When Is The Best Time To Visit Switzerland?

Find out the best time to visit Switzerland with a breakdown of what to expect weather-wise during its seasons.
When’s the best time to visit Switzerland? Photo: Andreas M | Unsplash

There’s no doubt that Switzerland is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. After all, its sweeping views of mountainous terrain, lakes, and hilltop villages are unparalleled, and that’s in any weather.  

There are plenty of unique attractions and experiences to do in Switzerland, too. Explore ancient castles, drive winding roads up and down mountains, and ride cable cars that offer the most jaw dropping views of nature you’ll probably ever see. Go boating near large waterfalls, skiing down rolling Alpine hills, and drink the finest wines over awe-inspiring views of turquoise lakes.

If you’ve never thought to add Switzerland to your travel bucket list’s top 5 places to visit, a quick Google search of images from the region will have you in a hurry to make it your next grand adventure. The only question is: When’s the best time to visit Switzerland?

April through October is peak season in Switzerland. Photo: Henrique Ferreira | Unsplash

Spring is Perfect for Outdoor Hikes

Fresh off a long, cold, snowy winter, Switzerland’s spring months—March, April, and May—pave the way for a return of gorgeous flower blossoms, plush meadows, scenic cow grazing, and picturesque sunny days.

Once you get past March’s frigid temperatures, which can range from 25° to 50° F, April officially kickstarts Switzerland’s peak season. Temperatures reach the high 50s and the weather gradually improves into the high 60s by May.

Spring is a great time to get outside and hike Switzerland’s most famous mountain trails, like Mount Rigi Panorama Trail, Matterhorn, and Engelberg Valley, and experience the region’s thick forestry, gorgeous flower fields, waterfalls, and pictorial lakes.   

Go on a beautiful hike in the spring. Photo: Dorothea OLDANI | Unsplash

Summer Months in Switzerland are Busy But Fun

Considered the ‘hottest’ time of the year in Switzerland, fortunately, you won’t experience sweltering heat between June and August. Rather, temperatures range between 65° and 85° F, and with sunset not until 9pm, it’s the perfect opportunity to squeeze in more outdoor activities throughout the day.

With that, beware, summer months in Switzerland bring in the most crowds, and prices for accommodation are usually at their highest. Of course, that won’t stop you from having one fantastic time!

You’ll want to go river rafting on Rhine River, explore St. Beatus cave, walk the glaciers of Aletsch, go on a cruise down Lake Lucerne, swim in Lake Geneva, and ride a thrilling alpine rollercoaster down a mountain in Churwalden. There are endless opportunities to have fun in the sun.  

A cruise sails over Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Photo: Ad Meskens | Wikimedia Commons

Switzerland May Look its Best in the Fall

Switzerland’s autumn months—September through November—start to get cooler, generally falling in the 50° and 60° F range, but the skies remain sunny. You’ll need to cover up with a sweater or lightweight/thick jacket and pants, and it’s probably best to bring hiking boots, after all, fall in Switzerland might just be when the region looks its best.

Leaves change colors, fruits ripen, and as winter slowly settles in, fog creeps over lush mountains while snowcapped peaks emerge at higher altitudes. Plus, fall receives less tourism than Switzerland’s previous summer months, and with that, I’d consider fall in Switzerland a photographer’s paradise. 

You’ll want to explore Glarus, the Moteratsch glacier, GOMS Bridge, Schilthorn Mountain, Lauterbrunnen Valley, and Jungfraujoch Station, just to name a few incredibly scenic locations for autumn photography in Switzerland.   

A tourist wonders through Bussigny-près-Lausanne in the fall. Photo: aliunix | Unsplash

Experience Fun Winter Activities from November to February

By November, temperatures in Switzerland drop to the 40s, and while not quite yet the right time to enjoy skiing in the alps, it’s a great time to explore indoor attractions like museums, chocolate factory tours, and local workshops in cities such as Geneva, Zurich, and Bern.

When Switzerland is at its coldest—December to February—and temperatures fall into the 20s and below depending on altitude, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the region’s exciting winter activities in the snow.

Go skiing at a resort in Zermatt. Visit the world-famous Zurich and Basel Christmas markets. Relax in a natural hot water spring at Tamina Thermal Spa. Go ice skating in a winter resort at Davos, or enjoy a thrilling stroll over Titlis Cliff Walk, suspension bridge 3,041 metres above sea level. And my favorite, hop aboard the Bernina Express for an eight-hour scenic train ride that provides stunning views of Switzerland’s snow-covered alps.

Passengers ride a cable car during winter in Switzerland. Photo: Leila Azevado | Unsplash

So, When Should You Visit?

The best time to visit Switzerland is from April to October. Temperatures fall between cool and lukewarm, so it’s the perfect chance to explore Switzerland’s jaw-dropping scenery under the sun. If you’re a winter adventurist, you’ll want to visit Switzerland from December to February for skiing, ice skating, and scenic views of its mountains blanketed with snow.

And now, there are just two questions left to answer: Which do you prefer and when are we going? Safe and happy travels!

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