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Lucerne or Interlaken/Grindelwald as a base?

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Ava T
Ava T
52 posts
active member
Feb 8, 2023 - 2:12 PM

I will be going to Switzerland for the first time in April for 7 days and need to make the most out of my short stay. I land in Zurich and was thinking of heading straight to Lucerne and either stay there for 3 nights or head to interlaken/grindewald for 3 nights as a base. I was leaning towards grindewald only bc of its proximity to Jungfraujoch as we wanted to visit that for 1 day and also see the tissot first walk. the roundtrip from Lucerne seems to be almost 6 hours if we stayed in Lucerne. But I did hear that Lucerne is a beautiful town and not to be missed. Any suggestions on which town is better as a base? We would be heading to zermatt after this, followed by Geneva. If there is an itinerary that makes more sense, I’m up for the suggestions. I just figured from Zurich, I would work my way down and then west to end up in geneva.

also we’d love to visit all mountains but with limited time, if we had to only choose 2, would you recommend Mt. Titles, Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, schilthorn or Matterhorn?

Removed user
Removed user
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Feb 9, 2023 - 1:33 AM in reply to Ava T

Personally I would n't say Luzern is a 'beautiful town not to be missed' per se. There are a few particular attractions that attract tourists in Luzern but it is Luzern's position on the Lake and it's status as a start point for boat trips, mountain tops etc that make it a good base.

Personally I would avoid Jungfraujoch - it is expensive and the top is too much like a theme park nowadays (likewise Titlis). I recommend concentrating on Pilatus, Schilthorn and Zermatt. Zermatt is called the 'village of the 4000ers' because it is surrounded by dozens of mountain peaks of 4000m altitude of higher. The Gornergrat railway trip is much better than Jungfrau because you are in the open air a lot more with constant views of the Matterhorn. At Gornergrat you also get a good views of the highest peak in Switzerland, Dufourspitz (part of the Monte Rosa massif)

255 posts
top member
Feb 9, 2023 - 7:25 AM in reply to Ava T

To be honest 7 days will be short to stretch from Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt and Geneva

Ideally for 7 days you should focus on areas around Interlaken (4 days) and Lucern (3 days).

I would prefer Mt Titlis and Schilthorn for mountain excursion. I did day trip to Zermatt from Interlaken but it will be a long day

You can refer my trip report where I evaluated these attractions




1551 posts
top member &
Feb 9, 2023 - 2:52 PM

Hello AvaT,

Thank you for sharing your plans. I can imagine, it's all rather overwhelming trying to decide where to visit especially as it's your first time here. That said, I am sure wherever you and your family decide to stay and visit whilst in Switzerland, you will come away with some wonderful memories.

Thank you Chetan, your trip report is terrific and very helpful for fellow travellers.

All the mountains you mention are stunning and appealing in their own way - great selection.

If you are based in Lucerne, Pilatus, Titlis are within easy reach for day trips. There is also Rigi too.

Interlaken versus Grindelwald, in addition to visiting Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn, I would say, depending on additional interests on your part, facilities, shops, restaurants, nightlife, this could help with deciding.

I hope this helps, feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Kind regards,


Last modified on Feb 9, 2023 - 2:54 PM by Yolanda


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