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Traveling to Switzerland late November/early December

Hopefully will be traveling to Germany for sightseeing and Christmas markets the end of November and into December. Wanting to go into Switzerland as well, possibly Basel to Zurich, ,maybe Lucerne and Bern. Wondering if it’s a bad idea to go to Switzerland during that time due to snow? We don’t ski at all. Would be traveling by train , is train travel affected by snow? I know I could google the average temperature and so forth but wanted to hear personal experience suggestions or advice...

Praying the pandemic is gone or controlled enough to allow European travel to open up. Also planning an Italy trip in the spring, we’re putting off Germany so we could attend Christmas markets.

What do you think?

Posted by
809 posts

We did a xmas markets trip Nov-Dec, 2019, starting in Switzerland, moving onto Colmar, Strasbourg, [France], then to Germany. It was a fantastic trip. We did not have any snow in the cities- I was told snow in the lower areas is more Jan-Feb weather. Of course, there was beautiful, fresh snow in the Alps {Mt. Rigi , for our trip.]
All of our travel was by train.
Pls search my posting history and check out the Jan 12, 2020, Trip Reports. I was able to attach all four of them to one post [per the advice given here.] I think many of your questions may be addressed in those.

Safe- and healthy - travels!

Posted by
17 posts

@Pat,

Thanks so much for your input. Looking forward to reading your post concerning your trip.

I can’t wait to go! Hopefully travel will open up .

Posted by
15690 posts

Yes, trains run when it snows in Switzerland. I have been there numerous times in January and in the Alps. That is how people get around in Switzerland. They have been doing it for 170 years and have gotten very good at it.

Posted by
651 posts

We did Christmas markets last year in Colmar, Basel and the Black Forest area. No snow and easy driving.

Posted by
452 posts

we go to Europe every other year for the Xmas Markets. We do like the Markets better in Germany than those in Switzerland and France - but all the towns you mentioned are gorgeous in Dec. We always just do the train too and have never had an issue.

We have seen snow many times, but no problem at all. My favorites for the markets are Germany > France > Switzerland.

Posted by
809 posts

One note-
we found many hotels were booked by June, especially for the weekends. All but one of our hotels, reserved via Booking.com, were fully refundable.
Again- hope all goes well for your trip!

Posted by
17 posts

@Chinalake67

I see you’re from WS ,NC. We live about 25 miles from you in Yadkinville! Small world.. Lol

You mentioned you liked the Christmas markets in Germany. Would you mind sharing which ones/towns you visited? There are so many choices!

Thank you!

Posted by
1471 posts

Spring trip not realistic. End of the year, quite possible.

Posted by
272 posts

The X'mas markets are fun, but the weather during late Nov/early Dec is very unstable--think rain and grey sky.

Posted by
1669 posts

I am sorry to say that late November/early December is probably the worst time of the year to go to Switzerland. Most years, it is too early for pretty snowy scenery, so you only get the downsides of winter: dark days that can be cold and wet.
Also, the well-known Christmas markets in Germany aren't that close to Switzerland.
I would save Switzerland for later and rather combine Germany with Alsace (France) at this time of the year; Strasbourg and Colmar are beautiful towns with lovely Xmas markets and there are stunning villages in the hills - plenty for 4-5 days of travel at least.