35 fun things to do in Switzerland

Our guide to the best things to do in Switzerland that will make you happy.
Happy girl in Switzerland
©Anna Nahabed
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
Things to do, Walks and tours

Trekking with Llamas

icon-location-pin 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. 

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CGN Lausanne-Ouchy
© Christof Schuerpf
Things to do

Boat trip • Lausanne-Ouchy

icon-location-pin 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
Things to do, Sport events

Contra Dam bungee jump

icon-location-pin Tenero-Contra

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

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Le Deck, Lavaux bar, Time Out Switzerland
Bars and pubs, Bars

Le Deck • Puidoux-Chexbres

icon-location-pin 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
Things to do, Walks and tours

SolarBob

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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Seebad Enge
Things to do

Seebad Enge • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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. 

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Thun-Bern rafting, Time Out Switzerland
Things to do

Thun-Bern float trip

icon-location-pin 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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PubliBike, Lausanne bike hire, Time Out Switzerland
Things to do

PubliBike station • Lausanne

icon-location-pin 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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El Mojito
El Mojito
Bars and pubs

El Mojito • Lugano

icon-location-pin Lugano

A throbbing summertime cocktail bar-cum-beach shack on a lakeside jetty. Admire the view or the beautiful people, or both.

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Zuri Rolt bicycles Zurich cycling
Things to do, Walks and tours

Free bike hire • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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. 

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Morcote Route
©Post Auto
Travel, Public transport

Morcote Route

icon-location-pin Lugano

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

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Gurtenbahn, Bern mountain, Time Out Switzerland
Things to do

Gurten • Bern

icon-location-pin Bern

At 858m, the Gurten sports fabulous views over Bern on a clear day, and makes for a welcome getaway from the city. 

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Freestyle Academy, Laax
Sport and fitness, Ski training

Freestyle Academy • Laax

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
Things to do

Jet d’eau • Geneva

icon-location-pin 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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Vevey folk market, Vevey event, Time Out Switzerland
Things to do, Event spaces

Marchés folkloriques • Vevey

icon-location-pin 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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Thermalbad & Spa
BlueWaterCom.ch
Things to do

Thermalbad & Spa • Zurich

icon-location-pin Enge

The view over the city from its rooftop pool is simply amazing, and that alone would almost be worth the entrance. 

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Aare baths
Things to do

Aare outdoor baths • Bern

icon-location-pin Bern

The outdoor baths at Marzili, in the shadow of the grand parliament building, are among the oldest in the country, and free to use. 

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Rimini
Rimini
Bars and pubs

Rimini • Zurich

icon-location-pin Kreis 1

When it comes to a pool-party venue, Rimini is a bar that excels in chilled-backed atmosphere. 

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Flussbad Oberer Letten Outdoor Swimming Zurich
© Zuerich Tourismus
Things to do

Flussbad Oberer Letten • Zurich

icon-location-pin Industriequartier

Lounge around on the wooden panels of the right bank, play a game of beach volley or enjoy a glass of Spritz from the container bar.

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paddleboard Geneva
Tropical Geneva
Things to do

Paddleboard • Lake Geneva

icon-location-pin 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
Things to do

Castles • Bellinzona

icon-location-pin 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. 

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Rhine river cruises
Avalon Waterways
Travel, Public transport

Rhine river cruises • Basel

icon-location-pin 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
Things to do

Zoo • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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.

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Wildnispark Zürich, park, nature, trails
© MARCUS GYGER
Things to do

Wildnispark • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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
Things to do

Lac de Joux • Jura

icon-location-pin 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
Bars and pubs, Rooftop bars

Sky Bar • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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.

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Restaurant Seerose
©Restaurant Seerose
Restaurants, Seafood

Restaurant Seerose • Zurich

icon-location-pin 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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Bateau Lavoir, Geneva bar, Time Out Switzerland
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Bateau Lavoir • Geneva

icon-location-pin Rive Gauche / Left Bank

A lovely spot to go for a drink, a light lunch or an apéro as the sun goes down. 

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Walliser Alpentherme & Spa, Leukerbad spa, Time Out Switzerland
Health and beauty, Spas

Walliser Alpentherme & Spa • Leukerbad

icon-location-pin Leukerbad

Located in the village centre, its outdoor pool has a gorgeous view of the mountains, making it easy to while away a few hours in the 36-40 degree water or on the deck chairs around the edge. 

Discover some other great things to do in Switzerland

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