Switzerland really invests a lot of money in the sports and you can find sport facilities all around, in Basel I know at least 3 big stadiums and many more smaller football stadiums where you can play football, tennis, you can find a running track there and so much more, so what are the most popular sports in Switzerland?

Skiing in Switzerland

This is one of the best locations because of the top skiing destination that it provides and usually, numerous tournaments are held in the Swiss Alps all year long (there are some skiing tracks which are open all year round), but Switzerland is not all about skiing: Switzerland has a very strong football national team, ice hockey team, they have Roger Federer (even though he is already retired) and so much more. You can see a lot of people playing volleyball, running in the cities and a lot of other activities.

When it comes to sports, the Swiss have advanced in different sporting areas because they are known to play different sports such as modern European sports as well as those in the ancient that was played by the locals. Switzerland is home to some of the many international headquarters such as the World Trade Organization and WHO, as well as FIFA.

It is important to note that Switzerland has numerous sporting facilities that will allow you to enjoy the different sports that are being played in the country (stadiums, ice hockey rings, running tracks, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc). It is one of the most developed countries and therefore the highest social welfare for adults in any country in the world. The country has numerous sports that you are going to explore the different parts of the state and enjoy the sports that are available in the area.

Popular sports in Switzerland

Switzerland is a major sporting location in the world and the climate in this country features a climate which varies according to the region, you can find snow all year round in the mountains, and pretty warm weather all year round in Ticino (perfect for biking even in winter) or other cantons. It is important to note that some of the summers are usually warm and humid at times. Depending on the region that you are going to visit, Switzerland presents a unique opportunity to explore the different sporting facilities in the country. Here are some of the common sports that are being played in Switzerland.

Soccer

It is one of the major sports that is played in Switzerland. Switzerland is a popular footballing location because of the country’s facilities as well as the tournaments that the country participates in the World Cup for different seasons and currently participating in the European Championships, it is important to note that the country continues to grow in terms of football and there is a domestic league that features numerous Swiss clubs. The most famous are:

FC Basel, which is arguably the most successful club in Switzerland. The logo you see above, is actually FC Basel logo. Founded way back in 1893, FC Basel has won a record total of 20 national championships and reached the UEFA Europa League’s semifinals several times. The club’s home stadium, St. Jakob-Park, is one of the most modern and spectacular arenas in Europe, with a capacity of over 38,000 seats.

Another top-notch football team in Switzerland is BSC Young Boys, commonly known as YB. Founded in 1898, YB has consistently been one of Switzerland’s most successful football clubs, punching above its weight at the European level. YB secured its first-ever Swiss Super League title in the 2017-18 season after a 32-year drought, and they have since added two more titles to their trophy cabinet.

Grasshopper Club Zurich, known as GCZ, is another famous football team in Switzerland. Founded in 1886, GCZ has a long and illustrious history, having won dozens of national championships and several Swiss Cups. The club’s home stadium, Letzigrund, can host up to 25,000 fans, and it is well-known for its festive and electric match-day atmosphere.

Lastly, FC Zurich, founded in 1896, is one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in Switzerland. The team has won several Swiss Cup trophies and three national championship titles, with the most recent triumph occurring in the 2008-09 season. FC Zurich’s stadium, Letzigrund, shares the same stadium name with GCZ, and the two teams share an intense local rivalry.

Numerous sporting personalities from Switzerland play for major football clubs across Europe from the likes including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Arsenal among others. 

You can as well enjoy some of the football matches during the qualifications of the European Championships as well as the World Cup.

Once you visit Switzerland, you will be able to see a lot of football stadiums even in small villages or outside cities in the nature. Football is really really popular in Switzerland and a lot of children choose it as their hobby.

Skiing

Skiing in winter
Skiing in winter

Switzerland is a top skiing destination in the world.  It’s known for its spectacular mountains, ski resorts, lakes and forests. Skiing is a popular pastime in Switzerland and it offers an unforgettable experience. There are several skiing areas around the country including Gstaad, Zermatt, Verbier and Les Diablerets that offer great slopes and experiences for visitors: you can find many snow parks and other activities if you like to do tricks and do some jumping, but if you are only a beginner – each ski resort has slopes for you to learn and enjoy the fresh snow. 

Switzerland has the biggest density of skiing resorts in Switzerland, you can reach at least one skiing resort in one hour or two from pretty much everywhere in Switzerland.

I live in Basel (one of the most flat regions in Switzerland) and I can reach a huge skiing resort in Grindelwald in 2 hours.

Skiing is big and people all around the world gather in winter in Switzerland and enjoy the life of their time.

Switzerland as well have very strong skiers and always take top positions in winter olympics.

From men to women, these Swiss athletes have left an indelible mark on the sport, bringing recognition to their country and inspiring aspiring skiers around the world.

The first name that comes to mind when we think of Swiss skiing royalty is Pirmin Zurbriggen. This Swiss Alpine ski racer was not only one of the most successful skiers in history, but also one of the most versatile athletes in skiing. He won a total of five Olympic and World Championship titles, and amassed a total of 40 World Cup victories in his career.

Another Swiss skiing legend is Vreni Schneider. She is known for her agility and technical skills on the slopes, and her medals tally attests to this fact. She has won seven Olympic and World Championship gold medals, and a staggering 55 World Cup races, making her one of the most successful female skiers of all time.

One of the current Swiss skiing superstars is Lara Gut-Behrami. She has consistently performed well in various skiing events, including downhill, super-G, and giant slalom, winning a gold medal in the 2016 World Championship. She also won the overall World Cup title for the 2015-2016 season.

Lastly, we have Daniel Yule, the Swiss slalom specialist. He has proven to be an incredible asset to the Swiss skiing team, known for his technical abilities on the slope. Yule was able to secure the slalom crystal globe in the 2018-2019 season, and continues to compete in the World Cup circuit.

Ice hockey

Ice hockey is an immensely popular sport in Switzerland. Passion and love for the game is evident in the Swiss community. The country is known for its breathtaking natural beauty but ice hockey has also become a vital part of Swiss culture. Switzerland has produced an impressive number of world-class players who have left their mark on the game. In this article, we will explore the reasons why ice hockey has become such a beloved and popular sport in Switzerland.

First and foremost, one reason that ice hockey is so popular in Switzerland is the country’s long and storied hockey history. The first ice hockey game in Switzerland was played in 1905 between the cities of Zurich and Lausanne. Ever since, the sport has been attracting more and more players and fans. Over the years, Swiss teams have become increasingly competitive and are now regularly ranked among the top teams in the world. The annual Spengler Cup tournament, held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, is one of the oldest and most prestigious ice hockey tournaments in the world, attracting teams from North America, Europe, and Asia.

Secondly, Switzerland has a cold climate, which is ideal for playing ice hockey. The country’s mountains are covered with snow for most of the year, which creates perfect conditions for outdoor ice rinks and for the popular Swiss sport of “Eisstock”, which is played on frozen lakes. Switzerland also has numerous indoor rinks, which provide an excellent training ground for aspiring hockey players. The Swiss ice hockey federation invests heavily in its youth programs, ensuring that the country has a continuous pipeline of talented young players.

Another reason why ice hockey is so popular in Switzerland is the passionate and enthusiastic fan base. Swiss ice hockey games are always sold out, with fans cheering on their favorite teams with all their might. Ice hockey has become a social event in Swiss culture, with families and friends gathering to support their local teams. The intensity and passion shown by Swiss fans have made ice hockey games an unforgettable experience for both locals and tourists.

Cross country skiing

Maloja pass cross country skiing
Maloja pass cross country skiing

Cross country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, has been a popular winter sport in Switzerland for decades. There are several reasons why this sport has gained a great deal of popularity in the country.

Switzerland has a long tradition of winter sports, with cross country skiing being one of them. Secondly, Switzerland boasts a beautiful landscape, with vast snow-covered mountains and forests, making it an ideal terrain for cross country skiing.

Moreover, cross country skiing is affordable and accessible. The sport can be practiced in many regions of Switzerland, from the Jura Mountains to the Alps. It is also suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, making it a popular activity for families and individuals. Additionally, cross country skiing is an excellent cardiovascular workout that helps to burn calories, increase endurance, and promote overall well-being.

Switzerland is home to several cross country skiing destinations and events such as the Engadin Skimarathon, the largest cross country skiing race in Switzerland, and the renowned La Diagonela, a 65km race held in the Engadin region. These events attract some of the most skilled and passionate skiers from all over the world, further cementing Switzerland’s reputation as a cross country skiing paradise.

In the picture above you see one of the hundreds of cross country skiing tracks prepared for everyone around Switzerland, I took this picture in Maloja.

Cycling

Cycling has been a new track and especially in Switzerland because of the different sports personnel that come from the country. They are different people who cycle especially in the Tour de France and which is one of the best destinations for cycling in Europe.

There are famous cyclists to of participating in different events across Europe as well as the World Championships. It is important to know that Switzerland participates in different World championships in cycling.

Since the country is mostly focused on green energy and they have bicycles all over and people have embraced cycling as an activity as well as a sport.

If you visit the Alps in summer, you are going to see a lot of bikers all around – it is a very popular activity going up the mountain passes with a bike and then slowly sliding down. It is going to be extremely hard to go up, but the views are worth it.

Maybe city biking in Switzerland is not as popular as in Netherlands, but you are going to see thousands of bikes in each city in Switzerland. It is very common to use your bike as a transport to work, shops and more and more people give up cars and use only bikes.

Tennis

Perhaps Switzerland is famous for producing some of the iconic tennis champions in the world. While this might not be the most popular sport in the country, it has continued to gain traction and many people continue to love it because of the world change champions that the country has produced. Roger Federer a world champion comes from this country.

Continue to grow the sport and the country because the young people embrace them and love the sport immensely. Tennis continues to grow in different parts of the country, especially in high schools as well as in colleges, and this has increased the number of people that are playing the sport. In addition to this, many people follow the sport correctly because of their love of the different sports personalities that participate in different tournaments in the country.

Traditional wrestling – Schwingen

Traditional wrestling is one of the sports that is famous in Switzerland. It is called schwingen. 

Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling, is a traditional form of folk wrestling that originated in Switzerland and has been practiced for over 600 years. It is a physical and technical discipline that involves two competitors trying to throw each other onto their backs.

One of the unique features of schwingen is the use of a special wrestling shirt, called a “schwingerhemd,” made of thick cotton and reinforced with long-lasting fabric patches. The wrestlers wear this shirt inside their pants and use it to grip onto their opponent’s shirt while trying to throw them off balance.

Schwingen tournaments are held all over Switzerland, and the winners receive prizes that range from cash to livestock. There are also leagues and clubs dedicated solely to schwingen, and it is recognized as a national sport in Switzerland.

Lacrosse

This is another sport that has given you dictation in Switzerland. Switzerland is one of the most successful mountaineering countries in history. The Swiss national team qualified for the World Lacrosse Championships in 2010 as well as in 2018. It is important to note that there numerous people who are continuing to create awareness of lacrosse as a sport in the country.

The number of people who continue to play this sport continues to rise as awareness continues to grow in different parts of the country. It is important to know that since the players participate in different World Championships, the people in the country are becoming better fans of this sport.

Hiking

Swiss Alps
Swiss Alps

Even though it is not a professional sport, hiking is extremely popular in Switzerland.

Switzerland has more than 60 000 kilometers of hiking routes and is pretty much impossible to try them all in 10 lifetimes. 

You can hike high up in the Alps in Graub√ľnden, Vaud and Glarus or in the meadows next to Basel, Schaffhausen, or Aaargau.

There are so many mountain lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks, via ferratas, mountain rivers, valleys that you will never be bored and will look forward to your next hiking adventure. 

The fascination of Swiss nature never stops. I have lived here more than 7 years now, I hike as much as I can and I still find places I have never seen, visited or even knew about.

Conclusion

In Switzerland pretty much everyone will find something they like.

In the mountains you can do countless activities from hiking to mountaineering, from kayaking to river rafting. Not even talking about winter activities like snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing.

If you like the thrill of team sports – visit football or ice hockey match. It is very competitive in Switzerland.

As I said, there is something for everybody.