December holiday Switzerland - what's open Jan 1?

December holiday Switzerland - what's open Jan 1?

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Flurrycandy
Flurrycandy
4 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2018 - 8:00 AM

Dear all, i will be spending my year end holiday in Switzerland from 21 Dec - 4 Jan. Currently in the midst of planning my itinerary, spreading my days in Zermatt, Lauterbrunne and lastly Zurich as bases. In which, I will be covering places such as Bern, Murren, Wengen, Lake Thun, Gruyeres, Blausee, Lucerne, Stein Am Rhein, Rapperswil, St Gallen and if possible and time permits, a day trip to Colmar from Zurich.

My Christmas holiday will be in Zermatt and has already secured my accommodation. Now having trouble in deciding how to spend my day on 1 Jan 2019. Will be in Zurich from 30 Dec - 4 Jan, during which I'm planning to walk around the old town of Zurich, on 31 Dec and to join in for the countdown event, Silvesterzauber to soak in the atmosphere as well as for the fireworks.

Planning to visit Stein Am Rhein, Rapperswil, Appenzell, St Gallen and Colmar as day trips from Zurich and I will be getting the Swiss Travel Pass as well.Since 1st Jan is a holiday, may I check which of the above places I can visit on 1st Jan please. Am not really into shopping, but would appreciate if cafes or places that will be open while we are there.

Thank you and am looking forward to any suggestions or advise for us please.

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 6:14 AM in reply to Flurrycandy

Hi Flurrycandy and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Be prepared for there to be not a lot to do on January 1. Mostly cafes/restaurants at train stations and hotels will be open but that is usually about it. Very little else will be open in Zurich or any town.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 7:37 AM in reply to Flurrycandy

>> Since 1st Jan is a holiday, may I check which of the above places I can visit on 1st Jan please. Am not really into shopping, but would appreciate if cafes or places that will be open while we are there.

The best place to be on a public holiday over the Christmas/New Year period is on top of a mountain or at one of the ski resorts. Due to the numbers of tourists/skiers, everything will be operating pretty much as normal.

If there were any mountains in the Luzern area that you had not already been to, you could consider going there. https://www.myswissalp s.com/lucerne/activiti es

Otherwise, you could think about a scenic train trip, for instance the Glacier Express route (on regional trains) as described in my post of May 24, 2017 - 4:50 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/switzerland-trip-guidance

You would probably have to get some food at Zürich station before setting off, as none of the trains will have catering. However, restaurants enroute at Andermatt, the Oberalppass and Sedrun station might be open, as the area will be busy with skiers.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 2:57 PM by Lucas
Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 2:58 PM

Indeed, a mountain trip is usually the best option on holidays here!

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

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 2:58 PM by Lucas
Flurrycandy
Flurrycandy
4 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 6:02 PM

Hi Lucas & Alpenrose,

Thank you so much for the quick response. I do note that the mountains will be the best option for my day on 1st Jan. But as i will be spending fairly amount of time in Zermatt, covering Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and doing some easy winter hiking during the Christmas period and i will also be making a trip to Schilthorn during my stay in Lauterbrunnen. Hence I thought of spending some time covering small towns while am at Zurich instead.

The train will be a too long ride for my spouse and myself. We would much prefer to walk around instead of spending 7 hours in a train.

Does it make sense if we were to visit Appenzell, St Gallen and Abbey of St Gall (not too sure if it wil be open for visiting, would love to see the beautiful library) on 1st Jan, just walking around, taking pictures of the pretty buildings and houses and that about it. I assume the only concern will be food, since shops and cafes will not be open? Do i have to worry about train services please.

Once again, thanks for taking time to respond and I do really appreciate it.

Cheers!

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 6, 2018 - 7:24 AM in reply to Flurrycandy

Train services will be operating normally...though perhaps not quite as frequent. You'll have no trouble traveling though.

You'll be able to find some cafes and restaurants open but it will be limited (train stations and hotels are your best bet). Tourist attractions in towns, like the abbey in St. Gallen or others will be closed. Oddly, the Abbey website doesn't mention Jan 1 being open or closed at the moment....the library is closed until Jan.3
http://www.stibi.ch/en -us/info/exhibition.asp x

Walking around town, taking pictures and finding the odd cafe open will be doable.

Flurrycandy
Flurrycandy
4 posts
new member
Jul 10, 2018 - 7:09 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Thanks much for the info and the link. We will play by the ears on the day itself, as long as the train services are not affected. Really appreciate for your time in replying and giving some insights. Looking forward to my year end holiday :)

Candy

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 10, 2018 - 10:56 AM in reply to Flurrycandy

Hi Candy, you'll have a great time. I find Christmas in German countries (culturally) to be extra special. Must be the Glüwein!

Flurrycandy
Flurrycandy
4 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2018 - 3:12 AM

I'm sure I will have a great time! Definitely will try the Glüwein, guess it is a must drink kind of thing when strolling through the Christmas market. Am totally regretted for not trying when I was in Denmark 2 years back.

Come to think of it, I may be doing a trip to Mount Rigi from Zurich on 1st Jan. Will the below doable on 1st Jan (not able to check the timing for trains/boat on 1st Jan, as of now I'm only able to check the timing on SBB till 8 Dec):

  • taking a train from Zurich to Rigi Kulm via Biberbrugg
  • spending about an hour or so in Mt. Rigi
  • taking the Vitnauer Rigi Bahn to Vitznau and thereafter a ferry to Lucerne
  • spending some time in Lucerne. Read some where that Lucerne will have fireworks at around 8pm on 1st Jan. Was wondering if that is still the case. If there are fireworks ongoing on 1st Jan in Lucerne, will it be more lively as compared to other places?
  • travelling back to Zurich after the fireworks (if any), does the train services back to Zurich run late, said about 9pm onwards?

Does my Swiss Travel Pass able to cover all the trains / ferry from Zurich - Mt. Rigi - Lucerne - Zurich, or will I need to purchase additional tickets for the above please.

Thanks!!!

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 11, 2018 - 2:18 PM in reply to Flurrycandy

Yes, the trip you note should be quite doable from Zurich - trains will run until quite late.

It does seem that there were fireworks last Jan.1. You'd need to check with Luzern tourism to see if they now if there will be again. Luzern would be quite busy on Jan 1 at night if there are fireworks yes.

Your Swiss Travel Pass will cover this trip yes. You can see what is covered here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ validity

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