Planning a summer trip to Switzerland and you’re wondering where you can swim in the country? Then you are definitely in the right place because this guide will tell you about all the best places in Switzerland for swimming!
Even though it’s a landlocked country, Switzerland offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, mostly on its many beautiful lakes. Also, many of the lakes are so popular with vacation goers that they offer a variety of ways to have fun on the water, from paddle boats to beach volleyball courts!
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La Plage de Rivaz
La Plage de Rivaz is a lakeshore swimming area in the town of Rivaz. This is located on the Montreux riviera, along the northern shore of Lake Geneva.
It’s a small pebble beach but it’s really popular with the locals and tourists. Because of that, the beach can often get crowded during peak season, so keep that in mind if you decide to visit the charming town of Rivaz.
The main reason why the beach gets so crowded is that it’s absolutely free. In addition to the pebble beach, it’s also possible to set up towels and chairs on the lawns and still have easy lake access. This beach also boasts a changing room and on-site toilets, so you can truly enjoy the time you spend there without wanting anything.
Lake Cauma is situated near Flims in the Grisons region, and it is one of the most gorgeous lakes in Switzerland. Boasting beautiful turquoise water, this gorgeous lake is one of the top destinations for travelers who want to be away from the most crowded beaches in Switzerland.
Lake Cauma has beaches, loungers for rent, and even a restaurant on the lakeshore, so you don’t need to worry about food and drinks. There’s also a playground for kids near the lake, so even the youngest visitors can have heaps of fun here, even if they aren’t the best swimmers yet.
Admission to the lido is free in the mid-season, but of course, there’s an entrance fee for those who wish to visit in the summer. It’s around 18 CHF for adults and half that for children. You can reserve tickets in advance, which is the smartest thing to do since there is limited availability. Don’t aren’t allowed on the beach.
The Three Ponds
The Three Ponds above St. Gallen are a popular swimming area in northeastern Switzerland. The swimming holes are situated just above St. Gallen, and the area offers fabulous views of the city’s historic town and beautiful Lake Konstanz.
The Three Ponds were built in different stages and for different purposes. Two of the holes were built in the early 17th century for the purposes of water supply for textile bleaching and putting out fires. The third hole was dug out by the residents, who decided they wanted to create a male public bath in the 18th century.
By the late 18th century, the area already had separate ponds for men, women, and children. This is evident even in the names of the ponds, and four of the original five ponds are still present in the area. St. Gallen’s Drei Weieren are still some of the best spots for wild swimming in the country, and what makes them even better is that they’re perfectly suitable for everyone, including families.
Valle Verzasca is one of the most popular Swiss rivers for swimming. This beautiful river is the most popular during the summer season when countless nature lovers can be seen soaking in the sun on its rocky banks. The river swimming areas are popular for the beautiful views of the surrounding mountain peaks, but also for rock jumping opportunities.
It’s important to note that this is a wild river and not a monitored swimming area, so you should be particularly careful if you’re bringing along any small children. There are some shallow areas where the kids can swim safely, but for the most part, it’s best to keep them out of the river because of the strong currents.
This wild swimming area is situated in southern Switzerland, near Lake Maggiore and the border with Italy. If you do visit the river, don’t miss out on a quick tour of the Valle Verzasca dam – it was made famous by the James Bond movie Golden Eye, when Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, jumped from the dam in order to escape his pursuers.
Lauerzersee is a small lake situated near Lake Lucerne. It is best known for the 1806 Goldau landslide, which heavily impacted the lake and created a 20-meter-tall tsunami. This is one of the warmest lakes in the Swiss mountains, which is precisely what makes it such a popular destination for swimming and sunbathing.
That’s also why you will see several beaches along the shores of this lake. Also, certain beaches even have sandy shallow areas, which are absolutely perfect for families with small children who are still learning how to swim.
The lake surroundings also boast bouncy floats, boat rentals, a large playground, and a grassy area for sports. There are entrance fees for the lake beaches in the summer season, but they’re usually very affordable, with special discounts for small children.
Seebad Luzern is a popular swimming area in Lucerne. It’s a wooden deck in the northern area of the lake, and it’s very popular with both locals and tourists. The wooden deck features free loungers, umbrellas, lockers, changing rooms, and access to a bar/restaurant.
The entrance fee is just 6 CHF for adults, which is pretty affordable for this city. The low entrance fee means that the place often gets crowded in the summer, so you’ll want to arrive early if you want to grab one of the free loungers and find some shade on the wooden deck. You have excellent views of famous Lucerne landmarks and the surrounding mountains from the deck, so this is truly one of the best swimming areas at Lake Luzern when it comes to panoramic views.
Seebad Luzern is also popular with kids, thanks to easy water access and shallow areas where the little ones can swim safely. The entrance is cheaper for the kids, but it’s still charged.
Bains des Pâquis
Bains des Pâquis is a public swimming area on Lake Geneva. It’s a good option for families with children because it’s a monitored swimming area, plus you’re staying in a big city with lots of content and all the amenities you could possibly need during your stay.
On the other hand, this is the most popular swimming area in and near Geneva, so it tends to be very crowded in the summer months. If you’re not there early enough, you will likely struggle to find a place to put down a towel, and that’s mostly because of the dirt-cheap entrance fee of only 2 CHF.
Lido di Lugano
Lake Lugano is one of the largest lakes in the country, so it’s not too surprising that it’s a very popular destination for swimming. Lido di Lugano is a sports complex on the lakeshore, situated in the town of Lugano.
The complex features a beach, outdoor pools, sports courts, and on-site restaurants, for a proper beach experience.
Lido di Lugano is one of the most popular beach areas on Lake Lugano, and it can get quite crowded during peak season. But that’s only because it’s such a great place, and for a moment there you might actually forget that you’re not an actual seaside beach.
The entrance fee for the sports complex is 10 CHF for adults, and it’s cheaper for kids and teenagers. It’s worth it though since you’re practically guaranteed your own spot – Lido di Lugano is a very large complex, and even during peak season, it doesn’t get so crowded that you’re bumping elbows with other visitors while chilling on your towel.
Yvonand – Plage des Pins
The Yvonand Plage des Pins beach is one of the many swimming areas at Lake Neuchâtel. What makes this one special is that it’s one of the largest sandy beaches in the country, so it’s perfect for people who love the feeling of soft sand between their toes.
This is a very popular beach on Lake Neuchatel, so it’s no surprise that it often gets crowded, particularly on the summer weekends. The good thing is that the beach is big enough to accommodate the crowds, and even during peak season, it’s not too difficult to find a spot to put down a towel.
There’s a pine forest just behind the beach, where you can escape if the sun gets a bit too strong. Also, there’s a campsite right next to the beach with ample parking space, but it’s not free. Another thing to note about Plage des Pins is that it boasts very little in terms of amenities, so you’d better bring your own food and drinks if you don’t want to get ripped off at the beach kiosks.
Frauenbadi is a women’s-only outdoor swimming pool on Lake Zurich. There are actually two swimming pools in the area – one without a floor for swimmers, and another one with a floor for non-swimmers. In addition to the pools, there’s also a bar on-site, which makes this a pretty popular destination in Zurich during the summer months.
In the summer evenings, Freunbadi is a popular party spot that welcomes both men and women. The place is often rented for private events, so it’s not always open to the public.
The only downside of this fabulous swimming location is that it’s very popular in the summer. It often gets so crowded that you can barely find a place to put down a towel, especially in the afternoon hours. But if you can manage to arrive at Frauenbadi early, you’ll easily find a spot – the entrance is just some 8 CHF, which is pretty cheap for Zurich.