Summer and winter have always been Switzerland’s two busiest tourist seasons and 2023 has been no different. Summer school holidays in Europe and North America are one of the reasons why this is such a popular time to visit, and the longer daylight hours and warmer average temperatures also add to the appeal of a summer visit.
If you’d prefer to travel when there are fewer other tourists and the temperatures are milder, fall/autumn could be the perfect solution.
To get the lowdown on why autumn is the perfect time to visit Switzerland, I’m joined in this episode by Simon Bosshart, Head of Markets East and Member of the Management Board of Switzerland Tourism.
We discuss the lower visitor numbers, what the weather is like, some of the great festivals and events that take place during autumn, and Simon has some handy tips for anyone planning to visit during September, October or November.
[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]
As always, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Switzerland Tourism for sponsoring the podcast. You’ll find lots of great info to help plan your autumn visit to Switzerland on their website, myswitzerland.com.
If you need the train ride of a lifetime, you need Switzerland.
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In this episode you’ll learn about:
- Why fall is the perfect season to visit Switzerland
- Average temperatures in Switzerland during fall
- What services are open and closed during fall
- Typical tourist numbers during fall
- Popular reasons to visit Switzerland during fall
- Other reasons to visit Switzerland in the fall
Simon Bosshart is Manager Markets East and Member of the Management Board of Switzerland Tourism. He has worked for Switzerland Tourism for more than 17 years, including heading up the China Operations team. Simon is as motivated about promoting Switzerland today as he was on his very first day all those years ago.
Swiss Autumn Events and Activities mentioned in this episode
>> Fall colours – September marks the start of autumn/fall when Switzerland’s landscapes are awash with colour as the leaves on the trees change from green to red, orange and gold. You can experience this beauty all over the country but for the most breathtaking vistas head to the Upper Engadine Valley or Lavaux vineyards.
>> Alpine descents – After spending the summer grazing on Alpine pastures, cows are brought back down to their farms before the first snow falls. Each farmer walks with their cows, which are adorned with flowers on their heads, from the mountain to the farm. This is an important day for the farmer. Alpine descents usually take place in late September but dates can be weather-dependent.
>> Wine festivals – Harvest time in Switzerland means a time to celebrate the latest vintage and wine festivals are held across the country. As well as enjoying the street parades, this is a great time to visit a wine cellar and taste the wines. The village of Lutry, which is part of the Lavaux wine region, hosts the Faire des Vendages each year in September.
>> Hiking – With around 70,000 kilometres of marked hiking trails in Switzerland, autumn is the ideal time to get out and get active. The milder temperatures in September and October are perfect for hiking and many of the mountain hiking trails are open until the first snowfalls of the season.
>> Museums – A visit to a museum is a great wet weather activity and Switzerland has a wide range of museums and galleries to choose from. From art and history museums, to museums showcasing transport, sports and food – and everything in between – Switzerland has a museum to suit every interest. TIP: If you hold a Swiss Travel Pass, you receive free entry to over 500 museums in Switzerland.
Other helpful resources
- If you plan to visit Switzerland during October of November we recommend you check in advance that hotels, attractions and mountain railways will be operating. We regularly update this guide to cable car and funicular closures.
- For a list of upcoming events and festivals in Switzerland, check out the Events page on the Switzerland Tourism website.
- Our article Autumn in Switzerland: Essential Information for Planning your Trip to Switzerland in the Fall covers all the information discussed in this podcast episode in more detail.
- Our Planning a trip to Switzerland article is packed with useful tips to help you plan your Swiss vacation.
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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism
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