I'm doing abit of planning for my trip to Switzerland this summer since I'll be in Basel. Would appreciate your comments on the following itinery, whether I should spend more/less time at a place, if there're any surrounding areas I should visit etc
Zurich - 3 days including day trip to the Rheinfalls
Basel - 10 days for conference
Bern - 3 days - too much?
Lucerne - ? days...will early September be a bad time to go due to the tourist season?
Ferney/Geneva - 3 days to visit some friends
Are Appenzell/St Gallen and Lausanne worth spending a couple of days at? Should I spend some time at Thun/Interlaken?
I'm trying to limit everything to a month max and am considering visiting Munich and Salzburg as well (being greedy )
Will it be worth for me to get the Swiss Flexipass and is there a youth version?
Thanks lots in advance!!!
You can visit Interlaken and especially Thun very easily from Bern as it's less than an hour by train (Thun is only 20-30 minutes). I don't think there would really be any point in staying in both Bern and these places, it would just result in having to go through the hassle of changing hotel/lumping your luggage around for the sake of a short train journey. Even Luzern is just over an hour by train and can be visited quite easily as a daytrip from Bern, though there is enough in Luzern that you would want more than just a day there. If you stayed in Bern for 3 days or more and visited the surrounding areas by train it certainly wouldn't be too long - there isn't a lot to "see" in Bern, but it's a very pleasant place to stay in.
As for whether some of the other destinations are worth visiting, Thun is small but quite nice to visit for a half day or so. The scenery around the lake is really wonderful. Interlaken, though surrounded by the same scenery essentially, isn't my kind of place. The town itself is quite characterless and something like an empty ski-resort, though if you like outdoor activities you would like it better (I just like to walk/hike). However, it does serve as a base for a thousand excursions - you can get the train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen which is definitely worth it and allows you to experience some of the best scenery in Europe in my opinion - or at least some of the best scenery in Europe which I've seen! From Lauterbrunnen you can get a furnicular up to Mürren, or go to Wengen instead (both slightly touristy but very attractive "mountain" towns). Then there's Grindelwald and Jungfraujoch (the mountain) nearby as well. If you want to visit a lot of these places then it would make more sense to stay in Interlaken than Bern, but as said above, you can technically visit all of this from Bern as a daytrip or two.
I haven't been to Appenzell, St Gallen or Lausanne so hopefully somebody else can help you out with those.
Interlaken is absolutely beautiful (although I've never been anywhere else in Switzerland!). The scenery is breathtaking--I'd go for a few days, just to climb the mountains and enjoy the view.
Thanks very much for the replies! Seems like I should spend maybe 2 days in Bern and perhaps another 2 days at the surrounding area.
Looking forward to hear more opinions!