Considering a trip to Switzerland in February and need the inside track on weather, skiing, pricing, things to do, and places to visit? We’re here to help!
February in Switzerland is peak winter and the most ideal month for skiing since the cushioned snowpack continues to build layers with consistent flurries throughout the month. Skiers will be taking advantage of these great conditions all month long, but non-skiers will also be coming for the beautiful winter scenery and activities.
Though skiing can certainly be the best part about Switzerland in February, there are tons of things you should consider when booking a trip this month.
This comprehensive guide has every bit of the February-specific information you need to have the best Swiss vacation possible.
Switzerland Weather in February
As a rule of thumb, low altitude cities like Zurich will experience lows and highs of 31˚F to 43˚F (-1˚C to 6˚C) in February, while high altitude places such as Zermatt, will see averages around of 20˚F to 34˚F (-7˚C to 1˚C). It’s important to consider the altitude of the areas you’re visiting, since this is the major differing factor when it comes to weather around Switzerland.
February is the middle of Winter in Switzerland and it’ll certainly feel like it in most places. The high altitude ski resorts will receive the bulk of the snow and colder weather, while the lower altitude cities and villages will have cooler temperatures and less snow overall.
You can generally expect for February to have pretty even temperatures throughout the entire month with occasional snow storms rolling in. Depending on the region you plan to visit, there may be more of a need for bulkier clothing and snow boots.
Average February Temperature in Switzerland (By City)
|City||Avg Low (°F)||Avg High (°F)||Avg Low (°C)||Avg High (°C)|
*Temperature averages listed here are based on numbers reported by the Swiss national meteorological service.
Switzerland Affordability & Crowds in February
February is the top of peak ski season for Switzerland and nearly all parts of the country will be swelling with visitors from all over the world. Traveling here will be the hardest this time of year, since all the trains, planes and automobiles will be booked with excited guests jumping from place to place.
With the influx of visitors comes the high prices for lodging, rentals and lift tickets. Though Switzerland is never a cheap place to visit, February is the highest priced month of the year for a vacation here. If your object is to save money while having a great getaway in the Alps, it’s best to try for December or April for lower costs.
If money isn’t an issue, you’ll certainly have a great time in Switzerland in February if you plan ahead. Make sure all of your experiences are fully booked ahead of time to prevent any last minute booking issues while on vacation.
Switzerland Snow & Skiing in February
Ski season is well under way and February is the most ideal month for a ski vacation in Switzerland. That being said, there will be plenty of skiers filling the resorts to the brim both on and off the slopes. Prepare for long lift lines and lively apres ski this month. Fanned out resorts like Verbier and Zermatt won’t feel quite as packed as smaller places like Engelberg.
Snow quality will be excellent in February as the new flurries will continue to layer upon an already decent snowpack. The glacier areas of the Swiss Alps will maintain their ideal conditions, along with even lower regions at this point that can take advantage of the cold Winter weather.
Average February Snowfall in Switzerland (By Ski Resort)
|Resort Name||Snowfall (in)||Snowfall (cm)||Summit Depth (in)||Summit Depth (cm)||Base Depth (in)||Base Depth (cm)|
Best Switzerland Ski Resorts in February
All the Swiss ski resorts and public ski areas are open in the month of February, allowing visitors to revel in near perfect conditions all month long. With virtually ever resort to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down which one you should choose for your ski trip. We’ve covered the best ones here for you to compare.
Zermatt is one of the most iconic resorts in Switzerland and has everything you could dream of in a vacation. Sitting right at the base of the Matterhorn, Zermatt has a charming car-free village, traditional hospitality and stellar shredding opportunities. Its got the highest altitude in the country, 200 miles of groomers and slopes suitable for any ski level.
Zermatt has lots of winding freeride trails that seem to go on for miles – and they do! Zermatt has some of the longest runs from top to bottom, including connecting pathways at Breuil-Cervinia, Italy. You can access this connection point by taking the extensive gondola system all the way to the top of the Klein Matterhorn.
Some of the lifts and runs will lead skiers to one of the dozen great restaurants on the mountain that offer ski-in/ski-out access. Zermatt village also has plenty of off-slope activity for a great vacation, which embodies the old world feeling of Swiss tradition and culture.
St. Moritz embraces the title of ritziest resort in Switzerland with luxury brand stores, impeccably decorated accommodations and world class skiing. It’s well known for having excellent intermediate terrain, though the resort is also a two-time host of the Winter Olympics. St. Moritz is a great February destination for any ski trip, no matter your ability level, but it happens to be the perfect fit for anyone who’s looking for not just a great ski trip but also a classy resort off the slopes.
World Cup quality courses line the impeccable slopes at St. Moritz, allowing more adventurous skiers to try their hand at runs built for the pros. You can also head to Corviglia Snow Park for 30 different obstacles that will keep you busy all day long. However, any level of skier can find the right trails for them in Corvatsch and nearby Diavolezza.
In addition to Nordic skiing, St. Moritz is also a great place to try Heli skiing, cross-country skiing and even kite skiing.
Verbier has some of the most intense terrain in Switzerland, drawing thousands of expert skiers to its slopes. The resort is massive, claiming over 240 miles of pistes on it’s sweeping slopes. The sheer number of runs available means that you won’t get bored on a weeklong ski vacation here.
Verbier is equipped with tons of freeriding terrain that offer a bit of a challenge. Plus, the Tortin – Europe’s steepest descent – is the thrill-seeker’s dream. In addition to the advanced terrain, Verbier is also part of the Four Valleys ski area, which means you can ski Thyon, Nendaz and Veysonnaz with the same lift pass.
The village has world class accommodations with stunning views of Mont Blanc and a wealth of shops and restaurants to complete your vacation. Verbier also happens to be a hotspot for apres ski and nightlife, which skiers should definitely consider and take part in when choosing this resort.
Grindelwald a quaint and beautiful small town that sits at the base of the towering Eiger mountain. Despite its size, Grindelwald has some of the most thrilling experiences in Switzerland, both Winter and Summer. In February, skiing is the chief activity and there are multiple areas to do it. The Bodmi Arena offers great beginner slopes and ski lessons for children to gain confidence before joining their parents on the blues at Grindelwald ski resort. Night skiing is even available on select nights when the weather permits.
This regions is known for its reliable snow and lengthy runs from the top, giving skiers plenty of time on the snow instead of the lift. A great benefit of choosing Grindelwald as your base is the fact that your lift pass includes the connecting Wengen resort, plus you can see the Eiger glacier from the village or travel via cable car to see it up close. From Grindelwald, you also gain access to the Jungfrau region and Lauterbrunnen via train.
At Andermatt, old meets new with new renovations and luxury accommodations built right alongside traditional Swiss chocolate box houses, small shops and local restaurants. The village is unique in that Andermatt maintains historic buildings and original woodwork all while keeping up to date with state-of-the-art renovations and facilities.
The resort has undergone quite extensive renovations in the last few years, helping it to skyrocket in popularity. One of the biggest highlights of the renovation is the train that runs between Andermatt and Disentis for apres ski parties.
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 for the season, primarily due to the great snow conditions. However, the Winter storms can shut down the mountain throughout the month, so the resort isn’t as reliable as others on this list.
Engelberg is close to Lucerne and Zurich, making it an ideal choice for those who want to get one or two days of skiing into their Swiss tour. In the Summer, this area is popular for hiking and sightseeing, but it’s transformed into a Winter playground during the ski season. There are a variety of pistes that accommodate beginners to experts, but advanced skiers will prefer the freeriding terrain off-piste. Powderhounds will also love the snowpack here.
The small town of Engelberg is situated at the base of Mount Titlis and hosts thousands of guests this time of year. Titlis is the main ski area and is most suitable for less experienced skiers in the beginner or intermediate category. There are nearly 50 miles of runs that fit this level, with a few expert runs dabbled in. Though skiing is the main attraction this month, there are also plenty of Winter guests who make the trek up to Mount Titlis for the views.
Gstaad-Saanen is an area that includes several villages in one, sharing a resort that is geared mostly towards beginners and cross country skiers. The resort is easily accessible by one of the many mountain railways that run through Bernese Oberland, giving visitors a magical experience. Gstaad is also home to one of the most modern gondolas, which was designed by Porsche to lift 10 passengers up Mount Eggli in record time.
Families will love this destination, since the resort is built with wide, sweeping blue runs, ski elevators and multiple learning facilities for beginners and young children. Overall, the experience at Gstaad will be more laid back, but also more luxurious than others on this list. If you want a relaxing ski trip for your family, plus excellent lodging and dining options, Gstaad-Saanen is a great choice.
Best Things to Do in Switzerland in February
February may be one of the busiest months in Switzerland, but that makes it all the more exciting! While not on the slopes, be sure to put one of the following on your list of things to do or see before you complete your Swiss vacation.
Take the Glacier Express
What’s more iconic than a Wintery train ride through the European countryside? The Glacier Express offers this and more on a trip from Zermatt to St. Moritz. This is a great option for a ski trip where you’re looking to get to both of these locations, or it’s the perfect way to experience the Swiss countryside. This breathtaking train ride gives passengers picturesque Winter views of the snow covered mountains, scenic alpine villages and historic castles. You’ll even have pass through 91 tunnels and cross 291 mountain bridges if you ride the full route.
Most passengers highly recommend the slow 8-hour journey as it’s one of the most scenic escapes in Switzerland. However, you can choose to just ride a portion of it and board a connecting train to the destination of your choice. Food and beverages are served along the way to make your experience even more comfortable and relaxing.
Zurich serves as one of the main hubs in Switzerland, propelling travelers to other parts of the country. But few people realize how much there is to do in this fascinating city, especially during the magical Winter season. Whether you choose to spend a day or a week here, there are almost too many things to choose from when visiting Zurich.
Not only does Zurich have an Old Town, like most Swiss cities, but it also has some of the best museums and cultural exhibits in the country. National Museum or Zoological Museum are two that we would recommend, along with a walking tour of the Alstadt. Cheese fondue is a staple in Winter, and lots of restaurants in Zurich will be serving up this Swiss specialty. Also, be sure to check out the Lindt Home of Chocolate where you can experience the nine foot chocolate fountain.
Zurich is also close in proximity to several ski resorts and public slopes. If you plan to stay here for a week, a day trip to one of these areas is definitely doable. If you want to stick closer to town, Zurich also has a public ice rink and hiking trails up Uetliberg Mountain.
Switzerland’s capital is busy in February, but those who love the bustle of a big city will feel right at home in Bern. As it is with big cities, there’s plenty of shopping, dining and touring to do on a visit to Bern. While you can fit some of the top attractions like the Einstein Museum or the Zytglogge into a short trip, a full week will give you the best the city has to offer.
For those wondering how the Swiss secret to great cheese, we recommend a trip to the Emmental Show Dairy where they teach you the step-by-step process of cheese making from local dairy cows. While you’re still intrigued by the Swiss process, check out the Designtour Langenthal to learn the art of Swiss interior and artistic design.
For a more traditional vacation, we suggest exploring Bern’s Alstadt. A walk along the Aare River is gorgeous in February, and so is a stroll on Minster Terrace, where adult and kid-friendly games and activities meet old world charm and decor. Winter sports lovers can also have their fun at the city’s public ice skating rink or on Gurten mountain’s toboggan runs. If you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can sign up for cross-country skiing at Nature Park Gantrisch.
Walk through Lucerne
The “City of Lights” is picturesque, surrounded by towering mountains and seated on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The water, the mountains and the city lights combine to make this destination as beautiful as can be. While the natural surroundings enhance Lucerne, the attractions inside the city make the trip worth it. A walking tour of the Old Town’s intricately painted architecture should be the top of your list for a trip to Lucerne. Along with the historic buildings, a walk down the Medieval Chapel Bridge and a visit to one of the nine towers at Musegg Wall will transport you back to the 1400s.
To continue your walking tour of Lucerne, take in the grand Baroque architecture of the Jesuit Church, or walk along the Spreuer Bridge. Another gorgeous place to walk through is the Glacier Garden which has artifacts on display from the Little Ice Age. Nearby, you can also find the Weeping Lion Monument, which commemorates fallen soldiers from the French Revolution.
Travel through Ticino
Ticino is a canton near Lucerne, but has a completely different look and feel. This Italian-inspired region of Southern Switzerland is home to Lake Lugano and sits on the Italian border. The city of Lugano is the Ticino region’s top recommended destination to visit, but other cities like Locarno and Ascona are also worth this visit. Some of Ticino’s top attractions include the Falconeria Locarno aviary, Galleria Baumgartner model train station and Monte San Giorgio fossil site, along with gorgeous churches and cathedrals.
Ticino is the warmest canton in Switzerland, so hiking is still possible here. A gorgeous Lake Maggiore hike from Tereno to Ascona should be considered for those who want to get sightseeing and exercise into their vacation. Another great hike is Ciosso Prato, which leads to the crystal cave housing thousands of crystals. Along the journey, you can discover what animals have been hiking with you by using the info boards to study their tracks.
Despite the relative warmth, there’s plenty of Winter sports in this canton, as well. Ice rinks are open in several cities, a snowshoe trail in Bosco Gurin, sledding in Nara and much more.
Tour the Jungfrau Region
The Jungfrau Region of Switzerland is a small part of the greater Bernese Oberland and home to extremely popular attractions like Jungfraujoch, otherwise known as “The Top of Europe”. Other great experiences include Schilthorn, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, Murren and Interlaken. These beautiful places combined make one fantastic tour through Switzerland.
Jungfraujoch is probably the number one destination in Jungfrau and has one of the tallest peaks in the world. It will be cold visiting in February but will completely worth it for the stunning views. On the train up the mountain, you’ll get impeccable panoramic views of the mountain tops and be treated to a delicious meal on your journey. The Sphinx Terrace viewing station is the main attraction, but there are also glacier tours, the Ice Palace and sculptures, and the most modern tricable gondola in the world.
Other great mountain scaling attractions like Schilthorn, a cable car ride to the James Bond exhibit, have mountain peak restaurants that overlook the Swiss Alps in all their wintery glory. Funiculars in the regions like Harder Kulm and Allmendhubel give you a bird’s eye view of the deepest valleys in Switzerland. While hiking this area is not permitted in the Winter, visitors can still get a full range of panoramic mountain views from the mountain railways like Kleine Scheidegg which travels between Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.
February Events in Switzerland
Fasnacht is Switzerland’s version of Carnival and they go all out for it. As you can see in the picture example above, cities like Lucerne go all out dressing in elaborate themed costumes. Parades take place all over the country throughout the month of February and the capital city’s version is considered one of the biggest festivals in Europe.
Horn Sled Races
This longtime tradition harkens back to the days when Swiss natives would deliver firewood on their large horn sleds in the Winter. These days, residents build horn sleds to race each other in January and February. One of the biggest horn sled races takes place in Grindelwald, where participants must steer the sleds around obstacles on the mountain while racing to the finish.
St. Moritz solidifies their title as classiest Swiss town in the country with such events as White Turf. Horses and jockeys from all over Europe come to compete in a several days long event where they participate in skikjoring, flat races and trotting races on their famous frozen lake. It’s truly a sight to behold as horses and riders skillfully race on the slick snow pack.
Chalandamarz is a Romani festival celebrated in select parts of Switzerland where the nomadic people are found. It’s a traditional Spring festival that takes place on the last day of February. Boys from each village will often ring bells of all sizes and dress in traditional garb to chase away the bad spirits of Winter. The celebration ends with parties and dancing.
February might be the busiest month to visit Switzerland, but there’s certainly a lot of great things to do to make a trip worth while. Between all the excellent skiing around Switzerland’s iconic resorts, Winter hikes through Ticino and scenic traveling on the Glacier Express, it’s easy to see why so many travelers choose February for their Swiss getaway.
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.