I'll be visiting Switzerland on a company trip in March and it will include guided tours and sight-seeing.
Since it'll be my first trip to Europe, after Switzerland, I would like to take a few extra days say 4 days to travel to a (any) neighbouring country for a leisure holiday.
Would appreciate any suggestion as to which country should I be travelling from Switzerland to, with a limited budget and no. of days.
Travelling to Berlin would be quite nice for you, I think. What are your budget constraints?
I had a look on bahn.de to price up train tickets for you. I think you could do it for under £70, and the fastest train takes about 6 hours, I think. Of course, you could fly and/or take the bus. Will the destination be the last stop for you before going home, or will you go back to Switzerland? If you drive, why not drive it? Grab a car from carhire3000 or auto-europe. They have good rates and customer care.
For general information, try offtoberlin.com, generatorhostel.com, berlin.de, newberlintours.com, berlincitytourist.com or just search google.
If you go, be sure to visit the Pergamon museum where you can see the real gates to the city of Babylon. The Soviet War Memorial, the remnants of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie are all worth a look. Night life is also good - head for Aufsturz and its massive variety of beers on Oranienstrasse. Trendy bars mostly around that street and Hackeschermarkt.
Good luck, and hope I could help.
And I forgot to say you can live and eat cheaply in Berlin. Hostels which include breakfast and linen can be found for under 10e a night if you don't mind sharing your room with others. It is also possible to get salad/kebab/balkan food plus a drink (varying quality) for under 5-6 euros and you can easily pick up other food from the numerous supermarkets...
Thank you for your postings and it is really helpful.
Gees, I am not sure of how much money I need to 'save up' for the trip to Germany as you have suggested, Stepsdevil.
Roughly how much do u think we would need to spend for lodging, food and transportation in Germany for 5 days ?
You need at least 10e a night for accommodation so that will be at least 40e
You're going to need 31e for the 7 day transport pass which lets you use trams, buses and the underground in zones A, B, C. This means you can travel quite far outside the city e.g Potsdam and Sachsenhausen.
A good daily budget for Berlin is about 35e. If you find a hostel that gives you breakfast (generator for example, and a+o hostel gives you a 'snack' breakfast) you only need to buy two meals. The rest of the money will cover you going to see 2 tourist attractions at least. TV tower costs about 8 euros, museums usually less than5 euros though the museum island museums cost more (I think you can get passes that let you in to several museums on the one day), and a boat ride down the Spree river costs 5-7 euros. You'll also have a few euros left for socialising or Internet then.
You can get by for 5 days in Berlin on well under £200 as I have frequently done it myself. Plus you can do loads of things for free in Berlin e.g. sometimes the Pergamon museum is open one evening for free so that poorer people have access to culture. If you plan things in advance, it is very easy to find stuff to do that does not cost the earth.
Good luck, Becci