WHAT TO DO IN ST.MORITZ, ENGADIN
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN ST.MORITZ, ENGADIN
- 2 TRAVEL TIPS FOR ST. MORITZ
- 3 THINGS TO DO IN ST.MORITZ
- 3.1 MORITZ TOWN CENTER
- 3.2 PIZ CORVATSCH
- 3.3 MUOTTAS MURAGL
- 3.4 CORVIGLIA
- 3.5 PIZ NAIR
- 3.6 DIAVOLEZZA
- 3.7 WALKS IN ST. MORITZ – LAKE ST. MORITZ AND LAKE SILSER
- 3.8 MALOJA
- 3.9 MORTERATSCH GLACIER
- 3.10 CASCADA DA BERNINA
- 3.11 BERNINA EXPRESS
- 3.12 WATERSPORTS
- 3.13 6-LAKE-HIKE – WASSERWEG
- 3.14 ALP DA COVLAC AND LÄGH DA CAVLOC
- 3.15 HIKE FROM MURTEL – FUORCLA SURLEJ – VAL ROSEG – PONTRESINA
- 4 FINAL THOUGHTS ON TOP ACTIVITIES IN ST. MORITZ
St. Moritz is a premium winter destination in Switzerland – but it is also the perfect travel destination year-round. Yes, St. Moritz and Upper Engadin are a perfect little dream.
First of all, St. Moritz and the Engadin Valley are extremely picturesque – really, really picturesque. Second, there is a lot to do in St. Moritz – even if you come here outside of the winter season.
So, if you are wondering about the best things to do in St. Moritz – where to go and what to do, you will find the answers here. I’ll also share some travel tips for your trip to St. Moritz.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR ST. MORITZ
- St. Moritz is the capital of the Engadin Valley located in Graubünden (Grison), the biggest canton (state) in Switzerland.
- It is located at about 1800 meters above sea level. In summer, this means the climate is more pleasant than in many other Swiss destinations. When it gets hot, St. Moritz is the place to be. And if it is not hot, St.Moritz is still the place to be.
St. Moritz has two main seasons: the winter season and then the other months.
The winter season in St. Moritz is long. Due to its high elevation, heavy snowfalls can occur in early November, but most ski lifts operate from the end of November until the end of April.
Many of the activities mentioned here can be done in the winter season as well. However, I recommend checking out my St. Moriz winter guide if you visit during those months.
I suggest visiting from late May to mid-October – before and after, many cable cars/funiculars do not operate because they take a break before/after the winter season. If you could choose the month of your visit, I suggest coming here in October. Fall foliage is next level in St. Moritz because of the many larches – it actually is one of the best places to visit in the fall.
BERGBAHNEN INKLUSIVE – TICKET
If you stay at least two nights at one of the participating hotels, you get a pass called the “Bergbahnen Inklusive.” This means that you can use local buses and trains in the region + get free use of the 13 cable cars/funiculars – without any extra costs. Yes, without extra costs.
Switzerland is expensive (here are some tips on how to save money in Switzerland), and St. Moritz is super expensive – this pass allows you to save money because most activities will be free then. So, if you are considering staying one night, reconsider and make it two nights so you get that pass.
As not all hotels take part in the program, I will only recommend some hotels later where you can get these passes if you stay 2+ nights.
HOW TO GET TO ST. MORITZ
Even though St. Moritz is a high-altitude village, it is easily accessible via car, train, or even bus.
- A fantastic way to get to St. Moritz is via train. On your way, you will get an idea of what all the fuss is about when you see this winter wonderland.
- St. Moritz is the starting/endpoint on the Glacier Express and can also be added to the Bernina Express train route – so you can combine a trip with a train ride.
- The train station is very small and located next to St. Moritz Lake. Instead of regular taxis, which you normally see all over Switzerland, black Mercedes are lined up, waiting for customers.
- The village of St. Moritz is located further uphill, so if you have heavy luggage, you might want to take a taxi or bus.
- There are also hotels in the lower part of the village – check out where exactly you are staying beforehand.
- You can also get to St. Moritz by car. Just be aware that depending on where you are coming from, you may have to drive through some mountain passes. If the mountain passes are open in the winter, they are cleared. However, not everyone is confident driving in Switzerland in winter – especially not in the mountains.
- Also, if you get to St. Moritz, make sure to book a hotel with available parking.
- And while I have not spent much time in the village center of St. Moritz, I have seen the police several times fining people for illegal parking.
HOW TO GET AROUND
St. Moritz village is quite small so you can walk to many places. But if you want to visit the lower part of St. Moritz (St. Moritz Bad) or venture out to some of the mountain peaks, I recommend using public transportation.
- There are buses between St. Moritz Village, St. Moritz Bad, and all other villages in the area. You also have trains that get you comfortably to several attractions in the area. So, you will be fine with getting around just via public transportation.
- Driving is another alternative. The roads and streets are in a good condition and cleared. Keep in mind that parking can be tricky in some busy areas, though.
- Getting around via taxi or helicopter is also quite popular, though way more expensive – especially the latter one.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST. MORITZ
There is no shortage of luxury hotels in St. Moritz but I have also listed some more affordable accommodations for your trip. All three of the hotels offer the “Bergbahnen Inklusive” ticket, which means free train and bus rides in the area, plus free usage of cable cars/funiculars.
- LUXURY: This luxury hotel has everything you are looking for when booking a 5-star hotel in St. Moritz. From an extensive spa area to a lounge and bar area, luxurious hotel rooms and suites, and more.
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Corvatsch is a 3-star hotel located in the lower part of St. Moritz. and only a 3-minute walk from the lake and the Signal Cable Car.
- BUDGET: The St. Moritz Youth Hostel is situated at the edge of the forest in the lower part of St. Moritz. During the day, there is a bus that gets you to the St. Moritz train station. The rooms all have shared bathrooms, and breakfast is always included – you cannot find a better deal in all of St. Moritz.
THINGS TO DO IN ST.MORITZ
So, without further ado, here are the best things to do in St. Moritz.
MORITZ TOWN CENTER
Okay, St. Moritz is surely NOT the prettiest town in Switzerland. However, it is interesting to stroll the “town of the rich” with all the fancy shops lined up. Those shops are often also the prettiest buildings in the town center.
You will not need much time to walk around the village center – 30-60 minutes should be enough if you just do window shopping.
What a view! For the best panorama, make sure to go to the top of Piz Corvatsch which is a mountain peak in the Bernina Range of the Alps. It is the highest peak, at about 3300 meters above sea level, in a region easily accessible via cable car/funicular.
The views are AMAZING. In all honesty, this was my favorite view in all of St. Moritz and Engadin (and there is quite a bit of competition) – if not in ALL of Switzerland.
On the one side, you have a fantastic panorama of Lake Sils, Lake Silvaplana, and Lake Cahmpfer with the mountains in the background, and on the other side, you have the mighty glaciers.
It is also the perfect starting point for certain hikes – I will talk about those later on. But even if you are not into hiking…the views…the views!
- HOW TO GET THERE: You need to get to Corvatsch Talstation Surlej (1870 meters) by bus. Then take the gondola to Corvatsch Mittelstation Murtel (2702 meters) before getting on another gondola that will bring you up Corvatsch Bergstation.
Another popular mountain excursion is the Muottas Muragl at 2455 meters above sea level. It is a location on the southern slopes of the Blais da Muottas, a summit at the western end of the range descending from Piz Vadret.
These views are said to be the most beautiful in Engadin because you have the Engadin Valley – between the towns of Samedan, St. Moritz, and Pontresina – laid out before you. The panorama is indeed great, though I am not sure if it is the best. I liked the views from Piz Corvatsch even more. This, however, is one of the best spots to watch the sunset.
Besides a mountain restaurant, this is the perfect starting point for some hikes.
- HOW TO GET THERE: Just take the no. 1 bus from St. Moritz train station to Punt Muragl station, and from there, hop on the funicular, which will drop you off directly at the top.
Engadin is all about great mountain excursions – like Corviglia at 2,489 meters above sea level.
Corviglia is a location on the eastern slopes of Piz Nair, overlooking St. Moritz. The view of the Upper Engadin lakes and the glaciated Bernina Massif is simply drop-dead gorgeous.
Actually, this is probably the best view you can get from St. Moritz itself – and it is probably the easiest mountain trip since the station is located in the center of St. Moritz.
From there, you can continue your trip to Piz Nair. Just hop on the next gondola.
- HOW TO GET THERE: From St. Moritz, take a funicular that takes you to Corviglia. The funicular station is located in the village center of St. Moritz. Get off at the bus stop marked “Schulplatz” and walk for 2 minutes – you cannot miss it.
For one of the highest viewpoints (easily accessible via cable car/gondola), head to Piz Nair, which is at 3,057 meters. At the top of Piz Nair, you will also find a stately ibex, head bowed, overlooking the Upper Engadin at its feet.
You can enjoy wonderful views of Muottas Muragl mountain, the Piz Palü, the Bernina region, Corvatsch, and more. The views are splendid, but there are even better views elsewhere. So, if you are short on time, I would honestly recommend going up Piz Corvatsch.
- HOW TO GET THERE: In Corviglia, hop on a gondola and go up to Piz Nair.
Another top mountain excursion is Diavolezza, which is a col and ski resort above Val Bernina. The col has an altitude of 2,958 meters and is located between Munt Pers and Piz Trovat. You can see the 4000-meter Piz Bernina and the impressive Piz Palü rise up before you, as well as the Pers Glacier and Morteratsch Glacier beneath your feet.
Oh wow! I visited here twice at the end of October and in summer – both trips were amazing. Also, this cable car operates while other cable cars are already closed in October.
On the way up, you have several stunning lakes below your feet – what a view!
Also, the virtual reality experience at the valley station is free. You get some interesting background information on glaciers and more.
In summer, you can also book some time at the hot tub, which comes with a view of the glacier. Yes, the Swiss know how to make money.
- HOW TO GET THERE: Diavolezza is located a bit further from St. Moritz. Take a local train to Tirano and get out at Bernina Diavolezza (about 45 minutes). You will pass the Morteratsch Glacier and enjoy some amazing window views along the way.
WALKS IN ST. MORITZ – LAKE ST. MORITZ AND LAKE SILSER
Beautiful Engadin is made for long or short walks (we will talk about the hikes later). It’s perfect for easy, intermediate, or challenging walks or hikes. You can choose some walks/hikes up in the mountains or just walk along the 4 lakes in St. Moritz.
Walking around three of the lakes – either St. Moritz Lake, Silser Lake, or Silvaplana Lake – is one of the easier walks, with basically no incline/decline. However, some parts of the lakes are not very pedestrian-friendly (like the southern shores of Lake Sils, for example, so you might want to take a bus one way).
Another beautiful, half-day trip to take from St. Moritz could be Maloja. Maloja lies at the western end of Lake Silvaplana and connects the Upper Engadin Lake District and the Graubünden’s southern valley of Bergell.
The bus (or car) ride from St. Moritz alone is worth it – you will pass all four lakes (St. Moritz, Champfer, Silvaplana, and Sils) with the Alps in the background.
What a fantastic view! Get out at Maloja Post station and walk towards the viewing point. It is an easy walk, and from there, you have an amazing panorama!
The Morteratsch Glacier is the third largest, and by volume, the most massive glacier in the eastern Alps. But most of all, it just looks amazing. Absolutely amazing!
Best of all: You can easily spot it. Whether you are in a car or on a train, the Morteratsch Glacier is so impressive that you will see it even from a distance. However, you can also get close to it and combine it with a beautiful walk (or let´s say an easy hike). It is just 50 minutes on foot from the railway station of Morteratsch, and it’s really a must-see in Engadin.
On your way, you’ll find 16 posts that will give you information about the receding glacier and the mystical lifeforms left in its wake.
- HOW TO GET THERE: Morteratsch Glacier is not directly in St. Moritz, but you can get there by a local train and get off at Morteratsch train station. If you want to enjoy the glacier from the train, then stay on the train and ride for one more stop. Sit on the right side and choose a compartment where you can open the windows.
CASCADA DA BERNINA
When at the Mortaratsch Glacier, make sure to also do a quick and easy walk to the Cascada da Bernina which is a waterfall from the mountain stream “Ova da Bernina” which plunges over two hundred meters in altitude down to the valley.
HOW TO GET THERE: The access to the waterfall is located between the Morteratsch railway station and the car park. The path then leads up to several waterfall platforms. The hike takes about 10-15 minutes (one way) and includes some uphill walking (about 90 meters) over 600 meters.
The Bernina Express is a train connecting Chur in Switzerland to Poschiavo in Switzerland and Tirano in Italy by crossing the Swiss Engadin Alps. For most of its journey, the train also runs along the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina landscapes.
You can start the trip in St. Moritz. And what should I say? Oh my! Oh my. I have done this ride probably 10 times and oh my! This is beyond awesome. You will pass so many amazing places along the journey – from Lago Blanco and Bernina Ospizio, to Alp Grüm, Poschiavo, and the Morteratsch Glacier.
You do not have to take the official “Bernina Express,” but instead take the local trains that have the same route.
TIP: Take the train from St.Moritz to Tiefencastel (one of the most amazing parts of the train ride, where you also cross the Landwasser Viaduct Bridge), and then change trains and head back to Pontresina and continue your journey towards Tirano.
If you do not want to spend much time on the train, I suggest only going to Alp Grüm (and do not go all the way to Italy) before returning “home.”
If you visit St. Moritz, one of the first things you might notice are the many, many, many wind and kite-surfers on Lake St.Moritz, and even more so on Lake Silvaplana.
This view is spectacular. With the colorful boats and kites, it is so interesting to watch the people enjoying the windy conditions (normally after 10-11 am each day in the summer months) and doing watersports.
Known as the “the famous Maloja wind,” this is the place to go for watersport lovers. Even if you are not into wind or kite-surfing, you can do SUP, kayaking, or just take a dip. The lakes in Upper Engadin are a dream come true for water sports lovers.
6-LAKE-HIKE – WASSERWEG
You have a couple of 5-lake or 6-lake hikes throughout Switzerland, so it does not come as a surprise that St.Moritz has its own version of a 6-lake hike (also known as the Wasserweg).
It is a beautiful hike that does include some uphill walking (from Furtschellas station at 2313 to Lejin Megnetit at about 2600 meters), but it is an overall easy hike that is a 6-km-long loop and should take about 3 hours without any breaks.
The small alpine lakes look pretty with the stunning scenery in the background – perfect for families and anyone who likes mountain lakes that come without too much effort.
How to get there: Go to Furtschellas cable car station and go up to Furtschellas La Chüdera.
ALP DA COVLAC AND LÄGH DA CAVLOC
A popular mountain lake, especially amongst locals, is tucked away behind Majola. Lake Cavloc (or Lägh da Cavloc) at 1907 meters is only reachable after an easy hike, which includes some uphill walking.
Once you reach the lake, you will quickly see why it is such a popular place – it is a perfect bathing lake (though the water is not really that warm) and you have the option to enjoy some time at the lake, including having a picnic, BBQ, or doing another hike around the lake.
You also have a restaurant at the lake (bring cash, they do not accept credit cards), which comes with great views.
The hike is scenic and worth your effort, so go for it!
- HOW TO GET THERE: Take the bus to Majola Post (1815 meters above sea level) and then start your walk towards Lägh da Cavloc.
HIKE FROM MURTEL – FUORCLA SURLEJ – VAL ROSEG – PONTRESINA
It is time to talk about one of my all-time favorite hikes – from Corvatsch Mittelstation (Murtel) to Fuorcla Surlej, and then to Val Roseg, and from there to Pontresina.
This a to b hike is for the books – you have one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, the mighty Roseg Glacier, and more. No, this lake will not disappoint.
This hike includes first some uphill walking (from 2698 meters to 2743 meters) and then it is a steep downhill walk to Val Roseg and the restaurant where I recommend taking a break.
It is another 5-kilometer-long, beautiful walk to Pontresina (1774 meters above sea level), but if you have energy left, you can walk closer to Roseg Lake and Roseg Glacier, which takes about 1 hour (one way).
- HOW TO GET THERE: Start your hike at Corvatsch Mittelstation – the hike ends in Pontresina. If you prefer uphill hiking, then do the hike the other way around.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TOP ACTIVITIES IN ST. MORITZ
St. Moritz is, without a doubt, a top destination in Switzerland. Though I have been to Switzerland many times, I always – more or less – avoided St. Moritz, but when I stayed there for a few days, I was smitten. Not only smitten, but in love – I truly enjoyed my trip to St. Moritz and Engadin, and have visited several times within the last 12 months. And I will revisit because it is worth it and there is so much to do in St. Moritz.
Hopefully, this post has helped you to find out more about things to do in St. Moritz and Upper Engadin – whenever you visit ENJOY!