Best peaceful 2-3 day trips FROM Lausanne, Switzerland
October 1, 2015 6:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Switzerland for the last two weeks of October! Thanks to this question, I have a lot of good tips for day trips while in Lausanne, Switzerland. My question to you: where should I go FROM Lausanne for an overnight trip--2, max 3 days? My husband will still have some work at the EPFL, so were not taking a long trip outside of Switzerland. I'm looking for recommendations for some peaceful, beautiful nature (but comfortable lodgings) places to go, whether in Switzerland, Italian Alps, or...(insert idea here). I'd like to minimize travel time to <1 day, so that we spend more time relaxing and less time getting there. Any suggestions for overnight stays that are comfortable but surrounded by beautiful nature? Any favorite places in the Swiss or Italian Alps? We're into hiking and sitting around fires eating/drinking in equal measure, and prefer nature to big city experiences. Thank you!
posted by dhn to Travel & Transportation around Switzerland (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Colmar, Freiburg, Strasbourg. The Alsace is wonderful.
posted by humboldt32 at 6:20 PM on October 1, 2015

We went to Luzern, Interlaken, and Bern last year. All three are wonderful. Luzern in particular is extremely charming, and it's small enough to see in a day and a half. Bern's Old Town is also pretty compact. There's much more to do in Interlaken, so it might not be a day trip. Really, though, you can't go wrong. The Alps are incredible.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:34 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I was a teenager my Girl Scout troop went all over Switzerland and spent a week in Adelboden at Our Chalet. Technically it's a WAGGGS world center but when we were staying there, there were several guests who weren't Girl Scout affiliated, and that was during the very busy summer months, so (unless things have changed significantly in the last 15 years) so I think civilians should be able to book lodgings there no problem.

It's utterly charming and a really wonderful place to go if you just want to hike and stare at gorgeous mountains and occasionally see cows.
posted by phunniemee at 6:35 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @humoldt32, any suggestions on places to stay? And thank you all for suggestions, I need all the help I can get with 2 weeks to plan this!
posted by dhn at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2015

That was my question! I'll try to look up my itinerary again, it was a great trip. I would suggest Murren--my absolute favorite place in Switzerland. We stayed at Chalet Fontana (I think, woman named Denise owned it) and I highly recommend.
posted by inevitability at 6:52 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

In Strasbourg we stayed here:

Can't remember other places specifically. I just use and go with a combination of rating/price/location.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:06 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Zermatt (the Matterhorn)


Although the Goog informs me these are more 2-3 hour trips from Lausanne (or less, in the case of Chillon)

It has been basically a lifetime, but those were the places in Switzerland apart from Lausanne itself that stuck with me. I definitely recall an entire day each on Gruyeres and Zermatt.

I remember the beauty of the lake at Lugano but nothing else in particular about it. I also have powerful, fond memories of Champery, but as far as I know you could just toss a dart at a map of the country and hit any given mountain village to get your eyes knocked out by the scenery and some sore legs from hiking around, which was why I was in Champery more or less.

I assume Zermatt is about as touristy as it can get, but my god, the mountain.
posted by mwhybark at 12:55 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am sorry, but you would be making a terrible mistake if you went to Alsace looking for beautiful nature.

From Lausanne, it is not far to some of the most beautiful parts of the alps. Chamonix and any number of places in Valais (Zermatt if you have to pick one) are nearby, and as others have pointed out, you're also in easy reach of the Bernese Oberland. I'd recommend Grindelwald, but basically everything in the area is ridiculously pretty.

All these places have highly developed tourist infrastructure and great public transport, so there is really not much need to stress about planning, I usually check where the weather is nice and book the night before.
posted by themel at 12:58 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

(from the other question)

Note that the train station in Lausanne has a steep hill going up, and a steep hill going down, on either side of it, so you'll almost certainly want to taxi if you have heavy luggage.

directly across the street from the train station there is or was a municipal underground funicular which is used to get from the gare to the primary transit hub of the town, um, Place Palud, I think. This may have changed; my memories are from the early 1980s.

Wikipedia refers to the metro being steeply graded at the Gare so I think the old line must have been merged with a new line - the funicular was the only municipal train system I remember, but the electric bus system was great and reliable.
posted by mwhybark at 1:07 AM on October 2, 2015

Champery in my prior response is more or less on the way to Chamonix, and yeah, Chamonix is great. Oh, now I'm missing the mountains even though I have some right here.
posted by mwhybark at 1:09 AM on October 2, 2015

Mürren! We love it and have been wanting to go back for a while now.
We have stayed at Chalet Raufthubel a few times and it is wonderful. Two bedroom apartments with kitchen. Steps from the train station and also the grocery store.
Other possibilities here.
For a hotel experience we also liked Hotel Alpenruh. It is on the other side of town so either a few more minutes walking or else approached from the Schilthornbahn.
Or take the waters in Leukerbad, with a ride up to the Gemmi Pass, and perhaps a room at the hotel up at the top- if they are open. Up for a walk? Stay at the Hotel Schawenbach- The website says they are open to October 17.
(I have lots of suggestions... if you would like).
posted by Tunierikson at 1:14 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You guys are the BEST. I love all the suggestions! Good to know that I should check to make sure things are open from 10/17-10/31.
posted by dhn at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2015

I live in Switzerland!
You could go to France easily, for example by taking a ferry across the lake to Evian, or via Geneva.

You could also go to Italy super easily.

Or stay in Switzerland, go to Interlaken, hike up the Jungfernjoch or Grindelwald (not the villain from Harry Potter.) I am planning to go to Reichenbach next weekend to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum and hike up a mountain to the falls.

This page might be helpful.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 3:52 AM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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