Ice skates on outdoor rink
Spending an afternoon gliding across the ice will work up a great appetite for warm food and drinks in the evening!

7 Invigorating Winter Activities to Enjoy in Switzerland If You Don't Ski

A Winter Playground That’s All Yours

Whether or not you like winter, you have to admit there are a lot of ways to have fun when the snow hits the ground. Skiing is one of the more popular winter pastimes, especially in Switzerland. The Alps are simply breathtaking, and not surprisingly they attract people from all over the world.

But if you don’t ski, you might be wondering what options you have. There are still a ton of different things to do in Switzerland in the winter that don’t include strapping on skis and plummeting down steep slopes. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a personal favorite when it comes to winter activities in Switzerland. It’s pretty easy to learn, even if you have never tried it before. There’s just something exhilarating about gliding across the ice, racing around with your friends. And then grabbing that obligatory hot chocolate afterward.

There are plenty of ice skating rinks throughout Switzerland, both in cities and at ski resorts. But perhaps the most magical experience would be in one of the open-air ice rinks in Zurich. The Dolder Open-Air Rink is the largest of its kind in Europe, and is surrounded by trees and nature.

It’s away from all the city crowds and when the surroundings are covered with snow, it’s a true winter wonderland!

Man dog sledding through the snowEnjoy stunning mountain views and the joy of being pulled by beautiful huskies.

Dog Sledding

Something you absolutely have to experience once in your life is dog sledding — it’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Switzerland in winter. You’ll get to enjoy stunning mountain views while a pack of beautiful huskies pulls you over the snow in near silence.

You can usually choose the length of your ride — from short 20-minute rides that are great if you’re not sure you’ll enjoy the experience to full tours that last several hours.

You will find dog sledding options all over Switzerland, so there’s bound to be one in the neighborhood no matter where you are. The Husky Lodge at Erlebniswelt offers tours near Lucerne, and Team Nature is the go-to husky team in the Geneva region. If you are in Zurich, Flumserberg is the mountain to hit. The huskies there can even take you on a two-day tour if you wish!

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Inside of an iglooThis is your chance to build and sleep in an igloo — we promise it's actually quite warm!

Igloo Building

If you are not afraid of the cold and enjoy spending time in the snow, then igloo building is the perfect experience for you. And since this is meant to be a team experience, don’t forget to bring some friends along!

There are a few different places where you can go and build your igloo. The most popular locations are Grindelwald, Arosa and Toggenburg. That last one is the option closest to Zurich — just over an hour drive away.

I personally did it a number of years ago deep in the Alps near Andermatt. We spent the day carving snow and building blocks, then spent the night in our warm (yes, warm) igloos. Fondue was provided in a nearby restaurant to add a little extra Swiss-ness to the experience too!

Wherever you decide to build your igloo, you will be guided by a team of experts. They will help you cut the bricks out of snow, and show you how to build a perfect full-size igloo. Some places will even let you spend the night in your newly built home!

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