If you’re visiting Grisons (Graubünden in German), one of Switzerland’s most touristy regions, you might wonder which is better: Davos or Klosters? It’s important to know which place is right for you because each has its advantages and characteristics. Here’s a guide to help you decide between two.
Davos and Klosters are two popular mountain resorts in Graubünden. The two are located close to each other and share the same ski resort Parsenn/Gotschna. Taking the Wolfgang Pass from Klosters will take you to Davos.
Overview: Davos vs. Klosters
You can’t go wrong with Davos or Klosters. There’s plenty to do, shops, and restaurants in both Davos and Klosters.
Hotel options are aplenty in Davos and Klosters. Davos is a busier alpine resort with modern buildings that attract tourists of all kinds. Klosters has more alpine chic wooden chalets, reminiscent of its Walser past.
From a geographical perspective, they are also quite similar. They are both high alpine towns with easy access to many mountains and good skiing possibilities. They are also located quite close to each other.
Key Differences: Davos vs. Klosters
The key differences between Davos and Klosters are as follows:
|Population: approx. 10,898||Population: approx. 4,449|
|Total Area: 284 km²||Total Area: 193.10 km²|
|Elevation: 1,560 meters||Elevation: 1,205 meters|
|Well-known mountain health resort known for hosting the World Economic Forum||A charming mountain resort in Prättigau/Davos|
|Highlights: Jakobshorn, Pischa, Parsenn, Rinerhorn, Schatzalp, Davos Sertig, Davos Monstein, Flüelapass||Highlights: Madrisa, Madrisaland, Gotschna|
|Lakes: Lake Davos||Lake: Jöri Lakes|
|River: Landwasser||River: Landquart|
Skiing: Davos vs. Klosters
There are five skiing areas near Davos. It is one huge winter arena with more than 300 kilometers of slopes, 100 kilometers of cross-country ski tracks, 58 ski lifts, two ice skating rinks, and curling fields. The five skiing areas around Davos are:
Klosters, on the other hand, has access to the Parsenn/Gotschna ski resort as well as the smaller ski resort of Madrisa.
Parsenn/Gotschna Ski Resort
Davos and Klosters share the Davos Klosters Parsenn/Gotschna Ski Resort.
|Pistes (in km)||Davos Klosters Parsenn|
|Ski season||mid-November to mid-April|
Ski Pistes: Davos vs. Klosters
Below we have two tables comparing the slopes of other ski resorts in Davos and Klosters
|Pistes (in km)||Davos Rinerhorn||Davos Jakobshorn||Davos Pischa||Davos Schatzalp – Strela||Klosters Madrisa|
|Ski season (Expected)||mid-December to the end of March||early December to mid-April||end of December to mid-March||mid-December to early April||third week of December to the end of March|
Cross-country Trails: Davos vs. Klosters
Both regions have beginner and advanced cross-country ski trails, so cross-country skiers will have a blast. Davos has more cross-country track trails compared to Klosters.
|Cross-country Trails (in km)||Davos||Klosters|
|Classic Cross-country Trails||75.8||27|
|Skating Cross-country Trails||56.4||27|
|Night-time Cross-country Trails||2.6||2.5|
|Dog Trails||18.5 km||–|
Which is better: Davos or Klosters?
The houses in Klosters have a traditional alpine design similar to Verbier, Wengen, and Mürren. Davos, on the other hand, has more modern-looking hotels and apartment blocks, and the feel and appearance are more cosmopolitan and sleek.
Davos is famous for hosting the world’s top leaders every year during the World Economic Forum. But not only that. It is also a popular ski resort and one of the highest towns in Switzerland at 1,560 meters above sea level. There are tons of ski resorts in the town, each with its advantages.
For those who want something quieter, Davos has side valleys to visit such as Sertig Valley. In summer, Davos Lake has swimming areas, as well as possibilities to sail and surf.
You’ll find plenty to do in Davos if you spend a day or two there. You can visit the following in Davos:
- Jakobshorn – Winter in Jakobshorn means freestyle, crazy events, and après-ski parties. In the summer, Jakobshorn is ideal for biking and hiking. From Jakobshorn, you can get to Sertig via Jatzhorn.
- Pischa – Pischa does not have any prepared slopes. A quiet and sunny mountain, Pischa has natural snow and is perfect for alternative winter sports.
- Parsenn – The biggest ski resort in Davos Klosters, Parsenn is the perfect ski area for ski fans. It also has one of the longest downhills in Europe. It’s also worth doing the panorama trail on Parsenn in the summer.
- Rinerhorn – The perfect ski resort for beginners, families, and those who want to take it slow and easy. Two nights a week they do night skiing and tobogganing. In summer, they have a petting zoo, a playground, and downhill scooters.
- Schatzalp – A small and easy mountain that is perfect for those who want to take it slow as well as families with smaller children.
- Davos Monstein – Davos Monstein is a charming little village perched above the Landwasser Valley. In addition, it’s home to the highest brewery in Switzerland.
- Davos Sertig – Davos Sertig or Sertig-Dörfli is a small and idyllic village away from the hustle and bustle of Davos town. It is incredibly picturesque and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Graubüden.
- Flüelapass – This high mountain pass near Davos crosses the divide between the Rhine and Danube basins.
Klosters is a charming Alpine village with wooden chalets and ski areas. The village center is picturesque, though quite small. Nonetheless, it is charming and cozy.
- Madrisa – A mountain resort overlooking Klosters that offers hiking, biking, and skiing opportunities.
- Madrisa Land – A family-friendly adventure park in Madrisa with a huge playground, slides, a ball track, an alpine horn, and swings.
- Gotschnagrat – Enjoy the panoramic views from Gotschnagrat, a short ride away from Klosters Platz. In winter, this ski resort is connected to Davos Parsenn.
- Jöriseen Lakes – A group of beautiful alpine lakes located 2,489 meters above sea level. The lakes are located in the municipality of Klosters.
- Lake Schlappin – A beautiful lake in the small Walser settlement of Schlappin.
- Selfranga – A small hamlet that is known for its traditional Swiss chalets and stunning views.
- Silvrettapark Playground – A fun playground with swings, climbing installations, picnic benches, a sand pit, and more.
Hotels: Davos vs. Klosters
Our recommendations for hotels in Switzerland are based on our personal experiences or user reviews. I highly recommend using Booking.com. It is a fantastic way to find hotels in Switzerland.
Hotels in Davos
- Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere (5-star) – The 5-star Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere, located in the heart of Davos, is just a 3-minute walk from the convention center. Originally opened in 1875 as the Grand Hotel Davos, it has a fantastic wellness area, fitness facilities, saunas, and a steam bath. It also offers guests the choice of enjoying international and local specialties. Additionally, a free shuttle service from the train station is available.
- Precise Tale Seehof Davos (5-star) – Located adjacent to the Parsenn Cable Car, the Precise Tale Seehof is a luxurious 5-star hotel that provides direct access to skiing and hiking trails in Davos. With a choice of several restaurants, a rich breakfast buffet, and spa facilities, it’s an elegant yet practical choice for a stay in the area.
- AlpenGold Hotel Davos (5-star) – The AlpenGold Hotel Davos, formerly known as Hotel Intercontinental, offers an array of amenities that make it the ideal family hotel in Davos. Guests can take advantage of both indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and wellness center, ski storage, and an on-site ski school. With three a-la-carte restaurants to choose from and a kid’s and teenager club, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
- AMERON Davos Swiss Mountain Resort (4-star) – The AMERON Davos Swiss Mountain Resort is an excellent value-for-money hotel with an indoor pool, fitness facilities, and a large spa center. Rooms feature furnished balconies with mountain views, while dining options include on-site restaurants and nearby venues in Davos. Families can take advantage of the free kids club and small playground, and the hotel offers tour and luggage storage, as well as ski storage facilities. Overall, it’s a top pick and my personal favorite for its amenities and affordability.
- Grischa – Das Hotel Davos (4-star*) – The 4-star superior Hotel Grischa in Davos boasts the best location for both skiing and exploring the city, with the Jakobshorn Cable Car just 100 meters away and the center of Davos just 200 meters away. The hotel offers five restaurants, and the Davos-Platz Train Station is conveniently located across the street. Guests will find everything they need within walking distance, including ski rentals and a small grocery store. The hotel staff is friendly and welcoming, and the rooms feature a small balcony and offer great value for the price.
- ALPINE INN Davos (3-star) – ALPINE INN Davos is ideally located in the heart of the city with easy access to ski lifts and other attractions. The ski room was excellent, equipped with proper ventilation and boot dryers to keep ski gear in top condition, while the breakfast was outstanding with a wide variety of high-quality products.
Hotels in Klosters
- Hotel Vereina (4-star) – Hotel Vereina is a lovely old hotel in the center of Klosters with exceptional staff, an indoor pool, and a wellness area.
- Hotel Piz Buin Klosters (4-star) – Hotel Piz Buin Klosters is a fantastic hotel with tasteful rooms, spa facilities, and a bistro. It is also near the Gotschna Cable Car in the center of Klosters.
- Sport-Lodge Klosters (3-star) – Located near many shops and bars, this hotel is comfortable and convenient. Within a short walking distance are other facilities such as an ice rink, a tennis court, a public outdoor pool, cross-country ski trails, and more.
- Hotel Silvapina (3-star) – Hotel Silvapina offers alpine chalet-style accommodation, friendly staff, and a central location close to Klosters Dorf train station.
Summary: Davos vs. Klosters
In my opinion, if you’re thinking of skiing in the mountains, then you can choose either of those and be happy. There are excellent ski resorts and cross-country ski tracks around both of them. They also have beautiful mountains and lakes.
You should choose Davos if you want a practical town with more outdoor activities, nearby mountains, shops, restaurants, and hotels. You should choose Klosters if you want somewhere quieter or you want to ski in a smaller ski resort.
Here is a summary of the advantages of visiting either Davos or Klosters.
Advantages of Visiting Davos
- There are more hotels and restaurants in Davos because it is a larger town. It is more vibrant and bustling.
- Davos is a higher town at 1,560 meters compared to the 1,200 meters of Klosters. This can sometimes mean that Davos has a sheet of snow in winter, whereas Klosters does not (or very little).
- Davos showcases more modern architecture, with some grand hotels and contemporary buildings.
- Davos is energetic and has a cosmopolitan vibe. It also attracts more business professionals. In fact, it hosts the annual World Economic Forum which draws many influential business leaders, politicians, and intellectuals every year.
- Known as one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps, Davos offers a wide array of ski slopes catering to all levels of expertise.
- Davos features numerous cross-country skiing trails compared to Klosters.
- Sports enthusiasts are drawn to Davos due to its extensive offering of sports activities, especially in the mountains.
Advantages of Visiting Klosters
- Klosters has a smaller population. It gives a more tranquil and intimate atmosphere. It has also been a favorite ski resort of European royalty and celebrities. It is known for its exclusivity and privacy.
- Klosters still retains its traditional alpine charm, featuring mostly picturesque chalet-style architecture and quaint village streets.
- Klosters is a destination for affluent travelers and families with young children.
- Those who prefer more quiet surroundings may find Klosters more suitable.
- Klosters has fewer slopes than Davos despite it also having access to Gotschna Parsenn Ski Resort. If you like skiing in smaller areas, this is the place for you.
You can choose either Davos or Klosters based on your preference. For practical reasons, I think Davos would be a better choice. Klosters is a good alternative for those who wish to stay in a more beautiful, yet quieter place, still near Davos.
Thanks for checking out our comparison between Davos and Klosters. No matter where you go, have fun!
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.