Pack with confidence and avoid baggage fees - clothing tips and packing checklists for your vacation

What to Wear in Switzerland

General Packing Tips

  • Very smart casual or smart business orientated clothes will carry you through for business, sightseeing and for eating out.
  • Dark colored clothing is always popular in Switzerland.
  • A light raincoat and umbrella are useful all year round.
  • The sun can be deceptively strong even if the temperature feels cool. This is especially so at altitude and on the lakes, so we suggest that you use a good quality sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) and sunhat.
  • A lightweight day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • We recommend low key but quality jewellery.
  • Swiss women don't seem to wear skirts in the winter so pack any that you need, as you won't find them in the shops.
  • A pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit.
  • Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime (try Hotter shoes, they provide total comfort and look great too).

Clothing Tips for Men

  • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.

Pack for the Weather

  • In the winter; November, December, January, February and March most people wear snow or thermal boots, even in the cities. It is important that you get soft rubber soles because even medium soles get really hard in the freezing cold. Make sure too that they have large spaces between the tracks, or the snow will get stuck in them and make them very slippery.
  • The winter months are freezing cold and, as well as layers, you need to pack a thick coat, gloves, hat and warm scarf,
  • For extra warmth pack some long thermal underwear - you'll be grateful you did.
  • Even in summer; June, July and August the evenings can still be cooler so pack a lightweight jacket, sweater or a versatile pashmina shawl.
  • Dressing in layers will help you with the temperature changes during the day, whatever time of year you visit.

Regions of Switzerland

  • In Geneva you can never be overdressed - even down to the gold shoes for shopping!
  • Walking in the Swiss Alps is fabulous, but the terrain can be tough. Good walking boots with ankle support are a must, and make sure you ‘wear in' your walking boots/shoes for a number of weeks before your trip - you'll be so much more comfortable if you do.
  • If going up mountains or on the lakes in winter it is best to wear layers e.g. silk thermals, proper walking pants, a thin jersey and two high tech fleeces, one with a zip and one without and a light Goretex jacket which is waterproof and windproof. This will keep the bulk down and it's easy to remove layers and pop them in a day pack.

Last updated 14 November 2014.

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Your Thoughts



Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

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Warm cosy hats, suitable for all the family

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Advice You Can Trust

Being a native German, living in the States and organizing small group travel to Europe I find your site accurate and very helpful. My clients often ask what to pack when visiting Europe and I loved your motto: Dress smart! Nice job guys:)

- Russ and Elke, USA