Switzerland itinerary Dec 20 to Jan 1 with kids

Switzerland itinerary Dec 20 to Jan 1 with kids

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Jalpa
Jalpa
2 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2017 - 11:23 AM

Dear Readers,

I am travelling to Switzerland this month from 20th December to 1st January with my husband and kids ( 3 year old and 5 year old). The kids are extremely looking forward to see snow and christmas.

We will be staying at a friends hotel apartment in Interlaken and plan to keep that as a base throughout our trip.

Can you please recommend the following for me:

a) appropriate clothing for the kids

b) visiting other cities which I believe are more livelier

c) the "must-do" places to visit (not to be missed)

d) any other personal recommendations for kids activities as per their age (3 and 5)

Thank you.

Lucas
Lucas
7211 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 3, 2017 - 12:07 PM in reply to Jalpa

Hi Jalpa and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You can get an idea of the weather for Switzerland on our weather page here (as well as forecasts).
Lower elevations, like Interlaken will probably be around 0 degrees. Once you head into the mountains you can count on -5 to -10 if not colder. The popular Jungfraujoch mountain is currently -15 Celsius at the top.

A) So you will want very warm snow pants /jackets and thermal underwear, socks and wool hats (toques for this Canadian) for everyone if you do want to go into the mountains in the Jungfrau region.

B) Interlaken is the biggest city in that area. The other nearby towns (within an hour or so by train are much smaller) Click the Jungfrau region link above to read more about them.

C) Must-do's are different for everyone. Most people think Jungfraujoch is a must-do in Switzerland but I've yet to go there in 2.5 years. For a snow experience though it is a very good idea. Also Schilthorn mountain is a good option as well. For a list of ideas on what to do click here and you can see what appeals to you and your family. You will need to go into the mountains for snow - or at least villages higher up like Murren or Wengen. You'll be very luck indeed if Interlaken has any snow during your stay.

D) all the mountains will have lots of fun activities for kids - Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn are good options near Interlaken. Mt. Titlis is another good option that is closer to Luzern.

Last modified on Dec 3, 2017 - 12:08 PM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Dec 5, 2017 - 3:07 AM in reply to Lucas

<<"Most people think Jungfraujoch is a must-do in Switzerland but I've yet to go there in 2.5 years">>

Hi Lucas -

Make mine 37 years. ;-)

I like the places with fewer tourists and lower costs better.

Slowpoke

Jalpa
Jalpa
2 posts
new member
Dec 5, 2017 - 4:23 AM in reply to Lucas

Thank you for your detailed response, Lucas. Appreciate your help.

We arrive to Zurich airport on 20tj at 6.40am. couple of questions:

A) Do you recommend us to buy a Swiss pass at the airport so we can head straight to Interlaken from Zurich?

B) how often are the trains scheduled during the morning hours?

C) how long does it take to reach Interlaken city from Zurich by the train?

D) what time do general convenience stores open and close during December?

E) can you give me.some information on Christmas markets in and around Interlaken?

F) are there any places for kids to"meet the santa". My kids actually believe we are going specially to meet with Santa :-)

G) Do bars and pubs around the city allow kids?

Thank you for your help.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Dec 5, 2017 - 10:19 AM in reply to Jalpa

Hi Jalpa-

Here's a start.

Use the timetable to understand train schedules.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Please read the instruction page that first appears.

Trains typically run once per hour, Since your journey will start in the direction of Bern ( probably passing through Zürich main station) they will probably run more frequently. Intercity travel betweenlarge cities is mostly twice per hour.

When you use the timetable, try to find one that does not require a change at Zürich main station.

The Christmas market in Zürich main station is wonderful. You should be tempted to consider ignoring my advice above ( which was aimed at avoiding hauling luggage through Zürich main station) since you will have some time. However, the market does not be open until about 1030

www.zuerich.com/en/vis it/shopping/christkind limarkt

If you are passing through at 0800 or so, it will be too early.

There is one in Interlaken -

www.icemagic.ch/en/inf ormation-services/christmas_mar ket_and_christmas_shop ping.html

The moderators are best equipped to answer your questions about rail passes.

Slowpoke

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 5, 2017 - 11:26 AM

Hello Jalpa,

If you are traveling regularly the Swiss Travel Pass is the most convenient for sure. We have a list of retailers here with pricing in Swiss Franc and Euros. You can get it at the airport as well, but it's just more convenient to have your pass in hand upon arrival.

Otherwise if you have planned just a few or relatively short trips, I would look at the Swiss Half Fare Card to get you 50% off all tickets.

To compare costs and find out which rail pass is the cheapest for your itinerary use our Excel spreadsheet here to do the math: How to choose the best rail pass.

Be sure to check this:
Swiss Half Fare Card price

cam223
cam223
66 posts
active member
Dec 5, 2017 - 7:25 PM

Just returned from Zurich. The main train station was simply jammed full of people.

It would have been extremely difficult to navigate with luggage. We went to the Christmas market at the train station and the one across from the Opera. We liked the one at the Opera much better. Also there was a carousel for the kids, balloons, etc. at that market. I guess if you went to the train station without luggage and at a less busy time it might be fun--but we were there late afternoon on Friday and it was simply jammed full of people trying to get around the booths to their trains and out of the station.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Dec 5, 2017 - 7:40 PM in reply to cam223

Hi Cam223-

<<"The main train station was simply jammed full of people.It would have been extremely difficult to navigate with luggage.">>

That is why I have routinely recommended that people taking the train from Luzern to Zürich Airport should do their bet to take the hourly one which does not require a change of trains in Zürich.

Slowpoke

Lucas
Lucas
7211 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 6, 2017 - 7:22 AM in reply to cam223

Oooh yes,

Friday afternoon/evening is crazy there at the best of times, let alone when the Xmas market is on....I'm always threatening to spill glühwein on someone's luggage! :)

If someone is transferring trains at Zurich in December don't go near the Xmas market! You can go up and downstairs out on the platforms (if you need to) and therefore bypass the market area (although 8am on a weekday will still be crowded...something to keep in mind if you have a short connection and lots of luggage).

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