Swiss ski resorts – Davos

Swiss ski resorts

Recommended: for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers, snowboarders, freeride lovers, lovers of mountain restaurants, luxury, apres-ski, shopping, families, non-skiers Not recommended: for lovers of cheap rest and restaurants, lovers of ski safaris and traditional alpine atmosphere

Personal experience: Very unique resort with a very special atmosphere and different areas of skiing, not united by elevators. A real big town, not too reminiscent of traditional alpine villages. Good opportunities for freeride.

The advantages of the resort: – modern elevators, if it is not a rope tow, spacious, ideal for carving, quite universal ski area (according to the percentage of slopes); – not boring – in terms of après-ski in Davos everything is fine; stores, restrans, skating rink, casino, etc. – very well thought-out infrastructure for snowboarders – Jacobshorn has two great snow parks, half-pipe, bars and restaurants. – When the snow allows, it is a very interesting place for freeride. – Great opportunities for recreation, not related to skiing, for business events, conventions and meetings.

Cons: – it’s a city, and with a very specific architecture – there used to be tuberculosis clinics and spas, ie instead of the Alpine wooden huts you will be met by five-story buildings with flat roofs and large balconies. Then you get used to it, but at first it is a bit unusual. The alpine charm in Davos is problematic. – A rather expensive ski pass and unconnected ski areas. – A limited choice of mid-range hotels.

Davos

About the resort

Official resort website: www.davos.ch

Closters, Arosa, Lenzerheide are the nearest resorts.

Ski heights: 1560 – 2844 m

One of the four Swiss resorts that are members of the prestigious Best of the Alps club, Davos is located in the east of the country, in the canton of Graubünden. Most tourists know it first of all as a place for holding the World Economic Forum (it takes place annually at the end of January). This is the highest city in Europe – 1560 meters above sea level, almost thirteen thousand people live here permanently. Davos was a resort long before alpine skiing became a popular pastime. People came here for treatment by the mountain air and sun in the XIX century, it was believed that the local curative climate works wonders. Davos has excellent hotels, first-class stores and plenty of entertainment facilities, including a casino, not to mention hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs. Here you can spend several days without riding at all – just relaxing, strolling through the stores, restaurants and cafes. Davos has the largest natural ice rink in Europe, and ice skating, hockey, and curling are as popular as skiing.

Davos

How to get there

Davos is a little over 2 hours away (by train) from Zurich, the journey from Zurich airport takes 10 minutes longer. The trip from Zurich to Davos takes 2 hours and 20 minutes with 1 change in Kure or Landquart, the trip by car takes half an hour less if there is no traffic and snowfall. There are two train stops in Davos – Davos Dorf, closer to where the elevator to Parsenn is located, and the other part – Davos Platz, where the cabin to the ski area Jacobshorn. When booking your train ticket, it is worth looking at which station your hotel or apartment is closer to. An adult ticket from Zurich to Davos costs from CHF 56, not including discounts (one way). In Switzerland it is convenient to travel by train (and cheaper, as a rule), but generally a bit slower than by car, unless it snows. On a 2 week trip and with the intention of exploring the neighboring resorts of Arosa, Lenzerheide, Flims and Laax, it makes sense to take a car in Zurich. A cab from Zurich airport to Davos costs from 350 francs.

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On Saturdays in winter there is a bus from Zurich airport terminal B to Davos. The cost is CHF 70. The ticket must be booked at least 24 hours before the trip on the official Davos website.

By car from Zurich airport take highway A51 to Zurich, then turn to A1 and continue via Chur and Landquart to Davos. The distance along the highway (from the airport) is 152 km, the travel time – about 2 hours. If the car is not rented in Switzerland, you need a vignette – a sticker that gives the right to travel on the highways of Switzerland (Swiss cars are usually rented out already with vignettes). It costs CHF 40, is valid for one year (there are no vignettes for a shorter period), and is sold at gas stations and border crossings.

Within Davos you can travel for free on a ski bus, if you have a guest card (it is given free of charge to each guest in the hotel or apartment). One- and two-day ski passes also include train rides around Davos and the valley (Kublis – Filisur).

Davos

Ski Passes

Discounts of up to 30% are offered when you buy ski passes online. One-day ski passes are sold for individual sectors only, with the option of a discount before 12:15 (CHF 58 instead of CHF 75) or a 15 francs discount before 1 p.m.

Ski pass for all ski areas (Davos Klosters Mountains): CHF 342 for adults, children 6-12 years old: CHF 137 (for 6 days), teenagers 13-17 years old: CHF 239, discounts for families with children .

There are one- and two-day ski passes for local ski areas: Parsenn (CHF 70/day), Jakobshorn (CHF 66), Madrisa (CHF 59), Rinerhorn (CHF 55) and Pischa (CHF 46). Discounts are offered for skiing until 1 p.m., evening skiing is possible (CHF 26). Pensioners (men 65+, women 64+) get a 10% discount on ski passes from 3 to 21 days or on one-day ski passes on weekdays. The discounts do not add up.

Skiing

Davos and its slightly less famous neighbor Klosters offer 6 ski areas and 320 km of slopes. Areas are not connected ski elevators, but you can move between them by skibus or train (the trip is included in the multi-day ski pass). On one side of the valley are Pischa (2483 m), Jakobshorn (2590 m) and Rinerhorn (2490 m), on the other – the linked Parsenn (2844 m) and Madrisa. The Schatzalp area (2350 m) is accessible by cable car from the center of Davos Platz, but there is only one blue trail. Davos has excellent conditions for freeride and freestyle – the local snow parks are considered one of the best in the country.

Davos

Jakobshorn is called Fun Mountain because it’s a favorite spot for snowboarders and newscoil skiers. A grandiose park with half-pipes, jumps, and rails is built annually on the wide western slopes, and there is another, smaller one for beginners below. Davos was one of the first resorts to officially recognize and support snowboarding as a new sport. Here and now welcome young guests, offering them a special, very economical accommodation and recreation. In total in Davos there are several snow parks, freestyle park, Airbag and Superpipe (in Bolgen, near the bottom station Jacobshorn). Uphill from Davos Platz takes tourists to the recently renovated elevator with spacious cabins, from the top point of the ski area diverges several off-piste routes, a variety of blue and red trails.

Davos

Parsenne From Davos to this sector (the largest of all) you can go up on a 200-passenger cable car. The bottom line of this road is the fastest funicular in Switzerland: the ascent to the intermediate station at 2219 m takes less than five minutes. On both sides of the Weissfluhjoch (2662 m) are medium difficulty trails, which can also be used by beginners – from here they have a direct path to the spacious circus above Parsennhutte. For stronger skiers, up at Weissfluhgipfel (2,844 m), there is a steep, but unfortunately short, black section. It transitions into Davos’ longest piste (12 km), which ends in Kublis. A long and quite scenic red trail (#21) descends to Klosters, and a black trail leads to Davos Dorf (it is quite often not in the best condition at the end of the day). In general, Pasenn offers a good selection of red and blue pistes.

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Madriza “home” mountain Closters, where families with children usually ski. On the southern, bright and sunny slopes has a large “Children’s World” with mini elevators, two special children’s restaurants and pistes for the little ones, “ski carousel” and snow tubing. In the upper part of Madrid there are several red and black slopes, the most interesting and longest of which is the black slope No. 10 descending to Klosters Dorf.

Not just skis.

The first toboggan races in Davos took place in 1883, and the wooden “davossers” invented here became the prototype for all alpine tobogganing, which are still used today in Switzerland and in other Alpine countries. The most popular Davos tobogganing track is on the Rinerhorn (3.5 km). It is illuminated at night, on Wednesdays and Fridays night skiing can be combined with dinner at the restaurant at the upper station of the elevator. Wednesdays are reserved for barbecue, fondue and raclette, Fridays for spaghetti. “Davosers are available for rent downstairs – be sure to check that everything is in one piece and held firmly: the speed on the slope is not insignificant. We recommend that you bring a ski mask and a hat, and good winter shoes are a must.

Davos

Davos restaurants

Restaurant Weissfluhgipfel (www.restaurant-weissfluhgipfel.ch) is located on top of Weissfluhgipfel, and it is one of the best places for lunch in the mountains. Although the cuisine is quite simple, it’s worth a stop here for the beautiful views – the panorama from 2,883 meters high is stunning. Be sure to try the rösti with mountain Davos cheese.

Mann und Co. A gastronomic restaurant in the Waldhotel Davos, whose name refers to the writer Thomas Mann (the Waldhotel Davos was the prototype of the international sanatorium “Berggof” from his novel “The Magic Mountain”). The restaurant’s chef, German-born Martin Lifait, scored 15 points in the Gault Millau guide, is both harmonious and full of striking contrasts. Diners can order à la carte or choose from an eight-course gourmet menu, including Asian calf’s tail soup, quail breast in truffle sauce and Irish roast lamb Corona, among other delicacies. www.waldhotel-davos.ch

Postli Another Gault Millau 15-point haute cuisine restaurant located in the Morosani Posthotel. Live music and a “creative menu”. There’s live music and a “creative menu” featuring marinated tuna with melon chutney, South African lobster with curry cappuccino and beef steak with horseradish. www. posthotel.morosani.ch

Bellevue Wiesen A fresh take on Swiss specialties. Farmers’ Brunch on Sundays, served on the large, sunny terrace. www.bellevuewiesen.ch

Bundnerstubli A cozy and elegant restaurant in the Central Sporthotel that also specializes in flambé (dishes poured over with strong alcohol and set on fire). In the same hotel there is a piano bar with live music. www.central-davos.ch

Nightlife

Davos is a large, by alpine standards, town, with an excellent choice of after-ski entertainment. Live music can be heard in the bars of the Montana and Schutzen hotels, as well as in the Walhalla. The Rot Liecht Club at the Davoserhof Hotel regularly hosts popular DJs. The resort’s casino is in the Europe Hotel. Here you can also dance at the Cabanna Club. One of the hottest discos is the Pöstli Club at the Morosani Hotel.

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Hotels in Davos

The Hotel Seehof Davos is probably the most recognizable hotel in the resort and is located right by the ski elevator. The list of distinguished guests of the hotel occupies several pages (among them – V.V. Putin, Angela Merkel, Bill Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Richard Gere and many others). Before this season the hotel was completely renovated, and now guests can enjoy more modern and comfortable rooms. www.seehofdavos.ch

Rixos Fluela Davos, one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Davos, is now owned by the Rixos chain, which, however, did it good. The five-star hotel is located opposite the train station in Davos-Dorf, a short walk from the ski elevator. After a complete renovation in 2014, the hotel spa with swimming pool, saunas and treatment rooms has become much more attractive. The cuisine of Stuebli restaurant is considered one of the best in Davos. www.flueladavos-ru.rixos.com

Built in 2013, the designer hotel Intercontinental Davos has already become a real landmark at the resort, primarily because of its memorable architectural form. The hotel has 216 regular rooms, 25 suites, three restaurants and a spa with swimming pools, saunas and a wide range of massages. The Intercontinental Davos is situated in a picturesque lakeside setting and uses mainly renewable energy. A free shuttle service brings guests to the elevators. davos.intercontinental.com

The Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere was built in 1875 and still retains its 19th-century charm. All rooms have a classic style, and the hotel’s location allows you to admire the mountain panorama from one of the most advantageous locations in the resort. The hotel is just a 3-minute walk from the Davos congress center. www.steigenberger.com

The Vereina Schlosshotel, a small hotel in Klosters, is a 4* superior hotel, but it boasts not only an extensive spa, but also the special comfort of its suites. And calming atmosphere of Closters (by the way, this resort is very fond of Prince Charles) only adds positive emotions. www.hotelvereina.ch

Davos, prices: rental of new or exclusive ski models: from 32 francs Classes with an instructor: from 53 francs / hour, 212 francs for 1 day (5 hours) Lunch on the mountain: 25-40 francs Apres-ski: paragliding, sledging, tennis (4 courts), curling, bowling, other typical entertainment for any ski resort – from 50 francs, depending on choice. SPA: hotel or spa massage from 100 francs per hour Dinner, for example in Fluela Stubli at Hotel Fluela from 120 francs.

Davos, summary: Unlike most Swiss and generally Alpine resorts, Davos is a city with about 14 thousand permanent residents. To get from one elevator to another you have to use the bus / car. Ski areas are local and unconnected, and the largest are Parsenn and Jacobshorn, Parsenn is more progressive and interesting. Pischa and Rinerhorn are small enough that it can be boring for a good skier all day, but they have great freeride conditions. Parenne and Jakobshorn can be covered without much stress for a day – on Parsenne there are 65 km of slopes. The neighboring Klosters is very different. It is an alpine village – a typical Swiss picture: brown and white chalets with gable roofs, herringbones, charming scenery and excellent restaurants. The elevator is right next to the train station, everything is compact. Closters is famous that it is fond of Prince Charles – the royal family likes to come here in the winter. Closters has its own little “home” area – Madrisa, it’s a great place for kids to relax and ride. The other way out of Closters is the elevator that leads back to Parsenne. Overall, Closters is nice in terms of atmosphere, but it is more expensive than Davos.

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Davos

Davos

The Swiss ski resort of Davos is already beloved by a huge number of tourists and athletes. It is among the world’s top alpine ski resorts and has long been a member of “The Best of the Alps.” The clean Alpine air, the quiet rustic atmosphere, the mesmerizing scenery and the first-class ski slopes are the very components that enthuse visitors to Davos in Switzerland and make them return to it more than once.

Where is Davos and how to get there?

The ski resort of Davos is located in eastern Switzerland at an altitude of 1560 m. It is located in the canton of Graubünden, near the beautiful Landwasser River. The easiest way to get to Davos is to take the high-speed train from Zurich to the Kur (Landquart stop). In the Kur, you will need to take the train and continue to Davos Platz. So you will practically find yourself at the foot of the ski resort. The cable car will help you to get to its main gate, which is located near the station.

The city itself has a well-developed transport infrastructure: there are many public buses and several cab bases. Many tourists prefer to move around the city by rental car or bicycle. In Davos, you can easily find companies that rent not only cars, but also roller skates, bicycles, skates, quads and even motor boats.

Weather in Davos

The climatic conditions in Davos always please the resort’s guests. The mountain range protects the area from winds and torrential downpours, so it is always quiet, peaceful and not too cold in Davos. In winter the thermometer shows -2-0 almost all the season, so the snow mat on the slopes is always in perfect condition. In summer in Davos the weather is sunny and the air temperature reaches +17 (maximum). Due to such climatic conditions the ski season in the resort is open from October to April.

Davos in Summer

Ski Davos

The city of Davos in Switzerland became a ski resort back in the 18th century. Back then, during the peak season there were about 3,000 skiers on its territory. Nowadays at least 12 thousand people a year come to the ski resort. Davos is a real winter fairy tale for children and adults. Many athletes hold their preparatory stages before the world championships on the mountain slopes of this town. Such data only shows that Davos – it is really an ideal place for skiing and recreation with the whole family. The ski resort is divided into two parts: Davos-Dorf and Davos-Platz. They are located at a great distance from each other, so to get from one point to another, you will need to use a special shuttle bus, cab or train.

The total length of the ski slopes in Swiss Davos is 300 km, which is, relatively, quite a lot. There you will find slopes for every level of training. Beginners and inexperienced skiers will be good at Davos-Dorf, but the real athletes and snowboarders should choose Davos-Platz. Between the two ski areas is the main street of Davos Promenade, where you will find many good restaurants, hotels and stores.

Map of pistes

Absolutely all the slopes are well developed: there are markings, lighting, elevators and special fences. Along them are snow cannons that do not let the snow “crawl” or icy cover. Next to the elevators are rental stores, where you can rent everything you need for skiing or hire an instructor. There are only 200 trails in Davos, with only 60 blue, 100 red and 40 black. This means that you can ski safely on one of them and won’t feel uncomfortable because of the crowds.

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Let’s take a look at the resort’s ski pass prices:

  • 1 day: adult – 55 euros, youth (18 to 25) – 38, children – 22;
  • 6 days: adult – 254 euros, youth – 178, children – 101;
  • 12 days: adult – 407 Euros, junior – 285 Euros, kid – 163 Euros.

If we compare with other Swiss ski resorts such as Zermatt, Grindelwald and St. Moritz, we can say that Davos is very expensive. But this city really has something to show and surprise tourists.

Snowboarding pistes Blue pistes

Attractions and entertainment

On the mountain slopes in Davos, a snowstorm may be brewing. Naturally, in such weather, no one will allow you to go skiing or see the surroundings on the elevators. In Davos you can find many other interesting sports activities: curling and skating, tennis and badminton, saunas and swimming pools. In the city there is a special indoor riding school, where you can learn how to steer a beautiful animal, and then go for a walk on horseback through the mountain ranges.

Davos is also proud of its attractions: the Ernest Ludwig Museum of Painting, the Winter Sports Museum, the Local History Museum and the Toy Museum, the medieval church of John the Baptist. Excursions to these noble places are quite entertaining and interesting. Davos can also boast its medical institutions. There are three rehabilitation centers in the city that are famous all over the world for their results and treatment methods.

In the summertime in Davos is no less interesting than the ski season. The beautiful Alpine Botanical Gardens are open from mid-May to October. The city tourist centers can arrange hiking on the mountain slopes, lakes and waterfalls. In summer in Davos, you can go paragliding, roller skating, golf, volleyball, windsurfing, or swimming. So in summertime in Davos you can have a great family holiday.

Interesting events

Every year grand sports competitions are held in Davos, which brings together athletes and spectators from all over the world. The loudest and brightest were:

The options for accommodation in Davos are many. In this beautiful city there are hotels of different categories, penthouses and guest houses. You can easily find the perfect place for a vacation. Among the large number of hotels in Switzerland the most popular among tourists are:

  • InterContinental Davos 5*;
  • Steingeberger Grand hotel Belvedere 5*;
  • Rixos Fluela Davos 5*;
  • Kongress Hotel Davos 4*;
  • Central Swiss Quality Sporthotel 4*;
  • Sunstar Alpine Hotel & SPA Davos.

Not surprisingly, these are the hotels that have become the best in Davos. Their stunning elegant interior, reasonable prices, wide range of services and friendly staff contribute to create only pleasant memories of vacation.

Albana InterContinental Davos
Steingeberger Grand hotel Belvedere Rixos Fluela Davos

Where to eat?

Like any resort town in Switzerland, Davos is quite developed in terms of infrastructure. You can find several good cafeterias and chic restaurants there. Most of them are located near the elevators or within the hotels. Tourists highlight these:

Davos is considered a famous political center. It often hosts meetings of world politicians and presidents of other countries, famous businessmen and oligarchs. Any new tourist needs to know about Davos and how to behave in this beautiful city. Let’s look at the basic rules of conduct:

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