Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Godisable Jacob.
Here’s Why You Need To Visit Switzerland In the Summer
From chocolates and cheese to little army knives, there are more than enough reasons to love Switzerland. A historic country with a rich cultural heritage, Switzerland is one of the oldest countries dating all the way back to medieval times. Today, it sits nestled between some of Europe’s biggest superpowers yet still manages to hold onto its own sense of uniqueness.
Recently, I came across an Instagram reel showcasing how beautiful the country is during the summer months which led me down a rabbit hole into Swiss culture. What I discovered was that the country was abundant with adventure, excursions, and fun during the summertime, some of which I didn’t even know existed. A beautiful country overflowing with natural landscapes, turquoise waters, and mountain ranges, Switzerland in the summer is a destination you definitely need to add to your travel bucket list. And here’s why.
1. The Art Basel in Basel
Every year in June, you can count on the historic city of Basel to host one of the most well-known art festivals in the world. Art Basel is an internationally recognized fair that brings together 4,000 artists from five continents to display their work for guests from all over. The event is comprised of over 200 galleries featuring paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and other artistic mediums.
Art Basel in Basel also features a variety of panels filled with guest speakers, thought leaders, and prominent voices in the art community as well as exhibits in conjunction with the 37 art museums scattered throughout the small city. If you have a passion for art, a visit to Switzerland in June will definitely give you the creative energy you’ve been looking for.
2. Drink Swiss Wine in Verbier
When you think about fine European wines, Swiss wine might not be the first to pop into your mind. However, some question if Switzerland’s twist on wine is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Wine season in Switzerland runs from late July to August and wine expert and writer Alexandre Truffer suggests always following the $25 rule when buying bottles in the country. So if the bottle is more than 25 bucks, it’ll probably be some of the best wine you’ve ever had in your life.
Seventy percent of the wine made in the country is produced in French-speaking Switzerland, mainly in Valais and Vaud. The varying climates produce different grapes each season like merlot, pinot noir, and chasselas and tasting rooms like Jean-Rene Germanier provide comfortable spaces for guests to indulge throughout the summer.
3. Visit Rhine Falls
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In northern Switzerland near Schaffhausen, you’ll find the majestic Rhine Falls. Europe’s largest waterfall, the best time to visit Rhine Falls is from May to July when the water density is at its peak. The falls stand 23 meters high and are said to be over 15,000 years old. Rhine Falls and the land surrounding it are considered national monuments in Switzerland.
4. See the Turquoise Lakes in Lanier
A mountain town located in one of Switzerland’s original three cantons, Lungern is home to a turquoise-blue-colored lake that tourists flock to see year-round. It is exceptionally beautiful during the summer and the water’s temperature stays relatively higher than most lakes throughout the country. Swimming is very popular in Lungern but travelers also visit here to go hiking, mountain biking and walk along the Butterfly Trails.
5. Smell the Flowers at San Grato Botanical Park
If you’re a nature lover, the San Grato Botanical Park is exactly where you need to be while visiting Switzerland during the summer months. The park is home to the largest collection of conifers, azaleas, and rhododendrons in the Insubrian region, and the property is divided into five themed trails all overflowing with beautiful, blooming flora and plants. Admission to the park is free.
6. Experience Summer Tobogganing
A unique rail ride similar to sledding in the wintertime, tobogganing during the summer in Switzerland is a must for anyone looking for true adventure. The rail ride takes passengers through the mountains at accelerated speeds with some tobogganing runs going over 3,000 meters long. Erlebnisberg Pradaschier in Churwaiden is the longest tobogganing run in Switzerland and, although it’s located on a ski resort, the run is also open during the summer. This is the perfect excursion for thrill seekers looking to get their adrenaline pumping and have an unforgettable experience.
7. Spend a Day Exploring Interlaken
There is so much to do in Interlaken that you could spend a full day or more exploring the small town cradled between the Bernese Alps. With beautiful views from all sides, Interlaken is the perfect place for nature lovers and sightseeing. Travelers also come here to hike up the mountains and kayak down Lake Brienz. There are also canyoning, swimming, and paragliding excursions here as well. Every year in June, you can also catch the Greenfield Music Festival happening here and that’s not even half the things you can see and do in Interlaken.
8. Shop Until You Drop in Foxtown
Be prepared to shop until you drop if you decide to visit Foxtown while in Switzerland this summer. Home to the Foxtown Factory Stores, this outlet-style shopping center houses 160 stores, bars, and restaurants to keep you entertained and occupied all day long. The best thing about the Foxtown Factory Stores is that most of the outlets carry brand-name goods up to 70 percent off. There is even a casino in the outlet mall, so if you’re feeling lucky consider trying your hand at the slot machines. You never know when you might hit big.
9. Take an E-Bike Ride Through the Mountains
When award-winning writer Abi King described her e-bike ride through the Swiss mountains as game-changing, we knew we had to add it to our list of things to do in Switzerland this summer. E-biking has evolved drastically over the years and now beginners and athletes alike use the electronic bicycle to conquer mountains and valleys throughout the country. If you want to try out mountain biking with a twist, we highly suggest trying out an e-biking excursion. King suggests reaching out to Swiss mountain bike guide Vincent Boucon if you’re interested in giving this adventure a try.
10. Celebrate Swiss National Day
If you just so happen to find yourself in Switzerland on August 1, then you’ve arrived just in time to celebrate Swiss National Day. Similar to Independence Day in the US, this annual holiday celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291, and festivals and celebrations happen all over the country. A special celebration happens each year at Rhine Falls and there is even a fireworks display.