Best Time To Visit Switzerland (Weather & Seasons)

best time to visit switzerland
Last updated: May 31st, 2023

Switzerland is a stunning place to visit. Between the mountain peaks of the Swiss Alps, valleys, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful cities, it is hard to beat and is certainly a place everyone should see at some point in their lives.

But, when is the best time to visit Switzerland? The weather will certainly make a massive difference to your stay and the things you can do while you’re there. Things like winter sports in the Alps are not really available in the height of summer, but high-altitude hiking is, for example.

Join me as I run through everything you need to know in order to decide when the best time to visit Switzerland is for you.

Spring (April to June) – Shoulder Season

Lucerne in Spring
Lucerne in Spring

Spring in Switzerland is a delightful time to visit as the weather is not too hot or too cold, nor is it too wet or dry either.

Known as shoulder season, this is also when Switzerland is not overcome with tourists and is, therefore, a little quieter and more peaceful than visiting in the high season.

Between April and June, the countryside will still be lush, there will be snow on the peaks, and you will get to see all the wildflowers in bloom too.

Hiking trails up to 2000 meters above sea level will be open, the mountains will be free of skiers, plus both hotels and flights will be more affordable too.

It is warm enough to swim in the lower alpine lakes and enjoy watersports, but also cool enough to get a good night’s sleep.


Temperatures range on average from 59°F in April, to 68°F in May, and up to 70°F in June. It is not cold by any means but if you prefer warmer weather, June is going to be your favorite month to visit Switzerland in the shoulder season.


April and May can be a bit wet and May actually sees the most rainfall during shoulder season. June will have sunny skies and very little rainfall, making June the best month to visit during shoulder season again.

Reasons to Visit

  • More affordable flights and accommodation
  • Fewer tourists around
  • Wildflowers in bloom
  • Hiking trails open up
  • Ideal weather
  • Snow-capped peaks
  • Lush countryside
  • Ideal for a countryside train experience

Travel Tips

  • Pack warm and cold clothes
  • Pack so you can stay dry if needed
  • Always have sunscreen and a hat with you
  • Go to the mountains as it is the most affordable time
  • It is the perfect time for scenic train rides

Summer (July to August) – High Season

Iseltwald in Summer
Iseltwald in Summer

This time of the year coincides with the school holidays in July and August is why we call it the busy summer months. It is one of the busiest times in Switzerland and all the popular tourist destinations are crawling with people. And it’s no wonder, these months usually have the best weather too.

The weather is pretty much blue skies and hot sun all day long. This warms up the lakes for swimming and watersports, opens up all the high-altitude hiking trails, and lots of fun festivals take place like the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Zurich Street Parade and Swiss National Day too.

It is a fun time to be in Switzerland as it is alive but it will be a lot busier and prices can be as high as 50% more for both flights and accommodation. Mountain resorts become particularly busy during this time.


Average temperatures range from 75 °F in July to 73 °F in August, the weather does just stay consistently hot over the high season months of July and August.


You will generally be blessed with sunny days and blue skies through July and August in the lower altitude areas of Switzerland, such as around Lake Geneva. Higher altitudes may experience more cloud cover and the odd rain shower.

Reasons to Visit

  • Guaranteed warm weather
  • Access to high-altitude hiking trails
  • Ideal for water sports and mountain sports
  • Switzerland is alive with people
  • A lot of fun festivals to go to
  • Great for lakeside chilling

Travel Tips

  • Book flights & accommodation well in advance as they are very busy during this time of year
  • Pack for hot weather plus a few items for warmth and to keep you dry
  • Do not forget swimwear, sunscreen, hats, or sunglasses

Autumn (September to October) – Shoulder Season

Bern in Autumn
Bern in Autumn

Autumn in Switzerland is a magical time of year and it occurs in the other shoulder season, September to October.

During early Fall, the weather is still warm, there are fewer crowds, prices of flights and accommodation are lower, and it is generally a lot more peaceful.

It is still warm enough to swim in the lakes and access high mountain trails and you also get to see the beautiful autumn colors coming into bloom around the mountains. It is alpine scenery at its best and it is a wonderful time to go on an alpine train ride like the glacier express.

This is also the time of year when the grapes are being harvested and you can experience the festivals that go along with it.


Average temperatures are about 68 °F in September and drop quite dramatically to 57 °F in October. This makes September a better time to visit for warmer activities but it is in October that you really see the autumn colors come to life.


Generally, the weather in both high and lower altitudes is warm and dry during September, but it is starting to turn a bit colder at higher altitudes by the end.

October in low altitudes is lovely but high altitudes will start to get snow, passes and trails me be blocked, and cable cars will close for maintenance for a few weeks

Reasons to Visit

  • More affordable flights and accommodation
  • Fewer tourists around
  • Good weather
  • Autumn colors
  • Spaces on experiences like the Glacier Express
  • Great hiking access
  • Still warm for water sports & adventure sports

Travel Tips

  • Pack for warm/cold/wet/dry weather
  • Get up into the mountains to see the Autumn colors
  • Book last minute and you might get a deal

Winter (November to March) – High & Low Season

Chemin de Plénadzeu in Winter
Chemin de Plénadzeu in Winter

Winter season is high-season in Switzerland for the ski resorts and low-season for the rest of Switzerland.

The snowfall begins at higher altitude resorts in November and hits all resorts by about mid-December and runs through to late March. Christmas is the busiest time for winter sports enthusiasts, as people come to ski and have a white Christmas as well as see the Christmas markets.

Prices in Winter in the ski areas skyrocket while prices in lower altitudes drop to low season rates. It is a great time to experience Switzerland for a bargain as you can visit cities like Geneva and Zurich, pop into Christmas markets for some festive cheer, and hop up into the mountains for a hike in the snow.


The average temperature during this time in Switzerland varies from 36 °F to 45 °F, close to freezing. It is of course a lot colder at higher altitudes.


Snow, rain, wind, sunshine, and cold are everything you might experience in winter.

Reasons to Visit

  • Awesome for winter sports
  • The snow-covered alps are stunning
  • Christmas markets
  • More affordable flights & accommodation (not in ski areas)
  • Winter hikes are beautiful

Travel Tips

  • Waterproof boots are a must
  • Warmth is all about layering
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must
  • Christmas markets are worth a visit
  • Zermatt and the Valais region are stunning

Best Month to Visit Switzerland

Lake Biel
Lake Biel

The best month to visit Switzerland, in my personal opinion is in September. It is quieter, more affordable, the weather is great, and all the high-altitude hiking trails are still open plus it is also warm enough to enjoy all the water sports around the lower-altitude lakes.

June also offers the same benefits as September, but you might get a chance to see some autumn colors in September, which is why September is best in my eyes.

Cheapest Month to Visit Switzerland

There is not one single cheapest month for visiting Switzerland, there are 3. November, March, and April are the most affordable times to visit Switzerland.

This is when the weather isn’t so great at high or low altitudes making the demand low and the prices too.

Best Time to Visit the Alps

Engelberg, Switzerland
Engelberg, Switzerland

If you are looking to do snow sports, then you have to go during the ski season. The best snow is usually between December and the end of March, but if you want quiet slopes, choose the second week of March or the first 2 weeks of January.

If you want to hike around the Alps, in June and September, either side of the peak season is your best bet. You will miss the summer crowds but still have good weather, and access to high-altitude trails.

Best Time to Visit for Honeymoon

The best time to visit for a honeymoon depends entirely on what you would like to do on your honeymoon, there are many reasons to visit Switzerland after all.

If it is snow and skiing you want, the first week of March is your best bet. For great weather and outdoor activities May, June, and September are great, plus the romantic Autumn colors of October are also lovely.

Best Time to Visit for Hiking

May and June, as well as September and early October are the best times to be visiting Switzerland for hiking. The higher altitude trails will begin to open, May & June has beautiful wildflowers while September & October has stunning autumn colors and more of the higher trails are definitely open.

If you want to do high-altitude hiking outside of the high season, late June and early September will give you the best access.

How Many Days in Switzerland Is Enough?

A street in Switzerland
A street in Switzerland

How many days is enough to spend in Switzerland? The answer to this comes down to what you would like to do again. For a dash of city life and some mountains, 5 days is ideal – 2 in the cities and 3 in the mountains.

So, When Is the Best Time to Visit Switzerland?

The best time to visit Switzerland is a very personal choice as it totally depends on what you would like to experience.

The best time to ski is the first week of March in my eyes as the snow is good and the slopes are quieter.

For a warmer experience with outdoor activities, June and September are hard to beat. The weather is excellent, prices are lower, there are fewer crowds, and the countryside is still looking stunning.

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