Which city to stay in Switzerland?

Travel Forums Europe Which city to stay in Switzerland?

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1. Posted by Kate T. (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi there! We will travel to Switzerland this summer. We haven't decided on where to stay. Can anybody please give feedback on which city in switzerland is best to stay if we like to take a day tour at the alps? We initially thought of Zurich, but maybe there is a better city?

Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by dindiosk (Inactive 2 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kate!

If your interest is to take day tours/trips around the Alps, I would recommend Luzern as a place to stay. It is a very beautiful city located somewhat centrally in Switzerland, making it a good starting point for going anywhere. It has a beautiful lake overlooking the mountains and it is not too far from Mount Pilatus, for instance, full of options at the mountains! You can check it out here: http://www.pilatus.ch/en/

The city of Luzern itself is small, around 80.000 people, but is well developed with good restaurants and bars. From the 18-26 of June there is a festival called Blue Balls (yep, you read that correctly) that turns the city into a lively music venue, with lots of attractions and drinks/food stalls around the station and lake area.

The old town and the Lion monument also deserve attention. From there, you are also 1h away from Basel, Zürich and Bern. Bern is incredibly beautiful as a city as well and not too far from the mountains, but as a tourist I think Luzern might have more to offer.

I personally live in Basel, and quite like it, but we are further away from the mountains. Zürich is good for the nightscene, but if you're really into the nightlife, then Switzerland is not the best option anyway...

Hope you have a great trip, feel free to ask questions!

3. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Interlaken is a great spot for a short train ride to the Lauterbrunen valley with it's host of waterfalls, the mountain villages of Murren with picture perfect views of the Eiger& Wengen & you can take the train though ( as in inside ) the mountain get to the top of the Jungfrau mountain.
Interlaken itself is very pleasant with. of course, lakes at both ends.

Or take the spectacular Bernina panoramic train from Tirano in Italy to Chur & stay in Chur. I found Chur to be the nicest of the Swiss cities I got to stay in.

Or Zermatt is a wonderful little town for viewing the Matterhorne.

I took the Swiss pass for almost month last June & crisscrossed the country.

Here is my take on Interlaken

The Table of contents has the rest of my Swiss trip if you are interested.


4. Posted by Kate T. (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thank you dindiosk for the great suggestion! I agree, i saw pictures of luzern, such a beauty!

Another question, I saw a day tour from zurich to luzern and mt pilatus. Is it easier to join a tour going to luzern and mt pilatus? Or are those areas accessible by public transportation?

5. Posted by dindiosk (Inactive 2 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Great, Kate! Glad I could help!

Virtually anywhere in Switzerland is accessible by public transportation, but it really depends on what your style is. There are many agencies that offer day tours as well, and that gives you the chance to interact with some other people.

If you are staying in Luzern, I would reccommend taking the bus no. 1 (Kriens) to the 'Linde Pilatus' stop. This bus is located right outside the train station and it takes some 15 minutes to reach the stop to Pilatus. From there, it's just a 5 minute walk until Kriens, your starting point for Pilatus. It is quite easy to get there, but also very expensive to do everything (gondolas and cable way), so plan accordingly! There are sales booths at the train station in Luzern, I am not sure you can purchase those tickets online. If you are staying, however, in other cities, I'd say the easiest, with public transportation, would be to get a train to Luzern and then do the same as above! Zürich is just 1h away, and trains from Zürich to Luzern run very often. I'd save some more CHF100 for the area around Pilatus, with cable cars and cogwheel trains included, excluding the train ride to Luzern. That should go for around CHF30 one way, from Zürich.


6. Posted by Kate T. (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi steve,

I just finished browsing over your photos taken in switzerland. You are right, chur seems a beautiful town to stay. I also saw your pictures at zermatt, its gorgeous as well! I am now thinking of extending our stay to cover those areas:) thanks for sharing!


7. Posted by Kate T. (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thank you dindiosk for the detailed information! I really appreciate it! I'll compare the prices and opt for the cheaper one :)

8. Posted by PeteB (Full Member 9 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kate

A few good suggestions there - for a town or city location Luzern can't be faulted but Interlaken is one of my own favorites. That's a decent sized town by two lakes and very close to the high mountains. From there a short train ride takes you to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen for some of the most awesome scenery in Europe or a little further to the capital Berne.

Another area that's very beautiful as well as being cosmopolitan is Vevey and Montreaux on the eastern end of Lake Geneva in the French speaking region. Almost everywhere is easily accessible by train or bus - even the high mountain villages like Zermatt and Saas Fee which are well worth a visit.

Hope you have a good trip!

9. Posted by swissboy (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

In my opinion Zermatt or Verbier would be the best towns in the alps to visit by far!

The cheaper options would be to stay in Cervina (italy, the other side of the mountain) for Zermatt or Le Chable (at the bottom of the mountain for Zermatt). Both beautiful ski resorts with plenty to do in the summer!! A great place -snip- is Tempston!

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10. Posted by Liverskaya (Inactive 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Switzerland is a great country, having been there once you fall in love forever. If you choose a city to stay, I can recommend the old town in Zurich.