Had a terrific Switzerland vacation in Switzerland using Rick Steves book as a guide. Spent nine days in June, arriving in Zurich, and traveling by train to Luzern. This was my first time in Europe where I didn't rent a car. The trains in Switzerland are excellent. They are clean with big windows for easy sightseeing. Not too crowded either. We also stayed in Gimmerwald and lastly Lausanne. The weather was mostly sunny with no humidity. The country was beautiful. We also visited Montreaux which was an easy train ride from Lausanne. We returned home via Geneva. We enjoyed riding the trains, boats and cable cars. The snow capped mountains were amazing. Another great European adventure.
Edward - Could you tell us what you did in each place and what you especially liked or didn't like (sights, hotels, food, etc)? Thanks!
Edward got it EXACTLY right in avoid rental cars and heading straight for the trains. How many more tourists will fall victim to the "I've always had a rental car" train of thought. Want a REAL vacation??? Dump the car and take the trains. Thanks to Edward for sharing this transportation experiences.
It stayed light out until 10 pm in June so we always had a full day to do things. No humidity like we have here in New York meant we always had the energy to keep going on our excursions. We arrived at Luzern around mid day on Saturday. After a short walk from the train station we dropped off our suitcases at our B&B. We then walked back to the train station to start exploring Luzern. One of the first things we noticed are the thousands of bikes stored around the train station. I imagined what a traffic jam there would be if all these bikes were cars. Following Rick's recommended route we walked along the river, crossed over the bridge, went to a Coop to buy Sandwiches and a bottle of wine and sat down along the river for lunch. Finished the walk at the ferry terminal and decided to use our Swiss Pass to take a ferry ride.Took a short ride to Weggis and took the cable car up toward Mt Rigi. Connecting to a train we were on Mt Rigi on our first day. Returned by train to Lake Luzern, boarded a ferry back to Luzern and returned to our B&B. Ate dinner at a small restaurant across the street, having Chicken Cordon Bleu for 25 Franks. We took more than 1200 digital photos while in Switzerland and looking at them now the skies were beautiful blue and crystal clear. Maybe I just got lucky but Switzerland was a gem.
Yep, Switzerland is definitely a gem.
I'm on my way to Geneva in October and plan to spend four days there and then make my way to Lyon by train. In your post you mentioned you departed via Geneva, did you get a chance to explore the city? If yes, what must see activities would you recommend? I'm also thinking about taking a day trip to Montreaux and or Lausanne. Any recommendations or tips you could provide would be appreciated.
We were only in Geneva for the airport. Only saw what we could from the train. I thought the area around montreaux was beautiful. We walked along the landscaped paths along the lake. Also took a boat ride. Walked between adjoining towns in a vineyard area. Great views of the lake and the mountains across in France. We stayed in Lausanne which is a more built up city with a subway . There was a big music festival going on in Laussane on the weekend we were there.