Davos Ski Resort Switzerland – A Guide on Things to Do
If you have not heard of Davos Ski Resort in Switzerland before I am sure you have now after all of the news of Donald Trump being in the city for the famous World Economic Forum. An annual event held every winter, with some of the world’s most powerful leaders. However, there is so much more to this beautiful resort and with being the biggest Ski resorts city in Switzerland you will find plenty of things to do and see.
Table of Contents
- 1 Davos Ski Resort Switzerland – A Guide on Things to Do
- 2 Davos Klosters Inside
- 3 Where to have a drink
- 4 Resort Location & How to get there
- 5 Accommodation
- 6 Top Tips for Davos Ski Resort
Davos Klosters Ski Resort is considered to be one of the most prestigious Ski resorts in the world and I was super excited when l heard that I was going there on a press trip. Even though I was only there for 48hours, my program was jam packed with exciting things to do. From checking out the best areas to ski with my guide, taking a look behind the scenes of the rescue service to doing the Early Bird skiing activity.
About Davos Ski Resort Switzerland
Apart from it being the largest ski resort city in Switzerland, it is also considered to be the highest city in Europe. The ski area is split across two different sides of the Swiss Alps. The Parsenn and Madrisa on one side and Pischa, Jakobshor and Rinerhorn on the other side. You are definitely spoilt by choice with 350 klms of guaranteed snow-covered pistes.
Quick Overview of the Ski Runs & Pass
Ski passes are really flexible, you can get a lift pass for the individual areas of Parsenn / Jakobshorn / Madrisa or a regional pass which covers Parsenn / Jakobshorn / Madrisa / Pischa / Rinerhorn.
It really depends on your experience, comfort and budget.
I skied in the Jakobshorn with my guide Oliver and the ski conditions could not have been any more perfect, the best bit was we were the only ones on the slopes as we were first on the mountain. The red slopes were just the way I liked them, long wide and steep in some bits. As you are so high up most of the slopes are open and the only time that you go through any real forest is on your way back to the resort and when you go off piste near the resort.
Overview of the Davos Ski (Regional )Area
- 5 Main Ski Areas (Parsenn / Jakobshorn / Madrisa / Pischa / Rinerhorn)
- 55 lifts
- 110 pistes
- 300 klm or 186 miles ski slopes
- Longest run: 12 km/8 miles, Weissfluhgipfel-Küblis
- Night skiing in Rinerhorn
Davos Klosters Inside
One of the things that l liked about Davos (Klosters) ski resort is that they offer a variety of experiences and activities that are absolutely FREE during the winter period. This is called Davos Klosters Inside and includes everything from Sport & Adventure, Kids & Family, Visits & Excursions as well as Art & Culture, there is pretty much something for everyone and every age.
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I went on two of the Davos Klosters Inside activities, Slope and Rescue service – look behind the scenes Parsenn and Early Bird skiing (Parsenn). I enjoyed both a lot for different reasons.
Please Note – Be considerate when booking
- If you can not make one of the activities or experiences that you have booked, then please let the tourism office know as soon as possible. There are limited spots available on some of the activities and someone else can take your spot. Also, people will be waiting around for you to turn up. This happened on one of the activities that I was on, some people just didn’t bother to turn up and we waited around for them.
Slope and Rescue service – look behind the scenes Parsenn
I highly recommend you go behind the scenes and learn about what the search and rescue do daily, how avalanches are dispersed and what it takes to groom a run. You will have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes to make sure that you are safe skiing or snowboarding.
Also, you will have a great appreciation for the mountains and people that take care of them. You might even go away understanding why it costs so much money for a lift pass.
Davos tourism office has such an activity called ‘Slope and rescue service – look behind the scenes Parsenn’ that takes you into the SOS control to learn what they do and then you go into the snow groomer’s area. You learn everything about what needs to be done to keep the people in Davos Ski Resort safe. You also get to learn about why the snow groomers are so expensive, why they don’t fall down the steep slopes and if you are lucky, they let you sit in one (Which is actually really cool).
- Cost – FREE!!!! (Just your time)
- Meeting Point – 2 pm. Weissfluhjoch upper terminus by the entrance to the Weissfluh summit cable car
- Duration – 2hrs Max
- What to wear – Warm clothing, good winter shoes and gloves
- Register – Up until 9am on the same day (as it is an afternoon activity)
Early Bird Skiing (Parsenn)
There is nothing like that feeling of getting up super early and being the first one to tear up the freshly groomed slopes. It is something that I try to do at least once when if I am on a ski holiday with my husband or friends. On top of that, it is such a great way to start the day.
The “Davos Klosters Inside” activity, Early Bird skiing (Parsenn), not only allows you to do this but you get to ski or snowboard for 2hrs with a guide before the chairlifts officially open. If you are lucky enough and it is a clear morning you even get to see the sunrise over the Swiss Alps.
Unfortunately, I never saw it because I had a whiteout when I was skiing the morning I went. Lucky for my two guides Christina and Markus, who were fantastic especially when I lost my sense of bearings. I couldn’t see anything apart from my guides and I was completely comfortable following them down slopes.
Even though I never saw anything expect lots and lots of snow, I still had a great time and it’s an activity that I would definitely do again.
- Please note that this is not an activity for someone who is not a confident skier or snowboarder.
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- Cost – FREE (Just your time)
- Meeting Point – 07:15 am Parsenn Davos lower terminus (Before you catch the train up)
- Held On – Monday and Saturday
- Duration – 2hrs
- Requirements – Confident skiing on red runs & Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult
- Must Bring – Own or rented skis – or snowboard equipment
- Register – By 4pm the previous day (as it is a morning activity)
Where to have a drink
There is nothing more enjoyable than having a nice glass of wine (or beer) after a hard day of skiing. Davos Ski Resort has everything from Wine bars in the centre of town to chalets on top of the mountains with DJ’s pumping out tunes.
On the Mountain
Although I never got to experience the Jatzhutte bar in its full glory with all the ski and snowboarders dancing, I hear that it is a great place to go for Apres Ski. I did go there first thing in the morning for a coffee (and to warm up, as it was super cold) and I have to admit that it had some of the best views across the Swiss Alps that I have seen from a bar in Switzerland.
The actual place looked like a great venue too with some cool facilities, like all the deck chairs with a rug to keep you warm while taking advantage of those views. And if you are feeling super adventurous there were even two jacuzzis that you could use while enjoying your drinks.
- I understand that this place gets super busy, so I suggest booking one of the chairs in advance
Off the Mountain
I do not always recommend the bars in the hotels that I stay in but I really liked The Pulsa Bar & Lounge Restaurant, which was situated on the ground floor of my hotel, The Hotel Grischa. It was modern, stylish but casual and cosy at the same time. One part of the bar area had comfortable couches with an open fire and chandelier above. While the other area had sit down tables and the bar where you could enjoy the food service.
If you like cigars there was also the ‘Zino Platinum Cigar Lounge’, a glassed area where you could go to enjoy some good quality cigars and fine drinks like a whisky to match.
I thought it was a lovely spot after my day of skiing and for my pre-dinner drink, sinking into those comfy couches. I was so relaxed at one point that I nearly fell asleep while enjoying my welcome drink from the hotel.
Resort Location & How to get there
The closest international airport to Davos Klosters Ski Resort is Zurich International Airport, which is roughly around a two hour drive in good weather conditions.
- Check with the airline that you are travelling with because some of them allow you to check your skis on the plane for free.
There are numerous ways of getting to Davos Ski Resort like trains, private transfer, shared transfer or hire a car . But the best and most cost-effective way to get to Davos (or Klosters) is via train. This should take you between 3hours from the Zurich Aiport to Davos Ski Resort, depending on changes.
The standard train is as follows:
Zurich Airport → Zurich Central Station → Landquart (You change onto the Snowtrain)→ Davos Platz
If you have ever caught a train in Switzerland you know that they are always on time and are efficient. And also, I personally think one of the prettiest train rides.
- You can keep track of the trains and platforms using the SBS train app
- The best way to get around is via bus or the train line, which are both super easy to use.
- I learned that the number 1 or 3 bus gets you everywhere. If not, all the locals are pretty helpful 🙂
With Davos being the largest ski resort city in Switzerland and the highest city in Europe, you are definitely spoiled for options when it comes to accommodation. From stunning luxury 5 star hotels and chalets to mountain huts and apartments, there is definitely something for everyone with any type of budget.
I stayed at the very stylish Hotel Grischa which was situated in a prime position. It was right across the road from the main train station and only 5minutes walk (with skis) to the Jakobshorn cableway. The hotel and staff were friendly and were always happy to help and my Junior Suite was very spacious with separate living room and a balcony facing the slopes.
The hotel has everything that you can want from a winter holiday, from 5 different restaurants to ski room with boot dryer and waxing room. You pretty much didn’t need to leave the hotel after your day of skiing.
Top Tips for Davos Ski Resort
- You can take the snow train from Davos to St Moritz St Moritz, which is only 1 hour and 28 minutes. Then you can spend a few days in each resort and basically have the best of both worlds, skiing in two amazing resorts.
- Durning the winter period, the Davos-Klosters Guest Card provides free use of local buses and trains, as well as other discounts.
- Check with your hotel to see if they are doing any deals with ski passes, as sometimes you can get a discount or even a free pass.
- All the ski areas are spread out and the best and most efficient way to get around is via bus or train.
- If you like Gin go check out Cantinetta lounger & bar in the Ameron Hotel
Thank you for reading this article ‘Davos Ski Resort Switzerland – A Guide on Things to Do’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next Ski Trip. Davos Klosters Ski Resort is truly a beautiful Swiss ski resort. If you are interested in discovering more of Europe Ski Resorts you can check out my posts on the other ski resorts Chatel, Morzine and Les Gets
Have you been to Davos Ski Resort before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Feeling adventurous, here are some of the other amazing activities you can book in Davos Ski Resort