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The historic town of Brig lies in the Upper Valais region of Switzerland. Zermatt lies to the southwest, Simplon Pass to the east, Jungfrau Aletsch to the north, and Andermatt to the northeast. Brig, also officially known as Blig-Glis, is located in the Rhone Valley, 691 meters above sea level.
Brig is on the route of the Glacier Express that goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Other attractions in this alpine town include the St. Sebastian Chapel, the Stockalper Castle, and the thermal baths
There are plenty of things to love about Brig, even though it may not be as famous as other cities and towns in Switzerland.
Brig is easily accessible from many parts of Switzerland. It is a great location for excursions because it is so convenient. Several of the best ski resorts in Europe can be reached easily from Brig. But before we go into all the attractions near Brig, let’s see first what the town has to offer.
Stockalper Palace, the most prominent building in this alpine town, dates back to 1658-1678. It was built by Kaspar Stockalper, a Brig silk merchant.
Come during a time when they’re having a guided tour and you’ll have the opportunity to explore Stockalper Palace’s historical rooms. For more information, check out the website of Valais.ch here.
Besides Stockalper Palace, Gamsenmauer and Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt with ossuary are historical sites. To protect the valley from attacks coming from the west, Gamsenmauer was constructed. The Church of Mariä Himmelfahrt in Glis is one of the oldest in the area.
If you would like to read more about Stockalper Palace, you can check out The Fascinating Stockalper Palace In Brig, Switzerland.
Brig’s Old Town
Despite the small size of Brig, is still worth a quick stroll if you are already in the area. I consider it to be one of the most beautiful towns in Rhone Valley. Brig’s old town offers historic buildings, cozy hotels, boutiques, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.
Visitors can arrange a Group Tour of Brig (about 90 minutes long) or a Culinary Tour (4 hours long) at the Brig Simplon Tourist Office (Address: Bahnhofstrasse 2). The tours are available in German, French, English, and Italian.
In summer, a small blue train called Small Simplon Express (Kleiner Simplon Express in German) circles Brig-Glis and Naters in 30 minutes. During this trip, you’ll discover many exciting and historical facts about the region. The train runs in the afternoon from the end of June to mid-September. Starting the third week of August, the train will only run on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Brigerbad Thermal Baths
As well as the city itself, Brig includes Brigerbad, 43 small alps, and mountain pastures. It is located a bit above Brig itself.
Originally discovered by the Romans, Brigerbad thermal baths offer a beautiful view of the Alps. Together with the spa area, it is open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It is the largest open-air thermal baths in the Alps.
If you would rather head over to a swimming pool, you can go to the Swimming Pool of Geschina Brig (Address: Geschinaweg 7 3900 Brig) during summer season. Here, they have multiple swimming pools, a long water slide, diving boards, beach volleyball, a kiosk, and a playground. The water temperature here is 24 to 25°C.
Just outside the town gates begins the Simplon Pass, one of the most beautiful Alpine passes in Switzerland. For centuries, Brig has been a transit point as well as a customs post for transport across the Simplon Pass. As Brig prospered with the Simplon Pass, it gradually overtook Naters village across the road, becoming an independent diocese.
Simplon Pass, 20 kilometers away from Brig, links Brig with Domodossola in Northern Italy. Thus, it connects the Pennine Alps of Switzerland to the Lepontine Alps of Italy.
World Nature Forum, Naters
The World Nature Forum in Naters is an interactive museum that people of all ages can visit to learn more about the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is creative and informative. The exhibits here are available in four languages.
The World Nature Forum Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Please take note that the exhibition is closed between Christmas and New Year.
Excursions from Brig
Any Swiss map will show that Brig lies at the heart of Valais’ attractions. There are a variety of excursions within easy reach of Brig.
Here are some of the attractions near Brig that you can reach by public transport:
|Route||Estimated Travel Time from Brig|
|Brig to Brigerbad||22 minutes|
|Brig to Bettmeralp||41 minutes|
|Brig to Riederalp||43 minutes|
|Brig to Simplon Pass||42 minutes|
|Brig to Simplon Hospiz||43 minutes|
|Brig to Fiescheralp||52 minutes|
|Brig to Belalp||55 minutes|
|Brig to Simplon Dorf||55 minutes|
|Brig to Rosswald||59 minutes|
|Brig to Gondo||1 hour 12 minutes|
|Brig to Zermatt||1 hour 17 minutes|
In addition to these attractions that you can reach by train, Brig, Termen, and Ried-Brig are also a good starting points for various hikes in the region.
Final Thoughts: Brig, Switzerland
It is worth considering Brig when visiting Switzerland, even if most guide books recommend places like Lucerne, Zurich, Bern, or Geneva instead. Despite its small size, there are plenty of attractions to visit from here. Moreover, fast trains make it easy to get here from international airports.
One caveat to all of this is that Brig doesn’t have many hotels to choose from. Nevertheless, you can find wonderful accommodations if you book early. Here are some terrific hotel choices due to their excellent location in the heart of the town or near the train station:
Brig is a suitable option if you’re looking for a small alpine town set in Valais similar to Chur. It’s also easy to get to Zermatt from here. Alternatively, you can visit the Jungfrau Aletsch region, where you will find the country’s largest glacier.
Other places to visit in or near Brig are the following:
- Naters – Known for its historic buildings, this is one of the largest villages in Valais. In addition to the church, it is worth taking a look at the ossuary (Beinhaus).
- Red Mile (Rote Meile) – A foot and bike path between Naters and Bitsch.
- La Caverna – In a former military fortress, La Caverna’s culture center is home to the Swiss Guard Museum (Gardemuseum), the Museum of the Simplon Fortress (Festungsmuseum), and the Radiator Museum (Strahlermuseum).
- Grindji – From Brig, you can get to Grindji by walking near the Saltina River and Napoleon’s Bridge. The place has a grill area and places to sit.
If you want to stay in Valais and visit other destinations without having to travel two hours each way, Brig is a great place to stay. Brig is a great day trip destination as well as a base. This could also be a place to stay in Switzerland after exploring Italy before heading to France, Austria, or Germany.