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10 Fun Things to Do During Fall in Switzerland

fall leaves - Uli Carthäuser  /

It's been two weeks since fall solstice and the days are getting shorter rapidly. September has been sunny and warm and so far October has been pleasant as well. It seems almost as if fall is trying to make up for a lousy summer.

Fall in Switzerland usually means that the end for all summer activities like swimming, boating, sun bathing, etc. has come. Especially water related activities are off limits to most people simply because the water has gotten too cold. However, there are plenty of activities to enjoy outdoors on a beautiful fall day - just make sure to bring a warm jacket in case the weather changes unexpectedly.

Here are my personal top 10 fun things to do during fall in Switzerland:
  1. Hiking or walking: A good pair of shoes will get you almost anywhere in Switzerland. Enjoy the colors of the leaves changing and the sunshine. If you reach a high enough altitude you might be able to see the Nebelmeer, a sea of fog, lingering between the hills. Not sure where to go or how to plan your hike? Consult this post about Hiking in Switzerland.
  2. Wine tasting: Fall is wine season in Switzerland. There are quite a few Winzerfeste (grape harvesting festivals) around Switzerland. Try the Sauser, a young fermented wine.
  3. Thermal baths: On a rainy day or a cool evening there is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub. Choose a thermal bath nearby, there are plenty all over Switzerland.
  4. Be creative: Decorate your home in fall themes. You could collect colorful leaves and get some pumpkins to create a fall atmosphere.
  5. Eat Vermicelles and Marroni: Fall in Switzerland is the typical season for Vermicelles, a dessert made from chestnuts, cherry liquor and sugar, and the starting season for hot Marroni being sold at street corners. There are also chestnut festivals you could visit.
  6. Eat venison: It's hunting season so the local restaurants usually feature a menu of venison in addition to their regular one. Deer, rabbit or boar are the classic selection but in some places you can eat capricorn or mountain goat as well. 
  7. Visit a Chilbi: Most larger towns and cities have a fall fair, a Chilbi, with roller coasters and food stands. Make sure to buy some warm Magenbrot!
  8. Go watch a Alpabzug: Alpabzug is when Swiss farmers move their cattle, mostly cows and goats, from the higher pastures in the mountains back to the village. Usually this involves a colorful procession with the animals, folk music, good food and dancing. 
  9. Visit a cheese festival: Fall is also the season for cheese festivals. Farmers bring their Alp cheeses to the villages and everyone generally is happy to be outdoors and celebrate once more before the cold winter days get here. 
  10. Have pumpkin soup: On a rainy day, make yourself some hot pumpkin or squash soup and watch the rain drops fall from inside your warm and cozy home.

What are your favorite things to do during fall? Please share in the comments below!



  1. I love October the best in a year.
    Red maple leaves, chestnuts, hiking, festivals... are in Japan as well and I JUST wrote some about autumn color. "Autumn for arts," "Autumn for sports" and "Autumn for foods!"
    I want to try Vermicelles... That photo made me feel so hungry and dreamy.

    1. Vermicelles is delicious, definitely one of the best things about fall in Switzerland. No red maple leaves though, just plain red leaves. :)


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