If you’re planning a trip to Engelberg in Switzerland, then the great news is that there’s lots to do in this picturesque Alpine village all year round.
From the thrilling Engelberg Via Ferrata or visiting Mount Titlis, to how to get there and the best hotels in Engelberg, this guide will show you why this is a Swiss destination worth visiting.
Whether you visit Engelberg in winter or summer, this is a place to suit everyone. From winter skiing or summer hiking to mountain excursions and foodie delights, this pretty resort is perfect for as relaxing or active a break as you please.
What will you do? Discover centuries of history, savour countless local cheeses, take a trip to Trübsee and Mount Titlis, sample the waters of the adventure pool or even see world-class ski jumpers in action?
Then there’s a traditional museum, a thrilling rope park, horse-drawn carriage rides and even rustic cable cars designed for farmers. And so much more besides.
Here are 18 of the top things to do in Engelberg – plus how to get there and where to stay.
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18 of the best things to do in Engelberg
Explore the historic Benedictine Monastery
Engelberg’s Benedictine Monastery’s history dates back to the 12th century, and is still home to a local community of monks. It’s also known as Engelberg Abbey or Engelberg Kloster.
The Late Baroque era structure occupies a breathtaking spot, overlooking the Nidwalden Valley.
Visitors to the monastery can see inside the stunning church, take a monastery tour, dine at the restaurant and discover the other businesses now based at the building. These include a florist and Kloster Carpentry.
During summer evenings, one of Switzerland’s largest organs is played during the free recitals that entertain locals and guests alike.
Tackle one of five Via Ferratas
Open during the summer season, the Engelberg region is home to five Via Ferratas.
One of the most challenging is the Fürenwand, an impressively steep course with high walls which is best tackled by experienced climbers.
There are also three Via Ferratas with a medium rating and one that is suitable for beginners.
The equipment you’ll need can be hired in Engelberg, and the routes are normally open between mid or late May and late October. > Check dates and details here.
Taste Swiss dairy produce a local cheese factory
The Cheese Factory in Engelberg can also be found at the monastery. You can also visit Molkerei Engelberg or Alpine Cheese Dairies to discover the local tradition of cheesemaking – and of course taste it for yourself.
At the monastery Cheese Factory there’s a dairy, bistro and shop on site, or head to Molkerei Engelberg to sample around 100 local varieties.
Alternatively, hike the Alpine cheese trail between June and September to visit seven of the area’s dairies.
Visiting all seven dairies requires a multi-day hike but you can choose to visit just one or two dairies if you are short on time.
Take a thrilling Mt Titlis excursion
You can travel from Engelberg to Mount Titlis at any time of year.
Your memorable journey begins when you take the cable car from the Valley Station in Engelberg to the station at Stand.
There you change to the TITLIS Rotair rotating cable car for a thrilling ride and 360 degree panoramic views enroute to the summit.
Once at the summit, you can take in the stunning sight of the Swiss Alps all laid out before you.
Other popular things to see and do include the Titlis Cliff Walk, the Titlis Glacier Cave and the Ice Flyer cable car, which gives you views of the region’s only glacier.
The simplest way to take a trip to Mount Titlis from Engelberg is to book an organised day trip.
This includes all transport, visits to the highest suspension bridge in Europe and the Glacier Cave, plus a ride on the Ice Flyer with glacier views.
Further reading: How to visit Mt. Titlis
Spend time in Trübsee
Trübsee is one of the intermediate stations on the way up to – or down from – Mount Titlis.
Alighting here to spend some time is a great idea, as there’s lots to keep visitors busy. If you like, you can hike the trails that depart from the station in summer.
Other attractions here include a bouncy castle, the Trampoline2Bag, and the BagJump Tower.
You can also hire a boat to row on Lake Trübsee, or walk around the shoreline. There’s also an adrenaline-filled ride on the Trübsee Flyer zipline between the Alpine Lodge and the lake.
Fly though the air at the Rope Park in Engelberg
The fixed rope park in Engelberg offers six courses, which differ in exactly how challenging they are.
As well as swinging through the air in a harness attached to a sturdy rope here, you can tackle various bridges, suspended walkways and zip lines.
Visit the traditional Tal Museum
If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, then you can enter the Tal Museum in Engelberg for free.
Located in the centre of the Alpine town, the building is known as a Heraldry House and dates back to the late 18th century.
From the exterior, the structure has all the charm and character of a traditional Swiss chalet. Step inside and you can also discover life as it was in the valley when the home was constructed.
Follow the Farmer’s hiking trail – and ride their cable cars
Central Switzerland is home to 26 Buiräbähnli, nostalgic cable cars that were designed to transport farmers from their farms high on the mountains to the valley below.
Eight of these rustic cable cars can be enjoyed as part of the Buiräbähnli Safari, a very special hike around the region.
The whole Buiräbähnli Safari hike is 46 kilometres (28 miles) long. You can tackle the entire hike over several days, or opt to just explore a section.
Experience wellbeing at the Eienwäldli rock adventure pool
The Eienwäldli rock adventure pool in Engelberg is filled with water heated to a balmy 32°C (90°F).
At the site you can try out a range of therapeutic water-based experiences, including rain and steam grottoes, whirlpools, massage jets and Kneipp hydrotherapy.
Kids will also love the paddling pool and slide, plus the adventure pool with its waterfall.
Panoramic Paragliding Flights
If you’ve always wanted to try out paragliding, now’s your chance.
Booking a two-hour tandem paragliding experience means you’re in safe hands throughout, so you can enjoy the panoramic Alpine views as well as the sensation.
Paragliding over Engelberg and Mt. Titlis is one vacation memory you’ll never forget.
Witness World-Class Ski Jumps
Held during December, Engelberg in Switzerland plays host to a Ski Jumping World Cup weekend.
If you’re in town then, you can witness seasoned jumpers taking the Gross Titlis ski jump in style.
Ski, snowboard or sledge on the slopes
As with other Swiss destinations, skiing in Engelberg is popular during winter, and other winter sports are too. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, visitors can take a sled ride or a snowshoe tour, or try out cross-country skiing.
Whizz from Mount Titlis to the valley and you’ll cover a 2,000 metre height difference, or book local lessons if you’ve never donned skis before.
You can also sample a toboggan run in the Engleberg area – a place with a long heritage of bobsledding.
To check the powder or general weather in Engelberg, take a look at the Engelberg webcam here.
Find out more about Engelberg and Mt Titlis from a local in our podcast episode
Enjoy an adventurous Brunni excursion
If you hold a Swiss Travel Pass, then you can take a trip to Brunni for free as it’s included as part of the pass.
Hop onto the Brunni cable car and you can be taken to 1,850 metres above sea level.
At the top, you can find restaurants, rope routes, walking trails and climbing gardens, so it’s the perfect destination for foodies or outdoor enthusiasts.
This mountain also gives visitors another opportunity to go paragliding, via a 30-minute flight from the summit. > > Click here to book a tandem paraglide from Brunni
Don’t have a Swiss Travel Pass? You can buy tickets for the Brunni cable car here.
Head up to the summit of Stanserhorn
A trip up to the summit of Stanserhorn is also free for Swiss Travel Pass holders. The peak of this pre-Alp is 1,900 metres above sea level, and you can travel between early April and mid November.
Getting there is all part of the fun – it involves a funicular railway trip from Stans plus the CabriO open air cable car.
Once you reach the top station, the peak is a short uphill hike away.
Volunteer rangers here can tell you about local wildlife, or you can eat at the revolving restaurant.
There’s also the possibility of going hang-gliding here too. > Click here to book a hang-gliding trip at Stanserhorn.
Hike over 500 kilometres of trails
Engelberg is well-endowed when it comes to walking trails, with more than 500 kilometres (310 miles) of them criss-crossing the valley. The routes are clearly signposted, well-maintained and abundant in opportunities for an encounter with local wildlife.
Some of the most popular routes are the themed hikes. These include the Buiräbähnli Safari hike and Alpine Cheese Trail mentioned above, plus an easy Alpine Flower Trail or Brunni Trail.
The moderate Brunsee to Stand Geology Trail and the difficult Engelberg Valley Chapel Path are more challenging hikes.
Horse drawn carriage rides
For a unique take on Engelberg, join a horse-drawn carriage ride across the beautiful valley.
These last 30 minutes or more, and explore sites such as the village, the monastery grounds or the wider valley area. > Read more about the rides here.
Discover the City on a Lucerne Day Trip
There are so many things to do in Lucerne, and by taking a day trip there you can experience some of the key highlights of this popular Swiss city.
Wander around the Old Town, see historic Chapel Bridge, visit the Jesuit Church, Glacier Gardens and the Dying Lion monument or explore the Swiss Transport, Richard Wagner or Picasso museums.
Find more about what to see and do in Lucerne in this article.
Fun and Free Family Activities
If you visit during summer and autumn and have a Guest Card*, your kids can take part in locally-organised Family Programme activities free of charge.
You need to book by 4pm the day before and show your pass on arrival. Numbers are strictly limited, and you can only book each activity once.
There are also plenty of adventure playgrounds in the area for active youngsters, as well as various paid activities. During summer these include hikes, Via Ferrata, the rope park, Trubsee Adventure park and more.
For winter visitors, there are beginner ski areas, Yeti park for snow play, Globi-Express rides and much more.
*Guest Cards are provided to overnight guests and offer numerous services or admissions at a special price.
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How to get to Engelberg
Whether you want to get to Engelberg from Luzern (Lucerne) by scenic train or take a car ride from Zurich, here’s all you need to know about getting to Engelberg.
Getting to Engelberg by Train
The Lucerne to Engelberg Express train offers fast access to the Alpine village from the city. The trip takes under 45 minutes, and services run hourly throughout the day.
You can also enjoy panoramic views during the journey.
The Zurich to Engelberg train takes over two hours – journey times vary according to the time of day and available services but are on average around two hours and 20 minutes.
Train services from Zurich to Engelberg involve changing at Lucerne for the same express trip detailed above.
Travelling between the Swiss capital of Bern and Engelberg is another option. The journey time is similar to that from Zurich, and also includes a change at Lucerne.
To save money on train fares, consider purchasing either a Swiss Travel Pass or a Tell Pass. The Tell Pass is a regional transport and sightseeing ticket for the Lake Lucerne region and includes free travel to Mt. Titlis.
Read more about the Tell Pass here.
Getting to Engelberg by Car
You can of course drive to Engelberg if you have a rental car.
The journey by road takes about 35 minutes from Lucerne, an hour and 10 minutes from Zurich or an hour and 40 minutes from Bern.
Getting to Engelberg by organised tour
If time is short, an organised day trip is the ideal way to see as much of Switzerland as possible.
In 9.5 hours you can take in the highlights of both Lucerne and Engelberg, including free time in the latter to spend as you wish.
You can use this time to hike, or to see the monastery or cheese factory, without having to concern yourself with getting there and back.
Another option is to book a private tour to Engelberg and/or Mt. Titlis. The itinerary can be tailor made to suit your exact requirements and your tour can start and finish anywhere in Switzerland. > Find out more here.
Where to stay in Engelberg
If you need to find a great Engelberg hotel for an overnight stay in the valley, here are the best options. We’ve also covered some of the top apartments in Engelberg as an alternative.
Kempinski Palace – 5*
The five star Kempinski Hotel in Engelberg is the first choice for many travellers.
This centrally located establishment offers a range of accommodation including double rooms plus a selection of larger rooms and suites with sofa beds. These are ideal for families.
A wealth of amenities makes the Kempinski in Engelberg a luxurious place to stay.
There’s a superb spa and wellness area, a fine dining restaurant, an indoor swimming pool with magnificent views and a bar.
For four star, boutique-style accommodation at a reasonable price, book into the Bellevue Terminus Hotel in Engelberg.
This property offers a range of room sizes, from small and attic rooms to medium, large and extra large rooms. Some come with a balcony.
The entire property has undergone a recent full refurbishment and offers some great bars and a good restaurant. Another perk is being located right by Engelberg station and a bus stop.
There is free WiFi throughout and rooms also come with soundproofing and flatscreen TVs.
Sonnwendhof – 3*
Hotel Sonnwendhof in Engelberg is a three star property. It can be found just past the centre of the village and offers traditional Swiss-style accommodation plus a garden.
Rooms here all have balconies and you can book a comfort single or double or a superior double.
Hotel Sonnwendhof’s facilities include a shared guest lounge, allergy-free rooms, a sauna and an express check in service.
Pets are permitted, and as the superior double rooms come with a sofa bed they can accommodate a family.
Apartments in Engelberg
If you’d prefer the additional space and freedom of self-catering, then you could book an apartment in Engelberg instead of a hotel.
For stylish, deluxe accommodation with three bedrooms and a kitchen with dishwasher take a look at Wohnung 112, or try the Alp Apartments complex for a contemporary range of luxury studios and one or two bedroom units.
Things to do in Engelberg | Final thoughts
It’s clear to see that Engelberg is one Swiss destination that’s definitely worth visiting – whether you travel during winter or summer.
Whether you head here for summer hikes and cable car trips or to experience winter sports or witness world-class ski jumps, this is an area abundant in natural beauty, breathtaking scenery and offering a wealth of activities and attractions for everyone.
🇨🇭 Enjoy your visit!
Top image © Engelberg-Titlis Tourism.