Visiting Switzerland in December: everything open?

Visiting Switzerland in December: everything open?

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Posts: 5
ccathy
ccathy
7 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 6:28 AM

Dear all experts, we will be visiting Switzerland in 21.12.2018 - 25.12.2018 because there's good deal of air-tickets from where i'm from. So is it a good idea to visit Basel, Bern, Lauterbrunne, Grindelwald, Montreux and Geneva in winter? Will all the public transport still be running, are we able to find restaurants in town on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

On a side note, we would like to take a Goldenpass Train or Glacier Express for some scenic view. Will the trains still be running during that time of the year?

I really really appreciate your help if someone could give me some good advices.

Lucas
Lucas
7145 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 8, 2018 - 8:34 AM in reply to ccathy

Hi ccathy,

Yes, everything will be operating as normal in December for transport etc.

Shops and stores etc. will close by about 12 noon on December 24 and most open again on Dec. 27. Train stations shops (and hotels) are mostly an exception to this. But in general the country is very quiet from 24 to 26.

Mountains will be open and trains operating so they are always good options on holidays.

https://www.myswissalp s.com/activities/sceni ctrips/train

https://www.myswissalp s.com/activities/natur alsites

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2018 - 11:23 AM in reply to ccathy

>> So is it a good idea to visit Basel, Bern, Lauterbrunne, Grindelwald, Montreux and Geneva in winter?

I prefer the alpine areas to the cities in winter. Lakeside cities in particular can look a bit grim in winter compared with other times of the year (bare trees, no flowers). Luzern is nice at any time of the year, although it can get very foggy in winter.

>> we would like to take a Goldenpass Train or Glacier Express for some scenic view. Will the trains still be running during that time of the year?

  • Trains on the Golden Pass route will be running.
  • The Glacier Express takes a break from operations between 15 October and 9 December, but starts running again from 10 December 2018.

>> are we able to find restaurants in town on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

It depends on where you are.

Have you checked whether your accommodation offers dinner on Christmas Eve?

Any restaurants open for dinner on Christmas Eve would mainly be offering festive dinners (at prices to match) rather than ordinary dinners, and probably need to be reserved in advance.

If you don't want to splurge on a special-occasion dinner, I would eat lunch as the main meal on Christmas Eve, and stock up on items from the Migros and Coop supermarkets before they close on Christmas Eve, so that you can cobble together a meal in your hotel room. You might need to buy some disposable plates and cutlery as well.

Christmas Day will probably be pretty quiet in major towns and cities. For the best chance of finding things open, especially restaurants, I would head to a mountain top or ski resort village, where everything will be in full swing. Public transport will be operating.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 8, 2018 - 11:25 AM by Removed user
ccathy
ccathy
7 posts
new member
Jul 12, 2018 - 10:22 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpen, will there be snow in the cities during that time around 20 of December? I will be staying in Bern and Basel.

Lucas
Lucas
7145 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 12, 2018 - 12:59 PM in reply to ccathy

Hi Cathy,

Could be, but I doubt it. You are more likely to get some snow in Grindelwald as the elevation is a fair bit higher.

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