Christmas For Members

What's open on Christmas Day in Switzerland?

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
What's open on Christmas Day in Switzerland?
Some shops and services will stay open on Christmas Day in Switzerland. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash.

Can you still hit the shops on Christmas Day in Switzerland? What about transport? Here is everything you need to know.


Though many shops and services will be shut on Christmas Day, you may still be able to snag a last-minute gift at some shops and use a few services across the country.

Here’s which shops and services will be running on December 25th in Switzerland.

READ MORE: What are the chances Switzerland will have white Christmas this year?

Convenience stores

Though most of shops will close their doors on Christmas Day, convenience store avec will be open across Switzerland. While opening times may differ slightly, many avec stores will operate between 9am and 6pm.


Petrol stations

Petrol stations and many – but not all - of their shops will also not be affected by the closures on December 25th.

However, note that most petrol station-adjacent shops, such as Coop Pronto, will have varying open times on Christmas Day.

For instance, the chain’s shop at Barfüsserplatz will welcome customers from 6.30am until 10pm on December 25th, while its store at Zurich’s Löwenstrasse will be closed all day.

We recommend looking up opening times of your local store prior to travelling on Christmas Day.


Not surprisingly, hospitals will of course leave their doors open for patients and visitors alike on Christmas Day. Emergency services such as ambulances will be available if you need them. 

However, visitor times will vary from hospital to hospital, so you are best of checking online before setting off to visit a loved one.

You can look up Switzerland’s hospitals here.

Public transport

It is a known fact that Switzerland has one of the world’s best railway systems and as such, trains run every day including national holidays. So, you can expect them to run smoothly on Christmas Day, too.

Trains usually adhere to the same (or at least a similar) timetable during the Christmas season, however, trains are usually busier around this time of year.

You can access SBB’s timetables here.


Though pharmacies across Switzerland will be closed on Christmas Day, the country’s emergency pharmacies will remain open for those in need of urgent medical treatment.

According to, Switzerland’s emergency pharmacies operate 24 hours a day/7 days a week. However, pharmacists may charge an emergency service fee of 2.83 Swiss francs for every purchase made outside of normal opening hours.

Note that in some cases - depending on what your doctor writes/checks on the prescription – the fee may be covered by your health insurance company.


Butcher’s shop

You can also expect most butchers to be shut on Christmas Day, unless you have made a pre-order in which case some butchers will allow you to pick up your order during a specific time slot on December 25th.


Swiss bakeries will also be closed on December 25th.


Those hoping to snag some last-minute décor will also be disappointed as florists will not be open on Christmas Day.


While some restaurants will not be serving any food on Christmas Day, others will be open.

Among the restaurants welcoming hungry diners are the Uto Kulm, Saltz, Cantinetta Antinori, Bürgenstock, Rosaly'sLandgasthof Wartegg and Eder’s Eichmühle.


Museums across Swiss cities will also be closed on Christmas Day. 

Christmas markets and activities

Sadly, though Switzerland has an array of beautiful Christmas markets, most of them will have wrapped up by Christmas Day.

If you're hoping to have a browse on December 25th, you will have the most luck in the canton of Ticino. Lugano's Christmas is in the air event - which features a free city tour - runs from December 2nd 2023 through to January 6th 2024. Locarno's Winterland 2023/24 event takes place from November 24th until January 7th.

READ MORE: The Christmas food that brings comfort and joy to the Swiss



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