Visp is a stunning Swiss village that lies in the Valais Canton of western Switzerland. Sitting on the foothills of the alps, along the Rhone River, and with views down to Lake Geneva, the natural surroundings of Visp are incredible. And, it’s the gateway to Zermatt, so you can’t really go wrong, can you?
I find Switzerland’s scenery, such as the mountains, lakes, and rivers completely addictive and when visiting Switzerland, I have to be near them, so Visp is an ideal village for me. But, there is a lot more to it than that!
Whether you are looking for a base to ski from in winter, great shows at an old theater, markets, vineyards, and more, Visp has got it going on.
Join me as I run through all the great things to do in Visp so that you can enjoy the best of this charming Swiss village when you visit.
Table of Contents
Catch A Show At La Poste Theater
You might not have thought that you could catch an internationally recognized show in the old town of Visp and in an old, stunning theater no less. I love going out to the theater in the evenings, so this little addition to Visp is awesome in my eyes.
The La Poste theater is built inside an ancient trading post where traders arrived with their horse-drawn carriages and exchanged goods, transferring them to donkeys to get them up the mountains.
Then, in the 1990s, the building was turned into a hotel, restaurant, and theater. The theater is stunningly decorated, has great acoustics, and can seat up to 600 people. It usually hosts ballets and operas. Concerts, dance shows, and lots more.
Check out the website here where you can see what shows are coming up, book your tickets, and even book dinner at the restaurant before or after the performance.
Taste Some Rare & Delicious Wines
Visp is home to some of the highest-altitude vineyards in the country but before we take a look at visiting those, you need to go and try some Chanton Weine.
Chanton Weine, from the Chanton family, is unique and rare as they have been cultivating and maintaining specific grape varieties since the 1940s. This means a trip to the Chanton Weine store to do a tasting is a must if you are into wine.
You will find that Chanton wine is made from the Lafnetscha grape, which was brought back pretty much from extinction in the 1970s as well as four other very rare varieties including Himbertscha, Gwäss, Eyholzer Red, and Plantscher.
Explore Visp’s Old Town & Finish At Pürumärt
A stroll around Visp’s old town won’t take you very long considering it is not that big of town and is more of a village in my eyes. But, it should not be missed, and ending it with a lively market event is a great way of doing it.
Enjoy strolling along the Rhone river and up the Vispa river that joins it until you reach the old town. You will find charming cobbled streets, stunning architecture, old churches, great restaurants, and local cafes too.
Once you are done with the old town, make your way over to Pürumärt. Pürumärt is a weekly market held in the town every Friday evening and is a fantastic place to hang out. This is more of a market where everyone hangs out, drinks some wine, and enjoys some local produce.
Take a look at all the stalls, buy some local produce from the region, have some wine, and get sociable with the locals.
Hike The Old Irrigation Channels & Chapel Trail
Being located in the foothills of the Swiss alps there are some fantastic hiking trails available from Visp, and going for a hike into the mountains is a must when in Switzerland, well for me it is.
One of the coolest hiking trails in the area is the old chapel trail and the Bodmeri – Beitra irrigation channel. You will hike from chapel to chapel stopping to see the stunning sculptures each one has as well as great architecture and lots more.
While seeing the chapels is lovely, the views as you climb in altitude only get better as you rise up the mountains. Once you have done the chapels, you start hiking the old irrigation channels that date back to 1915.
They were built to bring water from the Nanztal valley and today you can hike up them to see the magical 4000-meter peaks of the alps.
Enjoy Some Stunning Watersports On The Rhone
If you are visiting Visp during the summer, then why not take to the waters of the Rhone and the surrounding rivers for a day of adventure?
The company, Valrafting, whose website you can find here offers whitewater rafting, canoeing, canyoning, and even whitewater swimming.
Whitewater rafting along the Rhone is stunning. The river is crystal clear, the surrounding scenery is beautiful, and it is a crazy fun adventure.
One of my favorite alpine activities is canyoning. This is where you hike to the top of a small stream and then jump down all its waterfalls to the end. It is so much fun and a real rush at the same time.
There are lots of different options to choose from with multiple rivers and more. The guides at Valrafting are excellent and they include transport for your trip too.
Brigerbad: Soak In Thermal Baths Near Visp
Just a few minutes down the road from Visp are the awesome thermal baths of Brigerbad. It is an excellent place for both adults and kids as it has a huge thermal spring water slide, swimming pools, and lots more.
Adults can soak in the thermal pool which is fed by natural springs and will keep you toasty at 34-37°C. Let your muscles relax and have all that hiking, cycling, or skiing stress leave your body.
There is also a sports pool which is 28-30°C where you can enjoy jumping off the rocks and there is even a river pool, which is the same temperature and takes you with the current. Pretty cool right?
The biggest attraction, even for the adults, is the 182-meter water slide which is a ton of fun. There is even an Olympic Swimming Pool, perfect for fitness, and a specific kids’ pool too!
A day here isn’t complete without trying out the 16 different thermal baths as well as strolling around the lovely gardens. You can also book beauty treatments at the spa and lots more.
Hike Visp’s Vineyard Trail
Sitting above Visp are the highest vineyards in Europe – Visperterminen. And it would be a crime not to go on a hike through them.
Not only will you learn a lot about the wines but you will also hike through a stunning forest and see incredible views of the alpine peaks and the Rhone valley below.
The vineyards of Visperterminen sit at 1150 meters above sea level and create a special variety of wine called Heida. Once you climb up through the forest and into the vineyards, you will find beautiful terraces of vines.
Along the way, there are 17 panels that will teach you about the wine. The information includes how they make the wine, the grape types used, and the history of winemaking in the region too.
The hike beings at Visperterminen and ends at St. Johann Kellerei, and there are signs that show you the route as you go. While in the vineyards be aware that patches are owned but co-ops and families, with 1500 different spots across them.
At the end of your hike, you can head to one of the wineries and enjoy a tasting if you like, or head back down to the village of Visp.
Trielmuseum Eggerberg: Step Back In Time
The Trielmuseum Eggerberg is a museum just across the valley from the main center of Visp. It is well worth a visit if you want to learn a bit about the history of Visp and how it was to live there centuries ago.
The museum is home to an apartment that dates back to 1701 but was lived in until 1985, how crazy is that? Walking through the apartment is like literally stepping back in time as it is exactly as it was back then.
You will find everything from original family and religious decorations on the walls, to tools used for farming and keeping the house clean and more. The furniture is also original too and as you go on a guided tour around the museum, you will learn exactly how peasant culture was in Visp.
There are lots more things to see in the museum too, so for a dash of extra history and culture, be sure to visit it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Visp Switzerland worth visiting?
Visp is worth visiting if you love alpine scenery and activities as well as learning about Swiss wine and culture. There are a lot of things to do in the area and you are right on the doorstep of places like Zermatt, Saas Fee and other Rhone Valley gems.
What language is spoken in Visp?
The majority of the people in Visp speak German and the local dialect Walliserdeutsch. There are also a number of immigrants speaking both Portuguese and Italian.
How big is Visp?
Visp is a relatively small Swiss city covering an area of around 13 km2 and has a population of only 8000 people. It is growing quite fast though with the recent expansion of the pharmaceutical company Lonza in the city.