10 tips for your winter city trip

Do you prefer a city trip to the mountains? Then here are 10 tips for your winter getaway to the Swiss cities.

Why not go on a city trip in winter? The alleys are emptier than usual and there’s plenty to discover both indoors and outdoors. We present our favourite activities during the colder months. 

Admire street art and investigate plants in Basel

Most winter days in the lowlands are grey and dull. Not in Basel – the city’s façades are colourfully adorned with street art and graffiti. You can explore the colourful works of art either on your own or on a guided tour for CHF 29. The works are not only beautiful to look at, they also make you forget the winter blues.  

Just one of many colourful works of art in Basel. © Basel Tourism 

Tropical feeling in winter? Absolutely! Visit the Botanical Garden at the University of Basel and marvel at plant species from around the globe – for free! The Tropical Greenhouse opened in 2023 and the Cloud Forest Greenhouse, with stable temperatures year-round, is the first of its kind open to the public in all of Europe. Watch out or you may just take root. 

Slurp hot chocolate & do some stargazing in Zurich

Fancy an extra bit of cosiness? Then you should definitely check out the best hot chocolate spots in Zurich. Traditionally, the Sprüngli on Paradeplatz is a hustle and bustle. If you want to observe people while enjoying your hot chocolate, you might be happier at the Barchetta – if you like to take it easy, you can linger in the inner courtyard of the Milchbar. Bye tristesse – hello happiness! 

In the Milchbar’s inner courtyard, it’s impossible to resist temptation – but you don’t have to. © Zurich Tourism

The Urania Sternwarte observatory in the heart of Zurich practically glitters. There, astro fans and those who want to become one have the opportunity to venture a glimpse into the universe. The impressive dome of the observatory opens to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Make sure to book your ticket in advance. Great views are guaranteed! 

The best place to watch the stars. © giannikrattli.com / Daniel Loosli / Switzerland Tourism

An adventurous treasure hunt & 3 for 1 in Lausanne

The best way to get to know the Olympic capital is on an exciting treasure hunt. Choose one of four routes and decide whether you want to complete the adventure on foot or by bike. What are you waiting for? 

Fancy an action-packed city tour? Then it’s time to go on a treasure hunt! © Switzerland Tourism / Lorenz Richard

Do you prefer to take things a little more leisurely and talk shop about art? Then Plateforme 10 near the train station is the right choice for you. With a museum pass for CHF 25, you can explore three museums: Photo Elysée, mudacMusée cantonal de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne (MCBA). With 25,000 square metres of space, you’ll have plenty of room to explore.  

Plateforme 10 invites you to embark on an artistic foray. © William Gammuto

Sipping tea and practising pirouettes in Bern

Länggass-Tee teashop is as much a part of Bern as the Zytglogge Tower. 😉 It’s not just worth a visit to see the exquisite blends. Make sure you climb the inconspicuous spiral staircase and treat yourself to a delicious tea with freshly baked goods or an entire tea experience with different varieties. The perfect experience! 

An experience for all tea lovers or those who want to become one. © Nina Wild

Calling all ice fans: From 16 December to mid-February, the Bundesplatz federal square will be transformed into a gigantic ice rink. Practise your pirouettes right in front of the impressive backdrop of the Federal Palace. In the cosy chalet, employees serve delicious fondue, mulled wine, tarte flambée and many other tasty drinks and dishes. Get skating! 

Probably the coolest place to take to the ice! © Bern Welcome

Combine city and mountain experiences in Schaan-Vaduz

Have you ever been to Liechtenstein? If not, now’s the time! Exploring the capital, Vaduz, has never been so easy: The Adventure Pass, for CHF 25, gives you admission to 30 attractions. From a visit to the Walser Museum, to tasting fine quality wines, to a royal cinema in the castle. What are you waiting for? 

Take a trip back in time at the Walser Museum. © Liechtenstein Marketing

Granted, we can’t leave out the fantastic mountains – in Liechtenstein, a city trip combined with snow sports is far too practical! The Malbun ski resort is just 30 minutes from Vaduz. There’s no better way to combine a city trip with fun in the snow. Besides ski slopes, the mountain also boasts winter hiking trails, a curling rink, llamas for trekking, winter hiking trails and an ice climbing wall. Quite nice, isn’t it? 

Just 30 minutes by public transport from Vaduz, the magic of winter awaits you in the Malbun ski resort. © Liechtenstein Marketing

Since one day isn’t enough to explore these great cities, why not stay overnight at our cool youth hostels in Basel, Zurich, Bern, Lausanne and Schaan-Vaduz? There, you profit from numerous benefits, such as discounts on admission or free use of public transport. You can thank us later. 😉 

Change of perspective

Andre Hebeisen 2@Ruben Hollinger

Discover the Swiss cities from the perspective of a person affected by homelessness. 


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