How is the sunset measured

Sunrise and sunset in Switzerland

Sunrise today: 5:44 am
Sunset today: 9:09 pm
(Data for Bern)

As in all countries in the northern hemisphere, the days in Switzerland are long in summer and short in winter. At the summer solstice in June, the days are up to 16 hours long. In December the conditions turn around and the nights last up to 16 hours. It gets light around 3 hours later in the morning.

These days, i.e. at the end of May, the sun rises in Bern at 5:44 a.m. The sunset, however, is quite late at 9:09 p.m.

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Average length of daylight in Bern

Duration of sunshine at twilight

Sunrise and sunset in the largest cities in Switzerland

The order of the cities is from east to west, i.e. in the approximate direction of the course of the sun. However, since the sun's orbit is elliptical, sunrise and sunset are never at the same time on a whole degree of longitude. The information relates to May 23, local time in Switzerland.

Due to the high mountain location in the Alps, sunrise and sunset can often not be seen from the valleys in the same way as on the open sea or in the relatively flat northern Germany. Instead, the sun hides behind the mountain peaks. However, this results in much more varied and sometimes breathtaking sights as long as the morning sun itself is still covered, but its light is already shining from between the Alpine peaks. Some areas of the valleys are still in the semi-darkness, while the slopes are already shining. Together with the slowly dissolving early morning fog, spectacular and, in some places, colorful panoramas arise that cannot be seen in the lowlands.

Skiers who are lucky enough to be high on the mountains at sunset (most lifts close at 5 p.m.) can experience an equally exciting sunset over the valleys and peaks. The sunset shines through the more distant peaks. With the appropriate position and view, the different weather conditions can be seen in the distance in the play of the sun.

In the valleys, the sunset is far less spectacular. Here, too, slopes and mountain walls are bathed in gold-red light. Due to the lack of a horizon and limited visibility, however, the sunset is over much faster than elsewhere. The narrower the valley, the earlier it gets dark and dusk is largely absent.


This special lighting mood is also known as alpenglow. Due to the low sun, the light appears redder than during the day and only the higher-lying, illuminated field slopes and snowy landscapes emerge next to the still dark areas. The reddish light often creates the impression of a glow in the eye of the beholder. Another light effect occurs on particularly steep mountain slopes: Due to the reflection of the light on the steep mountain wall, the opposite slope appears in a diffuse scattered light, which initially appears unnatural and therefore special for the human brain. The steeper the mountain face illuminated by the sun, the narrower the area on the opposite side of the illuminated area.

Sunrise and sunset by month (Bern)

Where does the sun rise in Switzerland?

The sun always rises in the east, everywhere and regardless of the country or continent. The easternmost city in Switzerland is Scuol in the canton of Graubünden. There the sun rises at 5:33 a.m. and sets again at 8:57 p.m. The latest sunset is currently in the west in the city of Chancy (Geneva) at 21:12.

Duration of the sunset

The distance from the equator and the orbit of the sun not only determine the time of sunrise and sunset. The further a country is from the equator, the more oblique is the path of the sun to the horizon. And this results in a different duration that a sunset takes. Bern lies at 47 degrees north latitude, which means that it is quite far from the equator. While a sunset near the equator only lasts around 20 minutes, the average time in Switzerland is 38 minutes. In June it is around 40 minutes in Bern, while in December it is 35 minutes.

Other cities around the world for comparison

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