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Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Sydney
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Advice needed on Switzerland in January

My Husband and I have decided (purely thru other advice on here) that we will visit Switzerland at the beginning of January.

This is the problem, we have no idea where to go, I've been given a few ideas but am getting quite overwhelmed by the names of places (it's hard for me to picture what I'm researching) thought if I put it out there it'd give me somewhere to start.

We are in our mid 20's, we would love to stay somewhere romantic and our main motivation for going here is snow however we do not ski (we are from Oz you see so snow alone is exciting)

Price is not a concern (not because we can afford it but because this holiday needs to be memorable)

Would love somewhere with restaurants, bars and views (if such a place exists) and also somewhere guaranteed to be snowy! (again not sure if this is possible)

Coming from London and Berlin so we are thinking 3 nights however we have no solid plans so that is flexible.

Thanks for your suggestions in advance!

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London
London
England, UK
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
London
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8,329 posts
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1. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

January is usually pretty snow sure in the main ski resorts, so it's a good time to visit. Zermatt might be a good option for you, as it's at high altitude with views of the famous Matterhorn and has quite a lot of bars and restaurants. There are plenty of things for a non-skiier to do. I understand that booking accommodation of less than a week in the famous ski resorts can be difficult, but not impossible with a bit of effort. Take a look at the reviews of hotels here on TA, Google for the local Zermatt website and if you continue to struggle with accommodation choices, email the Zermatt tourist office. Tourist offices are used to supporting people to find accommodation.

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn
3,108 Reviews
Zermatt, Switzerland
St. Moritz...
Destination Expert
for St. Moritz, Engadin St. Moritz
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2. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Would love somewhere with restaurants, bars and views (if such a place exists) and also somewhere guaranteed to be snowy! (again not sure if this is possible) - sure it exists. Have a look at http://www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/winter/en/ and it's all there. You dont have to ski to enjoy the area. I live here and I dont! Good advise: make reservation soon, as this is a busy time of season. On the other hand, there is a lot going on then and you will have a good choice of activities, events, bars, restaurants etc, as everything will be open and running. Even if you are not going to ski, go up to the mountains and sit on the terrace of one of the mountain restaurants, huddled into a warm sheep fur and enjoy people watching, e.g. El Paradiso (http://www.el-paradiso.ch/Intro.65.0.html) or Mathis on Corvigtlia (http://www.mathisfood.ch/index.php?id=18&L=1). And dont miss the panoramic view on Diavolezza http://www.diavolezza.ch/en/, they even have beach chairs to grab a tan - be prepared for a strong sun reflected by snow, so put on a strong sun screen.

There are also a lot of options for romantic evenings, e.g. with a horsedrawn sledge through the forest to a cozy restaurant etc. I am sure you will have a memorable stay in the Engadin St. Moritz area.

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El Paradiso
El Paradiso
222 Reviews
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Diavolezza
Diavolezza
464 Reviews
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Engadin St. Moritz
Engadin St. Moritz
Canton of Graubunden, Switzerland
Port Townsend...
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246 posts
49 reviews
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3. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

I can second the Engadin area -- St. Moritz, Silvaplana, Sils-Maria. Small towns, frozen lakes, mountains, restaurants up the slopes that are accessible without being on skis.

We stayed in Sils-Maria for a week at the end of January. Went cross country skiing for a few days but found walking around on the snowy trails and across the lakes just as much fun.

The area is a 3.5 to 4 hour train ride from the Zurich airport.

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St. Moritz
St. Moritz
Engadin St. Moritz, Switzerland
Silvaplana
Silvaplana
Engadin St. Moritz, Switzerland
Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport
Zurich, Switzerland
Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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4. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Hi, Zermatt also has many restaurants on the mountain that are accessible without skiing. However, your problem may be getting a room for 3 days and the Engadin has more small villages so it may be easier to get a room in that area. Both offer the possibility for a wonderful holiday!

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

I understand that some mountains are closed during Winter for maintanence. Is this true?

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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6. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

No, it is not true.

London
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7. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

If you mean cable cars/mountain trains etc, then these tend to have a short closure period for maintenance during the Autumn (often in November). The mountains themselves naturally never close - they just sit there year round.

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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40,404 posts
192 reviews
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8. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Coming in January you are far better off staying up somewhere in the mountains - and I heartily second the idea of Zermatt which fits to a "T" your requirements! - than staying in one of the cities on the plain. The plain is very foggy all winter and you might be here for several days if not weeks and never see the sun! Once you are above 1000m (normally) you are above the fog and it is sunny and much warmer. And really beautiful. It is not unusual to be able to have lunch outside on a terrace in January in one of the ski resorts. In the cities you could not do that!!

But we do have some really wonderful cities with spectacularly lovely old towns. Maybe you should spend your first night in one of these -- Basel, Zürich, Bern etc - and then "head fo the hills"??

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Zermatt
Zermatt
Canton of Valais, Switzerland
Basel
Basel
Canton of Basel, Switzerland
Bern
Bern
Bern Mittelland District, Switzerland
Singapore, Singapore
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20 posts
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9. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Thanks for the advise.

I have a question. both me and my husband wear contact lens. Will that be a problem?

What do you guys normally do? The lens and solution would freeze if we leave them in the luggage right?

Port Townsend...
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246 posts
49 reviews
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10. Re: Advice needed on Switzerland in January

Are you leaving the luggage outside? Overnight? If you go from train, to bus, to hotel, when does the luggage get a chance to freeze?