Davos

Ski Resort in Switzerland

Introduction

Davos is a winter and summer resort village located in the heart of the Graubünden in the east of Switzerland. In the early 1990s, Davos became famous for hosting the World Economic Forum, an annual winter gathering of international politicians and financiers who represented a transnational elite. Together with the nearby town of Klosters, Davos offers a wide variety of winter sports activities, and summer hiking trails, set amid stunning Alpine scenery.

At 1,560m Davos Klosters is one of the highest Alpine resorts in Europe; a vast network of ski slopes stretching from the Rinerhorn south west of Davos to Pischa in the north east with more than 320km of well-groomed slopes including Klosters’ ski areas of Gotschna and Madrisa and some of the best off-piste skiing in the Alps.

In 2003, the Davos and Klosters mountain railways and ski lifts merged and were rebranded. Davos Klosters are now marketed jointly and the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts: the Davos Klosters region incorporates six winter-sport areas, with Schatzalp (the slow mountain) as a sixth ski area with separat lift ticket, more than 320 km of well-groomed pistes, 200km of cross-country ski trails and 150 km of prepared winter-walking trails. At first glance the piste map may imply this is largely an intermediate's resort but don't be fooled, the Davos Klosters area has huge off-piste potential.

The town of Davos extends for several miles along the broad Landwasser River Valley. The quality and diversity of its facilities is unique: First class leisure options in summer and winter alike in an intact, imposing mountain world, exemplary meeting infrastructure, internationally acclaimed sports and cultural events, renowned museums, galleries and music festivals. With its characteristic alpine flat roof, Davos has developed its very own building style. The Davos ice stadium (1981) is one of the most architecturally interesting of its kind in Europe. Exceptional hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities are further advantages of the alpine metropolis.

Davos's mountain setting is spectacular and there is a lot going on besides ski tourism. The World economic forum is held here annually, as well as a Nordic World Cup Race, the pro ice hockey Spengler Cup and the UK parliamentary ski races. It's also home to the world famous Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research. The development of an attractive range of leisure facilities all around the urbanised centre made Davos an early trendsetter with respect to leisure stays in the mountains. As such, for over 100 years Davos has boasted coffee houses, theatres, concerts and even six cinemas in which to entertain its guests. This role as a trendsetter, which - during the years of tuberculosis in Europe - acted to generate a spirit of optimism, has remained true of what is now the highest town in the Alps to this day. As such, the most diverse selection of nightlife activities in the Alps is also found here. In addition, the town boasts numerous ski huts and snow bars, in which guests relax with lively après ski fun.  Ultimately, here on the fun mountain Jakobshorn lies what could be termed the birthplace of après ski.


Winter

Davos is a winter sports metropolis for skiing and snowboarding fans from all over the world. At altitudes between 1124 and 2844 m, guests will find 58 ski lifts, 300 km of slopes, 75 km of cross-country ski tracks, two artificial ice-skating rinks and Europe’s largest natural ice rink and the new “Ice Dream” for ice hockey, skating and Bavarian curling. And no fewer than eight sledging runs to have fun on! The six Davos-Klosters skiing areas of Parsenn/Gotschna, Jakobshorn, Pischa, Madrisa, Rinerhorn and Schatzalp/Strela have been brought together into one vast winter sports arena. For skiing fanatics, the mecca is Parsenn area which connects up Davos with the neighbouring resort of Klosters. The Jakobshorn, on the other hand, is the in place for freestylers with half-pipes and cosy après-ski huts.  

For a quieter time, take a ride by horse-drawn sledge into the snowy side valleys, or experience the Davos mountains with 111 km of beautifully prepared winter footpaths and snow-shoe trails.


Summer

The cable-cars on the Jakobshorn (2590 m), Parsenn including the Weissfluhjoch und (2844 m), Rinerhorn (2490 m) and Schatzalp/Strela provide access to three hiking areas with a total of 700 km of marked footpaths. Anyone seeking rest and relaxation amid unspoilt nature should head off on foot, by bike or by horse-drawn carriage up the romantic side valleys of Sertig, Dischma or Flüela. 

For a change of scene, visit the Davos Lake with its swimming area and a sailing and surfing centre. In addition, there are opportunities for hang-gliding and paragliding and mountain bike and inline skating routes. Davos is also the starting point for excursions on the famous Glacier and Bernina Express trains.


Skiing in Davos

Beginner Skiing

Davos has various beginner areas: Bolgen on the Jakobshorn, Bünda near the base of the Parsenn, a children's area on top of Pischa and Madrisa, and a beginners’ area at Selfranga.

There are two small areas for beginners: Bolgen, at the base of the Jakobshorn (where it is claimed the world's first drag lift was built in 1934), and Bünda, a ten minute hike from the base of the Parsenn. When you're ready to move off the nursery slopes, there are some good wide blue runs on the Parsenn to tackle. There is also a children's area at the top of Pischa.

In Klosters, the best bet is to make for Madrisa and the beginners' ski area at Selfranga.

Intermediate Skiing

Davos offers extensive terrain for intermediates, with the 12km long run to Küblis, which passes through pine forests and meadows and past Schwendi huts, a highlight, providing there is enough snow – although snowmaking has made this a more frequent possibility.

The Davos Klosters ski area offers many wide and confidence-boosting red and blue runs, some of which are over 10km long. The Parsenn has many wide pistes, perfect for big carving turns, although it can get busy. Their one marked 'carving piste' can be mayhem, but hit it when it's quiet and it can be out of this world. Much of Klosters' intermediate skiing can be found at Madrisa.

The Weissfluhgipfel is the starting point for the long run down to the village of Küblis - one of the longest and most dramatic on-piste runs in Europe. It is 12 km long and the vertical elevation is well over 2,000m. All but the very first part is skiable by good intermediates and those who don't fancy the short, steep first section can start at Weissfluhjoch instead. From wide open runs at the start, the itinerary changes to narrow tracks through pine forests, Schwendi huts in clearings and on into meadows and past farm buildings.

When you finally reach Küblis, the café on the railway platform has indicators allowing you enough time to finish and pay for your meal before catching the train back to Klosters, and then the Gotschnabahn cable car back into the ski area. Variations on this run include descents to the other valley-floor villages of Saas and Serneus or even direct to Klosters.

Advanced & Expert Skiing

In addition to great off-piste, Davos and Klosters also have a number of challenging black runs and eleven unmarked, but mapped ski routes.

Two challenging black runs lead down to Wolfgang at the end of Davos Lake, via the Meierhofer Tälli and the Gruobenalp. If you're searching for moguls try the run beneath the Schwarzeealp chair on Gotschnagrat or piste number one off the top of the Weissfluhgipel, which offers plenty of other challenges too: it has almost 360-degrees of off-piste skiing, but it's steep stuff and involves some drop offs. On Rinerhorn a wide black run descends from Nüllisch Grat through woods and fields to the cable car station giving over 1,000m of vertical descent.

The only run back into Davos is a black piste, which has a tendency to be extremely icy (due to the high water content of the snow cannons). Unfortunately the run ends abruptly some 200m from the base of the Parsenn, necessitating a walk down a slippery section of road. Consequently, most people return via the funicular from the half-way station.

The piste map also indicates eleven off-piste routes, which are unmarked on the ground and unpatrolled. Sometimes these runs can be left untouched for days until people spot others using them, then the sheep mentality kicks in and they become well used. There's a wonderfully long run from Madrisa down to Schlappin - red most of the way but rated black for the last section. Thanks to a new magic carpet at the end of the slope, it's no longer necessary to catch the Zügenhüttli chair back towards Madrisa before you reach the black section.

Snowboarding

Davos (especially Jakobshorn) is a snowboarding Mecca, with various fun parks, freestyle and rider parks, a moster pipe and even a dedicated snowboard hotel.

By 1990 Davos had already gained a reputation as a snowboarding Mecca. Jakobshorn is THE place for boarders.

Offering two half-pipes, the one at the base of the mountain is floodlit till 9pm. The O'Neill Evolution Snowboard Jam is held here annually in January and Jakobshorn is where you'll find the dedicated snowboard hotel, the Bolgenschanze. Also popular are the Bolgenhof and Snowboarders Palace.

Parsenn offers boardercross and skicross, Friday night skiing and the Iglu village.


Apres-ski, restaurants and other activities in Davos

There is also a huge amount on offer off the slopes. An experience which is not to be missed is the excitement of an ice hockey match – Davos is home to the fantastic “Hockey Club Davos” who hold 30 championship titles. If you prefer a more sedate ice skating experience, the resort is also home to the largest natural ice rink in Europe. There are plenty of restaurants and bars as well as clubs and a casino for those less interested in first lifts.  

Large numbers of good bars and restaurants including: The Postli Club, the Tonic Piano bar or the Cabanna club.

There is a great choice off excellent restaurants including Davoserhof for Nouvelle Cuisine, Bünder Stübli for traditional dishes and the Café Weber for delicious cakes. The area is vast so there are plenty of opportunities to ski into hidden valleys and find pretty villages and undiscovered bars. Mountain restaurants are dotted all over. Après ski in Davos is comprehensive and Klosters is more traditional but still lively.

Other activities include:

  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Winter hiking
  • Ice-sports
  • Wellness
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Tobogganing
  • Ice-skating
  • Snowshoeing
  • Nordic Walking
  • Indoor sports centre
  • Horse drawn sleigh rides
  • Ice-climbing
  • Cinema
  • Indoor climbing walls
  • Indoor tennis

Davos info card

Resort Altitude1560m
Highest Lift2844m
Total Piste307km
Longest Run12km
Directions of SlopesN, S, W
Total Lifts52
Gondolas/Cable cars15
Chairlifts10
Drag Lifts27
Snow Parks3

Davos tourist office

Information & Gästeberatung Davos Platz 
Talstrasse 41
7270 Davos Platz
Tel. +41 81 415 21 21
www.davos.ch

Information & Gästeberatung Klosters 
Alte Bahnhofstrasse 6
7250 Klosters
Tel. +41 81 410 20 20
www.klosters.ch

 
 
 

Transportation - Get In


By plane

Zurich, the nearest main international airport to Davos and Klosters, is 154 km from Davos and driving from the airport to Davos takes just over 2 hours. Distances and journey times by car from Zurich airport to Klosters are 142 km and 1 hour 50 minutes. Swiss.com offer frequent flights to home hub Zurich from most destinations; if flying to Zurich from the UK other airline options include British Airways and Easy Jet.

Zurich airport - 154km / 2 hours 5 minutes
Friedrichshafen airport - 153km / 2 hours
Allgau Memmingen airport - 195km / 2 hours 20 minutes
Innsbruck airport - 175km / 2 hours 45 minutes
Milan Malpensa airport - 246km / 3 hours 5 minutes
Geneva airport - 434km / 4 hours 50 minutes


By train

It takes nearly 3 hours to reach Davos by train from Zürich. There are train connections from Zürich’s Hauptbahnhof (main station) to Davos every hour between 06:00 and 23:00. You can check timetables and other information on the official Swiss Federal Railways website [www].

Fares to Klosters (one stop nearer to Zürich) are cheaper at Fr. 96 return in second class. The train journey between Klosters Dorf and Davos Platz, stopping at Klosters Platz and Davos Dorf on the way, takes just under half an hour. It is free for tourists with the inclusive Davos/Klosters visitor card (Gästekarte).

Air travellers may also take advantage of the Fly & Rail baggage service where baggage may be deposited, after clearing customs in Zürich, at the railway counter in the station for direct transfer to Klosters and Davos. Using this service saves the passenger the trouble of carrying luggage when changing trains at Zürich’s Main Station and Landquart. The Fly & Rail rate for luggage is Fr. 20 (US$15) per item.


By bus

Buses [www] from Chur to Davos run daily. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

During the ski season, buses travel from Zürich airport to Davos Dorf or Davos Platz every Saturday and return from Davos Dorf or Platz to the airport every Saturday in December through April. The trip takes approximately 2 hours, with a pickup at the train stations three times daily.


By car

It will take about 2 hours (160 kilometres/103 miles) to get to Davos by car from Zürich. From Zürich-Kloten Airport: take A51 to Zürich and look for the road signs to Chur (Expressway A), take Exit “Landquart-Davos” and follow road signs to Davos.

Transportation - Get Around

The municipal bus system is very convenient, traversing from one end of the Promenade to the other. Davos is only around 3 or 4 km long and about 1 km wide, so it is easy to get anywhere by bus or a short walk. Cabs are also available, but run about Fr. 12-15 during the day and double that at night. You should ask Gästekarte from your hotel or from the tourist office. With the Gästekarte almost all local buses, local trains and lifts are free!

Accommodation & Hotels


Managed with an exceptional level of care and personal attention, the Waldhotel Davos is the perfect home for individualists, sensualists and for those seeking tranquility, relaxation and distance from everyday life. Settled amidst lush pines, the Waldhotel Davos offers astounding panoramic vistas over Davos and the surrounding mountain-peaks. Operated as a sanatorium until 1957, the history-rich house served as role-model for the world renowned novel, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. The hotel looks forward to welcome you soon!

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • This is a wonderful boutique hotel, as guests say.
    • Guests recommend this as a luxury hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Great menu
    • Great view
    • Spacious rooms
  • WALDHOTEL DAVOS SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 93, this hotel is one of the top 1% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and food.


Set in a prime location of Davos, Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience. All the necessary facilities, including 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, are at hand. Carpeting, internet access – wireless, non smoking rooms, desk, mini bar can be found in selected guestrooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. Discover all Davos has to offer by making Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere your base.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests recommend this as a luxury hotel.
    • This is a wonderful boutique hotel, as guests say.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Spacious rooms
    • Comfortable beds
    • Great reception
  • STEIGENBERGER GRANDHOTEL BELVEDERE SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 89, this hotel is one of the top 12% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and breakfast.


Property Location: Located in Davos (Davos-Platz), AMERON Swiss Mountain Hotel Davos is minutes from Davos Congress Centre and Eau La La Wellness Center. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Kirchner Museum and Vaillant Arena.

Rooms: Stay in one of 148 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.

Amenities: Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages and facials. After a day on the slopes, you can enjoy recreational amenities such as a health club and an indoor pool. Additional amenities at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). You'll be on the slopes in no time with the complimentary ski shuttle.

Dining: Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a business center, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Modern Hotel
    • Nice building
    • Stylish hotel
    • Impressive bathroom
  • AMERON SWISS MOUNTAIN HOTEL DAVOS SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and Vibe.


Property Location: With a stay at Kongresshotel Davos, you'll be centrally located in Davos, steps from Eau La La Wellness Center and Davos Congress Centre. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Kirchner Museum and Vaillant Arena.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 80 guestrooms featuring refrigerators and minibars. Your Tempur-Pedic bed comes with Egyptian cotton sheets. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature hair dryers and slippers.

Amenities: After a day on the slopes, enjoy recreational amenities, which include a sauna. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, an arcade/game room, and ski storage.

Dining: Grab a bite at one of the hotel's 2 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. This hotel has 2 meeting rooms available for events. A train station pick-up service is provided at no charge.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this hotel for solo travelers.
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Hotel could use some updating
    • Clean rooms
    • Great view
  • KONGRESS HOTEL DAVOS SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 88, this hotel is one of the top 10% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and breakfast.


Located in Davos Platz, Arabella Hotel Waldhuus Swiss Quality is a perfect starting point from which to explore Davos. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. Facilities like daily housekeeping, fireplace, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, wheelchair accessible, 24-hour front desk are readily available for you to enjoy. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, mirror, slippers, towels, internet access – wireless (complimentary) to ensure a restful night. Access to the hotel's hiking trails, mini golf course, hot tub, fitness center, sauna will further enhance your satisfying stay. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Arabella Hotel Waldhuus Swiss Quality.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests recommend this as a luxury hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great menu
    • Rooms could be larger
    • Friendly service
    • Great reception
  • ARABELLA HOTEL WALDHUUS SWISS QUALITY SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, breakfast and location.

 


Set in a prime location of Davos, Hilton Garden Inn Davos puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. All the necessary facilities, including free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, 24-hour room service, facilities for disabled guests, luggage storage, are at hand. Designed for comfort, selected guestrooms offer television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, air conditioning, heating, wake-up service to ensure a restful night. Access to the hotel's fitness center, sauna, steamroom will further enhance your satisfying stay. Hilton Garden Inn Davos combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Davos unforgettable.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Parking is rare
    • Comfortable beds
    • Modern Hotel
  • HILTON GARDEN INN DAVOS SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 88. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and location.

Ski Area

Davos Klosters offers 300km of pistes and good skiing for all abilities including abundant off-piste Davos alone offers a choice of five separate ski areas in Davos including the extensive Parsenn ski area which links by gondola to the Gotschna ski area at Klosters.

The skiing in Davos is divided into five areas: the extensive Parsenn, Jakobshorn, which is much favoured by boarders, the quieter Rinerhorn and Pischa and Schatzalp, which reopened in 2010-11 with "nice and easy" slopes and two of the seven toboggan runs in the region.  The Davos ski area is also lift-connected to the Klosters areas of Gotschna and Madrisa.


Parsenn

The Parsenn is the largest ski area in the Davos region. The Parsennbahn funicular connects to a train and chairlift to the major lift junction of Weissfluhjoch - gondolas from Klosters also reach here - from where you can carry on upwards via a cable car to Weissfluhgipfel at 2,844m. From here it's a vertical descent of over 1,300m back to Davos or, if you aim for Küblis, you'll get 2,000m vertical of continuous turns.

On Parsenn visitors will also find one of the longest runs in Europe - it is 12 km from Weissfluhgipfel to Küblis.


Jakobshorn

Two consecutive cable cars whisk you to the 2,590m summit of the Jakobshorn, a Mecca for snowboarders with its half-pipes and boarders' hotel, the Bolgenschanze. Its central location, just behind the Davos Platz railway station, also makes it a popular choice with skiers.

On the Jakobshorn snowboards and free-skiers are particularly at home, having a ball in the fun park. And it is not only the numerous pistes and runs that see the action - the ski huts are also full of fun. The range of national and international sports events on the Jakobshorn is massive. The Jakobshorn is the ultimate event mountain!


Rinerhorn

The Rinerhorn ski area is at the most southerly extent of the Davos region and is reached by car (free parking), bus or train to Glaris. On first inspection it seems to be a limited one-cable-car-and-four-T-bar area, but in reality it has some great descents and because of the trees it can be a good option in bad weather. Often mid-week both Rinerhorn and Pischa are deserted.


Pischa

Davos' fourth ski area, Pischa, is a ten minute drive up the Flüelatal valley and is reached by bus or car (free parking). It faces due south and is often a good bet in the morning. The wide open red and blue runs are wonderful for cruising, while the Mittel run is sculpted with a series of jumps and bumps which at quiet times is great at pace.


Schatzalp

After being closed for a few seasons, Schatzalp has been re-opened to serve skiers who prefer their winter sport to be "nice and easy". It takes just four minutes to reach Schatzalp via the funicular which runs from the centre of Davos Platz providing access to fairly easy pistes and a link from the adjoining Parsenn ski area to the Strela Pass, only negotiable on skis. The popular old downhill run from Schatzalp to Davos Platz (Guggerbach run) has also been re-opened as has the Strelapass Restaurant, which has been renovated.


Gotschna

The Gotschnagrat, with links to the Parsenn, is the key to Klosters' skiing. It is also the area where the Prince of Wales was involved in a fatal avalanche in 1988, when his friend and equerry Major Hugh Lindsay was killed near the Gotschnawang run. Another member of the royal party, Mrs Patti Palmer-Tomkinson sustained serious leg injuries. This avalanche-prone off-piste area is now technically off-limits but can still be skied. One equally challenging but perhaps safer alternative is the tough Drostobel run.


Madrisa

The Madrisa area across the valley from the Gotschna area is more of a family mountain. You reach it by taking a picturesque gondola ride from Klosters Dorf above the forest to a snowy and often sunny plateau at Albeina-Saaseralp. The Madrisahorn (2,826 metres), close to the Austrian border (which you can cross) commands spectacular views across the Prättigau Valley.  The Kidsland near the summit station is well equipped: young children have access easy slopes on the Rubing Run or play in a bouncy castle.

Ski Lifts & Pass

Although the Davos Klosters' ski lift system has recently been improved by a thorough upgrade including new gondolas and more high-speed chairlifts, the connections between the different ski areas are still mainly by road.

The old Davos Klosters lift system, with its creaky old funiculars, cable cars and T-bars, has largely been upgraded with high-speed chairlifts, newer gondolas and a complete rebuild of the main Davos access lift, the Parsennbahn, which has resulted in a huge improvement on the queues previously seen here. Yet even now, Davos doesn't seamlessly interconnect and Rinerhorn, Pischa and Madrisa still have to make do with mainly T-bars. To discover the best terrain requires planning, imagination, perseverance and local knowledge.

Activities & Things to do

Davos is internationally recognised as the largest resort in the Alps for mountain holidays and a top travel destination. Ski and snow activities are a must do in the winter, and at altitudes between 1124 and 2844 m, guests will find 54 ski lifts, 320 km of slopes, 75 km of cross-country ski tracks, two artificial ice-skating rinks and Europe’s largest natural ice rink for people to skate or to curl. And no fewer than five sledging runs to have fun on! For skiing fanatics, the mecca is the Parsenn and Weissfluhjoch area which connects up with the neighbouring resort of Klosters. The Jakobshorn, on the other hand, is the in place for snowboarders, with its half-pipe and monster pipe. For a quieter time, take a ride by horse-drawn sledge into the snowy side valleys, or experience the Davos mountains from 84 km of beautifully prepared winter footpaths and snow-shoe trails.

In the summer, the cable-cars on the Jakobshorn (2590 m), Parsenn including the Weissfluhjoch und -gipfel (2844 m), Pischa (2483 m), Rinerhorn (2490 m) and Schatzalp/Strela provide access to four hiking areas with a total of 450 km of marked footpaths. Anyone seeking rest and relaxation amid unspoilt nature should head off on foot, by bike or by horse-drawn carriage up the romantic side valleys of Sertig, Dischma or Flüela. For a change of scene, visit the Davos Lake with its swimming area and a sailing and surfing centre. In addition, there are opportunities for hang-gliding and paragliding and mountain bike and inline skating routes. Davos is also the starting point for excursions on the famous Glacier Express, and the Heidi and Bernina Express trains.

Nearby Klosters offers access to the Madrisa and Gotschna peaks in summer and winter, and a similar variety of walking trails and pistes, depending on the season.


Ice skating and curling in Davos

Ice skating, curling, ice hockey and speed skating are all popular with a choice of Europe's largest natural ice rink, an outdoor artificial ice rink, a large ice stadium and a smaller rink at the base of Parsenn. There's also an ice rink at the leisure centre in Klosters.


Ice hockey and speed skating in Davos

There's often a chance to watch high profile events too; Davos hosts the International Speed Skating Championships and the renowned pro ice hockey Spengler Cup and from September - March each winter ice hockey matches are an almost weekly occurrence. As well as hosting the Spengler Cup and numerous other matches, Davos' ice hockey team HC Davos were the Swiss Champions for the 30th time in 2010/11 and Davos is the only ski resort in Switzerland offering Swiss premier league ice hockey - great fun to watch live!


Winter walking in Davos

For those who enjoy walking there are over 84km of well prepared winter walking paths, popular routes are around the Davos Lake, along the river from Platz towards Frauenkirch and the Hohenweg, which runs parallel to main street from Dorf to Platz but higher up. Klosters also has some excellent walking.


Cross-country skiing in Davos

Davos is one the most important centres in Switzerland for cross-country skiing. The Swiss Cross-country ski team home and training camp is based in Davos (most athletes live here) and there are no fees to use the cross-country tracks in Davos Klosters! 75km of Nordic track stretch from Glaris to beyond Wolfgang with branches into the side valleys of Sertig, Dischma and Flüela. A 2.5 km floodlit loop at the entrance to Dischma is also open from 18.00 to 21.30. Each year the Flüela runs challenge the world's best skiers during the Nordic FIS World Cup Races. Klosters also has good cross-country skiing on 35km of freshly groomed tracks for skating and classic with options to meet the needs of beginners and advanced cross-country skiers.


Tobogganing in Davos

At Rinerhorn there is sledge run, which is seriously steep in sections and is often manic with children belting down out of control. Floodlit until 9pm, goggles are essential! There is also a sledge run down from the hotel at Schatzalp accessed by the mountain railway from Davos Platz. There's also a five mile toboggan run in Klosters from Madrisa to Saas.


Wintersports and Art Museums in Davos

There is also a wintersports museum tracing the development of equipment and clothing through the years, as well as a museum dedicated to the expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who lived in Davos between 1917 and 1938. A folk museum, a doll museum, a mining museum and a museum of medicine complete the list.

Sights & Landmarks

  • Kirchner Museum DavosErnst Ludwig Kirchner Platz,  +41 81 410 63 00fax+41 81 410 63 01Open Tuesday through SundayEstablished in honour of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, the German Expressionist painter. Opened in 1992, it is home to the world's largest collection of the artist's work. The museum building was designed by the Zürich architects Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer. It attracts great attention in architectural circles. Adults: Fr. 10, Senior Citizen: Fr. 8, Children and Students Fr. 5, Groups (10+): Fr. 8.
  • Winter Sports MuseumPromenade 43,  +41 81 413 24 84While in the winter wonderland of Davos, visit the Winter Sport Museum. This museum holds a large collection of winter sport equipment and documents donated by the Jürg Kaufmann family. The well-preserved exhibits (sleds, bobsleds, skis, skates, curling material, etc.) document the history of winter sports. Adults Fr. 5, Children Fr. 3.
  • Zügenschlucht - Gaze upon a romantic gorge that has a spectacular railway line and a mining museum at the Schmelzboden at 1340 m. While you're there, explore the Geology Trail between Davos-Monstein and Wiesen.
  • Lose yourself in the Schatzalp (1861m), an alpine botanical garden that has such stunning scenery, it inspired German author Thomas Mann to write his novel “The Magic Mountain”, published in 1924. It contains around 800 different species of plants from all over the world and is truly impressive in June and July, when flowers are in bloom.
  • Sertigtal - Its unique natural beauty and mountain scenery make for an unforgettable alpine experience. Unleash your romantic side and go for a ride by horse-drawn carriage or sledge.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Apres ski in Davos begins on the slopes, notably the ‘Schwendis’ on the way down from Parsenn, sometimes involving torchlit descents as night falls. While Davos may seem best suited to an older clientele, with fine dining (at fine prices) and early nights, Davos has been voted the best resort with winter nightlife in the whole of Switzerland.


Davos Apres Ski Bars

As with any other good ski resort, in Davos the partying begins on the slopes, notably the 'Schwendis' in the woods on the way down from Parsenn, including the possibility to make torchlit descents as night falls. For those preferring an earlier end to the day's skiing, Café Schneider and Kaffee Klatsch in Platz and Café Weber in Dorf are popular for afternoon tea and cakes. And there are plenty of expensive clothes shops to spend your money in.

In Davos Platz, Scala's outside sun terrace is a popular spot for après ski, but liveliest of the lot are Chämi, popular with locals and very atmospheric later in the evening, and Ex-Bar, which attracts a smarter mixed age group. At the other end of town in Davos Dorf, many ski instructors congregate at the Montana bar while Bar-Senn, near the entrance to the Parsennbahn, is a squeeze but has good atmosphere after skiing.

The partying in Klosters begins with a riotous time at Gaudy's Graströchni, one of those rotunda shaped see-through bars so popular on the slopes in Austria. Later on Klosters' nightlife revolves mainly around its hotels, particularly the Chesa Grischuna, with its stylish piano bar, and the Hotel Pardenn.  The main disco (visited by Prince Harry) is on the ground floor of the Casa Antica in the Silveretta Parkhotel. In Klosters-Dorf the in-places include Rufinis and the Madrisa Pub.


Davos Klosters Bars & Restaurants

The local Gastroführer guide, available from the Davos tourist office, will help you pick from a wide choice of restaurants, including fine gourmet restaurants in some of the ritzier hotels, and narrow the choice to your palate and your pocket.

Scala is a modern restaurant with innovative cuisine, La Caretta serves Swiss and Italian food in rustic surroundings and Extrablatt offers specialties straight from the grill. Al Ponte has the best pizzas in town and if you want Chinese food you should try Zauberberg or Goldener Drachen.  For gourmet dining in Davos, Mann & Co (15 Points Gault Millau) at Waldhotel Davos is highly recommended and Restaurant Hänggi's at Davos Platz offers excellent food at reasonable prices and good service even though it cannot yet claim to have won any special awards.

As with any other resort the guest demographics vary throughout the season. Off the slopes Davos once seemed better suited to an older clientele, but things have obviously changed. These days its numerous bars, discos, nightclubs and casino are reportedly buzzing late at night, even though it may be a bit quieter (Sunday - Wednesday) as some guests prefer to spend a quiet night in the comfort of their hotel or apartment, particularly those staying towards the outer limits of the town, from Thursday - Saturday the nightlife is first rate.

Davos is partnered with Aspen in Colorado and Chamonix in France, and it seems it's no longer the odd one out in terms of lively après ski. According to the Sonntagszweitung (the main Sunday newspaper) Davos now has the best winter nightlife in the whole of Switzerland.  The most popular nightclubs in Davos are Cabanna, Rotliechtli and the Postli, which is "the" place to be on Friday and Saturday nights in winter.

Klosters also has a few lively bars and more than its fair share of fine dining. In Klosters, the liveliest bars are the Rossli, with its giant TV sports screen, the Cresta Hotel Bar which announces proudly "you may even be smoked" - translation "where you may smoke" and the Gotschnabar by the cable car base station. Good restaurants in Klosters include the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Hotel Walserhof (The Prince of Wales' favourite hotel, with 17 Gault-Millau points) and the traditionally rustic restaurant at the Chesa Grischuna.


Davos Mountain Restaurants

Restaurants higher up in the Davos Klosters ski area are mostly self-service and unappealing, so you should stay low for your Rösti, for example at the famous 'Schwendi' huts on the way down to Klosters.

Although the main mountain restaurants high up are self-service and not very appealing, the one notable exception is the Bergrestaurant Weissfluhgipfel, which does wonderful salads, traditional and gourmet dishes and mouth-watering deserts - and the views are fantastic. Although it's expensive, it fills up quickly and unless it's early season or early in the day you'll need to book.

Bruhlin's apart, however, our advice is to stay low for lunch - try the Höhenweg bar / restaurant at Parsennbahn mid-station or find out for yourself why everyone raves about the Chesetta, Alte Conterser, Schifer and Serneuser 'Schwendi' huts on the way down to Klosters.

Restaurants on Madrisa are nothing special although Erica on the run down to Klosters offers cheese fondue as a house specialty. Further up on Pischa, the Mäderbeiz is a popular rustic hut. Over on Jakobshorn the Jazhütte is a cool place to hang out and good for rösti cooked in a giant frying pan, while Güggl on the same mountain is charming and serves good food, but rather slowly. When skiing on Rinerhorn Hübelhütte is the preferred choice. The Kulm restaurant at Davos Wolfgang makes a good stop before catching the bus or train back to town.

Over the last 10 years, there has been a marked shift from heavy traditional dishes of rabbit, beef and cheese to snacks such as pizzas and lighter options such as salads, although the local rösti dishes remain a firm favourite.

Shopping

You will be surprised by the huge variety of shops located along the main thoroughfare. There you will find trendy sports shops, fashion boutiques, antique and book shops, gift and souvenir shops, gourmet shops with Graubünden specialities. A big department store (Migros) is located at each end of Davos (Davos Platz and Davos Dorf). There is a Denner near the station.

  • Trauffer Souvenirs7270 Davos Platz,  +41 81 413 5578If you are determined not to leave Davos with out a souvenir or a gift for the folks at home, Traufer's a must. It is one of the few, if not the only, place to find souvenirs in Davos.
TOP

Pin It on Pinterest