November is the right time to visit Switzerland if you want to avoid crowds.
Get to know Swiss cities, visit museums, galleries, restaurants, delicatessens, and of course, chocolate shops, enjoy well-organized tours, or go on a self-exploring adventure.
It is late autumn, so the temperatures are slightly lower than in October.
In Zurich in November, the average temperature ranges from 2.2°C to 7.2°C. There are 11 rainy days and 62 sunny hours.
In Bern and Lucerne, the average temperature in November ranges from 1°C to 7°C.
On average, there are 10 rainy days in Bern, and in Lucerne, it rains one day less per month in November, but that’s why there are 65 sunny hours in Bern, while in Lucerne, there is even ten hours less sunshine.
In Lausanne in November, the average temperature ranges from 4°C to 9°C. There are 10 rainy days and 78 sunny hours.
In Basel and Geneva, the average maximum temperatures in November are the same and rise to 9°C, but Geneva has a degree lower minimum temperature of 2°C.
Therefore, you can expect 10 rainy days in both Basel and Geneva in November, but that’s why Geneva has two more hours of sunshine than Basel, which has 66 hours of sun.
In November, the average temperature in Lugano ranges from 5°C to 11°C. In addition, there are 8 rainy days and 133 sunny hours.
In the mountains, the ski season starts in December.
As a result, many mountain resorts are closed in the off-season and start working only at the beginning of the ski season, but some work in November.
Chances are good that the weather will be nice in November and you can take advantage of that to visit them.
One piece of clothing advice. It is best to wear several layers of clothing, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, and coats.
Also, due to the possibility of rain, it would be desirable if your shoes were water resistant.
Castles are scattered throughout Switzerland. Therefore, November may be a suitable month to embark on such a romantic adventure.
Aarburg Castle, Hallwyl Castle, Rapperswil Castle, Castles of Bellinzona, Tourbilion Castle, Visconteo Castle, Aigle Castle, and Burgdorf Castle are just some of the castles on our list of suggestions to visit.
Urban Adventure: Swiss Cities
You can tour Zurich on your own, but we recommend you opt for an organized tourist tour. You can get all the information and book guides at the Main Railway Station.
With a guide, you can tour the Old Town on foot and learn all the secrets you would otherwise miss. You will also get first-hand information about the best places with refreshments.
Walk the streets where Einstein, James Joyce, and Wagner walked, and learn a little about their lives when they were residents of Zurich.
Gourmets will find the Zurich Food Tour the most interesting.
The restaurants that are most popular with the local population are visited on foot, and they get acquainted with local specialties. Bon appetit!
E-bike tours are suitable for getting to know parts of Zurich outside the center.
This way, you will see works of art in public places, graffiti, and installation art. In addition, you will get a much better impression of the city’s architecture because you will pass through many more streets.
If you take a bus tour, you will see some sights such as the Zurich Opera House, Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, and Old Town.
In addition, the bus stops in the Old Town and at Lake Zurich for photography.
You can also tour Zurich by taking a ferry across Lake Zurich or get a better view of it from the air by taking the cable car to the Felsenegg viewpoint.
The old city center is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and you should definitely get to know it.
You will enjoy exploring its streets of grand arcades and towers, and the fountains will bubble as if they, too, are telling you about the eight-centuries-old history of the city.
You can rent an audio guide with detailed explanations of the buildings located in the old town. You can set the audio guide to English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French.
To begin with, you can go on a panoramic tour of Geneva by bus. The old town is spectacular, and the famous Flower Clock will delight you.
Or you can walk around the old town with the help of tour guides. This way will certainly allow you to find out and see more.
While in Geneva you should take the opportunity to visit France and visit the medieval Alpine town of Annecy.
To be in Switzerland, and even in Geneva, and not take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy chocolate ideally, would be a failure.
Chocolate Flavors Tours is a three-hour tasting journey through Swiss chocolates’ aromas and shapes.
In the two-hour walking tour of Basel’s old town, you’ll have enough time to discover everything you want to know about the Tinguely Fountain, the Town Hall, or Cathedral Hill.
Later, you can stroll on your own along the winding streets full of the spirit of bygone times.
Once you get to know Lausanne and visit all its attractions, you might consider a trip. About forty minutes away from Lausanne is Gruyeres.
You will be genuinely amazed by the beauty of the preserved medieval architecture of this city.
The famous cheese is also named after Gruyeres, so don’t miss a visit to the “Maison du Gruyeres.” You will learn how this cheese was made from generation to generation.
From November 11 to 19, the Blues Festival takes place in Lucerne.
You will have the opportunity to hear world-class blues stars at Grand Casino Lucerne, Hotel Seeburg, and Hotel Schweizerhof.
In Lucerne, you must visit the Swiss Museum of Transport.
Park Hotel Vitznau, on the beautiful shores of Lake Lucerne, is only 26 kilometers from Lucerne.
In addition to everything that a modern spa center can offer, only here can you enjoy the magical view of the lake from the heated pool.
Which mountains to visit in Switzerland in November?
October is the end of the season for many Swiss mountain resorts. They start working in December when the ski season starts.
Even those mountain resorts that do not break the season may be closed in November due to bad weather conditions. It is not uncommon for a mountain resort to close without notice.
The authorities of these resorts reserve the right to react immediately if the paths become slippery and unusable due to rain or wet snow, and some are even dangerous due to possible landslides.
But don’t worry; with timely notification, it is possible to avoid such inconveniences.
The Swiss are known for their precision and good organization. Therefore, you will easily find out whether the mountain resort is open or temporarily closed due to bad weather conditions.
After the hiking season ends, sometime in mid-October, public traffic to the mountains is reduced or, in some cases, completely abolished.
Therefore, it is advisable to check the schedule of departures and arrivals.
Late autumn in November is magical in the Swiss mountains. Fresh air and beautiful landscapes will surely please you.
Therefore, if the weather is sunny and warm, do not miss the opportunity to visit one of these mountains, which remain open for tourists even in the November off-season.
The Rigi mountain range is located in central Switzerland and is surrounded by three lakes: Lucerne, Zug, and Lauerz.
Mount Rigi itself is a peninsula on Lake Lucerne. It can be easily reached by cable car or railway, and it is a memorable experience to travel there on the first European train with gears, which is supposed to have been running as far back as 1871.
Going to this destination in November is no problem because everything is open and works throughout the year.
If you reach Rigi Kulm, after a short break in the fresh air and enjoying the view, you can walk along the panoramic path.
From numerous viewpoints and terraces, which you will discover on Mount Riga, unique landscapes are offered.
Restaurants are always open regardless of the season, as are the mineral baths in Riga Kaltbad.
For the Swiss, this is a favorite mountain for rest and recreation; they call it the Queen of the Mountains.
On Rigi mountain, almost ninety square kilometers have been arranged for recreation and sports, and the hiking trails extend to one hundred and twenty kilometers.
The average November temperature in Riga Kaltbad ranges from a high of 7°C to a low of 1.5°C.
Interestingly, November is the driest month in Riga Kaltbad but also the month with the shortest sunny periods. On average, it is not cloudy for only 8.8 hours during the day.
STOOS – FRONALPSTOCK
Fortunately, the cable cars from the viewpoint of Fronalpstock do not stop working after the summer season ends in October.
It’s great news because it would be a shame to miss the spectacle that offers an unsurpassed panoramic view.
Why is it unbeatable? Because there is an unobstructed view of the entire three hundred and sixty degrees!
From that place, you can see the mountains Uri Rotstock, Glarus, Glärnisch, and Tödi, the central Swiss mountains Pilatus and two Mytehem, Solothurn’s, Weisenstein, and ten lakes.
How to get to Stoos?
If you plan to visit Fronalpstock, you can take the train or bus to Schwiz and then take the funicular to Stoos.
You can also reach Stoos by cable car from Morschach. In that case, travel by train to Brunnen and then by bus to Morschach.
The average November temperature in Stoos ranges from a maximum of 4.3°C to a minimum of -1.9°C.
The average air humidity is 84%. On average, there are 15.6 rainy days in November and 3.2 snowy days.
Ebenalp is the northernmost peak of the Appenzeill Alps. Its height is 1,640 meters.
You can go from Wasserauen to Ebenalp by cable car if the weather is nice. The Aesher cliff restaurant is also open in November.
From the plateau on which the cable car is located, there is an enchanting view of the rolling hills of Appenzella.
A hiking trail leads to Sealpsee from Ebenalp, which is quite dangerous and demanding even in summer conditions, so it would be best to walk to Sealpsee on the existing road.
The average November temperature in Wasserauen ranges from a high of 7.2°C to a low of 0.1°C.
The Klewenalp-Stockhütte mountain resort is about fifteen minutes from Lucerne. You can reach it via the A2 Basel-Chiasso highway. It is located in the mountains of central Switzerland above Lake Lucerne.
If you want to avoid the traffic jams, you can also reach it by ferry and park in the valley in Beckenried or Emmetten.
It takes you about ten minutes to get the longest cable car in central Switzerland that goes up to 1600 meters above sea level and the Klewenalp, and from Emmetten, you can take a gondola ride up to 1286 meters above sea level.
In November, the gondola and cable cars operate only on weekends.
The average November temperature in Emmetten ranges from a high of 7°C to a low of 1.1°C.
BRAUNWALD – RUBBER
Braunwald is located in east central Switzerland, in the Canton of Glarus.
The Gumen cable car operates every weekend until the very end of November.
But, of course, the condition is that the weather is good. The Gumen lift does not work in November, regardless of the weather, as well as the restored Gumen and Ortstockhaus.
But that’s okay, the funicular to the alpine village runs all year round, without interruption.
Braunwald also offers the possibility of hiking along the panoramic trail. However, if you are planning this activity, you should know in advance that November in Braunwald is a cold month.
The average November temperature in Braunwald ranges from a high of 6.5°C to a low of 0.2°C.
We don’t want to be pessimistic, but you should know that it rains a lot in Braunwald in November and that there are ten rainy days on average.
The advice is to dress warmly and have waterproof jackets and shoes in case of rain.
Chäserrugg is part of the Churfirsten Massif, which consists of seven mountains. It is 2,262 meters high.
In the north, there is a gentle slope, while in the south, there is a cliff that descends about 1,900 meters to the Lake of Walensee. Unfortunately, the Toggenburg mountain resort is only partially open in November.
There is a cable car from Unterwasser to Chäserrugg viewpoint, but only on weekends.
However, it is possible to walk along the cliffs themselves safely, and you will remember the view from there forever: the peaks of the Alps line up to the end of the horizon.
The average November temperature in Unterwasser ranges from a high of 7°C to a low of 1°C.
LENZERHEIDE – ROTHORN
Lenzerheide is a resort in the Arosa region, in the canton of Graubünden.
It is located in an alpine valley, and one of the hiking trails leads to a local attraction, the ruins of the medieval Belfort castle, which was probably built in the early 1200s.
The mountain bike park is open every weekend throughout November, and the Lenzerheide Rothorn cable car also operates, weather permitting.
The average November temperature in Lenzerheide ranges from a high of 3°C to a low of -5°C.
Niederbauen-Kulm is a mountain in central Switzerland above Lake Lucerne. It is 1,923 meters high.
In November, the cable car operates only on weekends, with favorable weather conditions.
Restaurants are also open on weekends.
The cable car from Flüelen to Eggberge operates all year round without interruption in the November low season.
In just ten minutes, you reach an altitude of 1,446 meters above sea level, from where the view falls on the Reuss valley, Lake Urnersee, the Gotthard region, Spannort, Krönten, and Rigi.
Above Lake Urnersee, from the sunny terrace, one usually goes for walks on well-designed hiking trails that pass through forests and across fields.
By the way, Eggberge is known as a place to escape from the fog because when the whole environment is covered with fog, it is sunny on Eggbergee.
In November, not all restaurants remain open, but those that do in the off-season offer good food in a pleasant alpine environment.
The average November temperature in Flüelen at the foot of the Eggbergee ranges from a high of 7°C to a low of 1.5°C.
On average, there are nine rainy days in November in Flüelen, and there is a lot of fog and clouds, so there are only 55 sunny hours in the whole month.
But it’s at the foot of the Eggberge, and up there, you’ll be greeted by sunshine as soon as you step off the cable car.
In the Stanserhorn mountain resort, you will only be able to use the funicular and cable car until mid-November.
However, this mountain is perfect for you if you are a fan of rotating restaurants. In addition to a short panoramic trail and a lookout point, there is also a rotating restaurant at the top.
The Stanserhorn is located in the canton of Nidwalden, and its highest peak is 1,898 meters above sea level.
The average daily November temperature in Stans ranges from 7.2°C to a minimum of 0.8°C.
If you decide to visit the canton of Bern and Niesen, do it by mid-November because, after that, the funicular to the top stops working.
Niesen rises to an altitude of 2,362 meters.
By the way, steeplechase races are traditionally held on Niesen in June. The fun fact is that it is the longest staircase in the world! It has 11,674 steps, which is why Niesen is called the Swiss pyramid.
Even though there are no races in November, at least there are no crowds, so if there is no ice on the stairs, you will be able to try your hand at this challenge.
Mount Pizol is located in the northeast of Switzerland in the canton of St. Gallen. Its highest peak reaches a height of 2,844 meters.
Last year, on the weekend of October 29, all the restaurants were open, and all the summer cable cars were working. The reason for that was the excellent weather.
If we are lucky, maybe this year it will happen again in November, and perhaps the weather will be favorable so that the Bad Ragaz Pardiel gondola, which goes to the Heidi-themed trail, will be available for at least a weekend or two.
The average November temperature in Pizol ranges from a maximum of 7°C to a minimum of -1°C.
It was recorded that in Pizol, there are, on average, fifteen days without precipitation and that in the other fifteen, on average, it snows on 8 days, and there are seven rainy days.
Mount Pilatus is actually a mountain massif. The highest peak of Pilates is Tomlishorn, with an altitude of 2,128 meters.
A footpath leads to it from the Esel viewpoint. If conditions permit and the path is safe, you can hike first to Esel and then to Tomilshorn.
There is a cable car to Mount Pilates, and the restaurants are open even in the off-season.
But unfortunately, the mountain train from Alpnahstad to Pilates stops running after October 20. And a little earlier, the ferry from Lucerne to Alpnahstad stops running until the end of winter.
If you are in Lugano, visit Monte Bre, which is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in Switzerland.
The funicular also operates in November. During the drive, you can enjoy the view of Lugano and lake bay.
Two restaurants and a small church are located at the top.
You can get to the starting station of the cable car from Lugano by bus.
The village of Bre is attractive because many artists lived there, giving it an interesting touch.
The village of Bre is easy to reach because it is not far from the cable car station. Twenty minutes of pleasant walking will be enough.
From the top of the Niederhorn is a view of the entire Bernese Alps and Lake Thun. On the mountain slopes, you will surely see some ibex.
The Niederhorn gondola only runs until mid-November, but the Beatenberg gondola runs all year round.
Thirty minutes is the fantastic journey from Beatenbucht to Niederhorn. The spectacular panorama will enchant you.
Popular autumn magical trips are also organized in November!
The Schilthorn rises to 2,970 meters above sea level. At its foot is the village of Murren, where cable cars run to the Schilthorn viewpoint. Please note that the cable car does not operate after mid-November. However, if the weather is nice, you can explore the village of Murren.
Romantic adventure: The most famous castles in Switzerland
Castles are scattered throughout Switzerland. November may be a suitable month to embark on such a romantic adventure.
These are just some of the castles that can be visited and explored. Enjoy!
Chillon Castle is located on Lake Geneva. It was built in the Middle Ages, and many writers wrote about it.
Rousseau was the first to mention it in his work, followed by Flaubert, Hemingway, Goethe, Dickens, and, of course, Lord Byron, who, in 1816, after vacationing on Lake Geneva, wrote the poem “The Prisoner of Chillon.”
In the 12th century, a fortress called the Gate of the Alps was built at the same site where the romantic Scillion Castle is now located.
Even today, it is possible to see something left from that dark past. Fortunately, the fortress later became the summer residence of the Savoy family, and the castle got its present appearance.
Often, a castle preserved to this day was built on the foundations of an earlier fortress or castle.
For example, that’s how Aarburg Castle was built in the 12th century, including an existing smaller castle. The lower floors are carved into the rock.
It is located on a steep rocky hill above the city of Aarburg and the river Aare. It consists of several well-fortified buildings, a stair tower, several living quarters, and a fortress with another tower.
Tourbillon Castle was impregnable because of its walls and accessible only from the west and east.
It was built in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 19th century because it collapsed after a fire in the 15th and 18th centuries.
It dominates the top of the hill. It is open to the public.
At the very entrance to the city of Locarno is the Visconteo Castle, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.
You can see the Roman glass collection in this castle.
Aigle Castle was built in the 12th century. Vineyards surround the castle, so it is not surprising that it houses a museum of wine and vines.
Sometimes tastings of some of the vintages are also organized.
Grandson Castle is located on the shore of Lake Neuchatel. It has pointed towers at each corner and is rectangular.
It was built in the Middle Ages. It is open to the public. It has a museum in its structure that is not only thematically connected to the area in which it is located but exhibits old cars, architecture, weapons, and armor.
Rapperswil Castle was built on Lake Zurich at the beginning of the 13th century. The walls of the triangular-shaped fortress surround the five-sided tower with a clock.
A wide moat surrounds Hallwyl Castle. It is located north of Lake Hallwil, in the canton of Aargau. It has high stone walls. It is open to the public.
Burgdorf Castle is located on the banks of the river Emme. Information about its origin and the name of the person who built it is somewhat unclear.
However, it was mentioned for the first time in sources from 1800.
It is open to the public. Inside Burgdorf Castle is the museum in the Knight’s Hall.
Castles of Bellinzona
Castles of Bellinzona is a name for three castles surrounding the fortified walls: Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro.
They were built in the Middle Ages. They have been declared a cultural world heritage by UNESCO.
In the case of Nidau Castle, the place where it is located was neither a stone fortress nor a smaller stone castle but a series of wooden castles.
Nidau Castle, made of stone, as preserved to this day, was built in the 13th century.
If you visit this castle, you will certainly not resist taking many of your photos with it in the background because Oberhofen Castle on the shores of Lake Thun is magically impressive.
If a fairy tale could happen anywhere, it is in that place among the great towers and walls surrounded by water and mountains.
Oberhofen Castle was built gradually over the centuries, from the fortress built around 1200.
The way it currently exists was finally completed in 1852.
It is open to the public.
Thun Castle was built in the 12th century. It is located in the canton of Bern, in Thun.
Around the square central tower are four circular towers. The style is late Gothic.
It is open to the public, but in November, visiting the castle is only allowed on Saturdays from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Wimmis Castle is located in the canton of Bern. Before the castle was built, there was a church from the beginning of the Middle Ages in that place. Next to it was a fortified private estate.
No wonder this place was chosen to build a castle in the 12th century because it is located on top of a hill from which the entire surrounding area is controlled.
Museum Wimmis historic is also located in the village of the same name. You can take the opportunity to learn about the region’s history, which spans millennia.
In the historical time machine, you will learn how the inhabitants of the nearby caves lived, everything about the Roman settlement that once existed in that area, as well as some shocking facts about life and death during the time of the plague.
Morges Castle is located in the canton of Vaud, in the municipality of Morges. It was built in the 12th century. It is square with circular towers at the corners. Since 1925, it has housed the Vaud Military Museum.
Marschlins Castle is located in the village of Igis in the canton of Graubünden. It was built in the 13th century in the Savoy style.
Two deep moats surround it. The stone bridge was built in the 17th century, and before that, drawbridges were lowered over the ditches.
The castle is privately owned.
We hope all this information will help make your time in Switzerland in November unforgettable. Sometimes it’s good to take advantage of some of the benefits of the off-season.
There is no better time to visit museums and galleries and enjoy the peace and quiet without much crowding. The same applies to restaurants and shops.
As far as visiting one of the mountains is concerned, we hope that the weather in November 2023 will be nice, that late autumn will have fewer rainy days, and that you will enjoy your Swiss adventure!
More destinations to discover: