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5-Day Itinerary for Switzerland in Winter: Zermatt, Sledging & Extra

5-Day Itinerary for Switzerland in Winter: Zermatt, Sledging & Extra


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Heading to Switzerland quickly and on the lookout for the optimum itinerary? Don’t fear, we’ve received you lined! On this 5-day itinerary for Switzerland in winter, I’ll share all of the wonderful locations that you need to go to in your 5-day journey to this lovely nation. 

Do you know that you are able to do loads of issues in Switzerland in winter that aren’t snowboarding? Learn my article to be taught extra about enjoyable issues to do in Switzerland in winter that aren’t snowboarding.

If you happen to’re new to this weblog, hello, we’re Liza and Jose and we frequently spend lengthy weekends exploring totally different cities and areas of Europe, whereas working full-time in London. Just a few instances per yr, we additionally do longer journeys exterior Europe and naturally, doc all our itineraries on this weblog. We’ve travelled to over 100 counties in complete and you may see all of the locations we’ve lined on this weblog right here.

Helpful hyperlinks used on this article:

Lodges: Lodge Bernerhof in Grindelwald, Marriott in Basel, Grand Lodge les Bains in Les Bains de Lavey, Carina Design & Life-style Lodge in Zermatt

Excursions:

Swiss Cross: purchase right here

Grindelwald First go: ebook right here

Rental automobile: Rentalcars.com

Do you want a rental automobile to go to Switzerland in winter?

If you happen to’re questioning whether or not you want a automobile to go to Switzerland in winter, the reply is not any, not essentially! Switzerland has wonderful quick and environment friendly trains (with panoramic views), so it’s very simple to go from one vacation spot to a different. Nonetheless, you would possibly want a bit extra time (e.g. this itinerary would in all probability prolong to 7 days) to get from one vacation spot to a different. For this specific itinerary for five days in Switzerland, we rented a automobile in Basel (and turned it in in Zurich for no further payment) utilizing Rental Vehicles, as at all times. 

Nonetheless, when you want to journey by prepare, I like to recommend getting a Swiss Cross – not solely does it embrace a lot of the panoramic trains in Switzerland, but when it doesn’t cowl some – it nonetheless offers you 50% off the prepare fare. On prime of that, additionally, you will get free entry to nearly all of museums within the nation. You possibly can test the costs of SwissPass right here ->>

The quick overview of our 5-day itinerary for Switzerland in winter & the view on the map

Day 1: Arriving in Basel, an evening at Marriott Basel

Day 2: Lausanne and Les Bains de Lavey. Evening at Grand Lodge les Bains

Day 3: Driving to Zermatt & spending a day there, evening at Carina Design & Life-style Lodge,

Day 4: Driving to Grindelwald very first thing within the morning, sledging at Grindelwald First, evening at Lodge Bernerhof

Day 5: Driving to Lucerne, then to Zurich, flying again from Zurich or Basel

With out additional ado, let’s get began!

5-day itinerary for Switzerland in winter

Our itinerary was a bit bit totally different than this one – we didn’t truly discover a lot of Basel this time, however we did spend two fantastic days exploring Basel’s historical past and its Christmas markets on our earlier journey just a few years in the past. Nonetheless, I feel that exploring Basel would match amazingly on this itinerary for five days in Switzerland in winter, so I included a day to spend in Basel beneath! 

Day 1: Basel 

In your first day of our 5 day journey in Switzerland, I like to recommend exploring Basel. Switzerland has 3 predominant airports: Zurich, Geneva and Basel and Geneva and Basel have connections with most European cities. We often purchase multi-city flights (which implies that the flight arrives in a single metropolis and departs from one other), and that was the case on this journey to Switzerland, too. It’s tremendous handy, and I like to recommend it to you, too!

Basel is one in every of my favorite cities in Switzerland. It has a big Outdated City with a lot of medieval buildings, and it’s particularly fairly earlier than Christmas when a number of Christmas Markets of Basel are in full swing. 

Basel is the third greatest metropolis in Switzerland, and it’s residence to over 40 museums. There may be positively A LOT to do within the metropolis. I like to recommend taking a strolling tour of the town (test availability on-line right here). 

One of the vital well-known and delightful museums is situated barely exterior the town, in Riehen, it’s known as Basis Beyeler. It has a surprising artwork assortment and likewise the park round it is vitally lovely. 

One other museum that’s price visiting is the Tremendous Arts Museum in Basel. 

If you happen to’re thinking about extra issues to do in Basel, learn our article about spending a weekend in Basel in December.

The place to remain in Basel: 

In Basel, we stayed at Novotel and Marriott. Each are good fashionable resorts, however Marriott’s location is barely nearer to the town centre. One other nice choices is Boutique & Designhotel Volkshaus Basel.

Day 2: Lausanne & Les Bains de Lavey

Lausanne

On our second day in Switzerland, we picked up our rental automobile (books your right here) and drove to to Lausanne – a really lovely metropolis situated within the French-speaking a part of Switzerland. The drive took simply over 2 hours. Lausanne is situated on Lake Geneva, has an attractive and compact outdated city and is residence to the Olympic museum (you possibly can ebook tickets on-line right here

Lausanne additionally has a stunning Christmas Market – when you’re planning to go to Switzerland earlier than Christmas, don’t miss the market, particularly the a part of the market situated near the Cathedral and Château St-Maire.

Les Bains de Lavey

Acquired drained from strolling round Lausanne and sightseeing? It’s time to loosen up! Do you know that Switzerland has fairly just a few thermal spas with gorgeous views? Nothing will be in comparison with the sensation of being in a scorching thermal pool exterior in winter, surrounded by snowy mountains! On our most up-to-date journey to Switzerland, we went to Les Bains de Lavey and actually beloved it. 

Les Bains de Lavey may be very simple to achieve by automobile or prepare from Lausanne – it takes round 40 minutes to get there by automobile or 1.5 hours by prepare + bus. 

I like to recommend pre-booking your ticket prematurely as generally it will get offered out. You possibly can ebook it on-line on the official web site right here.

You possibly can both keep at Les Bains de Lavey in a single day – there’s a very good lodge known as Grand Lodge Les Bains (test availability right here) or drive a bit in direction of Zermatt and keep in one of many resorts on the best way, e.g. Lodge St. Jodern in Visp (circa 1 hour driving from Les Bains de Lavey) or Martigny Boutique Lodge (circa 15 min driving).

Day 3: Zermatt

On our third day of our 5-day itinerary for Switzerland, we headed to Zermatt. Zermatt is a car-free city, which suggests you possibly can’t drive there. As a substitute, it is advisable drive to Täsch, depart your automobile on the official car parking zone or one of many non-public ones, and get a ticket for a prepare that goes to Zermatt each 20 minutes (much less regularly in early mornings and late evenings). When you’ve got a Swiss Cross, you get 50% off this prepare, which is a small however good low cost. The prepare journey takes lower than quarter-hour, and the prepare brings you proper to the center of Zermatt! 

Zermatt is without doubt one of the most iconic ski cities in Switzerland, and it’s additionally one of the vital lovely locations within the nation. Nonetheless, there are many issues to do there, even when you don’t ski. Effectively, when you do – I like to recommend leaving your baggage within the lodge the place you’ll be staying in a single day and going snowboarding. If you happen to don’t ski, you possibly can head to the panoramic viewpoint to see the postcard-perfect view of the city or take the Gornergrat Bahn (Europe’s highest open-air cog railway) to the three,089m excessive panoramic viewpoint of Matterhorn.

There may be additionally Matterhorn Museum you possibly can go to within the afternoon-early night (from 4pm to 6pm). In addition to that, Zermatt has a stunning city centre stuffed with eating places and outlets. Our favorite restaurant in Zermatt was the Cheese Manufacturing unit situated on the Schweizerhof Lodge – palms down, it was the most effective fondue we had in Switzerland (be certain to attempt the truffle fondue).

The place to remain in Zermatt:

Carina Design & Life-style LodgeMountain ParadiseBaseCamp Lodge

Day 4: Grindelwald

On day 4 of 5 days in Switzerland in winter, we headed to Grindelwald for a really thrilling exercise and one of many causes we got here to Switzerland in winter. With a view to get to Grindelwald on time, we wanted to get up and depart very early – I like to recommend attending to Täsch no later than 8am, so it’s doable to get to Grindelwald by 11am on the newest. There’s a automobile transporter prepare (Lötschberg prepare) that it is advisable take from Goppenstein to Kandersteg. We have been very unfortunate as we have been 1 minute late for the prepare and needed to wait half-hour for an additional one! The prepare prices round 30 Franks, and also you enter it by automobile (a bit like Eurotunnel however it’s an open platform prepare). The prepare journey takes simply quarter-hour. 

When you exit the prepare, it’s simple to drive to Grindelwald, and you may be there nearly very quickly.

Sledging in Grindelwald – Grindelwald First

The principle motive we went to Grindelwald was sledging or sledding, nevertheless you name it. Grindelwald is residence to the world’s longest sledge run (15 km), which takes over 2 hours to finish, and it’s tremendous enjoyable! To get to the beginning of the run, it is advisable purchase a day go to Grindelwald First and take a cable automobile as much as the highest (First station). Our go for the day was kindly offered by the Grindelwald Eiger tourism board – so enormous because of them for it. 

If you wish to go sledging in Grindelwald, all it is advisable do is lease a sledge (you are able to do it at Intersport up on the First station) for a payment (we paid one thing like 19 franks per particular person), put on acceptable garments (I like to recommend a heat jacket, ski glasses, gloves, a hat and ski pants and winter boots – that’s obligatory). These winter boots are an incredible choice.

Earlier than sledging in Grindelwald, I used to be below the impression that it’s a household exercise and we might be the one couple there. Nonetheless, I couldn’t be extra fallacious! Some segments of the run have been truly fairly difficult and we’ve seen only a few children on the sledge run! Most individuals have been {couples} like us or teams of mates. 

With a day cable automobile go in Grindelwald, you may make a limiteless variety of journeys to the First station, and you may take totally different routes. Needless to say the cable automobile stops working fairly early (relying on the month). Therefore, I like to recommend arriving early to reap the benefits of the day!

The place to remain in Grindelwald

After your complete day of sledging, you’ll in all probability be very drained. It’s in all probability the most effective resolution to remain in Grindelwald for the evening. A number of the greatest resorts embrace:

Lodge BernerhofLodge SpinneLodge Fiescherblick

Day 5: Lucerne & Zurich

On our final day of 5 days in Switzerland in winter, we explored Lucerne earlier than heading to Zurich. It takes simply 1.5 hours to drive to Lucerne from Grindelwald, however to reap the benefits of the daylight, as at all times, I like to recommend waking up and departing early!

Lucerne

Lucerne is without doubt one of the prettiest cities in Switzerland. It’s well-known for its picket bridges throughout the Reuss River. It’s a stunning metropolis to discover on a day journey. Top-of-the-line issues to do in Lucerne in winter is discover the Outdated City and watch folks sitting in one of many cafes going through the promenade & the bridges. We additionally had lunch in Lucerne – at a spot known as Opus – they’ve an incredible salad bar that was good for lunch.

If you happen to’re visiting Lucerne in February or March, you possibly can have an opportunity to see the well-known Swiss carnival, Fasnacht. Lucerne has the second greatest carnival after Basel!

Zurich

Our subsequent cease was Zurich. Situated simply 40 minutes away from Lucerne, it’s a a lot greater metropolis that has loads of issues to do. My favorite issues to do in Zurich in winter are consuming fondue and stress-free at among the best spas in Switzerland, Zurich Hürlimann Dangerous & Spa, which has a top-floor outside infinity pool overlooking the town. 

Zurich has a really fairly Outdated City – I like to recommend spending a while simply strolling across the metropolis. Needless to say Zurich is a giant metropolis, and it’s significantly better to return there for a weekend, however on a half-day journey, these are the locations I’d advocate (the spa & the Outdated City). We’ve got a separate article about Zurich on the weblog (the most effective issues to do in Zurich when it rains). 

We have been flying again from Zurich airport, so we returned our automobile there; nevertheless, when you determined to journey by prepare, attending to the airport by prepare can be tremendous quick and simple!

Abstract of the 5-day itinerary for Switzerland in winter: Zermatt, Grindelwald & extra

I hope you loved this winter itinerary for Switzerland. You possibly can simply prolong it to 7 days when you’d prefer to spend extra time in Switzerland throughout the chilly months. If you happen to’re thinking about different issues you are able to do in Switzerland in winter, I’ve an article that you just would possibly discover helpful – issues to do in Switzerland for non-skiers!

Disclaimer: we collaborated with the Switzerland Tourism Board & Grindelwald Tourism Board for the Swiss Cross & Grindelwald First Cross (they have been offered to us in alternate for a assessment). Nonetheless, all of the opinions are, as at all times, our personal!

Listed here are some articles that you just would possibly discover helpful, too:

Weekend in Basel in winter: greatest issues to do

Our trustworthy assessment of the longest sledge run on the planet – Grindelwald First

Issues to do in Switzerland in winter apart from snowboarding

Lengthy weekend in German & Austrian Alps: from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg

Wonderful issues to do in Berchtesgaden