Things To Do In Brig, Switzerland – Worth Stopping In

things to do brig

Brig is an alpine town of note, sitting in Central Southern Switzerland in the heart of the Swiss Alps and close to the Italian border.

What makes Brig, Switzerland, such a great city to base yourself in while exploring Switzerland is its access to almost all the famous things to see in the Swiss Alps. But it doesn’t stop there.

Brig is home to many cultural sites, history, ancient architecture, and more to explore. The alpine town dates back to the 11th century and was a Roman town. It is home to lovely castles, a palace, thermal baths, and even on the banks of the longest river in Switzerland, the Rhone.

Between the fantastic access to the Swiss Alps and the city’s offerings, Brig is an excellent place to spend a few days while traveling in Switzerland.

Join me as I run through all the great things to do in Brig so that you can see what this incredible city offers and plan to spend some time there.

Stockalper Palace

Stockalper Palace
Stockalper Palace – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

One of the top things to do in Brig is to visit the Stockalper Palace. The Stockalper Palace in Brig showcases fantastic architecture and dates back to the 17th century.

It was built by a man called Kaspar Stockalper and was the biggest privately owned building in the country at one point.

Kaspar Stockalper’s wealth and success came from intelligent trading, and he ended up employing thousands of people and controlling the salt trade through Simplon Pass nearby.

The Stockalper Palace is home to 3 towers, each with water-drop roofs, but the real genius lies inside the Stockalper Palace. You must join a tour to get inside, but it is worth it.

The large courtyard inside the palace is stunning, as are the Italian Renaissance-style balusters and arcades. You will also find a beautiful courtyard, portraits of the Stockalper family, and learn about the history of the Simplon Pass.

The Stockalper Palace is big but not huge, and it will only take 1-2 hours to see the whole palace. Be sure to spend some time in the palace gardens, as they are stunning.

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Simplon Pass

The Simplon Pass, which features heavily in the palace, is something you must see while in Brig. The Simplon Pass is one of the most famous scenic routes in the country as it stretches from Brig, winding its way through the Swiss Alps and to the Italian border.

You can travel along the high mountain pass any time of year and the Simplon Pass will also provide you access to skiing, hiking trails, and even historical landmarks.

While driving down the Simplon Pass, be sure to take in the fantastic views of the Swiss Alps, and the stunning countryside, and remember how the Simplon Pass was used for salt imports.

The landmarks worth seeing along Simplon Pass include the new and the old Ganter Bridge, Simplon Adler, and Altes Spittel.

The Ganter Bridge sits across a valley between two mountains and offers magical views. As you continue up the Simplon Pass, you will then come to the Simplon Adler, a granite statue of an eagle dating back to WWII and was created by the guards who watched over the Simplon Pass.

The final landmark worth seeing on the Simplon Pass is Altes Spittel, an old granite refuge built by Kaspar Stockalper for travelers and tradesmen crossing the Simplon Pass.

World Nature Forum

World Nature Forum
World Nature Forum – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Once you have seen the Simplon Pass, the World Nature Forum has to be next. The World Nature Forum is an interactive museum that showcases the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Swiss Alps, Jungfrau-Aletsch.

It is renowned as one of the best museums in Europe and is a must-see while in Brig. The museum provides an immersive experience of the Alps that dazzles the senses.

The activities included anything from smelling the flowers of the Swiss Alps to experiencing amazing scenery on huge screens. You can also go on a virtual ride on the old Jungfrau railway car, which dates back to 1912 and have a 360 experience of the interior.

The walk to the museum is stunning as you cross the Rhone River. It costs just CHF 18 to enter but is free with a Swiss Pass, so be sure to get one of these beforehand.

Quillen Brigerbad

After a long walk along a hiking trail or biking down one of the many mountain bike routes, or seeing the Stockalper Castle, go and relax at Quillen Brigerbad, aka the Brigerbad Thermal Facility.

Brigerbad is home to thermal baths full of wellness that can even help cure ailments. A long soak in the thermal baths will have you back on top form in no time and here is how.

Bridgerbad is the biggest open-air hot spring in Switzerland. The water temperature ranges from 21 to 50 degrees Celsius and contains minerals such as sulfates, calcium, sodium, and lithium.

The baths are great for soothing muscles but can also help with ailments such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and more.

Brigerbad is open all year round and has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a thermal spa, a wellness center, and a restaurant. It is well worth heading there for some pampering!

Aletschspa

Aletschspa
Aletschspa – Image from Aletschspa

A fun thing to do while you are in Brig is visiting the Aletschspa as it is another great place to relax after spending some time on the ski slopes or hiking up in the mountains.

Located in the heart of Brig along the banks of the River Rhone, the Aletschspa offers saunas, indoor pools, and outdoor pools, all set to different temperatures, floating pools, and more.

You can book a massage and many different bath experiences, from a rock crystal steam bath to a herbal bath, and more. The number of different treatments on offer is astounding, and you are guaranteed to leave here relaxed, refreshed, and cleansed, depending on what you choose to book.

The space is very elegantly laid out, the service is excellent, and it is pretty affordable too! Don’t miss out on this awesome spa experience while in Brig.

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Airvolution

Why not paraglide or hang glide through the Rhone Valley and over everything you learned at the World Nature Forum?

Head to Airvolution and meet with experienced pilots to book a flight and experience the most spectacular views of the Pennine Alps.

You will take off from high up in the mountains at the flying site and gently float your way down while seeing incredible scenery such as the Aletsch Glacier.

They run flights all year round so you can do this in winter and summer. You can also learn how to fly above this fantastic destination with an introductory course run 4 times a year.

If you have never paraglided before, it is a fantastic experience and there is nowhere better to do it than deep in the Swiss Alps.

Apropos Paintball

If you are traveling with kids or in a large group, why not head to the Apropos Paintball Center, where you can divide into teams and have fun shooting each other all while gazing across the Alps?

The Apropos Paintball Center is fun, but you will want to book in advance as this place fills up quickly.

You can go paintballing here all year round, as they have indoor and outdoor paintball areas. You can either book as a group and take one of the whole arenas or come on your own and join in with others.

Stockalper Trail

Stockalper Trail
Stockalper Trail – Image courtesy of Wikimedia

One way of seeing the entire Simplon Pass is by hiking along the Stockalper trail, known as Stockalperweg.

Stockalperweg was the mule track used by traders crossing the pass and today, it is the main hiking route that takes you to the Swiss-Italian border.

The Stockalper Trail is formed of three stages, and you can do it in a single day if you are fit. It takes about 12 hours in total and here is what each stage looks like.

The first part of the hike takes you from Bird to the Simplon Pass. It is a 12 km hike that takes about 6 hours and you will see some magical things, including Saltinaschlucht Gorge, Taverntal Valley, Stockalper Palace, and the Hospice.

Next is Simplon Pass to Simplon Dorf, which is about 9 km and should take approximately 3.25 hours. You’ll pass by stunning mountain scenes, alpine settlements, hamlets, and Simplon Dorf Village.

The last stage is Simplon Dorf to Gondo on the border. It takes about 3 hours to cover the 8 km and you will see the Gondoschlucht Gorge and stunning mountain scenery. And you can stay at the Gondo Stockalperturm Hotel Restaurant at the end or have lunch.

Swiss Guard Museum

A trip to the Swiss Guard Museum is another thing that can not be missed while you are staying in Brig.

The Swiss Guard is a hand-selected elite unit that is stationed at the Vatican and its sole duty is to protect it and the Pope. To be selected for the Swiss Guard, you must be an unmarried Swiss male who has completed basic training and is a Catholic.

If you have been to the Vatican in Rome, you might remember seeing the Swiss Guard, dressed in very colorful but comical uniforms.

The Swiss Guard Museum is in Naters, the guard’s former military fortress. Walking around the fortress is an exhibit in itself. Built in 1939, it housed up to 200 Swiss Guards who protected the Simplon Pass and the Simplon railway tunnel during WWII.

Naters is a bit like a little underground village, and it was a secret base until 2002, after which it was made into a museum in 2006.

Inside you will learn about the history of the Swiss Guards, why they go to Rome, plus see historical photos and portraits. You will also find personal items donated by guards to get a sense of who they really were/are.

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When is the best time to visit Brig, Switzerland?

The best time of year to visit Brig, Switzerland, depends on what you want to get out of your experience there. Would you like it to be sunny, warm, and ripe for hiking in the mountains or covered with snow so you can ski?

If you are looking for a warmer experience, May and June are the best time to be in Brig. The weather is excellent, the mountains are accessible, and it is before the high season of July & August so you will benefit from a quieter town and more affordable accommodation rates.

For those who want to combine discovering Brig with some skiing, any time from December to March is an excellent time to visit.

What is the language spoken in Brig, Switzerland?

Being located in the Canton of Valais, where 62.6% of the population speak Swiss German, it makes sense that Swiss German is the most common language in Brig.

But, up to 50% of Swiss people are multilingual and can often speak French, Italian, or English, so chances are you can get by if you don’t speak any German.

Is Brig, Switzerland Worth Visiting?

Brig, is 100% worth visiting in my eyes. It is an alpine town drenched in history that sits within a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Swiss Alps.

Between the stunning natural surroundings to explore, the immense history of the town, the Simplon Pass, and all the other great things to do in the town, it is a place everyone should spend a few nights in while traveling in Switzerland.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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