What to do in the Swiss Alps?

A pretty weird question, isn’t it? Still let’s take a look at the activities in the Swiss Alps. So, what to do and where to go:


What can compare to having a walk through the Swiss scenic locations? Admiring the beautiful nature from a hotel window, an observation tower or a city street is one thing, but plunging into the very heart of it – a completely different experience. Hiking and walking tours are extremely popular in the Swiss Alps. They attract millions of tourists of different levels of skill from beginners to pros each year. There are 62,000 kilometers of well-maintained trails, 23,000 of which are located in mountainous areas. The most popular ones are:

  • The Tour du Mont Blanc or TMB is one of the most popular long-distance tours in Europe. It circles the Mont Blanc massif, covering a distance of roughly 170 km with 10 km falling on ascent and descent and passes through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France in 11 days. It is considered one of the classic long-distance walking trails. Interesting that, this route is used for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – an annual ultramarathon. The shocking thing is that the winner must complete the entire circuit in less than 1 day and that’s only 24 hours.
  • The Alpine Pass Route is now called route number 1 among the long- distance walking routes. It is a long-distance hiking trail through the Alps in Switzerland, part of the Via Alpina route which covers over 325 km and crosses 16 mountain passes. Starting in Sargans in eastern Switzerland, it crosses the heart of country westwards finishing in Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva. It takes 15 or more walking days to complete this route.
  • The Monte Rosa Tour is a circular hiking trail through the Swiss & Italian Alps around the Monte Rosa massif (4634m). The tour also encircles the Dom (4,545 m) in the Mischabel range.
  • Trans-Swiss Trail is another long-distance trekking route. It covers approximately 460km through a wide variety of landscapes, with altitudes between 235m (in Bellinzona) to over 2000m (on the Gotthard pass) and starts in Porrentruy in the north near the French border, runs through the Alps and ends in Lugano.

Mountaineering and alpinism

The mountains in the Swiss Alps are just too good to pass up an opportunity to surmount one or a couple. You don’t have to be an insanely skilled and trained sportsman in order to achieve that. There are lots of easily accessed mountains for any level of preparation and qualified guides to make sure everything would run smoothly. If you are a professional alpinist or just striving to become one, the Swiss Alps offer a great many of truly challenging peaks, especially the 4000-meter summits and the great north faces (Eiger, Matterhorn and Piz Badile), some of which are no less dangerous and demanding than those of Nepal.

Going in for winter sports

Now, that is the first and foremost activity in Switzerland. It’s hard to count the number of all kinds of resorts in this country that offer an opportunity to ski, skate, snowboard and do all the other winter sports. The ski season starts in November and runs to May; however, the majority of ski resorts in Switzerland tend to open in December and run through to April. The most pleasant thing is that a lot of them due to high altitudes still have snow covered slopes in excellent conditions ready for use even in summer.

Amongst the best winter resorts are:

Davos – Klosters in the canton of Graubunden.

It is known as the place that hosts the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global political and business elites. Needless to say that politics is not the only thing they do, and as such this resort is highly favored by many of the world’s elite. In fact, it is one of Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts. The main snowboardists’ base is located here as well.

Zermatt in the canton of Valais

“The city without cars”, which are prohibited in order to avoid air pollution, is probably the most famous and visited resort in the Swiss Alps. Lying at the foot of the most scenic and the most recognizable Alpine mountain Matterhorn, it was first “discovered” in the middle of the 19th century by British mountaineers, most notably Edward Whymper, whose conquest of the Matterhorn made the village very famous. The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine mountains to be conquered (in 1865), and the first expedition that reached the top ended dramatically with only 3 of the 7 climbers surviving the descent. Nevertheless, the tourists and alpinists from everywhere flocked to Zermatt which gave an incredible boost to the city.

What else is there to do in Zermatt?

  • Take a hike! Besides multiple skiing slopes, Zermatt is also a starting point for a lot of hikes into the mountains, including the Haute Route that leads to Chamonix in France and the Patrouille des Glaciers.
  • Take a cable car ride! Cable cars and chair lifts, used to carry skiers in winter and hikers in summer, offer wonderful views. The highest of them leads to the Klein Matterhorn at 3,883 m, a peak on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn with an observation point that offers spectacular views in all directions.
  • Or a railway one! The Gornergratbahn, the highest open-air railway in Europe, that runs up to the summit of the Gornergrat at 3,089 m, or a classic scenic train ride via the famous Glacier Express connecting St. Moritz and the MGB (Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn) – you won’t regret wasting a millisecond on these activities. Just don’t forget to grab a camera.
  • Set a foot in Italy! You can even go to Italy via the Cervinia cable car station.

Engadin – St. Moritz in Graubunden

It is a high Alpine luxury resort in the Engadine on the southern slopes of the Albula Alps. And thanks to its favorable location, St. Moritz enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year. It is also a popular destination for the upper class and international jetset. It has one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, along with many luxurious five star hotels and upscale shops.

The resort city St. Moritz should be known at least for hosting the Winter Olympic Games, actually twice! In 1928 and 1948.

It also hosted the world championships for alpine skiing in 1934, 1974, 2003, and has just recently hosted another one in 2017.

Additionally, St. Moritz has hosted the FIBT World Championships (bobsleigh and skeleton racing) a record 21 times.

In 1904, the oldest and world’s last remaining natural bob run was opened. The 1.72 km ice channel – also known as the world’s biggest “ice sculpture” – is built every winter from the ground up with only snow and water.

Popular pastimes include skiing, snowboarding and hiking, and nearby there is also the world-famous Cresta Run toboggan course.

St. Moritz is the highest resort with a rail connection in Switzerland. Operated by the Rhaetian Railway, St. Moritz railway station (1,775 m) is located at both ends of the Albula and Bernina Railways. The Glacier Express and Bernina Express trains also stop at St. Moritz.

St. Moritz is extremely popular in the summer months as an altitude training base for distance athletes, particularly cyclists, runners, and race walkers. Its popularity extends to the altitude, weather, world class athletics track, and availability of paths and trails in the area.


The resort area is located in the Central Switzerland on the Swiss Plateau.

There are lots of easy skiing routes, that’s why it is very popular amongst families with little children or those who only learn how to ski and some really steep slopes, popular with experienced skiers.

Besides, it is a major tourist attraction all year round thanks to the Titlis.

What else is there to do in Engelberg?

  • Visit Mount Titlis! It is the highest summit (3,238 m) of the range north of the Susten Pass, between the Bernese Oberland and Central Switzerland . It is mainly accessed from Engelberg on the north side and is famous as the site of the world’s first rotating cable car. The cable car system connects Engelberg (996 m) to the summit of Klein Titlis (3,028 m) through the 3 stages of Gerschnialp (1,262 m), Trübsee (1,796 m) and Stand (2,428 m). In fact, the last part of cable car way leads above the glacier.
  • Visit an illuminated glacier cave! At Klein Titlis, you can have a walk in a real glacier cave from an entrance within the cable-car station, which also includes shops and restaurants.
  • Walk on the Titlis Cliff Walk! It is the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe, opened in December 2012, giving views across the Alps.

Jungfrauregion: Grindelwald – Mürren – Wengen in the Bernese Oberland

All three cities are car free too. Aside from multiple winter sports and summer hiking activities this region can boast having the most recognizable trio of Alpine peaksthe Jungfrau, the Eiger and the Mönch.

In addition to the information given in the table above, it should be mentioned that the Jungfrau railway, which connects Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, the saddle between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, made the area one of the most-visited places in the Alps. It is the highest railway station in Europe reaching the altitude of 3,454 m at Jungfraujoch.

The railway runs almost entirely within the Jungfrau Tunnel, built into the Eiger and M  önch mountains and containing two stations in the middle of the tunnel, where passengers can stop and observe the neighboring mountains through windows built into the mountainside.

It is interesting that these windows were actually used as rescue openings to drag in the alpinists, stuck on the way up the steep slope to the summit. And what kind of danger these slopes possess is already mentioned above too.

Thus, no matter when you come or where you go the Swiss Alps leave unforgettable impressions and make you want to return again and again.