For many folks, visiting Switzerland during the winter months would be a dream come true.
Whether it’s visiting the Christmas markets, skiing at one of Switzerland’s famous alpine resorts, or just taking in the fairytale scenes of a Swiss Christmas that appeals, visiting at this time of year is a very special experience.
But planning a trip during winter can also be quite daunting. You might be unsure if public transport operates all year round. Perhaps you’re wondering if there will be snow in the cities or maybe you’re worried about what clothes you should pack.
These are all very typical – and perfectly understandable – questions that many visitors have, and today’s podcast guest has all the answers.
Listen now to learn what to expect when you visit Switzerland in winter.
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Before we get started, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Switzerland Tourism, sponsors of the podcast. Their website myswitzerland.com is the place to go for information and inspiration about Swiss winter vacations so be sure to check it out because, if you need a wintery vacation, you need Switzerland.
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Seraina Engert was born and raised near Zurich, where she now lives with her husband. She is an avid skier and regularly takes ski vacations in Switzerland, especially around Pontresina in Grisons (or Graubünden as it’s also known).
During the pandemic, Seraina and her husband explored much of Switzerland by bike and public transport, and they still try to visit at least one new destination every month.
Seraina’s favourite places in Switzerland are Engadin (the region around Pontresina) and Locarno.
Listen now to learn:
- What temperatures and weather to expect in Switzerland in winter
- Will there be snow in the cities and lowlands or only in the mountains?
- How easy is it to get around Switzerland during winter – by both train and car?
- Will some services and attractions be closed?
- Best activities to enjoy during winter in Switzerland
- Christmas and New Year – closures and celebrations
- Major festivals and events in winter
- What clothing to pack for your trip to Switzerland in winter
Places and events mentioned in this episode
>> St. Moritz – known as a ski destination for the rich and famous, St. Moritz is regarded as the birthplace of winter tourism. It is located in the Engadine region in Switzerland’s east.
>> Graubünden (Grisons) – the largest canton (state) in Switzerland, Graubünden is home to 615 lakes, 150 valleys and more than 900 mountain summits!
>> Jungfrau Region – one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations during the warmer months, the Jungfrau Region also offers plenty to see and do during winter, particularly for lovers of snow sports.
>> Zermatt – home of the famous Matterhorn, it’s possible to ski at Zermatt year round but even if you’re not into skiing, the views of a snow-covered Matterhorn are well worth seeing.
>> Locarno – located in Switzerland’s southern canton of Ticino where the climate is milder, Locarno is a great place to escape for chill of the Alps.
>> Fasnacht – a festival held to celebrate the end of winter. The largest events are held in Basel and Lucerne but other regions hold their own version of the celebration. Learn more about Swiss traditions and customs here.
>> Glacier Express – a premium panoramic train that connects St. Moritz and Zermatt. The Glacier Express is known as the ‘slowest express train in the world’ and covers the journey in around 8 hours.
>> Bernina Express – another premium panoramic train, the Bernina Express connects St. Moritz and Tirano.
>> MeteoSwiss App – both the app and the meteoswiss.ch website provide accurate weather forecasts for Switzerland. We recommend you use this app instead of the weather app that comes standard on your mobile phone.
>> SBB Mobile App – the app of the Swiss Federal Railways shows timetables (with any train delays noted) and fares. See how to use the app here.
More Holidays to Switzerland Resources
The following articles will also be helpful for planning your visit to Switzerland in winter. Click the links below to read each article.
- 10 must-do Switzerland winter activities
- Best ski resorts in Switzerland
- Best Christmas markets in Switzerland
- Swiss Christmas market dates
- Cable car and funicular winter closures
- Podcast episode 34 – Festive fun at Switzerland’s Christmas markets
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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism
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