Summer is one of the best time to visit Switzerland as there many more places to go in Switzerland in summer, as snow has melted in the mountains, water is warmer in the rivers, so you can do much more, let us explore top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer.
Summer can get pretty hot in Switzerland, sometimes even up to 40 degrees by Celsius (104°F), so you must prepare yourself to be safe in hot conditions. Even high in the mountains it can pretty hot.
I have prepared a list of top 10 things to do and see in Switzerland, let us dive in.
Visit Swiss mountain passes
Once most of the snow melts in the mountains, I always head to the Swiss mountain passes. There are many beautiful and exciting mountain passes in Switzerland which you can reach by car and have an amazing alpine drive.
Most of the time on a mountain pass you can find a restaurant, a hotel, a chapel, a lake, a museum or even a bunker. And do not forget the hiking trails. If you drive to the mountain pass, you can get very high very fast, so you can start your hike at 2000 meters altitude and much higher if you wish.
I have prepared a list of the best mountain passes in my opinion: most exciting Swiss mountain passes and a fast mountain adventure: Ultimate mountain passes adventure, where you can visit even 4 mountain passes in one day.
You are going to love the exciting alpine drive and the time on the mountain pass while taking hundreds of pictures and breathing in pretty much the most clean air in Europe.
Mountain hiking trails
Switzerland in total has more than 60 000 kilometers of hiking trails, that is pretty much impossible to hike in your lifetime, so you have to choose the most beautiful and suitable hikes for you.
It is quite hard to hike in Switzerland’s mountains in winter till late Spring as it is full of snow. Especially if you wish to hike above 2000 meters altitude, but sometimes even at 1000 m it can be fully snowed in. In winter people go snowshoeing or skiing.
Even in summer time, if you reach the altitude of 3000 meters, you will find snow. For sure.
I have hiked in multiple locations in Switzerland and have prepared a few lists for you, so it will be easier to choose:
and many others, have a look here: hiking in Switzerland, and you will definitely find something for you.
Hut to hut hiking
Hut to hut hiking in Switzerland is an another level adventure.
You would need at least couple of days for this kind of activity, but if you do it right, you are going to love it and it can be the adventure of your lifetime.
Switzerland has many many mountain huts all around in the mountains in exceptional locations. If you explore the map of Switzerland, you would be surprised in what places you can find mountain huts: above lakes, in isolated valleys, in huge forests, on the rocks near glaciers and so on. Switzerland has hundreds of amazing mountain huts, so you can easily do hut to hut trip for couple of days or weeks if you wish.
There are many different huts with different level of comfort: some have separate rooms with full service (dinner, breakfast, hot water, showers) and some even don’t have running water or even electricity. It all depends on you: what kind of adventure you want to have.
Hut prices vary from as low as 20 CHF to 100 CHF or even higher (depending on room, food services, etc).
If you are beginner: I recommend hiking not more than 10 km a day in the mountains.
You can find all the list of my recommendations and tips for such a trip: hut to hut hiking in Switzerland.
Visit Swiss Alps lakes
The big majority of Swiss alps lakes are frozen in winter and even fully covered by snow, so it is hard to see them. And there are many fantastic lakes in Switzerland, believe me. Switzerland doesn’t have access to the sea, but that is no problem in this mountainous country.
There are some very big lakes in Switzerland as lake of Zürich, lake of Geneva, Lago Maggiore, Brienz lake and others, but you can visit them in winter as well, they are not frozen.
I would really recommend visiting lakes much higher in summer.
My favorite ones and my recommendations would be:
Oeschinensee lake: a beautiful big lakes surrounded by huge mountains and rocks. You can even swim in it in summer and meet some beautiful Swiss cows.
Tomasee: a gorgeous lake high in the mountains next to Oberalp pass which you can reach only if you hike to it. It is the beginning of the biggest river in Switzerland – Rhein.
Sils lake: a huge lake next to Maloja pass with a majestic Maloja palace on the shores. You will love the hike around it.
Caumasee: an iconic small blue lake in the middle of the forest next to Flims city.
Bachalpsee: a small Swiss Alps lake above Grindelwald.
Pizol lakes: there’s a very nice hike you can do high in the mountains and visit even 5 lakes at once.
And the list can go and go on, there are many Alp lakes in Switzerland and most of them are indeed breathtaking.
Swim in the Swiss rivers
It is very popular in summer time to swim in the rivers of Switzerland, especially the big ones as Rhein.
If you go to Basel in the middle of summer, you will see literally hundreds of people swimming in the river.
The same happens in Zürich, Bern and other cities.
The summers are so hot, that even such big rivers coming from the mountains get warm.
You just need a bag to put your stuff and clothes in, close it, put it around your shoulders and body, jump into the water and relax. The stream will take you to the old town or some other parts of the cities.
Be aware that different cities have different rules of swimming in a river (you can swim just on one side of the river, you must have a bag which is full of air, you can use alcohol before swimming and so on).
Visit charming Swiss villages
Switzerland has many charming villages in different mountainous locations and summer time is probably the best time to visit them. At least one village should be in your list of Top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer.
You can have a nice hike around the village in the mountains, valleys and forests. Later on you can spend time in a local restaurant or even spend a night in a local hotel.
Some villages haven even some courses like ceramics or blacksmith, so if you wish to learn something new – you can do in the mountains.
Swiss villages literally offers a perfect escape from big city life. Some of them are so isolated that you can even reach them just by gondola or with your own foot.
Some villages are famous skiing and hiking destinations, so you may find more people, but in the evenings there are no big parties and you can just sip your tea and enjoy the view to majestic mountains.
I have prepared a list of 15 most charming villages in Switzerland, have a look and you will definitely find something for you: Most beautiful Swiss villages.
Use gondolas to get to the mountains
Switzerland is full of different gondola rides in the mountains as they are mostly used on skiing season, but you can use most of them in winter as well.
With gondolas you can reach quite a lot of fascinating places up to 3883 meters in altitude. The highest mountain station in Europe is in Switzerland in Zermatt and is called glacier paradise.
But there are many other gondola rides in many cities, villages and valleys.
What is very cool, that gondolas take you very high just in minutes and from there you can do some hiking or just sit in a restaurant on a mountain top and eat your lunch or dinner while enjoying a jaw dropping view.
The gondola rides can be as cheap as 10 CHF or can get quite expensive – 100 CHF and more. But the more you pay, the more high and fascinating the destination is.
You can get to mountain passes, mountain stations, mountain hotels and other mountain locations where you can spend whole day exploring and hiking.
Jungfraujoch is a mountain station at 3446 meters altitude.
You can only reach by train which leaves from Grindelwald, reaches Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass and then the train goes inside the mountain and just then after some time you reach the station.
It is a fascinating and very popular destination in Switzerland with the highest watches and chocolate shops in Europe.
The station is really big with restaurants and I can say that it was pretty much the most exciting places I have eaten fondue in my life.
You can always go to the terrace of the station or go outside, so you can experience the snow even in the middle of summer.
As well Jungfraujoch is popular starting point to get to the peak of Jungfrau which is higher than 4000 meters. But that is only for professionals or with experienced guides.
Visit the vineyards of Switzerland
Switzerland is a very fine producer of wine, so it has plenty of beautiful huge vineyards.
There are quite many places you can find charming vineyards, but most beautiful ones are next to Montreux, by the lake of Geneva lake or next to Biele, next to Biele Lake.
It depends on what you would like to do: you can hike through the vineyards and just enjoy the slow walk or you can do some wine tasting if you wish.
Most of the vineyards are on the slopes of mountains, so they look stunning.
There are plenty of places where you can try different wines witch cheese, meat or other foods to get the full experience.
Just imagine a perfect summer evening strolling in the old vineyards, coming to the old chateau and drinking the wine straight from the vineyard you have just visited. It is the perfect Swiss romance.
Paragliding in Interlaken
Paragliding is very popular in Switzerland and mountains offers a perfect conditions for that, so it definitely gets into the list Top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer.
Probably the capital of paragliding in Switzerland is Interlaken. Paragliding in Interlaken is immensely popular.
If you go to Interlaken in the middle of summer and look up to the sky, you will see as many paragliders as birds in the sky.
If you want to do some paragliding, you can find a local company which will take you from the city center and drive with you up the mountain.
There you will get a short instruction and will get an instructor who will fly with you the whole time.
While you fly, you are going to enjoy the VIP views to the mountains, lakes and valleys. In summer time weather conditions are perfect, so it is not too cold and the whole fly will be a pleasure.
The flight should take you 15-20 minutes.
Afterwards you can explore Interlaken city or go to the mountains in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.
Top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer sum up
There are many different things you can do in Switzerland in summer, but probably the most exciting ones are all in the mountains.
In summer time it is much easier to reach high up places as snow melts and weather conditions are not harsh. In winter it can be extremely cold and windy, but in summer at 2000 meters altitude you can feel perfectly fine.
You can hike or drive up to amazing places with jaw dropping views and spend the whole day, weekend or week in such places while seeing dozens of mountain peaks each day.
Top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer list is prepared for each taste and I am sure you can find something for your own taste.
If you have any questions about Top 10 things to do in Switzerland in summer, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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