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Christmas in Geneva

London, United...
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Christmas in Geneva

Good evening,

I am going to Geneva for Christmas. Arriving 24th of December and staying for 3 days. Could you recommend some places we should visit? Also I was wondering if the shops and restaurants will be open on these days. Sightseeing, day trips outside Geneva?

Many thanks for the help.

Regards,

J

bern
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1. Re: Christmas in Geneva

It's about the following for Switzerland (smaller differences in the diffrent cantons).

Dec 24 "normal" working day til about 4 or 5 pm, then nearly everything except public transport closes. Even finding a restaurant for dinner can be a problem

Dec 25 very strict public holiday, most things are closed,public transport is on sunday schedule, some shops at train stations are open. It's a good day for a trip to the mountains, where it's peak ski season and for that reason everyting is running.

Dec 26 similar to 25, but a bit less strict.

Dec 27 normal weekday

great day trips are for example:

Montreux with Chllon castel (closed on 25 open on 26) and Rochers de Naye

Higher up mountains eg. Villars, Gstaad or even Zermatt (very long day trip) are possible.

timetables of public transport www.sbb.ch/en

details about sight, restaurants, etc in Geneva http://www.geneve-tourisme.ch/en/home/

London, United...
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2. Re: Christmas in Geneva

Thanks a lot!

How about Christmas markets? Are they closed as well?

bern
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3. Re: Christmas in Geneva

They are usually just open till Dec 23 or 24, in Bern an additonal maket opens Dec 27 for the rest of the year.

The only exceptions I found is the market in the ski resort Villars villarsgryon.ch/en/…MarcheNoel

and Annecy nearby in France where I din't find get details (eg. if it's open on Dec 25), maybe the forum there can tell you details about that www.annecy.fr/620-noel-des-alpes-2012.htm

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4. Re: Christmas in Geneva

Thank you very much for the helpful information!

Martigny...
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5. Re: Christmas in Geneva

It won't be easy to get to Annecy on Christmas Day from Geneva. You need to take a bus to get there, and the bus will either not be running or will be on a really limited schedule. And quite honestly Annecy has little on offer that Vevey-Montreux don't have and they have the advantage of being on the Swiss rail network, so trains will run as normal even on 25 december.

Geneva is not known for Christmas markets anyway... but it IS known for wonderful shopping. Mostly "high end". All sorts of boutiques etc. And all right in the centre around the streets called "les rues basses" which are basically the rue de la Confédération, rue de la Croix d'Or and rue du Marché.

For a walking tour of Geneva's old town see this link:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g188057-c127289/Gen…

Finally if you do decide to go to a ski resort on Christmas Day Villars sur Ollon which Mube suggests is the closest one in Switzerland. Take the train to Aigle and the post bus up to Villars OR take the train to Bex (1x hr from Geneva) and the light rail train up. This will bring you to the Villars station. Change there for la Bretaye and continue to the end of the line. There is a nice restaurant right at the station and you can sit on their terrace and watch the skiers. Their fondue is superb! Then if you are in the village again around 3.30-4pm the shops will open and you can check them out!

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6. Re: Christmas in Geneva

That`s very helpful, Thank you!

We would like to do some hiking outside Geneva. Is it possible?

Martigny...
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7. Re: Christmas in Geneva

Hiking right now is problemmatic. There is snow in a lot of places. And we currently have lots of rain which will melt the snow but leave us with mud and soggy ground. I think the best "hike" I can suggest to you - and it is not really a hike but a walk - is to take the lakefront promenade from Montreux to Villeneuve. It is an asphalt path, and there is no snow there at present. It will most likely be a bit wet though!

Another option would be a "winter walk". Villars certainly will have walking paths cleared in the snow. And the views are great. Get in touch with their tourist office via their website - www.villars.ch - and ask them what they have available at the time you are here.

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8. Re: Christmas in Geneva

As Hambagahle has said, there's plenty of snow in the mountains, so not much hiking. There are walks at lake level, for example there's a lovely walk along the lake from Montreux, past Chillon castle to Villeneuve and back again. Or else you could do walks just above the lake, through the vineyards.

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9. Re: Christmas in Geneva

Big thanks for both of you!

I feel like we have chosen not the best days to visit Geneva... But I still hope we gonna have great time:)

Thanks again!

bern
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10. Re: Christmas in Geneva

I just realized that St. Stephen´s Day is no public holiday in the French speaking areas of Switzerland. Means shops should be open on Dec 26 in Geneva and the towns around.

www.feiertagskalender.ch/geo.php…

Enjoy your time in Switzerland