Plan for holiday to Switzerland during Winter

Plan for holiday to Switzerland during Winter

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Posts: 15. This thread is closed.
Bluesky
Bluesky
5 posts
new member
Oct 7, 2010 - 8:51 PM
Hi, i am planning to visit switzerland in end Dec or early Jan next year for about 10 days.

i am planning my journey in 3 parts:
a. Zurich/Luzean
b. Interlaken / Montreux/Geneva/ Zermatt
c. Zermatt/Andermatt/ Chur/ St. Mortiz/ Tirano/Zurich

i would not want to move and change hotel everyday. Can you advise on which city should i plan for accommodation in each part of the journey [& how many days would you recommend for each part of the journey?] that would facilitate travelling around the areas in an easy and hazzle-free way? i am planning to buy a swiss pass and take most of the scenic rail in these areas.

lastly, may i know if i could use the swiss pass out from/into the Zurich airport?

thanks.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 9, 2010 - 1:02 PM
Hello Bluesky, and welcome to the forum! If you want to visit all towns you mention, you can hardly avoid travelling throughout the country quite a lot. So if you'd like to stay within only a few towns, you may have to skip some city visits. My personal preferences would be Interlaken (or a nearby town), as the Jungfrau region just south of this town is truly spectacular; St. Moritz or a nearby town; and Zermatt or a nearby town. These are the genuine tourist 'hot spots', but they have every reason to be as the landscape surrounding these towns is very impressive. Tips for less touristic towns close to the ones I mentioned can be found here.

You may want to get to St. Moritz first, travelling over the beautiful Albula between Chur en St. Moritz. You could spend some days there and make a train journey to Tirano. Then travel to Zermatt by Glacier Express and spend some days there. It's do-able to visit Montreux and Geneva from Zermatt, although this will result in long day trips. Interlaken could be your last resort, before heading back to Zurich. If you don't mind some extra travel time, you could travel by the Lötschberg RegioExpress between Zermatt/Brig/Visp, Goppenstein, Kandersteg and Spiez, instead of taking the quicker tunnel route to the north.

Many combinations and travel routes are possible of course; this is just one option. You can best do some research to each town and its surroundings, try to find out what appeals to you most and then adapt your travel scheme to your own preferences. All trips can be planned through the Swiss timetable.

Yes, your Swiss Pass is valid from and to the Zurich Airport.

I hope this helps! Good luck on your further planning.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
297 posts
top member
Oct 10, 2010 - 3:46 PM
Hello Bluesky, I agree with Annika's choice of places to stay. Our first trip to Switzerland was a 3-centre holiday and we did Annika's choice the opposite way round! We spent 4 nights in Hilterfingen which is between Thun and Interlaken, travelled from there to Zermatt for 3 nights, took the Glacier Express to St. Moritz and stayed there for 4 nights. You will indeed be able to visit most places on your wish list that way. Lucerne, Montreux and Geneva are all within easy reach of Thun or Spiez, if it is cities you are mostly interested in. You can also do day trips to Zermatt and Zurich from there quite easily so you could spend longer there and just stay overnight in Zermatt before taking GE to St. Moritz. While in St. Moritz try to find time to visit some of the small villages in the Engadine valley - we took train and stopped off in Zuos and Scuol - the houses are beautifully decorated and well worth seeing. Have fun with your planning and make use of this site for ideas for each area - I have nearly as much fun searching for new ideas on here every year for our now annual Swiss holiday in Hilterfingen. Enjoy your trip. Maggie
Bluesky
Bluesky
5 posts
new member
Oct 10, 2010 - 8:27 PM
Hi all, thanks for your advice and suggestions. will look at the list given, sound like i can stay in Interlaken or a nearby town for a few days and move around the region. is it possible to make a day trip to/from Geneva from Interlaken if i also want to take the boat trip across the Geneva Lake?

By the way, how's the mood like in Swizterland between Christmas and New Year? i am not sure if i need to stock up foods or anything in case the shops are closed? And it is recommended to stay in tourist town [outskirt] or city during the holidays?

once again, thanks and have a good week ahead.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 12, 2010 - 2:48 PM
Hi again. A day trip to Geneva from Interlaken is possible. A single journey takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, so if you want to combine this with a boat trip over lake Geneva, it's wise to leave early. You can plan your trips using the online timetable. Boat trips on lake Geneva can be found through the CGN website. By the way: you could consider heading for Geneva over the beautiful Golden Pass line. It takes a bit longer than some other train connections, but in my opinion this trip is definitely worth your time and attention.

In larger towns, shops will be open between Christmas and New Year, but opening times may be a bit restricted. Whether smaller or larger towns appeal to you most, is a matter of taste. Tourist towns (such as Interlaken, Grindelwald, Zermatt and St. Moritz) and larger cities (such as Geneva and Zurich) will pay lots of attention to a nice Christmas atmosphere. In smalerl towns this may be less obvious, but these may also be more quiet and less expensive.

Have fun preparing for your trip!
ceremalt
ceremalt
1 post
new member
Oct 14, 2010 - 10:08 AM
Dear Sir, We are a group of 10 members planning to visit switzerland between 14th & 18th November 2010

Please guide the best places to visit for a family:
a. Zurich/Lucerne
b. Interlaken/Geneva/ Zermatt

Kindly advise if Mt Titlis and Jungfrau, Blackforest will be open in this period. If not how we should plan to enjoy the scienic switzerland.

Thanking you
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
297 posts
top member
Oct 14, 2010 - 5:18 PM
If you decide to stay in Lucerne, youngsters will have a great time at the transport museum in Lucerne itself.- take the no.8 bus from the railway station. We walked there round the lake which was very pleasant but the museum is so huge you need every minute there you can manage so the bus is quicker option. The Golden Pass train ride from Lucerne to Interlaken is beautiful (2 hour trip - would allow plenty ot time to take further short trip to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen with views of Jungfrau range when you get there) or get off before Interlaken at Brienz and take take trip up Brienzer Rothorn. Maggie
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 17, 2010 - 5:20 AM

Hello ceremalt. I agree with Maggie: Lucerne is a very nice resort for families. Zurich has lots to offer as well, including several musea and boat trips over the lake. Lucerne, however, is closer to the Alps and its surroundings are definitely more impressive than those of Zurich.

If you want to visit viewing points such as Mt. Titlis, the Jungfraujoch and the Black Forest (which is in Germany), it would be best to stay on the northern side of the Alps, so you could choose from Zurich, Lucerne and Interlaken in that case. I'd recommend Interlaken (or a nearby town such as Wilderswil, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Grindelwald) in any case, as the region south of it is stunning and offers some of Switzerland's most beautiful mountains.

Unfortunately, Mt. Titlis is closed down during your visit due to maintenance. Fine alternatives in this region, which are open, are Pilatus (which can be reached from Lucerne and Alpnachstad) and Rigi. The Jungfraujoch can be visited all year round. This goes for the Black Forest as well.

I hope this helps you decide!

Last modified on Sep 7, 2016 - 5:46 AM by Arno
Bluesky
Bluesky
5 posts
new member
Oct 20, 2010 - 8:25 PM
Hi, can i do the seat reservation after i buy the swiss pass? it looks like most scenic rails are not yet available for booking for travelling in Dec.

i have also tried a few hotel booking, but it looks like the hotels in St Moritz and Zermatt are quite fully booked in end Dec'10. any suggestions for alternate plan?

besides hotels, is self-contained apartment popular and available for travellers in switzerland?

once again, thanks.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 22, 2010 - 12:15 PM
Hello Bluesky. Yes, you can arrange for your seat reservations after the purchase of a Swiss Pass. It can be recommended though to book as early as possible. The Glacier Express and other scenic trains can be booked by now for next December. All information, including links, is available at our seat reservation page.

Some hotels may indeed be fully booked for December, which is quite a popular month. However, enough rooms should be left if you try to book now. A list of hotels can be found at our hotel page. Alternatively, it may be wise to contact hotels directly or search through the offer at the tourist websites of the towns you're interested in (for example Interlaken Tourism, Zermatt Tourism and St. Moritz Tourism).

Lots of vacation homes and apartments are available, and they're popular too. A great advantage is that you can arrange for your own meals, which results in a more flexible day scheme and a cheaper holiday. You may want to take a look at the apartment overview.
Bluesky
Bluesky
5 posts
new member
Nov 15, 2010 - 8:59 AM
Hi, i have managed to reserve seat on the Glacier Express but not on the GOlden Pass from Luzern to Montreux. Do you know why?

thanks
Bluesky
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 15, 2010 - 1:02 PM
Hi Bluesky! I don't know why you haven't succeeded in arranging for your Golden Pass seat reservations. Did you encounter a technical error in the booking system? You may also find that the particular date and time you're trying to book is full already. In both cases, it would be wise to contact the Montreux-Oberland Bahn and ask for assistance. I hope they can provide you with further explanation. Good luck!
vaneet
vaneet
10 posts
new member
Jul 2, 2011 - 1:10 PM
My mind is getting more clearer after reading comments of Annika and Magihorswell.. I think, Annie is right to make 2 bases ..for 14 day trip to Switzerland.. One base in Interlaken or nearby and the other in St. Moritz or nearby.. This way we can see Montreux, Junfrao and other Must See places.. Thanks a lot..
human.elize
human.elize
13 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2011 - 4:41 PM
Evening Bluesky

We were in Interlaken December 2010 till late January 2011. On New Years Eve there is a big party in the main street of Interlaken (having gluwhein) and then they have the most beautiful fireworks in the main park. (Just across Hooters). A must visit is Leukerbad ... take your swimwear with. You can have a wonderful day at the "Burger Bad"... swimming outside in winter in the hotest of hot water surrounded by snow..... We loved it and went back again. You can hire your towels there and can pay for a day or half day. We are also going again in January - February 2012 and this is going to be a stop more than once.

Enjoy your holiday

Tinkie
human.elize
human.elize
13 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2011 - 4:54 PM
Hi Bluesky

Me again, but I get so excited seeing other people also enjoying Switzerland. Although Hotels are very expensive in Dec/Jan, it depend on what you looking for. We are 3 people traveling next year and we only pay 126 CHF per day, bed and breakfast in a nice 2 star hotel (with our own bathroom - shower) with an additional kitchen where you can cook in the evenings if you like and have coffee and tea whenever you want some. There is also a washing machine and tumble dryer ... so you took less luggage with. And the best, it is only 5 minutes walk from Interlaken West station. The lady at reception can also do all your bookings for you for trips you want to do and issue the tickets to you... no standing in long lines to purchase tickets.

Have a nice day

Tinkie

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