Difference between revisions of "Davos"
Revision as of 19:54, 11 September 2008
In the early 90's, Davos became famous for hosting the World Economic Forum, an annual winter gathering of international politicians and financiers who represented a transnational elite.
Davos is accessible by train, bus or car. The nearest commercial airport with scheduled airline service is Zurich.
From the Zurich central railroad station (or from Zurich Airport via connection at Zurich central railroad station), you can take a train to Davos Dorf or Davos Platz stations via a transfer at Landquart. The transit time is nearly 2.5 hours total. Trains leave Zurich during every hour from 6AM to 11PM. The schedule is available at the official Swiss Federal Railways Swiss Federal Railways website. You can also check connections online. Note a 6 minute connection at Landquart is short, requiring rapid movement of luggage from one train to the next.
By bus during ski season
Buses travel from Zurich airport to Davos Dorf or Davos Plat every Saturday and return from Davos Dorf or Platz to the airport every Saturday in December through April. The trip takes approximately 2 hours, with a pickup at the train station three times daily.
From Zürich: follow the highway A3/A13 (direction Chur) (green traffic signs) until the exit to Landquart. After Landquart follow the main road to Davos (highway 28). A permit sticker for Switzerland highways is required which costs CHF 40. Stickers are available at the customs offices, gas stations and post offices.
The municipal bus system is very convenient, traversing from one end of the Promenade to the other. Davos is only around 3 or 4 km long and about 1 km wide, so it is easy to get anywhere by bus or a short walk. Cabs are also available, but run about 12-15 CHF during the day and double that at night.
Davos is internationally recognised as the largest resort in the Alps for mountain holidays and a top travel destination. Ski and snow activities are a must do in the winter, and at altitudes between 1124 and 2844 m, guests will find 54 ski lifts, 320 km of slopes, 75 km of cross-country ski tracks, two artificial ice-skating rinks and Europe’s largest natural ice rink for people to skate or play curling on. And no fewer than five sledging runs to have fun on! For skiing fanatics, the mecca is the Parsenn and Weissfluhjoch area which connects up with the neighbouring resort of Klosters. The Jakobshorn, on the other hand, is the in place for snowboarders, with its half-pipe and monster pipe. For a quieter time, take a ride by horse-drawn sledge into the snowy side valleys, or experience the Davos mountains from 84 km of beautifully prepared winter footpaths and snow-shoe trails.
In the summer, the cable-cars on the Jakobshorn (2590 m), Parsenn including the Weissfluhjoch und -gipfel (2844 m), Pischa (2483 m), Rinerhorn (2490 m) and Schatzalp/Strela provide access to four hiking areas with a total of 450 km of marked footpaths. Anyone seeking rest and relaxation amid unspoilt nature should head off on foot, by bike or by horse-drawn carriage up the romantic side valleys of Sertig, Dischma or Flüela. For a change of scene, visit the Davos Lake with its swimming area and a sailing and surfing centre. In addition, there are opportunities for hang-gliding and paragliding and mountain bike and inline skating routes. Davos is also the starting point for excursions on the famous Glacier Express, and the Heidi and Bernina Express trains.
You can buy anything you might need in Davos, especially snow and ski gear. Stores range from rental shops to chic and pricey boutiques, which are strung along the main thoroughfare.
For inexpensive regional and Swiss cooking, try Hotel Ochsen's Stubli (Talstrasse 10) or the restaurants in Hotel Dischma (Promenade 128). Gourmet food is served up without pomposity in the rustic environs of the Hotel Flüela Stubli (Bahnhofstrasse 5).
Hotel Ochsen's Stubli (Talstrasse 10)
There are over 40 hotels and inns in Davos, including two 5-star hotels: the Flüela and the Steigenberger Belvedere.
Club Hotel, Promenade 23, 7270 Davos Platz. +41 (081) 414-9100. Minimum conveniences, no broadband access, most rooms have Murphy beds. 
Hotel Schatzalp, Schatzalp, 7270 Davos Platz. +41 (081) 415-5151. Located 300 meters above Davos on a sunny terrace at the tree line, reachable with a short ride (four minutes) from the center of Davos Platz on its own private funicular (8am - 2am), free WLAN WiFi. 
Kongress Hotel, Promenade 94, CH 7270 Davos Platz. +41 (081) 417-1122. . Moderately priced hotel immediately adjacent to the Kongress Center. Roll out of bed and be at the Kongress Center in 3 minutes. Clean, staff friendly and eager to help, free bus pass for entire stay (no need for a car with the excellent bus sytem passing by the hotel every 5-10 min during the day and every 15 min at night). Wireless internet available for approx 50 Swiss frances per week. Internet worked very well. Rooms modest size but very comfortable, European modern. Ski storage and boot warmers, sauna and massage. Usual American mid-level hotel amenities. Bar and restaurant with breakfast included. Solid restaurant with some abience. Food good to excellent. Small but outstanding vegetarian selection. Will pick up at train station without charge.
Flüela, Bahnhofstrasse 5, 7260 Davos Dorf. +41 (081) 410-1717. 
Steigenberger Belevedere, Promenade 89, 7270 Davos Dorf. +41 (081) 415-6000.