Our top tips for the ultimate summer in Switzerland

Swiss cities have so much to offer in the summer months. Read on to discover our editorial team’s top picks of things to enjoy during the best time of the year.

Summer has finally arrived in Switzerland. This makes it the perfect time to explore Switzerland’s beautiful cities. And when you start to feel the heat, there are a myriad of places to relax in the shade with a refreshing drink. What could be better than soaking up the warm summer nights in a vibrant and bustling city?

The editors of the Overnight blog love summer in the cities. Find out their top recommendations for the perfect summer in the city.

Love at first sight in Basel

Ever since my first visit to Basel, I’ve been captivated by this small, cosmopolitan city. On every corner, you will find cool, open-minded people, hip bars and stunning architecture. And if it gets too hot, you can cool off in the Rhine and wash your cares away.

Nina’s personal highlights:

The «Basler Pfalz» viewing platform offers the best view of the sunset. © Nina Wild

Treat yourself to a delicious espresso martini. © Nina Wild

Bern – the cosiest capital city in the world

Whether for business or pleasure, I often travel to our capital city and always thoroughly enjoy my time there. Everything and everyone is relaxed and friendly, so you are able to really enjoy yourself. Of course, there are the usual things I always make sure I do during my visits, such as a trip to the Zytglogge, the city’s most famous landmark.

Linda’s favourite things to do:

  • Chill out and swim at the Marzili Lido
  • Snack on Bernese fries on the terrace of the Youth Hostel
  • For a little more action, go boating on the Aare. The fast-paced trip from Thun to Bern is a beloved tradition among the people of Bern.
  • My favourite evening activity is attending a poetry slam at Theater Ono in Bern’ historic quarter.

Boating on the Aare is the perfect thing to do on hot summer days. © Swiss Youth Hostels

View of the old town. © Swiss Youth Hostels 

The world-famous Zytglogge Tower. © Swiss Youth Hostels

Summer, sun and Solothurn

As a native of Solothurn (well, I live within the canton), I have often travelled to this beautiful baroque city. A visit is especially worthwhile during the summer months. A particularly interesting thing to know about Solothurn is the town’s obsession with the number 11. For instance, the town boasts 11 fountains, 11 towers and 11 churches.

Evelyn’s top tips for a summer getaway in this small and fascinating town:

  • Treat yourself to a refreshing swim in the River Aare. Just lie back and relax as you float around at a leisurely pace.
  • And if you don’t fancy chilling out in the calm river waters, you can head for the beautiful city lido right by the river.
  • Sitting on the quayside with a refreshing drink in your hand, you’ll almost feel like you’re by the sea. Sit back and relax and watch the hustle and bustle.
  • The number 11 is also the name of the town’s local brew. You can visit the Öufi (eleven) brewery and enjoy a cool blonde in the beer garden. I say ‘Cheers’ to that!
  • It’s like being in Provence when you browse the market stalls in the old town. The scent of fresh herbs transports you to the Mediterranean.

Pro Tip: Solothurn Youth Hostel is situated directly on the banks of the Aare and is the perfect starting point for your trip to Solothurn.

After a stroll around the city, you can literally jump straight into the River Aare for a refreshing swim. © Swiss Youth Hostels 

An Öufi beer is an absolute must in Solothurn. © Swiss Youth Hostels

Opposites attract in Zurich

Zurich has it all. From shopping and celebrations to cultural events, concerts or just chilling out by the lake – it really is a fantastic place to visit. It’s a city where modern meets historical, hip meets classic and vibrant meets serene. For a cosmopolitan city, Zurich is actually quite small.

Linda’s personal highlights:

  • Splash around in the barefoot bar in the afternoon (women only 😉) and then enjoy a cocktail with friends in the evening when the bar is open to everyone.
  • Play beach volleyball in the Obere Letten recreational area. Here you can work out and make friends for life!
  • Stroll through the Niederdorf quarter and stop off for an ice cream.
  • Walk to the Red Factory cultural centre and stop for a drink with a view of Lake Zurich

The Niederdorf quarter is a perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll. © Zurich Tourism 

Enjoy a beautiful, balmy summer’s evening at the Barfussbar in the heart of Zurich. © Swiss Youth Hostels 

Beach vibes and historic charm in Lucerne

Lucerne is another of my favourite cities in Switzerland. I’ve fallen in love with the city nestled on the shores of Lake Lucerne. It’s such a great place to stroll and savour the views. After your walk, unwind in one of the cosy bars and enjoy the breathtaking view of the bay surrounded by majestic mountains.

Evelyn’s highlights at a glance:

  • Enjoy the holiday atmosphere at Lucerne Lido. Chill out on the fine sandy beach, play a game of beach volleyball or hire an stand-up paddleboard.
  • End the day in a deckchair overlooking the lake at the Buvette summer bar. This sophisticated bar is a great place to enjoy an aperitif.
  • Cross the historic Chapel Bridge, then turn the corner and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the old town. Top tip: It’s a good idea to experience the town when it is quieter during the week.
  • Enjoy the city of music during the Lucerne Live Festival. Live concerts take place on various stages, and some venues even offer free admission for everyone!
  • If the weather turns rainy, you can visit the Swiss Museum of Transport, a popular museum that the whole family will enjoy. In fact, we have the perfect offer for this particular trip.

Almost as beautiful as the Caribbean. © Lucerne Tourism / Laila Bosco 

The Chapel Bridge is a must-see attraction. © Evelyn Gugger 

A touch of France in Lausanne

It’s probably the French language that immediately gave me the holiday feeling when I visited Lausanne. This was also helped by the sight of glittering Lake Geneva, the cobbled streets and the only underground railway in Switzerland!

Nina’s personal highlights:

There’s no time for boredom when you visit Lausanne! © Nina Wild 

Sunshine without a cloud in the sky – hello summer in Switzerland! © Nina Wild

Couples Families Friends In the city

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