Thank you for this amazing forum and all the great information and ideas!
I am planning a trip for me and my parents from 9-12 December, and I need your HELP!
We will be staying with family in Munich for the December holidays, but we have always dreamt about seeing Switzerland. As I don’t know anyone that has been there before, I have to rely on what I read in books, on the internet and with the STP museum pass to plan this trip. This may be the only time we get to see Switzerland, so we would like to make sure we see and do everything we possibly can in 8 days. We are also on a tight budget, as we will be spending a full 5 weeks in Europe.
We’ve already purchased the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass, 1 night’s stay in Zurich and 1 night in Luzern. For the other 5 nights we’ve made bookings, but these can still be altered or cancelled.
Please take a look at my planned itinerary and give me your honest opinions and suggestions.
Day 1 – Sunday 9 December (Munich to Zurich)
Morning: Travel from Munich to Friedrichshafen. Take the ferry to Romanshorn and the train to Stein am Rhein. Spend the morning walking around. Maybe see the Krippenwelt?
Afternoon: Travel to Schaffhausen. Take the train to Schloss Laufen to see the Rheinfall. We then have the option to visit Musem im Zeughaus and museum zu Allerheiligen. We will have about 4 hours to spend here. What would you suggest?
Late afternoon: Travel to Zurich. Go to the Christmas market at Hauptbahnhot. If the market is open at night. (Accommodation in Zurich is booked and paid)
Day 2 – Monday 10 December (Zurich to Basel)
Morning: Spend the Morning in Zurich. Visit Grossmunster, Bahnhofstrasse, Uhrenmuseum and the Altstadt. We may have time for Kirche St. Peter, Fraumunster or Wasserkirche? Any suggestions or other idees?
Afternoon: Travel to Basel. Walk through the altstadt an visit Basler munster. Maybe walk over Mittlere Rheinbrucke and take a ferry. Don’t really know what else to do here? Most Museums are closed on a Monday, so going to the Museum pass for ideas doesn’t help.
Spend the night in Basel (Accommodation not paid yet)
Day 3 – Tuesday 11 December (Basel to Bern)
Have breakfast in Basel, and the travel to Bern. We will have the entire day here. On my ‘To Do’ list is; Munster St. Vinzenz (climb up the tower?), Kunstmuseum, Zytglogge, Marktgasse, Munstergasse, Picnic lunch at Bear park, Christmas market at Waisenhausplatz. Maybe visit Alpines museum or Bernische Historisches museum. We might do some craft and souvenirs shopping here. We are looking to stay in an old restored farmhouse in Eggiswill. (Accommodation not paid yet)
Day 4 – Wednesday 12 December (Bern to Luzern)
Travel to Gruyeres. Visit La Maison du Gruyere Cheese factory, the Chateau, and take a walk through the town. Go to Maison Cailler for some chocolate tasting!
Train to Luzern, with a hour or 2 stopover in Interlaken/Thun?
(Accommodation booked at Altstadt Hotel Krone from 12-15 Dec)
Day 5 – Thursday 13 December (Luzern)
Morning: Train to Engelberg. Visit Mt. Titlis. Have lunch in Engelberg. Maybe do a cheese fondue?
Afternoon: Back to Luzern. Walk through the Altstadt and see Chapel bridge, Spreuer bridge, Jesuit church, mussegmauer, dying lion monument and visit the Glacier garden.
Day 6 – Friday 14 December (Luzern)
Visit Brienz. Go to Jobin swiss woodcarving centre, Schule fur Holzbildhauerei. Visit Geigen bauschule to see how violins are made. Maybe visit Interlaken in the afternoon???
Day 7 – Saterday 15 December (Luzern to St. Gallen)
Take a boat trip to Vitznau, and the cogwheel train up to Rigi. Go down to Weggis, and back to Luzern. Take the train to St. Gallen with a stop over at Eineiedeln Kloster, and also at Rapperswil (if we havr time)
(Accommodation in Degersheim booked, but not paid yet)
Day 8 – Sunday 16 December (St. Gallen)
Morning: Visit Textilmuseum, Stiftsbibliothek, St. Laurenzenkirche, Historisches und Volkerkundemuseum and St. Gallen Cathedral.
Afternoon: Short trip to Appenzell
Back to Germany late afternoon.
As you can see, we’re not afraid of walking, and we try to see and do as many things as possible.
We were planning on going on a scenic train like the Bernina or Glacier express, but it feels like a waist to spend an entire day on the train. Would you suggest a day on the train, or will we have stunning mountain views in the areas we plan to go? Should we maybe skip Basel and travel to Chur and then to St. Moritz and back with the BEX?
What do we still have to add to make this trip an unforgettable experience?