Most neighborhoods have their own local sledding hill. But sometimes you need something bigger or with more snow, especially since the snow melts so quickly in Zurich city. Below are a few of our go-to sledding spots, including free no-frills sledding hills and longer sled runs accessed by mountain transport. This is not an exhaustive list of sledding spots in Switzerland, just a few to get you started. Almost every big resort has a long sled run, just check the websites for details.
Here is a map showing the sledding locations mentioned below. What are your favorite sledding spots near Zurich?
Albis Pass sledding hill
For a free no-frills sledding hill (walk up, sled down, repeat), the Albispass about a 15 drive south of Zurich is a great choice. It's just some farmland on the side of the road, but when it's snowy, lots of families gather to sled. I heard that it's private land but the landowner permits sledding and even sells grilled sausages from a truck next to the hill on busy days.
By car, drive to Birrwaldstrasse 1, 8135 Langnau am Albis , the address of a restaurant across the street from the sledding hill. There is a big parking lot and parking spots along the main street.
By public transit, take the 240 bus to the Langnau am Albis, Hinteralbis stop.
Einsiedeln Sledding Hill
Einsiedeln is a charming little town about 40 minutes southwest of Zurich with a big sledding hill next to its famous monastery. We love that the slopped hill has a variety of heights to suit multiple ages. Birchlistrasse, 8840 Einsiedeln. See webcam. Read more...
Looking toward the monastery from the sledding hill.
Raten Sledding HillThis hill above Einsiedeln gets a little more snow than down below. Next to Restaurant Raten on the Raten pass (GPS: 47°08'30.5"N 8°39'49.7"E), there is a tiny ski hill with a rope tow and a big field for sledding. There is a big playground outside the restaurant, which is fun even in winter. The kids especially like the zip line. The restaurant is a little fancy with tablecloths and nice dishes, but we took our kid We've also done a sleigh ride from here. See webcam. Read my full post about Raten...
This winter trail isn't a sledding hill per se. But with lots of snow, you can pull the kids on the sled as you walk then sled down any parts of the trail that go down hill. Near the Felsenegg restaurant (about a 5 min walk from the Felsenegg cable car), there's a long stretch of an access "road" that people sled down (in below pic) and we've spent a fun hour there. The restaurant is cosy and has tasty traditional fare, but rather expensive. The trail can be reached by the Felsenegg cable car in Adliswil. See webcam. Read my full post...
Uetliberg 3.1 km Sled Run
With lots of snow, you can sled on a trail, aka "Schlittelweg," from the top of Uetliberg all the way down, 3.1 km. I've never done it myself but I've heard it's fun, if a little scary. It's not always open, even if there's snow. Call the sledding hotline for info (0800 588 588) or visit their website. To reach the start point, take the S10 train to the Uetliberg stop. Walk up hill toward the lookout point and you'll pass the start of the Schlittelweg on your left.
Elm 4 km Sled Run
The long sled run at Elm is a little wild and crazy but also a lot of fun. After riding up the gondola, you sled all the way back down along a country road that is covered in snow. You can bring your own sled or rent a large industrial strength sled that makes for a very smooth ride. To get here, drive to Elm and follow signs to Sportbahnen (GPS: 46°54'48.7"N 9°09'46.2"E). By public transit, take the bus to the Elm, Sportbahnen stop. Read more...
Sattel Hoch Stückli
This small resort features a 3.5 km sled run from the top of the gondola all the way to the valley. My husband and 5 year old did it once and said it was scary but fun. Their website says the sled run has been recently redone. You can purchase a one-way ticket if you are only riding it once (CHF 8 with Halbtax), or a regular ski day pass if you want to ride it multiple times. See website for details. To get here, drive to Eumatt, Sattel (GPS: 47°04'43.3"N 8°38'05.7"E) where you'll find a big parking lot next to the gondola station. The train station is a short walk away.
View of Rigi from the top of the gondola.
Engelberg Titlis Sledding
After riding the Titlis cable car to the Trübsee middle station, you'll find this fun sledding hill, which has a magic carpet that brings you back to the top. Hooray! I hate walking back up that hill! It's been redesigned since I took this picture, so now the magic carpet is even covered. It's free to use this sledding hill, but you have to first ride the Titlis cable car to Trübsee to reach this area. The sledding hill is right by the Trübsee winter walk, which is a groomed path around the lake, so pretty. More info about that walk here. This is a nice option for a family that skis, but still has under-3 children that need a different activity.
There is also a 3.5 km sled run from Gerschnialp, the next cable car station down. My kids have done that and enjoyed it. There is also a 2.5 km sled run on the Brunni side of the valley. Check website for details.
View from near the Trübsee sledding hill.
Amden-Arvenbüel 500m Sled Run
At Amden-Arvenbüel, we loved that we can ski and sled on the same hill. While my husband skied with our 6yr old, I sledded down the same hill with my 3yr old on the sled run, so we could kinda stay together as a family. Also, I could take the lift up with my sled instead of walking it up each time. Little kids will need to ride with an adult. Requires a lift ticket. Sled rentals available. Arvenbüelstrasse & Heiggenstr. in Amden. Read more...
View from the sledding hill.
What to wear
In addition to regular winter clothing including gloves, here are other things to bring.
Helmets are always a good idea, especially for the long sled runs that can be quite dangerous. Resort rentals sometimes provide helmets.
If you are using a raised sled, like the wood Davos sleds, wear very sturdy boots with ankle support. You are using your heels to brake and there will be a lot of pressure on your ankles. Ankle sprains and breaks are the most common injury for sledding.
Goggles or at least sunglasses are also very helpful on the long sled runs, especially for a child passenger, because so much snow flies up from your heels digging in the snow. A scarf is good for this as well, to keep the cold snow from covering your child's face.
Sleds are widely available at all sporting goods stores, like Migros SportXX, Athleticum, and Ochsner Sport (product photos below come from the sport stores mentioned above, with links to their online stores). Department stores like Manor and Coop sometimes sell them as well. If you are lucky, you might find a secondhand Davos sled in a Brockenhaus or online forum. All resorts with sled runs rent sleds or single runs or the day. There are dozens of different sled styles, but here are our favorites.
The first sled you should get is the shovel-style sled, aka "Schneerutcher." We love these because they are light and easy to carry, even fit in a backpack. They give a surprisingly good ride once you pack the snow down. Little kids can use themselves without getting hurt. They also work as a snow shovel for building sledding ramps and snowmen. They only cost about CHF 5 so it's worth buying one for each kid. You will only use this on small sledding hills, not sled runs.
While in Switzerland, you must have Davos-style wood sled. This type provides the best ride and control for the long sled runs and even work in deep snow. These sleds are steered using body weight. Braking is done by digging your heels in the snow. These are great for an adult riding with a child, especially with the child seat accessory shown below. However small children may find this sled hard to control with their little legs and do better on the plastic ones with brakes. Wood sleds are expensive but last a long time, so it's worth searching for one second hand. The Davos brand runs about CHF 250 or more. A Davos-style sled, aka "Davoser-Art," are much less expensive, a single rider version for about CHF 55, a double for CHF 90.
For toddlers, I highly recommend the sled chair attachment to a wood sled and the warm sled sack shown below. This is not just for sledding, but also an alternative to a stroller when walking around in the snow. Kids love being pulled around on a sled. I recommend getting a very sturdy version because you put a lot of pressure on the chair as you throw your body weight from side to sign to turn the sled. The wood on my secondhand chair split into pieces after a three seasons. If you can afford it, I would get the wood one with the back below sells for about CHF 80. The plastic version sells for about CHF 36. The less sturdy wood chair sells for about CHF 40, which is what I had, functional but didn't last forever.
This is just one example of a sled sack for small children, great for winter walks as well as sledding. This one sells at Migros SportXX for about CHF 50. Without a sled sack, make sure to bundle up.
The wood sleds with a canvas-like seat are more comfortable and luxurious, but also very expensive, running upwards of CHF 300. Many resorts rent this style.
Many children prefer the plastic sleds with a steering wheel and brakes. I find that they flip over easily when the kids jerk the steering wheel. But they also ride better over jumps. My kids were able to ride together when they were little, the older brother steering.
If you have very small children, make sure the sled is big enough for an adult and child because toddlers can't steer these things. Those low profile plastic sleds are a tight squeeze, while the raised sleds are much more roomy, sometimes fitting even three people.
Whatever you buy, make sure it has a good rope because no kid likes walking back up the sledding hill and your kid will definitely want you to pull them.
German Sledding Terms
sledding = schlitten or schlitten fahren
sled = der Schlitten or "Bob"
child seat for sled = Schlittensitz
Where can I rent a sled? = Wo kann ich einen Schlitten mieten?
We are going sledding today. Do you want to come along? = Wir gehen heute schlitten. Möchtest du mitkommen?
I'm sorry my child crashed into your child. = Entschuldigen! Es tut mir sehr Leid, dass mein Kind mit ihrem Kind zusammengestossen hat.
Move out of the way, coming through! = Hallo! Geh aus dem weg bitte. Wir gehen sofort durch.
Watch out! = Achtung! Pass auf!!!
I hurt my ankle. I need help. = Ich habe meinen Fussknöchel verletzt. Ich brauch Nothilfe.