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10 Things to do in Switzerland in Summer for 2022 + Bonus Tip!

Jan 14, 2021
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Switzerland is an all-year-round destination with every season offering a different palette of activities. Having said that, there are certain things to in Switzerland in summer, which can only be enjoyed at to the hilt in the sunny climate.

The summers are stunningly colourful with green valleys full of yellow and white flowers, clear blue skies, emerald lakes and snow-capped peaks (yes, even in summer).

There's influx of tourists in the months of May, June, and July to make the most of their summer travel in Switzerland, as many believe the alpine country is most vibrant in this season.

Keeping in mind that you would love to cover some mountain trips, lakesides, castles and the best choice of towns, here are few must-see-and-do activities that can help you plan your summer holiday in Switzerland.

1. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise - Zermatt

One of the main tourist attractions of Switzerland is the Matterhorn. Located in Zermatt, this one mountain has become one of the most recognisable symbols of the country.

There are various points from which one can try to get the best views of this mountain and one such is the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

Reach Matterhorn Glacier Paradise via cable car. It offers guaranteed snow throughout the year. The view of the pyramid shaped peak of the Matterhorn reveals itself in all its majestic glory and tells you exactly why it is the most photographed mountain in the world.

You can also marvel at a panorama of numerous other 4000-metre high peaks.

If your Switzerland itinerary permits, try to spend at least a couple of nights in Zermatt. This charmingly Swiss village is car free and filled with quaint chalets, a buzzing village centre and numerous hotels and apartments for every budget.

2. Jungfraujoch - Interlaken

No traveller to Switzerland can resist a stay in Interlaken and a trip to the Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe, the most popular excursion in the Bernese Oberland.

The excursion begins with a train journey from Interlaken to the mountain resort of Grindelwald.

Once there, you'll board the cogwheel train for a spectacular ride to the Europe's highest railway station at 3454 metres via Kleine Scheidegg.

The Great Altesch Glacier begins at Jungfraujoch and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once at the peak, take time to check out the attractions like the Ice Palace, Ski & Snowboard Park, the Sphinx observation terrace and the various restaurants.

Like most peaks, you will get a discount on the ticket if you hold a Swiss Pass. Jungfrau is one of the more expensive mountains, so holding the Swiss Travel Pass really helps, especially since your kids under 16 years of age will travel free if you hold the pass.

Junfraujoch is one of the most popular things to do in Switzerland in summer as it guarantees snow at the peak even during this time of the year.

3. Mt. Pilatus - Lake Lucerne Region

Central Switzerland has a lot of tempting peaks but the Dragon Mountain Pilatus is unique.

The peak rests right in the city and besides Lake Lucerne. If you are travelling in summer, you may get to experience the Golden Round Trip of Mt. Pilatus.

This includes a trip by Boat on Lake Lucerne up to Alpnachstad. After the scenic boat ride, you can take the world's steepest cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to the summit and for your descent, choose the Aeriel Cable way to Kriens.

Spend some time at the peak and have a meal at one the restaurants with an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding Alps.

On your way down, you can also stop at Frakmuntegg to try out the longest toboggan run and then try the Dragon Glider from Frakmuntegg to Drachenalp which will give you an amazing aerial view of the forests below.

If you still have some time, you can spend the evening discovering the lakeside town of Lucerne with its iconic symbols of the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge.

4. Zurich

Zurich is often overlooked in itineraries or used just as an entry or exit point. Zurich is a vibrant city with lots to offer.

Spend a night or two in Zurich and discover its amazing Old Town with narrow cobbled streets, small family run cafes, artisan shops and churches.

Spend time walking along the lake side and the Bahnofstrasse, Zurich's main shopping street, with outlets of every famous watch, jewellery and fashion label that you can think of.

Zurich has amazing museums dedicated to art, natural history, trams, money and even football. Everyone likes a zoo and Zurich's zoo is not to be missed.

In the evening, head for Uetliberg- a local mountain, which will give you panoramic views of the city.

Some of the museums are included in your Swiss Travel Pass cost and some offer reduction with pass.

5. Rhine Falls - Schaffhausen

If you are staying in Zurich or even in Lucerne, you can make a day trip to the Rhine Falls - the biggest waterfalls in Europe.

You can reach the falls within an hour with a train from Zurich (the nearest station to the falls is Schloss laufen am Rheinfall).

It is one of the best things to do in Switzerland in May and July since the glaciers melt during this time and the density of water peaks.

You can also take a boat trip which takes you closer to the falls and feel the icy refreshing splash of the water. The cost of the boat trips vary depending on their duration (from CHF 8 to CHF 20).

One of the many benefits of Swiss Pass is that the ride up to Rhine Falls is included in the pass cost.

6. Jet boat ride - Interlaken

Interlaken, which means between two lakes, is set between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. These beautifully serene lakes offer all kinds of cruises.

You can just hop on to a public transport boat and explore various lakeside villages, or take an evening cruise that may also have dinner included.

The best, however, is an adrenaline pumping Jetboat ride on Lake Brienz. This exhilarating ride gives you 45 minutes of full 360-degree spins, twists and turns during which it will cover an approximately 30 km route.

The ride takes you close to the imposing Giessbach Falls, which add a bit of adrenaline to a scenic sightseeing trip.

On the same day, you can also cover an excursion to Harden Kulm. It's just a small walk from Interlaken Ost train station to the Harder Railway Valley Station.

The modern funicular takes you to the summit in just 10 minutes. You may enjoy your lunch/dinner at the viewing platform, which gives you the bird's eye view of the Jungfrau Region and the scenic city of Interlaken!

7. Chateau de Chillon, Montreux

Switzerland has numerous castles but none as famous as the Chateaux De Chillon. This castle, beautifully perched on an outcrop on lake Geneva is Switzerland's most visited historical monument attracting over 4,00,000 guests per year.

Lord Byron was so fascinated by the castle he penned the poem The Prisoner of Chillon. He also carved his name on one of the pillars of the castle! The castle can take almost half a day to cover and can be done either as an independent or a guided tour. Make sure you take the audio guide so that you learn about the 14th century paintings, subterranean vaults and parade halls.

In case you are not staying in Montreux, you can also do this as a day trip from Lausanne or Geneva.

Tip: The entrance to the castle is free for holders of the Swiss Travel Pass holders.

8. Gstaad

Gstaad is pure paradise. It is a resort that attracts the rich and famous to either holiday or even settle down there.

Gstaad offers a beautiful village centre with numerous boutiques, an amazing range of hotels to suit all budgets and the most stunning Alpine surrounding.

It is a year-round resort famous for skiing in the winter, and many prefer walking/hiking as a thing to do in Switzerland in summer.

One of the main attractions around Gstaad is the Glacier 3000, a summit covered in snow all year round. You can get to the Glacier 3000 by taking a short bus ride from Gstaad (bus stop just outside the station) to Col Du Pillon and then a cable car from there to the peak.

It is known for the special attractions like Peak Walk by Tissot - the world's first suspension footbridge spanning two summits along with an Alpine Coaster - the highest bobsleigh track, Husky dog sled rides & the snow bus.

Including Gstaad in your Switzerland tour package, will give you an ultimate feel of vacationing in the Swiss country, and of course, because summer is among the best time to visit Switzerland.

9. Glacier express

Switzerland is famous for its trains, which run with clockwork precision just like their watches. The most famous of these trains is the Glacier Express also lovingly called the World's Slowest Express Train.

This train connects the two famous mountain resort towns of Zermatt and St Moritz and traverses the amazing landscape between the two.

The journey from one town to the other takes just under 8 hours passing through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges.

The huge panoramic glass windows ensure that you get the unobstructed views of the beautiful landscapes and make you feel one with nature.

This one is not to be missed.

If your program does not allow you to fit in a full day on the train, you can also do a part of the journey from Zermatt to Chur and then continue to Zurich from there.

Tip: The journey on Glacier express is included in your Swiss Travel Pass but a separate seat reservation is mandatory at an additional cost.

10. Lugano

The largest town in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city with its Mediterranean flair.

Due to its geographic position at the Southern tip of the country bordering Italy, Lugano offers a completely different look and feel with its warmer climate and palm tree lined lakeside promenade.

Monte Bre and San Salvatore, the two mountains closest to Lugano offer stunning views of the town. Morcote and the fishing village of Gandria can be visited via boat.

The Swiss Miniatur is Melide is a perfect place to spend time with the family.


11. Shopping

Everyone likes a good bargain! After you have had your fill of all that nature has to offer, head off to Foxtown in Mendrisio (20 minutes from Lugano). Foxtown Factory Stores has 160 outlets that offer 30 to 70 percent discounts on branded goods all year round. The complex has bars, restaurants and even a casino so make sure its your lucky day!

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