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Happy girl in Switzerland
©Anna Nahabed

35 fun things to do in Switzerland

Our guide to the best things to do in Switzerland that will make you happy.

By Time Out contributors
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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.

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Llama
©Lamatrek Jungfrauregion

3. Trekking with Llamas

Things to do Walks and tours Jungfrau-Region

Enhance your hiking experience with the unusual additional of a Llama to your hiking party, who also acts as a mobile storage unit. From half-day excursions to tours lasting several days, the trek offers fun and adventure for all ages. 

CGN Lausanne-Ouchy
© Christof Schuerpf

4. Boat trip • Lausanne-Ouchy

Things to do Ouchy

Making the most of its position on one of Europe’s largest lakes, Lausanne’s ferry port at Ouchy offers cruises to many destinations around the lake in Switzerland. Enjoy the ride down to Montreux, or float further afield to Geneva and the medieval French village of Yvoire, a tourist’s favourite. 

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Contra Dam bungee jump
©Switzerland Tourism

5. Contra Dam bungee jump

Things to do Sport events Tenero-Contra

Go bungee jumping off the 220 metre tall Contra Dam in Ticino, as seen in the Bond film GoldenEye. 

6. Le Deck • Puidoux-Chexbres

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Lavaux-Oron

Tucked within the steeply raked Lavaux vineyards between Lausanne and Montreux, Le Deck enjoys an impossibly scenic position overlooking Lake Geneva and the mountains on the French side opposite.

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SolarBob
©Switzerland Tourism

7. SolarBob

Things to do Walks and tours

Fun and ecology – what’s not to like? This no-snow-required bobsled in leafy Langenbruck outside Basel incorporates one kilometre of hair-raising slide, a 540-degree helter-skelter – and a solar-powered lift to carry visitors back to the top. 

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9. Seebad Enge • Zurich

Things to do Enge

On-site swim coaches, yoga classes, ving-tsun, SUP and relaxation techniques plus a beautician and a sauna which is open all year round - you get it all at Badi Enge. 

10. Thun-Bern float trip

Things to do Espace Mittelland (Jura & Three Lakes, Bernese Oberland)

As a way to spend a hot summer’s day, drifting on the current down the River Aare with the sun on your face and water to cool off in is hard to beat. 

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11. PubliBike station • Lausanne

Things to do Ouchy

Ouchy sports one of the many PubliBike hire points in Switzerland which allow you to rent a low-cost bicycle and drop it off at any other ‘velostation’ in the country. Though you’re unlikely to go far, it’s a cheap and accessible scheme that’s ideal for short hops along the Swiss Riviera.

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13. Free bike hire • Zurich

Things to do Walks and tours City

Leave a CHF 20 deposit at one of the Züri rollt containers and enjoy the city on two wheels. You might want to cycle down part of either side of the lake or just use the bike to get around Zurich a bit quicker. 

Morcote Route
©Post Auto

14. Morcote Route

Travel Public transport Lugano

Discover Lugano's architectural masterpieces and beautiful scenery with this bus ride through Switzerland's Ticino region. 

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16. Freestyle Academy • Laax

Sport and fitness

With a large 1,00sq m of space, this indoor freestyle base allows you to hone your skills in snowboarding, freeskiing, skating, climbing, freerunning and biking whatever the weather. 

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Jet d'Eau Geneva
© Olivier Miche

17. Jet d’eau • Geneva

Things to do Rive Droite / Right Bank

Don’t fight it: as possibly the most recognisable image of Geneva (you can even see it from the plane), it’s practically the law to get your photo taken in front of the city’s giant water fountain. 

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19. Marchés folkloriques • Vevey

Things to do Event spaces Vevey

Featuring traditional crafts, alphorn players and dancers, artisan produce and – best of all – copious wine tasting stalls set up by local winegrowers, a visit to the folk market is a real experience. 

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paddleboard Geneva
Tropical Geneva

24. Paddleboard • Lake Geneva

Things to do Geneva

Hawaii's current craze for stand-up paddleboarding comes to Lake Geneva. The idea is to stand upright on a long surfboard and use a paddle to propel yourself across the water. It's a fun way to travel, as long as you're prepared to fall in once in a while, and a good upper-body workout. There are plenty of other watersports, such as windsurfing and wakeboarding, on the lake. Book lessons at Tropical Geneva and reward yourself afterwards with a drink on the palm-fringed beach, a more secluded location than the main yacht-crammed marina.

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Bellinzona
hotel-paladina-tessin.ch

25. Castles • Bellinzona

Things to do Bellinzona

Among the most famous monuments of Ticino are the impressive collection of medieval castles at Bellinzona, the capital of the canton, just north of Lugano. 

Rhine river cruises
Avalon Waterways

26. Rhine river cruises • Basel

Travel Public transport Basel

The mighty Rhine river is the heart of Basel, so why not enjoy a cruise as you glide along the picturesque Swiss scenery and treat yourself to some onboard entertainment. 

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Zoo Zürich
© Meinrad Schade

27. Zoo • Zurich

Things to do Fluntern

Don’t miss the zoo’s newest attraction – the elephant park with its modern outside spaces and large indoor area. The on-site Thai food stall serves delicious snacks while you watch the elephants.

Wildnispark Zürich, park, nature, trails
© MARCUS GYGER

28. Wildnispark • Zurich

Things to do Zurich

This park less than half an hour away from the city of Zurich consists of two parts: the Sihlwald forest and Langenberg, Switzerland’s oldest wildlife park. 

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Lac de Joux
© Roland Gerth

30. Lac de Joux • Jura

Things to do Jura

The huge Lac de Joux in the Jura valley of the same name is a draw for outdoor enthusiasts at any time of year. In summer it’s a magnet for swimmers, sailors and windsurfers.

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Sky Bar
©Eden au Lac

31. Sky Bar • Zurich

Bars and pubs Seefeld

It goes without saying: a grande dame on the Zurich hotel scene, Eden au Lac has created the swishest of the swish rooftop bars.

Restaurant Seerose
©Restaurant Seerose

32. Restaurant Seerose • Zurich

Restaurants Seafood Wollishofen

Seerose is Zurich’s answer to Saint Tropez. Suspended above Lake Zurich, its wooden terrace complete with pristine white lounge furniture mimics the deck of a luxurious yacht. 

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