If you’re considering a trip to Switzerland in July, we’ve got good news for you – there are lots of things to do this month!
July is Switzerland’s peak Summer month, where tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the fresh alpine air and warm sunshine. These perfect conditions make adventurous activities like paragliding, mountain biking and cliff walking possible. Many of Switzerland’s traditional cultural festivals take place this month celebrating the heritage of original Swiss settlers with music, feasting and athletic competitions.
Though it may be a bit busy traveling during July, the sheer number of things that are worth experiencing in Switzerland this month make it worth the effort.
Switzerland Weather in July
July is very warm and welcoming to Summer travelers. Like most places this time of year, Switzerland has warmer temperatures in the valleys and Southern parts of the country, while the Northern areas and high altitude regions will have cooler to cold temperatures. The glaciers remain frozen year round, but the majority of the country will have very warm weather.
July is one of the best times to visit Switzerland due to such perfect outdoor weather. If you plan to hike and spend lots of time outdoors, which is the top activity this month, prepare in advance for warm, dry trails with occasional rain showers.
Destination is key to determining the specific kind of Swiss weather you’ll be getting on holiday. Lower altitude cities like Zurich have an elevation of 1,339ft (408m) and bring in warm temperatures hovering between lows and highs of 55˚F to 77˚F (13˚C to 25˚C) each day. Meanwhile, high altitude towns like Zermatt average lows and highs of 44˚F to 66˚F (7˚C to 19˚C) in July.
No matter the season, be sure to check the weather before your trip to ensure you’ve packed all the right things for each city you’ll be visiting. If you plan to stay in one region, it’s safe to say you can where many items more than once, but if you travel throughout the country you’ll want to have different outfits for different environments.
Average July Temperature in Switzerland (By City)
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Switzerland Affordability & Crowds in July
July is the height of peak Summer season in all parts of Switzerland. There are a few small towns where you can hide out in the Swiss Alps, but you’ll still be fighting traffic on the roads, on the tracks and in the air. Prepare for a lot of bustling activity no matter where you travel, which can be fun for a Summer vacation.
July will also bring higher pricing for hotels, rentals, airfare and tours, which can make a significant difference in budget if you’re traveling with multiple people. There are plenty of great activities and excursions to be done this month to justify the cost, but it will bear a higher price than in early May or late September.
July is peak season for good reason – conditions are perfect for warm weather activities and outdoor fun! We’ll expand more on the sheer number of things you can do in Switzerland this month below.
Switzerland Snow & Skiing in July
The snow is gone in Switzerland this time of year, save for the tallest mountain peaks and the glacier areas of the Alps. Skiing is usually not top of mind for most people, but there are a few ski areas that remain open in July. Since most visitors will be intrigued by Summer activities like hiking and boating, the ski resorts are rarely crowded.
The snow quality in the high altitude regions and glacier areas is just as good as it is in the Winter, though snow storms are few and far between.
Best Switzerland Ski Resorts in July
Though the snow has stopped falling in Switzerland, you can still go skiing at two main resorts. Zermatt and Saas-Fee are havens for Summer skiing due to their ideal conditions and vast terrain all thanks to the glaciers that sit atop their resorts. The glaciers keep the snow and ice cold all year long so visitors can ski all through the Summer.
Zermatt is a charming town nestled at the base of the famous Matterhorn mountain. The town serves as basecamp for one of the highest winter sports areas in Europe where skiing is available 365 days a year. One of the coolest parts about skiing Glacier Paradise, where the Summer skiing is confined, is that the groomed paths at the top of Klein Matterhorn has sweeping vistas that lead to both Zermatt, Switzerland and Cervinia, Italy.
Klein Matterhorn is reached by taking a series of gondolas to the top, each granting access to mountain restaurants along the way. In addition to the gondolas, the Gornergrat (Europe’s highest cog railway) takes visitors across the rugged alpine landscape to the summit all year round.
Down below, tourists will have a wealth of experiences in Zermatt’s little town. The village is completely car-free, the restaurants are exquisite and shopping ranges from high end to local. Zermatt may be a hike from other larger cities in Switzerland, but the trek is certainly worth the effort.
Saas-Fee is equally delightful on the slopes and stays lively throughout the Summer as Olympic and competitive ski teams come here to train. Thankfully, the training grounds are separate from the public ski area, so beginners can get their footing without professionals racing by. Summer skiers get excited for the Stomping Grounds freestyle park to open, featuring a half pipe and big air jumps. This special park is reserved for Summer skiing only, so take advantage of the thrills while you have the chance.
The high elevation and ice cold glacier areas provide great ski conditions through the Summer, while warm temperatures and Summer festivals dominate the valley. The village is breezy and a bit less crowded than it is in Winter. Most visitors will be touring the lower alpine regions in the Summertime, so Saas-Fee will mostly have locals and residents in town. Many outdoor activities like hiking, biking and sightseeing are popular pastimes during the Summer.
Best Things to Do in Switzerland in July
Switzerland is a hot-spot in July and has no shortage of excellent destinations to choose from for your vacation. We’ll highlight some of the best that will make a trip to Switzerland worth it!
Visit Appenzell Village
If you were to picture a scenic small town in Switzerland, Appenzell would come to mind. It’s become very well known for being a picturesque village filled with friendly locals, iconic cheeses and fruitful farmland. A hike through the forested areas of the valley is just what the doctor ordered, accompanied by the tinkling of cowbells and whistling winds. Highly active travelers should put hiking to Bergasthaus Ascher restaurant located up on the mountainside on their Appenzell list.
The countryside offers it’s own breathtaking getaway, but the ultimate experience for a relaxing summertime journey through Switzerland isn’t complete until you walk through the village. Beautifully painted buildings and houses make this iconic town even more charming. These murals date back to the medieval ages and house quaint cafes and local boutiques. Don’t forget to pick up a block of Appenzeller cheese before you leave town.
Paraglide the Swiss Alps
Many tourists opt to hike, bike, cogway, and cable car through the Swiss Alps, but few participate in gliding over the mountain ranges. For those brave enough to give it a try, there are multiple adventure companies that specialize in paragliding through the Swiss Alps. First timers will also appreciate the fact that all paragliding journeys are tandem. Interlaken is one popular city that offers excursions, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding villages and rolling hills.
Lauterbrunnen is another great destination for paragliding, where you can see the Misty Mountains that inspired J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit surrounded by 72 waterfalls that dominate the landscape. Zermatt is another unique location for paragliding. Here, you get three different options based on skill and bravery level in order to come face to face with the iconic Matterhorn.
Bike Lauterbrunnen 72 Waterfalls Valley
Lauterbrunnen is a beautiful little town in the Bernese Alps that is nationally recognized for it’s 72 different waterfalls. It’s a hiker’s haven that can accommodate all skill levels on its varying courses and trails. In addition to the endless hiking trails, Lauterbrunnen has become extremely popular with bikers, especially in the Summer. For novice bikers, we highly recommend booking an e-bike tour for three to six hours to get a proper view of the surrounding terrain.
Lauterbrunnen has been an inspiration to several famous writers for it’s awe-inspiring landscape and thundering waterfalls. Take a day to feel that same inspiration and tour the Lauterbrunnen Church and bell tower in addition to the countryside. The less adventurous will love the cozy streets and cafes, while others will not want to miss a cable car ride to the Schilthorn lookout point.
Via Ferrata in Murren
Via ferrata climbing is not for the faint of heart, but many novices that have put their courage to the test have triumphed on the likes of Murren’s mountains. It’s probably one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the Swiss Alps while providing a thrilling experience in the process. Newbies should look for local guides and tours if trying it for the first time, but if you’re an experienced climber, the mountain is your oyster.
For those unfamiliar with the via ferrata experience, imagine an adult ropes course that challenges you at heights of up to 2000 ft above the valley floor, complete with tight ropes, suspension bridges and steep ladders. Tours often leave out of the small town of Murren, trek 2.2 km across the mountain and end in Gimmelwald on the other side.
Travel through Bernese Oberland
While this part of Switzerland is great to visit any time of year, Summertime is truly magical. You could spend your entire Swiss vacation in this one canton. Bernese Oberland is home to tourist attractions like Jungfraujoch, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, which give you just a little taste of the ideal Swiss Summer. Interlaken lies at the center of the Bernese Oberland canton, and other cities like Grindelwald and the capital city of Bern.
Bernese Oberland Railway is the primary way of travel and it will give you the best views of the countryside while quickly delivering you to each destination. Our top suggestions for getting the most out of your journey through Bernese Oberland would be hiking the best trails to places like Harder Kulm or through the Jungfrau region, or taking a boat cruise on Lake Thun. For those who seek a chilly excursion, head to Glacier 3000 for snowshoe trails, ski slopes and sledding. Keep in mind that Bernese Oberland is popular this time of year, so there will be many families competing to get into different parts of this canton.
Grindelwald is one of Switzerland’s ski destinations in the Winter, but in the Summertime it’s all about warm weather outdoor fun. The Bernese Alpine town has thrills to last a lifetime, including summer tobogganing, cliff walking, zip lining, and hiking. All these combine to make Grindelwald a tourist haven in July. In addition to the activities, Grindelwald is also a great base for visiting neighboring Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch.
The quaint village is filled to the brim with Swiss chocolate box homes, Germanic architecture, stony storefronts and rolling hills of cinematic quality. Delicious restaurants will offer a welcome reprieve from a full day of hiking, but the beauty of Mother Nature here will draw you quickly back to the great outdoors. Thankfully, all the accommodations have incredible views of the Bernese mountains, so you won’t miss out on the scenic beauty even from your hotel room.
Backpack Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 105 mile trek that traverses 11 different summits through France, Italy and Switzerland. The primary starting point is located near Chamonix, France, but entry points exist at both Champex-Lac and La Fouly, Switzerland. These are both accessible by train from Geneva to Martigny.
July is peak season for hiking Mont Blanc due to the complete eradication of snow and the beautifully warm Summer sunshine, so prepare to share the experience with a vast number of people.
This impeccable tour promises thrilling paths that give you fascinating views of alpine scenery with plenty to please along the way. In addition to the exercise, hikers are accommodated with rest stops complete with refreshments every few miles. Plus, there are different cultural experiences waiting for you in each country’s alpine towns.
Tour Chateau de Chillon
Chateau de Chillon is the fairytale castle of dreams which sits on the shores of Lake Geneva. The chateau has Gothic romantic architecture and a scenic French Alpine landscape, which draws thousands of visitors throughout the year. The magnificent structure has inspired poets and writers for centuries, with beautifully detailed interior and diligently preserved stonework.
Multiple tours take place throughout the day and guests are well-advised to marvel at the garden stroll along the banks. Afterward, take a rest at Cafe Bryon to savor a gourmet meal or grab a pastry to go. July may be a busier month for the most visited historic building in Switzerland, but the warm weather and lake breeze make it an idyllic setting for your European adventure. Tourists can easily access this rock island by train or car and can add this two to four hour attraction into a weeklong trip to Lausanne or Geneva.
See Rhone Glacier
The Rhone Glacier has existed for centuries and serves as the main contributor to both the Rhone River and to Lake Geneva. The landscape in this mountainous area feels otherworldly and a worthy site to add to your list of attractions when traveling around Lake Geneva. It’s closest to the Andermatt ski village and welcomes visitors all year round. Though July can be busy, it’s even more impressive in the warmer months.
Each year, mountain carvers form the Ice Grotto at Rhone Glacier where visitors can walk through stark blue ice halls and caverns. The trip to Ice Grotto includes an alpine garden, an educational tour and souvenirs and snacks. Outside, you can perch on the viewing platform to see the full expanse of the Rhone Glacier on the mountain.
Walk through Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein is one of Switzerland’s most gorgeous Medieval towns, which has dedicated centuries to maintaining the original artwork and structure to their historic buildings. Stein am Rhein is in Schaffhausen canton and claims the most national historic sites preserved in Switzerland. Visitors flock to these stunning facades and tours through the historic district are prevalent in the Summer.
The top attractions of the town include the Rathausplatz city hall’s intricate murals, Hohenklingen Castle and St. George’s Abbey dating back to 1000 A.D. A stroll along the Rhine River is also a must while in Stein am Rhein. With close proximity to Zurich, it’s possible you’ll be competing with tourists for train tickets and tours. However, the crowd is significantly smaller if you visit in the early morning and late evening.
Relax in Zernez
Zernez is young as far as established municipalities goes in Switzerland, but the town itself has been around for centuries. Located in the Graubunden canton, the picturesque town of Zernez serves as a gateway to the Swiss National Park. The park is the main draw to this area, but those who seek a relaxing and nature-filled vacation in Switzerland will revel in Zernez. The town has numerous beautiful accommodations and is typically less busy than other areas of the country in the Summer.
The National Park Center is located inside the town and gives you a brief rundown of the kinds of things you’ll see in the Summertime. July is also ideal for taking advantage of the family baths and pools in Zernez, or for taking a daytrip over to Engadine for more historic architecture. In addition to the Swiss National Park, Zernez is an ideal base for tours to Austria and into Italy.
Hike Swiss National Park
The Swiss National Park is Switzerland’s largest nature preserve where you can find alpine wildlife, sprawling pastures and steep mountainsides. Summertime brings out many various creatures, from marmots and foxes to golden eagles to ibex and chamois.
July is a popular time to visit, but with the 21 different walking trails to choose from, you won’t feel too crowded while you hike. The hikes range from easy and short to long and difficult, so it’s best to plan which trail to take before your arrival. In addition to the hiking paths and the natural photo ops, the park also has outdoor sports facilities, mini-golf course and a wellness treatment spa for relaxation.
July Events in Switzerland
Montreux Jazz Festival
With the gorgeous Chateau de Chillon as the setting, this free Jazz Festival takes place on 11 different stages over the course of two weeks giving visitors many days to enjoy this unique series. Jazz musicians perform at picturesque locations on the terraces, waterfront platforms and at the Lake House, completing the experience of your Montreux Castle tour.
This unique event is held at the base of Mount Rigi has ancient roots in the art of wrestling. The alpine people of the 10th century began annual festivals to showcase the strength and skill of their young men, which is still carried on through Rigi Schwinget. In addition to wrestling, spectators will also see stone throwing competitions and the alpine cattle ascent led by dairy farmers in traditional garb.
This huge music festival takes place in Bern, the capital city. It’s a giant Summer concert production that often invites big names in music to the stage. Guests will get to hear artists like Megan Thee Stallion and the Black Eyed Peas over a four day time span.
International Alphorn Festival
The canton of Valais hosts the International Alphorn Festival each Summer in celebration of their Swiss cattle farming history. In the small town of Nendaz, you’ll find folk music groups, classical artists and traditional dancers all dressed in traditional Swiss clothing. The alphorn blowers are the highlight of the festival, and there are as many as 100 of them in attendance.
National Costume Festival
Another festival celebrating the traditions of Swiss culture! The National Costume Festival showcases traditional Swiss clothing from all regions of the country, displaying the differences in regional dress and culture. Dancing, eating and alphorn playing are all highlights of the festival held in Maennlichen.
Interlaken Gauklerfest is an international street artists festival, centered around the skills and abilities of street performers in open air city squares. Audiences can view the impeccable talents of acrobats, dancers, mimes and more throughout the city streets of Interlaken for this one weekend in July.
As you can see, July is chock full of wonderful activities from outdoor adventuring to indoor touring. There are many people traveling to Switzerland this month, but the beautiful weather makes hiking and exploring available for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to plan ahead for a busy month like July and you’ll guarantee the trip of a lifetime.
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.