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20 great things to do in Switzerland this summer

Switzerland is yours to discover with our list of the most fun things to do in the country. From big days out to brilliant activities, this is your ultimate checklist for finding fun in Switzerland this summer.

1
Summer skiing
©MichaelPortann
1/18

Summer skiing

Located 3,883 metres above one of Switzerland's best ski resorts, the Snowpark Zermatt offers a summer skiing adventure with the advantage of doing it in your beach wear.  

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2
Seebad Luzern
2/18

Seebad Luzern

With two courtyards surrounding open air pools, luxury surrounds the crystal clear waters of one of the world's most beautiful lakes. As well as food and drinks being served, dance and yoga classes are also on offer.

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Lucerne
3
The Swiss National Day firework displays
©Switzerland Tourism
3/18

The Swiss National Day firework displays

August 1 is the day the Swiss go wild for their national holiday by setting off the fireworks and having bonfires. Thousands of people attend festivities in the largest cities (Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bern and Lugano), but the main celebrations take place at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen and at the Ruetli Meadows alongside Lake Lucerne.

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4
El Mojito • Lugano
El Mojito
4/18

El Mojito • Lugano

El Mojito Tropical Lounge is a throbbing summertime cocktail bar-cum-beach shack on a lakeside jetty. Chill on deckchairs or dance to DJs. The mojitos, as you might imagine, are sublime.  

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Lugano
5
Hire lake pedalo on Lake Zurich
5/18

Hire lake pedalo on Lake Zurich

Don't just stand there on the promenade admiring the lake, get out and enjoy it. Pedalos can be hired from the lake's many boat hire companies and although it may look like you're messing around with an oversized child's toy, you'll be burning more calories than on a bike ride up an Alpine pass.

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Kreis 2
6
Take an E-bike tour around Lake Lucerne
6/18

Take an E-bike tour around Lake Lucerne

Using Swiss engineered electrically-powered bikes, you can explore the beauty of Lucerne and its surrounding areas in a three hour tour. The tour winds up at the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Visitor Centre, where you'll be able to assemble your very own knife. 

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Basel
7
SolarBob
©Switzerland Tourism
7/18

SolarBob

‘SolarBob’ is a nifty no-snow-required bobsled in Basel’s leafy outskirts which allows you to hurtle down a one kilometre long track, before being carried back to the top by a solar-powered lift. Fun and ecology? We like it.

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8
Rafting along the River Aare
8/18

Rafting along the River Aare

Recommended

Enter Bern in style this summer by rafting the River Aare from Thun. This hugely popular event brings together thousands of people in a three hour downriver floatathon. 

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Espace Mittelland (Jura & Three Lakes, Bernese Oberland)
9
Open-air whey bath
9/18

Open-air whey bath

Looking for a quirky trick to get the revitalised look? Well then, why not try having a whey bath at the foot of the Titlis mountain. Said to contain healing properties, bathing in the dairy product is a unique way to absorb the natural goodness of Switzerland.

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10
Fondue in the Alps
©Switzerland Tourism
10/18

Fondue in the Alps

It's the ultimate pilgrimage for nature lovers and foodies alike: a trail that takes hikers up to a lodge atop the mountains of Gstaad to have high altitude fondue with locally sourced Swiss cheese with amazing panoramic views.

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11
A thermal bath with a view
11/18

A thermal bath with a view

Lean back, relax and get the pampered in the most scenic of settings. You’re spoilt for choice in Switzerland, but we recommend Leukerbad Therm in Leukerbad, Dampfbad in Basel and Thermalbad & Spa in Zurich.

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By: Time Out contributors
12
Trekking with Llamas
©Lamatrek Jungfrauregion
12/18

Trekking with Llamas

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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Jungfrau-Region
13
Cycling wine day
©Switzerland Tourism
13/18

Cycling wine day

Wine and cycling, sounds like a dangerous mix right? Not in Valais, where the local athletes, politicians, cultural figures and the public gather to taste the region’s wine and cycling through the vineyards. It's not just locals that get involved, tourists are also welcome to join in the festivities too. 

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Valais
14
Wine tasting • Lavaux
14/18

Wine tasting • Lavaux

Recommended

The UNESCO protected vineyards of Lavaux are perfect for a stroll and a spot of wine tasting. Take a bus a short ride from Lausanne into the Lavaux vineyards and you’ll be in wine heaven.

The UNESCO protected vineyards of Lavaux are perfect for a stroll and a spot of wine tasting. Take a bus a short ride from Lausanne into the Lavaux vineyards and you’ll be in wine heaven.

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Lavaux-Oron
15
Do a workout in the woods
©Tim Williams
15/18

Do a workout in the woods

Hewn into chestnut woodland high above glistening Lake Maggiore in Canton Ticino, the ‘Sentiero dello Yoga’ is self-guided outdoor yoga trail that incorporates nine exercises in the structure of a yoga class.

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16
Watch a spectacular sunrise
Ivo Scholz
16/18

Watch a spectacular sunrise

Be like an early bird and start the day with a bang by heading up 3,000 metres above sea level to watch the sunrise. Take a cable car up Piz Nair in the Engadine Valley for a healthy dose of spectacular views and sunshine before the crowds hit the summit. 

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St Moritz
17
Take a train up Uetliberg
© Christof Sonderegger
17/18

Take a train up Uetliberg

Departing from Zurich’s main station, you will go all the way up to the city’s local mountain, the Uetliberg. Take the journey up to the top where you can climb the observation tower and enjoy the stunning views in all directions.

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Friesenberg
18
Go camping
18/18

Go camping

If you love the idea of camping in the middle of somewhere green and beautiful then Switzerland has loads of places where you get up close with nature. For those looking for accommodation beyond the no-frills tent option then try staying in a ‘SwissTube’ in the Thunersee camp park. overlooking Lake Thun .

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Find more great things to do in Switzerland

Fun things to do in Switzerland

Switzerland is officially the happiest country on the planet, according to the 2015 World Happiness Report. Here are some of our tips for ways to have fun in Switzerland.

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By: Time Out contributors

50 ways to have the best summer in Switzerland

From secret lakeside beaches to riveting river frolics; rooftop bars to pool parties; the Swiss summer offers as much revelry for the warmer seasons as it does for its snowy ones.  Time Out Switzerland has put together the definitive list for the things to do in the Swiss heat.

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By: Time Out editors
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