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Old 06.04.2011, 22:04
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parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Hello all! I'm new to Zurich and this is my first post! =)

My parents will be visiting for a week during Easter holiday Apr 22 - Apr 29 and I need some advice on where I should bring them!!

Both of them expressed interest of seeing Paris so I am thinking of taking them to Paris for 3d2n starting Sunday by train thinking that everything in Switzerland is probably closed on Easter sunday and Monday...

and I want to bring them to see the mountains in Switzerland which could be jungfraujoch or Zermatt (but maybe not staying over to save on hotel $...)! but I also want to make sure that it's not too much for them...as they will have to fly 13 hours to come see me so i want to make sure that I don't make them too tired by going to too many places yet to have at least see some must see in Switzerland! So here's my draft itin....

Apr 22 - parents arrive early morning so let them rest in the morning - PM will bring them to Zurich, take the ferry on Lake Zurich, then go up to uetliberg, dinner in Zurich (any ideas on nice traditional swiss/zurich restaurant would be appreciated!!)

Apr 23 - day trip to jungfraujoch by viator tour... (or should i just go on our own...?) - and depend on weather as well...

Apr 24 - Apr 26 - take the train from zurich to paris and back

Apr 27 - Apr 28 Zermatt - looks really beautiful but seems too far for a day trip...?

Apr 29 - parents leave evening... not sure where to bring them yet...

My parents are both upper 50s....they both have never seen snow ever and they really want to see some snow this trip! (no skiing or snow activities though).

If you were me, would you go to jungfraujoch or Zermatt or go to both? i havent been to either of them yet...they both seem to be 3 hours from zurich...?

If I only pick one, then my other options are...
- day trip to luzern and mt rigi or mt titlis (i have been to mt rigi and it's quite beautiful, is mt titlis even better?)
- day trip to bern -never been myself but heard and read that it's a nice beautiful city!
- Rhein fall + some other parts in Eastern Switzerland - (heidiland or st gallen...) - but this is the last option as they have both been to niagara falls...

Unfortunately I have been in Switzerland for less than one month and not really been to a lot of places in Switzerland myself yet...so your advices would be GREATLY appreciated!!! =) I really want to make sure that they have a wonderful trip and see how beautiful switzerland is!!!!

THANK YOU in advance!!

oh one more question! if i stick with the itin above...a swiss pass for them is a must right??

THANK YOU!!!!!
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:23
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

http://www.glacierexpress.ch/EN/Docu...rs/package.pdf

i just found this too! is this something worth to do as well?
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:38
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

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Apr 29 - parents leave evening... not sure where to bring them yet...
Leave the last day open for the moment. You're itinerary looks like busy at the moment and they may just wish to spend the last day relaxing with you before they fly home - if so, how about spending a few hours at a thermal bath?

Otherwise, ask them what they want to do more of. If they liked visiting Zurich then take them to Luzern.

If they liked the mountains more than the cities then spend another day in the mountains.

It's good to have a spare day in case of bad weather.
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Old 06.04.2011, 22:54
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Welcome to the Forum Flora.

Are your parents booking their flights with a travel agent? There might be special travel tickets for visitors to Switzerland, sometimes they need to be booked through an agent. Someone here might know!

For all other public transport:
http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/abos-billette.htm

You might be trying to fit too much into their itinerary. There is so much to see here, you can't see it all in one visit! Personally I would give Paris a miss, you would waste a lot of time going there and travelling back again.

Can your parents extend their visit? 8 days isn't very much after a long flight.
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:23
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

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oh one more question! if i stick with the itin above...a swiss pass for them is a must right??
I would go to the train station and ask for cheap offers. They will happily calculate different options and suggest trips for you. I booked a trip for my sister and her family for the first week of May from Zurich to Paris and it was less than half price. Swiss Pass or Halbtax for a month is good, but it depends where they are going and how often. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:31
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Thank you both for your quick response and being so welcoming!

I guess the itin is a little busy... i just wanted them to see so much as they rarely like to travel that far away!! I put paris on my itin because I thought that everything will be closed on Sunday and monday here due to Easter... but if it's not the case then maybe i'll skip paris and go somewhere else!

unfortunately they both are working and they can only get one week off...i wish they can spend more time here so we don't have to squeeze so much in one week! >.<

tom - Thermal bath is a great idea especially for the last day!! I think they will appreciate a day of just doing nothing and relax... i found the following site...do you have any recommendations of which one is good? and is it a half day thing to do...? sorry if it is stupid to ask....

http://www.thermalbathguide.com/ther...thermal-baths/

thank you again! i love this forum!!
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:39
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

You do seem to have a busy week planned....

However, if you can find the time, I can strongly recommend going to Jungfraujoch - maybe on one of the days the stores are closed.... You can do this as a day trip from Zürich.

Jungfraujoch is absolutely amazing and very much worth the long trip up the as well as the price. It is a bit (a lot ) on the pricey side, but in my opinion something you should do at least once. And if your parents have never seen snow, this will be an experience they will never forget.

Enjoy the visit!
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:50
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Switzerland will be open for tourists at Easter, you won't notice any difference in the tourist towns.

However the shops will close early on Thursday and Saturday. The shops will all be closed all day Friday, Sunday and Monday. In some Cantons the shops are open on Friday or Monday (I think Fribourg and Ticino)
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:55
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

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tom - Thermal bath is a great idea especially for the last day!! I think they will appreciate a day of just doing nothing and relax... i found the following site...do you have any recommendations of which one is good? and is it a half day thing to do...? sorry if it is stupid to ask....
There's a thread here on Thermal baths in Zurich.
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Old 06.04.2011, 23:57
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Well, I'll say it: Going to Paris by train for three days is not doing the city justice and you will be all stressed out.

Simple question: Where are you from, what are your parents into? This might help to get good suggestions.

I personally found Jungfraujoch to be a complete tourist trap - I think it was nearly four times the price of a trip up mount Titlis. Jungfrau is a great mountain, but my parents for example have seen many of those in their lives, so I would not take them there...
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Old 07.04.2011, 00:19
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Oh no! so I can't even visit Zurich on Friday? the ferry and tram still run i assume!? and i can still go to Uetliberg right? i guess the hotel up there don't close!! i hope some restaurants open.......................

i do see mixed feedback on Jungfraujoch from different posts and forums as well! like i mentioned, my original plan was to take the viator tour up so i dun have to be stressed out about finding the tickets and getting there...but if there're better ideas, i'm all for it!!! (i'm already quite stressed out about them coming...)

the tour for jungfraujoch - review seems so great so it's so tempting..
http://www.viator.com/tours/Zurich/J.../d577-2460JUNG

my parents are from hong kong so they don't get to see the mountains or lakes or nature in general much! My mom has never been to europe and she was really excited about Paris so I am now in a delimma about it... as it's not really that close by! it's a 5 hour train ride...but I heard the train ride is beautiful too? i never been to paris myself neither...(I guess all of train rides in Switzerland are beautiful though! haha) she also has never seen snow! They are semi active but don't ski or serious hiking...but any "Easy" snow activities would be nice! (which i duno what they are..) they also like good shopping but i guess not possible in switzerland as everything is so expensive!

thank you for all of your replies! much appreciated! (it's like getting some of my stress out too...)
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Old 07.04.2011, 01:44
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Only the big main shops will be closed at Easter Fri, Sun, Monday. Everything else will be up and running!

I would think a visit to Zurich Bahnhofstrasse and a round lake trip would be enough for the first day.

Day 2 maybe Luzern as it is beautiful, with transport museum if weather is bad. If it is good weather go up mount Titlis, much better than Jungfraujoch. http://www.titlis.ch/en/titlis/titlis_info

Day 3 a trip to Bern city and maybe Thun city & castle (or butterflies at Kerzers ) would be nice too. http://www.berntourismus.ch/en/index.cfm

Day 4 visit Basel and the Rhine ports, a Roman village is nearby at Augst http://www.augustaraurica.ch/menu/index.php many art museums and culture.

Day 5 Appenzell and maybe Chur http://www.appenzellerland.ch/en/pag...erkuenfte?sw=s
http://www.churtourismus.ch/Home.4164.0.html?&L=4

Day 6 Geneva for the shops and the French way of life. If time, take a boat trip to Lausanne? http://www.lake-geneva-region.ch/en/index.cfm

Day 7 visit Schilthorn mountain & Piz Gloria revolving restaurant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Her_..._Service_(film)
(DO NOT GO TO JUNGFRAUJOCH!) or if weather is bad go to Interlaken with nearby Beatenberg caves or model village Bönigen http://www.interlaken.ch/erlebnisse/...tipps.html?L=3

.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:00
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Have a look at this site before you go on your boat trip on Lake Zurich:

http://www.zsg.ch/index.php?en_home

The boats don't leave too regularly until they start their summer schedule I believe..I've been caught out by it before...!! so check before you leave.

When my parent in their 50's came, they required a lot of tea and cake stops...so I factored in regular visits to nice tea places eg. Sprungli at Parade Platz, little places in the old town - they will probably like walking around there as well (just off Bahnhofstrasse and on the other side of the river).

From my experience they're more interested in seeing you and finding out about what your life is like here than being dragged all over the country from dusk to dawn.. :P So don't over plan!

I took my Mum down to Rapperswill which she loved, it was quite quiet but a nice train ride down there and quite quaint. Only good on a sunny day though I'd say. That's probably a three quarter day trip with lunch, a bit more relaxing after a busy day I'd say.

Luzern was really good as well, great views. Get a map from the tourist office at the train station and walk around and see all the sights.
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:23
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Thank you both! i'll replan the week!!

Boogaloo - you are right I guess! They properly would be happy enough to see me! haha! shouldn't overplan!!

have an AWESOME day y'all!
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Old 07.04.2011, 10:44
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

We tend to plan too much into a visit as we want to show so many nice places..I once had friends from Spain visiting. They had never been to Switzerland and were in their early 20 so I thought we could do a lot...turned out to be rather difficult as it took as ages to even get started in the morning and wanted to do lots of shopping and breaks. I have learnt from that experience .

1. day: We started in Kandersteg as I was there and went to Berne next. We spent the night in Bern
2. day: Bern and went to Basel in the evening and spent the night there. 3. day: Basel and returned to Zurich in the evening.
4. day: Rheinfall and Winterthur and returned to Zurich
5. day: Lucerne and back to Zurich
6. day: Zurich and Zoo Zurich
7. day: Zurich for more shopping and airport

They were exhausted after that week

So I would strongly advise you to rethink your itiniary. Ask them what they would like to do and tell them that you can't do everything. Money is also an issue. Yes it is cheaper to return to Zurich every night but you can see more if you travel and spend the night. I would acutally look into proposed routes (group tours) as they give you a good overview of what can be done. I would start in Zurich and would also definitely go to Lucerne. Titlis is nice also Rigi. You will be able to see snow but there most probably won't be any snow there (but check this). Bern is also a nice city and you could go on from there to Geneva. The trainride along the Lake of Geneva is stunning and incredible beautiful. Glacier train might also be a good option.

I would suggest that you look into different things again (get a guide for Switzerland and look up the places they mention). If you're planning a trip for easter (Good Friday and Ester Sunday / Monday) might be difficult, so check on the internet if the things that you look are open. SBB as mentionned is also very good. They have great tickets for visiting guests. My friends got a card for 5 days and paid a lot less than I did for the travelling (I had a 1/2 Tax (Half price card)).

Enjoy the time that you can spend with your parents and keep flexible about the itiniary!
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Old 07.04.2011, 11:05
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

To answer your questions:

1. I would choose either between Jungfrau or Zermatt from Zurich. I've done both and personally, I prefer Jungfrau, though Zermatt is iconic. Both arent too taxing to travel at all. Start out early around 7am to get there by lunch, no need for tours - and enjoy the views from the train rides. There is a restaurant there where you can enjoy the views before exploring what there is up there.

2. Taking them up to Uetliberg is a good idea. Another place you should check out is Die Waid restaurant. The views of the city from up there are are pretty spectacular (although not as extensive as Uetliberg) and I always bring my guests there for dinner/lunch.

3. Why not take them to Rhein falls instead of another mountain? Stop over the little town of Stein am Rhein. Very charming. Alternatively, if they've been to Niagra falls, then Rhein really isnt going to compare.

Luzern and Mount Pilatus is another option - do check the Pilatus website. The last time I wanted to take my guests there, the top deck was under renovation. Forgot till when. Luzern as a city itself, is worth a visit too. Bern can also be done in a day - in fact, half a day.

Alternatively, consider the french part of Switzerland. I love Lausanne. Its possible to take a boat across to the Evian mountains too

Have fun!
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Old 07.04.2011, 11:07
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

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my parents are from hong kong so they don't get to see the mountains or lakes or nature in general much! My mom has never been to europe and she was really excited about Paris so I am now in a delimma about it... as it's not really that close by! it's a 5 hour train ride...
I think you just need to explain to your Mom that Paris is not just "around the corner" (lots of non-Europeans think things are closeby!) and that Paris is best left for a future visit when they come for a longer period of time.

Also keep in mind, the trip there may be 5 hours there (plus time to the station and from the station in Paris to central Paris, so up to 7 really!) and then there could be delays. One trip of mine from Geneva to Paris once took 5 hours instead of 3 as there was a fault on the line and we had to be diverted. Then there are the obvious possible transport strikes! This was no problem for me as I was not on a tight schedule, but if you need to be in and out in 3 days... delays can be a nightmare!

Have fun whatever you decide!
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Old 07.04.2011, 11:37
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Hi, I've found visitors really appreciate a trip to the Cailler chocolate factory combined with a visit to Gruyère and then a dip in the spa at Gruyère. That would pretty well fill a day.
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Old 07.04.2011, 11:40
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

Why go to Paris when so much to see in Swizzy?

I live in Luzern and recommend at least for 1 of your days - but do this only if the weather is good.

1) Train trip to Luzern - start fairly early
2) Walk around Luzern old town and stop for a coffee or early lunch along the River Reuss
3) Then take steamer from Luzern to Alpnachstad
4) Then take the steepest cogwheel railway in the world up Mount Pilatus and admire the breathtaking views (if not good weather then you won't see much)
5) If you haven't eaten then have a bite to eat up there
6) Then take panoramic cable car down to Kriens and then bus it back to Luzern

R
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Old 07.04.2011, 12:26
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Re: parents visiting for a week! seeking ideas!!

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My mom has never been to europe and she was really excited about Paris so I am now in a delimma about it... as it's not really that close by! it's a 5 hour train ride...but I heard the train ride is beautiful too?
I think the train ride is mainly looong... and if you just have three days you spend two of them half on your journey. But having a Chinese wife I know the "Paris syndrom" pretty well (that's btw not a joke, there really is a Paris syndrom, the hospitals there have to take care of several hundred mainly Asian females a year that have something like a nervuous breakdown because the city does not match the idealized imagination of the most romantic place on earth...). So if you have to, why don't you do this on Easter: If you spend half the day on Friday and Sunday when shops are closed anyway on the journey, you do not miss that much...
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