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Samichlaus Swim, 05 December 2021 in Zurich. Great traditional event

Samichlaus Swim

WHERE: Zurich, Switzerland
WHEN: 05 December 2021

Christmas you go, custom you find.
This could be what prompted about sixty daredevils 20 years ago to dive into the waters of the Limmat in Zurich in the middle of December.

Years later, this strange custom, started almost as a joke, is repeated every year, attracting more and more visitors and participants. The last edition before the pandemic recorded 361 participants: an absolute record for this event!
Samichlaus’ swim, aka Santa Claus (as they call him around here), is not a futile event. Far from it. In fact, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Recommended for anyone visiting Zurich for the traditional Christmas markets. A different, extravagant and alternative way to spend your time. Event in which we invite you to be protagonists.

Only a good dose of courage is required for the traditional Samichlaus swim. And, why not, a pinch of madness. The water is quite cold these days, but not frozen; the temperatures of the Limmat, in fact, are between 6 and 8 degrees.
And, besides, a swim in cold water is said to have beneficial effects.

Samichlaus Swim



It is absolutely recommended to reach the meeting point by public transport. In the area, you will not find a way to park your car. Moreover, Zurich has a highly efficient and modern public transport network.

With trams 2, 5 and 9 you get off at the Bellevue stop. From here, in just a few minutes, you will reach the Pier 7 Restaurant.


Appointment on 05 December 2021, from 13:30 to 15:30.
It covers a distance of 111 meters, for a route that runs from the Restaurant Pier 7 to the other side of the river, on Stadthausquai.
There are divers on boats and specialized personnel on the mainland, who monitor people in the river every moment.

The minimum age to participate is 16 years. Good health is required and you should not be sick. It is preferable to use only the swimming costume.


Tickets on sale, upon online registration on the official website, at 11:11 am on 11/11.
Participation is limited. Here is the detail:

  • Charity Tickets. They cost 40CHF, part of which goes to charity. There are 100 coupons available. They are the ones who will face, first, the 111 meters of the Samichlaus Swim, in groups of 20.
  • Normal Tickets. They cost 22CHF, with a total availability of 220 tickets. You enter in groups, every 4 minutes. Holders of these tickets enter after 100 people with Charity Tickets.
  • Stand-By Ticket. They cost 15CHF and allow access to the water only if the previous participants have finished their Samichlaus swim. If you buy these tickets you will not be guaranteed to be able to participate; in this case, your 15CHF will be entirely donated to charity.

At the end, you will be issued a certificate and will receive a glass of hot tea, traditional barley soup, an Allianz Suisse bath towel, and a 2nd class trip to all areas of the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund on the day of the event.


In 2021, all participants in the event will be offered the opportunity to increase their donation with a deviation of about 10 meters, swimming around a buoy located off the course.

The donation of 10 CHF will be made by the sponsor Allianz Suisse to the charity partner for each person who manages to pass around the buoy.

*All the contents are purely indicative. Before taking part in the event, please consult the official website. Timetables and program can be modified according to the current regulations on COVID-19 in Switzerland. We also remind you to inquire in advance about the mandatory nature of the Green Pass.


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