Davos, Switzerland is a famous holiday destination, positioned at 1560 m above sea level. The highest larger town in Europe fascinates its tourists with enormous natural beauty and a vast web of ski pistes.
In the early 20th century, Davos got international significance as a health and wellness town. Besides preserving a long tradition, the town is a conference center that hosts the famous World Economic Forum (WEF) every year.
In the heart of the town, tourists will find a lot of fun, excitement, but also a peaceful retreat.
In this article, you will find a detailed list of interesting things to do in Davos, and all the relevant info you should know about the place.
You’ll read about:
- What is Davos, Switzerland known for?
- Is Davos expensive?
- What language is spoken in Davos, Switzerland?
- What are the best winter activities in Davos?
- What are the best summer activities in Davos?
- What is the World Economic Forum in Davos?
- Davos, Switzerland weather
- How to get to Davos?
1. What is Davos, Switzerland famous for?
This alpine town is located in the largest canton of Switzerland, Graubünden.
We gave you a little hint for what is famous in the introductory part.
Now we will give you a precise list of things that make this place extremely popular and unique:
- First-class skiing
- Hosting the World Economic Forum
- Clean air that treats asthma and other diseases
- Being the highest town in Europe
Are you a ski enthusiast? If so, head to Davos ski resort to experience the first-class slopes, and have a lot of fun.
Being at an elevation of 1 560 meters above sea level means clean air without allergens, bacteria, etc.
Therefore, this environment is ideal for treating asthma and other respiratory diseases.
2. Is Davos expensive?
Let’s start with the fact that the average prices in Switzerland are higher than in the USA. For example, shopping in Switzerland would cost you about 1.84 times more than it would in the USA.
Speaking of Davos, the average price for spending a night in a hostel is about 67 CHF, while it is about 158 CHF for spending a night in a 3-star hotel. Luxury accommodation in Davos, Switzerland hotels can go as high as 315 CHF.
A one-way ticket for public transportation in Davos is about 3.20 CHF.
Renting a car (for example Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Golf) will cost you about 26,000 CHF.
If you hire a taxi instead, bear in mind that the price depends on several factors. The starting price would be about 6 CHF. One kilometer ride in Davos would cost you about 3.80 CHF.
The most efficient and the most reliable option would be to hire a limousine service and let the professional take care of you, your family, and your luggage.
3. What language is spoken in Davos, Switzerland?
Although Davos is a town in Switzerland, the answer might seem obvious. But don’t forget the fact that there are 4 national languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.
Since it is located in the eastern part of the country, Davos is not too away from the Italian and Austrian borders. Germany is close, too.
When visiting Davos, you can use German for communicating successfully with locals – in stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.
Italian is also widely spoken, but not that fluently.
If you don’t know any of those two languages – don’t worry, you can always use English and expect that locals, both young and old, will at least understand you.
4. What are the best winter activities in Davos?
Davos, Switzerland is one of the greatest sites for winter sports. It was the first resort to install ski lifts, and it represents the birthplace of various snow sports such as sledding and bobsleighing.
The resort boasts 6 main ski regions with an endless choice of runs. This ground is a paradise for snowboarders as it has many off-piste opportunities, and for freeskiers who can endeavor within many parks and pipes.
In the town, you will find a lot of fun with après-skiing, in elegant restaurants and hotels, and in huts that provide peace and relaxation after all day skiing.
Here is the list of the best things to do in winter in Davos:
- Cross-country skiing
- Winter hiking
- Staying in an Igloo
- Nordic walking
It’s not surprising that Davos is one of Switzerland’s top winter sports destinations.
Davos ski encompasses 6 different ski areas which together provide more than 320 kilometers of downhill pistes and an outstanding transport network.
The biggest and the most modern of these 6 ski areas is Parsenn. It connects Davos and Klosters, and it can be reached via the Parsenn Red Railway, which started operating back in the 1930s.
A very interesting story lies behind the discovery of Parsenn which happened by accident. Back in 1895, four Englishmen were on a skiing tour and they got lost. Instead of going towards the Weissfluhjoch peak, they accidentally chose the other path that led to Küblis, a village in the Davos region. On this ground, they discovered 12 km-long Parsenn descent.
With the opening of the funicular railway, Parsenn became a first-class skiing spot.
Parsenn Derby, the oldest ski race in the country, was held right here.
To reach the area, you can use the funicular railway from Davos or use the cable car from Klosters.
Parsenn brags vast winding runs where beginner and intermediate skiers can improve their skills. On the other hand, advanced skiers can explore some fresh powder off-piste.
Besides Parsenn, Gotschna, and Jakobshorn are popular ski regions in the Davos-Klosters area.
Plenty of rich and famous people come to Davos to ski on its slope and enjoy the luxury and beauty of Parsenn and Gotcha.
2. Cross-country skiing
Davos Nordic is where you will see the world elite in cross-country skiing. They come every year to witness the event. It takes place in the Bünda district which turns into a cross-country stadium.
The crowd numbers up to 18 000 spectators! They cheer to support male and female athletes that come from around 30 countries.
But, this area is not only reserved for pros. Cross-country skiing at Davos is free, and everyone interested in it can have a go.
The trial network includes over 100 km of classic trails and 75 km of skating trails. The difficulty of the tracks varies to suit all preferences. Even though they are varied in difficulty the trails have one thing in common. They all are exceptionally prepared. If you want your pet to get exercise too it can. There are special dog trails that can be found along Landwasser.
3. Winter hiking
Winter hiking in Davos, Switzerland is an impressive experience! Surrounding mountain peaks, snow-capped trees, and icicles dangling from roofs will captivate your attention.
Fresh alpine air will caress your chick as you capture your breath while exhaling. You will be mesmerized by the surrounding beauty and by the peace this place brings.
Being physically active at Davos altitude will have an invigorating effect on your whole body.
When you finish, you can warm up in one of the comfy mountain restaurants and taste traditional food. It would be a perfect way to end the day – next to a fireplace and with a stomach full.
4. Staying in an Igloo
If you want a unique experience for your winter holiday, this is something you should do! Davos has a specially created igloo village, positioned in the Parsenn ski area.
There are various types of igloos at your disposal and a menu of numerous activities and events taking place. You can try traditional fondue or go and carve some ice sculptures.
The most special moment happens at night when you have the opportunity to gaze up at the sky with the scattered stars straight from a sauna or a hot tub.
Plus, when staying in the igloo village, you can hit the slopes before the lift starts operating, and have the entire piste just for yourself.
5. Nordic walking
Nordic walking is a perfect bonding activity for the entire family. You can do it easily when you visit Davos, Switzerland.
Trials especially designed for Nordic walking can be found at the foot of Jakobschornbahnen mountain. The trials are three, eight, and thirteen km long.
If you haven’t tried Nordic walking before, you will be pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it is. It is a low-impact sport which is a bit more challenging than walking. This type of walk engages not only lower body muscles but also the muscles in the upper body.
Davos offers 111 km worth of walking and numerous hiking trails with groomed snow.
When you want to challenge yourself, but don’t feel like going on vertical hikes up the mountain, Nordic walking is the way to go.
6. What are the best summer activities in Davos?
If you prefer summer outdoor adventures, the best time to visit Davos, Switzerland is from June to September. During this period, you can expect warm and pleasant weather without precipitation. The temperature can go higher than 30°C, but still, with a clear sky and the sun shining, there are plenty of interesting things to entertain you.
Here is the list of things to do in summer in Davos:
- Mountain biking
- Visiting Lake Davos
- Visiting Madrisa Land
- Visiting Schwarzsee
- Exploring Alpine Botanical Gardens
1. Mountain biking
Mountain biking in Davos means the most fascinating and breathtaking scenery wherever you set your eyes on.
It certainly gives a different outlook on this impressive place. You’ll pass through valleys, next to the river, and with fearless mountains in front of you.
Mountain biking is the best way to experience the Swiss vibes with the river on one side, and pastures full of cows on the other. Don’t forget to take some photos.
Of course, if you want a real mountain biking adventure, you can hire a bike right here for an extreme workout. Some athletes come to Davos specifically for mountain biking.
2. Visiting Lake Davos
Summer in Davos cannot be imagined without visiting Lake Davos. It is a natural lake that during the season reaches a temperature of 20°C.
There, you can expect all water sports to keep yourself entertained. You can start with: sailing, paddling, swimming, wakeboarding, or (kite) surfing.
Wakeboarding starts at the beginning of July and it is a very popular activity now. Back in the past, it started as a crowdfunding campaign.
If you want to relax at the lakeshore, you can go to Bachi’s Strandbad which offers an amazing restaurant overlooking the lake and plenty of space for recreation.
Lake Davos is a perfect place to retreat, relax, and find some peace during the hot summer days.
3. Visiting Madrisa Land
In summer, the Sonnenberg Mountain at Klosters hosts the biggest theme park in Switzerland, Madrisa Land.
In the park, the entire family will have a lot of fun especially the kids. They will be blown away with tree houses, slides, and harnessed climbing walls.
While the kids are having a blast, the parents can seat on the edge of the park, and watch over them.
The kids can also ride ponies, and become friends with baby Alpine goats in the farmyard.
4. Visiting Schwarzsee
At an altitude of 1 504 meters above sea level lies the Schwarzsee Lake, nestled in the district of Davos near the Wolfgang Pass.
Tourists find it beautiful because it is small and not as crowded as Lake Davos. On a warm and sunny day, you can go on a picnic or go swimming, fishing, paddling, and bathing.
In the summer months, the Hotel Grischa has a special surprise – it offers a brunch every Sunday. The lake gets crowded and parking is available in the immediate vicinity.
Schwarzsee offers its charms even in winter when you can come and, with a little luck, have a go with your ice skates. Expect this to be a memorable experience.
5. Exploring Alpine Botanical Gardens
For exploring the alpine botanical gardens, you can take the Schatz-Funicular up the mountains.
The gardens are a home to an impressive amount of flora and fauna, surrounded by majestic views embellished with a waterfall.
The hikes around this area are stunning. Everyone should pay a visit to the Botanical Gardens, you will enjoy the fresh air and connect directly with nature.
6. What is the World Economic Forum in Davos?
Very often, people connect Davos with the meaning of The World Economic Forum, not the ski resort. This forum is held annually and brings in very powerful people from around the world.
What is the World Economic Forum?
Originally, it was created as a group that didn’t focus on profit but on improving the state of the world. Today, it has retained its original purpose and added some more. It has become a place where people network relentlessly.
Davos is not a big city and this forces corporate bosses, politicians, and journalists to have a big number of meetings in a short period with no travel required in between.
The annual jamboree that everyone attends is officially a conference. People are giving speeches and have sessions having different topics in mind. The topics vary from the global economy to managing stress.
The entrance is free for all attendees who were invited. Only companies have to pay to attend WEF and they have to pay a lot.
7. Davos, Switzerland weather
Here are some of the most important weather facts you should know before visiting Davos:
- The coldest month is February with an average lowest temperature of -1°C (30°F).
- The warmest month is August with an average highest temperature of 16°C (60°F).
- The month with the biggest chance of participation is July. If you don’t like rain, avoid visiting Davos in this period.
- The driest month in Davos is March.
- July is also the month with the sunniest days.
8. How to get to Davos?
If you have been wondering what Swiss airport is closest to Davos, we have the answer for you.
Altenrhein Airport (ACH) is the closest airport to Davos – it’s only 78.52 km away.
Lugano Airport (LUG) is 113.84 km, while Zurich Airport (ZRH) is 122 km away.
The easiest way of getting to Davos from the airport is by train. Plus, the train ride through the most beautiful alpine scenery is unforgettable.
Davos boasts a very efficient bus network, too. Owners of Davos-Klosters guest cards can use the bus networks free of charge.
If you prefer something more luxurious and comfortable and equally efficient, you can hire a limo service in Switzerland for your airport transfer, and reach Davos in comfort and style.
What to do in Davos – conclusion:
Davos is a city unlike any other. It is on a smaller size but attracts big and important crowds. During the wintertime, people enjoy the flawless and most amazing slopes. Summertime is perfect for a day by Lake Davos or for a day spent in nature.
There are plenty of activities you can do when you visit Davos. Skiing and snowboarding are on the top of the list. Cross-country skiing is completely free of charge in Davos. There are many places you can go to at night to have fun. Davos has one of the best night scenes in the country.
The World Economic Forum is held in the city every year. During that time, you can see the most powerful people in the world gathered all in one place.
Davos is a city of wonders worth visiting. It should most definitely be on your bucket list. To enhance the experience, hire a limo service and step on Davos ground in the highest style.