Tourists flock to Switzerland during the warmer months to take advantage of summer travel. Summer in Switzerland is like no other, with crystal blue lakes and rivers, mountain views, crisp air, and bustling cities. If you’re thinking about visiting Switzerland this summer, here’s what you need to know.
Summer is a great time to visit Switzerland. Sun is abundant, hiking trails are open, lakes are warm enough for swimming, and everyone spends their free time outside.
When is Summer in Switzerland?
Although according to the calendar June 1 is the start of summer, astronomically it starts later. In Switzerland, the astronomical summer starts whenever the Summer Solstice hits in the Northern Hemisphere.
Astronomical summer in Switzerland starts on June 21 and lasts until September 20.
Summer Weather in Switzerland
Summer in Switzerland is generally a three-month period from June to August. The sun will be plentiful and it’ll be warm. Rain may fall in the late afternoon on some days after rising air reaches the condensation level and falls as convectional rain.
Here are some average temperatures in Switzerland from June to August.
|Altitude||June (°C)||July (°C)||August (°C)|
|Lugano||273 m||16 to 25 °C||18 to 28 °C||18 to 27 °C|
|Zurich||408 m||13 to 23 °C||15 to 25 °C||15 to 24 °C|
|Interlaken||568 m||12 to 22 °C||14 to 24 °C||13 to 23 °C|
|Zermatt||1,608 m||8 to 19 °C||9 to 21 °C||9 to 20 °C|
|St. Moritz||1,822 m||3 to 16 °C||4 to 19 °C||4 to 18 °C|
Summer Weather in June
The summer weather should be here by June in Ticino and most of Switzerland’s biggest cities. It may still be cool in the morning, but it will be warm in the afternoon.
Some of the higher altitude trails (2,500 meters and up) might still have snow. Most of the normal hiking and biking trails below 2,500 meters will be open. By the end of the month, most mountain passes will be open, too.
Lots of people go to the lakes, rivers, and outdoor pools on hot days. These places are packed with people on the weekends, especially.
Summer Weather in July
The summer weather in July is about the same as it is in June. By now, you should be okay doing higher trails up 2,500 meters. Even the higher mountain resorts, like Zermatt and St. Moritz, will be warm enough in July.
Summer weather is usually nice. There may be a few rainy days every now and then, but it’s still going to be pretty warm.
Summer holidays start in July for most schools. So there’ll be even more people moving and traveling around Switzerland.
Summer Weather in August
Similar to June and July, August will be warm. It’s rare to have cold days in August. During August, with temperate temperatures and longer days, it’s also an awesome time of year to explore Switzerland’s diverse hiking trails and cities.
If you happen to be in town on Swiss National Day (August 1), you will get to see fireworks once the sun goes down.
No matter the altitude, August is a great month for hiking and biking.
Highlights of Summer in Switzerland
- Tour de Suisse – Tour de Suisse is the most important cycling race in Switzerland. The race runs for nine days in the latter half of June. This race is also on the UCI World Tour, the top level of pro cycling.
- Art Basel – Art Basel is a world-recognized, for-profit, privately owned, and managed art fair held every year in Basel, Switzerland.
- Montreux Jazz Festival – In early July, Montreux hosts the Montreux Jazz Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the world. It’s the world’s second-biggest jazz fest, after Canada’s Montreal Jazz Festival.
- Moon and Stars Locarno – The Moon and Stars Festival takes place in Locarno’s Piazza Grande. It’s the biggest festival in the southern Alps and attracts thousands of music lovers from all over.
- Swiss National Holiday – As you can imagine, Swiss National Day is the biggest holiday. It’s on the 1st of August. The legend goes that Wilhelm Tell, a Swiss folk hero, planted the idea of the Swiss Confederation. This event is called the Rütlischwur. It was the night of November 7th, 1307. Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden are the three founding cantons. Every August 1, the Swiss National Holiday, citizens gather on this meadow sitting right above Lake Uri to remember this sworn oath.
What to Wear in Switzerland in Summer
Swiss summers are usually warm. You can wear light cotton T-shirts, shorts, or dresses (for women).
You’d best bring an extra layer if you’re going up to high altitudes. You’ll also benefit from wearing a light jacket if you go to a cave.
Bring a bathing suit too. You might have a chance to go swimming in one of the rivers and lakes.
Summary: Summer in Switzerland
Summertime is the best time for higher hiking trails, especially when it gets too hot in the city. You’ll feel cooler in the woods than if you’re in a city. You can also bike around on the country’s extensive bike trails. The mountain passes will also be open in summer, so this is a good chance for you to drive from one part of the country to another by car, motorcycle, or bicycle.
In Switzerland, you’re never too far from a river or lake. Summer is a great time to swim in one of the many lakes or rivers of Switzerland. Take note that river currents can be strong, so only go into rivers if you’re good at swimming. Swiss lakes, on the other hand, are like giant swimming pools. Alternatively, if you want to swim in a normal swimming pool, the country has plenty of them.
Switzerland is great in the summer. Lots of people spend time outdoors. If you can, we recommend visiting Switzerland in June or late August, when the school summer break doesn’t coincide with the peak tourist season.
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