What Is Spring Like In Switzerland? Here’s What You Need To Know

When I think of a beautiful spring day in Switzerland, I picture a sunny mountaintop overlooking a turquoise lake, the wildflowers in full bloom, and a mild evening to cap it all off. 

Switzerland has four seasons, each with its own unique character – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. So how’s spring in Switzerland? If you’re thinking about visiting Switzerland this spring, here’s what you need to know.

Spring is a great time to visit Switzerland. People swap ski gear for hiking gear, the flowers bloom, and there are delicious seasonal treats. 

When is Spring in Switzerland? 

According to the calendar, spring starts on March 1. Yet in Switzerland, astronomical spring begins at the March Equinox, also known as the Spring Equinox.

As seen from Earth, the Spring Equinox is when the subsolar point leaves the southern hemisphere and crosses the celestial equator. We usually see this between March 19 and March 21. In the Northern Hemisphere, this date also marks the end of astronomical winter.

Spring Weather in Switzerland

Spring in Switzerland is generally a three-month period from March to May. You have mostly cold days during the first half, but you have plenty of sunny days with warm weather in the second half.

Here are some average temperatures in Switzerland from March to May.

AltitudeMarch (°C)April (°C)May (°C)
Lugano273 m5 to 13 °C8 to 17 °C12 to 21 °C
Zurich408 m3 to 11 °C6 to 15 °C10 to 19 °C
Interlaken 568 m1 to 10 °C4 to 14 °C8 to 19 °C
Zermatt1,608 m
-4 to 2 °C-1 to 4 °C3 to 8 °C
St. Moritz 1,822 m-10 to 3 °C-5 to 7 °C0 to 12 °C

Spring Weather in March

Image of Locarno, Ticino, a popular destination during Spring by TouringSwitzerland.com

In March, you can find temperatures as low as -10 °C in St. Moritz and as high as 13 °C in Lugano, Ticino.

Ticino is known for having mild spring weather compared to the cold and snowy mountains of northern Switzerland. This Italian-speaking region in Switzerland is definitely one of the top spring vacation spots for Swiss people because of the warm temperatures and long sunny days.

In March, the rest of Switzerland is still more wintery than Ticino. Ski resorts are winding down this time of year.

Spring Weather in April

April marks the last phase of winter and the beginning of spring.

During April, the weather in Switzerland can be really unpredictable. You can expect a range of temperatures during spring, from cold to mildly cold, sunny and warm to rainy, so it’s kind of like a tense mix. You might see winter come back briefly before it disappears again.

Mid-April is when most ski resorts wrap up the season. However, the spring and summer tourist seasons aren’t quite here. Ski resorts already closed will take a break for employee holidays and maintenance.  

Over the Easter holiday, Switzerland gets a lot of tourists. Although lots of tourist spots will be open, you might find that some shops are closed on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. 

Spring Weather in May

In May, you can expect mild weather. If winter was mild, May can tend to be colder than usual. A cold front can come through mid-May. Sometimes the wind blows Sahara dust into Switzerland.
Other than that, most locals switch to hiking gear. Mountain resorts that closed after winter are slowly opening for summer. Higher places may still have snow, but you can still go hiking at lower altitudes.

Highlights of Spring in Switzerland

Image of Chalandamarz from wikimedia
  • Chalandamarz in Engadine – Chalandamarz is a traditional event in the Engadine villages, celebrated on March 1.
  • Engadin Skimarathon – The Engadin Skimarathon is an annual cross-country skiing race that draws in 14,000 skiers per year. It is one of the major cross-country skiing events in the Alps and runs from Maloja until S-chanf.
  • Sechseläuten – Zurich’s Spring Festival is usually celebrated on the third Monday of April. It consists of a parade of the guilds before they burn a winter effigy called a Böögg. The bogey predicts if summer is going to be good. We’ll have a nice summer if it burns quickly.
  • Easter Events – Most villages will have events prepared for Easter. One such event is the Easter Procession in Mendrisio.
  • Geneva Motor Show – This popular car show in Geneva is typically held in March in the city of Geneva. The show is typically at the Palexpo Convention Center.
  • Geneva Marathon – The Harmony Geneva Marathon is an annual marathon that draws in close to 10,000 runners per year. It is held in Geneva, Switzerland.

What to Wear in Switzerland in Spring

  • March is still quite cold, so you will need a thick enough coat and warm shoes.
  • The weather in April can be unpredictable. However, you’ll need a cardigan, jacket, or coat for bad weather, windy days, and when you’re planning on going out at night. 
  • May has pleasant weather. You can probably get away with a long-sleeved T-shirt and cardigan. You might need a thicker jacket in case you want to go to higher altitudes.

Summary: Spring in Switzerland

Image of Parco Ciani Garden. Credits: Wikimedia

During spring, we love hiking trails that lead to waterfalls or gorges. They’re so beautiful when the snow melts or when it rains. Gardens are also a big hit, as are flower trails on mountains. Spring is also a great time to visit cities since you won’t have to worry if the cable cars are running.

Switzerland is gorgeous in the spring, especially when the flowers bloom. We highly recommend planning a trip to Switzerland during this time.