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Switzerland in winter for non-skiers

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Must knows about a non-ski winter holiday in Switzerland

  • Even if others in your travel party will be skiing, you can have a great non-ski holiday.
  • Pick your base town and accommodation wisely. Make sure you can travel in several directions for day trips.
  • Make a list of non-ski activities you’re interested in. There are many!
Horse-drawn sleigh in Val Roseg

A horse-drawn sleigh in the Roseg valley near Pontresina.

Winter holidays in Switzerland without skiing or snowboarding

You can have great winter holidays in Switzerland without skiing or snowboarding. Even if you’re traveling with others who will be doing winter sports, that’s no problem.

Pick a resort that allows you to travel to other areas. Use public transportation and choose accommodation close to the rail station. Then enjoy the many non-ski activities in Swiss winter!

Base towns for non-skiers

If you’re traveling with others who will be skiing, pick a centrally located winter resort. This allows you to leave the resort easily. You can explore other Swiss regions or make city trips.

You could also stay in a larger town with quick access to several ski areas. This allows everyone in your travel party to enjoy their favorite activities.

Find tips for suitable winter resorts here. Use the Swiss timetable to check travel times to the other destinations on your wish list.

Accommodation for non-skiers

It’s best to have a hotel or holiday apartment close to a railway station. This allows you to quickly travel to other places. In most cases, this is easy for skiers too. Local trains or buses to ski lifts depart from railway stations.

Hotels close to railway stations are listed here.

Use maps and the Swiss timetable to check travel times to the rail station and to other destinations. You can even fill out the exact address of your hotel or holiday home in the timetable.

Public transportation for non-skiers

It’s best to travel by train and bus in winter. Switzerland has an excellent public transportation network. It not only gets you into the snowy mountains, but right into the centers of larger towns. Driving can be challenging in winter.

If you’re not skiing, you won’t need a ski pass. It’s better to find a rail pass that fits your specific plans.

Many rail passes include cableways in the mountains as well, so you can enjoy the views or engage in non-ski snow activities. Find out which pass is best for your plans here.

Winter activities for non-skiers

If you don’t ski, there are lots of other ways to enjoy winter in Switzerland.

  • You may like other snow activities, such as sledding, snowtubing, ice-skating or cross-country skiing.
  • If you visit mountain tops, choose the ones with panoramic views and good catering options. You can enjoy the views from a warm restaurant or from a sunny terrace. Relax and sit back while you watch others ski!
  • You can admire the winter landscape in peace and quiet during winter hikes. If you like photographing winter scenery, hiking is the perfect activity.
  • Scenic train journeys allow you to visit other Swiss regions. And you’ll have amazing winter views along the way.
  • Combine traveling with dining. Culinary train or boat trips are great fun. Find more culinary tips here.
  • Visit Swiss cities. Most have picturesque old centers and lots of cultural activities. Many museums can be entered for free with a Swiss Travel Pass. Find all cities here, and cities with the best Christmas atmosphere here.
  • Treat yourself to a spa visit. Enjoying a wellness treatment is a nice way to escape the cold.
    • Many hotels have spa facilities, accessible for non-hotel guests too. Here’s a selection of wellness hotels.
    • Lots of Swiss towns have several spa options, but are also close to ski lifts. Examples are Davos, Leukerbad, Gstaad, St. Moritz and Zermatt. Find more Swiss winter destinations here.
Jungfrau with family in ski lift


Swiss activities in winter: there's much more to do than just skiing.

Chesa Merleda along the Inn in La Punt-Chamues-ch


Tips for Swiss cities, centrally located towns and remote snowy villages. All perfect for a non-ski holiday too.

Regional train near Punt Muragl


The train is the perfect way to explore wintry Switzerland. Learn how rail traveling works.


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