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Zurich 12/25/19 to Frankfurt 01/02/20

Need help creating an itinerary. My husband and I are traveling with our sons ages 20 & 18 arriving Zurich 12/25/19 at 8.50A and leaving on 01/02/20 out of Frankfurt at 10.15A. Last time I was in Switzerland was in 1983 after college and I went to Zurich, Lucerne & St Moritz. My husband went to Adelboden to play hockey while in high school. My boys have never been but are seasoned travelers. Even though we are from Florida, we snow ski but aren't looking to do that on this trip. We've been to Frankfurt several times so we aren't looking to spend too much time there. I prefer to do max 3 base cities in Switzerland where we can do day trips. I like a variety of activities such as Christmas markets, beautiful scenery, restaurants from a few high-end to local fare, lots of walking, a little shopping. Maybe something sporty/adventurous for the guys. Looking for something festive to do NYE. I LOVE trains and bridges (I'm an engineer). Thank you in advance for all your suggestions and comments.

Posted by
20448 posts

You've only got 7 full days on the ground. Since you land on Christmas day, Christmas markets will be finished for the most part, maybe some body here will know any exceptions. Since you are flying out of Frankfurt and they have a big NYE party, that leaves you with one base in Switzerland. Luzern?

Posted by
16894 posts

As a romantic, sentimental lover of Christmas, your lack of planning at this stage is upsetting me. Lucern makes an easy first home base in a small city with a mix of history, culture, bridges, and near to Mount Pilatus and others. Direct trains depart hourly from Zurich airport and take just over an hour; these alternate with trains that connect in central Zurich. Booking.com does reflect some 4-bed hotel rooms still available for booking, including at Hotel Stern, which is also an RS recommendation, where I and others on this forum have enjoyed staying. It's nothing fancy, but clean and well located (and next to a church). I haven't looked into special holiday events or a comparison of Christmas villages, but https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/experiences/events/ should be a good place to start.

Posted by
1585 posts

Hey Travel,

Here is a possible itinerary to follow. All those listed cities offer the amenities you are looking for and the 3 base cities are not far from each other.

12/25 - Zurich (Train to Lucerne)

12/26 - Lucerne

12/27 - Bern

12/28 - Bern (Day trip to Montreux)

12/29 - Basel

12/30 - Basel (Day trip to Strasbourg or Colmar, France) or do both on those 3 days in Basel.

12/31 - Basel

01/01 - Frankfurt

01/02 - Frankfurt (Fly out)

Posted by
6093 posts

Bern and Basel are delightful cities but I'd hard pressed to find much to do beyond a day and half. I'd rather day trip to those cities and spend extended time in Luzern and Berner Oberland (Murren or Lauterbrunnen). While many go to BO for the quaint/quiet villages, I think you will get higher end stores/restaurants in Grindelwald. With the number of days you have, I'd pick just two locations. Luzern is worth at least two full days and if you'd like to day trip from there, more. You could go directly to Luzern upon your arrival to Zurich. Other areas to consider would be Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux (those are all close to each other). We didn't eat any high-end fare. The low and mid-fare restaurants were expensive enough. ;)

Posted by
7209 posts

And a side note - when in Europe do avoid writing your dates as you have in your original post...mm/dd/yyyy is not a standard format and can cause confusion. If you should discuss dates via email just spell it out clearly as in 25 December 2019 and 02 January 2020.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all your replies. Decided to go directly to Luzern from ZRH for 3 nights. Looking at 3 nights in the Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux region for 3 nights. One night in Basel then on to Frankfurt. Thanks again for your input.

Posted by
1585 posts

That's a good itinerary. Use Montreux as a base for the second leg of your trip for the 3 nights.

Posted by
5139 posts

FYI-
Most of the xmas markets shut down Dec 23 or early Dec24.
Safe travels!