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Switzerland is known for its beautiful landscapes, chic cities, and classic style. Add these things to your Switzerland packing list!
What to Wear in Switzerland
Table Of Contents
Switzerland Clothing Style
Zurich is known as a place that is both conservative and casual, which means that it is acceptable to wear jeans and even sneakers for almost any occasion.
There are incredibly beautiful places to visit in Switzerland. The summer months see the city come alive to enjoy the glorious sunshine, celebrated with bright block colors and striking summery floral print dresses. Whilst it is a city with fashion freedom, it is still important to remain neat and presentable, so keep this in mind when choosing what to wear in Switzerland.
Zurich Travel Essentials
For Zurich weather, you won’t find the need for an umbrella on your Switzerland packing list. It’s not that it doesn’t rain, but rather due to the fact that the wind is too strong and it would be impractical for an umbrella.
Alternatively, a warm waterproof jacket will fill the role of the umbrella. There are outstanding hiking trails in the Swiss countryside, so if you’re interested in hiking then bring your hiking shoes or trainers.
Always, always, always check the weather forecast before your trip. Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a capsule travel wardrobe, which should easily fit into a carry on suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.
These are our tried and tested reader recommendations for the world’s best travel shoes!
What to Wear in Switzerland: Zurich in Spring
Liz says: Spring weather can be unpredictable and so it is important to remember to layer. You can wake up in the mornings to 4 C / 39 F degree weather, which can warm up to around 25 C / 77 F degrees over lunch time and will cool down again in the early evenings to around 12 – 15 C / 53-59 F degrees.
The best thing to keep in mind as you plan what to wear in Switzerland is that it’s important to be prepared for anything. Your daily outfit for spring would be a light top teamed with a pair of jeans and a warm jacket.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer a Summer Dress for Spring
- How to Pack for Europe in Spring
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Switzerland Packing List for Spring
As mentioned, Zurich weather can be unpredictable, and layering is important to ensure you are comfortable, so keep this in mind when deciding what to wear in Switzerland.
Quince Ultra-Stretch Ponte | Sizes XS-XL
Bottoms for Spring
Start with your base of a few pairs of pants that strike a balance between elegance and comfort. Well-fitting pants in a darker shade are always considered timeless pieces of European fashion, plus they’ll be endlessly versatile in terms of styling.
Ponte pants are a chic and functional pick. Readers adore Quince’s ponte pants for travel, as they’re stretchy, breathable, and amazingly comfortable all around, with a polished look that can be dressed up for nicer occasions or worn casually for sightseeing. They’re wrinkle-resistant, too!
For days where you’ll be doing lots of walking, keep cozy in these Spanx AirEssentials pants. They’re made of lightweight, breathable, and amazingly soft fabric that’ll help you transition from warm afternoons to chilly nights. Despite feeling like sweatpants, the wide-leg silhouette, ultra-flattering fit, and luxurious fabric keep them elevated.
Jeans are another great option for Zurich. You’ll see plenty of locals wearing them. While jeans typically aren’t the most highly recommended pants for travel, especially on a trip where tons of walking is involved, there are definitely pairs that can work for travel!
Readers love packing these Madewell jeans, which are lightweight and comfy, with a slouchy yet flattering fit.
Unbound Merino Women’s Long Sleeve Merino Crew | Sizes XS-XL
Tops for Spring
The local aesthetic leans toward neutral, earthy colors, and clean, simple designs. Basic tees are a must-pack for your sightseeing days!
This long sleeve from Unbound Merino is a perfect springtime top, as it’s made from merino wool, this ensures that you’re always comfy despite the weather, as it’s naturally thermoregulating and breathable. Readers love that the fabric is soft and lightweight.
J.Crew Slim Perfect-Fit T-shirt | Sizes XXS-3X
You can never go wrong with a polished white t-shirt. This shirt from J. Crew has slightly longer sleeves, and the cotton fabric is a bit more robust than your typical tee, so it’s great for transitional weather. A classic t-shirt is an indispensable piece that you’ll be able to style up in endless ways!
Jackets for Spring
While spring in Switzerland is absolutely stunning, you’ll definitely be hit with some colder temperatures and perhaps a rain shower here and there. Be sure to have a lightweight, packable jacket on hand!
Spring isn’t actually the rainy season in Switzerland, so if the weather forecast agrees, then a cozy piece, like Northface’s Osito fleece, is a perfect option. It’s light yet warm and has a cute, neutral look that’ll pair well with any outfit.
Quince Lightweight Down Puffer Jacket | Sizes XS-XL
Readers agree that spring nights get pretty chilly in Switzerland, so you’ll definitely need more than just a sweater. A packable puffer jacket like this one from Quince is a must-have for Switzerland in the spring to protect you from the chill of the mornings and evenings.
Shoes for Spring
Sleek and classy yet cozy footwear is ideal for Switzerland travel. Sneakers are the top choice for exploring Zurich in the spring, especially on milder days. You’ll need something super sturdy and comfy for your long days of sightseeing and for tackling the cobblestone streets in Old Town!
The Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles are made of a merino wool blend, so they’re warm and cozy as can be while still keeping things breathable, and super fresh with a moisture-wicking and odor-reducing insole. They’re cushioned well, grippy, and waterproof, too.
For evenings, chillier days, and dressier occasions, a pair of leather ankle boots definitely deserves a spot on your packing list. Especially if they’re waterproof!
The Sorel Emelie waterproof Chelsea boots are beyond comfy for stomping around in during the day and are elevated enough to be dressed up by night. They’re durable and won’t slip, and will look great with everything from slacks to jeans to dresses.
While not recommended for all-day sightseeing, ballet flats are also a good option should you want a dressier pair of shoes on your trip for warmer days or evenings.
Take a look at the womens chelsea boots we’ve rated as #1 in style, comfort, AND function, too!
What to Wear in Switzerland: Zurich in Summer
Liz says: you can expect weather that can range from between 12-15 C / 54-59 F degrees up to a very warm 30 C / 86 F degrees. The warmer weather allows for greater fashion freedom with your wardrobe and your Switzerland packing list.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Summer
- Top Summer Dresses Perfect for Europe
- Lightweight Jackets for Easy Layers
- Best Walking Shoes for Europe’s Cobblestone Streets
Switzerland Packing List in Summer
The evenings in summer can still get quite cool, so when deciding what to wear in Switzerland, be sure to include a lightweight jacket for cooler nights. An ideal summer outfit would be a simple t-shirt with a pair of lightweight pants or shorts and comfy shoes.
Bottoms for Summer
A pair of light and airy trousers are perfect for the sophisticated city of Zurich, but definitely make sure they have travel-friendly features and a cooling feel. This is where the Eddie Bauer Departure pants come in!
These reader-favorites are supremely comfy, moisture-wicking, and hold their shape well, plus they have UPF 50+ sun protection, while keeping a polished look!
J.Crew Bermuda Stretch Chino Short | Sizes 00-24
A hot and sunny day in Switzerland is the perfect time to whip out a classy pair of long shorts.
The chic look and comfy fit of these J. Crew chino shorts will keep you cool and let your legs breathe while being modest when touring museums, churches, and historical sights. They have a tailored fit with a hint of stretch for comfort and mobility and will look just as wonderful with a white button-down as with a simple tank.
Tops for Summer
A polished tank top is another staple for the hotter days in Switzerland that you can mix and match with any pant option and easily layer under warmer tops when the temps dip at night.
Streamlined and flattering yet not too revealing, the Madewell Brightside tank top is a fantastic pick. It’s made of cozy cotton, is light and breathable, and it has a hint of stretch for added comfort.
A versatile top like the Eddie Bauer Ripstop shirt can go both sporty and polished, which is why it’s a must-pack for so many TFG readers! You can wear it on a day trip to go hiking with hiking boots, dress it up with slacks for a nice dinner, or use it as a layering piece over a tee for a sightseeing day.
It has the look of a classic button-down but is full of practical features: it’s lightweight, moisture-wicking, and has UPF 50+ sun protection.
Quince Linen Button Front Dress | Sizes XS-XL
Dresses and Skirts for Summer
Readers say that light summer dresses and skirts in cotton and linen are a great choice for the summer season to allow for breathability and comfort despite the heat. Plus, they’ll add a chic and feminine element to your packing list!
For instant style and comfort, look to a chic midi dress like the Quince button up dress, which is made of 100% linen. Breathable and naturally heat-regulating, the linen fabric will keep you ultra-comfy, plus it looks classic and stylish. This flattering number also has a tie-waist for styling versatility and side pockets for storing convenience.
Loveappella Roll Top Maxi Skirt | Sizes XS-XL
Plus, a flowy number like the Loveappella roll top maxi skirt will allow for plenty of airflow and give your legs total freedom of movement. This piece is made from a lightweight stretch-jersey that feels amazing, and the fit is incredibly flattering.
Jackets for Summer
Although it’s summer, the temps can still get quite cool in the evenings and early mornings, so a jacket that’s lightweight yet still offers a good amount of warmth is ideal. You can also expect to see some rain, so a waterproof jacket is a must.
And if you’ll be out and about the whole day, a packable option like the Cole Haan rain jacket will be convenient, as you’ll be able to easily stash it in your day bag when not in use.
This jacket is a low-maintenance and highly functional option with a super sleek and stylish look! It’s lightweight enough for summer but will add a perfect layer of warmth and block out any wind and summer rain you may encounter.
J.Crew Classic Denim Jacket | Sizes XXXS-3X
Once you have your light rain jacket sorted, you may want to bring another jacket option for days when it doesn’t rain, or when you want to change up your look.
A jean jacket is a quintessential summery jacket that’ll add a nice layer and tons of style to your ensemble. J.Crew’s Classic denim jacket is a fave with readers that looks great with absolutely everything and has a comfy fit!
Shoes for Summer
In the summer, readers say that sandals can be a cute and comfy option for sightseeing, as long as they’re sturdy and supportive!
If you’ll be logging lots of miles on your trip and want to keep it light and comfy with a pair of sandals, the Naot Sabrina sandals are the best option to go with! The straps will keep your feet securely held in, the padded, anatomic footbed has great foot support, and the outsole will handle those tough city streets.
Readers love stylish walking sandals that are also versatile as they take you from a casual sightseeing day to a dressier dinner, without having to pack an extra pair of shoes.
Comfy travel sneakers are a must for your summer trip to Zurich. They’ll keep your feet protected and energized as you traverse the gorgeous city, and are practical day to night, and throughout the changing temps.
And because you’re likely to encounter some rain, waterproof sneakers are most recommended. Readers have been loving the Vessi sneakers, as they’re amazingly comfortable, have a classic and stylish look, and will keep the rain out so you can enjoy your day without having damp feet!
Look at this list of the top wide width sneakers for women that are cute and functional for long walks!
What to Wear in Switzerland: Zurich in Fall
Autumn weather can be unpredictable; it can range from sunny days to rain and even snow. Autumn is a difficult season when deciding what to wear in Switzerland due to the fact that outdoors is cold, and inside the buildings and public transport the central heating leaves you hot.
The perfect idea for dressing in this weather is layering. The season contains short days and along with the disappearing light comes a noticeable drop in temperature. As you prepare what to wear in Switzerland, be ready for cooler weather.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for fall travel:
- How to Pack for Trips with Mixed Weather
- How to Layer Clothes
- Use a Summer Dress to Pack Light in Fall
- Best Shoes for Traveling in Spring and Fall
Switzerland Packing List for Fall
When deciding what to wear in Switzerland in the fall, reach for items in dark or rich, earthy colors, and think sophisticated-casual in terms of style.
Halle Straight Pant II | Sizes Regular 0-16 & Plus 18-22W
Bottoms for Fall
For pants, choose warm yet breathable fabrics, classic cuts, and dark, neutral colors. Think tailored and smart rather than slouchy or distressed, but definitely don’t sacrifice comfort!
The prAna Halle pants are the perfect balance between chic and comfortable. Since they’re made for travel, these pants are full of function, and they’ll give you all the mobility you need for a long day of walking and sightseeing. They’re super flattering and versatile as well.
Betabrand Classic Yoga Pant
Sizes: XS-3X (Regular | Petite | Short Petite | Long)
TFGers adore the Betabrand trousers as they have the cozy feel of yoga pants hidden in a dress pant! They’re perfectly warm for fall weather, have a great amount of stretch while being supportive and flattering, and are such an easy, low-maintenance option for travel. You’ll be looking elevated and polished while feeling comfy!
Tops for Fall
In terms of tops, you’ll want to pack some cozy long sleeves. They’ll be super versatile for unpredictable fall weather, as you can wear them alone on a warmer day or layered under sweaters and jackets on cooler days.
The Eddie Bauer long sleeve crewneck shirt is soft and comfy, with a classic, slim fit that’ll always look nice and polished. It’s stretchy but holds its shape amazingly well.
Gray is super easy to coordinate with, but you could also go for colors like black, white, or navy. But if you love colors, there’s still a selection to choose from.
J.Crew Cashmere Cardigan Sweater | Sizes XXS-3X
Dressing for fall is all about layering items, so cardigans are the best match. They’re perfect for layering over a tee and adding more layers on top as needed. Cozy fabrics like cashmere and merino wool are great because they’re light and durable yet super warming.
The J. Crew cashmere cardigan sweater has a relaxed fit, a polished and classic vibe, and a cozy feel. It’s an essential layering piece that’ll mix and match with your capsule wardrobe seamlessly!
Jackets for Fall
The Columbia Pardon My Trench jacket is lightweight yet insulating, so it’s a perfect piece for layering depending on the day’s temperature. The mesh vented back adds breathability, the front tie belt enhances its feminine shape, and pockets and a hood add extra functionality.
J.Crew Cecile Merino Wool Sweater-Blazer | Sizes XXS-3X
If you want to look slightly dressier during the day or want a polished jacket option for dinners and nicer occasions, include a blazer on your packing list! The J. Crew Cecile blazer will add effortless style and as it’s made from a warm merino wool and a soft cotton blend, you’ll get tons of coziness.
Shoes for Fall
A pair of warm and waterproof leather boots are a crucial addition to your autumn Switzerland wardrobe. You definitely don’t want to risk having to sightsee with cold and damp feet. Plus, a comfy pair of boots will be endlessly versatile on your trip, as they’re easy to style, whether needing to be dressed up or down!
The Blondo Liam waterproof booties are cute and super functional. Readers love that while they’re tough, repel water, and are a dream to walk in!
Knee-high boots are another super chic and cozy option for fall in Switzerland.
The Teva Anaya tall boots have a simple yet gorgeous design with a slight heel, excellent traction, and a cushioned footbed that’ll support your feet throughout long days of walking. And, of course, they’re 100% waterproof!
Take a look at the best women mid calf boots that are comfy, stylish, and versatile!
What to Wear in Switzerland: Zurich in Winter
During winter you can expect cold and rainy weather, with temperatures often dropping below freezing and few daylight hours. You might even get some snow on particularly cold days!
The weather is unpredictable, but as long as you have warm boots and outerwear and some cozy layers, you’ll be all set.
(If you have your sights on hitting the slopes, bring along these essentials when planning what to pack!)
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Switzerland Packing List for Winter
Layering is essential for winter, especially because the temperature differences from outside to inside can be quite extreme. Make sure to have several versatile layers on your Switzerland packing list!
Camii Mia Snow Fleece Hiking Pants | Sizes 26-38
Bottoms for Winter
Whether winding through the picturesque streets in the city or taking a trip up to the mountains for a scenic hike, these Camii Mia waterproof pants will be perfect.
They’re neutral with a classic, slim fit, so you can style them up in countless ways. And aside from being waterproof, they’re also breathable and rip-resistant, allowing for plenty of mobility, and are lined with warm and cozy fleece!
Read this post on what to bring to Switzerland in winter!
Winter pants made of technical fabrics that also have a clean, polished look will give you the best of both worlds in terms of dressing for winter.
Another pick that checks these boxes are the Eddie Bauer Polar pants, which are sporty but have more of a sleek look. They’re waterproof, with fleece-lined for warmth, and effectively seal out the cold, so you can explore the great outdoors for hours on end and stay toasty!
Quince Mongolian Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater | Sizes XS-XL
Tops for Winter
The Quince Mongolian Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater is a reader favorite, as it’s super warm and comfortable! You’ll without a doubt be reaching for this top throughout your whole trip, and it’ll stay nice and fresh the whole time.
Naadam The Original Cashmere Sweater | Sizes XS-XXL
A sweater is another basic that you’ll be happy to have packed on your winter vacay. They’re chic, can go dressy or casual, be layered with thermals underneath and jackets over top, and are lightweight yet ultra-warm.
The Naadam The Original Cashmere Sweater is the ultimate travel top for winter, made of an incredibly warm 100% cashmere. It’s super pretty, has a flattering fit, and comes in a wide range of colors to suit your capsule wardrobe.
Thermals for Winter
With such frigid temps, you’ll definitely want to bring along some thermal underwear. They’re easy to pack and not bulky so you aren’t sacrificing comfort or won’t feel weighed down!
Silk thermals are fabulous because they manage to be light while offering lots of warmth. Terramar’s Thermasilk top and bottoms are thermoregulating, which will come in handy when popping in and out of heated indoor spaces, plus they draw away moisture, so you don’t shiver, and go on easily and feel great under clothes.
When it comes to reader faves, the ibex’s thermals are raved about in the TFG community, as their merino wool construction means cozy warmth and tons of functional features. Their top and bottoms will wick away sweat, let your skin breathe, and will keep your temperature regulated throughout the day. They’re smooth and stretchy, and are perfect for active days outside and for lounging around indoors.
Jackets for Winter
It goes without saying that a winter coat is essential for winter in Switzerland. Ensure that it’s waterproof, insulated, and has practical features like a hood and secure pockets. And a cute, versatile look certainly doesn’t hurt either!
The Columbia Carson Pass II jacket is sturdy, fully waterproof, and lined with Omni-Heat thermal insulation. There are multiple pockets, an adjustable hood, and a belted waist that you can cinch in for a more feminine fit.
The North Face’s Arctic parka is insulated and waterproof yet breathable, and it’s not too heavy, either. It’s super comfy for a day spent outdoors, whether hiking, sightseeing, or shopping. It’s sleek and feminine-looking yet still very simple and comes with a host of practical features like an adjustable hood with removable faux trim, secure internal and external pockets, and a stand collar for extra protection from the cold.
Shoes for Winter
You’ll want to go with sturdy waterproof boots when vacationing in Switzerland in the winter. Be sure they can handle rain and snow, will keep your feet nice and warm, have ample support for walking or hiking, and will grip slick, uneven surfaces with ease.
The Merrell Encore 4 polar boots are a versatile, sporty pair that has a sleek leather exterior which makes them a tad more elevated, so you could wear them with jeans and a smart jacket for city sightseeing, and then hit the mountain trails.
They’re cushioned, offer great support, and are easy to pull on and off.
Another sporty-cute pair that readers love is the Sorel Out ’N About III boots, which are described as supportive and amazing for walking. They’ll keep every bit of rain or snow out and keep your feet warm and toasty, plus they have excellent traction, are highly durable, and have a really stylish look, too!
Pack warm, stylish winter accessories, too, including a scarf, gloves, and a knit hat. These are essential accessories for any winter wardrobe to keep your extremities warm and protected from the cold!
Readers like using tech gloves so they can use their phones to snap photos or look at their maps without risking numb fingers. The UGG Techy wool blend gloves are not only elegant and fashionable but are warm, protective, and have touch-screen capabilities.
While beanies are always a cute and warm go-to for winter, a knit headband is a fabulous alternative that actually will keep your ears and head warm and allows you to rock a bun or ponytail.
What Luggage to Bring to Switzerland: Zurich
Keep it simple with compact crossbody purses or backpacks for your personal item and easy-to-maneuver luggage that won’t weigh you down.
When traveling to Switzerland, be sure your suitcase is compliant with international airlines. Go for carry on luggage that’s sized at 19” or 20” for seamless boarding!
Purse or Personal Item
One of the all-time favorite purses in the TFG community is the classic Travelon anti-theft messenger bag, loved for its simple look, perfect size, and top-notch security. It has amazing organizational features, including a side water bottle pocket, and has a clean, understated look that’s perfect for travel.
While Switzerland is generally known for being quite safe, many readers still like to bring along their anti-theft purse for the utmost peace of mind, especially if they’ll be visiting touristy or crowded destinations and using public transportation.
Crossbody purses are another smart choice for a Switzerland trip, as they’re secure and convenient to carry, keeping you hands-free yet giving you easy access to your belongings.
If you want to pack a tad bit heavier or just love the ease of a backpack, the Longchamp Le Pliage backpack is a chic and functional choice. It’s roomy but not too large, and with lightweight and highly durable nylon construction, it won’t weigh you down. Readers love that the leather details add a classy touch as well!
Carry On Suitcase
If you like a hardside suitcase, the Delsey Paris Helium Aero 19” is resilient as can be, yet amazingly lightweight at 5.5 lbs.
It glides smoothly, offers great interior organization, and while it’s a compact option that’ll fit in the smallest of overhead bins, readers confirm that you can pack a ton inside the spacious interior. This suitcase is stylish, too, with a metallic finish that holds up well!
Travelpro’s softside options are truly stellar, with their Platinum Elite 20” being a top reader recommendation! It’s effortless to roll around (yes – even on Switzerland’s cobblestone roads), will hold up great to the wear and tear of travel, and has several organizational features, multiple pockets, and a USB port for on-the-go charging.
If you are in need of an addition to your Switzerland packing list, then stores such as H&M, Migros, and Coop will stock a variety of items that are useful for the Swiss weather that comes with a reasonable price tag.
Coop or Migros also stock a selection of cured meats and cheeses and breads which you can treat yourself to.
When planning what to wear in Switzerland, keep in mind that the country is not known to be budget-friendly, and unless you have unlimited spending try to avoid stores such as Manor, Jelmoli, and Globus, which will require you to pay a premium price.
Tips for Traveling to Switzerland
Be daring on your Switzerland holidays and explore places that lead away from the main streets. In addition, common courtesy and an interest in the culture can go a long way in helping you during your trip.
Although most Swiss people are able to speak English it shows respect if you attempt to address them in their native tongue “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” (“Do you speak English?”) This will result in you receiving a much warmer reception.
An amazing place for Swiss food, and reasonably priced, is Zeughauskeller on the Bahnhofstrasse, however, be sure to book in advance to avoid waiting.
Enjoy your Switzerland Holidays!
What are your tips on what to wear in Switzerland for the holidays? What’s on your Switzerland packing list?
Please note: Most of Europe’s Budget Airlines have this Carryon Bag Allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airlines’ individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.
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For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet Switzerland (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for 9 countries.
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