Switzerland from 23 Dec – 1 Jan

  • klijing
    5 posts
    27 October 2016 at 14:53:17 #810290

    Hi All,

    My husband and I will be travelling to Switzerland for our honeymoon from 23 Dec – 1 Jan and would appreciate if we can have some suggestions to our itinerary.

    This is what we have planned so far:

    23 Dec: Land in Zurich, head to Lucerne to drop off our luggage at the hotel for the next 3 nights. Explore the Lucerne around the old town / chapel bridge, etc.

    24 Dec: Head to the Christmas market at Basel from Lucerne. Will the Christmas market be open on Christmas eve by any chance? Or would we need to go to the Christmas market on 23 Dec??

    25 Dec: Head to Mount Titlis via Engelberg. Will Mount Titlis be open on Christmas and will there be any changes to train timings on Christmas?

    26 Dec: Head to Wengen from Lucerne. We would be using Wengen as a base for the next 3 nights. Explore wengen area. Will train be affected on Boxing Day? Is it a public holiday in Switzerland??

    27 Dec: Head to Jungfrau for the day. How long do we need to spend in Jungfrau? Would you recommend spending a full day there or any other place we can visit along the way there or back our base?

    28 Dec: Head to Schilthorn for the day. Any recommendations on what activities can be done there?

    29 Dec: Head to Tasch which will be our base for the next 2 nights.

    30 Dec: Head to Gornegrat if the weather is good.

    31 Dec: Head to Geneva from Tasch. Does anyone know where is a good place to see fireworks when counting down to the New Year? Will there be any disruptions to the train services? Would the stores / shopping malls be closing early?

    1 Jan: Heading to Geneva airport. Would the bus or train services be starting early as our flight departs at 10.25 and we would need to be at the airport 2 hours earlier.

    We would also like to find out if train tickets will be hard to book as we are intending to take the Swiss Travel Half Pass. Would an 8 day Swiss Travel Half Pass be sufficient for the trip?

    What would temperatures be like during our trip especially when we go up to the different mountains?

    Would there be any suggestions if there is bad weather when we want to go to Jungfrau, Gornegrat, Mt Titlis?

    We were thinking of buying watches for ourselves. Where would be a good place to buy affordable swiss made watches?

    Thanks in advance for your inputs.

  • Arno
    15042 posts
    27 October 2016 at 15:13:49 #856802

    Hi klijing,

    This will be a wonderful honeymoon I’m sure! I can’t answer all questions, but here’s what I know:

    Most Christmas markets end one or two days before Christmas, you’ll have to check specifically for the one you’d like to visit.

    For any public transport including cableways you can check the timetable for your date and time.

    As for how long to spend at places, bad weather alternatives, and much more, please explore our town and activity pages. Here’s a few of them:

    Expect temperatures below 0 °C on the peaks, but it will really depend on the day and the wind. It can be quite pleasant with sun, but extremely cold without sun and some wind.

    There is no product called Swiss Travel Half Pass. You can either buy the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass (December 24 to 31), or the Swiss Half Fare Card. Please see the links to learn about the difference. Both passes can be printed at home so you’ll be ready to travel immediately (see the Price tabs).

    7546 posts
    28 October 2016 at 1:33:08 #856803

    Hi Klijing-

    In addition to Arno’s comments, I’d like to add that you have presented an itinerary of very high quality. Well though out, with good timing. Much more thoughtful than many that we are offered to comment on.Starting at Luzern is a very good idea. ( I prefer the German spelling…it is what you will see on rail station signs in the German-speaking regions.)

    I’m impressed by your skillful planning.

    Good luck with the Christmas market(s).

    Trains run all year. No holiday closures. Some have altered services on weekdays ( commuter traffic) vs weekends. You do not need to book on almost all trains in Switzerland (a few exceptions – special excursion trains such as the Glacier Express).

    If you use the timetable, you can get some clues to occupancy on individual trains. Ask if you cannot figure out how to access that detail.

    http://www.myswissalps.com/ti metable


    Removed user
    52345 posts
    28 October 2016 at 11:19:25 #856804

    Hi Klijing

    Last day of Christmas market in Basel (and Zurich) is 23rd Dec. Lucerne station 24th. I have written a post with all dates.


    7546 posts
    28 October 2016 at 11:22:42 #856805

    H Klijing.

    The chritmas market in Zürich is in the Main station and is pretty good. You could catch it after you land…


    5 posts
    30 October 2016 at 13:10:05 #856806

    Hi Arno, Slowpoke and Maggie,

    thanks for your input to our itinerary! Really appreciate it.

    I Guess we would need to make changes to our Christmas Market plans to be on the day that I land in Zurich. However, I have a question. As I will be staying in Luzern and if I want to go to Basel or Zurich’s Christmas market, where can we place our luggages as we are not carrying back packs or is it convenient / safe to drag them to the Christmas market?

    Thanks once again!


    7546 posts
    30 October 2016 at 13:59:19 #856807

    Hi Klijing-

    <<“where can we place our luggages as we are not carrying back packs or is it convenient / safe to drag them to the Christmas market?”>>

    I would not carry luggage through the markets. the one in Zürich, for example, is very crowded.

    There are extensive lockers including large ones at all three of those main stations. Luzern has the fewest. All large or main stations have left luggage offices, where you can leave you bags. Both services have modest fee.

    Details are available on the SBB web site for each station, buried down in the menus.

    For example:

    http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/railway-stations/bahnhof-finden.posid.3000.html ?WT.ac=service-zh-en

    Look under tabs for “Services” and “Equipment.”

    The market at Zürich is concentrated in the main station.

    You could top there on your way to Luzern.

    if you arrive early enough, and check in to your hotel in Luzern, you could take a train to the other towns.

    Zürich airport to luzern takes about an hour, twice per hour.

    Zürich to Basel – 6 times per hour, 53 minutes to 1 hr 14 minutes. I have not been there, but i think the market extends along the streets in Basel.

    Luzern to Basel – 3 times per hour – 60 minutes to 74 minutes.

    Luzern to Zürich – 3 times per hour 46- 60 minutes.

    The timetable linked in Arno’s post is useful in this kind of planning.


    Rail service between thos th

    You can leave your luggage at your hotel and take a day trip, if you go directly to Luzern upon arrival.

    5 posts
    2 November 2016 at 8:07:29 #856808

    Hi Slowpoke,

    thanks once again for your helpful reply! This really gives us an option to leave our luggage at the station before exploring the Zurich Christmas market! I’m looking forward to that.

    at the same time, can I check if anyone has information on Mount Pilatus? Are tourist able to access the mountain in December? Understand the cogwheel doesn’t work? so it can only be access via cable car? Is Mount Pilatus a better option than Mount Titlis?

    thanks in advance!


    7546 posts
    2 November 2016 at 13:41:25 #856809

    Hi Klijing –

    <<“at the same time, can I check if anyone has information on Mount Pilatus? Are tourist able to access the mountain in December? Understand the cogwheel doesn’t work? so it can only be access via cable car? Is Mount Pilatus a better option than Mount Titlis?”>>

    For questions about specific tourist locations, use the search function on this website.

    I searched for “Pilatus” and got this link:

    http://www.myswissalps.com/pi latus

    You can do the same for Titlis.

    Each one is better than the other one….for some people. 😉

    Depends on your interests.


    5 posts
    3 November 2016 at 14:43:33 #856810

    Thanks slowpoke for your reply again!

    Do you have any recommendations on where to watch fireworks at Geneva on 31 Dec? Is it very crowded?

    At the same time, do shops close early on 31 Dec at Geneva? I think by the time I reach Geneva from Tasch, it might already be 12-1pm?

    will restaurants be closing early since it’s New Year’s Eve? Was also thinking of doing some last minute shopping / walking since we are at Geneva for 1 night..

    thanks once again!


    7546 posts
    3 November 2016 at 14:51:54 #856811

    Hi Klijing-

    Sorry, I don’t know the answers to any of those questions.

    Perhaps others can help.


    15042 posts
    3 November 2016 at 16:10:45 #856812

    Last years’ details on New Years Eve can be found on http://www.ville-geneve.ch/mairie-geneve/manifestations-evenements/venez-feter-31-decembre-bord-eau/. I expect that page to be updated later this year, but I’m sure the fireworks should still be around the lake.

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