100 free things to do in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. But even here there is a huge amount of varied activities that you can do for free. Whether it's cultural activities, family activities, sports activities or nature activities, you'll definitely find it here

Travel can be expensive. Especially in Switzerland, one of the most expensive countries in the world, trips can put a big strain on the budget. But we have good news. There are numerous things you can do for free in Switzerland and save money.

With plenty of nature, breathtaking landscapes and special culture, Switzerland offers an incredible variety of leisure activities. Families as well as sports enthusiasts, nature lovers and cultural vacationers are guaranteed to find what they are looking for.

In this article you will find a varied selection from different categories such as food & drink, cities, transportation, culture & museums and much more. Have fun planning your next trip that will save you a lot of money.

Free food & drink in Switzerland

Eating and drinking doesn't always have to be expensive. There are a few insider tips where you can sample or dust off something for free

1. Kambly Guetzli factory shop

In the Kambly factory store in Truebschachen you can try out all the delicious creations of the legendary Swiss brand. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to buy the unique Guetzli in large quantities and at discounted prices.

2. fill your water bottle at the fountain

Switzerland is richly blessed with an abundance of drinking water. Everywhere in Switzerland you will find fountains where you can fill up your water bottle for free. If it is not drinking water, it will be marked with a sign to that effect

Fresh drinking water in the mountains(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christian Perret)Fresh drinking water in the mountains(Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christian Perret)
Fill up your bottle at a fountain (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)Fill up your bottle at a fountain (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)

Join our newsletter!

Sign up now for travel tips, ideas for inspiration and latest travel guides straight to your inbox.

By signing up, you agree to receive promotional emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.

3. show dairy Emmental

The name Schaukäserei in Emmental is sure to ring a bell in your ears, because this is where one of the most famous types of cheese is made: Emmentaler. Unfortunately, not all offers are free of charge. However, from the store you have a direct view into the production and you can watch the cheese being made for free.

Free transport in Switzerland

Getting from one dream location to the next can get expensive in the long run. Luckily, there are a few ways to use transportation for free

4. use public transport with the guest card

Many cities and towns, such as Basel, Bern, Interlaken, Montreux and even the entire canton of Ticino, give out a free guest card to their guests who spend at least one night with them. This includes the use of public transportation and discounts to other attractions.

5. rent a bike for free

Through the "Switzerland rolls" campaign, you can rent a bike for the day for free in major Swiss cities like Bern, Geneva, Zurich

Bike tour with a view of the sunset (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lorenz Richard)Bike tour with a view of the sunset (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lorenz Richard)
Bike tour through the orchards(Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Bike tour through the orchards(Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

6. Grand Tour of Switzerland

The Grand Tour of Switzerland is a self-guided road trip through the whole of Switzerland that you can customize according to your needs. On MySwitzerland you will find all the information you need for this beautiful route through Switzerland.

Grandtour of Switzerland on Lake Lucerne (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Mattias Nutt)Grandtour of Switzerland on Lake Lucerne (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Mattias Nutt)
Grandtour of Switzerland in San Bernardino (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Andre Meier)Grandtour of Switzerland in San Bernardino (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Andre Meier)

Free things to do in Swiss cities

In Swiss cities, there is a very diverse selection of things you can do for free. With these tips, you can explore and experience a lot without spending a lot of money

7. city tour with actor Lugano

In Lugano, there are free weekly city tours with professional actors. For more information, contact Lugano Tourism.

8. free walking tour

In many Swiss cities such as Zurich, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Interlaken, Lucerne, Solothurn you can find so called Free Walking Tours. These city tours are free of charge. At the end of the tour you can voluntarily give a tip of the value that the tour had for you. You can find all available cities on Free Walk

Free Walking Tour with a group(Photo: Zürich Tourism Dominik Baur)Free Walking Tour with a group(Photo: Zürich Tourism Dominik Baur)
Free Walking Tour in Bern (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Eavesdropping)Free Walking Tour in Bern (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Eavesdropping)

9. city model of Zurich

In the basement of the city planning office in Zurich, there is a maple wood city model of Zurich on a scale of 1:1000. You can visit the more than 50,000 buildings free of charge from Monday to Friday.

10. libraries

In every city you will find several libraries that are open to the public. Here you can use the WLAN for free, grab an exciting book or simply take shelter from the rain. The Central Library in downtown Zurich is particularly large and beautiful.

11. city walls

Some Swiss cities still have remnants of old city walls that can be walked on. The Musegg Wall in Lucerne and the Ring Wall in Murten are two very nice examples of this. But you can also find publicly accessible city walls in Gruyères and Fribourg.

12. monuments

Freely accessible historical sites and imposing monuments can be found all over Switzerland. One of the most famous monuments is certainly the Lion Monument in Lucerne. But you can also admire the Tellsplatte, the Suworow monument at the Teufelsbrücke near the Schöllenenschlucht or the Strassburg monument in Basel for free.

Lion Monument in Lucerne (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicole Schafer)Lion Monument in Lucerne (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicole Schafer)
Tell monument in Altdorf (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Walter Storto)Tell monument in Altdorf (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Walter Storto)

13th Archaeological Windows Zurich

At the Office of Urban Planning in Zürich, you can pick up a key that will open the windows to Zürich's past. You can immerse yourself in the history of various buildings, crypts, secret alleys and cellars. As a deposit for the key, all you have to do is leave an ID.

14. tour Gotthard tunnel village Göschenen

The "old" Gotthard tunnel is the longest railroad tunnel of the 19th century. On the tour you will learn more about the exciting development of traffic at the Gotthard and get insights into the surveying stations, the toll bridge, the cemetery and the blasting show in the sighting tunnel.

Free museums and cultural activities in Switzerland

Culturally, there is an incredible amount to discover in Switzerland. Fortunately, admission to the majority of Swiss museums is free. Additionally, there are many other experiences such as castles, festivals and street art tours that you can experience for free

15 Guided tour of the Bundeshaus

During the non-session period, free guided tours of the Bundeshaus in Bern are offered Tuesday through Saturday. During the week the tours are in German and French, on Saturday additionally in Italian and English. You can reserve your tour at least three days in advance.

16. free museum visit

There are over 1100 museums in Switzerland. Many of them are either completely free or have free admission on certain days of the week or at certain times. Some of the free museums are the Natural History Museums in Fribourg and Solothurn, the Money Museum in Zurich, the Johanna Spiry Museum in Hirzel, the Omega Museum in Biel or the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lausanne. If you have a museum pass, which you get for example with your Raiffeisen membership, you can visit over 500 Swiss museums for free.

17. castles and palaces

For many of the Swiss castles and palaces you have to pay admission to visit their interior. However, from the outside they are also very impressive and worth seeing. And for that you don't pay anything. Some castles that are accessible for free are Frauenfeld Castle (Thurgau), Castle a Pro in Seedorf (Uri), the visitor center and the vegetable garden of Prangins Castle (Vaud) and Habsburg Castle (Aargau).

Picnic with a view of Heidegg Castle (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nico Schaerer)Picnic with a view of Heidegg Castle (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nico Schaerer)
View of Hallwyl (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nico Schaerer)View of Hallwyl (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nico Schaerer)

18. Cern

Admission to Cern, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, is free. You'll find it just a few kilometers from Geneva in Meyrin.

19. DIY Street Art Tour in Lugano

In Lugano you can do your own street art tour with the virtual guide of Arteurbana.

20. Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica is one of the most important Roman sites in Switzerland. It is not entirely free to visit. But you can visit the outdoor facilities with their monuments, all the sights as well as the zoo without an entrance ticket.

21. visit churches

In Switzerland, churches are accessible free of charge. There are no long lines or high entrance fees, as you might know from city trips to Paris or Rome. In some churches you can also climb the tower, which then costs an entrance fee.

Visit of the church of Neuchatel (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)Visit of the church of Neuchatel (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)
Hike to the church in Hallau (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Hike to the church in Hallau (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

22. Street artist festivals

Juggler festivals, or buskers festivals, are increasingly held in Switzerland during the summer months. Here, artists from all over the world present their artistic performances. Juggler festivals can be found for example in St. Gallen, Lenzburg, Basel, Lucerne, Bern, Neuchâtel, Interlaken and many more. The entrance is free, but the artists are very happy about your voluntary contribution, from which they finance their life.

Gauklerfest Aufgetischt St. Gallen (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Gauklerfest Aufgetischt St. Gallen (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Gauklerfest Aufgetischt St. Gallen (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Gauklerfest Aufgetischt St. Gallen (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

23 Samichlaus (St. Nicholas)

On December 6, St. Nicholas walks the streets of Switzerland with his donkey. St. Nicholas commemorates the merciful Bishop of Myra and brings sweets, fruits and nuts to the children. A cool tip: A special pre-Christmas spectacle takes place in Basel. Here you don't get to see the Santa Clauses on a sleigh, but on Harleys. When children recite a verse, there are also delicious sweets.

24th Streetfood Festivals

Between April and September, Streetfood Festivals are held at numerous locations in Switzerland. Admission to the festivals is free, although you'll have to pay for the food afterwards, of course. How much is up to you.

Jams for sale at the Chestnut Festival (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)Jams for sale at the Chestnut Festival (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)
Chestnut roasting at the Chestnut Festival (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)Chestnut roasting at the Chestnut Festival (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)

25th Music Festivals

In numerous cities, free music events are held time and again, especially in the summer. These include, for example, the Music Weeks in Winterthur, the New Orleans Festival in St. Gallen, "em Beppi si Jazz" in Basel and occasional concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

26. free concerts and open airs

In addition to all the big and often expensive open airs, there are also always free events. These include the Openair Wollishofen, the Landenbergfest in Wipkingen, the Stolze Openair in Zurich, the Floss Festival in Basel and the Rock am Weier in Wil SG.

27. city and lake night festivals

Almost every city holds a city festival once a year. Be it the "Lozärn Fäscht" in Lucerne, the Bern city festival, the Chur festival, the St. Gallen festival or the Basel Bundesfeier. In many lakeside towns, there is also often, though not always annually, a Seenachtfest. These include Zurich, Rapperswil-Jona, Biel, Spiez and Romanshorn. The big fireworks displays are particularly spectacular.

28th Street Parade

The world's largest annual techno party in Zurich is open to the public free of charge and takes place every August.

Street Parade Zurich (Photo: Zürich Tourism Elisabeth Real)Street Parade Zurich (Photo: Zürich Tourism Elisabeth Real)
Street Parade Zurich (Photo Zurich Tourism Mattias Nutt)Street Parade Zurich (Photo Zurich Tourism Mattias Nutt)

29 Carnival

Between the end of February and the beginning of March, Fasnacht takes place in Switzerland, especially in the Catholic cantons as well as in Basel. During this carnival, people dress up and party in the streets as well as in bars, restaurants and clubs. On the street you can participate in various parties and watch the parades for free.

Free activities with animals in Switzerland

Watching animals, learning more about them and exploring their habitat is often an exciting experience for young and old. In various forests or wildlife parks you have the opportunity to observe different animals for free

30. game parks

Throughout Switzerland, there are numerous wildlife parks that are accessible free of charge. These include, for example:

  • the Roggenhausen Wildlife Park in Aarau
  • the Peter & Paul Wildlife Park in St. Gallen
  • the zoo Lange Erlen in Basel
  • the Biel Zoo, the Alpine Wildlife Park in Interlaken
  • the Wildnispark in Zurich
  • and the Heitern Wildlife Park in Zofingen.

31. bear park Bern

You can discover the approximately 5,000 m² bear park on the Aare River in Bern for free. Here you can visit the bears Björk, Finn, Ursina and Berna right next to the old town of Bern

32. squirrel forest

In squirrel forests, such as in Arosa, in Lenzerheide or in Bougy, you can get up close and personal with the cute rodents. If you have some hazelnuts with you, they will be even happier about your visit.

Feeding squirrels in the squirrel forest (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)Feeding squirrels in the squirrel forest (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Ivo Scholz)
Misty autumn forest (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Martin Maegli)Misty autumn forest (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Martin Maegli)

33rd largest stork colony in Switzerland

In Altreu on the Aare near Solothurn, you will come across the largest stork colony in Switzerland. The Info Zentrum Witi awaits you with exciting information about the feathered inhabitants, who live in around 60 stork nests in Altreu.

34. Bird Paradise Bois Neuf

In this semi-artificial watering hole between Étagnières and Assens in the canton of Vaud, you can observe countless bird species. These include kites, mallards and, with a bit of luck, even the kingfisher.

35. alpine uplift / alpine downlift

Alpaufzug and Abzug have a long tradition in Switzerland. In early summer, the cows, and sometimes also goats, are led to the alp by the Alpine dairymen. Afterwards they spend the summer on the alp, before they are driven back to the valley in autumn. You can watch this impressive procedure from the roadside.

Alpine procession in Appenzell (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Beate Mueller)Alpine procession in Appenzell (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Beate Mueller)
Alpine procession (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)Alpine procession (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)

36. cattle show

Another tradition are the cattle shows that take place all over Switzerland. You can compare these to a pageant for farmers and their cows. The most beautiful cow is chosen and there is a lot of eating and drinking. These social events take place all over Switzerland at different times between summer and autumn

37. Le Roselet horse retirement home

In Les Breuleux in the Jura, you can visit the horse retirement home for free and get up close and personal with the four-legged seniors. Horses, ponies and donkeys spend their twilight years here and are happy to have company.

38. Juckerhof

The Juckerhof on Lake Pfäffikon in the canton of Zurich is especially famous in the fall for its terrific pumpkin display. But you can visit the farm for free all year round. Children can enjoy a straw castle, the "Geisslipark" with cheeky goats, the nature playground and exciting barefoot experiences in the apple orchard

Free things to do in Switzerland with nature & plants

You don't have to go to an expensive park to get to know and explore the natural and plant world of Switzerland. There are many places where you can experience Switzerland's spectacular nature for free

39. botanical gardens

A large number of botanical gardens in Switzerland are free to visit. These include the gardens in St. Gallen, Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lausanne, Fribourg and Neuchâtel.

Botanical Garden Zurich (Zurich Tourism Roberto Cassa)Botanical Garden Zurich (Zurich Tourism Roberto Cassa)
Recreation in the Botanical Garden (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Rob Lewis)Recreation in the Botanical Garden (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Rob Lewis)

40. Ricola Herb Show Garden

The six different herb show gardens are located along popular hiking routes in Switzerland and invite you to visit and relax. From May to September, you have the chance to marvel at the gardens, discover herbs and learn more about their healing properties.

41 Rhine Falls

The largest waterfall in Europe is located near Schaffhausen and is over 150 meters wide and 23 meters high. A truly gigantic natural spectacle awaits you here. You can visit the waterfall from both the north and south banks. From the north shore you have the opportunity to admire the waterfall for free. However, there is a parking fee if you arrive by car.

42. waterfalls

You have free access to most of the waterfalls in Switzerland. These include the Staubbach Falls, the Giessbach Falls, the Engstligen Falls and of course the world famous Rhine Falls.

Roflaschlucht (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Markus Buehler-Rasom)Roflaschlucht (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Markus Buehler-Rasom)
Lauterbrunnen waterfall (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)Lauterbrunnen waterfall (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Christof Sonderegger)

43. Jaunbach Gorge in La Gruyère

The gorge in western Switzerland offers an overwhelming mix of natural spectacles and is a highlight for any family outing. The Jaunbach meanders through the gorge, leaving waterfalls, grottos and many surprises in its wake

44. Rhine Gorge

The Rhine Gorge is one of the most fascinating landscapes in Switzerland and is also known as the "Grand Canyon of Switzerland". The gorge is up to 400 m deep and about 13 km long. It is located between the mouth of the Hinterrhein near Reichenau and Ilanz and offers gigantic hikes with great views.

View over the Rhine Gorge (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)View over the Rhine Gorge (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)
View of the Rhine Gorge (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)View of the Rhine Gorge (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)

45. observation towers

In Switzerland, there are countless lookout towers with gigantic views of the surrounding area. You can even climb some of these towers free of charge. These include, for example, the Bachtelturm in Hinwil, the Chutzenturm wooden tower in the Frienisberg forest, the Hasenbergturm on the Hasenberg, the Gurten observation tower in Bern, the Weitsicht nature observation tower in Altenrhein, the bird observation tower at the Klingnau reservoir and the viewing platforms in the Rhine Gorge.

46. UNESCO World Heritage

Discover special human and earth stories at 13 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Switzerland. You have free access to most of them. These include the vineyard terraces of Lavaux, the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, the Old Town of Bern, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch area, and the Albula and Bernina landscapes with the Rhaetian Railway.

UNESCO World Heritage Riederalp Aletsch (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)UNESCO World Heritage Riederalp Aletsch (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Jan Geerk)
UNESCO World Heritage Lavaux (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Andre Meier)UNESCO World Heritage Lavaux (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Andre Meier)

47. visit national park

Unlike many other countries, in Switzerland you can visit the national park for free. The Swiss National Park in the Engadine encompasses a unique natural and animal world. The park offers fantastic hiking routes and untouched nature. In addition, you will find many adventure trails and nature trails.

Hiking in the National Park (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)Hiking in the National Park (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)
Unique nature in the National Park (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)Unique nature in the National Park (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)

48. visit nature park

The landscape and nature of Switzerland is characterized by unique natural spectacles. The nature parks offer you a great opportunity to discover and marvel at the unique environment. Here you can go on a journey through 19 exciting nature experiences.

49. suspension bridges

A somewhat queasy stomach feeling, soft knees, but impressive views: that's what Switzerland's suspension bridges promise. The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge on the Europaweg above Randa is the longest suspension bridge in Europe at 494 meters long and rewards you with a unique view. There are many more suspension bridges that you can cross for free. These include, for example, the Goms Bridge, the Carasc and the Skywalk at Lauitobel.

Across the suspension bridge to Almergelleralp (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lorenz Richard)Across the suspension bridge to Almergelleralp (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lorenz Richard)
"Peak Walk" suspension bridge between two peaks (Photo: Pixabay)"Peak Walk" suspension bridge between two peaks (Photo: Pixabay)

50. Grottoes Mont Vully

The Mont Vully grottoes were dug into the sandstone for defense purposes at the time of the First World War. Today, the 200 m long gallery serves as a unique playground for children. There is a lot to discover here and a lot of fun is guaranteed.

Free things to do for families & fun in Switzerland

The precious time with the family should be fun and enjoyed. This can often quickly become expensive. But fortunately, there are some great activities that can be done for free and are a highlight for the whole family.

51. crime pass

Become a detective and solve exciting crime cases at many locations in Switzerland. You can easily register on the website and receive the puzzles by mail. Here you can learn more and register directly.

52. children's playgrounds / Robinson's playgrounds

Whether swings, slides, climbing towers, rope bridges and much more. A visit to an outdoor playground makes children's hearts beat faster. The Robinson playground Grotzenwäldli in Engelberg, for example, offers an exciting pirate adventure and is an exciting experience for all visitors. Other great playgrounds that are free of charge include the Robinson playground in Muttenz, the La Cigale playground in Lausanne, the Seeburgpark adventure playground in Kreuzlingen and the Schattwäldli playground in Zug.

53. street chess

A game of chess in the open air sound like your thing? Street chess is where players gather on public chess courts and play chess with oversized pieces. You can find these squares in many cities in Switzerland, for example in Zurich on the Lindenhof, at the Grossmünster terrace and on the Hohe Promenade. But also in Bern, Lucerne and Geneva you can find street chess fields.

Street chess in Zurich (Photo: Zürich Tourism Elisabeth Real)Street chess in Zurich (Photo: Zürich Tourism Elisabeth Real)
Street chess at Lindenhof Zurich (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Street chess at Lindenhof Zurich (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

54. table tennis

A round of table tennis is fun and brings people together. In Zurich you'll find two ping-pong tables near the main train station and in Basel on Güterstrasse. You will also find ping pong tables open to the public all over Switzerland, where you can let off steam. Have a bat and a ball ready and you're ready to go.

55. Swiss Family Fireplace

If you feel like grilling a sausage outdoors after a hike or just because, check out the Swiss Family Fireplaces website. Here you can easily find out where the nearest barbecue site is and what else you should bring. Here you can find more information about the super equipped fireplaces.

Swiss family fireplace (Photo: Seraina)Swiss family fireplace (Photo: Seraina)
Swiss family fireplace (Photo: Seraina)Swiss family fireplace (Photo: Seraina)

56. kite flying

Flying a kite is not only fun for the little ones and is often not as easy as it looks. If there is enough wind, you can fly a kite on the next hill or in the next large open meadow. Make sure that you are far away from trees and power poles

Kites in the blue sky (Photo: Unsplash)Kites in the blue sky (Photo: Unsplash)
Flying a kite (Photo: Unsplash)Flying a kite (Photo: Unsplash)

57th Treasure Hunt Ascona

During the treasure hunt you have to solve exciting riddles and get to know the small town in Ticino from its most beautiful side. The treasure hunt takes about 1:30 hours and if you are lucky you can even win an overnight stay at the Parkhotel Brenscino in Brissago. Here you can learn more about the treasure hunt in Ascona.

58. geocaching

Geocaching could be called a modern scavenger hunt, because here coordinates and information from the Internet are used to find the treasure, the "cache". The caches can be hidden anywhere in Switzerland and lead you to interesting places. All you need is a GPS receiver or a smartphone. For geocaching, there is a free basic version as well as a paid pro version.

59. Boccia al Bosco

"Boccia al Bosco" is a ball track hike in the Verzasca Valley. Here you combine a wonderful walk with the game of bocce. At the same time you can enjoy the beautiful nature of Ticino. The pleasure goes over 5 km and is a great experience especially for children. One ball costs 7 CHF. However, if you bring your own, you pay nothing for the walk.

60. play path St. Gallen

The Spielweg in St. Gallen and the surrounding area is a special initiative for all weather conditions and different target groups. At 65 play locations spread throughout the city, parents and children, grandparents, clubs and youth groups all have fun. You don't have to follow any particular order and can just go for it

61. swing with panoramic view

The swing with panoramic view not only looks unbeatable on Instagram, but also brings real heart-pounding and fun. You can find the swings from Swing the World in many places in Ticino, Grisons and Vaud

Swings in Ascona (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)Swings in Ascona (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Nicola Fuerer)
Swings with a view of the forest and mountains(Photo: Switzerland Tourism David Merkhofer)Swings with a view of the forest and mountains(Photo: Switzerland Tourism David Merkhofer)

Free theme trails in Switzerland

In Switzerland you will find countless theme trails on a wide variety of topics. Whether it's fruit, planets, bridges, senses or jokes, really everyone will find an entertaining and exciting theme trail here.

62. Simmental House Trail

On the Simmental House Trail you will find many old Simmental farmhouses, impressive carpentry and special wooden buildings. The trail starts in Wimmis, leads through beautiful countryside and ends in Boltigen. Of course you can also walk smaller sections.

Simmental house path (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Simmental house path (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Simmental House Trail (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Beat Müller)Simmental House Trail (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Beat Müller)

63. planetary paths

On a planetary path, you get a little closer to the universe. Here you'll usually find a scaled-down model of the solar system set up along the way. Great trails are the Aargauer Planetenweg, the Glarner Planetenweg, the Planetenweg Laufen and the Planetenweg Effretikon-Kyburg. To name just a few examples.

64. history trip Rütli

The famous meadow on the Rütli seems quite normal and unspectacular, but this is where history was made in 1291. Three original cantons met on the meadow and founded the Waldstätte alliance. Today you can visit the birthplace of Switzerland here and find an exciting open-air exhibition with insights into the myths of the Rütli, William Tell, Treib-Seelisberg railroad and much more

65. theme trail Morgarten

The Morgarten Trail takes you back to the time of 1315. Seven animated stations await you along the way, where you can experience exciting audio plays. Here you will meet figures such as Duke Leopold, Knight Heinrich von Hünenberg and many more. The trail runs between Sattel parish church and the battle monument in the hamlet of Morgarten on Lake Aegeri.

66. fruit paths

Switzerland's fruit trails teach you a lot about locally grown fruit and take you through picturesque landscapes. The Fricktaler Chriesiwäg leads you through a cherry tree landscape. Here you will find fantastic photo motifs, delicious cherries and lots of interesting information about cherry growing. The Altnauer Apfelweg leads you through the beautiful village of Altnau with its numerous apple orchards.

Altnau apple path (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Altnau apple path (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Chriesiweg Jurapark Aargau (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Renato Bagattini)Chriesiweg Jurapark Aargau (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Renato Bagattini)

67th Cultural Learning Trail "A life between village and alp"

The trail is located in the Valais on Bettmeralp. Here you can immerse yourself in the past and learn how earlier inhabitants managed their daily lives between village and alp. Experience a dreamlike scenic environment and marvel at typical farmhouses.

68. beaver nature trail Pfyn

It is no coincidence that the beaver nature trail is located in the small village of Pfyn, because more than a quarter of the beavers in Switzerland have their habitat in Thurgau. Here you can learn everything about the animals and discover their habitat. On the total of 4 km you can expect many tree works of the beavers and with a little luck you will also get to see the animals. Especially in the early morning hours or in the evening at dusk, the cuddly little animals are on the move.

69. fairy tale trail Samnaun

Experience the famous children's book "The Adventures of Murmina and Murmin" and learn the exciting story of the marmots. On the tour many informative panels, magnificent wooden figures and a very special task await you: the rescue of Murmin's family. On the fairy tale trail you can not only listen, but also actively participate.

70. St. Gallen Bridge Trail

The 8 km long St. Gallen Bridge Trail takes you through the unique river landscape of the Sitter and Wattbach nature reserve. Many protected animals live in this area and a fascinating landscape awaits you. You will also encounter 18 viaducts, suspension bridges and many different bridges with information boards about history and technology.

St. Gallen bridge path (Photo: Seraina)St. Gallen bridge path (Photo: Seraina)
St. Gallen bridge path (Photo: Seraina)St. Gallen bridge path (Photo: Seraina)

71. adventure trail Präz

On the Präz adventure trail, you and your family will dive into the world of Tilla and her friends and visit the exciting Heinzenberg castle ruins. Along the way there are eight exciting adventure spots from the stories of Tilla and her friends. At the same time you can enjoy the fantastic view of Domleschg

72nd adventure trail in Walzenhausen

Download a free app for the adventure trail. Along the way, you'll be immersed in a captivating and interactive story about the castle ruins and the Grimmenstein monastery. You'll set off in search of a treasure and can look forward to a great surprise at the end

73rd Sensory Journey Toggenburg

In Ebnat-Kappel you can embark on a very special sensory journey. You will be guided along a circular path through the forest and green meadows and come across various stations. These stations deal with the topics of feeling, listening, looking, climbing and balancing. A little tip: There is a cozy barbecue area at the end of the trail.

Sound trail in Toggenburg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)Sound trail in Toggenburg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)
Walk in Toggenburg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)Walk in Toggenburg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Dominik Baur)

74 Globi trails in Brunni and Lenzerheide

Globi has been one of the best-known children's book characters in Switzerland for ages. In the beautiful resort of Lenzerheide, you can meet him in person and go hiking on a great trail dedicated to him. In sunny Brunni you will find the special "Globis Alpine Playground". Here children can let off steam in the water world, the climbing landscape and many other play facilities

75. Witzweg Heiden

The Witzweg is a wonderfully entertaining, leisurely hike from Heiden to Walzenhausen in Appenzellerland. On the 8.5 km long trail you will find a total of 40 joke boards for young and old. So the path will definitely not be boring and fun for the whole family

76. barefoot path in Ticino

The barefoot trail leads through Val Lavizzara along the banks of the River Maggia. Over 500 meters, 18 exciting stations await you, which stimulate your senses in different ways. By walking barefoot you do something for your health and get a very special connection to nature.

77. ibex high trail at Lac des Dix

The Ibex High Trail at Lac des Dix is an exciting and informative themed loop trail. The trail takes about four hours and offers many exciting experiences for children as well. Information posts tell about flora and fauna, and the trail leads right through the realm of the ibex. With a bit of luck, you might even get to see some

78. alpine adventure trail Lötschental

The Alperlebnisweg (Alpine Experience Trail) on the Lauchernalp brings its visitors closer to the former everyday life on an alp. There are 14 posts distributed along the trail. Here children can learn how milking and cheese-making work, which plants bloom in the area and how alpine farming influences the surrounding landscape.

79. path of the cheese dairies

Embark on a special hike and immerse yourself in the traditional cheese making in La Gruyère. On the circular trail you walk from Pringy in the direction of La Loue to Moléson. Here you will get an insight into an alpine cheese dairy in summer. The route continues to Reyes Devant via the Chalet du Montgeron d'en Bas back to Pringy. A little tip: A visit to medieval Gruyères is ideal at the end of your hike.

View of a chapel in Gruyere (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Marcus Gyger)View of a chapel in Gruyere (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Marcus Gyger)
Tour of cheese production in Gruyere (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Tour of cheese production in Gruyere (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

80. chestnut trail Murg

An exciting voyage of discovery around the world of chestnuts awaits you on the Chestnut Trail on Lake Walen. A total of more than 1850 sweet chestnuts grow in Murg. The trail also offers magnificent views of Lake Walen and the Churfirsten peaks.

81. Laternli Trail on the Schwägalp

The 3 km long Laternliweg on the Schwägalp makes not only children's eyes light up. Here you walk in the glow of over 80 lanterns and can enjoy the magic of winter to the full. To make the experience perfect, you can warm up in between with a tasty punch or enjoy a delicious raclette afterwards

82. WWF Beaver Trail

The beaver is the largest rodent in Europe. On the beaver trail along the Rhine you can explore the world of the beaver and learn a lot about the animals and their habitat. On the 4 km long trail you will find ten exciting information boards about the beavers and you can search for nail and footprints yourself. With a bit of luck, you might even get to see the animals at dusk.

Free things to do near water in Switzerland

Water plays a big role in Switzerland. There are countless lakes, waterfalls and rivers. You can do many exciting or relaxing activities for free

83. Böötle

Böötle is one of the easiest and most fun summer activities in Switzerland. If you bring your own inflatable boat, you can go booeing on any river, but at your own risk. A particularly popular river for boating is the Aare. On the way from Thun to Bern you will find countless beautiful places where you can stop and enjoy a picnic.

84. Go swimming in the lake

On a beautiful summer day, there's probably nothing better than being at the lake, enjoying nature and cooling off by swimming. In Switzerland, there are many free accessible lidos that you can visit. Especially nice is the bathing island Lorelei in Seedorf, the Seebadi Katzensee in Zurich-Affoltern, the Marzili in Bern, the La Spiaggetta in Arbedo and the sandy beach Gäsi in Glarus Nord

Jump into the Blatten-Schwarzsee (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Marco Schnyder)Jump into the Blatten-Schwarzsee (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Marco Schnyder)
Relaxing swim in the lake (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Silvano Zeiter)Relaxing swim in the lake (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Silvano Zeiter)

85. Kneipp

Kneipp is a special natural healing method that strengthens the immune system. One of the longest and most beautiful Kneipp trails in Switzerland is in Blitzingen and is almost 2.6 km long. The Kneipp facility in Zurich is also very popular and is located on the campus of the ETH. In the middle of the Jura, you will find a great Kneipp trail near Rebeuvelier

86. Marzili Baths in Bern

The Marzili outdoor pool has a direct connection to the Aare. You can look forward to a pleasant cool down in the Aare or do your laps in the 50 m swimming pool. For the little ones there is another children's pool

87. Caribbean feeling at the Lake of Uri

The Lorelei bathing islands on the Lake of Uri offer a Caribbean feeling in the middle of Switzerland. The islands are located in the Reuss delta right next to a large nature reserve. A relaxing South Seas atmosphere awaits you here. All you need is sunscreen, sun hat, bath towel, parasol and swimwear. You should bring your own food, because there are great barbecue places here

88. Salavaux Beach

Salavaux beach is located on Lake Murten and is the longest freshwater beach in Europe. Here you get a real feeling of a southern seaside vacation. The sandy beach is very shallow and therefore perfect for children. It's best to come directly in the morning, so you can get a parking space and choose a nice place to lie down.

Salavaux beach (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Salavaux beach (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Lake Murten Salavaux beach (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Lake Murten Salavaux beach (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

89. moated castle near Brugg

The "moated castle" near Brugg in Aargau consists of the confluence of the three rivers Aare, Limmat and Reuss. It is located in the middle of a spectacular landscape. Among connoisseurs, the moated castle is also known as the "Amazon of Switzerland". You can visit the area both on foot and by bike.

Brugg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Brugg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)
Brugg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Brugg (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

90th Largest Swimming Pool in Switzerland

At 15,000 m², the Weyermannshaus outdoor swimming pool in Bern is not only the largest in Switzerland, but also the one with the most water in Western Europe. The bath offers not only normal swimming pools, but also diving facilities, children's play pools, a water slide, a playground, table tennis tables as well as a beach volleyball court and much more

91. world of experience magic water

The Erlebniswelt is located in Grächen and offers you and your family an exciting journey of discovery along the Suonen. Grächen lies at 1600 m above sea level on a plateau. Up here, water from the Riedbach runs in four Suonen around the village. The adventure world leads you along these Suonen, furthermore a fairytale mountain lake awaits you.

Free things for active & sporty people

Whether in summer or in winter, being active and doing sports is good for you. In addition to jogging or walking, you will find here a few varied tips for active free activities

92. bike parks

Throughout Switzerland you'll find free bike parks for every level. Here you can start your first attempts on a bike as a beginner or refine your tricks as an expert. A particularly great and free bike park is in Oberriet in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley. The motto of the park is "Learn and experience"

93. natural ice rinks

Ice skating is a special winter highlight every year. In Switzerland there are many natural ice rinks which you can use free of charge. All you have to do is bring your own skates. A very special natural ice rink is located in Avers Juppa at over 2000 m above sea level. Other great and free natural ice rinks are in Prilet, on Bettmeralp, on Lake Oeschinen and in Churwalden.

Skating on a natural ice rink (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Silvano Zeiter)Skating on a natural ice rink (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Silvano Zeiter)
Skating on the Albula natural ice rink (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)Skating on the Albula natural ice rink (Photo: Switzerland Tourism)

94. build an igloo

If you don't want to build a snowman, you can try a new challenge and build your own igloo. You'll need some skill, a bit of technology and, of course, enough snow. Good luck!

95. vita course

A great change from jogging or walking in the forest is a Vita-Parcours, because these are courses laid out in the forest with various sports equipment. You can find free Vita courses in forests all over Switzerland.

96. finn track

Finn tracks are also a sporty alternative to the usual jogging circuit. The special thing about the Finn tracks is the soft ground, which consists of sawdust, sawdust shavings and other soft material. Thus, these tracks are particularly easy on the joints. Although a bit more strenuous to walk on than a gravel path or a paved road.

97. sledding on the "hill

Tobogganing is also one of the special leisure highlights in the winter months. You don't necessarily have to take a lift up the hill and buy a sledding ticket to have fun. Smaller hills also bring a lot of fun and action. You can find such hills almost everywhere in Switzerland.

Sledding with the family (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lea Meienberg)Sledding with the family (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Lea Meienberg)
On the way to sledding (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)On the way to sledding (Photo: Switzerland Tourism Roland Gerth)

98 Slow Up

Slow Up's are special, car-free days that take place time and again at selected locations throughout Switzerland. On these days, kilometers of roads are closed to motorists and opened up to cyclists. The Slow Up days take place at regular intervals in various regions and are a great event for any enthusiastic cyclist

99. Via Ferrata

Climbing has become very popular again and is certainly a great experience for the whole family. In Switzerland, you have the opportunity to explore via ferrata routes free of charge. Among others, there is the via ferrata Chäligang in the Bernese Oberland. This trail offers fun and challenge for the whole family. There is a special climbing paradise in Braunwald in the Glarus. Here you will find many via ferratas with different levels of difficulty

100. outdoor gym

An outdoor gym is a perfect way to get active in the fresh air with friends or family. Great outdoor gyms include street workout facilities in Zurich, the Street Workout Park in Lucerne and various street workout parks in Geneva and the surrounding area.

As you can see, trips to Switzerland don't always have to be expensive. There are also many things you can do for free in expensive Switzerland. We hope you enjoy your next budget-friendly adventure.

Discover leisure activities

Book Now