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Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

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Singapore
posts: 10
reviews: 1
Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Hi there,

We are planning a family trip to Swiss-Italy-France in November and will probably spend about 1 week in Switzerland. I have gotten mixed reviews on the travelling dates. Some say November is a bad time to travel to Switzerland and some said it's not as bad as it sounds. Can someone advise please? My objective in going to Switzerland is to experience snow (since I come from a tropical country) although we probably won't be skiing. I've also heard that some rail service is not available in Nov, is this true? My tickets are already booked, and dates can't be changed.

What would be a good itinerary for 7 days in Switzerland, bearing in mind the kids?

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
1. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

The Glacier Express train itself does not run in November BUT you can (if you wish) take normal trains over the same line and route between Zermatt and St Moritz. The Goldenpass and Bernina both run in November.

The problem with November is the weather. Cold and wet and nasty on the plain and usually snowing in the mountains. we usually also get the low fog - stratus we call it - almost everywhere on the plateau and around the lakes in November with the exception of the Valais. This makes things even danker and nastier. Above the fog - IF the weather is good, it is sunny... and for this you need to be at least about 1400m.

Another problem is getting accomodation in any mountain resort. Most hotels and restaurants are closed in November as staff are on holiday (or not yet hired) before the winter season starts in December. So you are really almost forced to stay somewhere on the plain - or near a lake: Luzern, Bern, Vevey, Montreux etc.

To experience snow all you need to do is to take the train to the jungfraujoch OR take the Rotair up to Titlis. But first decide where you want to be and then see whichis the nearest place to be in the snow!!

Singapore
posts: 10
reviews: 1
2. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Hi again! Thank you for all your advice, been very useful in helping me to plan. Can you advice me if this itinerary is ok:

18 Nov - arrive in Zurich, check in to hotel in Zurich, day tour to Mt Titlis

19 Nov - still in Zurich, day tour to Heidiland and Liechtenstein

20 Nov - travel to Lucerne, and go up Mt Pilatus

21 Nov - travel from Zurich to Interlaken/Montreux and check into a hotel - which is better, Interlaken or Montreux?

22 Nov - Go to the cheese and chocolate factory - is it open in winter?

23 Nov - check-out and travel to Paris, spend 2-3 days there

25/26 Nov - Paris to Lyon

27 Nov - Lyon to Turin

28 Nov - Turin to Milan

29 Nov - Milan to Lugano (shopping at Foxtown - and to ensure we don't encounter the tax issue as per your previous advice in another thread)

30 Nov - 2 Dec - Geneva, depart from Geneva airport

As you can tell I have not given that much thought to the 2nd part of the trip. But in general do you think this is ok, especially for the Switzerland portion?

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
3. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Not exactly!

Zürich is not a good place to go to Mt Titlis from... Luzern is far better.

"Heidiland" is not a place it is a region and it is the marketing name for the region, which is in north eastern Switzerland around the Wallensee. Most of the activities they suggest there are open air ones and November is not a great time for those... and anyway ski lifts etc won't have started running.

Liechtenstein is a tiny place and the capital is Vaduz. No real reason to go there unless you want to do soem banking! . Instead why not go to St Gallen which is in the same general direction only a bit further north and which is a very pretty town with a stunningly beautiful Abbey. Or you could go to Appenzell which I think is somewhat over-rated but the town of Appenzell would certainly give you a very "Swiss" feeling...

Montreux is infinitely better than Interlaken and if you want to go to the Chocolate Factory at Broc or the Cheese Factory in Gruyères both are easily done from Montreux. And yes, both are open in November!

Getting from Lyon to Turin is very time-consuming (5 hrs) and involves a lot of changes of train. Are you sure you really want to go to Turin? Turin to Milan is easy though.

Finally how are you getting from Lugano to Geneva? this again is not an easy journey, though it certainly is possible. AND it means going back into Italy (the stretch Locarno to Domodossola to Brig is in Italy) and then re-entering Switzerland. OR it means, to avoid this, going Lugano to Zürich and Zürich to Geneva which is about 6-7hrs of trains...

Singapore
posts: 10
reviews: 1
4. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Well the reason I chose Zurich was because someone mentioned during November it's better to stay in bigger towns. I'm afraid that if we're in a small town there might not be much activity to do. Unless Luzern is also considered a big town?

Ok so Heidiland and Liechtenstein is out. I will research on St Gallen and Appenzell. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm so happy the cheese and choc factories are open in Nov. The kids will love it! :)

Actually I'm not sure of Lyon and Turin. Since we do have some days to spare I just though to visit another part of the country. Can you suggest of other cities that might be worth to visit on the way down from Paris? I'm a bit worried of the language barrier there too, I heard in Paris is ok but in other parts of France I might have some trouble.

Are you saying there's no direct train from Lugano to Geneva? I prefer not to go back into Italy in case of the duty tax issue. But going back up to Zurich does seem to time consuming and out of the way. Is there other options like Lugano to Luzern/Interlaken and then to Geneva?

Unless I can change to depart from Zurich airport..then I can change it up a bit to like this:

18-20 Nov: Luzern and day trips

21-22 Nov: Montreux

23-24 Nov: Geneva

25-27 Nov: Paris

28-29 Nov: Turin/Genoa

30 Nov: Milan

1 -2 Dec: Lugano/Zurich

Is this better?

Singapore
posts: 10
reviews: 1
5. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Our trip is coming soon and we're so excited! Thank you so much for your suggestions. I just found out that the Golden Pass Chocolate Train does not run in November. How do we get to the Chocolate Factory and Cheese Factory from Montreux?

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
6. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Easy - and tons cheaper than the chocolate train which is a marketing gimmick!

Montreux on the MOB (Goldenpass) line to MONTBOVON

Montbovon to BROC FABRIQUE which is where the Maison Cailler is located.

If you do not have some sort of a pass get a ticket to Broc Fabrique via Montbovon.

This latter line runs through Gruyères and you can get off there on the way to or from the Maison Cailler and walk up to the village. It is very pretty and extremely nice in November since there are far fewer tourists than in summer. No "madding crowds" to deal with! downside is you may find some little shops closed. But enough shops and restaurants will be open (and so will the château) for it to be interesting... dress warmly though!

Singapore
posts: 10
reviews: 1
7. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

Thank you so much for the advice! :)

8. Re: Travelling to Switzerland in mid November with kids

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