One of the most important considerations when planning your vacation to Switzerland is the season and the month to visit Switzerland. Switzerland is well-known for its breathtaking views, world-class ski resorts and wonderful mountain lakes. In this blog, we will inform you about the best time to visit Switzerland. Let’s dive right into it.
What is the best season to visit Switzerland?
The best season to visit Switzerland really depends on the purpose of your visit. If you are going with the purpose to ski, then winter is the best season to visit Switzerland. For hiking, summer is the best season to visit Switzerland. Mainly because the mountains are accessible and the weather on the mountains while hiking is pleasant. If you are visiting Switzerland for all sorts of activities then the months between April and June are most favourable.
What is the best month to visit Switzerland for hiking?
If you go hiking in the mountains, the months later in this period are perfect. In the months of June and July, you will experience enjoyable temperatures. It can even get pretty warm during Summer in Switzerland. The temperature later in this period varies between 14 and 23 degrees, which are perfect temperatures for sightseeing and hiking!
In which month is the weather the most unpredictable?
If we take a look at the most fickle month then May is the month with the most unpredictable weather. Temperatures can be high, but in the evenings it can get colder on rainy days. An advantage of visiting Switzerland in may is the fact that Summer tourists won’t arrive until July. Secondly, all winter tourists already went home, you will get way more privacy and peacefulness. Financially May is also more pleasant as flight tickets are available at a lower cost and accommodations are significantly cheaper.
Best Season to visit Switzerland?
Spring from 21 March to 20 of June
During Spring the stunning Swiss Alpine flowers are in full bloom and are one of the prettiest sights you can see in the Alps mountain range. The best time to enjoy the Alpine flowers of Switzerland is during spring. During this period bright blossoms will surround you in the meadows and high rocky ground of the majestic Alps. During spring you can still find snow in the higher elevated resorts.
The temperatures approximately reach up to 12 degrees Celsius with lots of sunshine. These months are particularly perfect for hiking through the beautiful flourishing nature while enjoying the peaceful surroundings. During spring you will get 11 hours of daylight in the month of March, perfect to enjoy a full day of sightseeing, or a day of adventure in the alps!
In March, temperatures are already rising, you will start to see more hikers than skiers in the Swiss alps.. we do advise you to take waterproof clothing with you while going up in the mountains in April. The weather is changing rapidly. When visiting Switzerland in May it’s good to notice that May is the rainiest month of the year. May has approximately 17-19 days of precipitation.
Summer from 21 June to 20 September
The summer season starts on the 21st of June. The mountain cable cars open again. We would love to advise you to visit Switzerland in June if you are planning on taking it to the hiking trails. Most of the hikers do arrive during the months of July and August because then most of the people have a holiday.
June is a pretty quiet month. You won’t encounter many hundreds of other explorers along the way. Good to notice is that in the month of June, at high altitudes there could still be snow at some trails. Popular hiking trails at lake Lucerne and Canton Valais most of the time experience pleasant temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius and lots of suns.
If we take a look at the weather during Summer, the weather in Switzerland during summer is very unpredictable, some summers are very rainy, and others have many days with full sun. July and August are the most crowded, and prices are significantly higher for flights but also for accommodations.
We would recommend the month of August for a swim in a beautiful lake, hiking in high altitudes is very pleasant as well during the month of August, because higher up in the mountain the temperatures are lower than in the lower altitude valleys. If you’d like to learn more about the top 10 places to visit in Switzerland during Summer, read our blog about it.
Fall from 21 September to 20 December
In the months of September and October, Switzerland is changing its colour. Fog sets in, not many rainy days and the leaves of trees are changing colours. During these months a hike in the mountain is beautiful. We advise you to not wait too long in the season if you’re planning to go hiking in the mountains.
In November, temperatures are decreasing to single digits in the daytime, and at night it can be freezing a bit. Mostly you won’t see much rain in November but there is a chance you will experience some snowfall. We would advise you to bring some waterproof boots and a slightly thicker jacket with you.
Winter from 21 December to 20 March
When winter starts Switzerland is turning into a magical fairytale. Ski resorts are open and many tourists are travelling to the Swiss alps to enjoy fresh snow and well-prepared slopes. The ski resorts open in December and close approximately at end of march. If you go skiing or snowboarding we would advise you to visit Switzerland in January or February, these months are the best months for snow sports. During these months the snowfall is the most reliable.
Good to be mentioned is the fact that prices do rise significantly during the winter season. Prices to stay in accommodations rise rapidly and especially near famous mountain resorts such as Zermatt or St. Moritz. During the Christmas holidays, prices in cities do rise as many tourists spend their holidays surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains.
During the winter season, the climate in Switzerland is relatively unpredictable, temperatures are mostly just above or below zero degrees Celsius in the months of December and January. In December, snow, sleet or rain can appear around 16 days of the month of December. January will have a little bit of snow in the country. The sunlight hours expand in February. The temperatures rise to 6 degrees Celsius during the day, which is warmer than the temperature in December and January.
The best month to visit Switzerland?
What is the best month for winter-sport lovers?
Snow sport lovers should head towards Switzerland in the winter high season. The months of January and February are perfect for skiing, not only for skiing if you want to experience the beautiful scenery of Switzerland these months are great too. Unfortunately, the winter season also means that a lot of hiking trails are closed. It is more common to be wet and dark and many tourist attractions are not open or are on a reduced schedule.
What is the best month for non-snow activities, for outdoor activities
If we take a look at activities which don’t particularly need snow, September or October are the best time to visit Switzerland for outdoor activities. Mountain trails offer snow in October. The valleys offer great hiking trails in September and October, trees are changing colours, and hiking trails aren’t really crowdy during these months.
Good to be mentioned is the fact that temperatures aren’t really high during these months. The temperature is approximately 7-10 degrees Celsius at night, meaning more layers are your best friend in the evening. Also much rainy days appear during these months.
What is the most budget-friendly month to visit Switzerland?
Financially it is interesting to mention that the first half of October is seen as shoulder season, and the second half of October is considered as low-season. This is a good time for budget-friendly flight tickets and cheaper accommodations.
The best time to visit the Swiss Alps
A famous mountain in Switzerland is the Matterhorn. The beautiful wildflowers in the Swiss alps are wonderful to experience. You might expect that the best time to visit the Swiss alps is when they are snow-capped mountains, but actually, the best time to visit the Swiss alps is from June until October. During these months it doesn’t rain much, the weather is comfortable and nature is flourishing everywhere you look.
What is the best month to visit Switzerland for hiking and mountain biking?
If you go to Switzerland for hiking or mountain biking this is the time to go! We would advise you to visit Switzerland outside the months of July and August, these months are quite busy, many tourists are coming these months to visit Switzerland. The Swiss Cable Cars are usually open from July until September. We advise you to check if the cable cars already run if you’re visiting outside of these months, as the cable cars are the way of transport to get to the higher trails. The opening times of the cable cars vary year to year because the snowfall is unpredictable.
The temperatures these months are very enjoyable and comfortable, the high twenties are reached and tons of sun are experienced these months. Although this sounds like shorts and t-shirts are the way to go, the weather is still pretty unpredictable and we would advise you to bring some extra layers with you, for the colder evenings. Good to notice is that the higher you’re up on the mountains the temperature drops rapidly and when the sun goes down, temperatures do decrease fast.
What is the best time to ski in Switzerland?
When the snow starts falling, Switzerland is getting even more beautiful and magical. In November winter sports season starts and lasts until mid-march.. The best time to ski is in January and February, these are the busiest months on the slopes. Snow is the best these months. In February the ski resorts are getting really busy due to all the European children having school holidays, noticeable is the fact that during these periods ski resorts require that you stay for at least seven days.
These months also bring the highest flight tickets and the highest prices to stay in an accommodation does rise significantly. As many people want to ski in Switzerland we would advise making reservations months in advance of your stay due to the many tourists who would love to visit beautiful Switzerland.
What to wear when visiting Switzerland?
Your bags are packed differently during the four seasons of the year. We wrote blogs about what to wear when visiting Switzerland during the different seasons. We highly recommend checking them out here.
All in all, we can conclude that Switzerland can be visited all year long. But depending on the purpose of your visit to Switzerland there are some more preferable times to visit Switzerland. January and February are excellent for ski activities. October is a great month to experience autumn in Switzerland.
The summer season in June/July is great to enjoy hikes in the alps or enjoy the warmer temperatures at the lakes or swimming areas. We hope you’re thoroughly informed about the best time to visit Switzerland. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.