Davos is one of the most known Swiss destinations, because of its World Economic Forum. Don’t get me wrong, Davos is very beautiful swiss village/town in the Swiss Alps which has a lot to offer to hiker, traveler, adventurer and skier, but the World Economic Forum made it very famous.
Probably all the biggest political and business leaders have visited Davos: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Christine Lagarde, Mark Zuckerberg, Angela Merkel, Xi JinPing, you name it, he/she probably was there at least once. I think there were more famous people in Davos than in Zürich or Geneva.
Davos is known to have great ski resorts and its an annual site for the Spengler Ice-hockey tournament. If you are in Switzerland and you are looking for something fun to do then Davos is the right place to be. It is one of the most top-rated snowboarding and skiing locations in the world. If you are new to skiing you should not be afraid because people are learning basic skiing techniques and you can join them in Davos. You can ski on the white powdery snow for a trip full of excitement.
Besides, there are many fun activities that you can do in the alpine region. The weather usually changes drastically and it is therefore recommended that you should wear a base layer such as underwear to keep you away from frigid temperatures. You should also have the right hiking boots to give you the best grip as you enjoy the hike.
Davos is situated next to big mountains which makes it a perfect location for hiking and all kind of adventures, I have visited Davos quite a few times so let us explore what could you do in Davos: I splitted the article into two parts: what to do in winter and what to do in summer.
How to get to Davos
Davos is very well connected by trains and very easily reachable by cars (even in winter).
By train from Zürich it would take you a bit more than 2 hours to reach Davos, please check all the latest time schedules and prices right here: Swiss trains.
If you come by car, from Zürich to Davos is just 149 kilometers, it would take you around 2 hours and the road is very nice and in the end (closer to Davos) you will get some serpentines, so very nice alpine drive.
It is the best to park your car in the outskirts of Davos, right after the tunnel which leads into Davos. There is a quite big open air parking place (it is called Seeparkplatz, right next to the lake), it will be maybe 10 minutes walk to the city center from that parking spot. As well, there are some more parking places in Davos city center as well.
Facts about Davos
Ok, just a few facts before you head to this great Swiss destination.
Davos is situated in Graubünden canton (it is the biggest canton by area, not by population). Graubünden canton is actually maybe in top 3 cantons in Switzerland to have adventure, because it is all in the mountains and it is huuuuge.
Davos population is not big, just over 10 000 people; many people call it a village, but I think it can proudly be named a town 🙂
Davos is already at 1560 elevation, so it’s quite high. As I was there quite a few times, it was never very warm for me. I guess it has some hot days, but as I was there once in mid July, I saw the smoke coming out from some chimneys: people were heating houses in mid July 🙂 So just keep that in mind.
Davos was first mentioned in historical books in the 13th century, so it is an old Swiss Alps settlement.
What to do in Davos in winter
If you come to Davos in winter – it is really magical. Can you image a Swiss village surrounded all by big mountains and all of the roofs are covered with snow? When you are probably imagining something very close to Davos in winter.
If you come to Davos in skiing season, I think the best thing do to is to go skiing or snowboarding. As well, I highly recommend snowshoeing there: there are several very well prepared snowshoeing trails. Have a look at information right here: Snowshoeing in Davos. Choose one trail you like the best, pack some hot tea and go on the adventure. It is possible as well to do some snowshoeing in not prepared places, but I would be very aware as avalanches happen quite often in the Swiss Alps, so better use a very well prepared trail which is as well watched by professionals. If you don’t have snowshoes, you can rent them in Pischa valley station (Flüelapassstrasse 21, 7260 Davos).
Next thing in Davos in winter (and probably 90 percent of people do it in winter time over there) is skiing.
Here are several places where you can ski in Davos:
- Jakobshorn. It is a very cool skiing resort which even has a superpipe for pro snowboarders or skiers. So if you are looking for a place to improve your jumping, it is the place to go in Davos. Jakobshorn even have an avalance learning program where you can learn how to behave if avalanche happens. You can check out all information right here: Jakobshorn skiing resort.
- Schatzalp-Strela. It is another skiing resort in the area where you can get with ski lifts up to 2346 meters to Strela Pass and just ski down to Schatzalp. All information about this place is here: Schatzalp ski resort.
- Rinerhorn. Another skiing place, but a bit further from the city with 49 kilometers of slopes. Rinerhorn ski resort.
- Parsenn. The biggest ski resort next to the town with almost 100 kilometers of slopes. All info right here: Parsenn ski resort.
As you see, the possibilities are almost endless. If you are beginner skier, I think it is the best to choose a smaller skiing resort, if you are good to go on red and black routes, go to Parsenn, and if you are a real pro and adrenaline junkie, then go to Jakobshorn and master your jumps.
What to do in Davos in summer
If you come to Davos in summer, you can spend more time exploring the city itself and just then hit the hiking trails.
Below you would find the top 6 things I would recommend you to visit in Davos in summer time.
Alpine botanical garden
The alpine botanical garden serves as one of the most sought-after places on Davos because of its picturesque design as well as the wonderful views that you can enjoy in the range. The gardens have also become home to a wide array of fascinating fauna and flora coupled with a gorgeous waterfall. The hikes around the garden as not strenuous therefore this makes the hiking trail fun for everyone or groups of all ages. Walking around the park is the best way to enjoy your stay in the alpine region.\
You can find some more information about this garden right here: Davos botanic garden.
Visit the local Museum
I think it is always a very enriching experience to learn more about the place you are in. There is a relatively small museum but is rich in history and culture. You can spend your time looking at artwork from various artists across the globe and the friendly museum staff will help you know what each represents. The Kirchner museum is named after a renowned artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner who was a resident in the area from 1880 to 1938.
Davos community inspired him to create some of the exceptional work that is in the museum and across the world. You are not limited by the number of works that are in the museum because you can also relate to the best artists in the world by seeing their artwork in the museum. Be sure to check the opening dates, hours as well as the cost of entering the museum.
You can embrace the Rinehorn by going to the summit covered in clouds. You can experience freezing coldness and the change in temperatures high up the sky. There is no place with vastness such as this and you will enjoy your stay in the region. You will experience joy like no other day because it is suitable for all ages. however, it is imperative that you should always dress warmly when going to such places because of the extreme changes in temperatures. Smear moisturizer on your face to prevent frostbites.
One thing I would really offer doing there: is biking. You can rent a bike and just go down by bike, it is always very beautiful up there in the Alps, later one you can get up with a cable car. Check all the information about this experience right here: Rinehorn.
Visit Lake Davos
Lake Davos is a small natural lake that is popular in Switzerland. The lake is fed by two tributaries the Totalpbach and Rhine rivers. It is one of the most exquisite lakes in Switzerland and it is set against the Swiss alps giving it one of the most picturesque looks. The high-altitude pine trees coupled with blue skies and cumulus clouds are one of the most stunning views while visiting the lake. You can spend your leisure sunny day beside the lake and admire the azure blue water against a backdrop of green and other colorful fauna and flora. The lake is also used in generating electricity for the village therefore if you want to know more about power generation you can visit the location.
Hiking in themed and nature trails
Davos has a wide array of beautiful woodsy trails that offers a chance for people visiting the area to enjoy hiking for all fitness levels. There are very many rugged trails that will give you a myriad of hiking up and down in the intense incline. Besides, there are also gentler walks that are suitable for family and senior citizens. The themed paths offer a different level of experience because you can combine adventure with education.
There is a really huge variety of choices other there in Davos, so you can choose the one which fits you the best and just go ahead. All trails are found right here: Davos themed trails.
At the base of Jakobschornbahnen mountain, there are three hiking trails 13 kilometers, 8 kilometers and 3 kilometers and they are specifically designed for Nordic walking – with very small elevation change. This is a low impact sport and you should try it at least once in your life, there are even courses for Nordic walking in Davos (you should really learn to do it correctly as bad posture and use of poles can harm you). If you want to challenge yourself to a new thing that you have not done before then this should be one of the activities that you can do in Davos. The trails are relatively flat and therefore make them perfect for the whole family.
Check all information about it right here: Davos nordic walking.
If you are nature lover or passionate skier – Davos is a place to go. It is surrounded by huge mountains and peaks which are higher than 3000 meters and this combination makes it a perfect location for mountain adventure of any kind: hike, mountaineering, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing.
As well, Davos has much more to offer: art. It has this nice beautiful art museum which you should check out.
If you go to Davos for a few days, you must definitely check out the lake, the themed paths, the museum and other attractions. Maybe even take a nordic walking class.
If you are there just for a day, go to the mountains straight away, there’s plenty of hiking opportunities up there. You can hike to some peaks and enjoy all the views around the Davos.
Davos is full of restaurants and hotels, so there is a place for everyone.
If you have any questions about Davos, please let me know, I will do my best to help.
As well, if you come to Davos by car in the summer, you can continue your trip to Saint Moritz, another popular Swiss destination!
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