I agreed with Hazel..St Moritz got notting much compared to Jungfrau. If u r travelling of f&e, I suggest u to buy the 1/2price rail pass. With the pass, u will enjoy 50% of the rail trip whenever u go within a month.
I been to Swiss for a few times on biz trip. Been travelling big and small town. Nauchetel is a very nice place to go though it is only a small town when u r on the way to Geneva.
Like Bern, Zurich city u can join their local tourism tour at the office near the railway station. If u r young, they might think that u r student and u will enjoy 10-20% disc fr the day trip ticket
If u have time, Mt Titlis is a must,else Mt. Pilatus also not bad.
If u need any further details, can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]
If you're going lausaunne, can go to the olympic museum. it is quite a hilly terrain and be prepared for climbs and alot of walking! i backpacked in Switzerland a couple of yrs back, but didn't do Jungfrau. to be very honest, i was so bored with mountains after a while. between jungfrau, pilatus and titlis, if you're on a budget, do one enough already heheheh. the scenery is similar after a while. i find the snow on the mountain reflects so much sunlight that it gets irritating on my eyes hahahaha.
Switzerland is very very exp, so bring loads of cards or cash! i also did part of the rhine falls when i was based in zurich. training around is fun -swiss trains are reliable, clean and good.
i used it for reference when i was planning my honeymoon trip in early may. it contains lots of useful information and some maps.
it is relatively easy to travel in Switzerland by public transport. the main railway network is amazingly extensive and i do have very fond memories of the many train rides my wife and i had. in short, it is superb. the train arrives and departs punctually. the scenery along the way is breath-taking. u have got to be there yourself to experience this wonderful feeling.
i would certainly encourage the first-time travellers to utilise the railway system.
during our 10.5-day trip, we went to the following places:
-Lucerne (City, Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, Mt Pilatus)
-Interlaken (City, Brienz, Grindelwald, Jungfraujoch)
-Bern (City, Bears' Pit, Rose Garden Hill)
-Montruex (City, Chateau de Chillion)
-Bronc (Nestle chocolate factory)
-Gruyere (Gruyere cheese factory)
-Geneva (City, Red Cross HQ, UN European HQ)
-Zermatt (Gronergrat to see Matterhorn)
i agree that lodging, food and transportation are very expensive. during our trip, we stayed at backpacker hostels to save money. except for Lucerne and Zurich, the hostels in the rest of the cities are reasonably good. Prices are between 33SF - 48SF per person per night.
having meals in cafes and restaurants too often can be financially draining. a typical continental breakfast (sounds nice but is no more than just bread with jam, cheese and butter, museli, milk, orange juice and coffee) costs about 8SF. a Macdonald set meal costs about 10SF. 1SF is about $1.30 Sing dollar. we saved quite a bit by making our own breakfast daily. for certain days, we prepared our own dinner too.
for travelling purpose, we purchased the Swiss Pass. the pass allowed us unlimited rides on most trains, boats and buses. separate tickets have to be purchased for mountain railway. thankfully, Swiss Pass holders are granted 25% - 30% discounts.
things to buy:
1. Victorinox Swiss Army Knife (the backpacker hostels give at least 10% discount)
2. Chocolate - do purchase the delicious chocolate at the Nestle factory in Bronc. the brand is called Cailler. It is not available in Singapore. the prices are 30% cheaper than tourist gift shops.
3. Sigg bottle
4. Gruyere Cheese - made from the famous Gruyere region.
5. Utensil for cooking cheese and chocolate fondues - the melting pot, the forks and the burner.
very informative! just wanna check, u and your wife carry backpacks and not luggage rt? my hubby and i want to go to switzerland free & easy but the thot of lugging our staff from place to place on public transport seems very tough... errr.. i guess we are just not those "backpacking" type....
yes, we backpacked during our trip. avoid bringing too much clothing. you can always wash your soiled clothing every 2-3 days.
if backpacking is too physically straining for you, you might want to consider using a towable luggage (something like those the flight cabin crew use). the terrain there is not too challenging.
i agree that having to move from one place to another with luggages can be quite taxing. hence, it is essential that you take time to plan your trip well so that you won't have to change your lodging too frequently. you can always leave your luggages behind in the hotel/hostel when you do your sight visits. for instance, we were based at Lausanne when we visited Vevey, Montruex, Geneva, Bronc, Gruyere and Zermatt.
I m going Switzerland 2nd wk of Sep for honeymoon. Anyone knows what's the weather like at the montain, Top of Europe & the Matterhorn. Is it very cold up at the montain. Do I need to bring winter clothing? or just a jacket will be enough. Please advise....
it gets very cold when the altitude of a mountain rises above 3000+ metres. the reason being that the summit is virtually being covered by snow all year round. Jungfraujoch, the train terminal station at the so called top of europe, is almost 4000m high. I felt very cold even though i wore a pair of jeans with long john inside.
i suppose you are going to view the Matterhorn rather than actually climbing it, yeah? there is no railway up to this mountain. the most common route to view the Matterhorn is to take a train up to Gronergrat, which is 3700+ metres high. the surrounding mountains are perpetually covered in snow. i chanced upon a public thermometer at the terminal station in Gronergrat. the temperature read 5 degree celcius. It was almost freezing due to the windy condition.
having said that, i would suggest you bring warm clothings and gloves. and yes, a pair of sunglasses to minimise the glare from the sunlight.
hi, can anybody advise if its worthwhile to go switzerland in the feb? i know its still winter, beside skiing, what else can i do doing that period? is 14 days long enough to cover most places? my worry now is that it will be too cold to enjoy switzerland during that period.
Saw this thread, thot of sharing a bit here. I just returned from Switzerland yesterday, still trying to get over the biological clock difference. Already very cold there, ard 1-4 degrees in the past 1 week when I was there. If you go to the ski resorts in the mountains, it's already snowing. We stayed in a ski resort in Haute Nendez for a week. But we only skiied on one of the days, so the other days, we drove to the cities like Geneva, Bern, Sion, Luasanne, Zermatt ( drove to tasch then took train to Zermatt) for day trips. I must say it was extremely rush cos of the limited daytime. Day breaks only ard 7-7.30am, drive down the mountains (read: long, winding, narrow roads) took abt 30mins, journey to the cities in the vicinity was abt 1.5-2hrs. By the time we reached the cities, already late morning. Ard 3pm, we made our way back to the resort cos it will get really dark by ard 5.30pm. We decided to drive only during daytime, cos we thot it was quite dangerous to drive up the mountains in the dark, no street lights, only the car headlights to depend on. Every trip up and down the monuntain is heart-stopping for me. But for the locals, seems easy, so they tend to drive faster, which made our drive more scary... In the mountains, it snowed, so had to deal with driving on slippery roads. However, generally, the experience was fun, though I probably will not stay in the mountain resort for so long the next time. Spectacular view.....breathing taking, but kind of cold, sometimes prefer to stay indoor (in the resort and rot...)
oh dear... cin i think both of us are like playing catching. while you are trying to find me, i am trying to look for you too but we went searching the wrong places! ha ha never mind. at least we are blessed to meet in this thread again. just sent you a mail. chat over there k?
thanks for the reply. so did u just visit switzerland?how many days did u spend there? hmm.. looks like if its too cold and the limited daylight, i have to re consider. so overall, did u enjoy the whole trip? : )
I was in Switzerland last week, stayed in Haute Nendez which is in the midst of Swiss Alps. And as mentioned in my posting earlier, made day trips to the cities in Switzerland. Overall, the one week trip was very good. But the short days really made things very rushed. But a different experience to travel in winter
Hi touraco, I am not sure about train prices cos we rented a car and drove ard. More convenient, easier to manage time (esp during winter when day is short, time is very precious) and oso we didn't want to wait for public transport in the cold. I know the Swiss has got first rate public transport, you can go to myswitzerland.com to find out more. Famous mountains are not really near. Matterhorn is near the southern part. Mt Titlis and Jungfrau more centralised. I stayed in Haute Nendez which is a popular skiing region, made a trip to Zermatt (to see Matterhorn) and that took almost 2.5 hrs. And where I stayed oso near Southern part. If you want to stay in a place and make that the base, why not choose somewhere in the central part of Switzerland, like Bern (capital), then taking train to all directions oso faster.
Little_ger, temp in late Nov-early Dec was ard 1-4 degrees. Fairly cold, but after some time, get used to it. I managed with wearing long johns, woollen pullover, jeans and a thick winter jacket.
whether you can wear your winter wear depends on what your winter wear is. What I heard here so far with longjohns and woollen underwear and still feeling cold, I would definetely go for skiing attire which, in the best case should be made with sympatex and/or goretex. These fibers allow your skin to "breathe" but are waterproof. Skiing wear is also less penetrated by the wind and it´s the wind which really makes the mountains cold. The wind is much stronger, because there are no trees growing at altitudes such as in the swiss alps. I´ve been skiing with my jeans and a normal panty hose underneath and a thick winter jacket on top of a warm sweater, but it was not such a pleasant experience. I also would go for an overall, in case you fall there will be no snow under your jacket and the wind cannot go under it either. There are overalls which connect at the waistline by a zipper - makes the trip to the bathroom much easier.
And for goodness sake, don´t forget a good scarf and gloves, special skiing gloves are a must (I ski since I was 2 years old three times a year on glaciers - and I freeze if I don´t have good gloves)you should also definetely cover your neck well. This is where your pulse is very exposed to the cold, the best winter wear will not work if you let your blood cool down there.
The train and public transportation system is excellent, towns are also not very big, so you can do a lot by walking and bus/tram.
For public in-town transport there are mostly tickets valid for 1 or 2 hours or day tickets. Prices differ from place to place. In Geneva it was 5 Francs for a day ticket last year.
For the train system connecting the towns and provinces, you can buy single trip tickets or return tickets. For the fare it would be interesting hw old you are and how much you intent to use the trains. If you want to go by train a lot, you can buy a half-price card. If you are under 26, you can buy a "7-o´clock" card (can also be combined with the half price card), which means traveling by train within Switzerland after 7 pm is free in 2nd class (not much different from 1st class anyhow).
But it might be absolutely worth buying a eurail pass, which will also give you lots of discounts at sights. Unfortunately this eurail pass is only available for people who are not living in Europe :-(
If you choose to buy tickets for every trip and not go for the swisspass, tickets can be bought at the counter, at vending machines or in the train. In the train it´s 1 or 2 francs more expensive, but it´s quite practical when you are running a bit late...
The price of the ticket goes by the distance you want to go.
The problem of limited daylight during winter is also solved by taking the train - no driving in unknown territory in the dark. But I never feel bad when the days get shorter, especially in the end of november and in december the streets are absolutely beautiful in the dark with all the Christmas decoration and light.
sorry to reply so late. I don´t live in Singapore (but I´ve visited). It´s a long story how I ended up in this forum .
So I don´t really know about the best airlines and where to buy skiing wear.
Since I worked in the tourism industry, I´d recommend to go to your local travel agency and have them do a search for the best offer to Paris for example. Air France comes to mind of course for going to Paris.
If you don´t plan on doing a lot of skiing = at least once a year during the next 3-5 years, I´d really get a good quality second hand skiing overall.
I bought my overall 10 years ago, chose a timeless design and good quality and I´m still using it and it doesn´t look old at all.
Try to post a search for skiing attire in the market place in this forum, I´m sure there are lots of people who went to Switzerland or Austria or New Zealand for skiing and only used their things once or twice.
If you don´t find anything here, I´d try eBay USA. It´s the season for skiing right now and the choice is amazing. I saw an overall which looks like in perfect condition, selling for about 15$ which would be over 200$ new. Of course postage will be there, I don´t know how much, but overall, I think it will be a better deal than buying something new in Switzerland or Singapore.
By the way - Paris sounds great I absolutely love this city! Do you need any tips for Paris?
wow .. german girl your explanation is definitely very very clear! i would really appreciate if you can provide tips for Paris cos i am planning to go Paris and Switzerland/Austria as well. (just like cin.. hi *wink wink*)
oh ya.. i heard from a friend that paris isnt very clean and neat. is it true?
sounds like a beautiful honeymoon! As a rule of thumb, north of Europe=clean, the more west and south you go the "dirtier" it gets. I am ashamed to say, keep your eyes on the pavement in the city center of Paris, there is just too much dog poo! Besides that, it´s awesome.
Of course, you should visit the main sights such as Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur Church, The Louvre and ABSOLUTELY: Versailles! For Versailles you need at least one afternoon, better a whole day esp. if you go in winter (the daylight issue).
Some things worth seeing that many tourists never come to know about: The catacombs and Europe´s largest flea market.
Paris is basically hollow underneath. Stones were cut out from the middle ages for building the palaces and churches, then subway lines. In the late 17th century as far as I recall, there was an epidemic in Paris and the cemetaries were overflowing and some even collapsing into those caves. To solve the problem somebody had the idea to use the caves for catacombs after the model of the catacombs in Rome. They dug out entire cemetaries and arranged the bones in the caves underground. It´s a weird place, but definetly a sight!
For the flea market, which sells everything from cheap copies of antiques to real antiques (interior decorators of 5-star-hotels go shopping there!), victorian clothes and everything collectible. You got to take the metro to "La Porte de Clignancourt" a small sign then shows the way to the flea market. Don´t let yourself be stopped by the junk market which is trying to lure the flea market visitors into buying copies of african statues and stuff like that. The real thing is a bit further down the road. Some of the antique shops are also open during the week, but not so many. It´s best to go on the weekend.
I would also take a boat ride on the river Seine ("Bateauxmouches"). Or better: one during the day and one when it´s dark, some boats offer dinner cruises.
I will see my travel guides whether I forgot anything important and post some more here.
Does any of you gals know your itinerary yet, which places you want to visit?
wow german girl, i am speechless! can you please be my tour guide? you are good! ha ha ha...
actually i just know i want and i must go switzerland as it is like my dream.... i am not so particular about visitin Paris or Venice and the rest although my FH is keen to bring me to England. He went to York and London in March 2 years ago and he loves the place (though the ppl dislike the miserable and gloomy weather). he managed to see some snow there although my friend told me that London isnt a place to 'see' snow.
so actually we do not have a concrete plan as yet. just know that Switz is a must and prob stick to a max of 3 countries (but of course we will go Austria instead if money is a problem). My uncle seriously advised us not to tour too many parts of Europe cos much time will be spent on travelling and it can get a little tiring and we done get to see much.
We are thinking of going there by tour. or do you suggest free and easy? if we go free and easy then we really have to read up and plan our itinerary. and we are also not sure how many days should we allocate for our honeymoon. 12D? 15D? quite clueless actually.
btw, we are thinking of catching one of the English league in England. Any idea how much is the ticket? i heard that it is VERY VERY VERY expensive. boo hoo hoo...
I agree, that Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries of Europe, although Austria is so similar, that only people who are very familiar with both countries would notice a real difference. For seeing snow and the alps, Austria is a less expensive alternative.
I´m always amazed, when I hear how fast people from other parts of the world go through Europe. But I think we do the same when we go to some place so far away from our home country. For three countries, I´d say 12 days is the absolute minimum! 15 would be much better.
Europeans usually take 7-14 days for one country or part of a country, and they tend to come back another year and tour a different part, but I guess you can only do that when you can drive there or just need a short distance flight.
So, as I understand, you want to go to Paris, Switzerland and another neighboring country?
Possibility if you like the style and culture of the german speaking part of Switzerland:
You could start in Paris, and I think you will need at least 3 or better 4 days for that, at least if you want to see more than just the outside of places.
From Paris you could take the train or a flight (easy jet offers short distance flights cheaper than a train ticket)to Geneva(UN, water jet,old town, red cross headquarters, shopping), I´d take at least a full day there or one full day and one morning, departing in the afternoon or evening to your next stop. That could be Bern(nice cathedral, bears pit, old town), the capital, or Luzern (Jungfraujoch mountain, famous bridge, beautiful town), from there you could go to Basel(beautiful old town, cathedral, shopping), which is bordering both France and Germany, from there to Schaffhausen at the Swiss/German border, where the river Rhine a kind of waterfall. Then you could go on to Fuessen, where "Neuschwanstein Castle" is situated. It´s the castle, that Disney took as a model for his Cinderella Castle, I think the most famous castle in the world. I could give you contact details to hotels which are situated right between this castle and the castle where the King grew up who initiated the construction of Neuschwanstein. One of the hotels even has a room with a view of one castle through one window and the other castle through another window.
Then you could fly home from Munich.
Or you go to Austria from Switzerland to see Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna.
Or if you like the mediterranean better:
Paris as above, then Zürich, the biggest city of Switzerland, Luzern, Lugano (biggest town in the italian speaking part of Switzerland) then off to Florence and Rome.
I think if you don´t want to run all the time, this is about what you can cover in a two week period, allowing for travel time, sight seeing, eating and sleeping
If you stay in Geneva for one day longer, you can go on a day trip to Annecy, in France. There are busses departing from the bus station about once an hour (I did all of my clothes shopping in Annecy). It takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours to go there as far as I recall. It´s one of the most beautiful towns of the area!
Another possibility is Yvoire, only 10 kilometres from Geneva, a small town, of original medieval style - forget Disney Land! Here is the real thing! It´s very touristy, but worth a visit.
A tour is easier, coz everything is planned for you, but doesn´t give you much room for your own interests. And I always felt they were so rushed to go from one place to the other. I like free and easy, coz you can change your plans if something interesting comes up. Sometimes you discover the best places by chance. Also , working in the hospitality industry, I know the contracts of tour operators with the hotels: to have really competitive rates, they tend to order the smallest option for breakfast and don´t want to pay much for dinner, so the hotels have to stay in that budget - don´t expect anything fancy!
I´m amazed that your FH managed to see snow in England - in march! If you want to see snow, you should go to the mountains, any mountains: Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany or Austria.
Sorry about my ignorance: which league do you mean? England is good in quite a few sports, and although I also lived in Bournemouth for some time I didn´t really pay attention to any of the sports and therefore I´m not very familiar with all the wording. One of the guests asked once about the car races in Silverstone, but that´s all.
By the way, I did a lot of posts in the Switzerland Honeymoon Package thread, including a model calculation for a F&E, but a rather comfy one - a lot of money can still be saved. I calculated on a 3- to 4-star-hotel basis, But of course you can stay in bed and breakfasts for example.
wow! thanks german girl, your info is the most helpful! but i need some time to digest whatever you have written. frankly i am totally clueless about the places you have mentioned except for the more famous ones like eiffel tower etc. hee hee i am the typical ignorant girl who just want to go to Europe for honeymoon because it is oh so romantic...
hmm i will cut and paste whatever you have written and use it as a guide. you are good manz!
and talking about snow in England, yup even the tour guide told him that they were very lucky to get some snow in March. if i am not wrong, they took him up some mountains i think...
and i am actually refering to the soccer matches in england. my friend told me that it was too expensive to watch live so he actually stood outside the stadium and listened live instead.
and please dont say that. your info is the most helpful and i am really happy to know you. thanks a millon!
erm.. just one question before i go: can i wear contact lenses when i ski? or even the cold weather in Switzerland?
i am currently wearing soft contact lenses. hmm... seems like it is not very advisable. but if i ski i will be wearing some kind of goggles right ? (er... correct me if i am wrong) so will that prevent dryness?
and it seems like switzerland is divided into the german speaking and french speaking, but we can only converse in English... any problem?
Great to see a conversation ongoing about honeymooning in Europe!
I intend to DIY honeymoon in April next year but yet to decide which countries to go.. so many.. so tempting... currently considering France->Italy->Spain... but think may have to focus on only 2.
Do you have any recommendations of hotels to stay in in Paris and Venice? The ones I found will cost about 80 to 100 euros per night for a double... Boo hoo hoo.. so ex. Cleanliness and accesibility are the most important to us.
Also, is it cheaper and easier to travel from country to country using the budget airlines or Eurorail? Do you have any idea whether the domestic airports are close to the city centre and how much will the cost of transport be to and from the city centre and airports? Thanks.
Don't worry about contact lens. Hard or soft, both have no problems. I travelled to the Swiss alps before wearing my hard lens and my friends wearing soft lens... we all have no problems!
France and Spain are vast countries, I´d recommend to either do Spain/France or France/Italy.
By the way, the new "East" is very interesting right now. If you like history, you might want to consider also Budapest, Prague(beautiful!) as well.
The budget aitlines should be less expensive if you reserve early and want to visit mostly towns rather than seeing landscape! They only got a small alotment of really cheap seats, the closer you are to the date of travel, the more expensive it gets. If you want to do a lot of traveling through the countryside, with your route being rather spontaneous, the eurail pass would be better.
Some good low cost carriers are: ryan air, easy-jet (just enlarged their network), Air Berlin.
The main airports of towns are always easily accessible by public transport, but fares vary from country to country and even then, each town got their own fares, so it´s hard to tell in general. The low cost carriers do not usually use the main airports, that way they save the very high landing fees. In London, you will have to travel quite a bit from the airport they use (Stansted I think, Heathrow is the main one and got it´s own subway station.) In Berlin they use an airport which has it´s own railway station and several buses, traveling to the inner city would be 2 EUR per person in that case.
I´m trying to find my travel books, don´t know where I buried them when I last moved, only found my maps so far. I know I got a book with good hotel recommendations, which are mostly not bookable by travel agent. In general, London, Paris and Venice(in summer) are the most expensive places to stay n Europe. Maybe you want to check out www.utell.com and www.hrs.com they might have a special on and these always got the best rates available.
Since I work in the hospitality industry, I mostly went on staff discounts when I went to Paris, so I got to find out about "normal" hotels.
There is something that could be interesting and money saving for you: try to ask your travel agent for apart hotels, holiday appartments or studio hotel rooms.
Apart Hotels are Hotels which don´t have rooms but furnished appartments, holiday appartments could be private appartments rented out by someone who is away for quite some time and still wants to keep his appartment and studio rooms are hotel rooms with a small kitchen fitted in. They all should provide all cutlery, crockery, pots, pans, coffee machine, and so on. In all of these it´s no problem to prepare small meals which will save you bundles of money.
Holiday appartments are good if you want to stay in one place for some time and travel to other places from there, returning every evening. Studio rooms are available also for very short stays.
Okay, enough for today, I´ll try to find those travel books.
Thank you very much! I've travelled to most parts of Western Europe but my future hubby has yet to travel to those destinations. Each country has its own distinctive culture and provides a different experience. Therefore it's tough for me to decide which one is better.
One of my friends did mention that Budapest and Prague are beautiful. More choices... more headaches! Haha! Now, we're really thorn between where to go.
As you mentioned, ryan air and easyjet do offer cheaper airtickets. My concern is the travelling time to and from the domestic airports to civilisation! There was once I needed to catch a domestic flight from Stanfield and had to travel from Heathrow there. The coach trip was about 2 plus hours and it costed me about 30 pounds (?) if I remember correctly. That will mean there is no "cost savings" at all and a lot of time wasted. It may then make better sense to take Eurorail which will bring us into the city centre and many other destinations.
Thanks for the other accomdation options! I'll check them out!
Have a great 2005!
Here some Paris hotels, which you might want to check out:
Hotel Henri V
25, Place Dauphine
Metro: Pont Neuf
Tel.: 0033-1-43 54 44 53
Rustic ambiance, only a few steps from Notre Dame Cathedral. Price for double room with bath incl. breakfast was around 50 EUR, but better call for current rates. The location is great, couldn´t be closer to the sights!
Grand Hotel Jeanne-d´Arc
3, Rue de Jarente
Tel: 0033-1-48 87 62 11
modern hotel, double about 75 EUR, but again, better ask for current prices
Hotel du Globe
15, Rue des Quatre-Vents
Tel: 0033-1-46 33 17 29
Age-old stone walls and wooden ceilings.
Double about 60 EUR, but I don´t have any price for 2005
And here the thing for all the individualists out there:
Hotel de Nesle
7, Rue de Nesle
Tel: 0033-1-43 54 62 41
No reservations possible, so early arrival is needed. The 20 rooms are themed. Like the egyptian room. 10 rooms are with bath, double room with bath was about 50 EUR, breakfast about 5 EUR.
Grand Hotel du Loiret
8, Rue des Mauvais-Garcons
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Tel. 0033-1-48 87 77 00
Centrally located, near the town hall. The enterior is quite cheesy, I heard.
Ask for a room with bath, prices were about 40 EUR, breakfast 5 EUR.
All these hotels are quite small, some have less than 20 rooms. If you are interested in any, I would call and ask for a brochure and rates. They should speak english (although french people don´t like to speak it!)and send it to you by post.
Finding cheap hotels in Paris can be a headache. When I lived in Geneva it was much easier, coz it´s relatively close to Paris, people speak french in both cities, so traffic back and forth is frequent and travel agents got all the small hotels with special offers.
If I need to stay in a hotel in Paris, I always tell myself that it´s no use to take a posh one, since I am out and about all day anyhow.
I just made a reservation for air tickets to Geneva with easy jet (my best friend in Geneva is getting married in early march).
I noticed, that they also offer hotel reservations. I did a search on Paris and found lots of Hotels.
They start from 29 EUR per night per double. The AKENA Hotels are a french hotel group of budget hotels, clean and practical, location might not be so great though.
Also look into the Accor hotel group (sofitel, mercure, novotel) They got most of their hotels in France. Formule 1 are the cheapest hotels, but I wouldn´t take those, just too basic. If I just stay a night somewhere, I usually take an ETAP hotel, which is simple, but got all you need.
Anyhow, the easy jet web site may also be a handy tool to look at hotels.
Contacting the local tourism board can also be worthwhile. They got all the hotels in town, competitive rates and they know about bed and breakfasts and family hotels/pensions which might not be listed on internet.
Remember me? The gal who mailed you few times to ask about europe tour..
I've got back from the europe trip, and it was a nice and memorable one. Manage to follow our itnery and catch every train. Like Venice the most. But didn't expect Zurich is such an expensive city, the main course alone cost almost CHF30++, and always menu in switzerland written in "german" I think..unlike italy, usually they hv translation in English. Switzerland is still a very nice place...snowy everywhere...Bratworst is very nice..regret only eatten once, think will be hard to find in Sg.
Oh yeah, the sites, hrs.com recommended by you is very useful. We got most our hotel booked by through this site, didn't even need to call to confirm the booking although its from internet.
Ppls, Rex hotel in Zurich is one of the better hotel but charge quite cheap..its 3 tram station from city, or 10 mins walk. Highly recommended. For Venice I would like to recommend Calton Capri Hotel, very clean and nice for 90Euro only.
A bit dissapointed when we had lunch at eiffel tower, the staff there are a bit rude due to too busy. Also, think Parisiens didnt like to countdown for the new year? Only realised its 2005 when the illumination at Eiffel tower starts.
The pastry stuff with some ingredients in Lucern is a must try main course..Really nice!
Also, the longest queue ever for museum is definitely the Lourve Museum in Paris..so many ppl..even finding the Mona Lisa portrait took quite a while.