Autumn vacations in Switzerland. Grab the kids in pleasant temperatures and stroll around Lake Lucerne, take a boat trip on one of the many rivers or lakes, or go hiking? Families with children are spoiled for choice in autumn.
In our guide we have compiled what is on offer in the individual tourist regions of Switzerland during the autumn vacations. So that you do not have to search long, you will find at the end of each chapter some suitable booking options within the proposals.
If autumn is still pleasantly warm, a Böötle with the whole family might be a good idea. The ultimate Böötle-Guide shows you where this is possible everywhere in Switzerland. Or should it be a trekking with llamas or alpacas? For that, too, we recommend you take a look at our ultimate guide for llama and alpaca trekking.
As different as the individual regions in Switzerland are also the school vacations in autumn. They differ not only in the date, but also the length of the school vacations is different in the tourist regions of Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Aargau, Basel, Baselland, Geneva and so on.
In the table you can see the autumn vacations of the cantons and the assignment to the 13 tourism regions of Switzerland.
|from - to||cantons abbreviation||cantons long||tourism region|
|23.09.2023 - 15.10.2023||BE-d||Bern (German)||Region Bern|
|02.10.2023 - 13.10.2023||AG, BL, LU, NE, OW, UR, SZ||Aargau, Basel Land, Basel Stadt, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Obwalden, Uri, Schwyz||Region Aargau, Region Basel, Region Lucerne/Lake Lucerne, Region Jura & Dreiseenland,|
|02.10.2023 - 22.10.2023||AI, BS, OW, SH, SG, SO||Appenzell Innerrhoden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Solothurn||Region Eastern Switzerland/Liechtenstein, Region Lucerne/Lake Lucerne, Region Zurich|
|09.10.2023 - 20.10.2023||AI, AR, BE-f, GL, GR, JU, TG, UR,VS, ZH,ZG||Appenzell Innerrhoden and Ausserrhoden, Bern (French), Glarus, Grisons, Jura, Thurgau, Uri, Valais (Upper Valais), Zurich, Zug||Region Eastern Switzerland/Liechtenstein, Region Lucerne/Lake Lucerne, Region Grisons, Region Jura & Dreiseenland, Region Valais, Region Zurich|
|09.10.2023 - 27.10.2023||OW||Obwalden||Lucerne/Lake Lucerne Region|
|16.10.2023 - 27.10.2023||FR, VD, VS||Freiburg, Waadt, Wallis||Region Fribourg, Region Waadtland/Lake Geneva Region, Region Wallis|
|23.10.2022 - 27.10.2022||GE||Geneva||Geneva Region|
|28.10.2021 - 05.11.2021||TI||Ticino||Ticino Region|
The Zurich Region consists of the cantons of Zug and Zurich. Zurich is a beautiful city and also a center for education, the financial world and culture. How well do you and how well do your children know the city of Zurich? Take advantage of the autumn vacations and go sightseeing. You can add a trip across Lake Zurich to relax afterwards. The Uetliberg, Zurich's local mountain, is also a good place for a trip in autumn. You can reach it in a short time with the S10 and enjoy the view from the observation tower. A walk along the planetary path Uetliberg-Felsenegg is especially beautiful in autumn with colorful foliage. For not so good outdoor weather, a visit to the Chocolate Museum or the Zurich Zoo is a good idea.
There are many options for a city tour. You can experience it in a TukTuk, on a city bus or on foot. A pleasant way to relieve tired legs is to ride a Segway or e-scooter. A city guide will accompany you. For a day trip, the combination of Zurich with a visit to the chocolate factory and a bus ride to Schaffhausen is worthwhile. The whole family will get their money's worth.
Taking the whole family on a boat trip across Lake Zurich is not only exciting for the little ones, it can also be very relaxing. During the fall vacations, there are definitely still sunny days that are perfect for this. The popular lake cruises start every half hour from Zurich's Bürkliplatz. They vary in length and do not always serve all the ship's moorings.
The Bern region is particularly diverse. Here you will find the Jungfrau region and four other four-thousand-meter peaks. Lake Brienz and Lake Thun entice with boat trips and right in the middle lies Interlaken as a starting point for activities of all kinds. From Bern, a day trip to the Europapark in Rust (Germany) is a welcome change for young and old and you can take a boat trip, for example, on the stretch of the Aare between Thun and Bern with a guide.
The Gletscherschlucht Grindelwald is a very exciting destination for autumn vacations in Switzerland, even for children. You'll hike through a gorge carved by the glacier and experience thrilling depths on the taut spider web. The wild romance is enhanced by waterfalls from the Lütschine. If your children want to let off some steam, you can combine this with a visit to Grindelwald's local mountain Pfingstegg or the Grindelwald First.
A trip to the Schilthorn with the whole family brings fun and experiences around the James Bond movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". You will relive the exciting film with your children and learn a lot of interesting facts about the technology used in it.
The main James Bond sights are:
If this visit hasn't given you enough adrenaline, it's best to walk around the mountain on the Thrill Walk before finally heading down.
The region of Lucerne/Lake Lucerne offers a variety of possibilities for organizing your autumn vacation. In addition to the magnificent lakes nestled in beautiful mountain landscapes, you will always find pretty villages and even baroque castles. Whether Rigi, Stanserhorn or Pilatus, countless hiking and biking trails await your whole family on the surrounding mountains. Or do you prefer to spend the whole day cruising around Lake Lucerne? This is also a good idea that you can easily realize.
Rainy days during the fall vacations are perfect for spending a few hours or a whole day at the Lucerne Museum of Transport. Besides the museum with its interactive exhibitions, the planetarium or the XXL cinema in 3D are also very exciting. As a reward, you can enjoy delicious Lindt chocolate in the chocolate museum.
The Stanserhorn is also called the "Lazy Mountain" and indeed you can lounge magnificently there at 1,898 meters above sea level. However, it is also considered a place of power and offers an incomparably beautiful view of ten lakes and their surroundings as well as a marmot colony. At the Stanserhorn, you have the opportunity to watch the delta flyers and paragliders. From Stans you need about half an hour for the nostalgic funicular and the subsequent modern cable car.
The region of Aargau is known for the confluence of the three rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat. North of Brugg and Gebenstorf you will find "the water castle of Switzerland", a well-known floodplain. Thermal baths are fed with 45 degree hot sulfurous water in Rheinfelden, Bad Schinznach and Bad Zurzach. In rainy weather or cool winds, a thermal bath is a pleasant change. Is your family rather not inclined to a thermal bath? Then you have the choice of more than 70 museums, several historic castles and 13 historic old towns.
The Böötle is still a great experience during the autumn vacations. Between Aarau and Brugg as well as Brugg and Full-Reuenthal, you can easily navigate the Aare. But you need to be in good shape. You may have to paddle with the whole family to make progress on the slow flowing Aare. There are sections of 18 and 19 kilometers. In the second section, the Reuss and the Limmat flow into the Aare, which finally joins the Rhine in Full-Reuenthal.
Rheinfelden is a divided town. It is partly in Germany and partly in Switzerland. A guided tour of the town on the Swiss side is made particularly interesting. The guide wears a goat costume and explains the saga of the tailor from the Middle Ages in an hour and a half city tour. You will also visit a goat enclosure. Even for small children, the story is very entertaining. For older children, Rheinfelden has a number of other topics in store on the city tour. The executioner from the Middle Ages, women's stories, Rheinfelden's old town houses and their stories, Rheinfelden and the plague are further examples.
The city of Basel itself is picturesquely situated on the Rhine. It has more than 40 museums and on rather dull days you will surely find a theme that will captivate you and your family. You should take advantage of a beautiful autumn day on vacation to visit Augusta Raurica. Your family will also enjoy a visit to the zoo, which Basel residents call "Zolli". To get around the city, you can choose e-scooters or explore the city of Basel by Segway. Have you ever been to an Escape Room? Freeing a cake and then feasting on it will surely please you and your family.
Founded by the Romans in 44 B.C., the city is located just ten kilometers from Basel to the east of the city. Up to 20,000 people once lived here in the city. Today, you can learn here how the Romans made oils and ointments or baked their bread. You can also attend a pottery workshop here. 10.The impressive amphitheater, which is now used for events from time to time, could hold up to 000 people.
Basel Zoo is located in the center of the city. Here, the ape house is a special attraction. Gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees roam the outdoor area and there is also a children's adventure playground here. On ropes and hammocks, the little ones can do as the apes do. The youngest inhabitants of the zoo are also particularly interesting for children. The offspring of crocodiles, cheetahs, giraffes, meerkats and kangaroos are particularly popular. Feeding takes place daily between 3 and 4 pm. The pelican feedings at 3:30 p.m. and the sea lion feedings at 4 p.m. are particularly popular.
Ticino is the sunshine room of Switzerland and often still offers pleasant temperatures in October and early November. The northern part of Ticino with its wide valleys Leventina, Blenio and Riviera is suitable for day trips for hiking. In Vallemaggia you can also experience pure nature. It is the largest valley in Ticino and occupies about one fifth of the total area. The valley is considered a natural paradise and is said to be home to about a quarter of all Swiss animal species. In addition, some valleys are very suitable for canyoning, as they have washed-out gorges.
The village of Gandria still shows the life of past times. In the small alleys of the village nothing has changed for more than a hundred years. Gandria is situated on a steep slope of the Monte Brè mountain at 295 meters above sea level on the northern shore of Lake Lugano. From the train station Lugano you can reach it to the east in five kilometers. You can reach it on foot in one hour by following the olive tree path. A boat trip from Lugano is pleasant, and on Friday afternoons the Lugano Tourist Office offers a free guided tour of Gandria following a boat trip. However, you would have to book yourself and your family in advance. For the way back, even the locals usually use the olive path to the bus stop in Castagnola. Line 2 goes to Lugano.
The valleys and gorges of Ticino are particularly suitable for canyoning. Beginners' courses are offered from the age of six, family courses from the age of eight. Some providers run these courses from the age of 12. At the end of the tour, you will have the opportunity to indulge in culinary delights in one of the many rustic grottos.
Graubünden is a typical alpine country. It is characterized by its mountains. Graubünden alone counts 365 mountain peaks, all of which are above 2500 meters above sea level. The highest is Piz Bernina at 4049 m.a.s.l., around which some 35 three-thousand-meter peaks are grouped. The Rhine Gorge, known as the "Swiss Grand Canyon", is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is popular for rafting. The Romansh-speaking locals call it "Ruinaulta".
If you'd rather take a mountain bike tour with your kids along the Vorder or Hinter Rhine during your fall vacation, you should choose gravel e-bikes. They ride particularly well over the gravel paths. Arosa Bärenland is also a very unusual excursion for you and your family. Another idea is to visit a freestyle camp for kids in Engadin. Here, children between the ages of 10 and 16 learn new skills and how to best pose for video recordings.
Children as young as 10 years old may take part in a rafting tour of several hours across the Vorderrhein, accompanied by an adult. This unusual experience shapes children who enjoy outdoor activities. You will cover a distance of about twenty kilometers, passing rapids as well as calm sections. You can combine this rafting with a barbecue on the beach.
You can get to Arosa Bärenland with the Arosa-Weisshorn cable car until around the end of October. The Bärenland is located on a plateau at 2000 m above sea level and includes:
The adventure trail is built floating and allows you to watch the bears at eye level at a total of eight viewing platforms. It is 80 meters long in total. The adventure trail is 2.5 kilometers long. Here you will meet six big bears, which you can measure. If your children present the complete punch card at the end, they will receive a bear surprise.
The region of Eastern Switzerland with Liechtenstein offers you in the alpine region and in the Appenzellerland many hiking possibilities, which are also adjusted to children. The mountain restaurant Äscher, which can be reached by cable car Ebenalp, was built into the rock and is a popular destination. The three lakes Sämtisersee, Fählersee and Seealpsee are called the pearls of the Alpstein.
Children's adventure playgrounds are very popular here. In Kronberg in Appenzellerland there is a zipline park, which offers a rope park as well as 25 ziplines with a total length of 1210 meters. But also a walk with a llama or alpaca is something quite unusual and remains unforgettable in any case.
The Hölloch is a huge karst cave system in the Muota Valley with a length of more than 200 kilometers and a height difference of more than 1000 meters. Guided tours are offered here, which are suitable for children from 6, 9 or 10 years of age, depending on the scope and difficulty. You do not need to bring any necessary equipment. Whether it's a short guided tour (from 6 years) or a day trip with glitter tour (from 10 years), the experience is always special for you and your family. The day trip includes a climb to the "Dombiwak". Later you will meet a 30 meters high waterfall. It is underground and is called "Water Dome".
You can take a two-hour taster tour with llamas and alpacas or combine an evening trekking with a fine raclette or fondue in the fresh air. Torches then light up the night. Especially for children this is a great experience during the autumn vacations. You hike with the animals and your family on pleasant paths along meadows and through forests.
In the Jura & Dreiseenland you can hike with the whole family, go on a bike tour or drive to the Neuchâtel mountains. Worth seeing is the massive rock Creux du Van. The beautiful rock basin has 160 meters high rock walls and almost the shape of a horseshoe. It can be reached by car, on foot or by bike only through 14 hairpin bends.
The Chasseral Nature Park north of Lake Neuchâtel and west of Lake Biel is also worth a visit. Three public buses go to the Chasseral. The Jura region is largely at an altitude of 1000 meters. Do your children like horseback riding? This region is ideal for horseback riding and you have the choice of about thirteen riding schools or farms to find the right one for you.
The guided tours through the beautiful town of Murten with its medieval castle and the walkable ring wall are very different and offer something for every taste.
The Chasseral Nature Park is located in the triangle formed by the towns of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel and Biel and has its highest elevation at around 1600 m.a.s.l. In addition to rocky cliffs and Wyt pastures, there are beautiful peat bogs here that you can visit with your family. Since this area is still largely untouched by tourism, you have a unique opportunity to enjoy the original rural cuisine.
The vegetable trail is just under 35 kilometers long. It leads largely along car-free paths and is easy to ride by bike. It leads through rural countryside and past several farms.
You will pass through these villages as stages:
At the starting and finishing point in Kerzers there is parking for the car and here you will also find toilets.
Geneva is marked on Lake Geneva by a 140 meter high fountain. It is called "Jet d'eau" and has become the city's landmark. The smallest of the 13 tourist regions in Switzerland has nearly thirty interesting museums. Geneva's old town contrasts pleasantly with the neighborhood where the banks and many international organizations are located.
The best way to explore the old town of Geneva with its main sights is by e-bike. Afterwards, the ride might take you to the English Garden with its colorful flower clock, the United Nations Square and the Broken Chair sculpture. You should allow a total of about 2-3 hours for this.
The Natural History Museum is located in the Eaux-Vives district. On four floors you will find exhibitions from all over the world. The total exhibition area is 10,000 square meters. Among other things, it houses huge insect collections, but also dinosaurs. The museum scores with animal roars and ambient sounds. Everything together leads to a realistic atmosphere. More than 3500 animals are on display.
The Valais region is characterized by 45 four-thousand-meter peaks. The striking Matterhorn is also one of them. The area around Zermatt is excellently developed with mountain railroads, some of which also transport bicycles. You can virtually be driven crisscross through the Zermatt area without having to torture yourself.
A mountain tour, during which you always have the Matterhorn in view, is a welcome change during the autumn vacations. Maybe you'll take the famous 5-lake trail for this. For the hike to the Lost Valley you need a mountain guide.
Maybe you have to work while your kids are on school vacation? No problem, in Valais Kids Camps are also offered in autumn. They let kids of similar ages (6-8, 9-11 and 12+) experience activities and adventures together.
You will find more than 150 mountain lakes in the Zermatt area above 2000 m.a.s.l. and they are not similar but very different. Besides the clear lakes that you usually expect in the mountains, there are also milky looking waters. The turbidity comes from the glacier runoff. Between Blauherd and Sunnegga you can visit five of the pretty lakes one after the other, if you use the hiking trail marked with No. 11. It is well suited for families with children.
Gornergrat is one of those places in the world that are very special. The view from here is magnificent and provides the most beautiful photos. The Gornergrat is located at 3.089 m.a.s.l. and is reached by rack railroad. Within half an hour it overcomes 1,500 meters of altitude. In addition to a particularly beautiful view of the Matterhorn, the view of 29 four-thousand-meter peaks that seem close enough to touch and the mighty Gorner glacier is overwhelming.
In addition to Lake Geneva, this region includes the Vaud Alps and a hilly Jura region. The region is famous for its wine growing. The wine-growing area of Lavaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is especially visible during a trip across Lake Geneva....
The museum shows you the beginnings of the Olympics in ancient Greece and its development up to the present day. Thanks to modern computer technology and interactive designs, the museum is not at all dusty. It has a very modern design and appeals especially to school children. On weekends, brunch is offered at the museum's TOM Café. The cafe offers a beautiful view of the mountains and Lake Geneva.
You go by boat across Lake Geneva for example from Lausanne to Evian or to Chillon. In Evian, before the return trip, you have the opportunity to see the city or sights nearby. For example, take the historic Funiculaire funicular to the Evian springs before returning to Lausanne by boat.
On the way to Chillon, you'll have views of the spectacular landscape of the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Geneva, for example, you can take a one-hour round trip that combines perfectly with activities in Geneva. From Montreux, boats cruise the lake for two hours, passing Les Grangettes nature reserve and Chillon Castle. The Chillon moated castle is also a very popular destination for families; it dates back to the Middle Ages.
The region of Fribourg offers beautiful bike paths around the Schwarzsee. The area is also ideal for hiking. Around Charmey (or called Galmis in German) you can do excellent hiking in the valley all the way to Bulle. Cheese dairies and spas are on the way between the mountains. Around Moléson and Les Paccots you will find similar hiking areas. In between, the medieval towns of Estavayer-le-Lac and Fribourg themselves are well worth a visit.
This museum is very unusual and will delight even adolescent art lovers. It shows the works of a married couple. Even the location is unusual: the showpieces are housed in a former streetcar depot. The Fribourg artist Jean Tinguely created works of art that rattle and clatter incessantly. They have an ingenious mechanism and leave you and all visitors amazed. Completely different are the works of art of his wife. She created round and harmonious figures that are very pleasing to the eye.
The round tour is about 37 kilometers long. It starts at Schwarzsee and takes you south over the Euschelspass to Jaun. From here it continues west to Charmey and north back to Schwarzsee. The ride is very challenging in parts, so it's well worth renting e-bikes. Around the northern Schwarzsee, a few restaurants tempt you.