

Posted by
33 posts

We really liked the recommendation in the RS Switzerland book for the Alpenhof in Stechelberg, in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Breakfast is included for an extra fee, though we used the kitchen facilities and made our own.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks so much for your help! We will check some of these places out!

Posted by
1010 posts

We agree Zurich isn't all that it is cracked up to be. Lucerne is prettier. Unfortunately people smoke indoors constantly in Lucerne, Zurich, Berne, etc. We also stayed in Lugano and they didn't smoke indoors there. You can do many day trips out of Lucerne also.

Posted by
3821 posts

Chris, you said, "Zurich and Geneva are awful". Could you expand on that a bit, so some of us will not waste time going there? Thanks.

Posted by
3821 posts

Thanks, Chris. You've saved me a lot of time and money! Good information!

Posted by
258 posts

Just wanted to chime in re: Zurich & Geneva are "awful cities!" Opinions re: cities, countries, etc, are toally subjective and everyone's opinions differ.....but I couldn't disagree more! LOVED both! Granted, if someone had limited time in Switzerland (say, just a few days), and if it was their 1st visit there, I would advise they go straight to the Bernese Oberland (Jungfrau region, Grindelwald, Gimmelwald, Interlaken, etc.) to get that quintessential, gorgeous, Alpine experience. BUT, if one has the time, the major cities offer a great deal for the traveler. Geneva and Zurich are world-class, sophisticated, easy-to-navigate (albeit, EXPENSIVE!) cities. Both are excellent gateways to the mountain regions. Geneva and Zurich each impressed me a great deal!