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Old 24th June 2008, 18:20   #1
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Question Trip to Switzerland - How to plan?

My brother is getting married in September. He is planning to go to Switzerland for his honeymoon.

He has never been to abroad ever so far. So, he is not too sure about how to plan his itinerary, and do the bookings.

He wants to go for 6-7 days trip. So, it will be great if somebody from the forum who has been there, can help & guide us in this regard.

Where all should he go in Switzerland? Would prefer scenic locations rather than busy cities.

He had contacted several travel agents /companies.. which offer ready made packages. But, in my opinion, it would be better (and cheaper?) if they plan on their own.

Any medium range hotels that you will recommend?

If the trip cost estimate is within his budget, he is also planning to go for a 1-2 day trip to Paris. Is it possible?

Please help.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 24th June 2008, 18:54   #2
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It would be cheaper by a long shot if he takes one of the packages. You can consider an European tour.
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Old 24th June 2008, 18:59   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woof View Post
He had contacted several travel agents /companies.. which offer ready made packages. But, in my opinion, it would be better (and cheaper?) if they plan on their own.

Any medium range hotels that you will recommend?

If the trip cost estimate is within his budget, he is also planning to go for a 1-2 day trip to Paris. Is it possible?

Please help.

Thanks in advance!
Usually it is cheaper to go with tours than going on your own but it gives one much more flexibility to go on your own.

I just came back after spending a couple of days in Paris and would suggest that they either plan to spend more time there or skip it as it does tend to become very tiring trying to add all possible things to your itinerary.
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Old 24th June 2008, 19:02   #4
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If planing self, then following places worth visiting for 6-7 days

Stay at Interlaken or nearby (as it is centrally located in the country)
Visit Jungfraujoch, Mount Titlis, Sylthorn, Zermatt, Rheinfalls [each will take 1 day]
Among cities, Geneva, Zurich, Luzern, Bern are good.
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Old 24th June 2008, 19:09   #5
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Hello woof,

Anything is possible.

It can be much cheaper to go on your own and you can enjoy a lot more too, but I see 2 major hurdles.

1) Your brother has never been abroad.
2) Add to that - it is his honeymoon and I am sure they would rather spend more time with each other than discovering basic things.

So I am going to go against my usual norm and suggest a package deal for switzerland.
After the package deal is over, they can also visit Paris for 2 days on their own. Here is a simple way to do it.

Insist that the travel agent fly them to Zurich on Air France excursion ticket, not any other airline. Their flight will be Bombay-Paris-Zurich. After they have completed their package tour in Switzerland, they will fly Zurich-Paris.
Here they can break their journey at no extra charge and stay back in Paris for 2 days, coming back to Paris CDG to fly to Mumbai.

Of course they will need a rench visa, which they should apply for AFTER procuring the swiss visa.

Go for the initial steps first

1) Visit Raj travels, SOTC, TCI, Thomas Cook and Cox & Kings - hunt for them on google and send them email enquiries stating dates of travel.
2) Finalize one travel company - tweak the program to include Air France tickets and explain to the travel company that your flight plan should be ZRH-CDG/ 48 hour break/ CDG-BOM.
3) Get the swiss visa.
4) Ask the same travel company to help you get them the french visa. Do not ask them to plan anything for Paris.

This way, the initial days of the honeymoon will be well-planned and taken care of. The initial first-time-abroad feeling will pass and later a nice self-adventure through paris can be planned.

Of COURSE I will help you with the planning and accommodation in Paris. It would be my pleasure.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 24th June 2008 at 19:11.
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Old 24th June 2008, 19:17   #6
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Sam Bhai, little wonder as to why you deserve the Distinguished title and have a fan following here on T-BHP. Its because of these advices and offers of help. Kudos to you oh Lord of the Yetis!
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Old 24th June 2008, 20:05   #7
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Hey bro,

Switzerland is an amazing place and I am sure your brother would enjoy it a lot.
Some of the places I would recommend are -
- Zurich for 2 days. Shopping is good, but expensive. Banhofstrasse is one of the main streets and shopping and food is good here. There are some big malls and all nearby.
in Zurich, travelling by tram is more convienient and cheaper than cabs or rental cars. We stayed at Hotel Continental/Sofitel out here and it was amazing in terms of location. One restaurant thatI would recommend would be Le dezalle, which serves swiss cuisine. The fondue out there is amazing and it is a 15 min walk from the hotel.
Another option, and cheaper would be Novitel.
- Interlaken - you can rent a car from Zurich and drive down. Interlaken is the perfect place for a honeymoon. It isn't as urban as Zurich and has a very peaceful atmosphere about it. The main attraction there is Jungfrau mountain. Another place I would recommend is Grindelwald near Interlaken, which is like a small town. The food is good, there are small shops. IIRC, you have to take a cable car up and down. We always stay at SwissInn whenever we go there as the location is pretty good.
- Logano - another small town, near the italian border. There are other small towns nearby and if you have a car, you can drive to a lot of places and I am sure your brother would love some of the roads there. Food is mainly italian food like Pizza and Pasta as it is near the border. Some of the places you can drive to are Bellinzona, Ascano, Locarno, Locano etc. We did around 1000km when we were there in 5 days. there are lots of restaurants and shops near the waterfront, which is beautiful. Also, if weather permits, there is a cruise which I have heard a lot about but due to dismal weather we couldn't go.
We stayed in the silence hotel chain near Ascano, which was amazing.
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Old 24th June 2008, 20:36   #8
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Hi Woof! Congratulation for your brothers soon to be wedding

Re: switzerland, here's the complete information. I hope it helps. Should you need any more information, don't hesitate to drop me a line

1. To begin with your brother should take swiss-air as they have good deals and is flying direct to zurich/geneva with convenient timings with arrival in swiss at 6 am, leaving the entire day on hand in comparasion with other airlines which reach mid-day/evening which waste's an entire day.
2. As your brother is going for his honeymoon, suggested locations would be
a) 2 Nights in interlarken
b) 2 Night in lucern
c) 1 Nights Zermatt or 1 Night Geneva or Zurich

Since your brother further wishes to travel to paris then I would suggest 1 night in Zurich or Geneva .

To travel to Paris, your bro' can take the TGV Train from Geneva or Zurich to Paris and can spend 2 nights in Paris. However I would recommend 3 night stay in Paris.

Interlaken :- Excursion to Jungfraujoch
Lucern:- Mt.Pilatus & Mt Titlis
Zermatt :- Excursion to Gornegrat
However Geneva & Zurich are more commercial as compared to the other 3 but worth a visit .

Most important and effective way to travel is through Train and since you mentioned in switzerland you would like to stay for 6 nights do not forget to buy a swiss flexi pass for 6 days which will enable you to travel unlimited on Swiss rail , Cruise & Buses at no extra cost and also discounts at various museum in lucern .

Further if you have a pass you get discount to any of the above excursions mentioned as compared to sector tickets in switzerland .

Hotels suggeste in 3***
Interlaken :- Hotel Chalet Oberland
Lucern :- NH Hotel , Waldstrasserhof & Weisser Kuerz
Zermatt :-Would suggest that instead of opting a 3*** go for hotel SIMI 4**** hotel .

I hope this information is of help to you.
Cheers!
M2S
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Old 24th June 2008, 21:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by married2speed View Post
Hotels suggeste in 3***
Interlaken :- Hotel Chalet Oberland
Lucern :- NH Hotel
Both these hotels are highly recommended especially Chalet Oberland. And should your brother & bhabhi feel the craving for Indian food, there is an Indian restaurant right next to this hotel run by an Indian gentleman!
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Old 24th June 2008, 21:24   #10
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Quote:
And should your brother & bhabhi feel the craving for Indian food, there is an Indian restaurant right next to this hotel run by an Indian gentleman!
Kanchi in Lucern & Spice India in Interlaken
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Old 25th June 2008, 15:05   #11
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Thanks for the replies guys! I am overwhelmed by the your responses & support! Team-BHP rocks!

@Proxima - Yes, I agree the overall expense will be lesser if he goes for a packaged tour instead of on his own.

@sammyboy - What all places should he cover in Paris? Are two days not enough?

@sbask - He's planning to take a flight from Delhi to Zurich. Spend a night there. 2 nights in Interlaken. 2 nights in Lucern. Then move on to Paris to spend couple of nights there, and take a flight from Paris for return to Delhi.

So, in total 5 nights in Switzerland, 2 in France.

@Sam - First of all, a lame question - What is an excursion ticket?

Well, your suggestion sounds to be perfect for him IMO - a packaged tour of Switzerland, and then a trip to Paris on their own. I personally suggested him that he can get the flights/hotel/eurorail bookings done by a travel agent - rest they should manage on thier own.

As per your suggestion, I have sent emails to all these travel agencies - Raj/SOTC/MakeMyTrip/Cox&Kings/Tui etc.

Secondly, will Schengen (I hope I spelled it correctly) visa cover Switzerland & France. Or, does he require seperate visa's for both countries?

And, ofcourse, I am going to trouble you again when I go ahead with the accomodation bookings for France. Thanks Sam!

@SumitB - You are 100% correct. Sam - the lord of Yeti's!

@lamborgini - Thanks for the details. Will definitely look into the itineary & hotels you have suggested. Time to do some googling!

Talking about weather, how will it be in September - October? Will it be too cold?

@married2speed - Swiss Air seems to be a nice option. I need to check up the prices/timings with the travel agent.

Everybody here is suggesting for a longer stay in Paris. Is it possible to cut short a day from Switzerland trip and add one to paris. Like 4 nights in Switzerland (2 in interlaken, 2 in lucerne) and then 3 nights in Paris. But, I suppose that will make it quite hectic for them?

@iraghava - They will prefer having Swiss food I guess - one should try the local cusine in my opinion.

Thanks again for all your replies. Appreciate your help!

Kudos to Team-BHP!
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Old 25th June 2008, 15:57   #12
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Tell you what, i went for my honeymoon last year to switzerland, and i made all my bookings through this company called The Swiss Holidays, in CP. They will do all your visa paperwork, air tickets, hotel bookings, travel bookings, sight seeing passes etc, and an itinery with all train/bus timings to help your way around. Their contact person will meet you at the airport when you land and hand all the stuff to you. I took a package with 3 nights Luzerne, 3 nights Interlaken, 2 nights Zurich. And it was a great experience and trouble free as far as the entire planning was concerned from the firm. I would really suggest you have your brother call them and get a deal.

The Swiss Holidays, 36 Chandralok Building, Janpath.
Swiss Holidays | Switzerland Tourism | Swiss Tour | Tour Switzerland | Switzerland Vacation Packages - The Swiss Holidays
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Old 25th June 2008, 16:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woof View Post
Thanks for the replies guys! I am overwhelmed by the your responses & support! Team-BHP rocks!


@sammyboy - What all places should he cover in Paris? Are two days not enough?
Hi Woof, I had a very hectic schedule in Rome and Venice so by the time I reached Paris , was a little tired. One way to enjoy most monuments in Paris is take the L'Opentour bus. It costs about 25 euro for 24 hours and runs on 4-5 routes. THe major route that covers most monuments and takes 2 hours. THis is not a guided trip but a get on get off service so sit on top of the double decker bus and enjoy the ride. THen based on what one wants to see get off, visit the monument then hop back on.
What i did was cover the entire route once and then just got off on the second trip.

A cheap and wonderful way to look around.
Two main things, not to be missed are the Louvre and the Eiffel tower. Take the lift to the top of the Eiffel, its incredible. Missed seeing the Moulin Rouge and the Lido Show:( Surely something worth seeing if one is interested.
Because your bro is on a honeymoon, I would suggest not cramping too many things in Paris...just do what the heart feels.Roam around Champs Elysees, St Germain etc. .

Just take it all in at leisure. Isnt that the whole purpose ? Let me know if you need any info. Sam would be the best guide though as he has travelled extensively but would be glad to provide any help needed.
p.s The hotel rooms in Paris are really tiny so be prepared for that. We stayed at the Best Western Star Champs Elysees. Nice but very small rooms compared to other Best Westerns in other places. But then thats how Paris is.

Last edited by sammyboy : 25th June 2008 at 16:12. Reason: add
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Old 25th June 2008, 16:22   #14
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@Sam - First of all, a lame question - What is an excursion ticket?
Any Airline has different kinds of tickets.

An excursion (as the name suggests) is a short trip and the excursion ticket is the cheapest return fare (you have to fly in and out on the same airline, typically the same return route) and the return journey must be consumed within 90 days.
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Old 25th June 2008, 16:35   #15
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Secondly, will Schengen (I hope I spelled it correctly) visa cover Switzerland & France. Or, does he require seperate visa's for both countries?
No, they'll require seperate Visas, Switzerland is not part of the Schengen.

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@iraghava - They will prefer having Swiss food I guess - one should try the local cusine in my opinion.
I agree & I rarely eat Indian food when abroad (apart from when it's homecooked by a friend/relative!) but a lot of Indians miss Indian food when they travel abroad (My Mother & brother for instance) and hence my suggestion to you.
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