When is the Best Time to Visit Switzerland?
The best time to visit Switzerland depends on whether you're after a summer or winter vacation.
Spring and summer is a great time to be outdoors, exploring the countryside and take to the country's many hiking trails. Winter is a magical time, with snowy mountains and towns and villages that are full of charm.
With varying altitudes across Switzerland, even the summer months can be cool in some parts. In autumn - from September to November - the trees start to change colour and make for some beautifully picturesque countryside vistas.
These days, you aren’t guaranteed snow in the winter months, especially in lower lying areas, but you will still find plenty of skiing and winter activities in the higher altitudes. If you’re planning on visiting some of the more remote areas, be aware that some hotels in smaller, quieter towns may close over the period between summer and the beginning of the snowy season.
Best time for...
A city break
If you’re planning on spending time in some of Switzerland’s larger towns and cities - such as Bern, Basel, Zurich and Geneva - then no matter what time of year you visit, you’re bound to have a memorable trip. There are museums and galleries, chocolate classes to take part in, and watchmaking studios to visit. Most cities have pretty, festive markets in December though, so a winter holiday could add that extra sparkle to your experience.
Exploring the countryside
Make the most of everything the countryside has to offer by visiting towards the end of spring and through summer (April to early September). As the weather starts to warm up, the snow melts, the countryside becomes green again and all the wildflowers start to bloom. At this time of year, the farmers also start bringing their animals up to the pastures for the summer. We can arrange a visit to a traditional shepherd hut in Gstaad, or you could spend your days hiking and participating in water sports on the lakes.
Switzerland’s summer runs from June to August and this is the best time of year to make the most of the beautiful hiking and walking trails. In fact, from mid spring onwards is when the wildflowers start to blossom, and the mountain tops are still dusted with snow, making for very pretty scenes. You may spot mountain goats along the way.
The ski season in the Alps runs from December to April, and you’ll find the slopes blanketed in snow and the skies often bright and clear. The Christmas season and February are the busier times, so if you want a little more space to yourself try to avoid those months.
Festivals and celebrations
Jazz lovers will definitely want to plan their visit so that they can be in town for the popular Montreux Jazz Festival which is held every July. Settle in beside the lake and enjoy music by old favourites and emerging artists.
Then on 1 August, the whole country celebrates national Swiss Day. Expect vibrant community parties and fireworks.