As the 2023 travel season comes to a close, it’s time again to get those gears churning for your next overseas escapade. If you’re craving yet another getaway soon, we’ve one suggestion for you to seize the snowy winter days while they’re here – Switzerland.
Switzerland is no stranger to us – after all, Singaporeans are one of the leading Southeast Asian populations contributing to international travel through Switzerland, lending 29% to the total overnight count. Its grand mountains and cosy towns make it the perfect destination for a white Christmas. All through the seasons, Switzerland always has something to offer.
Here’s a bonus though – how about travelling through Switzerland sustainably? Adorably coined “Swisstainable”, we heard it straight from the horse’s mouth – Switzerland Tourism, to be precise – on their new approach to welcoming tourists in winter.
The cornerstones of the Swisstainable strategy are simple yet meaningful – it strongly promotes the use of the extensive Swiss public transport system, and showcasing the charm of the shoulder seasons that traditionally have lower footfall. In an attempt to achieve this all while keeping visitors close in touch with local culture and highlights, they’ve established close partnerships with a variety of enterprises ranging from hotels to restaurant groups – to ensure a common goal of sustainability while maintaining that authentic Swiss holiday experience.
Keeping “Swisstainable” in mind, here’s 5 ideas we’ve gathered for you to best enjoy their winter offerings:
Try your hand (or feet) at a new sport
If your new year resolution in 2024 involves taking any steps out of your comfort zone, picking up some winter sports will definitely check off those boxes! Iconic slopes and blankets of snow make Switzerland’s various regions the best place to discover a new hobby – regardless if you’re an amateur or already a pro on the slopes. Titlis offers ski lessons at SnowXpark Truebsee, while those looking for something new can consider night skiing in St. Moritz, along the longest illuminated slope in Switzerland, situated in Corvatsch.
The folks at the recently opened Trifecta welcomed us onto their ski and snowboarding machines to give us a feel, and let us tell you it surely wasn’t easy. But after 30 mins of clunking around in unfamiliar skis and feeling our inner thighs burn, we definitely could see why so many fall in love with the sport, with its sense of weightlessness and breathtaking thrill. As you breeze through the Swiss alps, we’re pretty sure you’ll have no regrets.
Marvel at Swiss excellence
At the press event, Maurus Lauber, CEO of the Swiss Travel System, shared about the Swiss Travel Pass – an affordable option for global travellers to explore the whole of Switzerland across different modes of transport including bus, train and boat. By tapping into infrastructure already made for the locals, it’s a sustainable yet convenient way to get around and make the most of your trip.
Self-professed train nerds know already about the impressive engineering and precise punctuality the Swiss take pride in, beyond just the panoramic views that are offered. They also shared some titbits about the ever improving innovations of the rail system, which included for the first time ever, the new GoldenPass Express trains. The revolutionary $96 million design can now accommodate tracks of different widths (the metric gauge and standard gauge tracks), allowing commuters to get from Motreux to Interlaken seamlessly via Gstaad – previously having to get off and change trains in between.
The Swiss Travel Pass allows you to enjoy unlimited trips on the Swiss Travel System, and your options are plentiful. The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland is an experience in itself spanning 1280 kilometres, also being offered as a full itinerary by our local tour providers. The scenic Glacier Express will also take your breath away with clear views of their iconic landscapes as it travels from St. Moritz to Zermatt.
Indulge in some après-ski
Assuming you took our advice and went with point number 1, it’s now time to reward yourself with some much anticipated après-ski. A practice that came about from the winter season and its early sunsets, it was meant as a way for famished skiers and snowboarders to fill their bellies and enjoy some warmth indoors while waiting for dinnertime.
One of the best places to soak in the best après-ski atmospheres is Davos, with its 50 over bars and 5 nightclubs. All winter long, enjoy over 300 different guided experiences with the Davos Klosters winter guest programme, customisable to your own preferences. Over in Mürren, you can combine a funicular and bob sledge experience with a Cheese fondue package for a memorable nighttime activity.
We know Switzerland isn’t the first place you think of when it comes to nightlife, but if it’s a reason to party, sip on some good drinks and enjoy a magnificent mountainside view, am I complaining? You bet not.
Spend some quality time with Mother Nature
In true Swisstainable fashion, travellers are encouraged to embrace nature up close. As an outdoorsy person myself, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that hiking trails were still open in the winter season. The adventurous spirits amongst you can take up snowshoeing, while the Matterhorn Region also offers guided mountain hikes through the Fee gorge via suspension bridges and ladders to explore magical frozen waterfalls.
For a more laidback experience that still captures the highlights of the Swiss landscape, commemorate the Year of The Dragon with a “Dragon Ride” up to the peak of Mount Pilatus in the Lake Lucerne Region. Explore its viewpoints and round off the day with some specialty fondue, solidifying the authentic local experience.
Get your adrenaline fix for the year
Thinking of kicking off the new year with a bang? Switzerland also has some thrilling experiences in store – head to the Jungfrau Region for a sledge ride you won’t forget along the famous Lauberhorn descent. Over in Schilthorn, a cable car takes you to a spot that overlooks about 200 surrounding alpine peaks, then test your nerve at the Thrill Walk that will put you through a crawl-through tunnel and a glass-bottomed floor.
Other outdoor adrenaline rushes like husky sledding were also available in Switzerland – not just in the Laplands. With a variety of activities, it’s easy to switch things up a gear and satiate your adventure appetite.
Whether you’re into luxury travel and sipping on champagnes while the scenery greets you, or you’re looking for a jam-packed winter escapade, Switzerland is prepared to have you. We hope that by now, you’ve gathered enough travel inspo to fill a whole 8-day itinerary (even longer is fine with us) and will spend your next few weeks counting down to your winter escape.
You can find out more at the links below: