Cover Image Credit: The Travel Intern
Set off with the Swiss Travel Pass this Summer
Though well-known for its snowy mountain landscapes and winter sports opportunities, Switzerland is just as wonderful in the summertime – in some ways, even more so.
Take the chance this summer to make Switzerland your next holiday destination. Adventure junkies will love the wide array of outdoor activities available, while sightseers can explore the Swiss cities to their hearts’ content during the long daylight hours. And of course, the breathtaking scenic train rides are not to be missed!
Here’s everything you need to know about exploring Switzerland in the summer – from how to get around seamlessly with the Swiss Travel Pass, to what you can expect out of the different Swiss cities.
Switzerland Travel Essentials
What to pack
During the summer, temperatures in Switzerland range from 18-30 degrees Celsius, depending on the altitude and time of day. Pack your light summer clothes – shorts, dresses, as well as cotton and linen tops will keep you comfy all day long.
The temperatures tend to dip in the evenings and it can get quite cool – plus, the temperatures can vary a lot depending on whether you’re in the hotter valleys or up in the snowy mountains. We recommend layering your clothes to combat this – a light jacket, some flannel shirts and thermal wear make for some good options that you can easily put on and peel off as you need!
Don’t forget a pair of good walking shoes that can last you through outdoor hikes too.
Stay connected throughout your travels with a portable 4G WiFi Device! This will keep you covered for your whole Switzerland trip, and for your travels in Europe as well.
Swiss Travel Pass Perks
The Swiss Rail Pass offers you travel on trains, buses and even boats across Switzerland, so you won’t have to go through the hassle of buying single trip tickets!
There are several types of Swiss Travel Passes:
For the full area of validity of your pass, check out this map.
Things to note about the Swiss Travel Pass:
- The Swiss Travel Pass is valid in Switzerland only. However, there are a few train and bus routes that cross the Swiss border from France, Italy and Liechtenstein.
- Trains and buses to villages are free.
- You’ll get a discounted price on scenic transport up to the mountains by cable car, funicular and cogwheel train.
- City transport is free in 75 towns
- Boats are free, excluding special dinner cruise
Bonus: Free entry to over 500 museums
On top of having your transport settled, you can flash your Swiss Rail Pass to enjoy free entrance to up to 500 museums and exhibits! Head here for all the details on what you can see for free.
Here’s an idea of how you can see the sights of Zürich, Lucerne and Interlaken on a 4 Day Consecutive Swiss Travel Pass!
Day 1: Zürich
Zürich half-day city tour
You’ll begin your Switzerland summer adventure in the country’s largest city, the cosmopolitan hub of Zürich. Explore Zürich’s most iconic landmarks on a half-day Zürich City Tour.
The tour will take you to the Swiss National Museum and Bahnhofstrasse, as well as through Zürich’s famous financial district. Stop by the blue waters of Lake Zürich for a photo, take a Dolderbahn cogwheel train uphill for some beautiful forest views and much more. Your last stop on the tour is in the Old Town – feel free to explore the streets in your own time!
Hiking at Mount Uetliberg
Offering stunning views of the entire city and Lake Zürich, Mount Uetliberg up in the Swiss Plateau is perfect for an afternoon of adventure. To get there, take the S10 train from the main station to Uetliberg, and the peak is just a 10-minute walk away. Head up the lookout tower for incredible views of the city and Lake Zürich, and you might also be able to catch a glimpse of the Swiss Alps on a clear day!
After a long day of hiking and sightseeing, head back to the city for dinner and drinks. The Old Crow Zürich is said to be one of the best bars in the city – head there post-dinner for signature cocktails you won’t be able to find anywhere else!
Day 2: Lucerne
Train to Lucerne in the morning
Take a morning train from the Zuerich Station out to the Luzern Station, which will take roughly 50 minutes. Tucked on the banks of Lake Lucerne, this beautiful city is known for its lush natural scenery, medieval architecture and proximity to the mountains.
Half Day Trip to Mount Titlis
After lunch, your time in Lucerne with a Half-Day Trip to Mount Titlis. After a drive through the countryside to the charming alpine town of Engelberg, you’ll begin your ascent of Mount Titlis via the revolving Titlis Xpress cable car. This cable car experience gets you 360 degree views of the crevasses and boulders in the surrounding glaciers as you climb higher into the snow-capped alps.
Once you’re at the top, challenge yourself and take on the Cliff Walk – the highest suspension bridge in Europe. After two hours of exploring and capering about in the snow – there’ll still be snow at that altitude, even in the summer – you’ll head back down and journey back to Lucerne, just in time for dinner.
Explore the City
Spend the rest of the evening exploring Lucerne. For some beautiful sunset views, head to the historic Chapel Bridge, which dates all the way back to the 14th century.
Another must-see is the Lion Monument, which lies a short walk from the town’s centre near the Glacier Garden. Depicting a mortally wounded lion carved out of the sandstone rock face , this haunting statue serves as a memorial for the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives during the French Revolution.
Day 3: Lucerne
Explore Old Town Lucerne
Lucerne remains one of the most popular Swiss cities to visit in the summer, with its medieval architecture and surrounding mountains. If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out the colorful Altstadt (Old Town).
Old Town Lucerne is a mix of modernity and historic architecture, with lots of picturesque buildings and photo op spots. The atmosphere is relaxed and not-too-touristy, so take your time to wander the streets and take in the sights.
Panorama Yacht Cruise in Lucerne
After a morning of exploration, head out on a 1-hour cruise on Lake Lucerne for a different way to see the city. You’ll set sail aboard the spacious Panorama-Yacht Saphir for relaxing a cruise around the city’s lake. Enjoy a quick bite and a refreshing drink at the yacht’s restaurant as you admire the scenic view the city and its surrounding landscapes.
Half Day Trip to Mount Pilatus
After lunch, take a Half Day Trip to Mount Pilatus, another mountain in the region not to be missed! The mountain range overlooks the whole of Lucerne, and boasts some truly spectacular views of both nature and city.
Take the aerial cableway up to the peak and enjoy the views on the terrace. The highlight of the trip is definitely descend down the mountain on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. You’ll end the tour with a boat ride on Lake of the Four Cantons back to Lucerne. Klook your Mount Pilatus tour and enjoy 2-way transfer from Lucerne station!
Train to Interlaken
After dinner, catch the GoldenPass Line Train from Lucerne to Interlaken. The whole journey should take you about 1h 50min.
Day 4: Interlaken
Lütschine River-Rafting/Scenic Jet Boat Ride
It’s not all peaceful hikes and scenic day trips in the tranquil resort town of Interlaken. As the weather gets warmer, more and more adventure activities are made available for thrill-seekers to take on.
Start your day with a race along Interlaken’s crystal clear waters, on a Scenic Jet Boat Ride from the shores of Lake Brienz to the famous Giessbach Waterfalls. If you’re up for a greater challenge, the Lütschine river offers some of the best whitewater River Rafting experiences, taking you into class III-IV rapids below Eiger Northe Face, before carrying you down the mountains into the Interlaken Valley.
Hiking in the Bernese Oberland Schynige Platte
Situated in the heart of Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, Interlaken is the perfect late-spring destination for nature seekers looking to explore the picturesque Bernese Oberland! Spend your afternoon in the Schynige Platte – a small mountain ridge in the Bernese Oberland with lots of hiking trails and panoramic views!
Summer in Switzerland means that it’s a perfect time for hiking up in the higher altitudes, with the snow on all trails having melted by mid-July.
You can technically hike up to the Schynige Platte, but we recommend taking the cogwheel train from Wilderswil. The 50-minute train ride is incredibly scenic – you’ll cross the Lütschine river, climb up 1000 meters through dense forest greenery and rolling meadows, before reaching the Schynige Platte.
Day 5: Day Trip to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken
Day Tour to Jungfraujoch
Head up to the snow-capped Bernese Alps on a Jungfraujoch Day Tour from Interlaken, that’ll take you to the highest train station in Europe up in the snow-capped Bernese Alps. You’ll get stunning views at the Sphinx Observation Deck, a glimpse of the ice formations inside the Ice Palace and more!