What to wear in Switzerland plus 5 Switzerland outfit tips for a late summer or early fall vacation in Europe.
I honestly wasn’t sure how to title this post in regards to the time of year this attire is appropriate for wearing.
Roger and I visited Switzerland at the tail end of August and the beginning of September.
For some people that is considered the end of summer, for others that means the beginning of fall.
And honestly, it was a mixture of both as we were kind of between seasons.
So I thought I would make this post a mixture of tips for those traveling to Switzerland in the summer as well as for those who are planning to visit in the fall since we were able to experience both!
I have also included a little photo inspiration throught this post of everything I wore while we were in Switzerland so that you can see the variety of outfits depending on the weather and locations that we visited.
Below you will find two sets of tips.
The first is 5 outfit tips for visiting Switzerland in the summer followed by a list of 5 outfit tips for visiting Switzerland in the fall.
Although it also snowed while we were there, so you could also say that we visited in the winter! (I even saw one Switzerland Instagram account make a joke that they skipped fall and went straight to winter.)
But if you plan to visit Switzerland around the same time as we did, mid-late August or early-mid September, I recommend reading both sets of tips.
So let’s get started with the summer tips first!
5 Switzerland Summer Outfit Tips
1. Bring Outfits that You Can Layer
Summer days can be hot, even up in the mountains and especially if you are hiking.
But even still, the evenings can get quite cool.
And if you plan on taking a lift up to the highest mountains, like the top of Europe at Jungfraujoch, you will definitely want to bring extra layers for playing in the snow and wandering through the ice palace.
Also, remember that hot and cold is relative.
If you are used to hotter weather at home you may be colder up in the mountains, while if you live in the north you may find the weather quite warm.
2. Carry a Backpack
You will definitely want to have something to hold your water*, snacks, money, passport, etc.
Plus if the weather looks like it may change midday you can keep a light (rain) jacket in there in case the weather changes.
*Bonus tip: If your hotel doesn’t provide free water bottles every day, I recommend stopping at a local grocery store (Coops is everywhere!) and grabbing a big pack that you can keep in your hotel room fridge so that you can have a cool water every day for hiking.
3. Bring a swimsuit & towel
While we didn’t quite get hot enough for a swim, I did see others on the gondola with beach towels for swimming in lakes.
Also, when my sister-in-law and her family visited last summer they all went swimming in a big lake at the end of their hike and said it was a lot of fun!
4. Bring 2 pairs of shoes
I always recommend bringing at least 2 pairs of shoes that are good for hiking and long walks.
It can be nice for your feet to get a break from one type of shoe, especially if you plan to do a lot of exploring and hiking.
5. Accessories for Sunshine
Some top ones that I recommend include 2 pairs of sunglasses (Roger’s broke in the middle of the week and he was glad he had a backup), hair bands, and a hat.
Also, sunscreen! Not really an accessory, but it’s definitely something you will want to wear.
Sunburn is real!
We ended up buying sunscreen after the first day because someone (
Roger) got burnt.
5 Switzerland Fall Outfit Tips
1. Wear Layers
This may sound just like the first tip above, but the opposite.
More likely than not you will want to start off wearing layers and peel one layer off at a time as you go throughout your day.
By the time we reached the top of Mannlichen on the lift, I had shed the jacket.
And halfway up the Royal Walk, I had taken off my sweater so that I could get rid of my long sleeve shirt that was under my sweater. (If my tank top had been cute/appropriate I probably would have shed the sweater too so that it was just the skirt and tank.)
And about an hour into our hike, I peeled off the sweater and just wore it around my waist the rest of the day.
2. Carry a Backpack
You may have more to carry in the fall with all of the layers/rain gear.
Instead of keeping a light jacket on hand in your bag, most likely you will want a backpack to stuff your outer clothing layers into midday.
Just make sure you bring a bag large enough to carry the items you may take off throughout the day.
You may also want to carry a rain jacket or poncho in your bag.
3. Bring Rain Gear
We got caught in a heavy rainstorm during a cruise on Lake Lucern on our first day in Switzerland.
We had rain jackets and an umbrella back at our hotel, but hadn’t been smart enough to grab them on the way out the door.
Luckily, the boat had ponchos we could purchase.
And while we did look like tourists the rest of the evening, we were grateful for them as we passed other tourists who longing looked at ours and asked where we got them.
4. Bring 2 Pairs of Shoes (& waterproof them!)
Along with the reason in the summer list for having a second pair of shoes, you’ll also be thankful if one pair gets totally soaked.
Then you can wear your backup the next day while the wet pair dries back at your hotel.
Bonus tip: Before you leave on your trip make sure you waterproof your shoes just to be on the safe side!
I used this waterproof spray on my boots and it worked great!
5. Accessories for Sun & Rain
Sunglasses and a hat may seem too summery, but you could also be really glad you brought them in the fall.
Not only is it sunny in the fall, but if you plan on going to the “Top of Europe” you may want them for when the sun reflects off the snow.
And who doesn’t love a good fall hat?
Plus if it’s raining the hat will keep the rain out of your eyes!
And if you aren’t wanting to lug around a rain jacket, they do make ponchos (like the ones we used) that can be folded down into tiny bags for easy travel, like these.
I’m so excited for you as you plan your trip to Switzerland!
The alps are the most magnificent mountains I have ever seen and they will take your breath away (quite literally if you hike)!
I plan to sprinkle my Switzerland posts out over the next year (I currently have about 15 planned), with a new one going live every month.
And if you enjoyed these tips, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so that you don’t miss out on another blissful tip!
What are you most excited about when visiting Switzerland?
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter!
With love, Giusti
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2 NIV