25 Places to Visit in Switzerland in December

Last Updated: May 31, 2023

So, you’ve got Switzerland on your wishlist for this year, huh? Well, let me tell you, December is the perfect time to go! Switzerland has some incredible spots that you absolutely have to check out. Get ready to hear about all the winter activities, festivals, and must-visit places that you shouldn’t miss during your trip.

This tiny nation is surrounded by four other countries: Germany, France, Italy, and Austria. As of 2020, it had a population of 8.67 million. Here’s a fun fact for you: Switzerland has four official languages, namely German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romansh. Now, speaking as an immigrant myself (technically), I can honestly say that Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries you’ll ever lay your eyes on. And here’s a little bonus for you: if you’re into winter sports, this place is an absolute paradise!

Zürich on a warm fall afternoon.

How To Get Around Switzerland in December or Winter Months

Switzerland boasts one of the best transport systems in Europe, no doubt about it. Now, renting a car might seem like the easiest option, but let’s face it, driving in the snow can be quite a challenge. So, why not opt for public transport instead? Trust me, it’s super convenient. And if you do decide to go that route, I’ve got a great suggestion for you: the Swiss Travel Pass. Sure, it might be a bit pricey, but trust me when I say it’s worth every penny.

With the Swiss Travel Pass, you get unlimited access to buses, trains, boats, and even those fancy panorama trains. It’s like having a golden ticket to explore the whole country hassle-free. What’s even better is that Switzerland’s transport system can take you anywhere you want to go. So, even if you’re planning a trip up to the mountains, don’t worry, there’s most likely a bus that can take you right to your destination. Oh, and here’s a pro tip: make sure to download the SBB app. It’ll make checking timetables and finding connections a breeze. Now, let’s dive into this guide and discover all the amazing things Switzerland has in store for us!

In this guide:

Places to See If You’re Looking to Relax:

1. Switzerland in December Must: Christmas Markets

You absolutely can’t miss out on visiting a Christmas market (or Weihnachtsmarkt) when you’re in Switzerland. I mean, seriously, almost every town and city in Switzerland during December has its own Christmas market. And if you’re up for exploring some of the famous ones, I’ve got a few recommendations for you:

Zürich: This place hosts one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in all of Europe. With a whopping 140 stalls, you’ll find everything from delicious food and drinks to trendy clothes and even toys. But here’s the real showstopper: the magnificent 50-foot-tall Swarovski tree adorned with around 7,000 dazzling Swarovski crystals.

Mt. Pilatus: Prepare to have your mind blown at this one. It’s the highest Christmas market in Switzerland, situated at a staggering altitude of about 2,000 meters above sea level. Not only do you get to soak up the enchanting Christmas market atmosphere, but you also get treated to a jaw-dropping panoramic view that will leave you breathless.

Montreux: If you’re looking for one of Switzerland’s biggest Christmas markets, Montreux is the place to be. With approximately 160 stalls lining the quays of Lake Geneva, this market offers a blend of Swiss-French charm. While it leans more towards the Swiss-French style, you’ll still catch glimpses of the traditional German Christmas market vibes.

Basel: Brace yourself for a grand spectacle at the Christmas market in Basel. Considered one of the largest and most stunning markets in all of Europe, Basel boasts not one, but three Christmas markets. The most prominent one can be found in Barfüsserplatz, nestled in the charming old town.

Now, if you want the most authentic experience at a Christmas market, here are a few things you absolutely shouldn’t miss out on:

  • Glühwein (mulled wine)
  • Heisse marroni (roasted chestnuts)
  • Magenbrot (a small, sweet glazed biscuit similar to gingerbread cookies)
  • Raclette (melted Swiss cheese often paired with baby potatoes, pickles, and vegetables)
  • Öpfelchüechli (apple fritters)
Switzerland in December: Christams Festivals
The Christmas market at Zürich main station is littered with shops selling just about anything! (Zürich Tourism)

2. Bernina Express

If you’re all about kicking back, relaxing, and immersing yourself in stunning views, then you’ve got to check out the Bernina Express. This incredible train journey spans around four hours and takes you through a mesmerizing route of 55 tunnels, 196 bridges, and some seriously steep inclines of up to 70 miles. Talk about an adventure!

The journey begins in the city of Chur and takes you all the way to Tirano, a charming Italian town nestled near the Swiss-Italian border. Now, let me tell you, the scenery is already breathtaking during the summer, but when you witness the snow-covered landscapes sparkling under the sun, it takes things to a whole new level of awe-inspiring beauty. Trust me, it’s a sight you won’t want to miss. So, grab a seat, relax, and get ready to be captivated by the incredible wonders that unfold before your eyes.

Switzerland in December: Bernina Express
The Bernina Pass taking its usual winter route

3. FortySeven Wellness Thermal Bath

If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland during December or the winter months, be prepared for some colder temperatures compared to what you’re used to back home. But hey, if you’re looking to escape the freezing chill, I’ve got just the thing for you: thermal baths. Take a break from the cold and treat yourself to some rejuvenating warmth.

Just a quick train ride away from Zürich main station, you’ll stumble upon the FortySeven Wellness Thermal Bath in the charming city of Baden. It’s the ultimate spot to slow down, unwind, and catch your breath. What makes it even more enticing is that Baden’s thermal springs boast the highest concentration of minerals in all of Switzerland. Trust me, it’s worth every moment.

The thermal waters in Baden gush up from twelve springs that lie about 2,000 meters deep beneath the earth’s surface. So you can imagine the pure bliss and relaxation that awaits you. And here’s a little tip: I highly recommend indulging in this activity after a long day spent in the mountains. It’s the perfect way to reward yourself and soothe those tired muscles. So, why not treat yourself to a little slice of thermal bath heaven during your Swiss adventure? You deserve it!

4. Lausanne Lights Festival

Alright, folks, here’s another absolute must-see if you’re in Switzerland during December: the Lausanne Lights Festival. From November 24 to December 24, 2021, Lausanne will transform into a mesmerizing spectacle of lights. Picture this: starting from 6:30 pm until midnight, eight magnificent buildings will be adorned with breathtaking XXL light displays. It’s like stepping into a fairytale!

After a full day of exploring the charming Swiss-French city of Lausanne, this festival is the perfect way to cap off your evening. The illuminated buildings create a magical ambiance that will leave you in awe. So, make sure to mark your calendars and don’t miss out on this incredible light extravaganza. It’s an experience you won’t want to forget!

Switzerland in December: Lausanne Lights Festival
La Cathédrale de Lausanne lights up in honor of the light festival

5. Berghotel Engstligenalp Igloos

In Switzerland, there’s an extraordinary experience you absolutely can’t miss: spending a night in an Igloo! Yep, you heard that right. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. And where better to do it than at Engstligenalp, a stunning location situated 2,000 meters above sea level?

The Igloo hotel at Engstligenalp is a dream come true for both solo adventurers and couples seeking a unique winter getaway. Imagine snuggling up under a cozy layer of snow for the night. But that’s not all! Guests also get to indulge in a delectable three-course dinner and wake up to a scrumptious breakfast buffet at the Berghotel Engstligenalp. It’s the perfect combination of adventure and culinary delights.

I gotta say, spending a night in an Igloo is an experience that will make your winter truly unforgettable. So, why not embrace the magic, bundle up, and create memories that will last a lifetime? Trust me, it’s the perfect winter escapade.

Experience winter like no other in these igloos!

6. Lake Geneva

Hey, did you know that Lake Geneva is not only the largest lake in Switzerland but also one of the largest freshwater lakes in all of Europe? It’s a pretty big deal! And here’s a fun fact: it also boasts one of the mildest climates around. Pretty cool, right?

Now, since Switzerland is quite far from any ocean or sea, Swiss folks have a special affection for our lakes. So, don’t be surprised if you spot loads of people hanging out by the lake, enjoying a refreshing beer, even during the winter months. It’s a popular pastime around here.

So, if you’re up for some leisurely relaxation, why not join the locals and soak up the serene beauty of Lake Geneva? Whether it’s a sunny summer day or a chilly winter afternoon, you’ll find people gathering by the lake, enjoying the peaceful vibes and savoring a cold one. It’s the perfect way to unwind and embrace the Swiss lake culture.

Switzerland in December: Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva at dusk (Source: Own photograph)

Places to Visit If You’re Looking for a Cultural Experience

7. Glacier Cave, Mount Titlis

You know what’s an absolute must-do in Switzerland during December? Paying a visit to a magnificent glacier cave! Head on up to the top of Mt. Titlis and prepare to be amazed. Inside the glacier cave, you’ll encounter ice that’s been around for a mind-boggling 5,000 years. Talk about stepping into a frozen wonderland!

And hey, while you’re on your way to the glacier cave, why not make a pit stop at Europe’s highest suspension bridge? It’s an exhilarating experience you won’t want to miss. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the igloo village on your way back down. It’s an enchanting sight to behold.

Now, here’s a little heads up: if you’re planning to explore the glacier cave, make sure you bundle up and prepare for the cold. The temperature inside the cave remains a steady 29°F (-2°C), so it can be quite chilly. But trust me, the awe-inspiring beauty and the unique experience of stepping into the ancient ice make it all worth it. So, embrace the adventure and get ready for an unforgettable encounter with nature’s icy marvels!

8. Kunsthaus Zürich

Oh, let me tell you about one of our absolute favorite places in Switzerland. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a peaceful afternoon. Drum roll, please… It’s the Landesmuseum! This place is all about Swiss history and it’s simply fascinating. But wait, there’s more! Just a stone’s throw away is the Kunsthaus Zürich, which offers an incredible variety of international artworks. It’s a real treat for art enthusiasts.

At the Kunsthaus Zürich, you’ll have the chance to admire masterpieces by renowned artists like Monet, Van Gogh, Warhol, and many more. Trust me, it’s a feast for the eyes. Now, the entry fee is 23 CHF ($25), but here’s a tip: if you visit on a Wednesday, you might just luck out and get in for free! How awesome is that?

Located near the heart of Zürich, the Kunsthaus is easily accessible by tram, so getting there is a breeze. Trust me, it’s a perfect combination of culture, beauty, and convenience. So, make sure to add this gem to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the world of art and Swiss history. You won’t be disappointed!

Switzerland in December: Kunstaus Zurich
Kunsthaus Zürich also exhibits a ton of religious frescoes. (Source: Own photograph)

9. Landesmuseum

Let’s switch gears for a moment and talk about something indoor and peaceful, shall we? If you’re in search of a tranquil activity near the city, I’ve got just the thing for you: the Landesmuseum, also known as the Swiss National Museum. Situated right next to Zürich main station, it couldn’t be more convenient!

Step inside and get ready to embark on a journey through Swiss history. The museum is home to a wealth of knowledge and showcases fascinating artifacts dating all the way back to the fourth century B.C. It’s like taking a captivating trip back in time.

Here’s the best part: the entry fee for adults is around 10 CHF (approximately $10.90). So, for a reasonable price, you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Swiss history and culture. It’s an experience that’s both educational and enjoyable.

So, if you’re up for a dose of history and want to explore the roots of Switzerland, make sure to pay a visit to the Landesmuseum. It’s the perfect way to spend a peaceful day indoors while discovering the fascinating stories of the past. Enjoy!

10. Abbey of St. Gall

You absolutely cannot miss a visit to the Abbey of St. Gall, my friend! It’s a true historical gem that has stood the test of time for around 1,400 years. And here’s something impressive: it’s one of Switzerland’s earliest cultural heritage sites to be recognized and included on the prestigious UNESCO list. Talk about a piece of living history!

Now, let’s talk about the Abbey Library of St. Gall. It’s a true treasure trove and happens to be the oldest library in Switzerland. Imagine being surrounded by approximately 170,000 books! It’s a bookworm’s paradise.

But wait, there’s more to explore! For a mere price of around $19.50 (CHF 18), you gain access to the entire Abbey. That includes not only the breathtaking Abbey Library but also the Vaulter Cellar and Exhibition Space. It’s a comprehensive experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this remarkable place.

So, mark your calendars and make sure to include a visit to the Abbey of St. Gall in your itinerary. It’s an opportunity to witness the legacy of centuries and to be captivated by the ancient beauty that surrounds you. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.

Switzerland in December: Abbey of St. Gall
The Abbey Library of St. Gall

11. Château de Chillon

I’ve got an absolute treat for you! Get ready to be transported back in time at the magnificent Chillon Castle (or Château de Chillon, as the French say). It’s nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, just south of Veytaux, and let me tell you, it’s a sight to behold.

Here’s a fun fact: Chillon Castle holds the prestigious title of being the most visited medieval building in all of Switzerland. And it’s no wonder why! The castle boasts a rich history and an awe-inspiring architectural beauty that will leave you mesmerized.

Now, here’s an extra perk: when you need a break from exploring, head over to the castle’s charming little café. Picture this: large windows offering breathtaking views of the castle as you sip on a delightful beverage or indulge in some culinary delights. It’s the perfect spot to relax and recharge while taking in the majestic surroundings.

So, if you’re eager to immerse yourself in history and experience the magic of Chillon Castle, don’t miss out on this gem. It’s a journey into the past that will leave you with lasting memories. Get ready to be captivated by the stories of old and the picturesque beauty of Lake Geneva.

12. Rhine Falls

Prepare to feel the raw power and energy coursing through your veins as you witness the mighty Rhine Falls, Europe’s most powerful waterfall! This natural wonder is an absolute spectacle that will leave you in awe.

To get the best views, check out the viewing platforms on both sides of the waterfall. They offer a close-up experience that will truly immerse you in the falls’ grandeur. But here’s a little heads-up: be prepared for some refreshing splashes from the cascading waters. It’s all part of the experience! Dress in appropriate attire and consider wearing something waterproof to stay comfortable.

So, get ready to have your senses awakened and be mesmerized by the sheer force and beauty of the Rhine Falls. It’s a moment of connection with nature’s power that you won’t want to miss. Brace yourself for an unforgettable adventure and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!

13. Schilthorn, Pilz Gloria

Calling all James Bond enthusiasts! Listen up, because I’ve got some thrilling news for you. If you’re a die-hard fan of the iconic spy, you’ll be delighted to know that the perfect Bond experience awaits you at Schilthorn!

Picture this: in the 1969 Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” there’s a scene featuring a revolving restaurant. Guess where that scene was shot? Right here at Schilthorn! It’s a piece of cinematic history that you can relive and immerse yourself in. Imagine dining in the very same restaurant, surrounded by breathtaking panoramic views.

But that’s not all Schilthorn has to offer. Brace yourself for an exhilarating adventure on the Thrill Walk, a 200-meter-long rocky path that clings closely to the mountainside. It’s an adrenaline-pumping experience that will get your heart racing while providing stunning vistas at every turn.

So, whether you’re a Bond fanatic or simply seeking an unforgettable mountain adventure, Schilthorn has it all. From the iconic revolving restaurant to the thrilling Thrill Walk, you’re in for an extraordinary time. Get ready to create memories that will make you feel like the star of your very own Bond movie.

A view of Schilthorn from above (Trip Advisor)

Places to Go If You Love the Mountains

14. Arosa

Arosa isn’t just any ordinary village—it’s a bustling winter sports center that offers a plethora of activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. From skiing down the slopes to sledding through the snowy wonderland, there’s no shortage of fun to be had.

But here’s the exciting part: Arosa is known for its vibrant events that add an extra dose of excitement to your trip. Imagine being there from December 13 to 15, catching all the action of the thrilling Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup Arosa. It’s a high-octane event that showcases the world’s best skiers competing for glory.

And that’s not all! From December 9 to 19, Arosa comes alive with laughter during the Arosa Humor Festival. Get ready for a side-splitting experience as talented comedians tickle your funny bone and fill the air with joy and laughter.

15. Interlaken (Switzerland in December Favorite)

Adventurers, this is your paradise! Interlaken offers a smorgasbord of thrilling activities that will get your heart racing. If you’re a fan of winter sports, hit the nearby mountains for an exhilarating skiing experience. Feel the rush as you carve through the powdery slopes, surrounded by stunning alpine vistas.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re craving an adventure that’s a little more off the beaten path, why not try paragliding or helicopter diving? Imagine soaring through the skies, taking in bird’s-eye views of the magnificent landscape below. It’s an adrenaline-fueled experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Of course, not every moment has to be filled with heart-pounding action. Interlaken knows how to cater to your chill-out needs as well. Take a leisurely stroll through town and discover an array of cozy restaurants and inviting bars. Treat yourself to delicious Swiss cuisine or unwind with a drink as you soak in the serene atmosphere.

16. St. Moritz

When it comes to luxurious ski towns, St. Moritz takes the crown! Renowned for its prestigious status and having hosted the Winter Olympics not once, but twice, this alpine gem is the epitome of opulence. It’s no wonder that the rich and famous flock to St. Moritz seeking the ultimate winter getaway.

But here’s the exciting part: You don’t have to be a celebrity to experience the magic of St. Moritz. You can walk in the footsteps of legendary athletes and feel the thrill they once felt. After all, St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter sports! So, whether you’re hitting the slopes or exploring the town, you’re in for an authentic and exhilarating adventure.

Despite its luxurious reputation, St. Moritz manages to maintain its traditional Swiss charm. The Swiss people’s conservative nature ensures that the town retains its Swiss identity, providing a unique blend of elegance and authenticity. So, while you indulge in the lavishness, you’ll still get a taste of the rich Swiss heritage that defines this enchanting destination.

Switzerland in December: St Mortiz
St. Moritz at dusk (Francesco Meroni/Getty Images)

17. Jungfraujoch

Nicknamed the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch boasts the highest train station in Europe, giving you unparalleled access to the majestic Swiss Alps. As you ascend, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and pristine valleys, immersing yourself in a world of natural beauty.

Once you arrive, prepare to be enchanted by the wonders that await you. Step into the mesmerizing Ice Palace, where talented artists transform the glacier into a captivating gallery of ice sculptures. Each icy masterpiece tells a unique story, transporting you to a realm of frozen artistry.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Discover the extraordinary Sphinx Observatory, an astronomical marvel and international research station. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of stargazing, where the vastness of the cosmos unfolds before your eyes.

With so much to explore and experience, be sure to set aside a full day to truly appreciate the wonders of Jungfraujoch. Lose yourself in the majesty of the Swiss Alps, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and let the magic of this remarkable destination envelop you.

18. Zermatt

One of the first things you’ll notice is the striking resemblance of the Matterhorn to the famous mountain printed on Toblerone chocolate boxes. Its majestic pyramid-like shape adds to the allure of this legendary peak, creating a sense of familiarity and wonder.

But Zermatt offers more than just breathtaking scenery. It’s a haven of tranquility and liveliness combined, making it the perfect destination for a relaxed weekend getaway. Take leisurely strolls through the charming streets, lined with traditional Swiss chalets, cozy cafes, and inviting boutiques. Immerse yourself in the warm and welcoming atmosphere that permeates the town, as friendly locals go about their day.

With its car-free policy, Zermatt provides a peaceful sanctuary where you can fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the mountains. Take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities available, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and ice climbing. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a leisurely explorer, Zermatt has something for everyone.

And let’s not forget the delectable culinary experiences that await you. Indulge in traditional Swiss cuisine or savor international delicacies at the town’s cozy restaurants and vibrant bars. After a day of exploration, unwind and treat yourself to a delicious meal, accompanied by a glass of fine Swiss wine.

19. Laternliweg Schwägalp

From November 19 to March 19, this picturesque trail offers a peaceful and romantic walk through a snow-covered forest.

As the sun sets and darkness descends, the trail comes alive with the warm glow of kerosene lamps. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, the enchanting atmosphere is further enhanced as these charming lanterns light up the path, creating a truly mesmerizing ambiance.

Stroll hand in hand with your loved one or find solace in the tranquility of the snow-laden forest. The soft crunch of snow beneath your feet and the gentle flickering of the lanterns will guide your way as you immerse yourself in this captivating experience.

After your walk, warm yourself up with a cup of glühwein, a traditional spiced mulled wine that is sure to chase away the winter chill. Sip on this aromatic and comforting beverage, savoring the flavors as they mingle with the crisp winter air.

It’s important to note that while the Laternliweg offers a charming escape, some of the smaller shops along the way may not accept card payments. To ensure you can fully enjoy the experience, it’s advisable to bring some cash with you.

Switzerland in December: Schwagalp
The Laternlieweg is an easy route that guarantees a relaxing evening bathed in the moonlight. (Twitter)

20. Uetliberg

This stunning vantage point offers a breathtaking perspective of the city and its picturesque surroundings.

Getting to Uetliberg is a breeze. Simply hop on a train from Zürich main station, and it will take you directly to Uetliberg station. From there, it’s just a short and scenic 10-minute hike to reach the summit. Lace up your hiking boots, embrace the fresh mountain air, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

As you ascend, the anticipation builds, and when you finally reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring view that stretches as far as the eye can see. The sprawling cityscape of Zürich, coupled with the serene expanse of Zürich Lake, creates a truly unforgettable sight.

If you find yourself in need of a rest after a day of hiking and taking in the breathtaking vistas, fear not. At the summit of Uetliberg, you’ll find a cozy restaurant where you can replenish your energy and indulge in delicious food and drinks. Treat yourself to a well-deserved break, savoring the flavors while marveling at the stunning views that surround you.

Places to Go If You Love Cities

21. Zürich

Zürich, the vibrant and cosmopolitan city, indeed offers a wealth of experiences that make for a memorable visit in December. Let’s explore some of the highlights you mentioned:

Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse is renowned for its luxurious shopping experience, lined with upscale boutiques, designer stores, and prestigious brands. It’s a shopper’s paradise, and even if you’re not planning to splurge, strolling along this iconic street and admiring its elegance is an experience in itself.

Exploring the historic old town is a must-do in Zürich. The Grossmünster church, with its twin towers, stands as a prominent landmark and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and architecture. Wander through the narrow streets, marvel at the well-preserved medieval buildings, and soak in the charming atmosphere of this captivating area.

If you’re seeking tranquility, a visit to Lindenhofplatz is highly recommended. This picturesque square, located on Lindenhof Hill, provides panoramic views of the city and the Limmat River. Surrounded by lush trees and benches, it’s the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a quiet afternoon, and admire the beauty of Zürich.

To end your day on a delightful note, the Fondue Tram is an experience that combines Swiss cuisine and a unique setting. Hop on board a vintage tram that traverses the city’s streets while indulging in a delicious cheese fondue. It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the Swiss culinary tradition and enjoy the ambiance of Zürich at night.

Beyond these experiences, Zürich offers a wide range of cultural attractions, museums, art galleries, and scenic spots. Don’t miss the Kunsthaus Zürich, a renowned art museum with an impressive collection of international artworks, or the Zurich Opera House, known for its world-class performances.

Additionally, taking a boat ride on Lake Zürich, exploring the trendy neighborhoods of Zürich West, or visiting the vibrant Christmas markets in December are also highly recommended activities.

Switzerland in December: Zurich
The view of Zürich’s Grossmünster from the old town

22. Lucerne/Luzern

Lucerne, even in the winter, offers a delightful array of activities and attractions that cater to various interests. If you’re a fan of winter sports, you’re in luck as the area boasts several ski resorts. Hit the slopes and enjoy the thrill of skiing or sledding amidst the stunning mountain scenery surrounding Lucerne.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, exploring the town itself can be a captivating experience. One of Lucerne’s most iconic landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). As you stroll across this historic covered bridge, take a moment to admire the captivating paintings that adorn its interior. These paintings, dating back to the 17th century, provide a visual narrative of Lucerne’s rich history.

After immersing yourself in Lucerne’s history, it’s time to indulge your taste buds. Head over to Max Chocolatier, a renowned chocolate shop, and treat yourself to a delectable assortment of unique chocolate flavors. From classic favorites to innovative creations, Max Chocolatier is sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings.

In addition to these activities, Lucerne offers a charming ambiance with its picturesque streets, quaint shops, and inviting cafés. Take a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lake Lucerne, soaking in the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape.

As you explore the town, keep an eye out for other historical sites such as the Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal) and the Musegg Wall. These attractions provide further insights into Lucerne’s heritage and offer captivating experiences.

23. Lugano

With fewer tourists, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a more tranquil and relaxed atmosphere. You can leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the Centro Storico, the historic center of Lugano, without the bustling crowds. Explore the narrow alleys, admire the beautiful architecture, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Shopping in Lugano’s Centro Storico is a treat for food lovers. You can indulge in the region’s culinary delights, including delicious Swiss cheese and mouthwatering cured meats. Take your time to browse the specialty shops, local markets, and delicatessens, where you can find an array of gourmet products to satisfy your taste buds.

Winter in Lugano also offers opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a walk along the picturesque Lake Lugano promenade and enjoy the serene views of the lake surrounded by snow-covered mountains. You can also explore the nearby hiking trails or even try your hand at winter sports such as skiing or snowshoeing in the surrounding mountains.

Additionally, Lugano boasts a vibrant cultural scene. Visit the city’s museums and art galleries, such as the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana or the Hermann Hesse Museum, and immerse yourself in the local art and history.

Even in the winter, Lugano has a mild climate compared to other parts of Switzerland, thanks to its southern location. This makes it a pleasant destination to explore, with comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities and leisurely walks.

Switzerland in December: Lugano
A view of Lugano from another side of the lake during winter

24. Bern

While Zürich is often mistaken as the capital of Switzerland, the actual capital city is Bern. It is a charming city with a rich history and many attractions to explore.

One of the notable places to visit in Bern is the Einsteinhaus, where Albert Einstein lived when he developed his theory of relativity. Although the Einsteinhaus is closed from December 19 until mid-March, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in Bern earlier. You can learn about Einstein’s life and work and get a glimpse into the environment that inspired his groundbreaking ideas.

Another iconic landmark in Bern is the Zytglogge, the 800-year-old clock tower. This medieval clock tower is not only an architectural masterpiece but also a symbol of the city. You can observe the intricate clock mechanism and even witness the hourly performance when the clock comes to life with its moving figurines.

If you’re a food enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Bernese cuisine at the Kornhauskeller. Berner Platte, a traditional Bernese specialty, is a hearty dish consisting of various meats, sausages, and accompaniments. The Kornhauskeller offers a fine dining experience in a historic setting, allowing you to savor the flavors of Bernese gastronomy.

Aside from these specific attractions, wandering through the charming streets of Bern’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an experience in itself. Admire the well-preserved medieval architecture, explore the arcades (known as “Lauben”), and take in the atmosphere of this beautiful Swiss capital.

Additionally, Bern offers a range of museums, including the Bern Historical Museum, the Museum of Communication, and the Museum of Fine Arts, where you can delve into art, history, and culture.

25. Basel

One of the notable aspects of Basel is its impressive array of museums. With around 40 museums within the city, Basel has earned its reputation as a cultural hub. The Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the most renowned art museums in the world, houses a vast collection of artworks spanning from the Middle Ages to contemporary art. It is definitely a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

In addition to the Kunstmuseum Basel, other notable museums in the city include the Fondation Beyeler, which showcases modern and contemporary art in a stunning building designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, and the Museum Tinguely, dedicated to the works of the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. From art and history to natural sciences and architecture, there is a museum to suit every interest in Basel.

When it comes to architecture, Basel indeed holds a special place in Switzerland. The city boasts a diverse range of architectural styles, from medieval structures to modern masterpieces. The old town of Basel, with its narrow streets, charming squares, and well-preserved buildings, showcases the city’s rich history and architectural heritage. Notable landmarks include the Basel Minster, a Gothic-style cathedral with stunning views from its tower, and the beautifully ornate Rathaus, the City Hall.

Basel is also known for its contemporary architecture, with several prominent buildings designed by renowned architects. The Novartis Campus, designed by Frank Gehry, and the Roche Tower, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, are just a couple of examples of the city’s modern architectural gems.

Beyond its museums and architecture, Basel offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous events, festivals, and theaters throughout the year. The city’s location near the borders of France and Germany also contributes to its multicultural atmosphere and diverse culinary offerings.

Switzerland in December: Basel
Discover why Basel is Switzerland’s cultural capital


Is Switzerland in December safe to visit?

Switzerland is one of the safest countries out there, even for solo travelers. Although is recommended to be cautious wherever you go

How expensive is Switzerland in December?

Switzerland’s prices can be very expensive but if you purchase a Travel Pass and either make your own food or buy fresh ones from the supermarket, you should be able to save.

How cold is Switzerland in December?

If you’re sticking to the city, the average temperature is 38.7°F. However, if you plan to go to the mountains, you may have to dress warmly as it can get to as low as 14° F!

Is there anything I need to enter Switzerland?

Regulations vary from time to time, and Switzerland in December is a tourist season, so we suggest visiting their website days before your flight so you’re informed.

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