Best winter month to visit Switzerland

Best winter month to visit Switzerland

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billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 7:31 AM

Hello,

I’m trying to organize a trip to Switzerland in winter for up to 6-7 days.

Our base will be either in Zurich or Lucerne (we need your suggestions about that).

We want to explore Zurich, Lucerne, Mount Pilatus or Rigi, Bern, Rhine Falls, Grindelwald, Mürren maybe take the Bernina Express.

We are interested in a period with snow in the mountains/villages, but not snowy cities.

Do you think that the mid or late March is a good time for that trip?

Thank you in advance for your reply/suggestions.

Arno
Arno
11130 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 29, 2017 - 9:30 AM

Hello BillTheGreat,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! Most larger cities, including Zurich and Lucerne, do not get much snow in winter. But there is a chance of snow on the ground even there, particularly from late December to February. To minimize that risk, March is indeed a good time. There will still be plenty of snow left in the mountains.

If you are looking for one base I would say that Lucerne is best. Most of your plans are doable from there. The Bernina Express would be a very long day though. Zurich is not near the mountains so not an ideal base in this case. Apart from the above links, the page www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit might be useful too.

Last modified on Oct 29, 2017 - 9:32 AM by Arno
billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Oct 29, 2017 - 1:46 PM

Hello and thank you for your reply,

What about the cable cars? Are they operating that period? Also, I wonder if will we will see green valleys in late March or perhaps April is better for my plans.

Lucas
Lucas
8810 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 29, 2017 - 5:47 PM in reply to billthegreat

Hi Bill,

Yes, most cable cars will be operating - it is still ski season. Some lower valleys should be green in March but you never know with the weather.

April will be a little warmer perhaps but as the ski season comes to an end a lot of cable cars and smaller villages shut down for weeks if not longer. I would stick with March and hope for the best.

billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Oct 30, 2017 - 3:48 PM

Hi Lucas,

Thank you so much for your reply. Do you think that March is a late period for snowy villages like Grindewald, Murren etc? Maybe, February is also a good time for my trip?

Lucas
Lucas
8810 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 30, 2017 - 7:27 PM in reply to billthegreat

Yes, February will be colder and in general, have a better chance of snow in the villages than later in March.

TeaAndCoffee
TeaAndCoffee
1 post
new member
Nov 3, 2017 - 10:53 AM

Hello, BillTheGreat :)

For ski and snow lovers, the best time to visit Switzerland would be February-March, as there still might be no snow in December.

The skiing season runs well into March. If you want to see amazing snowy mountains, I would suggest getting on the Glacier Express, it covers some truly picturesque Alpine villages. One of the best locations would be Zermatt.

From around March, some of the valleys start blooming, however hiking season usually runs from April to September.

billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Nov 5, 2017 - 4:46 PM

Hello again,

I'm not ski lover, only sightseeing.

Is the following plan ok?

1 day : from Zurich Airport with train to Lucerne (sightseeing in town and Mt Pilatus ot Titlis)

2 day : day trip to Bern (back to Lucerne)

3 + 4 day : overnight in an alpine village (Luaterbrunnen or Grindelwald or Murren Or Wengen + visit Jungfraujoch)

5 + 6 day : Zurich (sightseeing in town + visit Rheinfalls Schaffhausen)

For this plan, is the swiss travel pass the best option?

Any other suggestions?

Also, will Jungfraujoch and Mt. Pilatus be a good option in March?

Last modified on Nov 5, 2017 - 4:49 PM by billthegreat
Lucas
Lucas
8810 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 5, 2017 - 5:03 PM in reply to billthegreat

Hi Bill,

Yes, that looks like a very reasonable plan. I'd be tempted to cut a day out of Zurich and have a full day in Luzern, generally more popular for tourists.

And yes, I think the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is the best rail pass for that itinerary.

The mountains are great year-round I think. It is just about the weather being nice the day you want to go (not too cloudy/rainy and ruining the views). Of course it will be very cold at the top so that changes everyone's definition of "good"!

Cheers

billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Nov 5, 2017 - 5:38 PM

Hi Thomas,

And thans for your advise once again :) I'll check the weather before go there.

Is the Jungfraujoch a trip worth the money?

Lucas
Lucas
8810 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 6, 2017 - 9:54 AM in reply to billthegreat

Hi Bill,

It can be, often if two things occur: 1 this may be your only trip to Switzerland and 2 you have no plans to visit other mountains while here (which you do).

I would wait until you are in the area and decide based on your money situation (have a mountain ticket budget perhaps) and of course the weather - don't go if the weather looks poor, and don't bother checking the weather before the night before you plan on going to Jungfraujoch. And.... check webcams in the morning. :) It would be a lot of money to look at clouds!

billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Nov 6, 2017 - 3:14 PM

Hi Lucas,

Yes it's my only trip to Switzerland.My plan is to visit Mt Pilatus or Titlis and then the Jungfraujoch.

Are there any other options more affordable than Jungfraujoch at this area?

Lucas
Lucas
8810 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 6, 2017 - 4:50 PM in reply to billthegreat

Yes, you could look at Schilthorn which is a similar experience and a little cheaper.

Also nearby is Grindelwald First-BachAlpsee.

Last modified on Nov 7, 2017 - 6:47 AM by Lucas
billthegreat
billthegreat
16 posts
new member
Nov 25, 2017 - 10:21 PM

Hello again,

The updated plan is 4 nights in Lucerne and 1 in Zurich (6 full days).

Regarding the one day trip to Schilthorn (and Murren), is it is it worth the effort? It's too far away from Lucerne and back, 4-5 hours approximately?

How can i check the weather before the trips to the mountains? from a specific site?

Also, in regards to the changes of swiss travel pass in 2018, could you please clarify the below?

The Engelberg to Brunni cableway -> what is that trip?

The Vitznau to Rigi Scheidegg cableway --> is the journey to the top of mt Rigi? is it worth or mt Pilatus and Titlis are better options near Lucerne?

Thank you.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Nov 26, 2017 - 2:19 AM in reply to billthegreat

Hi Bill,

>> Regarding the one day trip to Schilthorn (and Murren), is it is it worth the effort? It's too far away from Lucerne and back, 4-5 hours approximately?

Mürren is a lovely village in a stunning location if the weather is clear. If the valley is filled with fog, the village is still charming, but you won't have any views.

The Schilthorn is also a great trip with wonderful 360 degree views of the mountains if the weather is clear. In 2018, the Schilthorn cable car is free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

Mürren, and its views, is very unlike what you will see in Luzern.

Whether the travel time is worthwhile is something to decide for yourself :-)

>> How can i check the weather before the trips to the mountains? from a specific site?

Check the weather the day before, and the webcams on the day you intend to go. Sunrise is between approximately 6:30 and 7:00 in March (note: clocks go forward an hour on Sun 25 March). One disadvantage in travelling from Luzern is that the weather can change between when you check the webcam and when you arrive in Mürren.

Weather

www.meteoswiss.admin.c h/home.html?tab=overview

Webcam Mürren

www.hoteleiger.com/sei ten/remotelivecam.htm

Webcams Schilthorn

schilthorn.ch/en/Infos /Live

>> The Engelberg to Brunni cableway -> what is that trip?

It's a cableway in Engelberg (not part of the cableway to Titlis).

www.brunni.ch/en

>> The Vitznau to Rigi Scheidegg cableway --> is the journey to the top of mt Rigi?

No. The top of the Rigi is Rigi Kulm. Rigi Scheidegg is a lower peak elsewhere on the Rigi massif. For the various options to get up to Rigi Kulm (which are all free with the Swiss Travel Pass), see here:

www.myswissalps.com/ri gi/gettingthere

>> is it worth or mt Pilatus and Titlis are better options near Lucerne?

They are all beautiful and all worth it. If you don't have enough time to do them all, opinions will vary on which is best. Read the information (including about the Rigi via the link above) and decide what's right for you.

www.myswissalps.com/ti tlis

www.myswissalps.com/pi latus

The weather and cloud cover/fog on the day might end up being the deciding factor - check the webcams before choosing.

Webcams Pilatus, Rigi, Titlis

www.pilatus.ch/en/nc/l ive/

www.rigi.ch/en/Informa tion/Webcams

www.titlis.ch/en/ski-resort/webcams

Alpenrose

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