A country of dramatic landscapes, rich culture, and renowned natural beauty, Switzerland is especially glorious during winter, when its charming villages and dreamy ski resorts come to life throughout the Alps. This is where you want to come for fresh powder, sky-high peaks, and off-piste thrills. Yet, at its heart, the Playground of Europe is for everyone, offering gorgeous scenery and excitement around each mountain bend.
Whether you’re looking for a Michelin-star dinner in Zermatt or want to ride to the Top of Europe in a VIP gondola, cold-weather adventures in Switzerland are practically endless. Here’s where to start.
Discover family fun in the Valais Region
Looking for a vacation that will thrill the whole family? Nendaz, a charming village nestled in the heart of Switzerland’s biggest ski area, boasts world-class winter sports, a laid-back vibe, and plenty of activities suited for all ages. When you aren’t hitting the slopes, cruise down the Alps on The Mont-Fort Zipline, one of the tallest ziplines in Europe, taste raclette cooked over an open fire on a guided Raclette and Raquette snowshoe walk, and ride a cable car up to Mont Fort, where you’ll find epic views of iconic peaks, including the famed Matterhorn.
For the full story, read The Family Getaway of Your Dreams Awaits in the Valais Region of Switzerland.\
Soak up Alpine beauty from the Top of Europe
One of the main summits of the Bernese Alps and home to the highest railway station in Europe, you’ll certainly feel at the top of the world while traveling in the Jungfrau Region—particularly if you’re lucky enough to ride the luxury Eiger Express gondola, equipped with a champagne bar and red leather seats that rotate to give guests 360-degree views of the stunning, icy landscape. Nearby, picturesque Interlaken, grand hotels, and a cluster of historic castles promise more stately winter glamor.
For the full story, read Why “The Top of Europe” is the Stylish Adventure You Need.
See the sites on a legendary train
Dubbed “the window to the Swiss Alps,” the Glacier Express ranks as the most famous scenic train in the country, connecting Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn and St Moritz in the Engadin skiing area. With a journey as beautiful as it is logistically impressive, many passengers simply come along for the full eight-hour ride, which passes landmarks such as the spectacular Oberalp Pass as you traverse the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes, an engineering marvel erected more than 100 years ago and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For the full story, read How to Enjoy an Eye-Popping Journey Aboard the Glacier Express.
Reach new heights in Engelberg
For major thrills and sublime snow, ski enthusiasts can’t do much better than Engelberg. Experienced skiers can discover the allure of guided backcountry exploration with off-piste, all-new terrain. There, skiing is as challenging—and rewarding—as it gets. It’s not all about hard work, though. Look forward to stylish properties, such as the Kempinski Palace Engelberg located in a historic 1904 building, innovative cable cars, and cozy après-ski bars.
For the full story, read This Swiss Destination is a Skier’s Paradise.
Feast on Alpine classics in Zermatt
Known for its luxurious village and lively après-ski spots, Zermatt is an ideal destination for travelers looking to try regional specialties. The town offers roughly 100 restaurants, including Michelin-starred Ristorante Capri and After Seven. Many restaurants go back multiple generations and source Swiss-made products—you can even visit the local cheese makers who supply the good stuff for raclette and fondue. Don’t miss out on the great tradition of après ski: Cervo provides one of the best scenes with live music and a fireplace.
For the full story, read Why Zermatt is an Incredible Winter Sports Destination for Food Fans.