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50 wonderful things to do this winter in Switzerland

From stunning alpine views to vintage skiing, Christmas markets and winter feasts, Switzerland sparkles in the frosty season

Winter trail walking in the ski resort Arosa Lenzerheide

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.

El Paradiso •  St.Moritz
1/50

El Paradiso • St.Moritz

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

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Graubünden
Titlis Xpress • Titlis
http://www.engelberg.ch
2/50

Titlis Xpress • Titlis

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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Lucerne
Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad
©Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad
3/50

Mineralbad & Spa Rigi-Kaltbad

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.

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Vitznau
Le Dézaley • Zurich
4/50

Le Dézaley • Zurich

Located near the Grossmünster, this restaurant is renowned for its cheese fondue, which many say is the best to be found in Zurich. 

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Zurich
Winter trail walks • Arosa
5/50

Winter trail walks • 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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Arosa
Verbier
© Verbier/Val de Bagnes - La Tzoumaz
6/50

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.

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Verbier
Restaurant Les Mazot • Les Diablerets
©Les Mazots
7/50

Restaurant Les Mazot • 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.

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Les Diablerets
Preda – Bergün toboggan run
© Roland Gerth
8/50

Preda – Bergün toboggan run

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

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Eastern Switzerland
Freestyle Academy • Laax
9/50

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 in the Alps • Gstaad
©Switzerland Tourism
10/50

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.

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Gstaad
© Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
11/50

Gstaad

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

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Alpes vaudoises
Iglu Dorf  • Davos
©Iglu-dorf.com/Destination Davos Klosters
12/50

Iglu Dorf • 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.

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Davos
Vevey Sur Glace
www.myswitzerland.com
13/50

Vevey Sur Glace

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

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Vevey
Kleine Scheidegg
14/50

Kleine Scheidegg

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

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Jungfrau-Region
Themed trams • Zurich
15/50

Themed trams • Zurich

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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Hochschulen
Solbad & Spa Schönbühl • Bern
16/50

Solbad & Spa Schönbühl • Bern

Less than half an hour from Bern, Solbad Schönbühl boasts the largest natural brine spa in Switzerland. 

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Bern-Mittelland
Chez Vrony • Zermatt
17/50

Chez Vrony • 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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Zermatt
Jungfrau Region
© Jungfrau Railways
18/50

Jungfrau Region

Recommended

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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Jungfrau-Region
Walliser Alpentherme & Spa • Leukerbad
19/50

Walliser Alpentherme & Spa • Leukerbad

Well known for its thermal waters, the pretty alpine village of Leukerbad has several spas, but this is one of the best. 

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Leukerbad
Flon Ice Rink • Lausanne
www.lausanne.ch
20/50

Flon Ice Rink • Lausanne

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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Flon
Thermalp  • Les Bains d’Ovronnaz
©Thermalp – Les Bains d’Ovronnaz
21/50

Thermalp • Les Bains d’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). 

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Ovronnaz
Engelberg
© Engelberg-Titlis Tourismus Company
22/50

Engelberg

Recommended

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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Lucerne
Bergrestaurant Bussalp • Grindelwald
23/50

Bergrestaurant Bussalp • 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.

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Grindelwald
Ice Magic • Interlaken
© Ice Magic / Erich Haesler
24/50

Ice Magic • Interlaken

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

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Interlaken
Einsiedeln
www.einsiedeln-tourismus.ch/en
25/50

Einsiedeln

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

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Grimsel Hospiz
26/50

Grimsel Hospiz

There’s been a guest house on this spot since 1142, which is pretty amazing when you consider where it is. Access is by prior arrangement on a Postbus. 

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Canton of Bern
Bergrestaurant • Spielboden
©Bergrestaurant Spielboden
27/50

Bergrestaurant • Spielboden

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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Saas-Fee/Saas Valley
St. Moritz
© swiss-image.ch
28/50

St. Moritz

Recommended

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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St Moritz
Walliser Alpentherme & Spa  •  Leukerbad
29/50

Walliser Alpentherme & Spa • Leukerbad

Well known for its thermal waters, the pretty alpine village of Leukerbad has several spas, but this is one of the best. 

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Leukerbad
Andermatt
© Andermatt Tourism
30/50

Andermatt

Recommended

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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Andermatt
Love Yurt • Montreux
@goldenpass
31/50

Love Yurt • 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.

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Montreux
Pöstli Club Davos
©Destination Davos Klosters
32/50

Pöstli Club 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.

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Davos
Bernina Express
­©Bernina Express
33/50

Bernina Express

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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Switzerland
Kleine Scheidegg
34/50

Kleine Scheidegg

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.

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Jungfrau-Region
Scuol • Graubünden
©Andrea Badrutt
35/50

Scuol • Graubünden

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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Scuol
Jatzhütte  • Davos
©Destination Davos Klosters
36/50

Jatzhütte • 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. 

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Davos
Restaurant Les Pléiades • Vevey
37/50

Restaurant Les Pléiades • 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.

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Vevey
Saas-Fee
© Photopress/Saas Fee
38/50

Saas-Fee

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.

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Saas-Fee/Saas Valley
Star gazing in Saint-Luc • Val d'Anniviers
www.valdanniviers.ch/
39/50

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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Restaurant Briand • Valais
40/50

Restaurant Briand • Valais

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.

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Leukerbad
Open-air jacuzzi • Pontresina
Daniel Martinek Fotografie
41/50

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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Dolder Sports • Zurich
© Stefan Schmidlin
42/50

Dolder Sports • Zurich

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. 

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Fluntern
Paradiso Piste • St Moritz
©Suvretta Snow Sports
43/50

Paradiso Piste • 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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St Moritz
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise • Zermatt
©Zermatt Bergbahnen
44/50

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise • 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).

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Zermatt
Cresta Run • St Moritz
© swiss-image.ch, Giancarlo Cattaneo
45/50

Cresta Run • 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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St Moritz
Jungfrau Region
© Jungfrau Railways
46/50

Jungfrau Region

Recommended

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

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Jungfrau-Region
Winter trail walks • Arosa Lenzerheide
47/50

Winter trail walks • Arosa Lenzerheide

Explore the network of some 140 kilometers of winter trails running around the winter sports resort of Arosa Lenzerheide, where you can take a slow stroll or a long hike amidst the magnificent winter landscape.

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Arosa
Zermatt
© Michael Portmann/Zermatt Tourismus
48/50

Zermatt

Recommended

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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Zermatt
Käsestube Furgg • Zermatt
49/50

Käsestube Furgg • 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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Zermatt
Bergbahnen Jaun Gastlosen • Gruyères
50/50

Bergbahnen Jaun Gastlosen • Gruyères

Jaun's ski area encompasses 25 kilomentres of slopes and is usually guaranteed snow in the winter season.

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Gruyère

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