Glarus canton is situated in a mountainous part of Switzerland and is dominated by deep valley of Linth river, so let us explore top things to do and top places to visit in Glarus.
You will fall in love with small villages, old wooden Swiss architecture, thousands of Swiss cows, windy roads, high peaks, beautiful lakes and many other things in Glarus canton.
The highest peak in Glarus is Tödi standing at 3614 meters, so many hikers and mountaineers will find what to do in this Swiss canton. There are hundreds of hiking trails in Glarus.
Glarus is right in the middle between Zürich and Liechtenstein, so you can reach it by train or car from Zürich in one hour.
The overall population of all canton is a bit over 40 000 people and mostly consists of small cities and villages. You can really feel the Swiss village culture there and you will see dozens of postcard looking places in Glarus.
Let us explore Glarus and top things to do and places to visit there.
It is not unusual in Switzerland that the name of canton and the capital of canton has the same name, for example Schwyz, Zug, Basel, Bern, Solothurn and some others have the same situation.
Glarus is the biggest city in the canton with population over 12 000 people.
It is a charming city right next to the mountains, lakes and many small villages. The mountains are so close that you can actually start hiking to them right in the middle of the city.
Once you are in Glarus, head to the old town. There you can have a slow walk while exploring the local architecture, small boutiques and have a cup of coffee in a local small cafe.
If you are looking for art: visit the Kunstmuseum which is right next to the Volksgarten (people’s garden).
In Glarus as well you can find a very interesting Anna Göldi museum. Anna Göldi was the last witch in Switzerland, it is a tragic story as she was executed, because of witchcraft.
After visiting Glarus it is time to go to the nature and the lake right next to it.
Klöntalersee is a big beautiful lake next to the mountains.
You can actually hike to it from Glarus in one hour 30 minutes, but if you don’t feel like it, you can drive there and hike around the lake or hike up to the mountains standing next to it.
The lake is at 848 meters elevation, but in summer time it is possible to swim there, it is not too cold.
There are restaurants and campings on both sides of the lake. On the other side of the lake you will find a very small village Klöntal.
I highly recommend hiking around the lake and hike up the mountains a bit, so you will get a fantastic view to the lake, from the top it even looks a bit like norwegian fjords.
Obersee is another very beautiful lake in Glarus canton which is definitely worth visiting. Actually in this lost of top places and things to do in Glarus, you will find even 4 lakes. Glarus is full of “escape from big city life” like places.
Obersee is not a big lake, but you will feel pretty close to being in a fairy tale. The views from and around the lake are stunning, all surrounded by mountains and forests. It is as peaceful as it can get. Perfect place to relax.
Next to the lake you will find a hotel with a restaurant – great place to have your lunch.
But I highly recommend to hike around the lake and go up a bit to Stäfeli or even to Brünnelistock peak.
In winter time it is a good place to do some snowshoeing.
Panixerpass is a mountain pass in switzerland, but only reachable by foot.
It is connecting two cantons: Glarus and Graubünden and before it was an important trade route between Glarus and Italy.
As well, in the end of 18th century it was a very important mountain pass for general Suvorov who took his whole army through Swiss Alps to Austria. He passed through Panixerpass as well.
Now, it is a perfect hiking destination, do it in summer, as it is at 2404 meters altitude.
You should start your hike at Panixerstübli – a restaurant with a parking lot.
From there you will have to go straight up and will have to gain more than 1100 meters in elevation. It is not an easy peasy hike, but if you pace yourself, you can reach the top in 3-4 hours. Have plenty of water as summers are very hot there.
You are going to love the views all hike long and on the top you will get to see part of Graubünden canton as well. There is a small mountain hut on the top and in summer time it is possible to spend a night there. You can find more information about the hut here: Panixerpasshütte.
Limmeresee is probably the most fascinating reservoir in Glarus canton as you can not reach it by car, you must earn a visit to this lake.
Limmernsee is as well one of the biggest lakes/reservoirs in Glarus and sits at 1857 meters elevation. So swimming there only for the bravest, it is cold all year long.
But to have the complete Limmernsee experience, you must hike to Muttsee and Muttseehütte and spend a night there. Muttsee is yet another Swiss Alps lake which is even higher that Limmernsee: at 2446 meters altitude!
And the views from the rocks next to Muttseehütte are completely jaw dropping mega extra super amazing. You are going to fall in love with the mountains right there for life.
To find all information about reservations and prices in the hut, have a look here: Muttseehütte. Be sure to make reservations upfront as places in such huts are taken very fast.
If you have no luck in this hut, there are two more above this lake: Bifertenhütte and Kistenpasshütte.
Braunwald is a car free charming village with countless hiking trails, opportunity to climb the rocks, ski resort and lots of other activities.
Like Wengen or Zermatt – you can not get there with your own car. To get there you will have to take a train in Linthal and it will take you to the Braunwald train station.
Braunwald is full of hotels and restaurants, so you will definitely find a place to settle down.
Braunwald is already at 1256 meters altitude, so it is a perfect place to do some hiking. You can choose quite many destinations and different paths, but in my opinion, it is always fun to find a restaurant in the end, so you can have your lunch or have a cup of coffee. If you agree with me, you can head to: Höhenweg Braunwald (high path Braunwald) and reach Seblengrat restaurant. The views up there are amazing.
As well, right next to the restaurant are rock climbing areas – Braunwalder Klettersteig. But go there only if you are experienced and have all the needed equipment.
Braunwald is perfect for snowshoeing in winter and of course – skiing and snowboarding. In summer: you can as well go mountain biking. There are some cable cars which you can use to take your bike up.
Explore all the area of Braunwald in their official website, you will definitely find something for you: Braunwald.
Elm is another charming village in Switzerland with countless hiking trails, skiing possibilities and many other activities.
One very cool thing they offer in Elm – wildlife observation. You can go on a tour with a local guide in early morning, starting at 5:45 AM in early morning. The tour will take around 4-5 hours during which you will hike through Glarus Alps and explore the local wild life. This is as amazing as it can get.
Elm as well has hotels and restaurants, once you settle down, you can go for a hike in pretty much any direction – mountains and peaks are all around.
One direction I would like to recommend is Tschinglen Alp (you can get there with a cable car) – there are few very nice hikes even up to 2627 meters altitude to Segnespass or to Martinsloch – a 17 meters high and 19 meters wide hole in the mountain.
As well, what people really like, there are round trip hikes, so you can do a nice circle. Check out the hikes here: Tschinglen Alp.
Garichtisee is a lake at 1648 meters altitude.
It is surrounded by forests and mountains, the views are as well stunning.
One thing you can do there is fishing. If you are a fan of fishing, you can do that in summer and winter.
There are couple of hotels next to the lake: one is right on the shore, another one little bit further, so you can spend a night there after your hike there as well.
I highly recommend hiking to Blistock peak which is at 2448 meters altitude. The hike to the peak would take you around 2 hours. Once again: the views from the peak are breathtaking.
In winter you can do ski tours or snowshoeing around the lake.
To reach the lake you should take a cable car in Kies: Kies-Mettmen cable car.
Tödi is the highest mountain in Glarus canton and on a fine day you can even see it from Zürich, so why not to explore it?
If you want to reach the peak of Tödi, I would highly recommend to do it if you are a professional or have a mountain guide with you.
But you can get to Planurahütte mountain hut which stands at 2947 meters and observe it from there.
There different trails to reach the hut, but the shortest one is around 4-5 hours, so be aware that this is the real deal, not a slow stroll in the old town of Glarus. You will have a great time in the mountains, but you must evaluate your fitness level if you can do it. The routes to the hut are here: Planurahütte routes.
The hut itself is very basic: barely any electricity, water is from the mountain or rain water – this is the wild adventure you are looking for.
From the hut you can observe countless mountain peaks, valleys, and of course the 3614 meters tall Tödi.
Glarus things to do and visit sum up
As you can see from my prepared list, Glarus is rich in hiking trails, Swiss Alps lakes, mountain passes and high peaks.
Glarus is really perfect for nature lovers, hikers and mountaineers.
If you want to find a perfect escape, hide or be with yourself, you can do it in Glarus. I have been there on hiking trails when I haven’t met any person for hours. Some trails are really isolated and secluded.
You can easily spend there couple of days or do the whole hut to hut hiking if you wish. Glarus canton is perfect for that as there are many big and small mountain huts.
If you have any questions about Glarus canton, please let me know, I will do my best to help you.
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