Switzerland is beautiful all year round, but in the autumn it offers the most extraordinary color palette in the mountains, so let us have a look at top 15 places to visit in Switzerland in autumn.
Even though some mountain passes and hiking trails are getting snowed in, you can still visit high mountains and fully enjoy Swiss nature. Just remember that especially September month still has pretty warm temperatures and it does not get very cold in the lower parts of Switzerland up to November.
Autumn is a perfect time to eat some local cuisine: fondue, raclette, and other cheese dishes as you cozy up next to a fireplace in a hut or a hotel.
Switzerland has one of the most beautiful nature transitions from summer to autumn, so you will be able to take many fascinating pictures and make great memories.
Top places to visit in Switzerland in autumn
Visit lovely Bellwald
It is a tiny village sitting at 1560 meters altitude in Valais canton. I discovered this picturesque village just last autumn and was surprised how I did not know anything about it before.
It is a small community of 450 people with jaw-dropping views of the Swiss Alps, great mountain bike rides, a mountain station, and even some skiing slopes. Soon Bellwald should be connected to Fiesch city which is a starting point of one of the biggest skiing resorts in Switzerland – Aletsch Arena. It is going to be a game-changer for this little village.
Bellwald has a very unique wooden old town with dozens of very truly old Swiss houses and you can even visit one of them and see some short movies about the history of this community.
Stroll around the old town, go up the mountains, have some fondue, visit a local ONYA SPA and you are going to have the best possible autumn day.
I have a whole list of activities prepared for you in Bellwald: Top things to do in Bellwald.
Zermatt – in the foots of Matterhorn
Zermatt is one of the most famous locations in Switzerland and probably the most famous Swiss village and skiing resort. It has it all: famous wooden architecture, countless hiking trails, mountain stations, the famous Glacier paradise, and most important of all: Matterhorn mountain. What a spectacle that is.
Once you are in Zermatt, you must visit Glacier paradise as it is the highest mountain station in all of Europe at 3883 meters altitude – you will get amazing views of the glacier, Matterhorn, and even Mont Blanc in France. Over there you will find a restaurant, a museum and many other activities. Fancy some skiing? That is already possible in autumn over there.
In the early autumn, you can still do a majestic hike to the famous Gornergrat – it will take you up to 4 hours, but the views you will get will stay in your memory forever. Check it out right here: Gornergrat hike.
I have as well prepared a list of other activities in Zermatt: Top things to do in Zermatt.
Mount Pilatus – fascinating views
Mount Pilatus is a famous mountain next to Lucerne city and it has a very comfortable mountain station at 2128 meters altitude.
To get there you will need to take a cable car or you can hike it, but the hike will take you 3 hours.
If you want to take a cable car, travel to Kriens and enjoy the ride – it is going to take more than half an hour and on the ride up to the top you can jump out in couple of places where you will find restaurants, playing grounds for kids and some other fun activities.
On the top, you will find a hotel, a restaurant, hiking trails, great places for pictures, and a souvenir shop.
It is autumn and it can get pretty chilly up there and some wind is not a rarity over there, so take a jacket with you.
All information about the trip to Mount Pilatus you will find here: Mount Pilatus guide.
Basel – the city of culture and museums
Basel is the third biggest city in Switzerland and is located right next to France and Germany. Actually, from the city center of Basel, you can get to France and Germany in 5 minutes by car. It is that close. If not the border control, you wouldn’t even notice that you are in a different country
But Basel is not famous for that, Basel is the capital of museums in Switzerland because it has over 40 of them. It is full of culture, art and has a very vibrant lifestyle over there.
I have lived in Basel for 6 years and I love each day over there.
Best activity in autumn? What about a slow stroll next to the Rhein river and visiting a museum which is right on the river banks. I am talking about a famous Tinguely museum where you will find very bizarre, but fascinating moving sculptures. It is one of a kind museum in the world.
Basel as well has a beautiful old town and nice suburbs to do some hiking.
There is a list of top things to do in Basel: Top activities in Basel.
Gstaad – the Swiss Alps luxury resort
Gstaad is one of the most luxurious places in Switzerland and it is a great place to enjoy the mountains with style.
In Gstaad, you are not only going to find Louis Vuitton and Prada shops but as well many exciting hiking trails and even a glacier next to it. Glacier 3000 is a great place to enjoy snow and ice not only in autumn but in summer as well.
Gstaad is surrounded by many other smaller beautiful villages, so you will have many options to explore and spend time over there.
Grindelwald – countless hiking trails
Grindelwald is one of the most famous villages in Switzerland which is situated in the famous Jungfrau region.
Grindelwald is a bustling village all year round, but only in autumn, you will get these beautifully colored larch trees all around you. In autumn you will still find some cows in the fields which makes the place even cozier.
Grindelwald has a lot to offer: countless hiking trails, beautiful restaurants and hotels, cable car rides, mountain stations, and even a glacier. In Grindelwald, to explore it all, you can easily spend a week with your family.
I can offer you such activities:
- Explore Grindelwald hikes – the most fascinating hiking trails in Grindelwald
- Visit Kleine Scheidegg – a beautiful mountain station up in the mountains called Kleine Scheidegg.
- Jungfraujoch – a mountain station sitting at 3463 meters.
- Have fondue – Grindelwald has a place that offers more than 20 Fondue variations called Föhrenstube
- Hike up to Bäregg – you will get very close views of the Grindelwald glacier.
Grindelwald is full of fascinating activities for everyone.
Maloja Pass – open all year round
Even though most of the Swiss mountain passes are getting closed in the autumn because of bad weather – Maloja pass stays open all year round.
Maloja pass is at 1815 meters altitude and connects Engadin valley to the roads which lead to Italy.
Next to Maloja pass, you will find a beautiful village Maloja with a fascinating huge mansion which is sitting right next to the lake Silsersee. That mansion is actually a hotel and it is really worth visiting this historical place: Maloja Palace.
In Maloja you will find countless hiking trails which are great in the fall.
I have a list of activities prepared for you in Maloja: Things to do next to Maloja Pass.
Engadin – the full Swiss fall color palette
Engadin valley is one of the most fascinating and exciting places to visit in Switzerland in the fall as the beauty of nature over there is going to blown your mind.
Engadin valley is a huge area that has some famous locations such as St. Moritz, Samedan, Zouz, Maloja, and so on. It is full of skiing resorts, hiking trails, biking trails, cable cars, and many other activities.
You will spend days discovering it all.
One very great spot to enjoy the colors of the fall is Piz Nair – you can hike up there or simply take a cable car in St. Moritz. The views are to live for.
Soglio – the hidden treasure
Soglio is a beautiful small village sitting on the slopes of the Alps. I am so angry that I do not have better pictures of it as I took them while the shadows were covering the view. But it really looks much better.
Soglio is small, local, ancient, calm, and historical. It has narrow streets and loads of old architecture and do not be surprised if you see a chicken running in the street. It is the countryside.
In Soglio you can visit local restaurants and try some local cuisine.
Not to mention how many hiking options you have.
The list of activities to do in Soglio is right here: Soglio guide.
Mürren – a perfect place for fondue
Oh, lovely Mürren. It was love at first sight for me.
It is such a cozy location in the Jungfrau region with a skiing resort, lovely Swiss houses, and completely jaw-dropping views of the mountains right across the valley.
Mürren is not reachable by car so you can hike up there from Lauterbrunnen or take a cable car to Grütschalp and then take a small little red train to Mürren. This train ride is one of the most beautiful ones in Switzerland. It is short, but the views are getting are splendid. It is fascinating how they put a train up there.
In the fall Mürren is getting much calmer than in summertime and already preparing for the winter season. So in the fall it will be silent and not that many people.
I highly suggest two things: take a hike to another historical village Gimmelwald (the hike back and forth will take about 2 hours) and have fondue in Mürren in the restaurant which has these splendid views of the mountain. It is going to be a full Swiss experience.
The list of activities is right here: Top things to do in Mürren.
Lavaux – the famous Swiss vineyards
Lavaux is probably the most famous Swiss vineyard and one of the most famous in the whole of Europe.
Just think about these numbers: the area of the vineyard is 830 hectares! And it stretches for 30 kilometers! That is exceptional.
And that is not all of it: it is situated right next to the biggest lake in Switzerland: Geneva lake. And just the views you are getting there are one of a kind. Lake, mountain, vineyard.
Lavaux area is strictly controlled and is as well a part of Unesco’s world heritage.
It is going to be one of the most beautiful hikes in your life.
Disentis – a historical city
Disentis has a special place in my heart as I discovered it for the first time in the fall. It was raining, it was cold, it was amazing.
Disentis is a historical city with one of the oldest monasteries in Switzerland. In the city, you are going to find new developments as the skiing activities are growing up there.
Next to Disentis, you will find a very beautiful Lukmanierpass where you will find cows even in the fall. Take a short hike and just enjoy these friendly cows.
Another great activity I have done in Disentis was mushroom picking. You should only do it if you recognize and know the mushrooms, but you can actually find them in the forest next to it. It will not be easy as it is mountains all around, but if you are lucky enough, you will find quite many chanterelles (the season is up to October). And if you are a fan of mushrooms, the soup of chanterelles is going to taste superb.
Wengen – most fun autumn hikes
Wengen is yet another village reachable only by train or on foot. You should take a train in Lauterbrunnen and enjoy the views of Lauterbrunnen valley while riding up to Wengen.
Wengen is a very famous skiing location, so it is full of restaurants, chalets, and fancy hotels.
But the best thing you can do in the fall is hiking. Wengen has very well-prepared hiking routes for everyone: you can do short hikes with your family or long ones on your own. You will not be disappointed.
The list of best hikes is right here: Best Wengen hiking trails.
Schwyz – the special Swiss city
Schwyz is one of the three first cantons to form Switzerland back in the 13th century, so it has a special place in Swiss history.
It is not far from Zürich and is a perfect place to visit in the fall.
Schwyz is surrounded by smaller mountains, so you can still do many hikes even in November.
Schwyz has a small old town and quite a few places to eat and relax.
The whole list of activities in Schwyz you find here: Top things to do in Schwyz.
Brienz – the beautiful lake
Brienz village is situated right next to Brienz lake. Same name, both beautiful.
Brienz village is perfect for an autumn day trip as it still offers sunny weather, but at the same time, you can see more and more white peaks surrounding you.
Brienz village is really well kept and in the streets of it you can see a lot of old architecture, but as well very many renovated old houses which make it so cozy.
Next to the lake, you can have a long stroll on the banks of it or you can take a boat and visit other small villages like Iseltwald.
The list of activities in Brienz you are going to find here: Brienz guide.
Frequently asked questions about Switzerland in autumn
What is Switzerland like in autumn?
Switzerland is a rather warm country in autumn and it really depends where you are. In the big cities, which are not in the mountains, in September the temperature can still get up to 25 degrees, and up to 15 degrees in November. In the mountains, it gets rather cold very fast, especially at night. Do not get surprised if it gets close to 0 in September in Wengen or Soglio – the mountainous locations.
If you travel to Switzerland in autumn, take a jacket, and good shoes and be ready for some colder weather. But September can still be pretty warm in Switzerland
Does Switzerland have autumn?
Is Switzerland still green in October?
Does it snow in Switzerland in October?
Switzerland is a great place to visit in autumn and you will not get disappointed even in a bit colder temperatures.
I really suggest visiting the mountainous areas to enjoy the colors, take a hike and have a cozy dinner in the local restaurant with some local fondue – that is going the best autumn experience for you.
Are you visiting Switzerland in the summer? Check out this list of activities for the summertime: Swiss Alps in the summer.