High up in the Swiss Alps, where the people speak Romansch and the snow falls in stark white beauty, lies a small village with a significant history. Beginning in 1846, St. Moritz became the original winter vacation destination. Since then it has hosted two Winter Olympic Games and become a winter resort city with high-end shops and stunning views.
We were only there overnight after an exciting travel day on the Glacier Express, but it left a lasting impression and a desire to return someday to spend more time here. If you also find yourself with just an overnight stay in this beautiful Alpine village before or after a scenic train trip, I’ve written this post to help you make the most of your precious time in lovely St. Moritz!
Things to Know Before You Go
- Language: Romansch, but everyone we encountered spoke English as well; Switzerland boasts four official languages (Swiss German, French, Italian, and Romansch), but Romansch is exclusively spoken in the small villages in eastern Switzerland, including St. Moritz!
- It was home to the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympics.
- The village is quite small and walkable. But it’s cold! Bring your warm clothing so you can fully enjoy the outdoors.
- For more, check out What to Know Before You Visit Switzerland!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Hotel Steffani, which is located right downtown and just off the main road and the pedestrian area. However, there doesn’t seem to be a bad hotel location! Our hotel, though within walking distance of the train station, provided a free shuttle service between the hotel and the train station, and most, if not all, hotels seemed to do the same.
What to See and Do in a Short Time
One of the nice things about St. Moritz is the walkability and manageable size. Even with just a short evening and part of the next morning to explore, we saw many of the things St. Moritz is famous for:
- Engadine Tower: the Leaning Tower of St. Moritz! It’s been standing there since 1570, and leaning precariously since the 18th century or earlier! We couldn’t go inside because the snow completely blocked the path to the doorway, but perhaps you can go in!
- Klum Park: We happened upon the most charming snow-covered trail! Without snow, it seems to be a golf course and walking area, and there are also some Winter Olympic facilities there still in use today! They were getting ready for curling lessons there just behind the Hotel Klum. There was also some signage along the path with some information and statistics all about the Winter Olympics when they were hosted here.
- Shopping: For us, it was just window shopping. But if you have a desire for a souvenir fur coat, Rolex, or Maserati, this is the place! There are also local shops selling high-end, hand-made Swiss jewelry and clothing.
- Bakeries: While you’re in town exploring the pedestrian shopping area, pop into a local bakery to pick up a pretzel, sandwich, sweet pastry, or luxurious Swiss chocolate! Get a little something to go for a quiet dinner in your hotel room if you have a view, or for the train ride on your way out.
If You Have More Time
If you find yourself with more than just an overnight stay with a few hours on each end, here are some suggestions to really enjoy yourself!
- Go Skiing! There are places to rent skis and other winter sports gear in town if you didn’t bring your own.
- Take the funicular, ski lift, or cable car up the mountains for stunning views of the town far below.
Are you heading to St. Moritz? I hope you find this guide most helpful for your travels, and that you find this village as charming as we do!