8 days in December - where to visit in Switzerland

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5 posts
new member
Jun 10, 2018 - 1:40 PM

Hi Everyone!

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?

10496 posts
top member
Jun 11, 2018 - 6:35 AM in reply to Elizna

Hi Elizna and welcome to MySwissAlps!

I'll try to make comments/notes for the days that might need it :).

Day 1: This is a long day. Are you planning on going quite early and have you used the Swiss railways timetable to plan out all your trips? https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable
The Zurich Chirstmas market is open late yes (as the other big market at Sechseläutenplatz (also downtown near Zurich Opera house).

Day 2: Your hitting the main tourist points of Zurich yes. Have a look here for our activity suggestions: https://www.myswissalp s.com/zurich/activitie s

Day 3: I'd skip Basel and go straight to Bern.

Day 4: So straight to Gruyeres and Broc from Bern and then on to Luzern that night? You might have time for a stop in Thun yes (nicer than Interlaken).

Day 7: Perfect opportunity to take the VorAlpen Exress to St. Gallen with a detour to Einsiedeln Abbey.
Here is a trip report on a similar trip I took (but not to the Abbey: https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/st-gallen-voralpen-express-from-zurich

Day 8: Be sure to use the search box on our website for other members reports or questions/answers on different areas.
Slowpoke is a big fan of St. Gallen and has some nice comments on the area. Here is one good thread to read, with links to a lot of useful info and web pages: https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/acti vities-in-st-gallen

Fitting in a scenic train like the Bernina Express or Glacier Express will eat up a day but the Bernina can work but it is a long day (use the timetable to plan it out as a day trip). But you have to way sitting on a train all day against the scenery. Some people won't go to Switzerland without doing it and others won't sit on a train all day. :)

I hope that helps answers most of your questions. Let us know if you have more questions of course. :)

5 posts
new member
Jun 11, 2018 - 6:40 PM in reply to Lucas

Thank you Lucas for your reply.

I will re-plan some of the days as we have agreed to skip Basel. Maybe see if we can fit in the BEX.

We would definitely like to see the mountains side of Switzerland, so I'll see how I can fit it in and come back to you.

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