Things to Do

Your guide to the best events, festivals, sights and attractions across Switzerland

The top things to do this winter in Switzerland
Things to do

The top things to do this winter in Switzerland

Winter is a fantastic time to be in Switzerland. Here are 15 of our favourite winter activities from around the country to keep you busy. 

Swiss winter tourism is under threat from coronavirus travel restrictions
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Swiss winter tourism is under threat from coronavirus travel restrictions

Winter in Switzerland is undeniably chilly, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the hottest destinations around for those who love their winter sports. This year, however, the tourism industry is worried that foreign travel quarantine restrictions imposed in Switzerland will severely damage what’s normally a booming time for tourism. The Swiss Government has published a list of countries and areas it considers high risk in terms of coronavirus infection, and anyone who has spent more than 24 hours in one of these places in the last ten days must undergo a ten-day quarantine period when arriving in Switzerland. The tourism industry fears that this quarantine period will be too off-putting for many foreign visitors over the winter season, with potentially disastrous consequences for Swiss tourism. Many in the industry are asking for a shorter quarantine period, with some calling for negative coronavirus tests (taken within the last 48 hours) to be taken into account when deciding entry criteria. Currently, a negative test result doesn’t exclude anyone from quarantine when entering Switzerland from one of the countries on the ‘high risk’ list. Of particular concern for those worried about Swiss winter tourism is the number of areas around France that are on the government’s quarantine list, as French tourists play a significant part in Switzerland’s tourism numbers. Although France is not on the list as an entire country, nine regions around France are (as of September 15). The UK isn’t currently included on the list. For the full list, keep checking the Federal Office of Public Health’s website. Travel may be changing, but Switzerland is still full of great stuff to do. For inspiration on the best activities, venues and experiences around the country, check our guide to Switzerland in the autumn and our tips on how to have the ultimate Swiss staycation.

Immerse yourself in Christmas this year at Zurich Airport
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Immerse yourself in Christmas this year at Zurich Airport

Check out the newly opened Circle for more shopping opportunities.  

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A huge nature reserve has just opened at Zurich Airport
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A huge nature reserve has just opened at Zurich Airport

If you’re looking to get back to nature, an airport might not be the first place that springs to mind, but Zurich Airport is hoping to change that with the opening of its new nature park. Spanning an impressive 80,000m² and costing a cool CHF 15 million, the park is a mixture of woodland, wetlands and meadows. And most of that 80,000m² has been designated as a nature reserve. There’s also a ‘sky platform’ installed at the highest point in the park, offering panoramic views of all that marvellous nature, reachable via an 80-metre-long funicular, which whizzes you right there. The launch of the park ties-in with the opening of the Circle, a vast new shopping, dining and business hub that’s got quite a buzz around it already. The airport park can be easily accessed from the Circle, meaning that you can take a stroll through open meadows just minutes after doing your Christmas shopping, which sounds quite appealing. If you’re keen to learn more, you can even book a tour with an Airport Park Ranger, who’ll give you the low-down on the varied flora and fauna that reside there. If that’s got you thinking about Christmas shopping, find out what’s on offer at the Circle with our festive gift guide.

10 great winter experiences in Gstaad
Things to do

10 great winter experiences in Gstaad

Gstaad is an unforgettable place at any time of year, but in winter it becomes a magical region to visit.

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The best things to do in Switzerland

Thermal baths and spa experiences in Switzerland
Things to do

Thermal baths and spa experiences in Switzerland

Take a chill pill with out guide to some sublime spa experirences 

25 winter sport events and activities in Switzerland
Things to do

25 winter sport events and activities in Switzerland

Get out and enjoy the great Swiss outdoors this winter

The 21 top things to do in Geneva
Things to do

The 21 top things to do in Geneva

Get under Geneva’s skin and you’ll discover a huge array of great things to do

21 amazing things to do in Zurich
Things to do

21 amazing things to do in Zurich

Zurich seamlessly blends the indoor and outdoor - from club culture to architecture.

17 great things to do in Lausanne
Things to do

17 great things to do in Lausanne

Packed with history and culture discover some of the best things to do in Lausanne 

35 fun things to do in Switzerland
Things to do

35 fun things to do in Switzerland

Switzerland is officially one of the second happiest countries on the planet, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report, a survey which reveals the global ranking of happiness in 158 nations. So just what is making everyone so happy in Switzerland? Here's our list to just some of the unique sights, stunning scenery, great things to do, fun events and special experiences that might have a little something to do with why everyone is feeling the love. Have we missed out your favourite happy place in Switzerland? What makes you happy in your Swiss city? Tell us what you think in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutSwiss or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Travel and escapes

Hotel Bären Gonten
Hotels

Hotel Bären Gonten

Rustic Swiss charm in a historical setting, surrounded by luscious Appenzell countryside

Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa
Hotels

Kurhaus Cademario Hotel & Spa

Chillax at this incredible spa oasis in Lugano

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Recommended Lausanne hotels
Hotels

Recommended Lausanne hotels

From upmarket to budget friendly

Recommended Geneva hotels
Hotels

Recommended Geneva hotels

From boutique to budget, here are some of our favourite local hotels

Romantic Switzerland: restaurants, hotels, spas and activities
Things to do

Romantic Switzerland: restaurants, hotels, spas and activities

Who says romance is dead? Certainly not us, as we’ve put together the ultimate guide to romantic Switzerland. Maybe you’re looking for somewhere great to go on Valentine’s Day or perhaps you’ve even seeking a unique place to pop the big question – or maybe you just want to treat that special someone in your life, because why not? Whatever you need, we‘ve got you covered with our ultimate list of restaurants, hotels, spas and romantic activities and things to do, to ensure you and your beloved have an unforgettable day with the romance factor cranked right up to 11.

10 great romantic mountain retreats
Things to do

10 great romantic mountain retreats

With its incredible mountain sceneries, dramatic landscapes and whimsical hotels, Switzerland offers some of the world's best romantic escapes. So whether you're looking for a cosy wooden cabin or a luxurious pampering weekend, there's always something to do up in the dreamy Swiss mountains.

Fun for family and children

A huge nature reserve has just opened at Zurich Airport
News

A huge nature reserve has just opened at Zurich Airport

If you’re looking to get back to nature, an airport might not be the first place that springs to mind, but Zurich Airport is hoping to change that with the opening of its new nature park. Spanning an impressive 80,000m² and costing a cool CHF 15 million, the park is a mixture of woodland, wetlands and meadows. And most of that 80,000m² has been designated as a nature reserve. There’s also a ‘sky platform’ installed at the highest point in the park, offering panoramic views of all that marvellous nature, reachable via an 80-metre-long funicular, which whizzes you right there. The launch of the park ties-in with the opening of the Circle, a vast new shopping, dining and business hub that’s got quite a buzz around it already. The airport park can be easily accessed from the Circle, meaning that you can take a stroll through open meadows just minutes after doing your Christmas shopping, which sounds quite appealing. If you’re keen to learn more, you can even book a tour with an Airport Park Ranger, who’ll give you the low-down on the varied flora and fauna that reside there. If that’s got you thinking about Christmas shopping, find out what’s on offer at the Circle with our festive gift guide.

Things to do with kids in this Autumn in Switzerland
Things to do

Things to do with kids in this Autumn in Switzerland

It's a great time of year to explore these family-friendly museums, attractions, parks, cafes plus a few places to chill out and wind down in too.

Five fun family walks near Zurich
Things to do

Five fun family walks near Zurich

These local walks offer a great day out with with the family

5 great family friendly experiences in Switzerland
Things to do

5 great family friendly experiences in Switzerland

Five fantastic family-friendly experiences from around the country that both kids and adults are sure to love

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Chillon Castle
Things to do

Chillon Castle

Explore one of Switzerland's top historic tourist attractions, which inspired the likes of Lord Byron, Rousseau, Delacroix and Courbet. Located on Lake Geneva, the castle features architectural styles including Gothic vaulted chapels, Medieval dungeons, sumptuous Savoy-period bedrooms and Renaissance banqueting halls. The chateau also boasts its own private beach and produces the eponymous Clos de Chillon white wine that’s available in the castle gift shop, naturally.  There are plenty of ways to discover the castle: explore at your own pace with a map or audioguide, let an official tour guide show the way (you can even sip your way through an official wine tour) or if you’re on holiday with the kids, follow the family trail, which includes a special itinerary for children. Whichever method you choose, you’re sure to be wowed by the magnificent architecture.

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