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Traveling to Zurich and Lucerne in December

by Jay
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

I'm flying into Zurich on the 22nd and I'm wondering what the weather will be like, especially in terms of flight delays? My flight is direct from San Francisco on SwissAir.

After that I plan to take a train to Lucerne, so should I expect any delays due to weather on the train? I know weather is hard to predict year-to-year, I was just wondering whether you'd have any advice for travelling in the winter.

Thank you!

Answer to

Traveling to Zürich and Lucerne in December

Hello Jay,

You are so right. Weather IS hard to predict, especially these days:) Historical data doesn't help much either. And even harder to predict are flight delays. I fly frequently between North America and Switzerland, and in the past 10 years I only experienced longer delays twice. Once it took me three days to fly from Kelowna (Canada) to Zürich :)... storm warnings, mechanical problems and more storm warnings... However, since you have a direct flight from SFO to Zürich, chances are that you arrive timely.

You can check the 6-day weather forecast here.

Train travel between Luzern and Zürich shouldn't pose a problem. Last year we didn't have snow at all until about mid-January. And even if there's snow, you don't touch the Alps on that short trip.

Trains leave in approximately 20 minute intervals, and it only takes a bit over an hour to reach Luzern from the Airport. It takes about an hour to clear custom. Of course you'd be a bit faster if you travel light and don't have to wait for checked luggage at the carousel.

You can check connections on the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) website. Do make sure you board a train that takes you to Luzern without having to change trains at Zürich main train station.

That is, if you are not interested in seeing the large Christmas Market directly in the Zürich train station...

Christmas Market at the train station in Zurich
Largest indoor Christmas Market in Switzerland, Zürich main train station

... with its impressive Christmas tree entirely decorated with Swarovski stones.

You could easily skip a train, visit the market and enjoy a Raclette, a typical Swiss cheese dish :)

Swiss Raclett cheese dish
Served at the Christmas Market in Zürich: small raclette cheese dish, with potatoes, pickled onions and cucumbers

Note: I see you travel over Christmas. Be aware, that practically everything is closed (banks, stores, even some Restaurants) on December 25 and 26.

Safe travels,

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