Trees, cottages, bridges… everything was swallowed in white, footsteps and paw prints crisscrossed each other, people skiing looked like colorful dots ……the view looked like a painting in progress. So much of the canvas was still perfectly white…
There are places in the world that are beautiful beyond description, just too marvelous for words.
St. Moritz is definitely such a place where you would want to ditch the smartphone, slow down, savour the stillness, and appreciate every moment.
Nestled in the upper Engadin region, St. Moritz is a quaint little ski town that is known to be a luxury Alpine town and boasts of cross-country ski trails. It is quite popular among celebrities, aristocrats, and politicians. Not to mention jet-setters from around the world — may be happy to part with their hard-earned cash in this prettiest Swiss Ski town.
Be it the luxurious accommodations, ski trails, nature trails, streets lined with designer stores from Gucci to Prada or fancy restaurants to satiate your taste buds. St. Moritz is a perfect choice for a weekend break or for your annual ski vacation.
Here in this post, we dole out some of the top things to do in St. Moritz if you’re planning a trip anytime sooner.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ST. MORITZ
1. Lake St. Moritz
Lake St. Moritz is the star attraction of the town, be it summer or winter. During winters the lake freezes completely and is the place where many winter sports activities are hosted. In the month of February, one can witness the famous White Turf horse races.
During summers sailboat racing is organized, with many sailboats on the lake it is a sight to behold. You can walk around the lake along the shores, it takes about two hours to complete. There is also a vantage point about 5 minutes from the station which offers an amazing view of the lake.
Lake St. Moritz also has the distinction of hosting the first-ever Ice Cricket Tournament since 1988.
2. Mountain Excursions
St. Moritz is known for the beautiful Engadin mountains that surround the Swiss town and is quite popular for skiing during winter months and hiking and biking during summer months. There are various mountain excursions that you must not miss if you visit St. Moritz.
Muottas Muragl is probably the most famous of the mountains in St. Moritz and offers a spectacular view of the upper Engadin. A 10-minute funicular ride from Punt Muragl whisks you to the mountain where you have a restaurant and a hotel. There is a children’s play area beside the restaurant. The view from the restaurant during winters is breathtaking, almost all the peaks, valleys, and lakes are visible from Muottas Muragl.
You can reach Muottas Muragl from the city by taking bus number 1 to Punt Muragl. You can ski, go for a hike or have fun in the toboggan. The mountain has plenty of activities to offer that will spice up your free time in a big way.
The hike on Muottas Muragl is called the Philosophers Trail and takes between 45 mins to 3 hours to complete, depending on the route you embark upon.
Corviglia is another beautiful mountain in the Engadin region. The mountain boasts of the steepest free-fall in the world. Skiers can reach up to 100 km/hr in just 4 seconds during the first 100 meters of the free fall. If you want an adrenaline rush then try out paragliding with an experienced paraglider. The thrill of mountain air and the stunning views of the mountain will leave you speechless.
The Snow Safari is another great option for skiers, it starts in Sils and goes via Furtschellas towards Corvatsch and right up to 3,303 m above sea level. There is also a restaurant Alpina Hut which is quite famous among skiers.
Another impressive mountain in the Engadin region is the Diavolezza. It has an altitude of 2,973 m and is located between Munt Pers and Piz Trovat. It can be reached by train and a Gondola. The views from the mountain are breathtaking.
There is also a hot tub from which you can enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views from the Piz Palü – above Bellavista and on to Piz Bernina.
3. Winter Sports
Engadin is the winter sports capital of Switzerland. It is the winter capital and has hosted the Winter Olympics twice in the past century and many other events besides, including the 2003 Skiing World Championships. The 1928 winter games were held in the town of St. Moritz and the stadium still stands today.
From Turf Horse races on the frozen Lake St. Moritz to skiing activities, ice skating, bobsleigh rides, this little town has got it all. St. Moritz is credited for the start of winter tourism in the entire Alpine region.
Popular Winter Sports activities in St. Moritz are:-
- Cresta run
- Ice Hockey
- Ice Skating
4. Ovaverva Hallenbad, Spa & Sportzentrum
After a tiring day of mountain excursions and skiing, the best way to relax and rejuvenate is to pamper yourself in a spa. The Ovaverva Spa is a public spa in the town of St. Moritz. Nothing like dips in the heated pool while watching swirling snow and having snow-capped mountains for company.
The spa has a wellness center, a swimming pool, a sauna, and offers different types of body treatments. There is also an in-house restaurant where you can order food.
Note: The entrance fee of the spa is 30 CHF for an adult.
5. Segantini Museum
If you are an ardent art fan then you shouldn’t miss a chance to admire some of Giovanni Segantini’s best works. He spent the majority of his time in the Engadin region and is quite well known for his paintings of the Alps. The Segantini Museum was built almost a century ago and it houses the largest collection of his artwork.
6. Board the Panoramic Express Trains
You can board two famous trains from St. Moritz. The Bernina Express which is said to be one of the most scenic trains in Southern Switzerland. The train snakes through a Unesco World Heritage region of Switzerland and Italy. It is one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps.
The Glacier Express is a panoramic train that travels from St. Moritz to Zermatt and is also referred to as the slowest fast train in the world. The train passes through 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. The highest point through which the train passes is the Oberalppass which is at 2033 meters above sea level.
You don’t have to do the entire train journey of 7 hours if you are not willing to. You can get off at Andermatt, Brig, Visp, or Zermatt. You also get a good discount while booking if you have a Swiss Travel Pass.
Day Trips from St. Moritz
Lake Como happens to be one of the most picturesque lakes in the world and you can take a train to visit this from St. Moritz. You are sure to enjoy the changing landscape and the culture when you travel from St. Moritz to Lake Como which is in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy. One can either take the Bernina Express or local trains to travel to Lake Como.
Albula Railway Museum
The Albula Museum is just an hour train ride from St. Moritz. It is a perfect day trip for children and adults alike. There are more than 600 exhibits on display showcasing a century’s engineering marvel. There is a simulator where one can operate a miniature train. The train journey from St. Moritz to Albula is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage route between Thusis and Tirano.
Places to Eat, Shop & Drink
Must Try – Engadin walnut tart at Confiserie Hauser and Conditorei Hanselmann
For Whisky Lovers – Head to Devil’s Place, it stocks more than 2500 different types of whiskey.
Chesa al Parc – Try the Swiss local dish, the cheese fondue at this authentic restaurant in the Kulm Hotel.
Shopping – Via Serlas is Europe’s highest shopping avenue. You can find all kinds of designer stores here.
Where To Stay
Home to some of the best luxury resorts: St. Moritz is a beacon of luxury in the Engadin Mountains. There is no dearth of accommodations in St. Moritz from luxury chalets to all-inclusive ski resorts. Do check here to find beautiful properties.
We stayed at Hotel Reine Victoria which is a beautiful property in St. Moritz and right opposite the famous Ovaverva Spa. The stay at the hotel takes you back to the yesteryear grand properties. The hotel was built in 1875. It was the time when tourism was starting to boom in St. Moritz and it is evident from rich furnishings in the hotel. The rooms in the hotel have all the modern amenities. The interiors are quite a reflection of neo-Baroque style architecture. It is adorned with chandeliers, silk curtains, topped up with plush furnishing.
Not to mention the breakfast spread was lovely and the view from our room was stunning.
How To Reach
St. Moritz is well connected by road and train with every major city in Switzerland. Since we were in Zurich, we decided to travel to St. Moritz by train. It takes a little less than 4 hours to reach St. Moritz from Zurich with a change in Chur. The train journey from Chur to St. Moritz is beautiful with the landscape changing from rolling meadows to snow-covered mountains as the train inches towards St. Moritz.
There are also daily local flights from Zurich, Geneva, Milan, and Munich to St. Moritz and a small airstrip outside the town of St. Moritz which also caters to private jets.
Most of the hotels in St. Moritz provide transfers to and from the Bahnhof (train station) and there are also multiple buses that ply from the station to the different parts of the town.
Hope our mini-guide helps you in planning your trip to this beautiful part of Switzerland.
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