Visiting Gstaad and you’re not sure how to spend your time in the area? Then you’ve come to the right place because this detailed guide lists all the best attractions in Gstaad!
The upscale resort in the Alps has always been a popular tourist destination in Switzerland, particularly among those with thicker wallets. It’s a great place for fine dining, upscale shopping, and luxurious hotel vacations, but the village also has lots to offer to travelers who are more interested in the surrounding mountains and nature than in ways to spend money.
From the best hotels in the village to unique landmarks and attractions – here are all the best things to do in Gstaad, Switzerland!
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Gstaad promenade is the main walking street in the heart of the village. It’s where the best hotels in town are situated, as well as the prime location for shopping and fine dining in the village.
The great thing about the beautiful Gstaad promenade is that it looks like something out of a fairytale no matter when you visit. During the warmer months, the hotels and traditional houses are adorned with countless flower pots, which add an abundance of color to the heart of the village.
In the winter months, the entire street is adorned with Christmas decorations, so the flower pots are swapped for Christmas trees and fairy lights. The promenade looks a bit more magical in the winter thanks to all the beautiful decorations and sparkly lights, especially under the white cover of snow.
Kunsteisbahn Gstaad Ice Rink (In Winter)
If you visit Gstaad between October and mid-March, you’ll get the opportunity to go ice skating in the heart of the village. Kunsteisbahn Gstaad Ice Rink is situated on the Gstaad promenade, surrounded by charming townhouses.
Ice skating in the heart of Gstaad is truly a magical experience, and certainly one of the top activities during the winter. Just keep in mind that it’s not a free ice rink – the entrance fee is around 8 CHF for adults, and it costs just as much to rent ice skates directly at the rink.
It’s worth noting that there’s no lack of fun at this location in the summer either – the annual beach volleyball championship is held at this same location, so if you visit the village in the summer, you could still witness a spectacle in the heart of Gstaad.
Vintage Train Ride On The GoldenPass Line
The GoldenPass Belle Époque is arguably the most romantic train in the entire country. If you’re traveling to Gstaad with a partner and you want to enjoy some quality time together, consider booking a ride on this wonderful train.
The train is modeled after the Golden Mountain Pullman Express, a train from the 1930s that was built in the Orient Express style. So, even though the outside and the inside of the Swiss train feel like you’ve traveled back in time, you’re still getting all the benefits of modern trains, just with that vintage feel.
The Belle Époque interior of the train is absolutely fascinating and it will make you feel like royalty. This train runs every day between Montreux and Zweisimmen, and you can choose the ride the train in either direction.
From Gstaad, it’s only about 30 minutes to Zweisimmen by this train, and 2nd class tickets are only some 11 CHF. This is the best option if you just want to experience the train without spending too much money, but you could also stay on the train for the entire journey and admire the beautiful nature along the way.
Eggli is Gstaad’s local mountain and a great hub for all the foodies in town. It is easily accessible by both bus and cable car, and a couple of great restaurants await near the top station. Taste some delicious Swiss specialties while enjoying incredible panoramic views of Gstaad village – what’s not to love about that?
The mountaintop also offers beautiful panoramic views of the lovely village and the nature that surrounds it, so there’s merit to riding the cable car even if you have no interest in the food. Also, keep in mind that the Gstaad surroundings are popular for cross-country skiing in the winter, and all the cable cars take visitors to mountain peaks where they can discover numerous ski pistes.
On the other hand, visitors who travel to Gstaad during the warmer part of the year can discover the countless mountain trails in the area. The ski pistes turn into hiking trails, and the outdoor terraces at the mountaintop restaurants are a bit more enjoyable where there’s no snow on the ground.
Glacier 3000 is a ski resort about half an hour outside Gstaad. It’s only 20 minutes if you’ve got a car and you’re fine driving on your own, but it will take around 30 minutes if you take the local bus.
Although this is a ski resort, it’s equally popular during the warmer months of the year. In the winter, Glacier 3000 attracts skiers from all over the world to its magical pistes, but during the summer the area is popular with hikers and outdoor adventurers.
There’s something magical about seeing an actual glacier in the midst of a summer month, especially when the view is coupled with a panoramic bridge crossing and a thrilling toboggan ride.
It’s worth noting that there’s a cable car station in the area, which can transport you to other nearby peaks in the Alps. If you have enough time, you can also attempt the Tissot Peak Walk – walk over a suspension bridge that connects two mountain peaks! It’s a thrilling experience perfect for the more adventurous visitors, just keep in mind that it’s not open year-round.
Le Petit Chalet
Le Petit Chalet is a cozy local restaurant in the gardens of Le Grand Bellevue Hotel. If you want to taste some delicious Swiss food in a cozy setting, this is easily one of the best restaurants in Gstaad to visit.
It’s situated a bit outside the heart of the village, but still no more than a 5-minute walk from the village center. The restaurant is inside a log cabin, and everything about it is inspired by Swiss tradition. The furniture, the decorations, and even the menu are all obviously Swiss, which just adds a whole new level to the experience of fine dining.
This isn’t a restaurant for people who like to dress up nice and enjoy a decadent night out. You’ll be sitting on tiny wooden stools in a tiny log cabin, so it’s a more casual place. Nonetheless, the food here is absolutely delicious – the menu is short and to the point, featuring only the best local delicacies you could ask for in Gstaad. But overall, it is quite a romantic place to come with that special someone.
You wouldn’t think it if you knew nothing about the village, but Gstaad is an excellent place for high-end shopping. The resort town has always been popular with the rich and famous, partly because of its excellent hotels and ski pistes, and partly because of the many boarding schools where the richest send their children.
Therefore, it makes sense that you’d find the likes of Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabanna along the main promenade of this village. That’s also why so many hotels in this village are upscale and expensive, as well as why some of the restaurants are priced as if you’re having dinner at Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, and not in the village in the middle of the Alps.
In any case, if you’re in the mood to burn through some hard-earned money, the shops along Gstaad’s main promenade are ideal for you.
Alpina Gstaad is one of the most popular hotels in the village. It’s a luxurious hotel with fine dining restaurants, a posh spa center, and spacious modern rooms. The hotel is very popular with guests who come to Gstaad to ski, but also among those who just want to be pampered during their exploration of the village.
The hotel boasts a heated outdoor pool that you can comfortably swim in when there is snow on the ground, for an epic relaxing experience. There’s also an indoor pool at the Alpina Gstaad, a fitness center, and a multitude of international restaurants.
It’s worth noting that this is a luxurious hotel, so the rooms are quite pricey. If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation in the village this definitely isn’t the right place for you, but if you’ve got money to spend and you enjoy the finer things in life, the Alpina is easily one of the top destinations in the village.
Fondue Caquelon Cheese Grotto
Fondue Caquelon Cheese Grotto is a popular hiking area near Gstaad and a great place to visit if you want to discover a unique tourist attraction in the region. But you shouldn’t go empty-handed – first, you should reserve a fondue backpack at any one of the dairy shops in Gstaad. Then pick up that backpack the next day, and make your way to the cheese grotto.
It’s only about a 45-minute hike from the train station in Gstaad, plus it’s accessible by public transport. When you arrive at the destination, you can enjoy your fondue just how it was intended!
After you’ve devoured all the delicious melted cheese, don’t forget to stop by the actual cheese grotto and see where the thousands of Swiss cheeses in the area are stored.
It’s worth noting that there’s only one fondue picnic area here, so head there early for the best chance of getting the spot. It’s not possible to make reservations for groups of less than six people, but you can always set up a picnic somewhere else in the area!
Hot Air Ballooning
If you want to go hot air ballooning in Switzerland, you’ll be glad to know that you can do it while you’re in Gstaad. The rides are organized in the winter, usually during January and February, so don’t miss out if you happen to visit Gstaad during that time.
You can choose from a variety of different offers. Some will include some sort of food during the flight and others won’t, plus you can choose whether you want to ride alone or with someone. The experience of flying over Gstaad in a hot air balloon and seeing the landscapes from above is absolutely magical, but it’s only for those with deeper pockets.
The rides start at around 450 CHF for a single person, and they just go up. It’s much more expensive if you want to ride in a balloon for two, and it’s even pricier if you want to be served some cheese while you’re in the air. Nonetheless, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and worth it if you can afford it without breaking the bank.
Gstaad Palace Hotel
Gstaad Palace Hotel is one of the best hotels in the village and a great place to stay if you’re looking for upscale accommodation in the village. Boasting spacious and beautifully decorated rooms, an excellent spa center with indoor and outdoor pools, and some amazing restaurants, you won’t ever have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to.
This castle hotel is situated just outside the heart of the village, so you’re within walking distance of all the most popular shops, restaurants, and attractions. Also, there’s a sports shop directly at the hotel, for all the guests who traveled to the village for the excellent skiing opportunities but are lacking some of the necessary equipment.
Mirage Gstaad is a unique tourist attraction that you can only hope will be available when you visit the place. It’s an art installation by Doug Aitken, which consists of a house fully covered in mirrors. Mirages usually happen in the desert, and the American artist wanted to attempt to recreate the experience in the snowy Alps.
This isn’t a permanent installation, so you’ll need a stroke of luck to visit it during your trip. The last time the Mirage Gstaad was open for visits was in March-May of 2022, and there’s currently no information about the timing of the next exhibit. Keep tabs on Doug Aitken’s website, if this art installation is something you really want to see during your travels in Switzerland.
Lauenensee (or Lake Lauenen) is a beautiful wildlife refuge just outside of Gstaad. From the resort village, you can either take the bus or drive to the lake, and the ride doesn’t take more than 25-30 minutes.
Buses transport passengers between Gstaad and Lake Lauenen throughout the entire year, but the bus schedule differs depending on the season. In any case, it’s possible to travel to this wonderful place whenever you visit, and you can also just drive on your own if you’re traveling with a car.
Lauenensee is an absolutely magical place that you need to see with your own eyes to believe. Its beauty is out of this world, and it’s guaranteed to leave you speechless for at least a moment or two. This is one of the best-hidden gems near Gstaad, and a great attraction to visit if you don’t want to spend your time in hotels, shops, and restaurants.