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2 week winter itinerary Switzerland

WE are a family of four ( two teens) hoping to spend Dec 19-30 in Switzerland. Fly into Zurich. We'd like to visit a christmas market ( we know most close 12/23), good food, arts/culture, we're active but won't ski this trip, would enjoy tubing/ toboggan, we can rent car or take train. Which christmas markets are worth visiting? Basel, Zurich, Bern? Any other itinerary suggestions? Thank you!

Posted by
2063 posts

The Zurich main train station has the largest indoor market in Europe, and is a five minute train ride from the airport.

I agree with Stan that going to Luzern upon arrival [after a quick visit to the indoor market] is a great idea, and easy. Luzern is a beautiful city on the lake, and from there you can take a boat ride to the Mt. Rigi stop, where you catch the cogwheel train to the summit of the mountain, which can be spectacular. I was there in December 2019, and altho cloudy in the city, the summit was above the clouds and gorgeous. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, all this travel is covered. The Luzern markets I visited were very small.

I've been to both Bern and the Basel markets, and I like the Bern ones better. Of course, just a short train ride away are the Strasbough/Colmar [France] markets, which are incredible with their decorations and lighting. I have never seen a town decorated like Strasbourg.

Click on my history for Jan 12, 2020, and you can review my trip reports from that adventure.

Good luck as your planning evolves!

Posted by
1201 posts

In December 2019 we visited the Christmas market in Basel. It was good but the ones in Colmar, France and neighboring Kaysersberg were better. We also drove over to the one in Freiburg im Breisgau. Suggest you consider going up to Colmar after landing in Zurich for 3 nights and then head to the mountains in the Berner Oberland area (we stayed in Wengen) with a stop in Luzern (beautiful city) on the way or way back to Zurich.

Posted by
1279 posts

I haven’t been to Switzerland yet, but have been planning my trip for about 2 years now. Logistically, you could stay in Basel and from there you could visit Basel (obviously), Zurich, Bern, Colmar, France, and Freiburg, Germany. There’s a hotel right across the street from the Basel SBB train station—Hotel Schweizerhof—that would be convenient for taking to the train to those locations.

There’s a You Tube channel called How to Switzerland that has some good videos. They did one on Basel at Christmas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEk1n3iaYvo

and one on Zurich at Christmas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6aLQz8Bnxc