We have all heard great things about Switzerland. It has beautiful nature, good food, amazing, vibrant cities, and charming countryside. All this helped you to decide to go and visit Switzerland.
Once you choose to visit Switzerland one question pops to your mind. When is the best time to visit Switzerland?
There is no simple answer to this question. It will completely depend on you. This is a country that has many things to offer throughout the entire year. Technically you can go any time and enjoy your stay. But, different seasons and months offer different activities and sceneries to be experienced.
We wanted to help you decide the best time to visit Switzerland for you by making this guide.
Every season in Switzerland offers something different. The best time to visit this Alpine country will depend on places you want to visit, things you want to see and experience, and how much you want to spend.
If you prefer snow, skiing, and Christmas markets, go during the wintertime. Warm weather and the air filled with festival music await during summertime. It is a bit more peaceful during spring and fall. You will learn all the details further on in the text.
Winter in Switzerland
When most of us think about Switzerland, we imagine cozy cabins and après-ski activities. This is not just a coincidence. Switzerland is especially romantic when the temperatures drop and the days grow shorter.
The winter season is a high season in Switzerland. It starts in December and lasts until March. The ski resorts are very popular during the winter season especially Zermatt and St. Moritz.
This is one of the reasons why it is very difficult to find accommodations on short notice. Many hotels will not accept reservations shorter than a week during the winter. Be mindful of this when you plan your winter holiday in Switzerland.
Of course, snow is not reserved only for the mountain tops. It covers the big cities and valleys too. If you want to do some urban exploring, dress warm, and prepare for snuggly nights.
You may want to time your winter trip to Switzerland to coincide with one of the most famous festivals.
Early December is perfect for visiting Geneva. The famous festival L’Escalade takes place then. It celebrates the victory against invading French.
During L’Escalade streets of Geneva are beautifully decorated. You can see parades too. A five-mile race gets everyone excited for the celebration a week before the main event. Participants run through the steep streets of The Old town. It truly is something special.
The cities like Zurich, Lucerne, and the capital of the country Bern are great to visit during the holiday season. This season starts in late November. You will have a wonderful time visiting seasonal markets. Beautiful lights, unique gifts, and hot chocolate that will warm your heart create an enchanting experience.
The market in Montreux is the best of the best and, if you can, make sure you visit.
If you want to see how Christmas was celebrated in the medieval times, go to the Chillon Castle close to Montreux.
At the beginning of the year, in January, the annual World Snow Festival takes place in the village of Grindelwald. Many international artists create giant ice sculptures that visitors love.
Aside from looking at amazing icy pieces of art, you can toboggan down the hill and have some fondue.
The end of February and beginning of March is perfect for visiting Basel for carnival.
If you want to visit Switzerland in the Spring
Spring is not the most popular time to visit Switzerland which means fewer crowds. It is perfect if you don’t want to deal with many people.
During spring you will need a jacket to keep you warm when you are out experiencing nature getting back to life.
As nature is waking up from its winter slumber everything is brighter. The flowers are in full bloom, you can buy fresh produce at the local markets. The lakes start glistening as the spring sun rays touch their waters.
Apple, cherry, and magnolia trees hit their peak during spring. The air gets filled with a flowery aroma that will seduce your senses.
Famous scenic train rides are less crowded. This is the perfect time to enjoy one.
When you plan your travel itinerary, make sure to include both rural and city experiences.
Winter sports are still available in March, as the mountains maintain snow throughout the month. Sun rays will make your stay in the mountains during spring in Switzerland even nicer. Fewer tourists mean no more crowds on the chairlifts or in the sauna.
Most resorts close by mid-April, but at that time hiking trails open. There are more than 60,000 kilometers of hiking trails in Switzerland you can enjoy. Depending on the weather, they can be muddy. Keep that in mind.
When May comes, hotels and attractions start to attract more tourists. Spring season in Switzerland is perfect for wine lovers. There are more than 200 varieties of wine available for tasting and wineries are opening doors to all wine lovers.
This tradition is strongest in the French-speaking cantons. It lasts through early June and is referred to as caves ouvertes.
Summer in Switzerland
The busiest season in Switzerland is summer. Depending on the region the temperatures get from 18 to 28 °C. The days are long as the sunshine lasts from 6 in the morning to 10 at night.
The tourist areas like Lugano and Lausanne are in high demand and fill up fast. This is why you should book your accommodation as soon as you can. Lake Geneva and Zurich are popular during summer too.
July and August are the most popular months of the summer season. If you want to avoid these peak months and still enjoy the summer in Switzerland we advise that you visit in June.
Even though the weather is nice during summer in Switzerland, it can also rain and the nights can get cool, especially in the north. So pack your suitcase accordingly.
You can hike, cycle, kayak, and enjoy other outdoor sports during this season and enjoy nature.
The capital of extreme sports and activities that release a lot of adrenaline Interlaken is located in Switzerland. Summer is the perfect season to visit.
Bungee-jumping, paragliding, whitewater rafting, propelling down a canyon, and many more are available to adrenaline junkies. Dramatic backdrop depicting beautiful nature is just a cherry on top.
Don’t forget about the city escapes too. Jazz lovers flock to the Montreux Jazz Festival in July. Earlier in the month music spices up the air in Nyon for Paléo, the biggest open-air music festival in the country.
Swiss National day (Bundesfeier) takes place on August 1. This is when every city, town, and village enjoy the fireworks and light bonfires. The country is taken over by the Swiss flags, not even chocolates and bread are spared. The Rhine Falls are especially beautiful at this time of the year as they are lit with different lights.
Fall in Switzerland
The fall everywhere in the world is reserved for harvest. It is the same in Switzerland. Many harvest festivals celebrate bountiful harvest throughout the country.
Most people go back home as August days pass by.
We recommend September for people who love hiking. The conditions during this month are perfect, with the added bonus. The trees start to turn colors offering colorful days and hikes.
If you are into cheese, October is perfect for you. Fondue parties start up when the weather gets colder.
All outdoor activities, such as rafting, cycling, paragliding, are available during fall too.
The only time we would not recommend visiting Switzerland is in early November. The weather is not particularly good and the country is preparing for the upcoming winter season. Some shops, hotels, and attractions may not even be open.
We hope that you enjoyed our guide to when is the best time to visit Switzerland. This amazing country has a lot to offer any time of the year and the best way to experience it is by limousine with your personal chauffeur. We are certain that you will return to it over and over again and enjoy all seasons in Switzerland.