The Ultimate Swiss Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is just around the corner and you might be struggling to think of what to give your friends and loved ones.

Here are some unique Swiss gift ideas that I have collected this past year. Some of these gems are worthy of a blog post of their own, others are simply ingenious, and yet others are things with stunning looks.

(For full transparency, I have declared whether or not I have used any of these products and services.)

A crowdfunded season pass for Saas-Fee.

You need to be quick on this one as the offer runs out at the end of November. The deal is a season pass for 222 francs - but it will only become valid if 99'999 people participate in the project.

At this point, about 39'000 more people are needed. I have already supported this crowdfunding project. And if it ends up working out, it will be the cheapest season ticket in Switzerland - for an amazing ski resort! By participating, you can secure a gift with a fantastic story to tell.

Saas-Fee Season Pass

A getaway to The Capra in beautiful Saas-Fee.

"A five-star retreat in Switzerland's most unspoiled ski resort." These are the words of The Capra, and I could not describe this Alpine boutique hotel better if I wanted to.

After the addition of a new wing with even more amenities, this is the right time to surprise your loved one with a special getaway to Saas-Fee in Valais... I have stayed here before, and I can tell you that the chalet style rooms are stunning, and the restaurant is out-of-this-world fantastic. The Capra's doors open for the season on December 9, 2016.

The Capra Saas-Fee

A wine subscription from Wiine.me.

Do you have a wine lover on your list? A wine subscription from Wiine.me is the perfect surprise gift.

Choose to have either two or three different bottles sent to the lucky person every month. Each shipment includes a brochure with information about the vintage, the producers and suggested food pairings. I have a subscription for two bottles each month, and I think it is a great way of learning about wine while discovering new bottles at the same time.

wiine.me Wine Subscription

Or a beer subscription from mysixpack.ch.

Have a beer geek to buy a gift for?

You could get them a beer subscription from mysixpack.ch, a new service from the folks behind BEERS'N'MORE in Zürich. Fresh craft beer from Switzerland and beyond delivered right to the lucky recipient's door for either 6 or 12 months. This sounds like a fun way of getting acquainted with new craft brews. This is something I have on my list.

mysixpack.ch Beer Subscription

A game that hits the Zeitgeist: Kampf gegen das Bünzlitum.

This Swiss version of Cards against Humanity was successfully funded thanks to Kickstarter. Now the game is in full production and plays like its American version, but with a focus on Switzerland.

The cards of Kampf gegen das Bünzlitum are in German, with Swiss German splattered throughout. I own this game and can assure you that it is very enjoyable. It lets you be mean and nasty in a controlled way - a sure way to get everyone laughing!

Social board games, books and puzzles from Helvetiq.

Give the gift of offline time. The brains behind Helvetiq have created several social games and books that will appeal to people of all ages.

What's better than getting together around a table for a games night? Your friends will surely love you for making them break up with their screens for a while. Among the beautifully designed board games and card games about Zürich, Basel, music or wine, there are also a variety of puzzles. (I personally own the Zürich IQ board game.)

Helvetiq Board Games

A postcard book containing 40 vintage Swiss postcards.

Do you know someone who loves Swiss tourism posters? They will surely be into the 40 postcards contained in this little gem of a book...

Either black and white or sepia in color, these perforated postcards document the beginnings of winter tourism in Switzerland: Schweiz sportive - sporty Switzerland.

Postcard Set - Switzerland sportiv

A pair of slippers from Arno Wolf in Basel.

With winter just around the corner, slippers are needed again. The brothers behind Arno Wolf wanted a slipper that would be comfortable inside but robust enough to be kept on as you venture outside quickly to grab more firewood or more likely the mail.

The slippers are 68 francs a pair, they are super comfortable and will keep your feet warm. Also check out some of their other beautiful design products. I own a pair of these slippers, and I would like to get a turned wooden lamp someday.

Arno Wolf Slippers

An artisanal, organic Biber cake Leibacher Biber-Manufaktur.

As a proud Appenzeller, I probably should not say this, but the best Biber in Switzerland comes from Leibacher Biber-Manufaktur in Wermatswil near Zürich.

The imprinted designs are beautiful and the taste is heavenly. From big ones with customized impressions to smaller ones, this traditional pastry is brought to new heights by Claudio and Silvan Leibacher. Wrap one up and put it under your tree or stick them in someone’s stockings. These organic biber cakes are easy crowd pleasers which I enjoy on an all too regular basis.

Leibacher Biber Manufaktur

This new coffee machine from Zuriga.

The person getting this gift will have to wait until April 2017 to get it, but it should be worth it. Zuriga is an espresso machine made in Switzerland - for under 1000 francs. The design is compact and beautiful and they use local manufacturers to produce it.

The project was successfully funded on wemakeit.ch, and Zuriga runs a physical shop in Zürich where you can test the machine.

A photography course or excursion.

Maybe that special someone got a nice new camera for their birthday. Now they have this high-tech piece of equipment, but their pictures have not really gotten any better... Instead of upgrading again, why not learn how to use the camera correctly and take amazing pictures?

Photography is as much a skill as it is an art. From personal experience, I can recommend these two places which teach in English: Viewfinder Center for Photography in Zürich offers excellent courses and excursions. Or for more personalized, one-on-one instruction, Jochen Gsell of Gsell Photography is the man to talk to.

Photography course in Switzerland

A voucher for laundry service incl. pick-up and delivery.

How luxurious would it be to give someone the gift of a personal butler and to relieve them from the chores of laundry? Cosmobutler is a company which will pick up and deliver your laundry or dry-cleaning. Their service is hassle free and is available in most of German speaking Switzerland.

You could buy a gift voucher for any denomination for your loved one, your buddy or your offspring who has just moved into their first apartment. They will never have to iron shirts again, and they will love you for that...

Cosmobutler Laundry Service

Stay fit and achieve a new personal best.

Enjoy Christmas by having that extra helping of food - and bring one for the road. But don't forget to work it off. This gift could be for yourself or for the runner on your list: On Running have just launched a new range of running shoes.

You will be best equipped for any kind of running condition, from tracks to roads to trails. As a stocking stuffer, get the book Flow State Runner from Richterswil based coach, Jeff Grant. They'll learn to break through their walls and achieve new PBs in 2017.

An English speaking cooking class for your foodies.

While you've probably bought the wine and beer subscriptions for yourself, you might want to get that special person a cooking class with Laughing Lemon or the Hiltl Academy. They will learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals that you can pair perfectly with that IPA or Chardonnay.

Jack and Silvia at Laughing Lemon are fantastically engaging, having taught me creative new ways of preparing potatoes. In fact, their potato course is one of many ingredient specific courses on offer. A cooking class can also make for a fun couple’s gift.

Hiltl Akademie

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Christian

Business Strategist || Connector || Entrepreneur || Marketer || Writer || Optimist || Runner || Photographer || Epicurean || TEDster
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