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10 Fun Things to Do on a Sunny Day in Switzerland

Summer will soon be here! Finally! I'm sure many people here in Switzerland would agree after this long winter and pretty rainy spring season. People will walk around in t-shirts and shorts again (whether that's always a good thing is up to you) and public pools and beaches around our lakes will be overflowing with families and children playing in and around the water. Indeed, it is time to go outside to enjoy the beautiful Swiss Summer because it will be gone soon enough.

Summer - rupert illek  / 

A few years ago, I wrote a post about fun things to do in Zurich on a summer day with 10 fun and cheap activities to do around Zurich in good weather. Now, I would like to share another 10 fun outdoor activities but this time with ideas that apply to pretty much all of Switzerland and possibly other countries as well!

10 Fun Things to Do on a Sunny Day in Switzerland

  1. Go hiking: Hiking is one of Switzerland's most popular sports. You basically need a pair of good, sturdy shoes, a comfortable backpack, sunscreen, a hat, water and a picnic lunch and you are good to go. Switzerland has plenty of great hiking trails. You can find a selection on the Swiss hiking website or here. Don't forget your camera!
  2. Go on a bike tour: Most people in Switzerland have their own bikes but there are also plenty of bike rental places, some of them for free (like Züri rollt in Zurich). There are many bike trails throughout Switzerland so you'll definitely find one in your area and one that fits your fitness level. Check out for suggestions. A helmet is recommended but not required by law in Switzerland.
  3. Swim in a river or lake: A visiting friend once asked me: "Is there a town in Switzerland that is NOT next to a river or lake?!" and I had to admit that most places here are within 15 minutes reach of water. Which is great for summer swims. Be sure you know where you are swimming and take the necessary precautions. Some tips for swimming in lakes and rivers in Switzerland can be found here. Btw, public pools are usually a great alternative!
  4. Visit a zoo or animal park: Switzerland has two large zoos in Basel and Zurich and quite a few animal parks (which usually means it's a zoo but on a much larger area usually set in a forest). Some of the animal parks are even for free (e.g. Langenberg near Zurich). Zooschweiz has more information about the 5 largest zoos in Switzerland.
  5. Rent a pedal boat and go for a lake cruise: There is almost no lake in Switzerland without a pedal boat rental station! Get a few friends to come with you, pack your bathing suit and take a pedal boat for a spin. Usual rental time is 1/2 hour or 1 hour but some places may offer longer rentals. 
  6. Go see an open air movie: Summer time in Switzerland is also open air time. This is also true for movie theaters. Even if you get rained at it is great fun (usually)! Find an open air movie theater in your area now.
  7. Enjoy a concert at a festival or open air concert: Open air time is also true for concerts. Plenty of festivals last several days and you can camp in your tent overnight. This open air guide will tell you who performs where and when. Enjoy!
  8. Go brötle or grilliere: The Swiss equivalent of a BBQ is brötle or grilliere. "Brötle" is usually an activity away from your home somewhere in the woods where you make a bonfire (there are plenty of fire places provided) and roast a sausage over it. "Grilliere" is done at home and usually includes meats as well as sausage. Both meals traditionally include bread, chips and salads to go along. 
  9. Organize a paper chase or scavenger hunt: Childhood memories are full of paper chases. If you have a couple of friends who like to shed their grown up behavior once in a while, this will be great. Tear up some colored paper in preparation. Then make two teams. One team goes ahead and lays out the paper trail (with some fake trails going into nowhere included) the other team tries to catch up with the first team (and picks up the papers!). 
  10. Go camping: We Swiss love camping! This is reflected in the large number of camping grounds all over the country. It's a cheap but great way to spend a weekend away from home. Find your camping ground on this website.



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