Packing Guide: What to Pack for Switzerland in August

feeling happy at schilthorn solo travel in switzerland

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If you’re visiting Switzerland in August, you want to make sure you have all your packing essentials ready to go ahead of time. Obviously, you can buy anything you need in Switzerland, especially hiking gear. They have some truly amazing boutique shops that cater to outdoor adventures.

So, if you truly forget something, it’s not the end of the world. 

However, as all of you already know, Switzerland is an expensive destination. Your wallet is a little scared of Switzerland. It’s much cheaper to buy whatever you need at home rather than go shopping in Switzerland.

Furthermore, time is money. Even if you have 8 days in Switzerland, you still don’t want to waste time wandering through stores when you could be relaxing next to an aqua alpine lake or discovering your own private mountainside view.

If you’re planning on a late summer adventure in Switzerland, then this packing guide is precisely for you! Of course, you may have to make some minor changes, but I think I have all the essentials you need written here! 

what to pack for switzerland in august: a nice camera to take shots of cute buildings

Switzerland in August Packing Tips

I wanted to share a couple of packing tips with you before we dive into specifically what to pack for Switzerland in August. Travel in summer is slightly easier than winter, due to the lack of bulky items, but still requires some thought on your end.

Clothing layers, for instance, are very important for visiting Switzerland in summer. You’ll experience colder and windier weather the higher you go into the mountains. At the top of Europe or the Jungfraujoch, temperatures are drastically different than down in the valleys. I had to bundle up in a winter coat! Layer, layer, layer. I can’t emphasize it enough. 

bring city items for packing in switzerland for august

Regarding luggage and gear, I’m a huge advocate for packing cubes for any extensive European trip. Packing cubes help keep your clothes organized neatly, which is especially useful for longer trips. I know if I’m not organized, my clothes sort of just … explode everywhere, which isn’t remotely helpful.

As far luggage goes, I think it depends on your preference. Backpackers may want to invest in a 65L travel backpack to carry all your stuff with you. Just make sure your back can handle the weight! 

However, if your backpacking days are behind you, then you should have no problem exploring Switzerland with a rolling carry-on suitcase. Although pricey, Tumi makes my favorite international carry ons, which last for years and years with good care. A well-made suitcase is an investment worth having, particularly if you travel a lot! These international carry ons will also fit perfectly in most overhead bins.

what to pack for switzerland in august: prepare for sunny weather too

What to Pack for Switzerland in August

Okay, now let’s talk about what to pack for Switzerland in August to help make your trip a memorable experience without too many hiccups on the road. 

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve divided this packing guide into two sections. The first part has to do with practical items, such as guidebooks and electronics, and the second section will cover important clothing items for your summer trip to Switzerland. 

Let’s get started!

switzerland in august is very green

Switzerland in August Essentials

Alright, let’s talk about the essentials. Like I said earlier, while you can absolutely buy some of these items in Switzerland, you ought to bring as much as you reasonably can from home to save time and money on your adventures around Switzerland. 

Keep in mind that I don’t write about medication in this post (I’m not a doctor, ya’ll), but it’s always a smart idea to bring allergy and over the counter pain medication in case of an emergency on the road. 

enjoying the art in lake geneva

EU Compliant Plugs

First and foremost, you don’t want your phone or camera to die in Switzerland. I mean, imagine standing before a majestic snow-capped mountain and not having a fully charged camera? I totally understand “living in the moment,” but to me, photos are still the best souvenirs. 

If you’re coming from North America or even United Kingdom, your plugs will not work in Switzerland, so make sure to pack some rounded EU plugs to keep all your devices charged and happy! Some hotels will have universal USB ports available, but this is still far from guaranteed. Take no chances. 

wengen is absolutely gorgeous

Hiking Backpack

Switzerland is all about the outdoors. You might seek leisurely walks or vigorous hikes, but regardless of activity level, you will want to have some sort of hiking backpack to take to Switzerland. 

On my own trip, I used a lightweight packable day backpack that was perfect for spending afternoons exploring Switzerland. You absolutely want to avoid a heavy backpack. Remember you need to pack your day pack into your actual luggage, so practicality is super important when it comes to what to pack for Switzerland in August. 

fribourg is a lovely medieval city with lots of signs

Language Guides

Switzerland is a country of many, many languages. Germany is the most widely spoken language in Switzerland.

However, be prepared to speak some French in the western regions, as well as some Italian if you’re headed south to Ticino. Depending on your itinerary, you might need to learn phrases from two or more languages. 

Lonely Planet has some terrific language guides including German, French, and Italian. Learning a couple phrases demonstrates respect for the locals.

august in switzerland means some clear sunny skies

Lonely Planet Switzerland Guidebook

Honestly, I never leave home without a good guidebook. I love travel blogs too. I mean, obviously, I run my very own blog, haha. But a good quality guidebook always helps me plan exceptional trips. 

Lonely Planet publishes my favorite guides! The Switzerland guide will cover the best things to see and do in the summer. You can purchase a physical copy or a digital copy. What’s nice about the digital copy is that you can save just the pages that are relevant to your trip, which makes all the information easier to find. 

switzerland in august has lots of vibrant colors

Reusable Water Bottle

Hiking in Switzerland means staying hydrated is a priority. Swiss water is pristine and delicious, too. Bring a reasonably sized and reusable water bottle to take with you. You will be able to fill the water bottle as much as you want, which is an obvious benefit.

Additionally, Switzerland is such a magical destination due to the country’s stunning mountains and lakes. Sustainability is very important. You want to protect the natural wonders for future generations. Using a reusable bottle rather than plastic bottles helps cut down on waste.

what to pack for switzerland in august includes hiking gear

Sun Lotion

Don’t let the cool temperatures at high altitudes fool you! The sun’s rays are still quite strong, especially in summer. It’s essential to protect your skin from UV rays. 

Sun Bum makes my favorite sun lotion! They even have an adorable travel size kit to take with you on trips. Of course, plenty more options are available if you prefer higher or lower amounts of SPF. 

be prepared for some rain in august in switzerland

Travel Umbrella

Okay, so you know how Switzerland has some gorgeous green rolling hills especially in rural regions such as Appenzell? Yeah, rain is responsible for all that lushness. 

A compact travel umbrella is among the most items for what to pack for Switzerland in August. Surprisingly, the summer months bring a decent amount of rain. I mean, sure you may not want it to rain on your trip, but reality may bring in a stray shower or two. It’s so much better to be prepared. 

switzerland in august and hiking
What to Pack for Switzerland in August Includes Hiking Clothes.

Clothing for Switzerland in August

Now that we’re finished discussing all our essential items, I want to talk to you about the best clothing for Switzerland in August. You’re going to have to get creative, particularly if you want to experience both Switzerland’s natural wonders and sophisticated cities.

How do you even go about bringing two wardrobes? 

one day in lucerne means going to the lake
Looking Happy with One Day in Lucerne.

Layered Outdoors Wear

First and foremost, you want to be aware of changing temperatures in Switzerland. If you are high in the mountains, you could experience chilly winds and cold temperatures even in the summer months. Meanwhile, in Switzerland’s cities or the southern regions, you’ll definitely feel too hot if you’re bundled up.

What’s the most important thing to do? Layer, layer, layer.

For example, a full zip jacket that’s easy to take on and off is perfect for visiting Switzerland in August. And, if you’re not too concerned about style, these convertible zip off pants are great for combating different weather conditions. 

Ultimately, you want to prepare for all possibilities. 

looking happy and content on a st. gallen to appenzell day trip

Leggings

Leggings are one of my favorite things to wear on the road (and at home). I feel like you can pair black leggings with absolutely anything which makes them the perfectly versatile piece of travel clothing. 

So bring a buttery soft pair (or two) of leggings for your Swiss adventures! They won’t take up a lot of room in your luggage either!

switzerland in august includes hiking

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are probably the most important item to bring on your summer trip to Switzerland. Don’t skimp on costs here. Your enjoyment depends on how comfortable your feet feel. This Merrell mid-length hiking boot is an ideal investment for venturing through the Bernese Oberland, for example. 

My other bit of advice is to break in your hiking boots at home. Well worn shoes are almost always better in Europe. 

If you want to bring a second pair of shoes for your days in the city, opt for lighter shoes that will easily slip into your luggage. You don’t want to deal with two massively bulky pairs of shoes. 

bernese oberland itinerary smile

Moisture Wicking Socks

In many ways, your socks are just as important as your shoes when it comes to traveling in Switzerland. You don’t want to deal with blisters. Like at all. 

Saucony makes some of my favorite shoes and socks. Having a pack of these socks on the road is another great investment (I use that word a lot, don’t I? Haha)! Furthermore, whenever I run out of clean socks, I know that it’s time to do my laundry, haha!

gazing across fribourg's pretty bridge
Ready for Summer in Fribourg.

Summer Dresses

Last but not least, you want to bring some lightweight and fun summer dresses for your days in cities such as Lucerne and Zurich. Dresses are easy to “dress up” with a couple of fun pieces of costume jewelry so you don’t have to worry about overpacking.

As a suggestion, try and avoid dresses that wrinkle easily, because you will likely have to roll your clothing to keep everything neatly packed in your suitcase.

taking a walk among the vineyards in geneva

I hope this guide about what to pack for Switzerland in August helped you plan your upcoming trip! As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions about Switzerland. You can also book a Zoom call with me for travel planning purposes! Happy travels in Switzerland! 

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