If you are a passionate skier, it is your ski duty to experience a ski trip to Switzerland, and not just once, you will certainly want to come back for more.
High-altitude alpine resorts are unique, famous, and they offer some of the most challenging runs with great snow conditions. You will ski in the most fascinating setting as the surrounding landscapes look almost unreal in their beauty.
Switzerland also has world-class ski schools and some of the best restaurants where you can freshen up and indulge in amazing food after intense skiing.
In this guide, we will provide you with all the info you need before planning a ski trip to Switzerland.
You’ll read about:
- Is skiing in Switzerland expensive?
- Where is the best ski resort in Switzerland?
- What months can you ski in Switzerland?
1. Is skiing in Switzerland expensive?
It is well-known that Switzerland is the most expensive place in the world to visit and the second most expensive place to live.
It boasts the most expensive watches, chocolate, bank accounts with long figures, and analogously, a ski trip to Switzerland won’t be cheap.
Luckily, some tips will help you lower your expenses and have a great time at the same time.
Still, keep in mind that Switzerland isn’t a budget destination, but with some tricks, your ski holiday can become affordable.
To save some money, do the following on your ski trip to Switzerland:
- Book in advance
- Go in a low season
- Search lesser known and cheaper ski resorts
- Use the benefits of guest cards
- Choose self-catering accommodation or a half-board package
There are so many reasons that speak in favor of Swiss ski resorts: they are easily reached, infrastructure is very good so there are no crowds on slopes, and they lie in the most beautiful villages that nourish a long tradition.
Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy all these advantages, follow the above-mentioned tips, and you will have a successful and affordable ski trip in the Swiss Alps.
Cost of a ski trip to Switzerland
On average, a hostel bunk in Switzerland costs around 50 CHF (€46). Most hostels are cleaned and serve a complimentary breakfast.
You can be relieved that lift tickets on your ski trip to Switzerland won’t be that expensive.
For example, in Gstaad, they are about 110 CHF (€101) for a two-day lift pass which is about €50 a day. In Aspen or Vail, you would pay around €147 for a day.
On the other hand, a one-way gondola ride is pretty much expensive, it is about 30 CHF (€27).
When skiing, have in mind that if you book online in advance, you will have a discount on everything, including ski lessons, ski equipment, and even ski passes. Some Swiss ski resorts will give you up to 20% off ski passes if you book at least a week or two ahead.
Also, if you have a guest card, you can get a discount for ski equipment rental.
Ski passes are free for children under the age of 6 and you can find some discounts for older children, too. Some resorts also offer special weekend family rates that will save your money.
When we talk about food, the mountain restaurants are very pricey. For example, just the soup costs around 12 CHF (€11)!
Think about bringing some chocolate and cheese and degustate them throughout the day. Plus, you will enhance Swiss vibes on your skiing day. Or consider self-catering, it is a perfect option when you are traveling in a large group.
Dinners are very expensive in Switzerland so booking a half-board package at your hotel would be a very economical move. If you are aware that an average dinner will cost you around €30-40, you start to appreciate these half-board packages.
If you decide to take snow-shoeing in addition to skiing, have in mind that this kind of adventure isn’t cheap – it will cost you about €76 a day!
And paragliding adventure goes even further – it costs around 170-200 CHF (€156-184), but the majestic alpine scenery and adrenaline rush make it all worth it!
Is a skiing trip to Switzerland worth all the expenses?
That’s on you to decide. But we have to state the following:
On your ski trip to Switzerland, you don’t have to wait in long lines. You will wait just a minute or two for each lift which is nothing. Plus, nothing can beat the impressiveness of Swiss landscapes!
Having this in mind, we can say that a ski trip to Switzerland is worth it all – you will get what you paid for.
2. Where is the best ski resort in Switzerland?
Tremendous Swiss charms reflected in giant peaks with a near-vertical drop, glaciers covered in white powder, wild forests, and mountains at low altitude make skiing in Switzerland number one in most travelers’ wish lists.
In addition, the country is a cradle of Europe’s largest winter resorts, with the most modern cable cars, panoramic trains, and super-fast chair lifts.
Every corner of the alpine ground is perfect for skiing. We will mention the most attractive, appealing, and best ski resorts according to the visitors. The most appreciated Swiss gems are:
- St. Moritz
1. St. Moritz – perfect for an amazing ski trip
Winter tourism started right in this impressive place – in the Engadin valley in the Swiss Alps. It all happened 150 years ago, and ever since then, St. Moritz has stayed a winter playground for the mega-rich.
Skiing in St. Moritz means overlooking the closest mountain Corviglia that glooms in white.
The resort hosted two Winter Olympic Games and five Alpine Ski World Championships. The magnificent 87 pistes that comply with World Cup quality standards can be found throughout the whole region.
The Corviglia area is linked to the close village of Celerina that extends to impressive 3,057 meters on the peak of Piz Nair. You can reach the slopes in 2 ways: by a cable car from St. Moritz Bad and the funicular at the upper end of St. Moritz Dorf.
If you have been wondering if skiing in Switzerland is suitable for beginners, we have the answer for you – yes, it is. Even if St. Moritz is considered as a perfect ground for intermediate-advanced and advanced skiers and snowboarders, it is equally good for beginners.
Even though there is a large number of black runs within the linked area, the majority are blue and red.
If you are a beginner, you should aim your attention at the Corviglia, Salastrans, or Celerina nursery slopes. The lifting system makes it great for children.
If you are an inexperienced skier, keep in mind that it is a wide ski area with countless options, so you should seek the company of someone who will point you in the right direction.
2. Zermatt – one of the most popular ski resorts
If you have ever been wondering what the most photographed winter place in the world is, well, welcome to Zermatt with the most famous mountain peak in the background, Matterhorn.
The entire country is impressive in winter, but nothing can beat Zermatt under the snow! It aims to entertain everyone by offering various activities and delights.
Your ski trip to Switzerland must include Zermatt as it is certainly one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe.
It even gives you the option to ski from Italy to Switzerland as the border is right there!
Within this area, you will find around 322 kilometers of pistes with runs for each level. Still, we can say that the intermediate skiers will have the most fun as the majority of runs are red (227 km). They are spreading on the vast area and are very long.
Among others, there are blue, black, and yellow runs available to everyone willing to improve their skiing skills and bring them to perfection in the most picturesque setting.
Related: Zermatt in one year – Complete guide
3. Verbier – let adrenaline go crazy
Verbier is a famous ski resort where experts go skiing. It boasts some of the most technical freeriding terrains in the world.
Tortin, one of the steepest descents in Europe is located here. As it belongs to the Four Valleys ski area, Verbier overlooks the Grand Combin and the Mont Blanc group.
There are many high-intermediate runs for non-experts. To be precise, there are 107 km of beginner slopes, 202 km of intermediate, and 103 km of slopes for experts within the area.
In the 2018 World Ski Awards, Verbier was named as Switzerland’s best ski resort. The W Verbier hotel was awarded as the best ski hotel in the country. Staying in this hotel isn’t for everyone’s budget, but one thing is for sure – you will bathe in luxury there.
4. Davos – the highest town in Europe for some of the best skiing experiences
Situated in the valley of canton Graubünden, Davos represents the highest town in Europe at an altitude of 1,560 m above sea level.
Davos is well-known for its ski area. Within the region, you can choose between 6 snow sports resorts:
- the ski classic Parsenn
- the freestyle Jakobshorn
- the family-friendly mountains Rinerhorn and Madrisa
Davos is considered one of Switzerland’s favorite skiing and hiking resorts that offers more than 300 km of snow pistes, 57 transport facilities, and 700 km of marked walking trails.
5. Grindelwald – world class skiing
Grindelwald is the largest village and the largest ski resort in the Jungfrau region.
It represents one of the most attractive holiday destinations and its landscapes will fascinate you. With cable cars, you will have the opportunity to capture some of the most astonishing sights of surrounding areas, the lakes, and Grindelwald Glacier.
If your ski trip to Switzerland is pointed in this direction, you can choose between three extending base areas and 20 chairlifts that can ascend 42,000 passengers within an hour.
Männlichen and Wengen make the two ski areas that offer 160 km of pistes with about 30 lifts that will bring you up to an altitude of 2,500 m.
Another outstanding example of the Jungfrau ski region arena is the Schilthorn next to Mürren that stands up to the impressive 2,971 m.
Yet, the most spectacle ski run of the entire ski area is the Lauberhorn ski run close to Wengen, known for the World Cup circuit.
3. Months when you can ski in Switzerland + snow conditions
If you go to Zermatt, you can ski at any time since it is opened all year -round! In this area, the snow falls as early as in September and October. But as we said before, you can even ski in summer weather, starting from May to August.
In general, the best time for a ski trip to Switzerland depends on the following factors:
- Low crowds
- Snow conditions
- Lifts and terrain network
- Easy access by train
Snow conditions, open lifts, and terrain depend exclusively on the weather.
The price varies from place to place so it is up to you to explore and find a more affordable resort.
Overall, the Swiss have a great railway network so it is most likely that you will reach your destination by train.
Now, let’s get back to the first factor: crowds. Even the greatest snow can be destroyed by crowds, so try to avoid them and you won’t be disappointed.
In a more general sense, this would be the best time to ski with low crowds:
- The end of November and December until Christmas
- January after the first week
- The last two weeks of March
- April without the Easter celebration part
Now we will portray what would your skip trip to Switzerland look like each month, starting from October.
In October, the Swiss glaciers are recovering from warm summers. For instance, Zermatt opens about 20 km of pistes and gradually continues to expand the number.
Saas-Fee opens its vast glacier skiing and terrain parks.
The iconic Gemsstock at Andermatt opens later in the month.
Depending on snow, most resorts start to operate, but mostly on weekends and with limited lifts and terrain.
Major ski resort that are open in this period are: St. Moritz, Verbier, Andermatt, Davos, Laax, Lenzerheide, and Muerren-Schilthorn.
When December arrives, you can count on massive snowfalls. Some of the resorts that turn on their lifts pre-Christmas are Verbier and Crans Montana.
For more vibrant skiing, the linked resorts Arosa and Lenzerheide are spectacular at Christmas time.
Saas-Fee is extremely cold, put on some warm clothes!
January is the perfect time for a ski trip to Switzerland. You will have a great time in both famous ski resorts and at low altitude bases (1000 m +). The amount of snow is very good, but the risks of avalanches are bigger.
The resorts at a lower elevation such as Gstaad and Adelboden-Lenk are awesome in this period.
Since it is less crowded after the first week of the month, it’s a perfect opportunity to try out the off-piste and freeride routes at St. Moritz, Crans Montana, Jungfrau, Arosa-Lenzerheide, Laax, Davos-Klosters, 4-Vallees, and Portes du Soleil.
If you want a powder day, you can go to Engelberg, Andermatt, and Muerren Schilthorn.
February is the most popular month for skiing, so maybe it is a good time to search for those unexplored Swiss resorts. If you are in the capital, you can visit many interesting resorts less than 2 hours away from Zurich.
Related: A guide to ski resorts near Zurich
Generally speaking, the month of February coincides with the beginning of the many school holiday periods. You should be aware that the price of lift tickets and lodging will immensely increase, even in the smaller and less popular resorts.
Wherever you take your ski trip to Switzerland, you will have a blast at the beginning of the month. Yet, the high-altitude Alps locations are the greatest in the last two weeks of March.
Pistes around the following ski resorts are just superb, don’t miss the opportunity to have a go at: Zermatt, Engelberg, St. Moritz, Verbier, Davos Klosters, Muerren-Schilthorn, Andermatt Sedrun, and Saas Fee.
If you are interested to ski in any other month, St. Moritz and Saas-Fee are opened all year round!
Ski trip Switzerland – conclusion:
As you can see, a ski trip to Switzerland isn’t for everyone’s budget, but it is the cherry on top of each skiing experience.
Be sure that you will get what you paid for because the Swiss Alps never failed to impress their faithful skiers.
Choose your resort, find the perfect chalet in a less crowded month, and pack for the adventure of your life!
To ensure the luxury and quality of the entire trip, hire a limousine service, and greet the snow by getting out of the most elegant vehicle.