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Switzerland in April: Everything You Need to Know

Planning a trip to Switzerland and wondering if April is a good time to visit? Even though there’s no bad time to take a Swiss vacation, April can be a tricky month to plan around.

April is arguably the most “in-between” month of the year in Switzerland. Certain parts of the country are in the last phase of winter. Others are in the earliest phase of spring.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about what to expect when you visit Switzerland in April. Whether you want to know the average weather forecast, ski tips, or things to do, we’ve got you covered.


Switzerland in April - Weather

April weather in Switzerland tends to be much more unpredictable than other months. Most years, the first half of April can be counted as the tail end of winter. Things start to look and feel more springlike as the month goes on.

Altitude is the single biggest factor to consider when you’re planning around the Switzerland’s April weather. The average temperature, snowfall, and rain will be totally different depending on how high or low you are.

Zurich, for example, has an elevation of 1,339ft (408m). You can expect average April temperature lows and highs in Zurich to range from about 38-57˚F (3-14˚C).

Compare this to an area with higher elevation, like Zermatt. April average temperatures in Zermatt range from about 26-46˚F (-3-8˚C).

Rainfall is definitely something to expect in April. It varies from region to region, but you can safely expect to encounter precipitation during 10-20 days out of the month.

Again, April weather in Switzerland is quite unpredictable. It’s smart to make decisions based on averages, but always keep in mind that a particular week (or even the entire month) can look very different from one year to the next.

Average April Temperature in Switzerland (By City)

CityAvg Low (°F)Avg High (°F)Avg Low (°C)Avg High (°C)
St. Gallen35.154.91.712.7
St. Moritz20.545.1-6.47.3

Snow & Skiing

Switzerland in April - Snow & Ski

Much of Switzerland’s snow will be found at higher elevations by the time April begins. A small amount of snow typically occurs in the lower areas, but it’s mostly negligible.

You’ll definitely want to stick to the high-altitude areas if snow and snow-related activities are your priority. You should also aim for the earliest part of April, as snow is much less reliable at any location later in the month.

On the bright side, skiers can potentially encounter some very pleasant temperatures and find that they are almost alone on the mountain. It’s certainly not considered peak season and most of the ski traffic will be gone.

Affordability & Crowds

Zurich / Michael Derrer Fuchs / Shutterstock

April is one of the best times to visit Switzerland if you want to find good deals and low crowds. At this point in the year, the ski season will have mostly wrapped up and the spring/summer tourist season won’t yet be in full force.

You’ll be able to find some cheaper rates for hotels throughout the month of April if you look around. Keep in mind though that many of the hotels in the mountains will be closed now that the ski season has ended, especially from the last half of April on.

Travel around the country will be very comfortable. Not that it’s ever uncomfortable, but you certainly won’t have to ever worry about feeling cramped on trains or buses.

Best Switzerland Ski Resorts in April

All of the resorts on this list can usually be counted on for decent late-season skiing. Zermatt, famously, is one of the few resorts in the world that remains open for skiing 365 days a year. This is thanks to the glaciers at Zermatt’s highest peaks.


Zermatt Ski Resort in April
Zermatt / aNorther / Shutterstock

Zermatt is the storied town located at the base of the famous Matterhorn. The picturesque village makes an excellent getaway, with charming chocolate-box accommodations and friendly hospitality. Zermatt is a car-free village, but is easily accessible by way of the Mattherhorn Gotthard Railway. 

A ski trip to Zermatt in April guarantees massive, varied terrain that allows skiers to access runs from Switzerland to Italy. It’s most ideal for intermediate skiers. Sweeping vistas offer a beautiful cruise on piste, while delicious restaurant cabins dot the mountainside for a short rests. There are a wide variety of ski runs available at the resort all year round, along with backcountry skiing farther into the mountains.


Verbier's snow-covered peaks in April..
Verbier / Thijmen Piek / Shutterstock

Verbier is best for advanced skiers who enjoy challenging runs and off-piste trails that can get a bit dicey. It’s not too far from Zermatt, so you’ll also get some beautiful distant views of the Matterhorn on some runs. If you want an even better view of the Swiss Alps, head to Mont Fort glacier, but be prepared for epic slopes on the journey down. 

Those who enjoy a wild time on and off the slopes will have a great time in this French-speaking town. Apres ski is a huge deal here, celebrating the great success of dare-devil skiing and making new friends. Chic hotels and five-star restaurants are in abundance, and unlike Zermatt, Verbier has plenty of ski-in/ski-out accommodations.


Saas Fee / nikonka1 / Shutterstock

Saas-Fee has one of the highest elevations in Switzerland at 1800m and is historically colder during the ski season than most other resorts in the country. April is the perfect time to find reliable snow pack plus warmer temperatures to make your ski trip here enjoyable. Saas-Fee is located at the base of Fee Glacier, which allows for skiing almost all year. 

The village is a cozy town with plenty of activity to occupy your time off the slopes. It boasts some of the best apres ski bars and restaurants and the town is car-free. In April, the whole family can enjoy sledding and toboggan runs, compete in a round of mini-golf, relax in whirlpool baths or feed the marmots that come out for Spring.


Andermatt / JULIA Culp / Shutterstock

Andermatt is a highly active mountain that appeals to advanced and expert skiers who love the steep slopes and off-piste powder. Though it’s best for highly skilled skiers, there are still plenty of families and intermediate skiers that flock to Andermatt in April, primarily due to the great snow conditions and storms that happen throughout the month.

One of the coolest parts of staying in Andermatt is the fact that the village area remains true to it’s traditional Swiss roots, featuring historic buildings, original woodwork and seemingly unchanged accommodations; while the ski resort prides itself on keeping up to date with state-of-the-art renovations and facilities.

St. Moritz

St. Moritz / aNorther / Shutterstock

St. Moritz is one of the most well-known Swiss ski resorts in the world, twice hosting the Winter Olympics. The Corvatsch ski area, in particular, is the best part of St. Moritz for late season skiing. Winter sports are a popular pastime in St. Moritz and you’ll find tourists and locals participating in ice skating, sledding, Nordic skiing and even kite skiing. 

St. Moritz is good for all ski levels with plenty of varied terrain to accommodate beginners to experts. Thrill-seekers will love the Corviglia Snow Park which features 30 different obstacles, among other parks and ski areas in St. Moritz.


Diavolezza / Lavanash / Shutterstock

Diavolezza is a more advanced portion accessible from St. Moritz that is not for the faint of heart. It remains open through late April and gives skiers the opportunity to spread their wings on adventurous off-piste runs with excellent snow quality. Powder hounds can get their fill of uncrowded backcountry skiing relatively close to the main Diavolezza ski area. 

The summit offers several delicious dining options though this is somewhat of an isolated ski destination. There is not much in the way of long-term accommodations, but it’s a great choice for adding onto your ski trip from St. Moritz. You can get to Diavolezza via train, car or bus.

All of the resorts on this list can usually be counted on for decent late-season skiing. Zermatt, famously, is one of the few resorts in the world that remains open for skiing 365 days a year. This is thanks to the glaciers at Zermatt’s highest peaks.

Best Things to Do in Switzerland in April

Here’s a quick list of some of our favorite places to visit and things to do in April in Switzerland. The locations and activities listed here a great starting point for figuring out which region of Switzerland works best for your trip.

Visit Ticino

Lake Ticino, Switzerland
Ticino, Switzerland

Ticino is an Italian-speaking region of Southern Switzerland that tends to experience spring earlier than other regions. Ticino’s most notable feature is Lake Lugano, named after the city of Lugano, located on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Lake areas in Switzerland are one of the best places to see early spring blooms and greenery. The city of Lugano is the region’s top destination and is home to numerous sights and historical attractions.

Visit Zermatt

PangJee_S / Shutterstock

Zermatt is a Swiss town that really needs no introduction. It’s also a wonderful place to visit pretty much any time of the year. Early April in Zermatt is likely to still feel the last effects of winter, while late April will start bringing the first stages of spring. Either way, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Taking the cable car to the top of the Klein Matterhorn delivers incredible views of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains. Ski conditions will vary from year to year, but you can definitely still find some skiable slopes. Hiking can be hit or miss, with the first days of spring bringing muddy conditions in the mid-to-low elevations.

Visit Lucerne

MariaZubareva / Shutterstock

Lucerne is a good choice in April. The weather tends to be a bit nicer than what you’ll find in many other areas. There is also more to do in and around the city. Lake Lucerne is the #1 natural attraction and a boat ride is a great way to spend an afternoon. The Mt. Pilatus and Titlis cable cars stay open throughout spring and are solid must-see’s.

Boat Lake Maggiore

Girodiboa / Shutterstock

As mentioned previously, the lakes in Switzerland are a great place to be in early Spring, and Lake Maggiore offers some of the best activities in the country. The weather is beginning to warm, and though a chance of rain shower is possible, snow is completely gone along with most of the tourists. 

Lake Maggiore is nestled between Switzerland and Italy, and one of the best places to experience the Mediterranean climate is to tour it by boat. Train tours along the Gotthard trail are also popular this time of year and we highly recommend stopping to the see the Castles of Bellinzona built in the Middle Ages.


PangJee_S / Shutterstock

Many of Switzerland’s best hiking trails begin opening sporadically throughout the month of April. Depending on the weather, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a good hikes available in any region. The downsides are that it’s very likely for other trails to remain closed and many open trails will be muddied from melting snow. Lower-lying trails are your best best during early spring, as things tend to get muddy as you reach middling elevations.

Visit Bern

Oliver Foerstner / Shutterstock

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and hosts millions of visitors every year, making it one of the busiest cities in the country. April is an excellent time to visit since it’s one of the only slow seasons that Bern has. You’ll be able to see more of the city and experience shorter wait times for popular attractions and sites, though some restaurants and hotels may take a break this month before the summer rush begins in late May. 

The main attractions here, aside from the popular Bern Museum, all involve the beauty of nature. The cherry blossoms are blooming in the Rose Garden, along with the foliage and trees inside the Botanic Gardens which is only 10 minutes away from the train station. The bears are coming out of hibernation at BearPark and guests can walk from here to the Aare river for a scenic stroll along the riverbanks.

Gurten Park is great for kids, filled with a mini operating train and tracks, jungle gyms and ropes courses. Another fun area for passing the time is the Minster Terrace off of Bern Minster, where outdoor games and blossoming pathways welcome coffee-drinkers and newspaper-readers. No doubt, if you’re looking for less bustle and more relaxation, Bern is best in April. 

Visit Lausanne

Jon Ingall / Shutterstock

Lausanne is the capital of the Vaud canton and is known as the home of the International Olympic Committee. But visitors come to Lausanne to enjoy walks through the old town, excursions on Lake Geneva and views of the Cathedrale de Lausanne (otherwise known as Switzerland’s Notre Dame). 

April is a down month for this region and touring is far easier this time of year. Museums are especially great, with lower rates and fewer visitors. The Olympic Museum, Collection De l’Art Brut, and Hermitage Foundation are among the must-see attractions. For a truly spectacular view of the region, climb to the top of Sauvabelin Tower or stroll Le Port d’Ouchy on Lake Geneva.

Take the Glacier Express

Alec Harrigan / Shutterstock

The Glacier Express is famous for it’s gorgeous winter views of the snow covered mountains and scenic alpine villages. But did you realize that springtime is equally as gorgeous? In April, you’ll have beautiful scenery of the snow-capped peaks with wildflowers growing on the mountainside. 

The Glacier Express travels from St. Moritz to Zermatt, making it an excellent choice of travel if you plan to ski or visit either of these incredible towns. Along the journey you’ll have clear views of several historic castles, you’ll pass through 91 tunnels and cross 291 mountain bridges. Most passengers highly recommend the slow 8-hour journey as it’s one of the most scenic escapes in Switzerland.

See Rhine Falls

Olha Solodenko / Shutterstock

The Rhine River and Falls are such a remarkable natural attraction that it brings in millions of visitors each year. It’s the largest waterfall in Europe and April is one of the most ideal times to visit. The post-winter snow melt allows the water to flow freely again, gaining power through the summer as the water increases in speed. 

We highly recommend taking a boat cruise to see the falls, as this will provide the best view. You can also drive a vehicle to the falls and park on either side of the Rhine River to view this impressive spectacle from the Rheinfall viewing platform. As a matter of fact, parking at Laufen Castle on the southern bank is free. You can also opt to arrive by train. Train passengers can walk to the viewing area right from the Rhine Falls Train Station.

Ride the Golden Pass to Gruyères

Sarahbaby / Shutterstock

Another great train ride in April is the Golden Pass which travels between Interlaken and Lake Geneva. One of the best detours off the tracks that you do not want to miss is the town of Gruyères where that famous cheese was created. Inside the town you’ll find a preserved medieval town with delightfully decadent cheese, chocolate and wine cafes along the cobblestone streets.

To accomplish this, you’ll want to take the train from Interlaken and get off at Montbovon. From Montbovon, you can take a local train into Gruyères. The first leg of the trip offers those beautiful panoramic views the Golden Pass is known for. You’ll notice that Golden Pass prices and routes differ from that of the Glacier Express. The Glacier Express has a flat fee no matter the length of your journey, while the Golden Pass charges per leg. 

April Events in Switzerland

Celebrate Sechseläuten in Zurich

Sechseläuten is a festival unique to Zurich that celebrates the start of spring (and end of winter). The celebration takes place on the 3rd Sunday in April, so this isn’t an option for travelers visiting early in the month. The festival famously ends with the Burning of the Böögg, a handmade snowman effigy packed with explosives. Here’s a link to more info on Sechseläuten on Zurich’s official website.

International Jazz Festival

The Jazz Festival at Montreaux is a highly anticipated event that takes place over the course of two weeks each year. The canton of Montreaux is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, making it a popular destination this time of year. Legendary performances by jazz musicians from all over the world happen each night. The event is also known for showcasing up and coming performers.

Interlaken Classics Music Festival

This month-long festival highlights modern classical music and celebrates original classical music roots. Artists and performers from all over the world come together for this event year after year. Like the Montreaux jazz festival, Interlaken’s music festival introduces new artists to the stage who are eager to make their big break.

Lucerne Spring Festival

Lucerne’s Spring Festival falls in line with the previously mentioned festivals in that it promotes classical musicians and composers known internationally. It’s one of the biggest classical music festivals in the world. Orchestras produce grand overtures on a nightly basis, alongside talented solo musicians and prodigious singers.

Appenzell Landsgemeinde

This unique celebration is held in the small village of Appenzell, which is home to steep peaks and some of the most historic buildings in Switzerland. Appenzell Landsgemeinde is an annual celebratory reminder that democracy reigns supreme. The day begins with a parade of parliament, led by a marching band to the town hall. All the citizens vote for government officials and amendments, followed by the results, an address to the people and a town wide festival.


You’ve probably notice a recurring theme in this guide: April in Switzerland is a bit unpredictable. The weather, attractions, and general state of tourism are in the middle of change.

The best part about visiting during the low season is undoubtedly the low crowds and subsequently lower prices. You won’t be dealing with nearly the amount of people at popular destinations that you’d find in peak winter season or summer season.

The downside to visiting in the low season is that you’ll find that many attractions, cable cars, and trains are closed until summer or even winter. This is definitely something to account for ahead of time, as you don’t want to plan around an activity only to find it’s closed.

Our recommendation for an April Swiss vacation is to stick to the lowest or the highest elevations. Travelers that want to experience springlike conditions will find the best weather, blooms, and generally green scenery in the lakes and other low-lying areas. Skiers and snow seekers should plan on visiting a higher elevation area like Zermatt.

This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Switzerland travel guides for every month of the year.

Spring in Switzerland

Summer in Switzerland

Fall in Switzerland

Winter in Switzerland

For a summary of each Switzerland month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Switzerland.

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