St Moritz with lake in foreground
Things to Do

Things to do in St. Moritz

August 27, 2020 Last Updated on November 24, 2020

Combining its stunning natural scenery with the glitz and glamour of the rich and famous, St. Moritz is a popular year round holiday resort that boasts 322 days of sunshine per year.

Sitting at 1,822 metres and located in the Eastern Alps in the Canton of Engadine, St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter tourism, thanks to hotelier Johannes Badrutt who, way back in 1864, enticed British tourists to visit during the colder months.

So famous has the resort become that its name has been registered as a trademark and is protected throughout the world!

Today, along with the winter sports which made it famous, there are things to do in St. Moritz all year round to suit all visitors.

From mountain excursions to shopping, museum visits to adrenaline-fuelled activities, soaking in the healing alpine waters or picnicking by a lake, you’ll never be left wondering what to do in St. Moritz.

In this guide, we cover the top St. Moritz attractions to include in your visit, help you choose where to stay, give you the lowdown on how to get to St. Moritz, Switzerland, and much more.

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Things to do in St Moritz

Saint Moritz is divided into two districts with Lake St. Moritz in between.  

St. Moritz-Dorf, on the northern side of the lake, is where you’ll find the majority of the town’s hotels, restaurants and shops. St. Moritz-Bad, on the southwestern side of the lake, is the spa district.

St. Moritz at night
St. Moritz glows on a snowy winter’s night. Image © swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger

Shopping

As you’d expect in a location that attracts the rich and famous, St. Moritz’s streets are lined with high-end fashion brands.  Alongside the designer clothes from the likes of Armani and Gucci, are boutiques selling precious stones, jewellery and even high-end furniture.

If all that is way out of your budget, you can still indulge at one of the gourmet and specialty food shops in town. Shopping in St. Moritz does not need to blow the budget!


St. Moritz Casino

If you fancy a flutter, head to Switzerland’s highest casino. St. Moritz Casino offers 80 slot machines, three American roulette wheels and two Blackjack tables, as well as stud poker.  


Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower at St. Moritz
St. Moritz’s Leaning Tower dates back to the 16th century.

The 33 metre-high Leaning Tower in St. Moritz-Bad is hard to miss and has been a landmark of the town for centuries.

With a tilt of 5.5% – more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa – St. Moritz’s version definitely stands out.

The tower dates back to the 1570s and was originally part of the Church of St. Mauritius.

In order to try and rectify the tilt, the Church’s nave was demolished and the bells removed from the tower in the 1890s – but to no avail.


Segantini Museum

Opened in 1908, the Segantini Museum was designed by the architect, Nicolaus Hartmann, to house the works of the famous Swiss artist, Giovanni Segatini, who spent the last five years of his life in the Engadin. 

Modelled on a sketch of the pavilions for the Engadine Panorama at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, the Museum features a large dome and houses paintings from the artist’s creative years and is the most extensive showcase of revivalist Alpine painting.


Engadiner Museum

The twenty-one rooms in the Museum Engiadinais offer a glimpse into life in the Engadin from days past. Permanent collections include furniture and interiors dating back 500 years, and there’s even a room dedicated to the Romansch language, one of Switzerland’s four official languages, that is spoken in Engadine.


Lake St. Moritz

St. Moritz with the lake in the foreground
Lake St. Moritz is a pristine alpine lake that freezes in winter.

On a sunny plateau between the town’s two districts, Lake St. Moritz (Moritzersee) is a tranquil spot to enjoy the breathtaking Alpine scenery.

You can stroll around the lake in an hour or two – it’s five kilometre in total – or just walk part of the way and enjoy a picnic.  

If you’re feeling energetic, you can hire a kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard, or brave the chilly waters for a refreshing swim – only recommended if you’re visiting St. Moritz in summer!

Visitors arriving in winter have the chance to witness the frozen lake.  During the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and the White Turf international horse races, the lake becomes a tent city as tents are set up as hospitality marquees for the events.


Forum Paracelsus

Long before it became a winter resort, St. Moritz was renowned for its therapeutic mineral springs. The history of bathing here is thought to date back to 1400 BC, but it was during the Middle Ages that they became most well-known, thanks to the naturopath, Paracelsus.

Named in his honour, Forum Paracelsus displays the history of the St. Moritz mineral springs via interactive touch screens. Featured in the display is the Mauritius fountain, which dates back to the Bronze Age, and visitors can taste the St. Moritz water from a large drinking fountain.


Olympic Bob Run

The St. Moritz Olympic Bob Run is not only the world’s only natural bobsleigh track, it is also its oldest. Built in 1904 for the British tourists who were flocking to St. Moritz, the track hosted the bobsleigh events at both the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics.

The 1.7 kilometre-long track is unique in that it does not have to be artificially frozen. It is crafted using only snow and water.

Visitors are welcome to experience a ride in a bobsleigh for a 75-second ride of a lifetime.  

Accompanied by two experienced professionals, you can enjoy the thrill of hurtling down the track at 130 kilometres per hour in a four-person racing bobsleigh, safe in the knowledge that your pilot and his assistant are in control.


St. Moritz mountain excursions

Piz Nair

Piz Nair is St. Moritz’s ‘home’ mountain, and together with Corviglia and Marguns, it forms the largest connecting ski area in the Engadine region. It has also hosted the Winter Olympics twice – in 1928 and 1948.

To reach Piz Nair, first you need to catch a funicular from the centre of St. Moritz to Corviglia (2,486 metres), and then take a cable car to Piz Nair. 

At the summit (3,057 metres), there are wonderful scenic vistas of the whole Engadine Valley and the panoramic restaurant is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the 360° views.


Muottas Muragl

Muottas Muragl funicular above St. Moritz
A short ride on the Muottas Muragl funicular results in superb views. Image © swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger

In just 20 minutes, the Muottas Muragl funicular whisks visitors up to the summit station at 2,454 metres as it has done since 1907.

Here, on this beautiful plateau the views are breathtaking. The lakes of the Upper Engadine Valley are dotted along the valley floor, framed by the peaks and glaciers of the Bernina Massif.

There’s plenty to do at Muottas Muragl but the key word is relaxation.  Visitors come to unwind, breathe in the fresh mountain air and take a break for their hectic day-to-day lives.

A panoramic restaurant serves delicious cuisine, there are hiking trails for those who want to get closer to nature, as well as a children’s playground. 

Make sure you check out the Sine Sole Sileo, which is said to be the most accurate sundial in the world.

If you’re visiting Muottas Muragl during winter, you can try snowshoeing or winter hiking, or ride down the 4.2-kilometre toboggan track.


Diavolezza

Diavolezza means ‘The Devil’ and, winter or summer, this is the place to visit for fabulous glacier views.

At almost 3,000 metres above sea level, it’s chilly here all year round, so grab a seat in the panoramic restaurant and fuel up before heading out for a mountain hike.

You can join a guided hike across a glacier but if you’re not up for that, head to the viewing platform for views of the Bernina glaciers from afar.  

You can even climb the five-metre-high snow heap, Snow Climb Point, and pose for a photo to mark your ‘summit’ of the mountain.

To reach Diavolezza, you’ll need to catch a bus or train from St. Moritz to Pontresina and then board the cable car for the ride to the mountain summit. 

For winter adventures, there are 350 kilometres of prepared slopes as well as opportunities for free riding and ski touring.


Piz Corvatsch

After a 20-minute bus ride from St. Moritz to Surlej, enjoy the cable car ride to Piz Corvatsch, the highest summit in the area.

At 3,303 metres you can dine in any of the ten mountain restaurants, all offering stunning vistas, hike one of the many trails, enjoy a walk across the Corvatsch Glacier or try paragliding.

For children, there are playgrounds and even a petting zoo.

Winter time sees ample opportunities for skiing with 120 kilometres of prepared slopes – including the longest illuminated run for night skiing, as well as snowshoeing.


Thermal spas

Thermal Spa in Samedan near Saint Moritz
The thermal waters of Mineralbad and Spa Samedan offer a relaxing way to unwind after a day spent exploring or skiing. Image courtesy Aqua-Spa-Resorts.

There’s nothing like soaking in a thermal spa to soothe your body and soul and the wellness centres of St. Moritz are the ideal place to partake in this time honoured tradition.

For centuries, the healing waters of St. Moritz have been revered for their iron-rich qualities and today there are several places in town you can soak away your cares.

At Ovaverva Pool, Spa and Sports Centre visitors the healing waters fill the spacious indoor swimming pool and an outdoor pool with a view of the Alps.  There’s also a children’s fun area with slides and a spa area offering saunas, massages and treatments.

There are numerous other thermal spas open to the public, too, including:

  • Palace Wellness at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
  • Kempinski the Spa at Grand Hotel Des Bains Kempinski
  • Kulm Spa at Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
  • Mineralbad and Spa in nearby Samedan

Hiking

With 580 kilometres of hiking trails in the Engadine region, there is something to suit everyone.  Whether it’s a gentle stroll around Lake St. Moritz or a more challenging mountain hike, there’s no excuse for not hitting the trails.

Grab a map of St. Moritz’s hiking trails from the Tourist Office or your hotel, and discover the beautiful Engadine on foot.

If you’re not keen on exploring by yourself, why not join a full day guided hike? >Click here to check details and prices.


Ice Skating

It’s not only in winter that you can enjoy ice skating in St. Moritz.  The Eisarena Ludains ice rink is open all year round, but if you prefer to skate outdoors, you can head to the specially-prepared natural ice rink during winter.


Golf at St. Moritz

Golfers can tee off at one of Europe’s highest golf courses, at Kulm Golf St. Moritz.

The scenic golf course offers nine challenging holes and is just a short walk from the centre of St. Moritz.

There are four other golf courses in the region, too, at Samaden-St. Moritz, Zuoz-Madulain, Tarasp Castle near Vulpera and the training course and driving range at Sils-Silvaplana.


Switzerland Rail Passes ebook


Skiing

The St. Moritz Ski Resort boasts four ski areas in close proximity – Corviglia, Corvatsch, Diavolezza and Zuoz – and all offer good snow cover and long seasons.  

The Engadin St. Moritz ski region boasts hundreds of kilometres of downhill slopes and cross country trails to suit all levels of skier which means there are plenty of opportunities for skiing in St. Moritz.


Major Events in St. Moritz

  • Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz – January
  • White Turf St. Moritz – International Horse Races on Snow – February
  • British Classic Car Meeting – July/August
  • Ski World Cup St. Moritz- December

Where is St. Moritz?

Map of Switzerland

St. Moritz is located in Eastern Switzerland in the Canton of Graubunden. It is 204 kilometres from Zurich, 328 kilometres from Bern, 480 kilometres from Geneva and 170 kilometres from Milan, Italy.


How to get to St. Moritz

St. Moritz is well connected to locations right across Switzerland and Europe by both road and rail.

Getting to St. Moritz by car:

The excellent Swiss road network connects St. Moritz with all parts of the country. It is a popular stop on a self-drive trip around Switzerland.

St. Moritz is an easy drive from Zurich via the A3 motorway, with the journey taking around 2 hours and 40 minutes.  Allow the same amount of time to travel by car from Milan.


Getting to St. Moritz by train:

Regular trains

Trains depart Zurich Main Station every 30 minutes for St. Moritz.  The journey time is around 3 hours and 15 minutes and on most services one change of train (usually at Landquart or Chur) is required.

Connections from our Swiss destinations can be made at Chur or Landquart.

There are at least hourly trains from Milano Centrale to St. Moritz with the fastest service taking around 4 hours and 25 minutes.

Bernina Express

The Bernina Express train ride is included with the Swiss Travel Pass
A ride onboard the Bernina Express is the perfect way to enjoy the magnificent scenery around St. Moritz.

The panoramic Bernina Express train connects St. Moritz with Chur to the north and Tirano (Italy) to the south. 

Crossing viaducts, passing through tunnels and alongside glaciers and lakes, the Bernina Express is a fabulous way to arrive (or depart from) St. Moritz.

> Click here to check prices for the Bernina Express

It is also possible to travel part of the journey (for example from St. Moritz to Poschiavo) and then return by one of the regular regional trains.

Did you know? It’s also possible to enjoy a day trip from Milan to St. Moritz aboard the Bernina Express? Full day tours are available and include a one way journey on the Bernina Express and a professional tour guide.  > Click here to find out more and book.

Glacier Express

Nicknamed ‘the world’s slowest express train’, the Glacier Express takes passengers on a stunning 7.5-hour journey between St. Moritz and Zermatt.

Connecting the two famous ski resorts, the route offers some of the most scenic views in Switzerland, all whilst crossing 291 bridges and passing through 91 tunnels.

It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to ride on the Glacier Express.

> Click here to check prices for the Glacier Express


St. Moritz Hotels

It’s not only high rollers who are welcome in St. Moritz, although spending a night or two in one of the luxurious grand hotels would be an experience to remember.

Visitors can choose from a range of hotels, apartments and chalets to suit all budgets. Below you’ll find some of the top-rated options.

5 star hotels in St. Moritz

Badrutt’s Palace St. Moritz 

This iconic hotel, with its distinctive tower and green roof, is a landmark of St. Moritz. Opened in 1896, the hotel offers a cosy atmosphere without compromising on luxury elegance.

With ten restaurants, and numerous bars, your every gourmet need is catered for. There’s also a wellness centre featuring an infinity pool, spas, treatment rooms and a fitness centre.


A tennis court and ice rink (winter only) are also available for use by guests of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz.

As you’d expect of a 5-star property, Badrutt’s Palace St. Moritz offers free WiFi, valet parking, 24-hour front desk and luxuriously appointed rooms, some of which have balconies.  A free shuttle service to and from the train station is also available.

Click here to check current prices


Kulm Hotel St. Moritz

When it was built in 1855, the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz was the first building in Switzerland with electric lighting and the first of the grand hotels in St. Moritz.  Guests still flock to the hotel today to admire its grand facade and palatial interior. 

The hotel offers a range of restaurants (including a pizzeria) and bars, a wellness centre with indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and spas, and its own nine hole golf course.


Free transfers from the station can be arranged and the front desk is open 24 hours.

Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. All rooms and suites at the Hotel Kulm St. Moritz have mountain views and are beautifully furnished to the highest standard.

Click here to check current prices


Two other 5-star properties which regularly make the best hotels in St. Moritz list, are the Kempinski St. Moritz Hotel (also known as the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski) and the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz.

Click here to check prices for Kempinski Hotel St. Moritz 

Click here to check prices for Carlton St. Moritz Hotel


4 star hotels in St. Moritz

Crystal Hotel St. Moritz

The centrally-located Hotel Crystal St. Moritz is an alpine-style hotel offering modern amenities. 

Rooms feature free WiFi and marble bathrooms, whilst the hotel facilities include a restaurant serving Italian and Mediterranean dishes, and a piano bar.

There’s a wellness centre, sauna and fitness area, and ski-to-door access.

Click here to check current prices


Hotel Monopol St. Moritz

A top-floor spa area with panoramic views is just one of the features of the Hotel Monopol.  Other facilities include free WiFi, an Italian restaurant, and two bars – one with rooftop terrace.

Guests can choose from a range of rooms and suites, all of which have modern furnishings, a mini bar and flatscreen TV.

The hotel is located in the centre of St. Moritz, just 300 metres from the Corviglia funicular station.

Click here to check current prices


Planning a Trip to Switzerland?

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You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter for podcast updates, Swiss travel news and special deals. Click here to subscribe and I’ll send you 10 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Switzerland as a special thank you!


3 star hotels in St. Moritz

Unique Hotel Eden

Situated in the pedestrian zone right in the heart of St. Moritz, Unique Hotel Eden offers guests a range of room types, all individually furnished. 

Hotel facilities include free WiFi, free shuttle transfers from the train station, an on-site coffee house and bar, breakfast room and ski-to-door access.

Click here to check current prices


Hotel Waldhaus am See

Located on the shores of Lake St. Moritz, Hotel Waldhaus am See offers superb views and traditionally-decorated rooms. 

As well as free WiFi, other facilities include a wellness centre, free transfers from the train station and free mountain bike hire.  The hotel restaurant’s specialties include fondue and fish dishes.

Click here to check current prices 


Apartments and Chalets in St. Moritz

If hotels aren’t for you and you’d prefer a different style of accommodation, St. Moritz has plenty of options. Whether it be a typically Swiss chalet or an Airbnb, St. Moritz’s choices are plentiful.  > Click here to browse apartments and chalets.


St. Moritz weather

Depending on your interests, there are things to do in St. Moritz all year round.  

Summer temperatures average a high of 18°C (64°F) during July, the warmest month, whilst January is the coldest month with average maximum temperatures of -2°C (28°F).

Corvatsch cable car
Piz Corvatsch is the highest summit in the region and can be reached by cable car.

Final Thoughts

You may not regard yourself as a member of the glitterati or the rich and famous but that doesn’t mean St. Moritz is not worth visiting.  The stunning natural beauty alone is worth experiencing, whether it be for just a night or a longer stay.

From mountain excursions to thermal spas, world class events to outdoor adventures, there truly are things to do in St. Moritz to please everyone.

Start planning your visit today.


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Things to do in Saint Moritz

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