Engelberg might be a little off the tourist path, but this small resort is packed with things to see and do. If you're a fan of outdoor adventure, you'll love the opportunity to ski the slopes, hike the foothills, and explore the alpine scenery. If you prefer a tamer experience, you'll find plenty of quaint shops, charming museums, and cozy restaurants to enjoy instead. Here's our pick of the 20 best things to do in Engelberg, Switzerland.
20. Check out the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Engelberg
If you happen to be in Engelberg in December, don't miss the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, which is hosted each year at the jump at Gross-Titlis-Schanze. It's the largest annual winter sports event in Central Europe, attracting around 20,000 spectators from all around the world. The jump is the steepest on the World Cup Tour, offering visitors the chance to check out some truly extraordinary skiing from the participants.
19. Ski the slopes
If you're a fan of winter sports, Engelberg has everything you need to get your heart pumping and your adrenalin flowing. The resort boasts a massive 80 kilometers of downhill skiing and snowboarding, with pistes of between 1050 and 3020 meters. There are four main ski areas that can be accessed from Engelberg - Titlis-Jochpass, Brunni, Bannalp and Gerschinalp - all of which can be easily reached from the village by gondolas and lifts. If you want to brush up on your technique before hitting the slopes, you'll find four ski and snowboard schools in the area that offer both personal and group tuition.
18. Take the kids to Seilpark
If you're looking for the kind of experience the whole family can enjoy, don't miss a visit to Seilpark. The activity park boasts dozens of activities and attractions, including an obstacle course, bungee jumping, a climbing wall, and more besides.
17. Go climbing
If you're a fan of rock climbing, you'll find no shortage of places to show off your talents in Engelberg. As engelberg.ch explains, located within just a few minutes of the resort are 6 Via Ferratas, 8 climbing gardens, various boulder spots, and countless alpine climbing routes, all of which promise hours of climbing fun. The Via Ferratas vary in difficulty from K2 to K5, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced climbers alike. If you're up for a challenge, be sure to try Fürenwand - although be warned, it's not for the fainthearted.
16. Visit Tal Museum
If you want to learn a little more about Engleberg's past, be sure to stop by Tal Museum. As kempinski.com notes, the museum, which is tucked away in a historic farmhouse dating back to 1786, offers visitors the chance to discover more about the lives of Engelberg's population at the end of the 18th century. One of the key exhibits not to miss is "Mountains and Other Sceneries," which explores the development of the village's grand hotels, and the role they've played in Engelberg's history.
15. Enjoy a round of golf at Engelberg Golf Course
If you can't imagine spending an entire vacation without at least one game of golf, you're in luck. As swissgolfcourses.ch notes, at just over 6,000 yards, Engelberg Golf Course might be shorter than normal, but it still has enough challenging sand bunkers and natural obstacles to keep you on your toes. Expertly maintained and surrounded by sublime mountain scenery, it's an idyllic spot to enjoy a few rounds.
14. Tuck into some cheese at the Cheese Factory
As Trip Hobo says, among the many things that you should taste and experience in Switzerland, cheese is definitely one of them. The country is famous for its huge assortment of cheeses, with many regions boasting their own distinctive varieties. While you're in Engelberger, don't miss the opportunity to sample Engelberger Klosterkircher, a soft, mild-flavored cheese that's irresistible either on its own or with a chunk of crusty bread. The best place to try it is the Cheese Factory, a small dairy inside the monastery where you can watch the milk being curdled and pressed into molds (which are shaped to resemble the monastery bell) before sampling the goods at the adjacent restaurant. Both the fondue and raclette come particularly highly recommended. There's also the chance to buy a few rounds of cheese to take away as a gift.
13. Enjoy some Swiss cuisine
As scandinaviantraveler.com notes, Engelberg might be a little off the radar for most travelers, but it still offers plenty of places to fill your belly, no matter what your budget. Some of the key spots to try include Brasseri Konrad, which offers a great selection of dishes inspired by the Swiss Alps, Northern Italy, France, and Sweden; Schweizerhaus, a cozy little bistro located at the foot of Hahnen mountain; and Yucatan, a funky spot that does everything from burgers to tortillas.
12. Visit Engelberg Sporting Park
If you're looking to burn off some steam during your visit to Engelberg, be sure to stop by Engelberg Sporting Park. With both an indoor and outdoor ice-skating ring to enjoy in winter, plus outdoor/indoor tennis courts, badminton, speedminton, and indoor climbing to try year-round, it's the ideal place for some family-friendly fun. If all the activity gives you an appetite, stop by the restaurant to enjoy some hearty Swiss cuisine.
11. Indulge in a spa treatment
If trekking up mountains and skiing down slopes has left you with sore muscles, Engelberg has just the answer. The resort boasts four spas in total, and while each is attached to a hotel, they all accept bookings from non-residents. One of the best is the H+H Hotel & Spa, which offers guests the chance to relax and unwind in its whirlpool, steam bath, Finnish sauna, aroma steam bath, and ice grotto. It's also worth checking out the facilities at Eienwäldli Rock Pool, which boasts an adventure pool with a waterfall for the family to enjoy, along with a steam grotto, sunbathing deck, and solarium.
10. Test your endurance with the Buiräbähnli Safari Hike
If your idea of a trek involves going from the fridge to the sofa and back again, you might want to give this next suggestion a miss. If, on the other hand, you chomping at the bit for a real alpine experience, it's ideal. To keep its more adventurous visitors happy, Engelberg’s tourist office has created the Buiräbähnli Safari Hike, a twenty-hour circular walk that combines 2 overnight stops in mountain huts with some of the most beautiful scenery you'll ever see. The hike is available from June to September and can be arranged directly with the tourist office.
9. Enjoy the views at Trubsee
If you're traveling up Mount Titlis by cable car, keep your eyes peeled for the intermediate stop of Trubsee. When your reach it, get out and prepare to enjoy one of the most idyllic locations in Engelberg. Set on a ledge overlooking the resort, Trubsee features a glistening little lake fringed by meadows. It's a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the views, but if you're in the mood to get active, try the Four Lakes Hikes, a challenging trek that crosses the Jochpass at its highest point and passes by another three incredibly scenic lakes.
8. Try some free-riding
As The Crazy Tourist says, Engelberg’s surplus of high, remote slopes offers plenty of opportunities for experienced skiers who've already worked the groomed pistes and are ready to make some tracks in fresh powder. The resort offers ten descends, which are broken into the High Five and Big Five. They're not for amateurs, and as avalanches can sometimes occur, it's wise to hire a mountain guide who's familiar with the slopes. However, if you know what you're doing and keep your wits about you at all times, it's an amazingly exhilarating experience.
7. Get on your bike
Although Engelberg is best known as a winter destination, there's still plenty of fun to be had in spring and summer too. One of the best ways to enjoy the area during the warmer months is by bike. E-bikes are readily available for hire, and will take a lot of the strain out of the hill climbs. Key routes to try include the 850 climb up to Brunni and the thrilling 400-meter descend down the Jochpass.
6. Explore Brunni
Located on the sunny side of Engelberg, Brunni is the ideal place to enjoy some of the area's top outdoor attractions. Although it's a lovely place to visit at any time of year, it's especially beautiful in winter. As brunni.ch notes, it's the first slope in Switzerland with LED lighting, making it an incredibly picturesque place to enjoy some moonlit skiing. During the Christmas holidays, skiing is available at the Klostermatte from 6 p.m.–9 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays, while the ski schools also offer night skiing lessons. In the summer, you can try out the toboggan run or explore the wildflower-covered meadows.
5. Take a gondola ride on Mount Titlis
You could come to Engelberg and not visit Mount Titlis if you really wanted to, but you'd be missing out on one of the resort's very best attractions. One of the most fun (and easy) ways to explore the peak is to take a gondola ride on the world's first revolving cable car. As titlis.ch explains, the cable car revolves 360 degrees during the trip, treating you to panoramic views of steep rock faces, deep crevasses, and snow-covered peaks in the distance. Once you reach the summit, you'll find a couple of cozy restaurants where you can enjoy a warming drink as you soak in the views of the Uri Alps.
4. Test your nerve on Europe’s highest suspension bridge
If you've got a head for heights, don't miss taking a stroll across Mount Titlis's 100-meter-long bridge. The bridge opened in 2012 and currently ranks as the highest suspension bridge in Europe with a height of 3000 meters. Its position over a 500-meter chasm and habit of swaying with the wind can make it feel perilous, but this is a bridge that was designed to withstand the most extreme weather conditions imaginable, making it an extremely safe (if slightly stomach-churning) experience. Visit on a clear day to enjoy some truly mesmerizing views over the snow-capped peaks.
3. Explore Titlis Glacier Cave
Of all the reasons to venture to the top of Titlis, the Titlis Glacier Cave is one of the most extraordinary. You can find the entrance to the cave close to Cliff Walk, along with 150 meters of walkway that will take you 10 meters below the surface of the glacier. The ice inside (which is believed to be around 5000 years old) keeps the cave at a steady -1.5˚C all year round, so be sure to layer on some sweaters before your visit. Despite the chill factor, it's an incredibly beautiful place to explore, with an ethereal turquoise-blue glow and millions of tiny crystals to discover.
2. Discover the trails of Fürenalp
As Trip 101 says, hiking to Fürenalp is one of the most exhilarating experiences visitors to Engelberg can enjoy. Along the trail, you'll pass by the dramatic Stäuber waterfall and enjoy glorious views over the surrounding mountains. If you get peckish along the way, you'll find plenty of small cafes dotted around to grab a light bite and a drink.
1. Tour Engelberg Abbey
Named as one of the best things to do in Engelberg by traveltriangle.com, Engelberg Abbey is a must-visit for anyone with even the vaguest interest in history. The abbey was built in 1120, and despite a devasting fire in the 18th century and some very unwanted attention from Napoleon’s army, it's still home to Engelberg's community of Benedictine monks to this day. The late-Baroque architecture is extraordinary, with some outstanding stuccowork and frescoes to check out. If you visit during summer, be sure to stop by for a free recital, during which you can hear the abbey's organ (which ranks as one of the largest in Switzerland) in all its glory.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn