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Winter in Switzerland: top things to do
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Winter in Switzerland: top things to do

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Fresh mountain air, blissful walks and spectacular views. The wonderful Swiss winter has arrived. Face and embrace the cold weather - venture outside to discover walks, sports and vistas that leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

Check out our top picks below and click here for more inspiration and insider tips.

More amazing winter inspiration

What's there to do in Switzerland in winter?

Switzerland is worldwide famous as the quintessential winter destination. Davos, St. Moritz, Verbier - anyone and everyone outside of Switzerland surely knows these glamorous ski resorts. Of course, this image of Switzerland as a paradise for winter sports is well deserved - the Swiss have impeccable infrastructure, a great transport network and numerous winter resorts throughout this small country.

What's the ski situation this winter and what is the impact of corona?

Most ski resorts in Switzerland will stay opened, but with numerous restrictions in place, which differ from canton to canton. Please check each region's regulations.

What's there to do in Switzerland if you don't ski?

Loads, and so many amazing outdoor activities so you can still enjoy your winter holiday without too much corona panic. Winter hikes on amazingly prepared slopes, ice skating on lakes (although some ice skating rinks should also be opened), sledging on astounding mountain slopes, sleeping in an igloo or a winter POD and simply enjoying the snow and having a snowball fight. 

Most spas are also opened and we have some great suggestions for beautiful spas and thermal baths. 

What about Christmas markets and New Year's celebrations? 

Most Christmas markets have been canceled, only a handful remain opened, some in Bern and Lausanne and perhaps in smaller cities. The same goes for New Year's celebrations. Check out our updated articles below and here's hoping for a better 2021. 

 

Here are our top tips for amazing winter activities in Switzerland 

Your perfect ski holiday in Arosa

Skiing on Weisshorn mountain © Arosa Tourism

Guaranteed snow is simply music to any winter sports fan, but Arosa has much more than that. Make sure to check out the special offers for skiers!

Tell me more about Arosa

Must see and do this winter in Zermatt

Zermatt Winter Wonderland © Zermatt Tourism

The charming village of Zermatt, lies at the foot of the Matterhorn and it's one of the most beloved winter destinations in Switzerland. Care to find out why?

Tell me more about Zermatt

The complete guide to skiing in Switzerland

Enjoying the humbling view in Zinal, Valais, with Matterhorn to the right and Obergabelhorn to the left. Just stunning © Switzerland Tourism/ Silvano Zeiter

This detailed guide to Swiss ski resorts provides links to opening times, pass prices, and special offers at over 50 resorts across 9 regions.

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Spas, Wellness centers & Thermal baths

Taking a hot bath surrounded by snowy mountains at Lindner Hotel & Alpentherme © Switzerland Tourism/ Leukerbad 

From family friendly wellness centers to exclusive architectural gems, here are our main suggestions. 

Pick a spa

9 ideas for ski-shy folks

Soaking in the jacuzzi at Engelberg Igloo Village © Engelberg Titlis/ Christian Perret

From amazing winter hikes to driving dog pulled sleds, here are some great ideas to spend your winter.

Skiing is not my thing, so tell me more...

Some snowshoe walking trail suggestions

Snowshoe walking checks all the right boxes this year (it's outdoors so you can also meet some friends, it does not really require traveling by cable car and it allows you to explore up close beautiful scenery). Here are some tips from the archives for winter walks around 1 hour's drive from Geneva. 

Snowshoe walking around Geneva

Enjoying Fondue like the Swiss

To the Swiss, fondue isn't just about dunking a bit of bread into a pot of melted cheese; it's also a kind of festive ritual with its own customs and rules of etiquette.

And because it seems fondue is not a corona hazard - sigh of relief from Swiss people everywhere - you'd better learn some fondue etiquette. 

Become a fondue connoisseur

Top Christmas markets in Switzerland

Switzerland (usually) offers a variety of Christmas markets throughout the festive season, where you can grab a glass of mulled wine and enjoy the smell of roasted 'marroni'. This year, Christmas seems to have been canceled, only a handful of markets still take place, with numerous restrictions. 

Which ones?

New Year's Celebrations

Most New Year's public celebrations and fireworks have been canceled, but if you're in the mood for a party, some hotels and restaurants do offer New Year's dinners, subject to current regulations. Check out our suggestions. 

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International Hot Air Balloon Festival at Château-d'Oex

This year, the festival has been canceled, but you can pencil it in for 2022. It's a special sight to see so many balloons taking to the skies.  

Tell me more