November might be part of the shoulder season in Switzerland but there’s shortage of great things to do on vacation this month. November has lower travel and lodging rates along with fewer visitors and beautiful weather. Some of the best things to do on vacation this month include sightseeing through the Jungfrau region, tasting some delicious Swiss wine and hitting the slopes before peak ski season.
In addition to these, there’s plenty of other great places to go and things to add to your bucket list. Follow along with us to discover what you should do on your next Swiss trip in November!
Switzerland Weather in November
November is the last month in Autumn in Switzerland and the weather takes a noticeable turn toward Winter. At the beginning of the month, you may feel the same colder temperatures you began to experience in October, but by the end of November, the weather is quite chilly. The glorious colors of Fall will still be abundant, but fading as the Winter snows set in.
Temperatures can range from mild to very cold depending on the altitude and time of day. Lower altitude regions like Ticino will have the warmest temperatures with very little snow, while high altitude mountain towns and ski resorts like Zermatt will have a lot of snow and cold weather.
You’ll want to prepare for the weather according to the canton or towns you plan to visit, as they can range pretty drastically this month. For instance, the busy city of Zurich can have daily November temperatures of 36°F to 47°F (2°C to 8°C) while Zermatt will average 27°F to 39°F (-3°C to 4°C).
Average November Temperature in Switzerland (By City)
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Switzerland Affordability & Crowds in November
November is a lovely month to visit Switzerland for the incredible Autumnal coloring and light snowfall across the country. November is still considered part of the slower shoulder season for Switzerland, so traveling will be fairly easy and crowd levels will be low.
The affordability in a month like November is quite budget-friendly compared to other months of the year. However, Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries to visit, so the term “budget-friendly” can still look more expensive than the average meaning. That said, if saving money is your goal, this is a good month to go.
Switzerland Snow & Skiing in November
As mentioned before, November will see an increase in snowfall, especially for the ski resorts and high altitude mountain towns. The alpine areas will begin to receive consistent snowfall, which is forming a good base layer for their ski runs and toboggan paths. The snow is new, however, so the pack is not yet hard and secure in the lower areas.
Skiing will be good and mostly open around the country at this point, though some resorts may have much better conditions than others. As far as lower altitude areas goes, snow has not quite made it to them. You can still enjoy some hikes through the lower regions before the snow covers the entire country.
Best Switzerland Ski Resorts in November
Most Swiss ski resorts are open by the time November rolls around, so it won’t be too difficult to have a grand time skiing this month. We’ll share the details on which resorts are best to consider depending on availability and conditions in November.
Zermatt is the best all-around ski resort in Switzerland, and while it’s open all year round, November is the month when the conditions are noticeably better. The slopes at Zermatt are great for all level of skiers. The top of the Klein Matterhorn run, which is the primary starting point for skiing in October, has excellent views of the Matterhorn and surrounding alps, with easy sloping runs that lead back to the village.
Zermatt is a charming, car-free village nestled at the base of the Matterhorn. The town has friendly residents and is relatively quiet in October. It still offers various outdoor activities like hiking, while accommodating guests with relaxing pools and spas, shopping and delicious dining options.
Saas-Fee may not have the altitude that Zermatt has, but it offers more in the way of expert and intermediate skiing. This is a perfect place for brushing up on your skills before the start of the ski season, since there are very few people on the slopes and the multiple ski parks with jumps and bowls.
The village is a great homebase for an Autumn ski trip, and will be much quieter this time of year. It will most likely be warm in comparison to the mountain temperatures. In addition to skiing, a trip to Saas-Fee could include hiking on beautiful trails, floating on the water, relaxing at the spa and or dining at one of multiple great restaurants.
Mount Titlis, Engelberg
The Titlis glacier is located atop Engelberg and is a very popular mountain for hiking during the warmer months. But by the time November rolls around, the snowy peak will be available for skiing when the conditions are better. This is a great option for visitors who are staying in or near Lucerne or in the Jungfrau region this month.
The slopes here offer a variety of levels from beginner to expert. Kids can even feel comfortable, provided they stick to the less intense paths. Engelberg town is built around a medieval monastery which serves as the town center and main structure. The town is primarily focused on snow sports, but has a few fun attractions like community spas and a cheese factory.
St. Moritz is one of the most well-known Swiss ski resorts in the world, twice hosting the Winter Olympics. The Corvatsch ski area, in particular, is the best part of St. Moritz for very early season skiing. Winter sports are a popular pastime in St. Moritz and you’ll find tourists and locals participating in ice skating, sledding, Nordic skiing and even kite skiing.
St. Moritz is good for all ski levels with plenty of varied terrain to accommodate beginners to experts. Thrill-seekers will love the Corviglia Snow Park which features 30 different obstacles, among other parks and ski areas in St. Moritz.
Diavolezza is a more advanced portion not too far from St. Moritz is not for the faint of heart. Early November is the time for expert skiers to spread their wings on adventurous off-piste runs with excellent snow quality before more people show up. Powder hounds can get their fill of uncrowded backcountry skiing relatively close to the main Diavolezza ski area.
The summit offers several delicious dining options though this is somewhat of an isolated ski destination. There is not much in the way of long-term accommodations, but it’s a great choice for adding onto your ski trip from St. Moritz. You can get to Diavolezza via train, car or bus.
Grindelwald is the country’s Winter playground that kicks off ski season in October. The most popular area to ski this time of year is the Bodmi Arena, which is one of Switzerland’s largest beginner ski areas. If you require a great ski lesson or want to go at your own pace, the Bodmi Arena is the perfect choice.
Other great adventures include family fun like tobogganing, cliff walking, zip lining, and hiking. The quaint village of Grindelwald is also filled to the brim with iconic Swiss architecture, Germanic design, stony storefronts and rolling hills, giving you a gorgeous homebase for your travels through the Bernese mountains. From Grindelwald, you also gain access to the Jungfrau region and Lauterbrunnen via train.
Verbier has over 410km of runs with loads of varied terrain to choose from. Not only does it feature pretty evenly marked blue, red and black pistes for all levels of skiers, it also has a pretty decent sized cross-country ski area and a great snowpark.
The downside to skiing Verbier in November is the fact that it’s not always reliable. Since the snow hasn’t packed on the mountain yet, usually the weekends are the only time you can ski in November. In order to accomplish this, you have to hike or snowshoe up the runs and ski back down since the lifts aren’t yet running. Despite this, skiing Verbier in November is still possible!
Best Things to Do in Switzerland in November
November is a gorgeous month for traveling through Switzerland and most activities are still possible between colder weather fun and warmer weather adventuring. Depending on your desired itinerary, you can accomplish the last bit of hiking and sightseeing of the year or engage in the first days of Winter wonderland bliss.
November is one of the last months that Bern remains fairly empty before the Winter season kicks in. However, at the end of the month, the Zibelemarit (Onion Market) draws thousands of visitors to the Old Town cobblestoned streets to welcome the holidays. Lots of people will enjoy touring the Old Town, where you’ll find an abundance of original architecture dating back to the Medieval time period. Bern Minster and its Minster Terrace should be on your list of things to do in this area.
The Einstein Museum is another great place to spend your time, and a tour through the Clock Tower or the “Zytglogge” is highly recommended. You can also get a comprehensive tour and learning experience with a short boat cruise along the Aare River, which flows through the city.
In addition to experience Bern to the fullest, it also makes a great homebase for visiting the neighboring countries of France and Germany in November. Train travel is highly efficient here, but the option of renting a car to travel at your own pace is also lovely this time of year.
Sip Wine at Lavaux Vineyard
As the grape harvest comes to a close, Swiss vineyards showcase their new and fresh wines. Switzerland may not be a country well known for their wine making, but visitors will be just as impressed with the unique taste and flavor as they would be in France or Italy. There are several villages that specialize in wine production that also make great touring destinations, such as La Cote, Neuchatel and Praz.
The best place to go, however, is Lavaux Vineyards on Lake Geneva. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for the steep gradation vineyard which must be hand harvested every year. The vineyard hires temporary harvesters for the season, so anyone planning to stay in the city for an extended time can call ahead for employment and lodging.
November is a beautiful month for visiting Lucerne – plus, it’s a great month for indulging in both Swiss chocolate and Swiss fondue! Now that the weather is colder, this historic town will feel even cozier and more delightful. The Old Town’s intricately painted architecture, the Medieval Chapel Bridge, and walks along the nine towers at Musegg Wall have a whole new look and feel in November.
In addition to this, you won’t want to pass on a visit to the Glacier Garden with artifacts from the Ice Age. You can also find the Lion Monument attraction near the Garden, which is impeccably beautiful with the surrounding Fall foliage. Nearby Mount Pilatus is still offering tours up the mountain this month, and while pricey, is a worthy trip for overlooking Lake Lucerne.
Hike Mount Rigi
Hiking Mount Rigi in most months is no small feat, but November is definitely the coldest time to go. However, visitors may want to take advantage as this is the final month before closing for Winter. You can also easily get here via boat from Lucerne or train from other cities.
The Rigi Panoramic Trail can be completed in 4 hours and offers stunning views throughout the hike. The entire trail is well-care for and easily accessible for small kids and families. It runs alongside an old railway and many of the pathways lead to mountain top restaurants for refreshments and a short break before finishing the hike.
Thun is one of the main towns you’ll find off the banks of Lake Thun on the Aare River, which is popular for boat cruises and touring. There are several castles to see in the area, including Thun Castle along with Oberhofen Castle across Lake Thun. Thun has many scenic walks through the old town, down the historic covered bridges and over to Balliz Island where you can shop at the market and dine at several local cafes.
Thun is not only great for outdoor adventures, but also indoor tours. Museums like the Musee Armee Suisse and the Kunstmuseum Thun are nice options to add to your list after exploring the Old Town. Obere Hauptgasse is also a beautiful walking street with lots of local boutiques and cafes for resting between attractions.
Night Sledding in Interlaken
Interlaken is a one-of-a-kind destination, beloved by thrill-seekers. As Autumn turns to Winter, the fun certainly doesn’t stop in this adventurous town. While hiking, one of the main attractions here, is not quite as accessible in November, other outdoor activities like skydiving are still possible through multiple guides.
One thing you won’t want to miss in Interlaken this month are the night sledding excursions. These require prior booking, but include a unique trip up the mountain from Interlaken to partake in Swiss fondue before embarking on a thrilling night time sledding trail. The pathways you’ll take have views of frozen waterfalls along the alpine hills and forests.
Tour the Jungfrau Region
The Jungfrau region of Switzerland makes up a portion of Bernese Oberland and is home to the likes of Jungfraujoch the “Top of Europe”. Jungfraujoch has the highest railway station in the continent and hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. November is the perfect time to witness one of the tallest peaks in the world while avoiding the large crowds.
There are other attractions in Jungfrau like Lauterbrunnen’s 72 waterfalls and hiking trails, or Schilthorn’s panoramic views of the Bernese Alps. Cities like Interlaken, Grindelwald or Wengen make great basecamps for seeing the region, while also offering beautiful accommodations and delicious dining options to their guests. It’s fairly easy to travel within the region and feel like you’ve had a complete Swiss experience with a weeklong vacation stationed in Jungfrau.
Ride Schilthorn Cable Car
Schilthorn, as mentioned above, is part of the Jungfrau region and has some of the most stunning views of the Jungfraujoch massif. This superior cable car ride is one of the best in world, where visitors can get breathtaking views of the Swiss alps. It’s been dubbed the “James Bond Mountain” after being featured in the 1969 film, and there’s an exhibit commemorating the occasion.
The cable car trip begins in the small town of Murren and the cable car trek pulls riders across deep ravines and canyons all the way to the top of Schilthorn. Once you’ve reached the top, you can step onto the Bernese Alps viewing platform for an even more spectacular view. There’s also a revolving panoramic restaurant at the peak to complete the whole experience.
Tour Abbey of Saint Gall
The Abbey of Saint Gall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest, most historic sites in all of Switzerland. This Carolingian cathedral is located in the town of St. Gallen and has been impressively preserved since its construction in 719 AD. The interior of the Abbey also has some of the highest revered collections of Baroque artistry in Switzerland.
Certainly a sight to behold, most visitors take a day trip from Zurich or Appenzell just to see the Abbey. The monastery has changed hands over the centuries, but it’s maintained a pristine exterior and strong Catholic influence. Not only is the architecture impressive, but the Abbey has boasts one of the oldest and best preserved libraries in the world.
November Events in Switzerland
All Saints Day
All Saints Day is a Catholic holiday celebrated by particular cantons within Switzerland that have the most Catholic influence. It takes place November 1 as a recognition day for all saints of the faith who do not have their own celebrated day in the year. Some Christians remember the dead on this day, as well, with some businesses closing and others remaining open.
Geneva International Film Festival
This 10 day event is an innovative experience for film directors, writers, producers and more. New technology is introduced and tested during the festival, special screenings of upcoming movies are presented and live performances take place over the course of the event.
The Onion Market is a highly anticipated event in Bern held at the end of November as an introduction to the holiday season. Stalls of local craftsmen and cooks providing onion tarts and gluhwein abound on the old city streets and people come from all over for the experience. This one day event hosts thousands of people over 12 hours as they stock up on local favorites to ring in the month of Christmas.
November presents a host of great things to do in Switzerland for vacation, from touring the most historic monastery in the country to skiing down the first runs before the official start of Winter. Whether you find yourself in the Jungfrau region or traveling through the Bern canton, we guarantee you’ll have lots of fun on a November getaway to Switzerland.
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Switzerland travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in Switzerland
Summer in Switzerland
Fall in Switzerland
Winter in Switzerland
For a summary of each Switzerland month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Switzerland.