Updated on June 4, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
From the vast mountains to the bustling cities, there will never be a dull moment in this unique country. 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.
What to Pack for Switzerland – 17 Essentials
1. 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 passport, credit cards, cash, and smartphone safely tucked away beneath your clothes and out of sight for pickpockets. This will help keep you organized, too!
A lipstick-size portable charger will be an absolute game changer for your trip. Use it as an extra battery 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 good to go!
Weather in Switzerland can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be prepared in case of rain. Pack this handy windproof travel umbrella in your daypack to keep you and your belongings safe from the elements! It’s compact when closed, but opens wide to cover up to two people.
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.
Packing cubes will make your life as a traveler SO much easier! Use them to stay organized and avoid overpacking. This set comes in a variety of fun colors and includes different sized cases for your various belongings.
Though the 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 to protect the environment and save money on bottled water!
A VPN is useful for so many reasons, and you’ll definitely need one for your trip to Switzerland! Use it to protect your private information, like credit card numbers and passwords, from hackers when you connect to WiFi in public places. Use it to get around paywalls on popular news sites and access information from your home country that may be censored abroad.
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 adventures and excursions.
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.
It’s important to stay hydrated during your trip to Switzerland, especially given the high altitudes throughout the country. Simply toss some of this electrolyte powder in your drinking water to help your body absorb the vitamins it needs and keep you hydrated and safe.
11. 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!
You’ll definitely want to have some peace of mind before traveling to Poland, so be sure to check out the affordable and comprehensive travel insurance plans at World Nomads. You never know what can happen, so it’s best to make sure you’re covered in case of emergency.
13. 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 great because it’s affordable, stylish, and looks good on a wide variety of body types.
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.
15. 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.
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.
You’re bound to be using your smartphone 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!
Other Switzerland Packing List Items
Travel Neck Pillow
Over the Counter Medications
Hard Copies of Vital Documents
ATM or Credit Cards with No International Fees
Noise Cancelling Headphonesk
Motion Sickness Relief
Swimsuit Cover Up
Switzerland power adapter
What to Wear in Switzerland
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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