Switzerland is one of the most beautiful locations in the world to visit in winter what are the top places to visit in Switzerland in winter?
Switzerland has everything to offer so you are going to feel like in a winter wonderland.
It has the most beautiful mountains in Europe – the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland has the best chocolate traditions in the world and can offer huge varieties of it so you will never feel bitter or salty during your trip.
Switzerland has some of the best skiing resorts in Europe: from Jungfrau skiing resort to Titlis, from Zermatt to Laax, and many many more.
What about Swiss cheese? Just stop in any cozy restaurant and try local fondue or raclette.
Just imagine passing through the beautiful Swiss mountain passes (some are open in winter as well), enjoying the mountains, wooden Swiss architecture (little huts and houses), snow-covered spruces, and huge valleys.
It can not get better than this and Switzerland is really a top destination to visit in winter.
So what are the top places to visit in Switzerland in winter?
Zermatt – the most popular Swiss village
Zermatt is really the most visited mountain destination in Switzerland and it ends up in all of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland lists.
It is a small village with a long history of mountaineering, skiing, and mountain life.
The village is only reachable on foot or by train (no cars allowed) is situated at 1608 meters altitude and has all the perfect views of the Matterhorn peak – the iconic Swiss mountain.
Not only that, in winter you can get to the highest skiing resort in Europe and enjoy the longest slopes in Switzerland. You will need a full week to explore them all – and if you wish, you can even ski to the Italian side of the Swiss Alps.
Do not forget to visit Glacier paradise and all the other locations around it.
Zermatt is as well perfect for snowshoeing in the winter time.
St. Moritz – the historical skiing resort
It will maybe come as no surprise, but the first skiing resort ever was established right here in Switzerland in St. Moritz village.
The first guests were from the United Kingdom back in the 19th century, but now St. Moritz is a luxury winter wonderland loved by tourists from all around the world.
Now St. Moritz has huge skiing resorts with many great slopes from beginners to professional skiers or snowboarders.
The views and the atmosphere you are going to find there in winter is just simply cool. It is simply cool all around.
Get to St. Moritz and hit those slopes!
St. Moritz is as well a great destination for winter hiking, and cross-country skiing (there are many prepared tracks around St. Moritz).
Davos – the WEF headquarters
Davos is very famous for its World Economic Forums which happen each year. Every year the most important business and political people gather in this small village to discuss the newest ideas and business trends in the world. It is a place to share and solve long-lasting issues.
Not only that, Davos has a few skiing resorts with wide slopes for everyone.
Davos is a perfect destination for skiers, hikers, and snowboarders in winter. You will not be disappointed.
Simplon pass – great snowshoeing trails
Simplon pass is one of my favorite mountain passes in Switzerland.
Simplon pass is situated at 2006 meters and is open all year round which makes it a perfect winter destination.
Simplon pass connects Switzerland and Italy and on the way to the top, you will get to see some small cozy villages like Simplon Dorf.
Simplon pass is a perfect destination to hike in the summertime, but in winter time it is an amazing destination to do some snowshoeing.
If you have never tried it – here is your chance.
The trails they have in Simplon pass are very nice and open up beautiful views of the valley below you.
My top tip: hike up to Mäderlicka hut – it is open all year round. The hut offers great meals such as fondue and other Swiss specialties. I have done the hike up to it in the day time and in the evening. The atmosphere up there is amazing and the night sky is out of this world up there.
Jungfrau region – a winter paradise
Jungfrau region is a big area with one of the most beautiful villages, valleys, mountains, hiking trails, and skiing resorts.
I have as well prepared a complete list of the best places to visit in the Jungfrau region: Top places to visit in the Jungfrau region.
The Jungfrau region is a great place to visit in winter and spend the whole week.
Just try to visit all of these villages: Mürren, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Gimmelwald, Wengen, and many other locations.
You will find as well one of the most modern skiing resorts in the Jungfrau region, it connects Wengen and Grindelwald villages.
The Jungfrau region is perfect for families and adventure seekers. Everyone will find something to do and enjoy.
Wengen – a small hidden skiing village
Wengen is a small village reachable only by train and is a hidden treasure of the Swiss Alps.
It is situated in the Jungfrau region and has a direct connection to one of the biggest Jungfrau skiing resorts.
A perfect winter day in Wengen?
Wake up in a cozy hotel room, have some coffee with a croissant, and hit the slopes! Have a hot soup on the slopes at lunch and enjoy the jaw-dropping views. In the evening visit a local restaurant and try local dishes. Is that a perfect Swiss winter day? Yes, it is.
Interlaken – the heart of the Jungfrau region
Interlaken is a transport hub for the Jungfrau region and it is the biggest town/city in the region.
Interlaken has all connections to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and other local destinations, so mostly it is full of tourists and adventure seekers.
In winter time Interlaken is a perfect destination for snowshoeing – try the tour to the tiny village of Isenfluh.
Try skiing – visit the Jungfrau skiing resort.
Try cross-country skiing in the surrounding areas.
Or try some local boat routes which open a surprisingly beautiful panorama.
Arosa – a luxury skiing resort
Arosa is yet another hidden treasure of Switzerland, I myself discovered it just after a few years of living in Switzerland.
Arosa is situated at 1775 meters altitude and is one of the most beautiful towns in Graubünden canton.
It has a very beautiful lake in the middle of the town – just make some pictures of it with the mountains in the background – your Instagram account will explode.
In Arosa, you can find beautiful skiing slopes and one of the most modern mountain stations right on the top of Weisshorn peak.
Oberalp Pass – visit the birthplace of the Rhein river
Funny fact – Oberalp Pass is the only mountain pass with a light tower.
Oberalp Pass can be reached via a very beautiful train ride from Andermatt. It is really worth doing it as the views you are going to get are fabulous.
On the mountain pass you will find couple of places to get a meal, but if the weather is good and you have all winter hiking equipment – you can head to Tomasee – it is a small lake a bit higher than the mountain pass and it is the source of the biggest river in Europe – the Rhein.
Geneva – the luxury city
Geneva is one of those lucky cities where from the city center you can get perfect views of the Swiss Alps.
And in winter that view is even more fascinating as the peaks are all snow-covered.
Geneva is a perfect winter destination if you are looking for some city activities.
You can visit many museums, visit the historic city center, try the chocolate tour, stroll by the lake and have dinner in local restaurants.
But if that gets too slow for you – the slopes are right next door.
Lugano – an Italian culture hub
Lugano is the biggest city in the Italian part of Switzerland.
The picture you see above? It was done on the 2nd of January.
I kid you not – I was hiking in the surroundings of Lugano on the 2nd of January and it got so hot, I had to take off my hoodie and hike only with a T-shirt on.
Why visit Lugano in winter? Because, if, especially after all the Christmas vibe is over, you get too tired of snow and cold – Lugano is the closest to the Spring weather mood you can get.
Lugano is always one of the warmest cities in Switzerland and even in winter you get mild weather when you can stroll around the lake, hike local mountains (such as Monte Bre).
Lugano is a perfect winter escape city in cold months.
Saas-Fee – the exciting skiing paradise
Saas-Fee is yet another great skiing location not only in winter but all year long.
Saas-Fee has one of the highest skiing resorts in Europe and is perfect for beginners and professionals.
If you are really into winter sports, just a fun fact – for the Olympics, the legend of halfpipe Shaun White was training there in Saas-Fee. So it has it all.
Saas-Fee is a small village where you can only walk on foot (all the cars must be left in a huge parking lot before the village) and enjoy the mountains, and local wooden architecture (it has a very cool old old oldtown).
In winter you can as well do snowshoeing tours, hit the winter hiking trails, do ice-skating, and do many other cool activities.
Bernina Express – the most beautiful winter train ride in Europe
Bernina Express is one of the most fascinating train rides in the world.
The train goes up to Bernina Pass at 2328 meters and goes to Italy.
I would suggest hopping into the Bernina Express in St. Moritz and hopping off in Poschiavo village.
The train goes via Engadin valley and slowly goes up to the mountains.
It passes Pontresina village (from far away it looks like a winter wonderland), you will get the best views of Morteratsch glacier and in the middle of your trip you will reach the top of Bernina mountain pass. In wintertime, the huge lake on the top is all frozen and it looks like a scene right from Frozen. All the mountains surrounding the lake are higher than 3000 meters and more.
I really suggest packing some warm drinks, and some “Christmassy” snacks, and just enjoying this ride.
I am not going to lie to you, but Switzerland is probably the best place to be at Christmas.
All cities prepare so much, they decorate so much, they put hundreds of Christmas trees, all windows are full of Christmas fairytale stuff, and so on and so forth. The Christmas mood is never ending in Switzerland. They really love Christmas in Switzerland.
And markets? They have pretty much one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe.
They are huge with many different Christmas snack options, very nicely decorated, wooden little houses, fondue smell, much hand-made stuff to buy, and full of happy people.
The Christmas market is a must in Switzerland.
You will find Christmas markets in pretty much every city and village, but the biggest and nicest ones you will find in: Basel, Baden, Bern, Zürich, Geneva.
Bergün – the longest sled trail in Europe
It is even hard to express how much I love Bergün.
It is a tiny village on Albula Pass in Graubünden canton.
It has countless hiking trails, a small skiing resort, and many other mountain activities, but in winter it is the capital of sledding. I am not sure if it is the capital of the world or Europe, but definitely Switzerland.
It has the longest sledding route in the world (correct me if I am wrong) – 10 kilometers of pure joy.
If you do not have your own sleds – do not worry, you can rent them right in the train station or in the village (it is a bit cheaper in the village).
Once you have your sleds, get on the train and ride to Preda (another small village and a starting point).
In Preda, your adventure will start. You have to pay a small fee to use the route (we have paid via phone right at the starting point).
The route is quite slow in the beginning, so do not worry, you will get your speed later on.
Once your cross the first bridge – the fun starts. The route gets much much faster and you will for sure need to improve your braking skills.
You will sled under beautiful old stone bridges and will see the train (the one that takes you up to the starting point), at one point you will as well get a chance to see your speed. Isn’t that fun?
At the end of the route, you will find a small hut where you can get warm drinks and some snacks.
I suggest doing this route at least two times for a full fun experience!
Bergün is a must for the ultimate winter fun. You will be surprised how fun it is to get back on the sleds. I haven’t been on them at least for 20 years and now I want to do it each winter.
FAQ about winter in Switzerland
What can you do in Switzerland if you don’t ski?
Actually, there are a lot of activities you can do in winter without skiing. It is not like every Swiss person goes skiing every weekend.
Best activities in Switzerland in winter:
Sledding – best slopes in Europe.
Snowshoeing – is the perfect way to experience the mountains in winter.
Winter hiking – you will find a lot of well-prepared trails.
Ice skating – you will find many open-air ice skating rings in Switzerland.
Cross-country skiing – hundreds of trails in the Swiss Alps
Go to the mountain peaks with a cable car – visit Glacier Paradise, Schilthorn, Weisshorn, and many others.
Fondue and raclette – the national Swiss cheese dishes.
Visit museums – you will find more than 40 museums only in Basel
Is winter a good time to visit Switzerland?
Winter is probably one of the best times to visit Switzerland as all skiing resorts are open. Switzerland has many huge skiing resorts with thousands of kilemeters of slopes all around Switzerland. You will find many black, red, blue slopes, snow parks and many other activities.
Winter is perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and winter hiking.
Is it worth going to Switzerland in December?
Yes, as we mentioned before, the mountains are full of activities in the winter time, but in December all the Christmas markets are open. And these markets are incredibly beautiful and fun.
What clothes to wear in Switzerland in winter?
Depending on where you are, the winter can be very cold in Switzerland, especially in the mountains. If you happen to be in mountains: definitely have warm jacket, a winter hat, warm pants, and gloves.
In the cities, it can be warmer, but still, the temperatures are usually around 0 degrees Celsius.