When the air is crisp and the ground is white, Switzerland turns all the more fascinating. Nature’s masterpiece, this small country is blessed with jaw-dropping scenery that turns exotic in winters. No wonder, there are scores of places to visit in Switzerland in winter and snow activities to indulge in. The vacationing charm manifolds when the Alpine air echoes with the clinks of church bells and cowbells.
Whether you enjoy winter sports or simply prefer to relax, you would be bowled over by its charm and fall in love with it over and over again. Thanks to its efficient Swiss transport system, you can easily reach most of the top sites through trains, ferries, and cable cars. So, ready for a holiday but still wondering where to go in Switzerland in winter? Here are the best places that you should not miss on your Switzerland winter vacation!
18 Best Places To Visit In Switzerland In Winter
If you are planning a winter vacation with your spouse or family, here is a list of top places to visit in Switzerland in winter where you should spend your holidays. The season casts its magical spells on these beautiful destionations turning them into real winter-wonderlands.
- The Jungfrau Region – For Fresh Mountain Air
- Zermatt – For The Best Skiing
- St. Moritz – For The Best Nightlife
- Oberalp Pass Via Glacier Express – For Beautiful Views
- Mt. Pilatus – For Adventurers
- St Gallen – Old World Charm
- Lucerne – Picture-Perfect Views
- Interlaken – A Charming Resort Town
- Davos – Highest Town In The Alps
- Arosa – Snowy Landscapes
- Lake Geneva – Jaw-Dropping Views
- Chateau De Chillon – For Artists
- Swiss Grand Canyon – For Rafting
- The Abbey Of St Gall – For History Lovers
- The Castles Of Bellinzona – Magnificence At Its Best
- Lugano – With A Glacial Lake
- Zurich – A Medieval Town
- Swiss National Park – Snow Mountains
1. The Jungfrau Region – For Fresh Mountain Air
Visiting Switzerland in December? Inhale the fresh mountain air at this breathtaking destination. The best bet to enjoy winter holidays in Switzerland, Jungfrau Region’s splendid scenery will surely leave you spellbound. Peaks of the lofty mountains – the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger are coated with milky white snow and present a beautiful contrast to emerald valleys in the Alpine paradise.
In addition to scenic pleasures, your trip to this region brings you some natural wonders. These wonders include The Jungfraujoch – a col between the Jungfrau and the Mönch, which has Europe’s highest railway station, and the Aletsch Glacier – the largest glacier in Europe. It is one of the must-visit places in Switzerland in winter for nonskiers.
Why Visit: It is home to the highest train station.
Tourist Attractions: Aletsch Glacier, Lauterbrunnen Village
Places To Stay: Club Med Wengen, The Onya resort & spa, Hapimag resort
How To Reach: The nearest airport is Zurich international airport
2. Zermatt – For The Best Skiing
The small town of Zermatt is a special treat for skiers and snowboarders seeking a genuine quiet stay during winter in Switzerland. Cable cars paddle skiers up surrounding mountains, making it among the best winter honeymoon destinations in Europe. You can reach the town via scenic train routes that connect it with the outside world. When illuminated, the town transforms into a picture-perfect Christmas postcard that is bound to make your winter holidays in Switzerland extra special.
The most famous peak in the Alps, the Matterhorn, stands here. Mountaineers flock to this town to conquer this technically difficult peak. If you don’t want to indulge in adventurous games, you can delight in the town’s energetic nightlife instead!
Why Visit: It is the highest ski resort
Tourist Attractions: Matterhorn, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn
Places To Stay: Cervo mountain boutique resort, Hotel Alex, Riffelalp resort
How To Reach: Zurich international airport is the nearest airport
3. St. Moritz – For The Best Nightlife
St. Moritz, Numero Uno Alpine winter holiday destination, spoils you with unique leisure and sports choices as well as shopping opportunities. This well-groomed resort town has been a venue for two winter Olympics. Take the most interesting of Switzerland winter tours to St. Moritz.
A celebrated playground to enjoy winter sports in Switzerland in December, the town presents you opportunities to indulge in skiing, snowboarding, and snow-shoe trekking. St. Moritz’s mineral springs have also contributed to enhancing its popularity among travelers. To add a cherry to the cake, the town is also a hub of happening nightlife.
Why Visit: Witness the best Alpines here
Tourist Attractions: Lake Saint Moritz, Corviglia, Piz Nair
Places To Stay: Grand Hotel Des Bains, Badrutt’s Palace hotel, Kulm hotel
How To Reach: Take the famous Glacier Express
4. Oberalp Pass Via Glacier Express – For Beautiful Views
This is one of the best places for a vacation in Switzerland in February. Visiting Switzerland and missing out on the special trip to Oberalp Pass is a no-no. You can ride the Furka-Oberalp railway that operates throughout the year and provides limited access through the reservation.
Or you can simply ditch the hassles and relish its view while riding the Glacier Express – a direct train that takes you from Zermatt to St. Moritz. En route, the train ride presents you with incredible views of the Alps while squeezing its way through tight curves, 291 bridges, narrow valleys, and 91 tunnels.
Riding this train for incredible scenery is among the best things to do in Switzerland in winter. The special touch is imparted by amounts of snow on the Oberalp Pass and snowy valleys.
Why Visit: The most adventurous train ride
Tourist Attractions: Gemsstock, Gotthard Tunnel
How To Reach: The nearest airport is in Lucerne
5. Mt. Pilatus – For Adventurers
Perched adjacent to the city of Lucerne, Mt. Pilatus is a 2,120 meter tall mountain that magnetizes tourists to delight in the marvelous scenery of the Swiss Alps. You can easily reach here via a cable car while enjoying the exhilarating views.
At this spectacular venue, you not only delight in the charismatic views around but can also take up several trails for remarkable winter walks. You must add this destination to your list of places to visit in Switzerland in the winter for an enhanced Swiss vacationing experience.
Why Visit: For picturesque views of Lucerne
Tourist Attractions: Tomlishorn Peak
Places To Stay: Hotel Bellevue, Seehotel Pilatus
How To Reach: The nearest airport is in Lucerne.
6. St. Gallen – Old World Charm
St Gallen is a sprightly addition to any list of Switzerland attractions in winter that one must visit. But visit it during Christmas time for maximum holiday spree. The old town presents beautiful scenery with its centuries’ old houses, car-free and snow-covered streets, and a lively atmosphere oozing festive fervor!
The place is home to the tallest Christmas tree in Switzerland, which is illuminated by 5,000+ lights during the Christmas season. Get bewitched by the sight of a dazzling Christmas tree in front of the impressive Abbey of St Gallen & manifold your Christmas charisma humming carols and savoring free glühwein (mulled wine)! This is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland in winter.
Why Visit: It is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site
Tourist Attractions: Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen Cathedral
Places To Stay: Einstein St Gallen, Hotel Walhalla, Hotel Dom
How To Reach: Euroairport is the nearest airport. From there you can go by road.
7. Lucerne – Picture-Perfect Views
Sitting picture-perfect on Lake Lucerne with the backdrop of a lovely panorama of the Alps, Lake Lucerne Region dons a spectacular blanket of fluffy snow in winter. Listed among the unmissable Switzerland attractions in winter, the region is a wonderland that attracts snow-savvy skiers and snowboarders. This is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland during winter.
The beauty of the region captivates both the heart and the soul as you take up splendid winter walks and snowshoe treks here.
Why Visit: It is home to Chapel bridge
Tourist Attractions: Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, Swiss Museum Of Transport
Places To Stay: Radisson Blu Hotel, Renaissance Hotel, Ameron hotel
How To Reach: The nearest airport is Zurich. From the airport, you can take a train or go by road.
8. Interlaken – A Charming Resort Town
A traditional resort town, Interlaken is nestled on a tapered stretch of valley. Presided over by the three mighty mountains: the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, the town is distinguished for its extraordinary mountain scenery. If you are planning to visit Switzerland in winter, do add this destination to your list of places to visit.
Owing to its over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, alpine meadows and glaciers, skiing and hiking trails, Interlaken is considered the adventure capital of this beautiful country. This is where you get to indulge in most exhilarating things to do in Switzerland in December.
Why Visit: It is home to a very beautiful Interlaken lake.
Tourist Attractions: Harder Kulm, Interlaken Ost, Hoheweg
Places To Stay: Hotel Interlaken, Hotel Bellevue, India village
How To Reach: The nearest airport is Zurich.
9. Davos – Highest Town In The Alps
A destination of superlatives, Davos is the highest town in the Alps as well as a high-altitude health resort. The town is also known for offering myriad opportunities to enjoy winter sports in Switzerland.
At the heart of this town, tourists can entertain themselves with a broad array of shopping choices, options for redefined dining, and cozy accommodation. In addition to that, the town has a plethora of options for after-sunset partiers with its range of casinos, bars, and discotheques.
Why Visit: A beautiful resort village
Tourist Attractions: Parsenn, Landwasser Viaduct, Fluela Park
Places To Stay: Parsenn resort, Hotel schatzalp, Intercontinental Davos
How To Reach: You can reach here via road or rent a taxi
10. Arosa – Snowy Landscapes
Still, looking for places to see in Switzerland in winter? Standing at the end of the dreamy Schanfigg Valley, Arosa is among the coolest places to visit in Switzerland in January or any winter month. Its fascinating mountain peaks and snowy landscapes draw adventure enthusiasts for extended hiking tours. In addition, the town offers a wonderful variety of snow sports and activities to help you indulge in snow play. It is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland in winter where you should stay for a while. The place is home to the best ski resorts in Switzerland!
Why Visit: For a rich culture and tradition
Tourist Attractions: Landwasser Viaduct, Parpanor Rothorn
Places To Stay: Priva Alpine Lodge, Soleval, Arosa ski resort
How To Reach: Once you reach Zurich international airport, you can either take a train or go by road.
11. Lake Geneva – Jaw-Dropping Views
Lake Geneva, the largest Alpine lake is one of the most popular places to visit in Switzerland. Surrounded by stunning snow-capped peaks, Lake Geneva offers panoramic views of the Swiss Alps! The lake is surrounded by numerous Promenades, gardens, and parks, giving you a chance to have peaceful family time amidst the serene ambiance. This is amongst the best places to visit in Switzerland in January.
Why Visit: Sightseeing tours, peaceful ambiance, and the place is home to Montreux Jazz Festival which is organized in the month of June or July.
Tourist Attractions: Big Foot Beach State Park, Tristan Christ Magic Theatre, Geneva Lake Museum
Places To Stay: Hotel Villa Toscane, Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic
How To Reach: The best way to reach is by bus
Also read: Paris In Winter
12. Chateau De Chillon – For Artists
Are you visiting Switzerland in January? Chateau de Chillon is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and has been an inspiration for artists and writers for centuries. It was constructed in the 12th century and comprises nearly 25 buildings. The prime attractions of Chateau de Chillon are the Great Halls, the Gothic underground rooms, the Chapel, paintings of the 14th century, the Camera Domini. This is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland in winter.
Why Visit: To witness the magnificent masterpiece that was constructed in the 12th century and still stands speaking the stories of the past centuries.
Tourist Attractions: Golden Pass Railway, Rochers de Naye
Places To Stay: Le Coucou, Hotel Residence Bristol
How To Reach: The best way to reach is by boat. You can take a boat from Vevey or Montreux.
13. Swiss Grand Canyon – For Rafting
That one place that offers everything from beautiful views to adventurous activities is the Swiss Grand Canyon. It is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland in winter. While the gorge looks amazingly charming with its meadows and lush greenery, it is a treat to the eyes during the winter season. In the later months like October and November, you can go rafting and even kayaking there.
Why visit: It offers recreational activities like rafting and kayaking
Tourist Attractions: Rhine River
Places To Stay: Hotel Cresta, The Hide Hotel Flims, Ruinaulta
How to reach: You can reach there by train from Zurich. The train takes 1h50m to reach Flims Waldhaus. From there you can trek to the canyon which is located 3.5 km away.
14. The Abbey Of St Gall – For History Lovers
A UNESCO World Heritage site, The Abbey Of St Gall should not be missed out on while visiting Switzerland in winter. The site contains a very old library that will fascinate the traveler in you. The structure of the Abbey is a sight to behold and has been standing there since the 8th century. It is one of the top places to visit in Switzerland in winter.
Why visit: It is a world heritage site
Tourist Attractions: Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen Cathedral, Wildlife Park Peter and Paul
Places to stay: Touched city apartments, Hotel Vadian, Hotel Dom
How to reach: You can either take a bus or train from Lucerne to the abbey.
15. The Castles Of Bellinzona – Magnificence At Its Best
If you are fond of castles, then you must visit the three castles of Bellinzona during winter in Switzerland. The castles, namely, The Castelgrande, Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro, stand proudly and offer a majestic view. The castles are the emblems of royalty and grandeur of the city. You will be taking several steps back in time while visiting the castles. Do not forget to bring your camera along.
Why visit: These castles are some of the oldest ones in Switzerland
Tourist Attractions: Bellinzona Market Town, 3 castles – Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro
Places to stay: Hotel Unione, Ostillo Bellinzona, Villa Del Gusto
How to reach: The best way to reach here is by train. Take a train to Bellinzona. Once you reach there, you can either walk to the castles or take a bus till there.
16. Lugano – Home To A Glacial Lake
Lugano is one of the most interesting places to experience winter in Switzerland. Located in the Ticino region of Southern Switzerland, this charming town settlement encircles a glacial lake, Laguna Lake. This place has a mix of Swiss-Mediterranean cultures which can be experienced through its cuisine and architecture. Lugano city sits amidst mountains that accentuate the landscape. Piazza Della Riforma and Lugano Lake are some of the best places to visit.
Why visit: To experience the beauty of mixed-culture
Tourist Attractions: Lake Laguno, Villa Del Balbianello, Monte San Salvatore
Places to stay: Hotel Splendid Royal Lugano, Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo & Spa
How to reach: Lugano has a regional airport with flights connecting to other major cities including Geneva, Zurich, Cagliari, Sion, and Olbia.
17. Zurich – A Medieval Town
Zurich is one of the most popular cities for Switzerland holidays. It is located in the Northern region of the country, occupying the north end of Lake Zurich. This city is a beautiful fusion of old and new existing together in harmony. It is a financial center of Switzerland but also has several locations dating back to the medieval era. Limmatquai and 17th-century Town Hall – Rathaus are some of the major attractions in Zurich.
Why visit: To explore the historical Waterfront promenades and Old Town established along Limmat River. There are also some beautiful castles in Zurich
Tourist Attractions: Grossmunster, Fraumunster Church, Banhhofstrasse
Places to stay: Zurich Marriott Hotel, Crown Plaza Zurich
How to reach: Zurich Airport is one of the major aiports in Switzerland
18. Swiss National Park – Snow Mountains
Located in Eastern Switzerland, the gorgeous Swiss National Park spans the Western Rhaetian Alps. The park has been recognized as a Word UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Swizz National Park is one of the best places to experience the Switzerland winter. The verdant mountains get covered in a thick carpet of snow during the cold season.
Why visit: Explore the wildlife and witness the beauty of the snow-laden surroundings.
Tourist Attractions: Engadin, Soul
Places to stay: Hotel Park Naziunal II Fuorn, Hotel Crusch Alba
How to reach: The best way to reach Swiss National Park is by boarding a train from Zurich to Zernez.
Switzerland, without a doubt, is among those places on earth that are unparalleled. So, are you prepared for a classic holiday to this winter wonderland? If yes, then plan your Switzerland holiday right away and experience pure magic whether you’re thinking of honeymoon in Switzerland or a trip with family! And if you know of any more places to visit in Switzerland in winters, put them in the comments below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places to Visit In Switzerland
What is there to do in Switzerland in the winter?
There are numerous activities you can indulge in when visiting Switzerland. Some of these include:
1. Try ice skating and skiing at St. Moritz
2. Enjoy dog sledging
3. Indulge in shopping experiences at Christmas markets
4. Witness the beauty of Swiss National Park
Which are the best places to stay in Switzerland in winter?
Some of the best places you can visit in Switzerland to witness the best of it include Zermatt, staad, Bern, Grindelwald, Zermatt, Montreux, Davos, and Villars.
Can I visit Switzerland during Covid times?
Yes, Switzerland is now open for travel. If you are fully vaccinated, you can surely plan a visit to Switzerland. All you need is to follow all the Government protocols that includes wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands, and maintaining social distance whenever required.
Which are the places to visit in Switzerland in winter with family?
If you're wondering where to go in Switzerland in Winter with your family then, Zurich, Nendaz, Grachen, and Engelberg are among the top places to consider. These places are kid-friendly and have plenty of options in terms of accommodation, activities, and sightseeing which interests both adults and kids alike.
What are the best places to celebrate Christmas in Switzerland?
Berne, Zurich, St. Mortiz, and Zermatt are among the best places in Switzerland in winter where you can celebrate Christmas. These places are adorned with Christmas lights, and the Christmas markets make for a fun-filled extravaganza.
Is Switzerland a good place to visit in December?
Yes, December is a pretty good time to visit Switzerland. If you are thinking to make a trip to Switzerland in December then Premier Alpine Centre should be your first priority to ask. They will provide you with the best package to enjoy mountains and ski sports along with your families. December is also a good time for skiing in Switzerland.
How many days do you need in Switzerland?
You will need at least 3 full to explore Rome, 2 days each for Florence, Siena/San Gimignano/Pisa, driving around Tuscany, Venice, and 1 day for Milan. On the whole, you need at least 6-7 days to visit the best of Switzerlamd.
How cold is Switzerland in December?
December is a festive month and despite the biting cold temperature, there is so much fun guests can have while on holiday in Zurich. December is winter in Zurich with an average temperature of 2°C (35 ̊F). The highest temperature for December is 4°C (39 ̊F) while the lowest temperature is -1°C (30 ̊F).
Where can I spend Christmas in Switzerland?
Here are a few places where you can bring in the festive season and celebrate Christmas in Switzerland:
1. St Gallen
2. Stein am Rhein
4. St Moritz
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