Graubünden is the biggest canton in Switzerland mostly situated in mountainous region of Swiss Alps so let us explore the top places to visit in Graubünden.
Very important to notice that the other name of Graubünden is Grisons. So if you see the canton of Grisons somewhere, just know that it is the same Graubünden.
This canton is very multilingual as it is the only one with 3 official languages (most of cantons have one or three, but Switzerland overall has 4 official languages). There you can hear German, Italian and Romansh language. Romansh language is mostly spoken in small villages as for example Guarda or Disentis.
The capital of Graubünden is Chur and the highest point of the canton is Piz Bernina standing at 4049 meters, so this canton is a paradise for hikers and adventure seekers.
Ok, let us have a look at all top places to visit in Graubünden.
Chur as said before is the capital of Graubünden canton and is the biggest city over there with population just over 35 000 people. So you can see that the canton consists mostly of small cities, towns and villages.
Chur is situated in Grisonian Rhine valley and is surrounded by huge mountains. It is the last big city on the road and further on you mostly will find just smaller town and windy roads.
One of the most famous activities in Chur is the Bernina express: the highest railway in the Swiss Alps, reaching up to 2253m, crossing 196 (!) bridges & giving amazing and breathtaking views of glaciers and mountains.
In Chur you can as well visit a very modern looking Bündner Kunstmuseum which exhibits modern & contemporary art. The whole museum is situated in two places: one part is an elegant 19th century villa, the second part is a beautiful piece of modern architecture.
If you want to relax, you can spend some time in Fontana park – very cozy little park with colorful flowers.
If you are looking for more historical museum, you can visit Rätisches Museum which is focused of Graubünden history.
For nature lovers, perfect place is Brambrüesch – you can take a cable car in Chur and in minutes you will get to the mountain station where you can do some hiking, have your lunch mountain restaurants or visit local swamp while walking on a very well prepared path.
Flims is small town with lush forests surrounding it.
But what is the most famous place in Flims is the Caumasee (Cauma lake). Once you see it, you will definitely think it is out of this world, it is as postcardy as it can get. It is especially beautiful from the top.
Caumasee is a bit out of Flims town, but you can easily walk there, from city center it is around 20 min walk. Once you see it, you can go there by foot or take a lift/gondola/train ride for free down. One note: to get closer to Caumasee, swim in it, you have to pay the entrance fee. It is very strongly protected piece of nature, so they use that money to keep it as stunning as it is.
On the lake, you can swim to the floating platforms and sunbath over there or just do some jumping into the water. By the lake there is a big restaurant with terrace, so you can eat there and observe the fish in the lake.
I highly recommend, after visiting the lake, to take a hike to the viewing point which is in front of Rheinschlucht (the biggest canyon in Switzerland).
I once spent a weekend in Disentis in early autumn and I loved it. I did some mushroom picking over there and found some very beautiful big mushrooms, isn’t that cool?
Disentis is a small town in the middle of mountains with a big heart. I really loved pizza, bagels, hostel, evening walks – all over there. It is very calm and peaceful place.
One building that will for sure draw your attention in Disentis is the big Disentis abbey. It is one of the oldest places in Switzerland as it was established back in the 8th century. The sheer size of it is outstanding, it really stands out in a small Disentis town.
Disentis has as well a very nice new part of the city next to the gondola station (where you can get up to the mountains). Disentis is investing heavily into the tourism, so the new hotels and holiday apartment buildings look extraordinary.
I as well very recommend to take your car or go by bus to Lukmanierpass. It is a mountain pass with restaurant, huge lake, a church and countless hiking trails. The alpine drive to Lukmanierpass is very exciting as well.
St Moritz is probably one of the most famous skiing resorts not only in Europe, but all around the world. The reason? It is the first one. Before spending time in the mountains in winter was thought to be pretty weird. There was really not much to do and of course the infrastructure back in the 19th century in the valleys of Swiss Alps was very poor.
Now St Moritz is a famous winter destination for people all around the world. Thousands of skiers and snowboarders gather there to have a great time on the slopes.
If you come to St Moritz in summer time, I recommend do some hiking or take a cable car ride to some surrounding peaks. For example Piz Nair is at over 3000 meters altitude! Hop in into gondola and get there in minutes from St. Moritz. Over there you can do some hiking or have your dinner in the local restaurant.
Back in St Moritz you should take a walk around the St Moritzsee and visit the Engadiner museum which explores the alpine culture.
If St Moritz is the most famous skiing resort, I am sure that Davos is the most famous village in the world. Why? Because it is a host to a very famous and influential World Economic Forum.
Once a year the most powerful people from the USA president, to EU commissioner to China leader, to biggest companies CEOs gather in one building in Davos to discuss the biggest problems and challenges of the world. I am pretty sure that at that moment in time, Davos is the most secured place in the world.
Davos is a great skiing resort with many amazing slopes for beginners and advanced skiers and in summer it is a perfect destination for passionate hikers.
Davos itself is sitting higher than 1500 meters, so to reach high up peaks is quite easy and fast.
If you want to get high up even faster, take a cable car to Strelapass which is at 2352 meters altitude and just chill in the Swiss Alps mountain restaurant.
Swiss National Park
Swiss National Park is the biggest protected nature park in Switzerland. It has countless hiking trails and is so protected that you can not even let your dogs run in the wild over there. This is the reason why it makes into the list of top places to visit in Graubünden.
Your gateway to Swiss National Park is Zernez village which has the park’s visitors center with all the information you need and some small exhibitions.
You can get into the Swiss National park with your own car, park in many parking spots over there, take your backpack and just go the mountains. You will feel pretty amazing in this isolated pristine nature. Some hikes will take you to trails which are situated at over 3000 meters, but better do them in summer time as snow will be melted. If you are lucky, you may see some local wild animals over there.
You can take an amazing hike to Piz Tavrü peak which is at 3168 meters altitude.
There are not that many people living in the park, but you can visit some villages like Santa Maria Val Müstair and take a turn right to our next destination in Graubünden.
Umbrail Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in Switzerland and pretty much all Europe.
If you would go a bit further up, you would get to Stelvio pass, the highest mountain pass in Europe.
Umbrail Pass is sitting at 2501 meters altitude. The alpine drive up to the top is really fascinating and you will definitely loose the count of turns you have taken.
Umbrail Pass is right on the border to Italy and connects the two countries. Just a note: Stelvio Pass is already on italian side. This one road is the highest paved road in Europe.
On the top of the mountain pass there’s a very nice small restaurant where you can have some warm goulash soup or coffee.
When I was there, it was pretty chilly up there, maybe 5 degrees by Celsius, but cows were still living their life up there. They look stunning that high up.
If you want, there are countless hiking trails on the top as well: if you want to collect some more breathtaking views, you can hike to Piz Umbrail which stands at 3033 meters altitude. More information about the hike right here: Piz Umbrail hike.
Maloja Pass is as well leading to Italy, but as it has a very small settlement (village) right next to it, there’s many more things you can do there.
Maloja Pass is much lower, just at 1815 meters, but the good thing – it is open all year round! All other mountain passes, especially the ones higher than 2000 meters are open mostly just from April/May till end of October.
So if you want to have a beautiful alpine drive in winter – Maloja is one of the best choices you have.
Do you know when I visited it? On January 1st 🙂 Right in the middle of winter.
Maloja Pass is pretty active in winter as the locals there prepare very nice cross country skiing trails and quite many people ski there, especially on weekends.
If you are looking for more experiences over there, you can visit a very special education center Salecina.
Or historical place: Torre Belvedere.
And I must mention the fascinating Maloja Palace which is now a beautiful hotel with SPA.
Right next to Maloja Palace is one of the most beautiful lakes in Graubünden Lake Sils (Silsersee). The hike around it, the swim in it, the kayaking in it – all great experiences.
Soglio would definitely make into the top 10 list of hidden treasures of Switzerland and that is why it makes to my top places to visit in Graubünden. Well, it easily made into my list of most charming villages in Switzerland.
Once the famous italian painter Giovanni Segantini said that Soglio is the gateway to paradise.
Once you are there, you definitely understand what he meant. Soglio is a tiny medieval village sitting comfortably in the mountains above huge valley.
Soglio really has a feeling of a historical open air museum. It is quite small, but you can definitely spend an hour or two just slowly wandering through its narrow streets.
I recommend first explore the village and the go out a bit from it, so you can get a perfect view of all the hamlet and the mountains behind. Here’s your perfect Instagram picture.
Guarda is yet another small charming Swiss village in Engadine valley.
It is not that far from both Austria and Italy and what makes it even more interesting is that the majority of people speak Romansh language in Guarda.
Guarda is small, but very beloved village as the locals even made an app for the guests so you can explore it much easier and get all the historical or other needed information on your phone. The village is so modern, that it even has a Tesla destination charger🙂
In Guarda you can visit the Schellenursli Museum – it is dedicated to famous Swiss children book:
Top places to visit in Graubünden sum up
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