Table of Contents

29 Top Switzerland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

switzerland mountains
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Switzerland is a magnificent country known for its incredible landscapes and delicious cuisine, including Swiss chocolate and fondue!

From the vast mountains to the bustling cities, there will never be a dull moment in this unique place. With so much variety, it can be hard to know what to pack for your trip to Switzerland.

To make your life easier, we’ve put together this comprehensive packing list which includes what to wear in Switzerland, what NOT to bring, and answers to all your top Switzerland frequently asked questions.

asher fergusson switzerland
Me attending a conference in Seelisberg, Switzerland a few years back.
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What to Pack for Switzerland – 29 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are an absolute game-changer! They will make your life as a traveler so much easier. Use them to stay organized, move cubes back and forth to backpacks and hotel drawers, and avoid a suitcase explosion across the room. This set will prevent overpacking and compress your items a bit. It also comes in a variety of fun colors so everyone can have a different shade, plus two bonus laundry bags for clean and dirty items. Boom!

    Hero Packing cubes

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  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    A lipstick-size portable charger will be a lifesaver for your trip. Use it as an extra battery and power bank to charge up your phone or camera while you’re on the go so you don’t have to stop your day and wait to charge your devices. Simply toss it into your purse or daypack and you’re GTG!


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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A VPN is useful for so many reasons, and you’ll definitely need one for your trip to Switzerland. The Swiss’s cyberdefenses are not as strong as it’s neighboring European nations, and the National Cyber Security Center recorded nearly 50K attacks in 2020 alone with the recent numbers tripling.

    Stop hackers in their tracks. Use an affordable VPN to protect your private information, like credit card numbers and passwords, from cyber thieves when you connect to Wi-Fi in public places like airports, cafes, coffee shops, and hotels. You can also use a VPN like NordVPN to get around paywalls on popular news sites and access information from your home country that may not be available abroad, as well as removing geo-located pricing (which will make your flight prices cheaper! You’re welcome!)

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Weather in Switzerland can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be prepared in case of a downpour. Pack this lightweight windproof travel umbrella in your daypack to keep you and your belongings dry. It’s compact when closed but opens wide enough to cover two people.

    travel umbrella

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  • 5. Jet Lag Relief

    If Switzerland is far from home for you, Jet Lag Relief is definitely something you’ll want to make sure to pack. These homeopathic pills will both treat and prevent your jet lag in a safe and natural way, so you’ll be able to make the most of the first days of your trip. Way better than the brands that use caffeine and other stimulants, this brand uses chamomile and wildflowers to heal exhaustion!

    Jet Lag

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Switzerland

    Travel insurance is a non-negotiable for going abroad. We use Faye Insurance because they make claims easy and convenient through their mobile app, so you can get reimbursements fast! They are bringing insurance into the 21st century with unique plans for extreme sport, rental cars, Airbnb, and ‘cancel for any reason.’ This is particularly important since European hospitals are expensive and your at-home provider typically does not cover you overseas.

    There’s no comparison to Faye and the outdated providers that make you fill out heaps of paperwork and plead your case for what is owed to you. Faye wired us the funds when we needed them most! They cover delays, theft, baggage loss, and medical expenses, and other common travel woes. It’s more affordable than you’d think, sometimes only a couple of dollars per day, and is such a relief to have a whole support team in your pocket.

    Travel Insurance for Switzerland

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Neck Wallet

    You’ll definitely want to pack a neck wallet for your trip to Switzerland. Use it to keep your most important valuables, like passports, credit cards, cash, and phones safely tucked away beneath your clothes and out of sight from pickpockets. It will help keep you organized, too. I’ve been robbed in Europe, but having this hanging under your shirt will keep it completely out of sight so the thieves don’t even know it’s there!

    Neck Wallet

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  • 8. Filtered Water Bottle

    Though tap water in Switzerland is safe to drink, give yourself some peace of mind by bringing a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter like this one. Packing a reusable bottle will also help you protect the environment and save money on plastic bottled water!

    Filtered Water Bottle

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  • 9. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    For all of the epic experiences Switzerland has to offer, a travel towel will certainly come in handy. Use it whenever you go hiking, biking, or swimming. It’s also great to sit on if you want to sit down for a break when outside or use it as a sweat rag. It’s odor resistant, and repels dirt, and sand so it easily comes clean after a quick shake.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 10. Altitude Sickness Relief

    Altitude sickness is a real possibility in Switzerland, and it’s wise to be prepared for the steep change in altitude and oxygen levels. The average elevation lies at 4K feet above sea level, and at its peak, the Swiss Alps reach a staggering 15K feet above sea level! These supplements will help oxygenate your body and I’ve also read Chlorophyll is a great support for reducing altitude sickness. Note that the best way to remedy altitude illness is to descend to a lower elevation.

    Altitude Sickness Relief

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  • 11. Universal Travel Adapter

    Switzerland has two kinds of electrical sockets that aren’t found in most other countries, so it’s essential to bring an adapter. Most travel adapters fit Switzerland’s two-pronged socket. I always recommend travelers buy a universal travel adapter like this one from the get-go so that they will have one adapter that works in most countries instead of having to buy a new one for each country they visit. This one comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee so it’s the last one you’ll ever need to buy!

    Universal power adapter

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  • 12. Stylish Backpack

    The locals in Switzerland are notoriously trendy, so be sure to bring a stylish backpack so you’ll fit in and won’t draw attention to yourself as a tourist. This one is cute, spacious, and will work perfectly as a daypack for all your hiking adventures and excursions to carry all of your essentials.

    Stylish Backpack

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  • 13. Luggage Locks

    After having items stolen out of our checked luggage, we always travel with locks. There are many times your items are out of sight like when you carry a backpack through a crowded area or if you hand your bags over on a North European cruise. These will secure your belongings and they’re TSA-approved so they won’t slow you down at any security checks.

    luggage locks

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  • 14. Discounted Tickets on Swiss Tours

    Your trip is the sum of your experiences. Book the best tours with Get Your Guide, a booking service that works with local tourism companies to offer the most authentic excursions with flexible cancellation.

    Indulge in the chocolates of Geneva, cruise through the falls of Neuhausen, and climb the Matterhorn of Zermatt. My favorite cities are Chamonix and Grindelwald is sheer magic, but you can find the best tours for your group!

    Discounted Tickets on Swiss Tours

    See all Switzerland attractions at ➜

  • 15. Cooling Towel

    Switzerland has some of the most incredible nature and outdoor experiences. Stay comfortable even when you’re working up a sweat with a cooling towel. These compact towels get 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temperature as soon as you wet them, making for a super easy way to stay fresh and cool on hot days. They stay chilly for up to an hour and you can just add more water for continued frosty relief!

    towel pink

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  • 16. Snow Pants

    If you plan to frolic in the Swiss Alps, ski, snowboard, or enjoy the outdoors – this pair of insulated pants will make your days much more comfortable. Winters in Switzerland reach a brisk -10°C (13°F), so you’ll want to come prepared with the right attire. Keep in mind that even the autumn and early spring months can be brisk!

    Snow Pants

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  • 17. Activated Charcoal

    In the event that you accidentally eat or drink something that doesn’t sit well with you, be sure to take these activated charcoal tablets right away. They will quickly absorb and expel any toxins in your system to help you avoid food poisoning and keep you on your feet.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 18. Pashmina Shawl

    A pashmina shawl or scarf is a hugely valuable item to bring with you on a trip to Switzerland. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used as a shawl on a chilly evening, to spice up an outfit, as a blanket on a plane or train, as a beach blanket, swimsuit cover-up, curtain in your shared accommodation, and so much more. I never travel without one!


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  • 19. Sunscreen

    Since the altitude is higher, the sun is closer which means the sun rays are more powerful. Be sure to pack non-toxic sunscreen like this brand with vitamin E and SPF 50. This will help you prevent dehydration and a nasty sunburn, it will be especially necessary for hiking and long days spent outdoors.


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  • 20. Waterproof Pocket Blanket

    One of the best things to do in the Land of Milk and Honey is enjoy the breathtaking landscapes. Bring a small travel blanket for picnics, festivals, concerts, lounging outside, and people-watching. This one is made of a waterproof material so your clothes won’t get damp, but you can sprawl out when you find the perfect hillside or valley.

    Waterproof Pocket Blanket

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  • 21. Trendy, Comfortable Flats

    You’re sure to do a lot of walking during your trip to Switzerland, and when you’re exploring Zurich and Geneva, you’ll want to fit in by looking trendy. These cute and comfortable flats are just what you’ll need! They come in several different colors, too.

    Trendy, Comfortable Flats

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  • 22. Raincoat

    Just as an umbrella is smart to pack, a rain jacket will probably serve you at some point on your trip. Check the forecast to anticipate any rain, but it can rain about 150 days per year here. The locals also dress quite stylishly and classically, so this design will help you blend in.


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  • 23. Deodorant Wipes

    Deodorant wipes are a must-have for your Swiss adventure. You’ll be spending long days exploring the cities and landscapes of Switzerland and these wipes will be perfect for a quick freshen up while you’re out and about.

    Deodorant Wipes

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  • 24. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    We absolutely love this hanging toiletry bag and we never travel without it! It’s perfect for carrying all your essentials and keeping your travel-size toiletries organized, plus it’s easy to transport around from place to place. We haven’t had a luggage spill since consolidating our liquids too.

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 25. Hiking Poles

    Zermatt is famously the best hiking and skiing in the country, and places like Lauterbrunnen and Mürren in the Swiss Alps are just as epic. If you plan to savor the sights or do a lot of walking, these trekking poles will help you with stability and endurance. They fold up and are collapsible for compact packing. But they can make all the difference for unstable terrain, and even have attachments for gravel, dirt, ice, and snow.

    Hiking Poles

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  • 26. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    You’re bound to be using your phone for everything under the sun during your trip, so it’s important to keep it safe and protected from the elements. This handy waterproof phone case can be used in the water and will keep your device working perfectly! It even allows you to record videos with sound.

    waterproof phone pouch

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  • 27. Gorgeous Outfit

    You’re definitely going to want to pack at least one gorgeous outfit to wear for nights out on the town and nice dinners in the larger cities. This jumpsuit is a showstopper because it’s affordable, stylish, and looks good on a wide variety of body types. My wife has it in multiple colors!

    Gorgeous Outfit

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  • 28. Compression Flight Socks

    Any flights over 4 hours increase your likelihood of a blood clot. While it’s unlikely, there is a reason that flight attendants swear stockings and tight compression socks. These compression socks will decrease the likelihood of health trouble or swollen feet, which can be a miserable feeling after getting off a long flight. Between the pressurized cabin and lack of movement, these socks will feel like sweet relief on long journeys.

    Compression Flight Socks

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  • 29. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    Do yourself a favor and bring an extra bag along. You know there’s always a tiny bit less space in your suitcase when you’re leaving than when you arrived. And this duffle bag is perfect for carrying local goods and gifts like Swiss chocolate, cheese, watches, wine, clothes, leather goods, and more. It fits under your plane seat and counts as your personal item so you can skip the carry-on fees, eureka!

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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What to Wear in Switzerland

No matter where or in what season you decide to visit Switzerland, one thing is for sure: you’ll need to pack layers! If you’re headed up into the mountains regardless of the season, it can be quite cold – well below freezing.

Weather can be unpredictable so you’ll want to be prepared for any scenario. In the big cities, it’s best to dress in trendy, dark or neutral colors, which will help you fit in with the often very hip and stylish locals.

What Should WOMEN Wear to Switzerland? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Women visiting Switzerland should look put together and dress for ever-changing weather. Bring lots of layers to adapt to different temperatures and be sure to pack plenty of neutral colored clothing that’s versatile and can be worn more than once. You’ll also want some trendy evening wear for nice dinners and nights out.

What Should MEN Wear to Switzerland? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Men traveling to Switzerland should be prepared with plenty of layers to help them easily adapt to rapidly changing weather. Be sure to pack at least one or two nicer outfits for nights out on the town and nice dinners, too. Men should look put together when exploring Swiss cities, so don’t forget a clean shirt and long pants!

Packing for the Seasons in Switzerland

Some regions of Switzerland remain chilly year round, particularly up in the mountains at high altitudes. The rest of the country, however, changes with the seasons, so you’ll want to dress for the weather! Be prepared with plenty of layers and always opt for trendy, dark or neutral colored clothing when visiting the big cities.

WINTER – December, January, February

Winter in Switzerland is cold, regardless of where you are in the country. If you’re planning on skiing or partaking in winter sports, it’s imperative that you dress warmly with things like snow pants, snow gear, and a warm winter jacket. Layers are key!

SPRING – March, April, May

The weather will start to heat up in Switzerland during the spring, though mornings and evenings will still be a bit chilly. Pack a lot of layers so you can adapt to changing weather throughout the day and night during this time.

SUMMER – June, July, August

Summer is the warmest time in Switzerland, and it can get pretty hot during the daytime, so prepare with lightweight clothing that can withstand the heat. You’re likely to experience a bit of rain during the summer, so don’t forget a rain jacket and a good umbrella!

FALL – September, October, November

Fall weather starts getting cooler, and you’ll likely experience a mix of warm and cool days. Be prepared with layers so you can adjust accordingly to the temperatures during this season. Fall is a shoulder season in Switzerland so it’s a good time to beat the crowds of tourists and prices may even be a bit cheaper, too!

How to dress for different activities in Switzerland – (Click to expand)

Skiing – Be sure to bundle up if you’re planning to go skiing in Switzerland! You’ll want to wear a winter coat, warm boots, wool socks, a winter hat, gloves, ski goggles, and long underwear. The more layers, the better!

Exploring the Cities – Europeans in general tend to look put together and dress in neutral or dark colors when out and about in the cities. Do your best to follow suit and you’ll fit right in!

Adventure Activities and Hiking – For all your hiking and adventure activities, be prepared with hiking boots, wool socks, long pants, and sweat wicking or quick dry clothing. Bring plenty of layers to easily adapt to changing weather.

What NOT to Bring to Switzerland

  • 1.DON’T PACK too much stuff

    The last thing you want to worry about during your trip is having to lug around a heavy suitcase with you everywhere you go. Instead, pack light and bring only what you need!

  • 2.DON’T BRING valuable electronics

    Don’t risk your valuable electronics getting lost, stolen, or broken during your vacation and ruining your adventure! Bring as few electronics as possible and enjoy the opportunity to unplug.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE heavy books

    If you plan to do some reading during your downtime in Switzerland, you’re better off packing a Kindle than wasting space in your suitcase with heavy, bulky books.

  • 4.DON’T PACK a regular towel

    You won’t want to pack a heavy, bulky bath towel in your suitcase which takes up space and takes forever to dry. Bring a quick dry towel instead which is lightweight and dries super fast.

  • 5.DON’T BRING full-size toiletries

    Chances are, you’re not traveling for more than a few days or weeks, so you won’t need full-size toiletries. Instead, bring travel-size toiletries which are easier to manage and cheap to replace.

  • 6.DON’T TAKE overly casual clothes

    Europeans tend to look put together in public, and the Swiss are no exception! Try to blend in with the locals by avoiding wearing overly casual clothes when you’re out and about.

What clothing should I NOT wear to Switzerland? – (Click to expand)
The Swiss are known for looking put together, so don’t wear clothes that don’t fit the bill. Avoid wearing overly flashy or expensive looking jewelry so as not to stand out as a tourist, thereby making yourself a target for pickpockets and petty theft.

FAQs for Going to Switzerland

  • 1. Where should I go in Switzerland?

    There are tons of amazing things to do and explore in Switzerland, so where you go will depend on your interests and what you want to do during your vacation. Head to the big cities like Zurich and Geneva for a metropolitan vibe with good shopping, restaurants, and typical big-city things. Smaller towns and villages, like Lauterbrunnen, for example, will bring you closer to the country’s magnificent nature.

  • 2. What’s the best way to get around in Switzerland?

    Trains are the preferred method of transport for locals throughout the country. Public transportation is widely available within the country’s big cities. There are also some busses with routes throughout Switzerland.

  • 3. How can I save money during my trip to Switzerland?

    Cooking instead of eating out, opting for public transportation instead of taxis, and staying in hostels or shared accommodations are all great ways to save a bit of money during your trip to Switzerland.

  • 4. What is Switzerland known for?

    Switzerland is famous for its magnificent landscapes characterized by the Swiss Alps, Swiss chocolate, fondue, and several inventions, which include the Swiss Army Knife, absinthe, muesli, the potato peeler, and more.