Things To Do In Davos (Must-See Attractions & Fun Activities)

things to do davos
Last updated: June 23rd, 2023

Davos is a stunning alpine town in the canton of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland. If you are a fan of skiing, chances are you have already heard of Davos, and it is also a world-renowned ski resort.

Sitting at 1,560 meters (5,120 feet) above sea level between the Pleasure and Albula Ranges of the Swiss Alps and on the banks of the river Landwasser, Davos is a bit of an alpine paradise and there is no wonder why it is home to around 11,000 people.

Historically, Davos was first populated in the 13th century when people from the upper Valais region decided to make it their home. It then became more popular in the 1800s as a wellness resort and then finally in the 1900s, it transformed into one of the top ski areas in Switzerland.

Something you might not know about Davos is that it is also the host of the World Economic Forum, and has been since 1971.

It is safe to say that a visit to Davos would certainly be a memorable one, but what are all the great things to do in Davos while you are there? Well, there is a lot to choose from and it all depends a little bit on what time of year you choose to visit.

Join me as I run through all the great things to do in Davos from amazing sights to museums, as well as great winter and summer activities. By the end of the article, you will be able to build a list of must-dos and sees for your next trip there.

Sertig Valley

Sertig Valley
Sertig Valley

An experience you shouldn’t miss while staying in Davos is a visit to the Sertig Valley. Carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, its jagged cliffs, forests, and lush meadows are a sight to behold.

To reach the valley, you can catch the 308 bus from Davos Platz and in just 20 minutes you will arrive at the end of the valley.

There is a small river running along the valley floor which feeds into the Landwasser and you will find a lot of hiking trails that take you further into the valley if you want to explore.

As you stroll around, you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer scale of cliff faces around you and be charmed by the green pastures that are used as alpine farmland.

At the end of the valley, if you make it there, you will get to see the peaks of Hoch Ducan, Mittaghorn, and Plattenfluh towering above.

It is also well worth stopping off at the small traditional alpine village of Sertig Dörfli which dates back to the 13th century. It is a brilliant example of alpine culture and architecture, plus there is a restaurant where you can enjoy a spot of lunch along the way.

Lake Davos

Lake Davos
Lake Davos

Sitting just north of Davos is Lake Davos and spending some time around this beautiful lake is a must during your visit.

You can reach Lake Davos in an hour’s walk depending where in Davos you are staying or hop on the 304 bus from Davos Platz to Davos Dorf, Flüelastrasse and walk for 10 minutes to the lake.

The first thing you will notice is how beautiful the lake and surrounding area is. The lake is crystal clear and turquoise with green hills, forests, and mountains surrounding it on every side.

In the winter, the lake freezes over and becomes one of the most stunning natural ice skating rinks. In the summer, the lake is alive with activities.

I highly recommend taking a picnic to one of the many beaches and setting up for the day. You can sunbathe, swim, and take in the stunning scenes around you.

You can also find lots of great hiking trails around the lake, or try your hand at one of many watersports. Hire a SUP and explore, take out pedalos and kayaks, or even use the consistent winds to sail or windsurf.

You will also find lots of hotels, restaurants, and a campsite along the shores of Lake Davos if you would like to eat out or even stay by the lake during your visit.

Flüela Pass

Flüela Pass
Flüela Pass © 2022 IAP Interessengemeinschaft Alpenpässe Postfach

If you are visiting Davos in the summer and love driving then grab a car and head to the Flüela Pass. This is a mountain pass with a road that will test your driving skills and some mountain scenery that might just blow your mind.

It takes around 22 minutes to drive to the pass from Davos, or if you don’t have a car, the 331 bus from Davos Platz follows the pass and will have you there in 45 minutes.

The pass connected the Landwasser Valley with Susch in the Lower Engadin and is closed in winter due to avalanches, so you can only drive it in the summer.

Along the way, you will reach an elevation of 2,383 meters and be able to see views across the Alps that include the 3000+ meter peaks of Flüela Wisshorn and Blackhorn.

See The Viaducts in the Landwasser Valley

Landwasser Viaduct
Landwasser Viaduct © Klosters-Madrisa Bergbahnen AG

The Landwasser Valley, in which Davos is located, is named after the Landwasser River, as one might expect. It is a very long valley stretching a huge 30.5-kilometers (19.0 mi) and the river flows through it for its entirety.

The valley is no doubt beautiful, between the river, meadows, forests, and surrounding mountains, how could it not be? But, the most famous thing about the valley is its viaducts, and they are well worth seeing, along with the valley during your stay.

The most famous viaduct is the Landwasser Viaduct. It is a railway viaduct that was built between 1901 and 1902 and it is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will be amazed at its size as it is 65 meters (213 feet) high and is made up of six arches built from limestone.

The viaduct is used by the Rhaetian Railway and as you stand there looking at this feat of engineering with the magical scenery around you, you’ll sure be glad you visited.

You can also visit some of the less famous viaducts while you are there which include the Solis, Wiesen, and the Schmittentobel Viaduct. However, most people are happy just to see the Landwasser Viaduct

Madrisa Land

Madrisa Land
© Madrisa Land

If you are traveling with young children then you have to take a trip to Madrisa Land, an adventure park in the Madrisa ski resort of Davos Klosters.

It takes about an hour to get to Davos Platz via a train and a gondola ride. Once you are there, you will find a ton of activities for your kids to enjoy in both winter and summer.

There is a marble run, bouncy castle, slides, water games, swings, harnessed climbing walls, tree houses, pony rides, and even an Alpine farmyard/petting zoo.

The area around Madrisa Land is also great for skiing in winter and there are some excellent hiking trails you can access in the summer.

Botanical Garden Alpinum

Botanical Garden Alpinum
Botanical Garden Alpinum © 2023 Schatzalp

The Botanical Garden Alpinum is a place you simply have to see when visiting Davos, especially if you are into plants.

Also known as Alpinum Schatzalp Botanical Garden, the Botanical Garden was founded in 1907 and has been growing bigger and bigger with more and more plants ever since.

Sitting on the edge of Schatzalp mountain, getting there involves taking the Schatzalp funicular which leaves from Davos Platz and takes just 20 minutes. It is then a short easy walk from the station to the gardens, people of any age can make it there without any worries.

What makes the botanical garden so special is the hugely diverse range of alpine flora that calls it home. It also has the largest collection of edelweiss and gentian flowers in the world which is a sight to see.

It is an amazing place to walk around as the views across the valley are stunning as you discover more and more flowers around every turn.

Kirchner Museum Davos

Kirchner Museum Davos
© Kirchner Museum Davos

If you are looking for some culture during your stay in Davos or simply love art then you should head to the Kirchner Museum. It is also a great place to see when the weather isn’t playing ball!

You will find the Kirchner Museum Davos in the center of Davos and it is a museum dedicated to the German artist, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner who moved to Davos in 1917.

He is known as one of the most influential expressionists to have ever lived and as you walk around the museum seeing more than 1500 pieces of his work, you will understand why.

His art captures a lot of the issues we humans are faced with today which are caused by living the Western capital way of life.

Ride The Bernina Express or Glacier Express

Bernina Express
Bernina Express

Both the Bernina & Glacier Express leave from Davos and these are two of the most amazing scenic train rides in the Swiss Alps, and in the world.

The Bernina Express runs from Davos to Tirano in Italy over 4 hours and the Glacier Express via a train from Davos to Filisur, runs between St. Moritz and Zermatt.

These train rides are world-famous as they take you through some of the most amazing scenery the Alps has to offer. You can take a picnic and sit next to the panoramic windows in awe, or be served an incredible lunch along with wine and champagne by the onboard restaurant.

Riding either of these trains is a great addition to a trip to Davos, and I highly recommend using one of them to get to or leave Davos or use both if you can.

Winter Activities

Davos Klosters
Winter in Davos-Klosters

Skiing

Davos is home to the largest ski resort in Switzerland with a ski area that is home to 300 km of stunning ski slopes to match all abilities. There are 50 ski lifts to get you up quickly, so you won’t be waiting around for a ride.

You will find some of the best ski runs in Davos Klosters are the Parsenn ski area and there is also some great skiing to be had in the Jakobshorn and Rinerhorn areas too.

If you love skiing, then Davos will be a playground you simply will not want to leave.

Sledding

If you find yourself in Davos with kids during the winter, taking them sledding is a great way to keep them entertained. You can find quite a few sledding courses close to and even in the town, some of which are more adrenaline-pumping than others.

The Village Sledding track is the easiest one to get to as you simply have to hike up behind Aparthotel Muchetta. Go up as high as you like and then rush back down on the sled.

Davos Klosters also has some great sledding runs and one not to miss is the Rinerhorn sledding run with its 500-meter drop over just 3.5 km.

Ice Skating

Another great winter activity to do with the family is ice skating and you have quite a lot of options in Davos.

My favorite place to ice skate in Davos is on Lake Davos as you get to skate surrounded by nature and the impressive snow-covered landscapes.

You can also skate on the largest mobile artificial ice rink in Switzerland, which is in Davos World of Ice, or head to another natural ice rink in Davos Dorf, Seehofseeli Lake.

There are ice skates available to rent at all the mentioned ice rinks, so grab some skates and get out on the ice.

Wellness

Hard Rock Hotel Davos
Hard Rock Hotel Davos © Booking.com

If you are looking for some pampering or want to rejuvenate your body after a few days of skiing, there are some amazing wellness and spa experiences to be had in Davos.

You can pick from a huge range of treatments including massages, facials, and body wraps as well as use the saunas, steam rooms, and indoor spa pools at one of the many wellness hotels in town.

Some of the top spa hotels to check out are Hard Rock Hotel Davos, Panorama Wellness & Spa, Davos Swiss Mountain Resort, and Waldhotel Davos. Their service is excellent and the spas have stunning views across the mountains.

Winter Hiking

A great way to see the winter wonderland that surrounds Davos is by doing some winter hiking. There are lots of trails to choose from, some of which you can do with the whole family. There is nothing quite like hiking through snow-covered mountains in my eyes, so don’t miss the chance to do so.

There are around 160 km of well-marked trails around Davos to follow and they are snow cleared to make it easier for everyone. You can also find some great trails in Davos Klosters, the Panorama train and scenic loop on Pischa are pretty spectacular.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross-country skiers flock to Davos every year and if you have never tried it, Davos is the place to do it. You will find over 100 km of cross-country trails to choose from ranging from beginner level all the way up to experienced.

There is no better way of seeing the mountains and valleys than doing some cross-country skiing in my eyes. Some of the best trails are in the Avos Nordic Cross-Country stadium in Davos Dorf and on Davos Klosters. Trail maps are also available if you are experienced enough to head out on your own.

Watch An Ice Hockey Match

If the weather is terrible or you love sports, head down to the ​​Vaillant Arena to watch HC Davos play an ice hockey match against their opponents. It is a thrilling experience, to say the least, and the arena is a stunning bit of architecture that is well worth seeing.

The arena can hold around 7,000 people and when booked out, the atmosphere is electric. When you arrive in Davos, head to the arena box office to book your tickets in advance so you do not miss out.

Summer Activities

mountain biking jakobshorn davos
Mountain biking in Jakobshorn, Davos

Hiking

If you are visiting Davos during the summer then you simply have to take advantage of the hundreds of hiking trails available in the area.

There are 700 km of marked trails in Davos, so there is a lot of exploring to be had if you want it. I recommend grabbing a trail map from the tourist office and then you can choose your trails based on difficulty and what you would like to see.

You’ll find some great trails in Davos Klosters, the Kesch Trek, a trail between the famous Flüela Pass and Albula Pass is one not to miss as the scenery is some of the best in the area.

Mountain Biking

Along with 700 km of hiking trails, there are 700 km of mountain biking trails too and you can rent a bike with ease in town if you don’t have one with you.

Grabbing a trail map is a great idea so you can choose the trails that suit you best. You will also be glad to know that Davos has a trail crew that maintains them so they are ready and safe for you to ride down.

If you are an experienced mountain biker, then the trails you won’t want to miss are Jakobshorn – Sertig, Signal, and Chörbschhorn. For beginner mountain bikers, going on a guided session might be best if you want to learn more and improve.

Sailing & Windsurfing

In the summer, Lake Davos has consistent afternoon winds which have given rise to a sailing and windsurfing community.

It is an awesome place to learn to windsurf and/or sail and there are windsurfing and sailing schools in Davos with excellent instructors that will teach you everything you need to know.

If you are experienced, you can rent a board or boat and head out on a sail surrounded by mountains, it is awesome, to say the least.

Swimming & Sunbathing

There is no better way of relaxing during your summer visit to Davos than heading to the shores of Lake Davos for a sunbathing picnic and a refreshing swim.

The beach area around the lake has lovely grass lawns that are perfect for laying on during the summer and having a picnic. Taking a quick dip in the crystal clear waters to cool down and enjoy the views is one of my favorite things to do every summer afternoon in Switzerland.

Paragliding

In the summer, Davos comes alive with paragliders and there is no better way to get your adrenaline going and see unparalleled views of the Alps.

You can book a tandem flight with a qualified instructor or even join a paragliding school where you will learn how to do it for yourself.

There are three paragliding schools in Davos to choose from and be sure to book in advance as it is very weather dependent, so you might have to book out a few days to find a good weather window.

Rock Climbing

There is some great rock climbing to be had around Davos, more specifically in Davos Klosters. You have the choice of quite a few different climbing parks to choose from and they cater to everyone from beginners to serious climbers

Sunnibergbrücke Climbing is home to 20 routes and it rises up some 77 meters, with two multi-rope routes. There are a total of 2300 holds and 600 climbing meters, and the routes range from easy to super difficult.

You can either climb on an outdoor rock in the climbing gardens, on a high bridge pillar or if the weather is bad there is also an indoor climbing hall you can use.

Horse Trekking

A beautiful way to explore Davos’ surrounding mountains in the summer is to go on a horse trek. There are quite a few riding schools in Davos that offer horse trekking and you will be happy to know, the horses are very well-behaved.

Reitschule Davos Judith von Gunten GmbH is one of the top riding schools in Davos where you can learn to ride or book a horse trek into the mountains with your friends and family.

Davos Adventure Park

Davos Adventure Park
© Davos Adventure Park

If you are traveling with your family, then a trip to Davos Adventure Park, often called Adventure Park Davos is a great way to keep the family entertained.

Kids have to be 8 years of age or above to enjoy the activities, of which there are many that adults will also love.

You can try rope climbing on the climbing wall, there are five different courses in the forest canopy to make your way across (with a harness and helmet of course), and even a bike park for kids to enjoy too.

The forest canopy courses involve climbing ladders, scrambling across rope nets, balancing as you move swinging bridges, and more. It is like a fun alpine assault course that everyone enjoys and sleeps very well after a day of rushing around.

You can find the park just outside Davos and it takes just 20 minutes to get there by bus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Davos worth a visit?

Yes, Davos is certainly worth a visit in my opinion as it has so much to offer in every season.

In winter, Davos has amazing winter sports on offer, in summer you can explore the surrounding areas in many ways and enjoy Lake Davos to the max. Then you have the cultural side of Davos and all the wonderful restaurants it has to offer, as well as excellent wellness & spa facilities.

The only tricky bit about visiting Davos is that it is expensive, and we will talk about this a lot more in the section below.

What is Davos, Switzerland known for?

There are about 5 major things that Davos, Switzerland is known for and these include being a health resort, an amazing winter sports resort, hosting the World Economic Forum, mountaineering, and its stunning scenery.

You might not know that Davos is recognized for its mountaineering history as it was from Davos that early mountaineers could access and conquer some of the most famous peaks in the Alps.

In my eyes, that is quite a combination of things to be known for, and it makes Davos somewhere that is certainly worth visiting.

Is Davos, Switzerland expensive?

Yes, Davos is an expensive place to visit, and so is Switzerland in general to be honest. But, your trip to Davos does not have to be that expensive if you are traveling on a budget.

The main costs that you can save on are accommodation and food. Eating out in Davos is expensive and you should expect to pay around $45 USD for a meal in a restaurant, without drinks. But, if you shop at the local supermarket and make your own food, then costs come down a lot.

Accommodation in Davos can cost up to $175 per night for a simple 3-star hotel, but there are hostels where it is $55 a night and if you are there in summer, you can camp for $20 a night.

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