A country as enchanting as Switzerland effortlessly captures the hearts of travelers, leaving them with an insatiable desire to explore its wonders.

There are many things to get excited about when planning a trip to this captivating nation. 

From breathtaking landscapes to rich cultural heritage, a trip to Switzerland offers a plethora of experiences that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler. To ensure that your journey to Switzerland becomes a cherished memory, here is a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip.

When is the best time to visit Switzerland?

When it comes to planning a trip to Switzerland, one of the crucial factors to consider is the best time to visit. Fortunately, Switzerland is a year-round destination that offers something special in every season.

Each season showcases its own unique charm, allowing travelers to tailor their experience based on personal preferences and desired activities.

Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring, the warm sunshine of summer, the picturesque autumn foliage, or the snowy wonderland of winter, Switzerland has something to offer.

Switzerland, like Austria and Germany, is a great year-round destination. There’s no need to worry about low season, as there are seasonal offers every month of the year. So whether you want to go skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, Switzerland has your back!

Consider your interests and activities you wish to partake in while planning your visit

  • High season: All year
  • Low season: no real low season
  • Hiking: April to October
  • Winter sports: December to March
  • Glacier hiking: All year (peak season: March to May)
  • Lakeside holidays: July/August

Switzerland is a country with a variety of climatic zones that extend from Ticino to the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura. In the Ticino region, you can enjoy Mediterranean-like weather all year round with an average temperature of 10°C to 12°C and up to only 700 mm of rainfall per year.

The Alpine region experiences variable weather conditions throughout the year, where winters are extreme but summers tend to be dry.

The Central Plateau has more moderate temperatures compared to other regions of Switzerland along with higher humidity levels, making it perfect for those who prefer a milder climate.

Finally, if you love rain then head over to the Jura zone as this region receives around 2000mm of precipitation annually making it one of the wettest areas in Switzerland!

High season in Switzerland

Switzerland is a destination that never goes out of season! Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s always something to do. If winter sports are your thing, December to February is the perfect time to visit with temperatures ranging from -2°C to 6°C and an average precipitation of 70mm (mostly snow).

On the other hand, if hiking or outdoor activities sound more appealing, April to October offers mild weather conditions with temperatures ranging from 7°C to 23°C. However, August can be rainy, so it’s important to come prepared with proper clothing such as rain jackets and hiking boots.

As October approaches, however, both temperatures and rainfall begin to decrease, making it still enjoyable but less crowded than the peak months earlier in the year!

Low season in Switzerland

Switzerland, like Austria and Germany, is a great year-round destination. There’s no need to worry about low season, as there are seasonal offers every month of the year. So whether you want to go skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer, Switzerland has your back!

Iseltwald in Bern, Switzerland.
Iseltwald in Bern, Switzerland.

Explore the remarkable cities of Switzerland

Switzerland boasts numerous cities that are worth exploring.

Zurich, the largest city, offers a blend of modernity and historic charm, with its bustling shopping streets and the beautiful Old Town.

Geneva, known for its diplomatic importance, mesmerizes visitors with its picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Other notable cities include Bern, the capital, with its well-preserved medieval old town, and Lucerne, famous for its scenic lake and iconic Chapel Bridge.

See also: Things to See in Lausanne

Planning a trip to Switzerland with Free2move
A Guide to Planning a Memorable Trip to Switzerland 

If so far you’re tempted to visit Switzerland, Free2move‘s solutions will be a great help. Enjoy an exceptional parking experience by using the Free2move Park service.

Don’t let parking stress you out and enjoy your trip to Switzerland. If you’re going to take a flight / train for a trip and need to leave your car nearby, you can locate and reserve your parking space near airports and train stations at a negotiated rate, whether for a day or a whole month.

Sample Swiss cuisine and chocolate

No trip to Switzerland would be complete without savoring the nation’s gastronomic delights. Indulge in Swiss cheese, fondue, raclette, and rösti, traditional dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with Swiss chocolate, renowned for its quality and craftsmanship. Visit a chocolate factory or explore the chocolate shops in Zurich and Geneva to experience the rich flavors firsthand.

Swiss cheese

Switzerland is known for its mountains, chocolate and of course – cheese! The Swiss take pride in producing high-quality cheeses with unique flavors that are enjoyed worldwide. In fact, over 40% of milk produced in Switzerland goes towards making more than 700 different types of cheese!

While you may have heard about popular varieties like Emmentaler or Le Gruyère being sold at specialty stores in Spain, did you know there are actually over 700 other specialty cheeses waiting to be discovered within Switzerland?

It’s a cheesy paradise just waiting to be explored!

Bread with cheese and a tomato.
Bread with cheese and a tomato.


Switzerland is as famous for its cheese fondue as Italy is for its pizza. That’s why Switzerland has earned the nickname “cheese country.” Cheese fondue plays an important role in Swiss cuisine and can be enjoyed with loved ones or friends.

Interestingly, until the Second World War, most regions of Switzerland were unfamiliar with this cheesy delight. It wasn’t until the Swiss Cheese Union launched its marketing campaign that it became a national dish.

Traditionally made using milk instead of wine to melt the cheese, different types of mountain cheeses such as Gruyère and Emmentaler are used depending on where you are in Switzerland. The key factor in choosing your cheeses should be age and ripeness so that they blend together smoothly without forming lumps – no one wants flakes to ruin their meal! So go ahead and experiment, adding more Appenzeller if you like your food spicy; after all, there’s nothing quite like indulging in some warm, melted cheese goodness!

Cheese fondue
Cheese fondue


Raclette is a delicious Swiss dish of melted cheese and actually comes from the French word “racler” which means to scrape or grate. Along with fondue, it is one of the national dishes of Switzerland! The key ingredient in raclette is semi-hard cheese – usually full-fat or cream varieties are used. This type of cheese melts perfectly and gives the dish its unique flavor.

Traditionally, raclette was made by melting the cheese over an open fire, but nowadays most people don’t have access to such equipment at home. Fortunately, there are now machines available for home use, so we can still enjoy authentic tasting meals without having to go out!

It’s important to choose good quality, strong raclette cheese when making your own version, as well as serving baked potatoes with some pickled vegetables on top – yum! And if you’re looking for something refreshing to drink, why not try black tea or even white wine? So next time you’re looking for a comforting meal, look no further than homemade Raclette – it won’t disappoint!

Raclette with cheese, meat and potato.
Raclette with cheese, meat and potato.

Rösti (hash browns)

This is the ultimate Swiss potato side dish. This delicious creation begins with boiled potatoes that are grated with a special tool called a rösti grater. Once seasoned to perfection, these tasty potato shreds are fried in butter or lard until golden brown and crispy.

Interestingly, the name “Rösti” actually comes from its roasted origins – but regardless of its origins, there’s no denying how much this classic recipe is loved by Swiss people everywhere!

Of course, not all rösti is created equal. Depending on who you ask (and what ingredients they have on hand), variations can include everything from bacon bits to melted cheese or even eggs cracked right into the mix. But if you want to keep things simple and authentic, like true locals do? All it takes is some good old-fashioned salt and pepper along with the trusty taters themselves…yum!

Zurich shredded with hash browns / Rösti.
Zurich shredded with hash browns / Rösti.

Swiss chocolate

The classic chocolate shops focus on creating their own distinctive brand flavor. They achieve this by using high temperatures during the roasting process and incorporating vanilla or vanillin to ensure consistency of flavor.

Switzerland boasts a plethora of companies offering “private label” services, where one company produces a range of products under different brand names. So you’ll find hundreds of products in the shops, but only 4-5 companies are responsible for producing them all. Similarly, confectioners who offer stunning and delicious chocolate creations tend to buy their ingredients from the same large suppliers rather than making their own.

While this may be cost-effective and convenient for some, we want to highlight the entrepreneurs who take pride in their own production process – from cocoa bean selection to roasting profiles and blending – resulting in unique chocolate creations that pass blind taste tests with flying colors.

These Swiss “bean-to-bar” chocolatiers include Garçoa, Orfève, Kürzi Kakao, Taucherli, La Flor and Gebrüder Grimm, each with its own distinctive flavor profile. Trust us when we say these are hands down the best chocolates Switzerland has to offer!

Pieces of Swiss chocolate.
Pieces of Swiss chocolate.

Enjoy Swiss festivals and events

Switzerland is home to a vibrant festival scene, with events taking place throughout the year.

Plan your visit to coincide with the Basel Carnival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Lucerne Summer Festival, or the Fête de l’Escalade in Geneva to immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the joyful.

Basel Carnival

The Basel Carnival is an integral part of the city’s identity, showcasing its cultural creativity and offering three days of unparalleled excitement. It’s no wonder that Switzerland’s largest carnival has been recognized as a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Site for its exceptional quality and uniqueness.

Known locally as “Frau Fasnacht”, this celebration offers a unique experience unlike any other carnival in the world. The festivities are fueled by unique instruments, boundless imagination and artistic brilliance – all while tackling socio-political issues with pointed humor delivered through sharp wit.

The result is an unforgettable event that brings current events to life in true Basel fashion: proudly displayed with clever commentary that will leave you laughing long after the show is over!

Outdoors at the carnival in Basel, Switzerland.
Outdoors at the carnival in Basel, Switzerland.

Montreux Jazz Festival

Every summer, the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland come alive with the Montreux Jazz Festival. Founded in 1967, the event has become a must-see for music lovers around the world, offering unforgettable performances that have gone down in history.

Over the course of two weeks, some 250,000 people flock to enjoy the stunning scenery as well as the world-class acoustic concerts on both paid and free stages.

The festival prides itself on a diverse program that challenges musicians while offering audiences an experience like no other – one filled with warmth and hospitality.

Montreux Jazz Festival at Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
Montreux Jazz Festival at Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

Lucerne Summer Festival

The Lucerne Festival is a world-class event for classical music lovers. Founded in 1938, it remains one of the most sought-after festivals in its genre. The summer festival, which runs from mid-August to mid-September, offers an impressive line-up of some 100 concerts and other activities for all tastes.

Each year’s theme serves as the backbone for each performance at this grand event – it’s like connecting the dots at each show!

You can expect a variety of concert formats, such as symphony performances, chamber music recitals or debuts by up-and-coming artists, as well as late-night events that are sure not to disappoint!

Piano concert with Anna Vinnitskaya at the Lucerne Summer Festival in Switzerland.
Piano concert with Anna Vinnitskaya at the Lucerne Summer Festival in Switzerland.

Fête de l’Escalade

The Fête de l’Escalade in Geneva is a delightful mix of tradition, humor and official commemoration that brings together people of all ages. The festival features costumes, chocolate pots, and performances of the Cé qu’è lainô song.

On the weekend closest to the festival, parades are held with participants dressed as historical figures from the Middle Ages, such as halberdiers, arquebusiers and horsemen. Demonstrations such as musket firing are also organized for visitors to enjoy.

Children and teenagers also dress up for this time-honored event, donning colorful outfits and singing traditional songs along the parade route. In exchange for coins given at each door, they knock after dark when everyone’s settled in at homes across town!

Don’t forget to taste the famous chocolate pot, a tribute to Mère Royaume, who, according to legend, scalded an enemy with her cauldron of soup! After reciting “Ainsi périrent les ennemis de la République” (So die the enemies of the Republic), the oldest & youngest individuals present break open the pot to discover marzipan vegetables and sweets accompanied by little firecrackers – a truly unforgettable experience!

Concert at the Fête de l'Escalade in Switzerland.
Concert at the Fête de l’Escalade in Switzerland.

Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty

Switzerland’s natural beauty is unparalleled, with its majestic Alps, pristine lakes, and enchanting valleys. The Swiss Alps offer a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities such as hiking, skiing, and paragliding.

Explore the stunning landscapes of the Jungfrau region, visit the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt, or take a scenic train ride on the Glacier Express through the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Explore incredible nature on your trip to Switzerland

Jungfrau region

The Jungfrau Region, nestled in the Bernese Oberland at the foot of the majestic Bernese Alps, is a true gem on the national map of Switzerland. This area boasts two stunning valleys – Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen – both drained by the beautiful Lütschine River.

At its heart is the iconic triple mountain range of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, which has inspired countless legends throughout the ages. In fact, this region has been recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 2001 due to the breathtaking natural beauty surrounding the Aletsch Glacier and these legendary peaks.

This designation means that visitors can see rare animal species such as green lizards or alpine ibex, while marveling at spectacular phenomena such as the Trümmelbach Falls. And let’s not forget Europe’s highest railway station at the top of the Jungfraujoch! The wonders never cease in this extraordinary corner of Switzerland known as the Jungfrau Region within the Bernese Oberland.

Bernese Oberland with the Jungfrauloch in Switzerland.
Bernese Oberland with the Jungfrauloch in Switzerland.

Matterhorn in Zermatt

Switzerland and the Matterhorn are a match made in heaven.

This pyramid-shaped behemoth is notoriously difficult to climb, but it’s also known as the most photographed mountain in the world! And if you’re looking for an incredible view of this natural wonder, look no further than the Klein Matterhorn – just hop on a cable car from Zermatt and enjoy one of the highest cable car stations in all of Europe at 3820 meters above sea level.

Of course, there are other places to take in Switzerland’s breathtaking scenery. If you want to see more mountains (and who doesn’t?), head to the Gornergrat or Rothorn. The former is accessible from Zermatt by electric cog railway and has an open viewing platform that stays open year-round.

Matterhorn from the Zermatt area in Switzerland.
Matterhorn from the Zermatt area in Switzerland.

Glacier Express

Traveling on the Glacier Express is an unforgettable experience that takes you through breathtaking mountain scenery, past rugged rock formations and over raging rivers. This iconic Swiss train connects popular vacation spots such as Zermatt, Davos (with a regional train to Filisur), and St. Moritz, while offering breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and Piz Bernina – towering peaks reaching 4,000 meters!

As the train winds its way through three Swiss cantons, with a 1,500-meter difference in altitude, passengers can relax on board and enjoy the excellent service of their unique Excellence Class cabins.

The journey along this picturesque rail line stretches nearly 291 kilometers and allows travelers to experience some of the most beautiful gorges imaginable in any season – making it a slow ride worth taking over and over again!

Glacier Express in Switzerland.
Glacier Express in Switzerland.

What are you waiting for? Unleash your inner adventurer and lose yourself in the Swiss horizon!