When it comes to travelling, a lot of us tend to think of Switzerland as the perfect winter wonderland. But while a lot of us think of going there for a snow-filled holiday, did you know there is actually so much to do and see in Switzerland outside of winter?
Don’t miss out on the wonders (and advantages) of visiting Switzerland in the warmer months! Here are 8 reasons that will convince you that Switzerland is definitely a place to go throughout the year and not just in winter 😎
1. Cheaper flights & easier access to accommodation during shoulder months
Let’s face it: any time would be a good time to visit Switzerland 😉 But did you know that Switzerland’s peak tourist seasons are actually during the summer months from July and August as well as during the winter months from late December to February?
The months leading up to these peak seasons (the spring and early summer months of April – June as well as the autumn months of September – October), also know as the shoulder months, tend to have a lower number of tourists. This is great news if you’re looking to save on travel costs because flights and accommodation tend to be easier to obtain and are often cheaper!
Based on our checks, you could save up to SGD300 on flight tickets by going in the shoulder months vs. in winter 😲 (to note: we used a return flight on Singapore Airlines, which has a direct route from Singapore to Zurich as our basis for comparison).
2. Amazing activities you can only do in the warmer months
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Switzerland may be known as a haven for skiers and travellers looking to do snow sports, but the country also has an astonishing amount to offer beyond the snow-related activities!
When you travel to Switzerland in the warmer months, you’ll be able to indulge in one of Switzerland’s biggest pastimes – hiking! A lot of Switzerland’s hiking trails open from late April onwards and offer some of the most spectacular nature walks in the world. There are countless routes available at various difficulty levels so you’ll be able to pick and choose to your liking 😉
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Famous trails include the Eiger trail in Grindelwald (which runs alongside the Eiger, one of Switzerland’s most famous mountains) and the Zermatt Lakes trail (which takes you to Bauherd and passes by beautiful lakes while in view of The Matterhorn, another iconic mountain).
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If you’re looking for something more adrenaline-pumping, Switzerland is also home to a massive adventure sports scene, particularly in Interlaken. You’ll be able to check off bucket-list items such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and paragliding, just to name a few.
Credit: Fräkigaudi am Pilatus on Facebook
And we have to give special mention to Switzerland’s intriguing summer toboggan rides! These slides are available in summer during dry weather and allow travellers to slide down mountains on specially-made toboggan tracks. While there are a few places offering toboggan rides in summer, the Fräkigaudi Rodelbahn that runs down Mount Pilatus is the longest one in Switzerland (at 1,350 meters!). At only CHF8 per ride, it’s an affordable way to have an unforgettable experience!
3. Skip the crowds when exploring the country
As mentioned earlier, Switzerland’s peak season is during the height of summer (July – Aug), with another spike in the winter months (Nov – Jan) as travellers that intend to ski or do other snow-related activities pour in. The shoulder periods (between April – June and September – October) are some of the best times to visit because not only is the weather relatively pleasant (spring/autumn weather), there will be fewer tourists around. This means you’ll be able to explore beautiful towns such as Bern and Lucerne without having to face crowds!
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It also means it will be easier to get seats on cable cars, funiculars (such as the Gelmer Funicular in Bern which is the steepest funicular in Europe) and other attractions 😍
4. Immerse in the splendour of Switzerland’s National Day!
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Switzerland’s National Day happens on 1st August every year during the height of summer and celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederacy. The day is a major national event, with various events held throughout the country leading up to and on the day itself.
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In all of the major cities (such as Bern, Zurich, Geneva and Lugano) there are massive fireworks displays and bonfires as thousands of people celebrate. In the run-up to the day, there are also events held across the country such as parades and musical performances.
#HHWT Tip: Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall located near the town of Schaffhausen has a fireworks display in honour of National Day that happens every year on the 31st of July. This massive show of fireworks and light display is free of charge and attracts thousands of visitors (local & tourists alike), so be sure to check it out!
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And national day events are not limited to the big cities – plenty of the smaller towns and communities hold street parties and have a festive atmosphere in honour of the occasion. It would be the perfect opportunity to mix around with locals and get to know more about Swiss people 😊
5. You’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful displays of nature in full bloom
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Switzerland is known for having some of the most beautiful displays of nature in the world. While winter transforms the country into a snow-filled wonderland that’s amazing to behold, the warmer months let you explore the Swiss landscapes in all their lush glory! Plus the warmer weather means you’ll get to spend more time outside admiring the awe-inspiring views 😊
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Some of the best places to visit to take in the scenery during the warmer months include Lucerne (a town nestled among the mountains and home to the stunning Lake Lucerne), Interlaken (popular resort town that sits in a valley between two lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz) and Lauterbrunnen (a picturesque town amidst the towering mountains of the Alps and home to 72 waterfalls!). [P.S.: Check out these other stunning Swiss towns you have to visit!]
6. See stunning views from Switzerland’s scenic train rides
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Switzerland is home to some of the most scenic train rides in the world. The country has numerous beautiful train routes that run through various cities, and tourists are often spoilt for choice in terms of choosing which to take!
Some of the most famous train rides include the Bernina Express, the Jungfraujoch, and the GoldenPass Line. While many people go on these train rides during winter to witness magical snow-covered landscapes, don’t miss out on taking it in the warmer months and seeing it in a whole new light 😯
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Spring is often considered the best time to go on the train, as this offers the best combination – you’ll get to see the mountain peaks that are still covered in snow, but you’ll also be able to see the lush green valleys with the wildflowers in bloom 😍
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In addition, the trains run more frequently during May – October and unlike winter (in which certain routes are closed), more routes tend to be in operation.
#HHWT Tip: Some of the train rides (such as the Bernina Express) require reservations ahead of time, so be sure to check & plan accordingly! 😊
7. Can get the best of all worlds
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Want to experience Switzerland in the summer but still have that desire to play in the snow or go skiing? Well, you’re in luck! Did you know that there are ski locations in Switzerland that stay open all year round, even in summer? 😮
That’s right! Thanks to the high-altitude mountainous regions within Switzerland, there are towns that stay snow-filled all year round and are frequented for snow sports throughout the year! The most popular one by far is Zermatt, which sits below the famous pyramid-shaped peak of The Matterhorn (one of the highest peaks in the Alps).
So even if you visit Switzerland in the height of summer, you’ll still be able to have access to visiting some of the best ski resorts Switzerland has to offer 😍
8. Immerse in Switzerland’s famous festivals
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Switzerland is famous for its stunning mountains, picturesque towns, and products such as chocolates or luxury watches 😂 But what fewer people may know is that the country is home to some amazing festivals.
These festivals provide a wonderfully immersive experience of Swiss art, food and culture that can’t be beaten! While there are numerous festivals held throughout the year, there are many that happen in the warmer months that can’t be missed.
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Some of the most famous festivals include the Basler Fasnacht (Switzerland’s biggest carnival which happens late February to early March in Basel) where participants dress up in costumes and masks and parade in town with musicians. If you’re into jazz music, the Montreux Jazz Festival (one of the largest jazz festivals in the world) is held in July on the eastern shores of Lake Geneva.
Credit: @festichoc on Instagram
For the foodies out there, you may be interested in checking out Festichoc, an annual chocolate festival held in Versoix (which is a short trip outside of Geneva) in late March/early April. Festichoc is a free event that showcases chocolates from Swiss chocolate artisans and of course where you can purchase all kinds of chocolate!
#HHWT Tip: For Swiss chocolate products, we do advise to check the ingredients beforehand as some may contain alcohol.
So there you have it: Switzerland has so much more to offer other than snow-related activities! Don’t miss out on the full splendour of Switzerland throughout the rest of the year and book that trip to explore it in the warmer months 😊
[P.S: If you need help getting started on planning your Switzerland escape, check out this 7D6N itinerary for inspiration!]