Where to eat, sleep and explore in Switzerland: November

What's on in Switzerland in November

November is just around the corner, with lots of different festivals and events to keep us busy, even if the weather outside makes us feel more like staying inside to begin hibernating! Why not consider the following places to explore, eat and overnight with your family:

EXPLORE

1. Make a gingerbread house at Hug: 

If you just happen to be passing through close to Luzern on November 10th, why not join in the gingerbread house making activities at the Swiss cookie company Hug. For 10chf (max. 2 per person) you are provided with all the ingredients to create your own fantasy gingerbread house. Always a hit with the locals.

2. Zibelemärit (Onion Market) - Bern 

From 6am on the 26th November the streets of Bern turn into one big onion market.  Stock up on braids of onions but also fill your tummy with delicious onion dishes such as onion soup, tarts, pizzas and of course sausages with onion gravy. 

3. Räbelichtlit Richterswil 

Parades of children carrying lanterns of carved turnips can be found in towns all over Switzerland during the month of November, but none as famous or grand as the Räbelichtli parade in Richterswil. This year it’s on the 10th of November, beginning at 6.30pm. You won’t find just amateur carvers at this parade, rather large laborious floats made entirely out of turnips.

4. Basel Herbstmesse

The 16-day autumn fair of Basel called the Herbstmesse, is still going strong well into November (it finishes on the 11th) and is worth a visit. You will find rides spread over 7 locations across the city and also market stalls and plenty to eat. 

5. “Faire la Saint-Martin”  or Feast of St Martin  

It’s all about the pig in Porrentrury during the second weekend of  November, where you can taste a variety of pork products to celebrate the feast of St. Martin. As Heddi, from Cuisine Helvetica suggests, the festival has similarities to American Thanksgiving, a celebration of thanks for a bountiful season. 

EAT

1. Visit Restaurant Gotthard in Goldau for “wild”

Located down the road from the Tierpark in Goldau, Restaurant Gotthard has a great reputation for its autumn “wild” menu. 

2. Rosengarten Restruant, Bern

Rosengarten Restaurant is in the middle of the park in Bern, and not too far from the Bears. This restaurant is one to try on a visit to Bern with a special bonus view of the nearby playground. 

3.  Makthalle, Basel

The kids will think you are a the cool parent for  choosing a place to eat that has a slide connecting the first and ground floors, but that isn’t the only reason it is worth a visit. With a variety of cuisines, it’s like a permanent food festival, and you are bound to find something for even the pickiest eater in the family. 

4. Gastronomy fair "Goûts & Terroirs”

Who needs to visit just one restaurant when you can visit a fair full of amazing food? For the past 18 years the town of Bulle near Gruyere has hosted the largest fair of local products in the country. With 250 stalls and 40,000 visitors, if you go home hungry, it’s your own fault! 

5. Freihof by Debbie

When searching for a restaurant to suggest to go along with the Räbelichtli in Richterswil I stumbled upon Freihof by Debbie. If the reviews are anything to go by, this sounds like a great new friendly Italian inspired restaurant. It’s not specifically for kids, but in my kids’ opinion Italian is always a good idea - plus check out her facebook page for the Halloween event. 

OVERNIGHT

1.  Youth Hostel Bern

After staying at my first youth hostel in many many years I have wanted to try out another and the youth hostel in Bern looks like a great option for families. 

2. Swissotel Basel

If you are visiting Basel for the weekend check out the Swissotel near the Messe tram station, which puts it in a great location for the Herbstmesse. I’ve stayed without kids for the Swiss Family Bloggers conference but by the looks of their website, offer a great deal if you need an additional connecting room for your family. 

3. Campground - Prehisto

Opened till mid November, the camping, bungalow and Gite facilities at Prehisto in Réclère right near the Swiss/French border looks great. Not only is it close to the St. Martin facilities but it’s also home to a prehistoric park and caves.