Cool Escapes: 7 Ways to Beat the Heat in Switzerland

When summer arrives in Switzerland the scenery can be breathtaking.

But when the temperatures start to rise, you may be looking for a little relief.

Especially since Airconditioning is not really a “thing” in most Swiss hotels or stores.

Here are seven ways to beat the heat when things the temperatures rise in Switzerland!

1. Head To To the Mountains

Higher altitudes tend to be a lot cooler, especially when you can get up above 2000m.

So, if the day looks like it will be baking hot, try to spend the majority of it up high.

Head to any of the stunning mountains:

2. Go Swimming in the Lakes

Switzerland is all about lakes. And if you are in any of the major cities, then chances are there is a lake right in the center of town.

Most of the cities make good use of their lakes with so called “badis” or swimming baths that are actually just part of the lake. So, make sure you enjoy the opportunity to swim in Switzerland’s freshwater lakes!

3. Take a Dip in the Rivers

Upper Letten swimming baths in Zurich

Some cities and towns also have a river running right through the middle and the locals make good use of those two.

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  • Aare River in Bern: Floating down the Aare is a popular activity. The river is clean and the current takes you through beautiful scenery.
  • Rhine River in Basel: Another great spot for a refreshing swim.
  • Zurich also has the Limmat River with two or three swimming areas

4. Dive Deep into Cool Caves

St. Beatus Caves
St. Beatus Caves

With all those mountains everywhere it is no surprise that there are a few caves you can dive into in Switzerland

  • Höllgrotten Caves: Located near Baar, these cool limestone caves provide a natural respite from the heat.
  • St. Beatus Caves: On lake Thun near Interlaken – these caves are cool year-round and offer a fascinating underground world to explore.

5. Enjoy Water Parks

Although not quite as widespread as in other countries, Switzerland has a couple of fun waterparks you can head to on a steaming hot day.

  • Alpamare Water Park: Located in Pfäffikon just down lake Zurich, it’s the largest water park in Switzerland with plenty of slides and pools to cool off.
  • Aquaparc Le Bouveret: Situated on Lake Geneva, it offers indoor and outdoor water attractions for all ages.

6. Stay in Cool Cities

Although it is a lot more challenging to stay cool in the city, if you don’t just in the river or lake, there are still a few options.

  • Lucerne: The proximity to the lake and mountains provides natural cooling, and the city itself has plenty of shaded areas and parks.
  • Geneva: With its numerous parks, tree-lined streets, and lakefront, Geneva offers many spots to stay cool.
  • Zurich: Right along the lake towards Enge is a park with lots of shade and a chance to jump into the lake, too.

7. Grab Yourself Something Cold

Kalte Lust Ice Cream
Kalte Lust Ice Cream, image courtesy of Facebook

Nothing beats the heat like a cold drink or ice cream, and Switzerland has plenty of options when it comes to both.

  • Swiss Ice Cream: Enjoy a variety of local ice creams and gelatos available at shops throughout Switzerland. Here is my list of favorites in Zurich
  • Swiss Beer: Grab yourself one of the well-known beer brands at a tree-covered terrace or park.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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