50 wonderful things to do this winter in Switzerland

From stunning alpine views to serene thermal spas and fondue feasts - find out what makes Switzerland so fun in the frosty season.
White Turf
©Christof Sonderegger
By Time Out contributors |
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Switzerland is a stunning winter destination. The Alps sparkle with pristine pistes, jaw-dropping vistas and glamourous snow sports while the cities twinkle with Christmas markets, ice rinks and more. Here's our guide to some of the coolest things to do and places to be this winter in Switzerland.

Restaurants, Swiss

El Paradiso • St.Moritz

icon-location-pin Graubünden

The stunning views, and stylish sun deck, are almost enough to make this one of the most fun restaurants in the country. 

Time Out says
Titlis Xpress
http://www.engelberg.ch
Things to do

Titlis Xpress • Titlis

icon-location-pin Lucerne

The new Titlis Xpress cable car has arrived! From 12 December 2015 there's a super-fast way to ascend Titlis mountain from Engelberg to Trübsee then on to Stand. Oh, and did we mention the views?

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Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad, Lucerne spa, Time Out Switzerland
©Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad
Health and beauty, Spas

Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad

icon-location-pin Vitznau

Luxuriate in the mineral waters of the Kaltbad spring while taking in the superlative view of the mountains from its indoor and outdoor pools. If you’re staying at the attached Hotel Rigi Kaltbad then for two hours each morning you (and your fellow guests) can have the mineral waters all to yourself.

Things to do

Winter trail walks • Arosa

icon-location-pin Arosa

Explore the network of some 140 kilometers of winter trails running around the winter sports resort of Arosa Lenzerheide amidst the magnificent winter landscape. 

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Verbier
© Verbier/Val de Bagnes - La Tzoumaz
Things to do

Verbier

icon-location-pin Verbier

Known as a resort for serious skiers, Verbier also packs a punch with its nightlife, although it’s a lot more relaxed that glitzier competitors St. Moritz and Gstaad.

Restaurant Les Mazots, Les Diableret restaurant, Time Out Switzerland
©Les Mazots
Restaurants, Swiss

Restaurant Les Mazot • Les Diablerets

icon-location-pin Les Diablerets

This mountain chalet restaurant during the winter season helps host the thrice-weekly fondue-luge evenings, when people arrive on the chair lift after dark for a fondue before heading off with a headtorch and a toboggan to sledge the 7km run down to Les Diablerets village.

Time Out says
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Preda – Bergün toboggan run
© Roland Gerth
Museums

Preda – Bergün toboggan run

icon-location-pin Eastern Switzerland

Illuminated at night, this 6 kilometer stretch runs from Preda to Bergün, and is Europe’s Europe’s longest floodlit toboggan run. 

Sport and fitness, Ski training

Freestyle Academy • Laax

With a large 1,00sq m of space, this indoor freestyle base allows you to hone your skills in snowboarding, freeskiing, skating, climbing, freerunning and biking whatever the weather. 

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Fondue mountain
©Switzerland Tourism
Things to do

Fondue in the Alps • Gstaad

A trail that takes hikers up to a lodge atop the mountains of Gstaad to have high altitude fondue with locally sourced Swiss cheese with amazing panoramic views.

Snowboarder Gstaad
© Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
Things to do

Gstaad

icon-location-pin Alpes vaudoises

Gstaad and the surrounding region, which comprises nine more chalet villages, is a popular holiday destination. 

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Iglu Dorf, Davos Klosters venue, Time Out Switzerland
©Iglu-dorf.com/Destination Davos Klosters
Things to do

Iglu Dorf • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

Davos-Klosters has its own specially created igloo village, handily situated in the Parsenn ski area. There are several kinds of igloo to choose from and a menu of events and activities, ranging from fondue meals to carving ice sculptures.

Vevey sur Glace
www.myswitzerland.com
Things to do, Ice skating

Vevey Sur Glace

icon-location-pin Vevey

A popular spot, Vevey's ice rink delivers 600sq m of icy fun during the winter months. 

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Things to do

Kleine Scheidegg

icon-location-pin Jungfrau-Region

This mountain station enjoys a stunning location at the foot of the Eiger, Münch and Jungfrau in the spectacular Bernese Oberland. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

Themed trams • Zurich

icon-location-pin Hochschulen

Looking for that special ride on a tram? Seasonally changing themed trams like the fondue tram, the apéro tram or the sushi tram depart from a designated stop at Bellevue.

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Restaurants

Chez Vrony • Zermatt

icon-location-pin Zermatt

Chez Vrony offers a heady combination of fine food using locally sourced ingredients and a stunning backdrop of views to the Matterhorn. 

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Jungfrau
© Jungfrau Railways
Things to do

Jungfrau Region

icon-location-pin Jungfrau-Region

There’s plenty to challenge advanced skiers, notably the Lauberhorn ski race run or the Inferno on the other side of the valley - the latter, in particular, lets you channel your inner James Bond. Grindelwald has a buzz thanks to the young seasonal ski staff letting off après-ski steam.

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Love Yurt Rochers-de-Naye
@goldenpass
Things to do

Love Yurt • Montreux

icon-location-pin Montreux

Advertising itself as "the height of love", couples or groups can book a one-night stay in a luxury yurt at the top of Rochers-de-Naye.

Flon ice rink, Lausanne
www.lausanne.ch
Things to do, Ice skating

Flon Ice Rink • Lausanne

icon-location-pin Flon

Flon hosts a winter ice rink from Nov-Jan. It may not be the largest or fanciest ice rink around, but it's smack in the middle of Lausanne's coolest district and promises a packed programme of events. 

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Thermalp – Les Bains d’Ovronnaz, Swiss spa, Time Out Switzerland
©Thermalp – Les Bains d’Ovronnaz
Health and beauty, Spas

Thermalp • Les Bains d’Ovronnaz

icon-location-pin Ovronnaz

Arrive after a day’s skiing you’ll really appreciate the curative benefits of the thermal waters of its three pools (two outdoor, one indoor). 

Engelberg
© Engelberg-Titlis Tourismus Company
Things to do

Engelberg

icon-location-pin Lucerne

Smaller than other Swiss ski resorts and more familiar to locals than international vistors, the centrally located Engelberg is nonetheless blessed with outstanding terrain.

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Restaurants, Swiss

Bergrestaurant Bussalp • Grindelwald

icon-location-pin Grindelwald

After spending a morning in the snow working up an appetite, there are few better places to end up for lunch than this mountain restaurant. Perched at 1,792m on the south-facing side of the Grindelwald valley, its sun-trap of a terrace overlooks the vast Eiger mountain on the opposite side.

Time Out says
Ice Magic Interlaken
© Ice Magic / Erich Haesler
Things to do, Ice skating

Ice Magic • Interlaken

icon-location-pin Interlaken

This enormous ice rink comprises a whopping five skate rinks of various sizes.

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Einsiedeln
www.einsiedeln-tourismus.ch/en
Things to do

Einsiedeln

This pretty medieval village is dominated by its impressive Abbey Church, the origins of which date back over a thousand years.

Bergrestaurant Spielboden
©Bergrestaurant Spielboden
Restaurants

Bergrestaurant • Spielboden

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

Whether you arrive by foot, skis or cable car, make sure you find your way to Bergrestaurant Spielboden. As far from self-service ski dining as you can get, the skilled restaurant team serves up Swiss specialities .

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St Moritz
© swiss-image.ch
Things to do, Ice skating

St. Moritz

icon-location-pin St Moritz

Its success stems from the champagne climate of the Upper Engadine – dry and sunny, with a high degree of snow certainty.

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Andermatt
© Andermatt Tourism
Things to do

Andermatt

icon-location-pin Andermatt

A ski region that remains outside the international mainstream despite its highly regarded skiing, Andermatt has recently enjoyed a renaissance. Skiers of all levels can expect far less piste traffic than at the larger Swiss resorts, making it a good choice if you like to take your time and relax.

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Postli Club, Davos club, Time Out Switzerland
©Destination Davos Klosters
Nightlife, Clubs

Pöstli Club Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

Davos is big on nightlife. It has more than 40 bars and clubs, making it one of the Alps' party towns. The Pöstli Club is popular and attracts a mix of locals and visitors, with sporting and music celebs among the punters.

Bernina Express
­©Bernina Express
Things to do

Bernina Express

icon-location-pin Switzerland

The Bernina line starts from Chur and winds down to the Italian border town of Tirano in around 4 hours. Passing glaciers and mountains, Bernina Express stops by skiing hot spot towns like St. Moritz, Preda and Davos Platz. 

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Things to do

Kleine Scheidegg

icon-location-pin Jungfrau-Region

This mountain station enjoys a stunning location at the foot of the Eiger, Münch and Jungfrau in the spectacular Bernese Oberland. From here it's possible to take the rather overpriced mountain train to the so-called 'top of Europe', the Jungfraujoch, which looks out (in good weather) over the Aletsch glacier. Otherwise, it's a popular hub for skiers, sledgers and walkers.

Motta-Naluns, Scuol
©Andrea Badrutt
Things to do

Scuol • Graubünden

icon-location-pin Scuol

Nestled between 3,000-metre summits and overlooking the Swiss National Park, Scuol boasts an enviable location. The south-facing resort is sunny, but also snow-sure, with a nice range of blue and red runs for family-friendly skiing, while mogul fields and 13km of black descents cater for the more experienced.

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Jatzhütte, Davos bar, Time Out Switzerland
©Destination Davos Klosters
Nightlife, DJ bars

Jatzhütte • Davos

icon-location-pin Davos

Après-ski doesn't get more convenient than this. The Jatzhütte is a well known Davos après-ski spot right on the Jakobshorn mountain. When it appeared more than two decades ago it was the first après-ski mountainside venue. 

Restaurants, Swiss

Restaurant Les Pléiades • Vevey

icon-location-pin Vevey

Located at the top station of  Les Pléiades, this restaurant has one of the most beautiful views in the Lac Léman region, with a sunny terrace overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond.

Time Out says
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Saas Fee
© Photopress/Saas Fee
Things to do

Saas-Fee

icon-location-pin Saas-Fee/Saas Valley

Saas Fee is an idyllic mountain village ringed by 4,000m high peaks. A packed programme of snow-related events and mountain festivals in the town itself and on the surrounding slopes keeps visitors busy during the winter months.

St-Luc
www.valdanniviers.ch/
Things to do

Star gazing in Saint-Luc • Val d'Anniviers

St-Luc offers a charming blend of old and new from its splendid Belle Epoque guesthouses and 18th-century flour mills to the super-modern François-Xavier Bagnoud astronomical observatory. Star gazers will love the observatory's 60cm telescope, as well as enjoying a 6km-long planet trail walk that rises from 2141m to 2513m and is open year-round.

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Restaurants, Swiss

Restaurant Briand • Valais

icon-location-pin Leukerbad

Located in the Torrent ski area near Leukerbad in the Valais alps, this family-run restaurant is a popular mid-ski lunch spot thanks to its glorious sunny terrace looking out over the peaks to the south. The food menu draws on Valais-typical dishes including plenty of dried meats and cheeses and hot dishes such as a half roast chicken with fries and salad.

Time Out says
Berghaus Diavolezza jacuzzi
Daniel Martinek Fotografie
Things to do

Open-air jacuzzi • Pontresina

The Berghaus Diavolezza offers accommodation, food and ski packages. But we mostly want to go for the open-air whirlpool jacuzzi located on the restaurant's sun terrace. With stunning views across the Bernina Massif and Piz Palü, this is surely one of the world's most impressve hot tubs.

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Ice skating, Zurich, Dolder Hotel
© Stefan Schmidlin
Things to do, Ice skating

Dolder Sports • Zurich

icon-location-pin Fluntern

During the winter months, Dolder Sports hosts Europe's largest open-air ice rink. It's a popular spot for Zurich locals and visitors alike, and certainly offers a great escape in the weeks before Christmas, when the city is packed with shoppers. 

Yoga on Snow, St Moritz event, Time Out Switzerland
©Suvretta Snow Sports
Sport and fitness

Paradiso Piste • St Moritz

icon-location-pin St Moritz

This ski piste near St Moritz has four fixed areas in which to practise yoga on snow. For a downward dog with a difference, visit Paradiso Piste this winter. 

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Matterhorn Glacier Express
©Zermatt Bergbahnen
Things to do

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise • Zermatt

icon-location-pin Zermatt

Zermatt’s Matterhorn Glacier Paradise network of mountain lifts connects the Valais resort with the highest cable car station in Europe (3,883 metres above sea level).

The Cresta Run in St.Moritz
© swiss-image.ch, Giancarlo Cattaneo
Museums

Cresta Run • St Moritz

icon-location-pin St Moritz

Located in the picturesque town of St. Mortz, this 1.2 km stretch of Cresta track is where it all began in the late 19th century, when British soldiers skeleton raced down the town snowy slopes.

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Jungfrau
© Jungfrau Railways
Things to do

Jungfrau Region

icon-location-pin Jungfrau-Region

Encompassing the resort villages of Grindelwald, Wengen and Murren, the Jungfrau Region is both enormous and wildly photogenic.

Zermatt
© Michael Portmann/Zermatt Tourismus
Things to do

Zermatt

icon-location-pin Zermatt

Zermatt is the highest resort in Europe and the place to come for scenic skiing – at every turn, vistas of the mountains remind you that the long journey up to the resort is worth it. The area is also a renowned winter hiking destination.

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Restaurants

Käsestube Furgg • Zermatt

icon-location-pin Zermatt

This traditional, chalet-style restaurant is the perfect place for a fondue, raclette or grilled cheese sandwich with some incredible views thrown in for free.

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