Switzerland in May: Spring Travel Tips
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Switzerland in May means the spring season, albeit a short one. Pleasant weather and spring bloom lend themselves well to a perfect holiday experience. May is the month when the trails like in the Engelberg Valley burst with life as lush meadows emerge, creating picture-perfect vistas. This is a great time to pad along the panoramic hiking trails and countryside or hop on the cogwheel train up Mount Pilatus. Here is a brief look at a holiday in Switzerland and everything you can expect from it.
Switzerland Weather in May
The weather in Switzerland in May is pleasant with average temperature highs of around 20°C and lows of 7°C. Zurich stays between 8°C and 18°C, while Lucerne and the capital of Bern are slightly warmer between 9°C and 19°C. Geneva also enjoys warm temperatures in May with great conditions between 9°C and 20°C. Popular mountain resort towns like Interlaken have colder temperatures between 0.7°C and 9°C. May is also the start of the rainy season in Switzerland. Bern and Zurich have an average of 12 rainy days of rain across the month, while Geneva has slightly less rainfall with an average of 10 days. Zermatt is the rainiest with an average of 18 days of rainfall.
Check out our seasonal breakdown to find out the best time to visit Switzerland.
Weather in Switzerland in May - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||2||6||11||15||20||21||24||23||20||14||7||4|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||-2||-2||1||3||7||11||13||13||10||7||2||-1|
|Avg Daily (°F)||35.6||42.8||51.8||59||68||69.8||75.2||73.4||68||57.2||44.6||39.2|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||28.4||28.4||33.8||37.4||44.6||51.8||55.4||55.4||50||44.6||35.6||30.2|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||70||70||70||70||90||110||80||120||80||70||70||70|
Why Visit Switzerland in May
May falls in the shoulder season in Switzerland. Spring is in full bloom and nature is lush and colorful. The global tourist destination just got all the more attractive. And if this reason is not good enough for you to visit Switzerland in May, here we have some more.
- Tulip Festival: In Morges, spring is announced by the vivid tulip displays that are on show from March to mid-May. Do not miss your last chance to see this unforgettable spring spectacle.
- Cycle Week: Visit Zurich as it turns into a hive of activity as cycle enthusiasts get together at the Cycle Week Expo, kicking off the Swiss cycling season with great enthusiasm.
- Go hiking: May is a great month for hiking in Switzerland, as many trails start opening up for the season. Be among the first to see the unspoiled nature of the Swiss countryside.
- Lesser crowd: All winter vacationers have quit the Swiss slopes by May while summer tourists are not on their way quite yet. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy the Swiss attractions in a relatively crowd-free environment. Have a look at our sightseeing tours in Switzerland.
Where to go and what to do
Switzerland in May is the start of the hiking season. The Mount Rigi Panorama Trail is best explored in the spring season, as it offers sweeping views of lakes and mountains. The hike on Fürenalp Engelberg also opens up in May, giving visitors a quintessential Swiss hiking experience replete with stunning vistas of mountains, waterfalls and glaciers.
If wine lovers are wondering what to do in Switzerland, bookmark the annual Caves Ouvertes events. Winemakers from the six fantastic wine regions in the country open their doors for the season and offer wine at reduced prices. Geneva is the most popular wine-producing region while Ticino, Vaud, Three Lakes, and Valais are also equally enchanting. Each region has different event dates throughout the month, so why not mark each one on your calendar to enjoy the full Swiss wine experience.
Train rides are also an experience not to be missed when visiting Switzerland in May. The world-renowned Rhaetian Railway route reopens in May after a long harsh winter. Soak in the scenic views of Morteratsch Glacier and Landwasser Viaduct while traveling through the more than 196 bridges and 55 tunnels between Thusis and Tirano. The cogwheel railway to Mount Pilatus also opens in May, giving visitors the chance to experience the steepest rail of its kind in the world. These rail journeys give you the opportunity to see Switzerland during its ‘in-between’ phases, as valleys run green and snow still sits on mountaintops and high-lying villages.
It is no secret that the Swiss love cheese. Visit the home and namesake of Gruyères cheese on May 1st to attend their marvelous annual Cheese market. This event features tastings and cultural events as well as all-important cheese sales. The International Jazz Festival of Bern is also still running in May, offering a great setting for music lovers to enjoy jazz from all over the world. See our handy guide on how many days to spend in Switzerland.
Switzerland in May is a great time to take advantage of great weather conditions and low tourist footfall, especially on hiking trails. Trails below 2000m are mostly open in May and you can enjoy the majesty of nature as it transforms from a winter wonderland into a sensational summer destination. Speak to our dedicated travel experts to book a tailor-made trip to Switzerland.
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