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Old 21.01.2018, 09:56
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Sightseeing with parking places

Hi everyone!

I converted my driving licence to a Swiss licence a few months ago and we recently purchased a car. I am now trying to find places to go to get ongoing practice driving in Switzerland. I’ve so far taken my kids to the Kambly Experience in Trubschachen and Papilliorama in Kerzers. Today we’re going to Animaux Mysterieux in Cernier. I’m hoping for more suggestions .

My requirements are:
-A parking place dedicated to the place of interest (I don’t yet want to drive around in an unknown city to look for parking)
-Somewhere that is more convenient to visit by car than public transport
-Preferably something in Switzerland

We live in Biel and anything up to 2 hours away will be fine. We’re from Australia, so my kids are use to long car trips. It also doesn’t have to be anything specifically kid orientated but indoors would be good at the moment.

Thank you in advance for suggestions!
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Old 21.01.2018, 10:34
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Try the Cailler Chocolate Factory !
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Old 21.01.2018, 11:31
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Isn't it in one of Victoria Wood's sketches that one couple is parked on top of a hill, admiring the view and the woman says "It's fine, but I liked it better with the 2012 car tax sticker"?
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Old 21.01.2018, 11:33
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Get your kids used to enjoying the wonderful Swiss trains, with the postal bus finishing to take you to whichever spot you wish to visit and do your bit for the environment.
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Old 21.01.2018, 11:41
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

The Asphalt mines in the Val de Travers are worth a visit and have a dedicated car park. They have restricted opening times over winter.

http://www.val-de-travers.ch/index.php?id=761

The Latenium in Neuchâtel is also quite nice and has a car park too.

http://latenium.ch

There is also a fabulous exhibition called 'Manger' at the natural history museum in Neuchâtel which has been extended until the end of February but parking near there is a bit more difficult. There are a couple of public car parks nearby.
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Old 21.01.2018, 12:26
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

The caves of Valorbe (Grottes de Valorbe) are good + have dedicated parking
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Old 21.01.2018, 13:06
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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Get your kids used to enjoying the wonderful Swiss trains, with the postal bus finishing to take you to whichever spot you wish to visit and do your bit for the environment.


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-Somewhere that is more convenient to visit by car than public transport
Still kind of difficult with a dense train network and PostAuto buses reaching nearly every obscure corner of the country. But in some cases you are faster with a car but will miss the eye to eye contact which you have in a train. For some outdoor activities it makes sense to use public transport as you will not have to go back to the car.

With this said lets look at some interesting stuff which may be not known so well:

Like the Underground mills at Col des Roches/Le Locle which are easily accessible by public transport.
http://www.lesmoulins.ch

The Dinausaur Footprint at Vieux Lac Emosson are as easy to reach by car as with public transport.
http://www.valleedutrient-vallorcine...int-layer.html

Same goes for the dinosaur footprints near Lommiswil SO.
http://naturmuseum-so.ch/app/uploads...nLommiswil.pdf

The Underground lake in Saint-Léonard is properly as easy with car as with public transport.
http://www.lac-souterrain.com/en/

The Bex Salt mines are also easy to access by public transport.
http://www.seldesalpes.ch/en/salt-mines/

Troppenhaus Fruttigen is a bit longer walk from the train station
http://www.tropenhaus-frutigen.ch

The Aareschlucht between Meiringen and Innertkirchen (opens end of march)
https://www.aareschlucht.ch
which can be combined with the Sherlock Holmes Museum
http://www.sherlockholmes.ch

More ineteresting stuff in the Grimsel region
http://www.grimselwelt.ch/en/

There is an other Sherlock Holmes Museum in Lucens
http://www.lucens.ch/TOUR/Sherlock.html

The National Museum / Château de Prangins
https://www.nationalmuseum.ch/e/prangins/

The Ballenberg Open Air Museum
https://www.ballenberg.ch

The Pré-Giroud Military Fort
https://www.pre-giroud.ch

which can be combined with the Iron an Railway museum in Valorbe
https://www.museedufer.ch/en

Forts Cindey and Scex down at St. Maurice are relatively easy to access by public transport, on the other hand Fort Dailly up at Morcles needs a car/motorbike and you will experience over 29 hairpin curves!
http://www.forteresse-st-maurice.ch/...ch/fhome_e.htm
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Old 21.01.2018, 13:24
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Château de Chillion, Trummelbach Falls and Muerren, Grand St Bernard pass, and the St Bernard dog place in (i think)

The pass and falls only open in sunmer.

Look on the MySwitzerland website for plenty of ideas.
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Old 21.01.2018, 13:51
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Thank you very much for the suggestions!!

I have a GA and the family tickets for my kids, so we’ve already done lots of sightseeing by public transport. I just want to feel really confident driving in Switzerland (other side of the road and give way to the right), so I’m ready if there is ever a time when I absolutely must drive. These suggestions will give me a varied driving experience
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Old 21.01.2018, 13:53
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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While you're nearby, visit the Gruyères Castle. And eat lots of Gruyères double and triple cream!
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:05
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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Still kind of difficult with a dense train network and PostAuto buses reaching nearly every obscure corner of the country.
Alas, not on Sundays or after 19h.

Tom
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:12
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Sorry if I came across as snappy. Good on you!
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:38
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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The Asphalt mines in the Val de Travers are worth a visit and have a dedicated car park. They have restricted opening times over winter.
http://www.val-de-travers.ch/index.php?id=761
.......
Restaurant: <<Spezialität: im Asphalt gekochter Schinken.>> (speciality: ham cooked in asphalt)

Now let's ask Tom (who eats almost anything) would you drive there for this?!
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:40
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Fun activities with kids by car from Biel?

Try the Sensorium in Rüttihubelbad
http://www.ruettihubelbad.ch/de/sensorium

Mine love the water park Laguna Bad in Weil am Rhein (as a family we probably pay one third of what we would pay at Bernaqua followed by a movie at the Rheincenter while I do some groceries

I second the Cailler museum plus a tour of Gruyère

We prefer to use public transportation to visit the museums in Bern or Neuchâtel

The thermal baths at Schönbühl
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:49
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

Don't ask him anything today, he's grumpy!
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Old 21.01.2018, 14:53
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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Don't ask him anything today, he's grumpy!
Who is? Tom?
Wouldn't you be if you had to do this on a Sunday morning?
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Old 22.01.2018, 09:26
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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I just want to feel really confident driving in Switzerland (other side of the road and give way to the right), so I’m ready if there is ever a time when I absolutely must drive. These suggestions will give me a varied driving experience
Kinda OT but still:
Sightseeing means long distance on motorways and out-of-the-city roads. Virtually no traffic other than those driving in the opposite direction, which doesn't really bother you.

What you do need is inner town/city practice with stops, give way and lots of crossings and circles. That can be stressful in and of itself so it's best done without the family, without the kids complaining or otherwise distracting you and the wife potentially commenting on your driving skills.
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Old 22.01.2018, 11:30
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

If you can extend the two hours by an extra 15-30 mins, there's Montagne Des Singes (Monkey Mountain) in Alsace and the nearby Volerie Des Aigles (aviary and bird show type thing with various birds of prey)

https://www.montagnedessinges.com/en/

http://www.voleriedesaigles.com/

If you time it right, you can do both in a day (Monkeys in the morning, Eagles after lunch)

This outing is one of our visitor staples.
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Old 22.01.2018, 12:15
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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I second the Cailler museum plus a tour of Gruyère
Another vote here, also take a look at the Giger Museum+Bar.

If you wait for summer, the trip to Estavayer-le-Lac was also lovely for driving training, has a nice little beach next to the lake, and painted me as the obvious person from Zürich when I asked where I had to pay for the parking... (it was free. Spent the whole afternoon fearing someone had lied and surely I will have a parking ticket on the way back).

Also, I absolutely loved my birthday trip to Basel last year - Augusta Raurica (free parking) + Vitra Museum (free parking). I did see the city, but that with public transportation.

For highway training, a trip to Mainau is nice - also cheap parking. It's in Germany, but it's a pretty good trip to prepare you for crossing different types of highway in Switzerland.
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Old 22.01.2018, 14:31
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Re: Sightseeing with parking places

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Kinda OT but still:
Sightseeing means long distance on motorways and out-of-the-city roads. Virtually no traffic other than those driving in the opposite direction, which doesn't really bother you.

What you do need is inner town/city practice with stops, give way and lots of crossings and circles. That can be stressful in and of itself so it's best done without the family, without the kids complaining or otherwise distracting you and the wife potentially commenting on your driving skills.
You are absolutely right (except that I’m the wife ) I took lessons with an instructor in Biel but that really only means that I can drive in Biel. I drove every day in Australia, but we lived in a city that was really easy to drive around and with little traffic. After I get more confident driving on narrow streets with multiple changing speed limits in small towns, I will try driving in larger cities other than Biel (with no one else in the car!).

The suggestions for sightseeing have been fantastic!!! I have a Lonely Planet guidebook about Switzerland, but most of the suggested places aren’t in it. My kids already want to visit the Sensorium next weekend. Thank you so much to everyone who responded!
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