Switzerland in December – Best Things to Do and More Travel Tips
Are you planning a trip and are wondering what Switzerland in December will be like? Want to find out about the best things to do and see and top activites?
Switzerland is always a good idea – this is not just a saying, but the truth.
As a Switzerland travel fan, I guess every month has its charms and peaks. December is a good month to visit Switzerland, but is it the best month? Well, I personally do not think so, but I do think that it is a good month to travel to Switzerland.
There are fun things to do in December and you´ll find out about the best things to do in December in Switzerland and also get more travel tips for your trip.
If you are a Christmas Market fan, then it is actually the best month to visit – but there is more to see and experience than just these fun holiday markets in the month of December.
How to Get Around in December
Switzerland is a great country for road trips and train travel. For December, I recommend traveling by train – trains run regularly even in the winter months.
Where to Stay in Switzerland in December
If you choose your accommodation in December, it will depend on what you are interested in doing and seeing. If Christmas markets are your main point of interest, then Zurich, Basel, or Lucerne would be the best choices, as you can get around easily and hop from one city to the other while visiting the main Christmas Markets.
If you want to stay in a snow-capped town, then Zermatt would probably be the best choice.
And if you are into winter sports activities, then the region of Interlaken/Jungfrau, Zermatt, Verbier, or St. Moritz are my suggestions.
What to Pack
It can get very cold in Switzerland, even if December is not the coldest month. Though there will not be snow in some places, I highly recommend warm and waterproof shoes. A very warm (fur-free) jacket with a scarf, cap, and gloves are a must, too.
If you go skiing/snowboarding, you will need all your ski equipment, including ski pants and thermal underwear (seriously, I just discovered them and they are amazing and keep you so warm).
Best Things to Do in December in Switzerland
Visit Christmas Markets
If you plan your vacation to Switzerland in December, then you are probably here for the Christmas Markets. And in Switzerland, you´ll find some great beautiful markets to visit.
So, there are a couple of places that are well-known for their Christmas Markets and that you can visit in December.
Basel, the most northern city in the country, is known for art and Christmas Markets. It probably has the most beautiful markets, and the good news is that there is more than one market.
Eat your weight in snacks and mulled wine at the Christmas Market at Münsterplatz (just next to the pretty Basel Cathedral) that also includes a Fairy Tale Forest, or the Christmas Market at Barfüsserplatz. Both markets have a combined 180 stalls (approximately), and it is all about food, drinks, and Christmas gifts.
But of course, Basel is not the only city with Christmas Markets. Zurich, the unofficial capital of Switzerland, also has several markets to choose from. There is one in the Old Town, one on the Sechseläutenplatz near Bellevue, and one at the Zurich Main Train Station.
If you visit the official capital of the country, Bern, you´ll find more markets in the old town of the city where you can indulge in gingerbread, roasted almonds, mulled wine, and more.
In Lucerne, you will find around 70 stalls that have snacks, drinks, and gifts – and of course, Lucerne is also decorated festively and is another great place to see in December.
Can’t get enough of Christmas Markets? Then head to Montreux in December and visit one of the most iconic ones in the country and the best one at Lake Geneva – the Marché de Noël à Montreux.
Do Wintersports in December
Fancying winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing (just to name a few winter sports activities)? Then Switzerland has some great places where you can do any kind of winter sport – head to Verbier, Grächen (great for families with younger kids), Zermatt, or Engelberg. There are quite a few ski resorts that offer winter sports in December.
There might be some ski resorts that do not offer every kind of winter activity in the first week of December, but normally, you should be good to go to experience a gorgeous winter vacation with many winter sports in December.
Things to do as winter sports in December include – amongst others – skiing, snowboarding, snow hiking, sledging, and ice skating.
Enjoy Mountain Views
Oh, if I had to name the most special feature in Switzerland, it would be the mountain views (often with views of the incredible lakes) – and the good news is that you can enjoy mountain views in December.
The country is so well prepared for visitors coming at any time of the year that its cable cars/funiculars/trains etc. run throughout the year and you can get up many mountains without hiking.
Mount Titlis, Mount Rigi (especially on a clear day at sunset), and Mount Pilatus are just a few of the amazing mountain views you can enjoy at the end of the year.
Tickets are not always cheap (though some mountain excursions are included in the Swiss Travel Pass), but getting up there is often well worth the price.
Hop on a Train
If you travel to Switzerland in December, then hop on a train and enjoy the amazing views outside your window.
Unfortunately, not all window views are amazing – not even in Switzerland. But there are quite a few routes that are amazing, whether you travel in summer or winter. Actually, December is an amazing time to do train sightseeing.
Switzerland might not be completely covered in snow in December, but chances are good that you will enjoy some nice scenic train rides.
My favorite is not the Glacier Express, but the Bernina Express! December should be a winter wonderland already, making this train ride even more special.
Take that ride! You will enjoy it, I‘m sure!
Do a Helicopter Ride
Without question, the scenery in Switzerland is amazing – whether it‘s summer or winter. And Switzerland from above is even more amazing. If you head up to a mountain summit (as mentioned above), you will have amazing views – but you can also do a helicopter ride in December and experience this beautiful country from a different perspective.
For helicopter rides in December, Jungfraujoch is a popular area to experience Switzerland from above.
In summer, you might want to spend every single minute possible outdoors. In December, visiting museums might be a good option to learn more about Switzerland.
The Transport Museum in Lucerne is one popular museum, but there are many more museums to visit – yes, Switzerland is not only about stunning outdoor places. If you are a museum fan, then Basel might be one of the best places to visit in December – it has one of the best Christmas markets in Switzerland and is the best city to visit if you are into museums.
As you can see, Switzerland is great to visit at any time of the year – and December is a good month to visit Switzerland!