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Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour: 9 Days

Visit 9 of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Switzerland and enjoy winter in the Swiss Alps

Tour Overview

From $5,750 | Small Group Guided Rail Tour | Fixed Departure Dates

Embark on an unforgettable journey with our Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour. Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Swiss Christmas Markets. Experience local traditions such as Klausjagen, stroll under twinkling lights sipping on mulled wine, and marvel at the Alpine panoramas tucked under thick layers of snow.

Enjoy the friendly atmosphere of a small travel group (max 16 participants). Travel lights with our dedicated luggage transfer service. Sleep in authentic 3 and 4-star mountain hotels and savor locally sourced Swiss food. Our special Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour’s itinerary includes two nights in four locations, 9 different Christmas market experiences, a ride with Glacier Express and much more.

Hightlights

switzerland christmas market rail tour

Featured Christmas Markets

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Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour Itinerary

On this Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour you will get to explore the best of Swiss Christmas Markets, such as those in Basel, Montreux and Zurich. You will travel with scenic railways such as Glacier Express and GoldenPass line, explore Zermatt and enjoy wintery vistas from the top of Gornergrat. 

switzerland christmas market rail tour
basel christmas market
basel christmas market 2 (1)
christmas market rail tour

Today your tour starts. 

We will meet at 1 p.m. at the reception of Hotel Waldstätterhof for 1-hour-long tour briefing. This is your chance to ask all the questions you may have about the organization of the trip and the itinerary.

After the briefing, we will enjoy a 2-hour walking tour around Lucerne’s old town. We will visit the most renowned landmarks and learn about the city’s history and role today. After the tour, your guide will take you to the Christmas market, which you will be able to enjoy independently.

We will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in the city center at 6 p.m.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Waldstätterhof (or similar).

The day starts with a trip to Mount Rigi. After late breakfast, we will leave the hotel around 10 a.m. and catch a train to Arth-Goldau. Here we will board a cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm. We will have some time to enjoy the panoramic experience on the mountain top, have a drink or a snack, before taking a trip down to Vitznau with the oldest cogwheel train in Europe. In Vitznau we will hop on the old steamer boat and come back to Lucerne. 

In Lucerne we will have some free time before the main attraction of the day: a lake cruise accompanied by a fondue dinner, followed by attending the Klausjagen festival in Küssnacht. The tradition of this festival reaches back to the Middle Ages and it’s one of the most fascinating living winter traditions in Switzerland. We will leave Lucerne on the cruise ship at 5:15, and arrive in Küssnacht around 7:30. The event starts around 8 p.m. We will come back also by ship.

We should arrive in Lucerne by 10:50 p.m.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Waldstätterhof (or similar).

Today we will travel from Lucerne to Interlaken and Montreux. 

After breakfast we will board the train to Interlaken, travelling on the GoldenPass line tracks. In Interlaken we will enjoy a stroll around the Christmas market and an immersive chocolate workshop at an artisanal chocolaterie. 

After the workshop we will board the panoramic GoldenPass Express and embark on a stunning 3 hour-long journey through the magical Swiss countryside, passing by the famous villages of Gstaad, Chateau d’Oex and  Zweisimmen – true jewels of Bernese Highlands. 

We arrive at beautiful Montreux in late afternoon. You will have a chance to explore one fo the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe in Montreux independently before and after dinner. 

We will meet around 6 for dinner at a local Swiss restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.  

Accommodation: Beautiful hotel in the city center. 

After breakfast we will board a local train and travel along the picturesque shores of Lake Geneva to the nearby Castle Chillon. We will enjoy a guided visit of this marvelous medieval chateau, followed by a visit at the local Christmas market. 

Then we continue to Vevey, just a few miles away, where we can enjoy another fantastic Christmas market and a stroll along the lakeshore. We will be back to Montreux by late afternoon or early evening, so you can still enjoy the market in Montreux.

During the day we will have time for lunch. 

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Beautiful hotel in the city center. 

Today we will transfer from Montreux to Zermatt. First we will travel along the shores of Lake Geneva before entering the valley of the Rhône river, famous for its warm and sunny weather, perfect for growing vines. Admire beautiful vinyards, castles and medieval cities we pass by. In Brig we will change to another train, taking us up into the magical alpine valley covered in thick layer of snow. At the end of it lies Zermatt, the goal of this journey. 

After arrival you will have some time to relax and explore the town on your own. 

We will meet for dinner at 6 p.m.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner. 

Accommodation: Hotel La Ginabelle (or similar).

Today we will enjoy a ride on one of the most scenic trains in Europe, the Gornergrat line. It’s the highest open-air train line in the world, offering stunning vistas on the village of Zermatt and the Matterhorn. 

After a 30 minute ride up we arrive at final station at a staggering 3089 m (10,135 ft) above sea level. Here you can enjoy a stunning 360-degree alpine panorama featuring the iconic Matterhorn and 29 other peaks, valleys and glaciers.

After enjoying the views, depending on the weather, those who wish to do so, can join the guide for an easy winter hike around Riffelalp or Rotenboden stations. 

We will be back in Zermatt by early afternoon. You can explore the village, shop for gifts and souvenirs or simply relax at your hotel. Your guide will be happy to provide you with suggestions for places to eat, drink and shop.

Today you will have an opportunity to enjoy dinner on your own. 

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel La Ginabelle (or similar). 

Today you will enjoy one of the biggest highlights of this trip: a ride on the famous Glacier Express. 

After an early breakfast, we will board the first class carriage on this iconic panoramic train for a fantastic 6,5 hour trip to Chur.

We will pass by Andermatt and witness how the train climbs up to the higest point of the trip, Oberalp Pass, at an elevation of 2,033 m (6670 ft). Further we will marvel at the mighty peaks of Sedrun and Disentis, followed by a magical trip through the snow-covered Rhine Gorge, dubbed the Swiss Grad Canyon.

After 6,5 hours we arrive in Chur, the capital of Canton Grisons, where we will change to another train to Zurich. 1,5 hours later we should arrive at Zurich main station.

After checking in at the hotel you will be free to explore Zurich christmas Market in front of the Opera House and enjoy dinner on your own. Your guides will be happy to provide suggestions for places to shop, eat and drink.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Beautiful hotel in Zurich’s downtown. 

Today we will embark on a day trip, visiting Bern and Basel Christmas Markets.

After breakfast we will board the train to Bern. Once there, we will explore Bern’s impressive Old Town perched on a cliff above the River Aare. We will pass by the Swiss Parliament and, if the weather is good, admire the alpine panorama from the terrace just behind it. Here you will have time to explore the Christmas Market on your own, eat lunch and buy some last minute souvenirs. 

In the early afternoon we will board another train to Basel, where we will visit Switzerland’s oldest and most beautiful Christmas Market. You will have time to stroll Basel’s cobble stone streets, enjoy mulled wine and even sit around the fire on Münsterplatz, one of Basel’s main squares. Enjoy the hustle and bustle, and the joyful atmosphere of this cosy market, the last on your list of Swiss Christmas Markets.

We will be back in Zurich by 6:30, where we convene for the last dinner together.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner. 

Accommodation: Beautiful hotels in Zurich’s downtown.

Today is departure day. 

We wish you a safe onward journey to your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast.

must-see things in zurich

Book the Christmas Markets rail tour today!

Details and pricing

Adult Standard: US $5,750 per person, based on 2 people in a double bedded room

Single Supplement: $100/night

10% deposit secures the booking – balance due 90 days before the departure date.

  • Assistance of a Swiss English-speaking guide
  • 1st Class Rail Pass 
  • 2 nights in Lucerne
  • 2 nights in Montreux
  • 2 nights in Zermatt
  • 2 nights in Zurich Center
  • full Swiss breakfast buffet every day
  • 4 dinners
  • fondue dinner on a lake cruise
  • all ground transportation including mountain railways, boats and cable cars
  • all admission costs
  • Lunches
  • 3 dinners (days 4, 6, 7)
  • Alcoholic beverages at dinners
  • Items of personal use

See our Cancellation Policy for more details.

Visa, Maestro, and Mastercard are commonly accepted in Switzerland. American Express is less popular and many businesses don’t accept it. The country is becoming more and more cashless with contactless and mobile payments (Google and Apple Pay). Still, it’s useful to have some cash on you while travelling. All banks provide currency exchange services at a favorable rate.

Reasonable Fitness Required

This is a tour based solely on public transportation. Bear in mind that apart from planned walks and hikes, you will have to commute on foot from the train station to the hotel, between the hotel and restaurants, and from one activity to the next. Such commute routes take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

The amount and intensity of walking everyday varies throughout the trip. It’s safe to say that you will walk anywhere between 5,000 to 12,000 steps a day (40 minutes to 2,5 hours). 

We make several train connections, or move from train to bus or boat, each day. This means you will be walking up and down train platform stairs or ramps to make the  connection platform changes. These connection times can range from 7 to 15 minutes and are usually close to another, so a regular walk pace is all that’s needed.

Sometimes our reserved seats are on the end of a long train and sometimes we only know where our reserved seats are when the train arrives so then we need to walk briskly to enter the respective car.

Although this is a rail tour, a reasonable walking fitness is required to fully enjoy the splendor of Switzerland. 

  1. Click on any of the “Book now” buttons on the page.
  2. You will be redirected to our dedicated booking platform.
  3. Choose a desired date for your trip and add number of participants. Select departure time, if applicable.
  4. Fill out the form with all travellers’ details and click “Confirm booking”.
  5. Once we receive your booking request you will be sent an email with payment instructions from our partner Flywire.
  6. Follow the instructions in the email.
  7. Once the payment is processed, your booking is confirmed.

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Plan Your Switzerland Christmas Market Rail Tour

2024 Dates
2025 Dates

NOTE: All Rail Tours are limited to 16 people. Book your rail tour now to guarantee your spot.

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