Best things to do in Davos, Switzerland

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Davos hosts World Economic Forum from January 23 to 26, 2018

Here's where you can live like a high-roller in the Swiss city

CNN  — 

Park the Porsche. Secure the yacht.

It’s time to leave the ordinary behind and do your part to improve the state of the world by spending four days in Davos, Switzerland.

From January 23 to 26, 2018, the highest city in Europe will once again host the globe’s super-powerful during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Hopefully your private plane will land on time for the forum’s climate change discussion.

If not, you’ll be sure to find yourself among other high fliers on the Swiss ski slopes where you can discuss topics such as social inclusion with the invitation-only event elites.

Not among the 2,500 top business, political, and intellectual leaders and journalists to travel to this year’s forum?

Consider yourself lucky: You’ll have all the more downtime to experience the high life. Here are the best things to do at this popular destination:

Stay at a place that offers the world to those who have already conquered it

Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère: Home to 126 of the most sought-after rooms in Davos.

The Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère offers luxury that’s hard to explain – even in four official Swiss languages. Perhaps that’s why it’s the hotel of choice for many heads of state.

It hosted the first World Economic Forum back in 1971 and has since catered to leaders like Bill Clinton, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Prince Albert of Monaco.

Perfectly located in the center of everything in Davos Platz, only those who book early get the coveted 126 rooms.

The other 11,000 visitors coming to Davos for the WEF will be left to ponder their tardiness – a phenomenon foreigners get used to when traveling in super-punctual Switzerland.

For those too late to book a room, this celebrated hotel is also a dining destination, featuring three restaurants, including Restaurant Belvédère, where guests enjoy breakfast as well as gourmet evening menus.

Also on the hotel premises is an extensive wellness area that comes complete with everything you’d expect from a luxury hotel: an aquatic area with panoramic Alpine views, a counter-current swimming pool, a whirlpool, a fitness room, a Finnish sauna and a steam bath.

Not to mention: this is one five-star hotel that truly can claim that number of stars. In fact, you’ll probably find most of them at the bar. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, and Bono have all been guests here too.

Steigenberger Grand Hotel Belvédère Davos; Promenade 89, 7270 Davos Platz; +41 (0)81 415 60 00

Slide downhill faster than the global economy at Parsenn

Parsenn, a 12-kilometer-long ski slope, is a legend among Alpine adventurers.

The story of its discovery began in 1895, when four English tourists lost their way on the Weissfluhjoch and discovered this classic mountain skiing route while descending to Küblis.

The Parsenn ski arena is reached in an equally epic manner – via a funicular railway from Davos.

Anything’s possible up here at 2,662 meters, from skiing alongside Hillary Clinton on the Meierhofer Tälli (renamed the Hillary Clinton run by locals, since it’s her favorite here) to measuring the speed of your descent.

To check your speed stats, simply start your run on slope number five at the Rapid chairlift. As you pass the two infrared photocell detectors, the speed-measuring system on the Parsenn will allow you to determine if you truly are plunging faster than the global economy in 2008.

Davos Klosters Bergbahnen AG; Verkaufsstelle Parsenn Davos, Promenade 157, 7260 Davos Dorf; +41 (0)81 417 67 57

Raise a glass to your elevated status at Restaurant Jakobshorn Gipfel

At a height of 2,590 meters above sea level, this mountain restaurant, located directly at the Mount Jakobshorn cable car station, serves simple cuisine at standards as high as its altitude.

It offers many culinary options to skiers and non-skiers alike.

There’s a panoramic sun-terrace bar where you can raise a glass to living the high life with other elitists (hot chocolate with grappa, anyone?), a more intimate Fondue-Stübli specializing in that cheesy delight, and Restaurant Jakobshorn Gipfel – a panorama restaurant with a basic mountain menu of hamburgers, French fries, onion rings, barley soup, spaghetti, apple strudel and more.

Whatever dining or drinking space , you’ll be treated to camera-worthy views of the Davos area and the feeling that you’re on the top of the world.

Restaurant Jakobshorn Gipfel; 7270 Davos Platz; +41 (0)81 413 70 04

Pray for world peace at the Sertig Valley chapel

It's the final stop of the Sertig Classic Davos, but the picture-perfect chapel is open to visitors too.

Built in 1699, the tiny, picture-perfect chapel in the village of Sertig near Davos is still open for weddings and prayer.

Located in the Sertig Valley south of Davos, about 14 kilometers from town, you can get to the church on cross-country skis or by public bus from Davos Platz.

Every February, 250 cross-country skiers, including Olympians, World Cup competitors and many other famous athletes race from Davos to Sertig in the Sertig Classic Davos. The winning time is usually between 48 and 49 minutes. (The bus can get you there in 21).

Kirche Davos Sertig; Sertigerstrasse 24, 7272 Davos Sertig; +41 (0)81 413 61 17

Draw inspiration to improve the world at the Kirchner Museum Davos

The Alps have inspired everyone from world leaders to leading artists. The Kirchner Museum Davos, which features the works of one of the world’s most influential expressionists, offers insights into why.

In 1917, German painter and printmaker Ernst Ludwig Kirchner took refuge in Davos after being discharged from wartime military service following a nervous breakdown.

One of Germany’s most renowned artists, his work reveals some of the fears many have about the world today: about humanity’s place in the modern world, about lost feelings of spirituality and about the belief that there are powerful forces beneath the veneer of Western civilization.

The Kirchner Museum Davos comprises over 1,500 of Kirchner’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and textile works, and 160 sketchbooks. The majority of the paintings were created in Davos.

Kirchner Museum Davos; Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Platz, Promenade 82, 7270 Davos Platz; +41 (0)81 410 63 00

Discover the advantageous monetary policies of World Cup ski runs

There are many kinds of elites that meet in Davos. Some of them include the world’s top cross-country skiers who come here for the Davos Nordic FIS Cross-Country World Cup every December and the Sertig Classic every February.

Some Olympic and World Cup Champions, like Dario Cologna, don’t just compete in Davos; they call it home.

Elite skier or not, you can ski the same trails as the champions – for free.

Thanks to the Davos Cross-Country Ski Club, which promotes and supports Nordic skiing in Davos, there are no passes required for cross-country skiing.

Free things in Switzerland, often ranked one of the world’s most expensive countries, are worth taking advantage of, especially if they include 78 kilometers of classic trails, 48 kilometers of skating trails, and 2.5 kilometers of illuminated night-time trails.

Thanks to Davos’ high altitude, there are snowy trails from October until April, making Davos a true cross-country (and financial) paradise.

Destination Davos Klosters; +41 (0)81 415 21 21

Take a break from your limo on the Bernina Express