St. Moritz, Switzerland is a playground for the rich and famous. Celebrities and royals flock to its luxury hotels and world-class ski hills in the winter for outdoor fun. St. Moritz, (aka Sankt Moritz in German or San Maurizio in Italian) was the birthplace of winter tourism, opening its doors in 1864. This legendary ski resort has since hosted 2 Winter Olympics and boasts 350 km (217 miles) of ski trails that have been home to international events for more than a century. However, visiting St. Moritz in summer is pretty special too.
While St. Moritz is known for its winter activities, there are countless things to do in St. Moritz in the summer! With discounted prices at luxury hotels, fewer crowds than Zermatt or Grindelwald, and a tourism infrastructure containing high-end restaurants, luxury spas, and fantastic shopping, St. Moritz is a great addition to your Switzerland itinerary in summer.
St. Moritz – Switzerland in Summer
We only had two days in St. Moritz during our Switzerland Road Trip. The moment we arrived at this beautiful alpine town in the Engadin region, we knew we wanted more. Even though our time was short, we made the most of it and stretched out every minute to see as much as we could. I think we did a pretty good job squeezing in a lot of the best things to do in St. Moritz in the summer. Dave and I can cover a lot of ground when we set our minds to it.
Where to Stay in St. Moritz – Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
One of the top hotels in St. Moritz is Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. By visiting in the low season, they had room for us where we’d otherwise be out of our league in the winter. You can feel the elegance and glitz the moment you drive up to its entrance as priceless classic cars line the entryway alongside Astin Martins and Ferraris. Pulling up in our Volkswagen wasn’t a problem though, the staff welcomed us with huge smiles, fresh juice, and cool towels.
Many people visit Kulm Hotel St. Moritz and barely leave the resort and we can understand why. They cater to your every need. Be it movie stars, royals, or regular Joes, you can hide away with private cars and helicopters taking you wherever you’d like. Or you can simply walk like us. With a 160 year history, Hotel Kulm has been catering to wealthy families for generations.
Other Hotels to Stay in St. Moritz
- Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz – Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is an iconic hotel to enjoy St. Moritz in Summer.
- Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
- Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski
Birthplace of Winter Tourism at Hotel Kulm
Remember we told you that St. Moritz was the birthplace of winter tourism? Well, it all started at Hotel Kulm when owner and founder Johannes Badrut told four English tourists that were visiting in summer that if they come back in winter and didn’t enjoy their stay as much as they did in summer, he’d reimburse their entire trip. When they returned in December, they loved it so much that they stayed, and Badrut never needed to give them back their money. Word spread throughout England and St. Moritz became the first winter vacation destination in Europe.
Swiss Sauna and Spa
We couldn’t let a night spent in this historic hotel without using its amenities. So before we even stepped foot in St. Moritz, we made our way to the luxurious indoor pool and spa. It was the outdoor pool that attracted everyone’s attention as its heated water was inviting and the view was spectacular. See more Swiss travel at: 19 Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland
The infinity pool plunged over the ledge to a view of Lake St. Moritz and the surrounding mountains. We relaxed in the water spas taking in the views before heading into the sauna for some much-needed heat to soothe our aching muscles. Every Swiss resort has a sauna and the spa at Hotel Kulm has both wet and dry saunas, infrared saunas, and hot tubs. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Leaning Tower of St. Moritz
The Kulm Hotel is located directly across from the Leaning Tower of St. Moritz. The more we travel, the more we learn that Pisa isn’t the only leaning tower in the world. With a 5.5 degree lean it is the same as its more famous counterpart. The tower dates back to the 12th century and is pretty cool to see. I don’t know why we didn’t get a picture of it. We walked past it each time we left the hotel! Sometimes you just need to enjoy the view instead of taking a photo I guess.
St. Moritz Lake
In the summertime in St. Moritz, a lot of the action happens around Lake St. Moritz. St. Moritz boasts 320 days of sunshine a year and residents take advantage of that regardless of the season. Sailboats scatter the lake as people stroll along its shores. In Winter, you can go ice skating on the lake and there are zany adventures like winter cricket, winter polo, and the White Turf winter horse race. The people of St. Moritz know how to enjoy the outdoors! For us, the main outdoor summer attraction in St. Moritz was hiking.
Hiking in St. Moritz
I’m glad we had a good rest at the hotel and spa the day before our day outdoors because it was an early rise to tackle one of the best hikes in St. Moritz.
We didn’t expect the views to rival the likes of Grindelwald or Zermatt, but when we reached the higher altitudes, we were taken aback by the beauty. A wall of glaciers and snow-capped mountains came into view as we climbed higher and higher. The Muottas Muragle to Alp Languard hike is definitely one of the best things to do in St. Moritz. Does every place in Switzerland have beautiful views? Read: The Ultimate One-Week Switzerland Itinerary
Muottas Muragl – Segantini Hütte – Alp Languard Hike
The hike begins at the Punt Muragl train station where we took the funicular railway up to Muottas Muagl for the start of our hike. The trip up the funicular is an activity unto itself offering beautiful views of St. Moritz, the St. Moritz Lake, and the panoramic views of Upper Engadin from 2,456m (8,057ft).
This classic hike is about a 2 1/2 hour climb and if you are going to do just one hike in St. Moritz, make it this one. It’s a good challenging hike that is steep in sections, but not too difficult. It’s the perfect hike for intermediate hikers that will take you to a fantastic lookout at the Segantini Hut. This is also a very popular spot for sunset over St. Moritz.
The Views of St. Moritz
The views continue to change as you hike from one side to the other as different ranges of the Alps come into view from the Albula Alps to Bernina Range tower over the Muragl Valley with the Sella Glacier and Tschierva Glacier plunging toward the valleys. The view took us off guard as we didn’t expect to see such dramatic views of mountains and glaciers. We thought that scene was reserved for Zermatt or Grindelwald.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Marmots on the trail. We saw a few but always seemed to miss snapping a photograph of them before they scurried away.
Named after the Italian painter, Giovanni Segantini the Segantini Hut is a beautiful viewpoint that is worth spending a bit of time taking in the view. It was here that Segantini died while painting a part of his painting “Life, Nature, and Death”. The view from this location was his inspiration for the Nature portion of the tryptic. Segantini’s works can be seen in the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz.
Toilet with a View (or let’s make it rhyme – Loo with a View)
The first thing you’ll notice while climbing up to Segantini Hut from Muottas Muragl is a bright red building with the Swiss flag on it. This is a toilet that sits on the edge of the mountain. It’s not often we talked about toilets on the blog, but this is one that you must go in.
After you’ve reached the summit, make sure to enjoy a coffee and pastry from the restaurant at Segantini Hut. There are outdoor benches and several viewpoints that let you enjoy the panoramic scene of Bernina Massif, The Upper Engadine Valley, and the Alps. The sun was warm and strong on our faces and we could have sat there for hours.
The Descent to Alp Languard
Alas, it was time to descend and this is where the hike gets interesting. The trail becomes narrower than the hike up and it goes through beautiful rock slides and fields of boulders creating a great adventure hike through a few obstacles.
Where the sections become too narrow, there are ropes and chains attached to the cliff walls for safety. Make sure to hold on and don’t look at your camera or phone. It’s not dangerous, but if you aren’t paying attention accidents can happen.
Many people were climbing up this route and our guide told us it is a much more strenuous climb in this direction. If you only have a short time in St. Moritz, we suggest doing our route from Muottas Muragl. The hike to Segantini hut can be done in either direction, but the people we saw on the way down looked like they were suffering much more than we did.
Our hike in St. Moritz came to an end at Alp Languard where we caught the chairlift back down to the village. It’s fun riding a chairlift down a mountain. It offers a completely different perspective.
St. Moritz Country Club
The Kulm Country Club is a historic place to have dinner in St. Moritz. It showcases the history of winter sports in St. Moritz. It was here that bobsledding (skibobbing) and the skeleton was born and competitions began at Kulm Park. Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is home to the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club and there is memorabilia scattered throughout the hotel and country club showing its alpine history.
The Country Club hosts many events and has been host to World Championships a the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics. There is a lot of alpine history here, especially on Piz Nair where the Olympic and world cup sports take place.
Go to a Cheese Dairy
No trip to Switzerland would be complete without visiting a dairy to see how traditional cheese is made. The Morteratsch Alpine Cheese Dairy is not only a place where they make cheese, it is an excellent outdoor dining venue set in a gorgeous meadow. After a hike in the mountains of St. Moritz, make your way to Morteratsch on the river to the Alpschaukäserei for a cheese fondue or raclette. Don’t miss ordering their cheese board to start, it is a work of art.
While there, keep an eye out for the cheese master who comes out regularly to stir the huge vat of cheese. The Alpine Cheese Dairy lets you view traditional cheese production up close and personal for free as you enjoy your alpine meal. Daily shows happen daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
St. Moritz offers a wealth of mountain biking opportunities for all levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Its mix of scenic alpine trails, panoramic views, and challenging terrains make it a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts. Here are the most popular places for Mountain Biking in St. Moritz. There are several places to rent bikes in St. Moritz including
- Corviglia: Corviglia, the mountain behind St. Moritz, is one of the most popular spots for mountain biking. The Corviglia Flow Trail, in particular, is well-loved by bikers. This route starts at the Corviglia station and winds down to Chantarella, featuring thrilling turns and waves. The Piz Nair and Trais Fluors are other notable trails in the Corviglia area, providing more challenging routes with steeper climbs and technical descents.
- Suvretta Loop: This is a relatively easy and highly scenic route. It starts from the town, climbs up the Suvretta pass, and descends back to St. Moritz. It offers great views of the Engadin Valley and the surrounding peaks.
- Bernina Express Trail: Starting from the Diavolezza mountain station, this trail follows the same route as the famous Bernina Express railway. It’s a long, varied ride with great views of the Morteratsch Glacier and the Bernina Range.
- Engadine Tracks: The Engadine valley, where St. Moritz is located, has numerous signposted mountain biking routes. You can explore the beautiful landscapes of the valley on these trails, many of which pass through picturesque alpine meadows, forests, and traditional Swiss villages.
Remember, always follow the local rules and guidelines while biking, respect other trail users, and protect the natural environment. Happy biking!
Shopping in St. Moritz
Like many of the mountain resorts in Switzerland, shopping is a must (for the wealthy) when in St. Moritz. Via Serlas is the highest outdoor shopping street in the world located at 1,822 meters (5977 feet) above sea level. Dave and I can only window shop as the usual high-end brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, and Dior are on display. It’s fun to see what things go for though and wonder, “who on earth buys these things?”
St. Moritz Festivals
Another great reason to visit St. Moritz in the summer is to enjoy its many festivals. Festival da Jazz is the most popular running over the month of July, The St. Moritz Art Film Festival happens in August, British Classic Car Meeting in August (We were there for that), The Endigan Festival which is a classical music festival, and the Running Festival in August.
Best Way to Get to St. Moritz
We drove to St. Moritz by car and it was amazing taking us through one of the most iconic drives in Switzerland. Having a car helped us explore all of the top attractions at our own pace. However, Switzerland had an extensive rail system and you can easily travel to Ticino via rail with a Swiss Travel Pass and one of the most popular ways to get to St. Moritz is to take the Grand Train Tour from Zermatt to St. Moritz.
While there are several ways to reach St. Moritz, traveling by train provides some of the most scenic and memorable experiences, especially if you’re considering the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express.
If you’re coming from Zurich, you can take a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train to Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland, and from there, board the Glacier Express. The Glacier Express, known as the world’s slowest express train, offers an exhilarating journey through the Swiss Alps, spanning glacial valleys, mountain meadows, and untouched landscapes. The route includes an impressive 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. After a roughly four-hour journey, the Glacier Express will bring you to St. Moritz.
Alternatively, if you’re in the south, near Milan, Italy, you can take a train to Tirano, a small Italian town just across the Swiss border. From Tirano, you can board the Bernina Express, which is another famous Swiss scenic train. The Bernina Express is particularly noted for its panoramic sightseeing cars and the dramatic landscapes along the route, which includes the Bernina Pass, the highest point on the Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Railway). After a journey of about 2.5 hours, you’ll arrive in St. Moritz. Both the Panoramic Glacier and Bernina Express train routes, designated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites,
- A Swiss Travel Pass includes:
- Unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat
- Public transportation in more than 90 cities and towns
- Including mountain excursions: Rigi, Schilthorn, Stanserhorn, and Stoos
- Free admission to more than 500 museums throughout Switzerland
- Get your Swiss Travel Pass Here.
- For more information on traveling to St. Moritz – visit the St. Moritz Tourism Website
- Our trip to Switzerland is in partnership with MySwitzerland.com Visit their website to start planning your trip today.
St. Moritz is an incredible destination that surprised us. After spending time in Zermatt and Grindelwald we weren’t sure what to expect in the mountains of St. Moritz, but it was beautiful and we would have loved to spend another few days exploring this magical region of Switzerland. You can be sure we have put it at the top of our list of places to visit in winter.
Read More and Plan Your Travels to Switzerland
- The Perfect 3 Days in Zurich, Switzerland
- 19 Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland
- 20 Reasons to Fall in Love with Basel, Switzerland
- The Complete Guide to Grindelwald First in Switzerland
- Spectacular Switzerland, a Visit to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
- Things to do in Lugano and the Ticino Region of Switzerland
- The Ultimate One-Week Switzerland Itinerary