After quite some city trips to Dusseldorf, London, Gothenburg and Barcelona over the past six months, I really felt the urge for an outdoor, nature trip. After some research on the internet I ended up looking at Davos. Davos is a very famous winter destination. However, checking out the Davos tourism tips on the internet I immediately became very excited about visiting Davos in summer. I decided to make Davos Switzerland my next destination, without any regrets as you will discover reading this Davos travel blog full of tips.
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What is Davos famous for?
Davos is famous for its first-class skiing and as the host venue of the World Economic Forum. Nowadays however it also specializes in the treatment of asthma. It’s the high mountain environment and the clean air, which is free of bacteria, allergens, etc. that makes this place so unique and outstanding for these treatments. And it’s exactly those high mountains and clean air that got me so attracted to visiting Davos.
Davos is the highest city in Europe at 1,560 meters above sea-level. It’s an alpine town located in the largest canton of Switzerland, Graubünden.
Getting to Davos
Davos is easily accessible by train and by car. Zurich is the main and closest gateway airport to Davos, located roughly 150km away. Travelling from Zurich to Davos by train is very easy and a fun thing to do. This train ride is a special experience, riding through alpine environments offering amazing views.
If you prefer travelling by car from Zurich to Davos, you have plenty of options as all major car rental companies have an office located at Zurich airport. I rented a car as that gives me more freedom and makes sure I can go wherever and whenever I want. Travelling by train to Davos however is much more relaxed as you can just lay back, relax and enjoy the ride and scenery. The train ride is already one of the coolest things to do in Davos.
Best time to visit Davos
If you fancy a summer outdoor adventure in Davos, the best months to visit Davos are June through to September. During these summer months temperatures will be enjoyable with hardly any precipitation. I had my Davos summer adventure last June 2019, with temperatures up into the 30’s, which was a bit too hot to be really active outdoors. But with clear blue skies and the sun shining all day there are endless cool things to do in Davos. I really had that Davos summer feeling when visiting.
Things to do in Davos
Where to start telling you what summer in Davos has to offer? Davos is an outdoor paradise in summer and has plenty of fun activities to offer. Whether it is hiking, strolling around town, mountain biking, trail running, paragliding, wakeboarding, swimming, it can all be done right here in Davos and I was lucky to experience a couple of these activities for this Davos travel blog.
I was pretty lucky as Destination Davos organized an e-mountain bike tour for me. I had no idea what to expect but I was really excited to get on the bike and explore the highlights of Davos tourism and surroundings.
My guide Stoffl (Chris) was already waiting for me when I arrived at the Bike Academy. I got geared up with my e-bike and was explained everything I needed to know, before hitting the road and the mountains.
E-Mountain biking with the Bike Academy means 3.5 hours of real fun and work out and the most amazing and beautiful scenery all around you. Surely a different way of visiting Davos. You’ll be biking through valleys, alongside rivers and with constant mountain views. It can’t get more Swiss than cycling through the mountain scenery with the river on one side and cows with cowbells on the other.
I happily recommend this Davos summer activity and definitely recommend the guys at the Bike Academy if you’re looking for a fun way to explore and experience this amazing destination in Switzerland. Of course, if you’re a sporty person you can also hire regular mountain bikes here for some real work out. Some people travel to Davos in summer especially for mountain biking.
I had so much fun cycling the valleys, gravel roads and mountains, I fully enjoyed those 3.5 hours on the bike. I’m sure you’d expect a cool photo of me on my e-mountain bike, but to be honest, I was too busy having an awesome time biking, that I completely forgot about taking photos.
Visit Lake Davos
During my e-mountain bike tour we also had a short break at Lake Davos. Lake Davos is a natural lake and reaches pleasant temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius in the summer. At Lake Davos all water sports you can think of are offered. Lake Davos is one of the best places to visit in Davos in summer.
Bachi’s Strandbad is located along the shores of Lake Davos and offers a great restaurant with lake views and plenty of space for recreation.
As of the beginning of this month, July 1st, the wakeboard season in Davos has started. Wakeboarding on Lake Davos started off as a crowdfunding campaign but is now a recurring activity during the summer months. A great event and something worth mentioning in this Davos travel blog.
Whether it is wakeboarding, (kite) surfing, sailing, paddle boat or just a swim, Lake Davos is your place to cool down during these hot summer days in Davos.
Hiking in Davos
When I’m at home in the Netherlands I’m off for a 15 km walk every Sunday morning. I really love to hike and explore a destination just by walking around town. For everyone who loves to hike as much as I do, summers in Davos have something amazing: 700 km of hiking trails are waiting here for you! These trails go through forests, side valleys and up to high peaks. For those adventurers hike up one of the many mountains. Feeling less adventurous? Take up a cable car and start hiking once you’re at the top. The cable car itself is already a really cool thing to do in Davos in summer. During my stay in Davos I spent one full day hiking the Jakobshorn and Stadler See.
When in Davos, you can’t miss them. They constantly color the skies, paragliders. Want to see Davos like not many others have seen it? Whether you’re a professional or looking for a tandem flight, there are six paraglider providers just in Davos, plenty to choose from.
Davos Promenade walk
The Davos Promenade Walk is a walkway overlooking Davos, offering some lovely town views. The walkway is accessible for everyone, even with strollers or wheelchairs. Cyclists are not allowed on this walkway, so it is just you and fellow walkers.
Don’t miss this gentle walk alongside this hillside path, high above town when you visit Davos. It gives you some different views of this destination.
When travelling with kids, Madrisa Land is definitely a cool thing to do in Davos. Madrisa Land is the biggest theme park in Switzerland, located around 1900 meters above sea level. It is also the first adventure park in the Swiss Alps that is accessible to visitors who are physically challenged or visually impaired. It’s a fun place for the entire family in both summer and winter season.
Davos Adventure Park
There are still more things to do in Davos for all you adventurers. Even when you’re travelling with kids the Davos Adventure Park is a great place to visit, as they offer special children’s parcours and two children’s playgrounds. The park is a high wire and cycling park for everyone who feels adventurous. It offers 5 courses, each with 8 stations with varying difficulty ratings.
4 Davos Mountains full of activities
For me it’s the mountains that made Davos such an interesting and bucketlist worthy destination. And once I arrived in Davos, that feeling was confirmed. You’re surrounded by mountains, who really give Davos its unique vibe and feel. There are many mountains in Davos and they all have something special to offer.
Exploring the mountains is even in summer a great thing to do in Davos, read why…
This is the mountain I chose to experience and explore. Once you reach the summit of the Jakobshorn by cable car, you’re at an altitude of 2,560 meter. From up here you have amazing breathtaking mountain views, overlooking one 3000-meter peak after another, all still snowcapped. From the top of the Jakobshorn you have plenty of hiking trails to choose from, all which offer you some pretty spectacular views. Jakobshorn is also one of the summits from where you can take your paragliding flight.
I went hiking at the Jakobshorn, and hiked towards the Stadler See. This mountain lake is located at 2519 meters above sea level and can be reached in about 30 minutes from the mountain station at the Jakobshorn. This is the place where I decided to throw my drone in the air and let it take some awesome shots of the views you have from the lake.
I had a well-deserved drink at the mountain station restaurant after I hiked back up from the Stadler See.
This mountain is called the action mountain for a reason. It offers a 6 km long ‘roller coaster’ track for mountain bikers. With over 200 banked curves, jumps and waves it really is an action mountain.
Parsenn is only suited for experienced mountain bikers, so don’t enter these tracks unexperienced. Parsenn also offers five paragliding launch sites. Fun Fact: Parsenn is called A-Line’s little brother, as this run was based on the legendary "Whistler A-Line" in Canada's Whistler Mountains. This mountain is one of the reasons adventurers travel to Davos.
Want to know what the insiders secret tip for a family holiday is? It’s the Rinerhorn. Offering a children’s zoo, playground, camp fire and mountain trails, it has something to offer for everyone. The Rinerhorn is also the ideal starting point for hikes into the Sertigtal valley.
Located directly above Davos is this Magic Mountain, the Schatzalp. The Schatzalp has something to offer for all ages. Obviously it is a perfect place if you’re keen on some more hiking and walking. From the panorama restaurant you’re treated on some lovely views over Davos. Something fun for young and old is the Summer toboggan run. Race down the 500 meter long slide.
A special place to visit at the Schatzalp is the Alpinum Schatzalp, botanical gardens with approx. 5000 different plant species from mountains from all over the world (Switzerland, Pyrenees, New Zealand, China, Nepal, Tibet, etc.). it also now features the new "Alfred Vogel Garden of Medicinal Herbs".
Davos Klosters Card
Something I have never seen before while travelling, but something I really liked and should be offered in so many more places, is the Davos Klosters Card. As an overnight guest in Davos you benefit from a whole range of advantages and discounts with this guest card. This also includes, and I reckon these are the most used and most important, free travel on all mountain railways in 2019 and all local public transport. You only have to stay one night in Davos to receive this guest card and start benefiting. Even though Switzerland is an expensive country, with this card you can make your trip to Davos a lot cheaper!
Best place to stay in Davos
There are many places to stay in Davos and there is something available for every budget. I’m a passionate and frequent Hard Rock Hotel visitor, if a town or city has a Hard Rock Cafe, or hotel, then I will find it. How lucky I was that there is a Hard Rock Hotel in Davos. No doubt for me that the Hard Rock Hotel was my place to stay and I was lucky to stay there for this Davos travel blog. Hard Rock Davos combines the iconic Hard Rock experience with the beauty of the Swiss Alps. It offers you amazing vibes.
It is centrally located, yet relatively quiet, which I really like. My room had a balcony with mountain views, in the mornings and evenings it’s very relaxing to just hang out on your balcony and enjoy the views.
The Hard Rock is located only 400 meters from the Schatzalpbahn, and just an easy 10 minute walk to the Jakobshorn cable car.
The Hard Rock Hotel wouldn’t be a Hard Rock without a classic Rock Shop to purchase your ultimate Davos souvenir. It also offers a spa and fitness center, and bike and ski rooms to store your belongings in Summer and Winter.
They offer modern, alpine style rooms, with plenty of wood and stone. For those travelling by car they also offer a private parking lot, paid however.
During the warm summer months their rooftop bar, the 5th, is a really cool things to do in Davos. It is open year-round and offers you stunning mountain views. Order your drink, sit back, relax and enjoy the impressive views of the mountain ranges all around you. This places made me happy I chose to visit Davos.
The best and most fun part of my stay at the Hard Rock in Davos was the complimentary electric guitar they offered me upon check-in. It definitely makes your stay at this hotel even more fun. The guitar comes with all accessories. The television in your room even offers you guitar lessons, to really get onto it. So, if you really want to feel like a rock star when staying at the Hard Rock Davos, this is the way to do it!
Want to live the Rockstar life yourself and stay at the amazing Hard Rock Hotel Davos? Check out their rates here.
I hope I got you just as excited about Davos as I am, and that you are truly considering visiting Davos in summer. There are so many things to do in Davos in summer, whether you’re travelling with kids, with friends, your partner or just on your own, you will find this Switzerland tourist destinations has plenty to offer you.
I’m still super excited about the mountain biking and hiking I did while in Davos, and couldn’t get enough of the views overlooking the mountain ranges from the top of the Jakobshorn.
I want to thank Destination Davos for making this trip possible and for making sure I had a carefree stay in Davos. Also, a big thank you to everyone at the Bike Academy and Chris (Stoffl) in particular. Thank you for showing me some amazing spots and three days of saddle sores! But it was more than worth it!
Travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley visited Davos on behalf of Traveltomtom and wrote this article with plenty of helpful Davos travel tips.