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Drinking water

I’ve been reading how in some cities or areas you can drink/fill up water bottles directly from public fountains (Luzern for example). Is this the case all over Switzerland or just in certain parts?

I tend to drink a lot of water throughout the day and it would be great to just fill up a bottle as we are walking around!

Posted by
13201 posts

We happily drink the water from public sources ( taps) everywhere in Switzerland. If it is not potable it will be labeled "Kein Trinkwasser." But what kind of fountains are you thinking of? A decorative fountain might not be meant for drinking. I generally fill my water bottle from the tap at the hotel.

Posted by
60 posts

I filled up my water bottle at public fountains all over Switzerland-- the ones that aren't suitable to drink were pretty clearly labeled as non-potable. So convenient!! :)

Posted by
533 posts

I can confirm that in Lucerne, Bern, and Zurich, public fountains with potable water are plentiful and easy to find. I'm not sure about the smaller towns, though.

Many of the fountains (especially in Bern) are both decorative and potable. That was a foreign concept to me as an American, since we're used to seeing water features with chlorinated, recirculated water. But in Bern it's all fresh water, and the excess drains into the river.

A good rule to go by (in addition to looking for "Kein Trinkwasser" signs) is that if you can reach the water from where you're standing without any acrobatics, then the water is meant for drinking.

Posted by
5697 posts

Filled up from the roadside fountains in Mürren and other mountain areas -- great!

Posted by
4370 posts

I noticed the same. Fountains that appear to be decorative are in fact safe for drinking. I asked a couple times in Basel when a fountain just didn't seem like it would have safe drinking water and the response each time was kind of a puzzled, "of course".

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, virtually every village in Switzerland still has the drinking water fountain that was built before people had mains water, and it is still connected to the town water supply. Towns have many. The rare exceptions are labelled "Kein Trinkwasser" or "ne pas potable".

According to this article there are 134 drinking fountains in Luzern: http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/zentralschweiz/story/Touristen-staunen-ueber-Super-Brunnenwasser-17983862
(See the video).

I was filling up my water bottle at one yesterday and a women asked my "pour boire?" ("is it drinkable", in French). It was a strain on my French to answer: "Yes, every one in the city is drinkable".

Posted by
7205 posts

The drinking fountains in Switzerland are everywhere, and the water is wonderful. You'll see all kinds of fountains...even a trickle emptying into a hollowed out log in Murren in front of the Stager Stubli.