What are the best things to do in Switzerland in December? What is the weather like in Switzerland in December? What are some tips for traveling to Switzerland in December?
A winter vacation in Switzerland is usually a wise choice because of the breathtaking winter scenery that seems like it belongs in a storybook.
Despite its tiny size, Switzerland has a lot to offer travelers, particularly in the cold months like December.
Due to its great winter sports, mostly skiing, Switzerland attracts tourists from all over the world as well as a sizable number of domestic and European visitors in December, particularly from its neighbors like Germany.
Switzerland is stunning throughout the year, but in the winter when the mountains turn snowy and the air is crisp and clean, the beauty is only enhanced.
It’s hard to believe how many kilometers of slopes there are, how many white valleys you pass through on train rides, and how many snowy peaks you can see from a hot tub filled with natural mineral springs.
In addition to its stunning natural surroundings, Switzerland in December is a hive of activities, Christmas markets, and winter sports, so visiting this country this month will make you delighted.
Get to know Switzerland
Switzerland is a country located in the center of western Europe, and its capital city is Bern.
It shares borders with Germany to the north, Austria, and Liechtenstein to the east, Italy to the south, France to the west, and Germany.
The Jura, Alps, and Swiss Plateau make up Switzerland’s three main geographical regions.
While the Alps make up the majority of the country, the Swiss population is mostly centered on the plateau, which is home to the country’s greatest towns and economic hubs, including Zürich, Geneva, and Basel.
The high Alps peaks and countless lakes may be found in Switzerland.
The nation is renowned for its ski resorts and hiking routes, and its towns include historical sites and medieval districts.
One of the most well-liked travel locations in Europe is Switzerland, particularly during the winter when there are so many activities to choose from.
In general, everyone who travels to this country will have a fantastic time because it is so well-arranged and beautiful.
Places to visit and things to do in Switzerland in December
Switzerland is a wonderful place to visit in the winter.
It’s hardly surprising that there are a ton of incredible things to do during this time as Switzerland transforms into a winter paradise while other nations curl up and hibernate throughout the colder months.
There is plenty for everyone to do in this incredible country, from every snowsport you want to name and serene Alpine treks to top-notch Christmas shopping and attractive, snow-covered villages to visit.
Here is a list of the best places to visit and things to do during your visit to Switzerland in December:
There is no better way to see this small but very beautiful nation than by train.
The finest natural attractions in the country, including lush valleys, and towering mountain peaks, are all reachable by rail, and some of these routes are regarded as some of the most beautiful in the whole world.
The Bernina Express will be the first one to mention.
By traversing the Swiss Engadin Alps, this railway connects Chur with Poschiavo in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy.
From the panoramic crimson carriages of the Bernina Express, you can enjoy breathtaking vistas.
The second one to mention will be the popular, Glacier Express.
This train runs between the Swiss Alpine ski resorts of St. Moritz and Matterhorn, which are close to Zermatt.
Just after leaving Brig, the Glacier Express offers breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, the Matter Valley, and the glistening Rhone.
And the third one to mention is called Jungfrau Railway.
Jungfrau Railway transports passengers to Europe’s highest train station.
A portion of the Jungfrau railway line tunnels through the Monch and Eiger Mountains, which are surrounded by the snow-capped Jungfrau Mountain.
Some other train journeys also worth mentioning are Cogwheel Railway and Gornergrat Cog Railway.
SHOPPING AT CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The opportunity to shop at some of Europe’s top Christmas markets is one of the joys of visiting Switzerland in the winter.
During the holidays The Christmas markets of Basel, Bern, Zürich, Baden, Lausanne, and Lucerne are among the best, and the winter beauty in various locations radiates its Christmas ambiance with its glittering lights.
Christmas markets abound in Zürich, notably Christkindlimarkt, the biggest indoor market in Europe, which is located within the main railway station.
In Basel, a large number of craftsmen set up shop in the central city center to sell their products, whilst Bern’s Waisenhausplatz Christmas market sells souvenirs in addition to Christmas decorations and presents.
For many individuals, going on a winter walk in Switzerland is a dream come true.
The breathtaking peaks, a profusion of snow, and the captivatingly quiet landscape produce a scene from a fairy tale.
When you combine the excellent location for enjoying the coldest season with the warm and inviting tiny eateries you come across when winter trekking in Switzerland.
The finest places to go snow hiking in Switzerland are at higher elevations.
The mountains have more snow than the lowlands and lower areas.
Easy snow pathways are ideal in high-altitude valleys.
The Upper Engadine, Lower Engadine, Upper Rhone valley, and Matter valley have some of the best locations for this kind of activity.
There are several ice skating rinks in Switzerland’s cities, but the best experience is to skate on a natural rink.
In Switzerland, several natural rinks are surrounded by woods or located deep within valleys, and ice skating on these rinks is a lot of pleasure.
Europe’s largest natural ice rink is located in the Swiss winter sports destination Davos, and other lakes in the Jura region of Switzerland freeze over in the winter and convert into enormous ice rinks also ideal for enjoying this sport.
There are also some other noteworthy locations for ice skating in Switzerland, such as Katzensee Lake, Lac de Joux, Lac des Rousses, and Lac des Tailleres.
It’s a must-try while visiting Switzerland to unwind in a heated outdoor pool as snowflakes fall on your face, whether it’s at a modest spa center or a grand health resort.
Leukerbad-Therme, the biggest spa destination in the Alps, draws water from a private spring that is rich in minerals.
There is also The Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad, which has a view of Lake Lucerne and is one of the most well-known thermal baths in Switzerland.
Here, you may choose between an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, as well as herbal steam rooms and a patio for relaxing.
And one more to mention will be The Termali Salini & Spa on Lake Locarno, which has outdoor saltwater lakes that overlook the lake, is another fantastic thermal spa resort.
TITLIS CLIFF WALK
The narrow, one-meter-wide Cliff Walk suspension bridge, which is located three thousand meters above sea level and five hundred meters above the snow-covered cliffs, is not for someone who has a weak heart.
It does, however, provide some breathtaking mountain vistas as Europe’s tallest suspension bridge.
Starting with a Rotair gondola trip up Mount Titlis, which gives rotating vistas over the beautiful glaciers, you may reach the bridge itself, which runs along the face of the mountain.
The lengthy bridge connects this location with the Ice Flyer glacier chairlift station on the opposite side, and you must pass through a glacier cave to get to an observation platform once you arrive.
STAYING IN AN IGLOO
When going to Switzerland in December, you can spend the night in an igloo for a unique experience.
The igloos at many Alpine ski resorts are designed to double as ice chambers in the winter. Each location has its offerings, but igloo rooms include sleeping bags, welcoming hot beverages, and either lamps or battery-operated lighting.
The well-known Berghotel Engstligenalp igloos are situated two thousand meters above sea level on the Engstligenalp plateau in the western Alps.
A hot water bottle to keep warm in the sleeping bag, use of the restrooms and showers in the adjoining chalet, a three-course meal, and a buffet breakfast are all included in the price of the stay.
Deciding to go to a museum when visiting Switzerland in December could be a fantastic way to learn more about this country.
The most popular museum in the country is the Transport Museum in Lucerne, but there are a ton of other museums to explore.
Also one of the most popular art museums in the country is the Foundation Beyeler in Basel, and the art collection that Ernst and Hildy Beyeler assembled is on exhibit for visitors from all around the world.
There is also a fascinating indoor Olympic museum that is located in Lausanne, It is interactive and does a great job of explaining the history of the games.
Skiing in Switzerland in December
Every skier dreams of taking to the slopes in the Swiss Alps, and everyone may do so, regardless of their level of experience.
Both types of skiers will be content skiing in the Swiss Alps, whether they like groomed paths or first tracks in fresh snow.
Everyone enjoys beautiful scenery, reliable snow conditions, and an efficient lift system, and Switzerland has all three as well as a variety of destinations to suit every preference.
If you’re planning on engaging in this type of activity while visiting Switzerland, then find the best slopes for your upcoming winter trip with our list of the top five ski resorts in Switzerland, and learn more about those locations before you go.
Europe’s most recognizable mountain is located near Zermatt, the highest winter sports destination in the Alps with extensive ski terrain and more than two thousand meters of vertical drop.
A large portion of the mountain’s path network, which links two nations and three ski resorts, provides views of the imposing Matterhorn, which rises just behind the town, and which other side lies in Italy.
Skiing over the Theodul Pass and descending into the Italian trail network is one of the most memorable experiences in a skier’s lifetime.
The average temperature in Zermatt in December is from -6°C to 2°C.
With around twenty-five lifts, Saint Moritz offers terrain for skiers of all abilities.
It is renowned for having some of Switzerland’s greatest intermediate terrain, including some extremely lengthy intermediate lines.
Saint Moritz continues to be renowned for its sophisticated and expensive party scene, despite the town center losing some of its old attractions.
In this ski resort, you may discover family-friendly lodgings in Silvaplana, which is close to the Corvatsch ski area and has a kid-friendly slope and many more.
The average temperature in St. Moritz in December is from -14°C to -2°C.
The three peaks of the Jungfrau massif, which are all close to four thousand meters high, offer a scenic landscape for the two hundred kilometers of slopes and runs, many of which include many intermediate cruisers.
Take one of the hundreds of lifts and cableways to get runs, or take the Jungfraubahn railway, which can be easily accessible from Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald.
This is the highest railroad station in all of Europe, and the ski slopes in The Jungfrau are renowned for their lengthy courses and consistently heavy snow.
Beginners and novice skiers should aim toward the slopes close to Wengen, while experienced skiers can go to Mürren’s routes because they are known to be the most difficult in the area.
The average temperature in Jungfrau in December is from -18°C to -13°C.
Davos, Klosters and Parsenn
Davos is a collection of ski resorts that stretch for kilometers in the valley of the Landwasser River in eastern Switzerland.
It is one of the largest and highest-altitude winter sports destinations in Europe.
Davos and Klosters, two very different towns, serve as the two primary hubs.
Davos’ cross-country ski paths, some of which are lit up for night skiing, are also well-liked by Nordic skiers.
Choose Klosters as your base to experience the feel of an Alpine community, yet because the several ski areas are connected, it’s simple to ski any combination.
The main region, Parsenn, which connects Davos and Klosters, has some of the most difficult terrains in the Alps.
The average temperature in Davos and Parsenn in December is from -7 to 0, and in Klosters from -5°C to 2°C.
Verbier is one of the top resorts in the world for off-piste skiing because it has a wealth of backcountry terrain, well-designed slopes for long-distance skiing, and both.
The ski area in Verbier known as Torin is the most recommended for experienced skiers since it has one of the world’s most hazardous and deadly ski lines.
Advanced free riders go to Verbier’s snow park for its challenging terrain of chutes and drops, which is where the annual Verbier Ride freestyle competition and Verbier Xtreme free ride contests, both of which are a member of the Freeride World Tour, are held.
The average temperature in Verbier in December is from -9°C to -2°C.
Events in Switzerland in December
Being in Switzerland in December is such a fantastic experience, and there is so much to see and do there because it is the month of Christmas, the New Year, and the Holidays.
Even if the Christmas season is just around the corner, December in Switzerland also has some other events.
We are also going to mention some of the most spectacular festivals that are held this month.
Keep reading and find out some useful pieces of information about each of those happenings before visiting.
Some of the best events in Switzerland in December:
St. Nikolaus Day
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on the sixth day of December and is often regarded as being an essential part of the holiday season in many European nations.
On St. Nicholas Day, families gather together in Switzerland to celebrate this event and to prepare little, unexpected gifts for one another, especially for the kids.
Other nations also have their traditions around St. Nicholas Day, ranging from more conventional celebrations to more storied rituals.
St. Stephen’s Day
A large part of Switzerland celebrates St. Stephen’s Day, which falls on December 26.
This is a really important event in the country and people all around the country spend St. Stephen’s Day with family and friends.
Some people choose to attend a church service on this day, while others use the last day of the Christmas period to stay at home and relax or to do activities such as walking or skiing.
Fête de l’Escalade
There is a celebration in Geneva that is called Fête de l’Escalade, it is celebrated on December 12 and it is also a popular event among the people there.
It is an occasion to commemorate Geneva’s historical achievements, such as torchlight processions in period attire honoring the city’s evasion of capture in 1602.
This is one of the most significant events in Geneva, Switzerland.
Illuminarium is a festival that is held in Zürich and it runs from the middle of November until the end of December.
The Swiss National Museum is turned into a light festival for this event, with delicious food kiosks and thousands of lights adorning the courtyard walls.
You may also see a light and music display that is projected on the building walls.
Approximately twenty artists’ light displays are displayed every evening on buildings in the heart of Lausanne during Lausanne Lumières.
To visit all the structures, make a three-kilometer lap around the town and enjoy the view.
This festival is held throughout the whole month of December and on Saturdays, they often provide no-cost, English-language guided tours, for which registration is not necessary.
Weather & Temperature in Switzerland in December
As in many other countries, December marks the start of the winter season in Switzerland either.
In the mountains, the climate changes with height and slope exposure, and winter winds may also cause unexpected and changing weather.
In this month, Bern has an average temperature of -2°C to 4°C, Zürich 0°C to 4°C, Geneva 0°C to 6°C, Lucern -1°C to 4°C, Lugano 2°C to 8°C, and Davos -1°C to 4°C.
Since the northern side of the Alps has a lower average temperature than the southern side and a lower snowline, the majority of the country is situated there.
Although ski areas reopen in December, the season’s deepest snow doesn’t accumulate until later.
The month of December may be gloomy, chilly, and rainy in Switzerland’s towns, cities, and lower valleys, but it isn’t always snowy.
Lower elevations seldom get significant amounts of snow, and while it’s possible to get a dusting, true white Christmases are uncommon.
With the shortest day of the year occurring in late December, the short days make the already chilly temperatures feel considerably colder.
With December being one of the months with the highest relative humidity, it is possible that rain could turn to snow during this month.
Generally, in December, Switzerland is a lovely place to be.
You may engage in a range of pastimes throughout this month, including skiing, hiking, ice skating, train journeys, and visiting the Christmas markets that give many cities a particularly enchanted atmosphere at this time of year.
If you like to refresh a little in a delightfully chilly and distinctive winter atmosphere, December is often a great time to visit Switzerland.
Tips for visiting Switzerland in December
There may be a variety of queries you have when you plan your vacation to Switzerland, and there is also a lot to discuss, including crowds, pricing, and what to wear in addition to train passes.
We’ve put together this collection of practical travel advice for Switzerland to assist you to get ready for your trip there in December and to aid you with any queries you might have.
You may confidently plan your winter holiday to Switzerland by getting ready with our tips. Keep reading and find out!
What to wear in Switzerland in December
When traveling to Switzerland in December, it’s important to pack the appropriate clothes to be warm and cozy wherever you go.
The ideal strategy is to layer, and that goes for anywhere you go.
Layering your clothing makes it simple to modify it to the current temperature both indoors and outside.
You’ll need warmer gear than you would in town because higher elevations may get significantly cooler.
Bring a particularly thick jacket with you if you intend to explore the high peaks because it is not only extremely cold but also windy there.
Even in cities, you should dress warmly for temperatures below zero by wearing a thick jacket, a scarf, a hat, and gloves.
Winter footwear recommendations include waterproof and warm boots.
If you intend to visit a Christmas market, wearing the appropriate attire is also equally crucial.
The amount of time they’ll be spending outside is frequently underestimated, you could feel absolutely fine for an hour, but after two or three hours, you’ll feel the cold.
Prices in Switzerland in December
Since December is a month of holidays and New Year, many people will go to Switzerland to celebrate, which tends to drive up rates.
Even if there are more affordable alternatives for things like lodging and meals, you will still pay more in Switzerland than in some other countries.
Due to the ski season, December also may be rather pricey, so be aware of that too.
But don’t worry too much, because the good news is that hiking and visiting cities and landscapes on foot are both completely free in Switzerland because their natural beauty contributes significantly to the country’s popularity as a tourist destination.
Crowds in Switzerland in December
Switzerland has its first snowfall in December, which has an impact on the rise in tourism there.
People choose to travel to this nation in the winter months to take advantage of the chance to take in the stunning snowy scenery.
Early December, before many ski areas open, can still be considered low season but in the two weeks before Christmas, Switzerland shifts into the high season when the resort towns come back to life.
When visiting Switzerland in December, stay away from the busiest towns like Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Geneva, and Zürich to escape the crowds.
And finally – A trip to Switzerland!
Whether you are interested in spending your quality time skiing in the Alps or just going through the cities, December will be a great time for you to visit this country.
So, pack all of your necessities and go to Switzerland to see why it is such a magical place in December!
More destinations to discover: