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Are there any affordable ski resorts in Switzerland?

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
Are there any affordable ski resorts in Switzerland?
Where in Switzerland can you find affordable ski resorts? Photo by Valentine Kulikov via Pexels.

Skiing in Switzerland is an expensive hobby but are there any resorts in the Swiss Alps that won't cost you an arm and leg?


Inflation, coupled with high energy prices, has driven the cost of many consumer goods and products upwards in Switzerland, and the same is to be expected for the Swiss winter sports industry as well.

The general increase in the price of ski passes will be between 2 and 3 percent in Swiss resorts this winter, according to the umbrella association of ski lifts.

So where can you still find affordable ski resorts in Switzerland?

Aetsch Arena (Valais)

Though not as famous as Verbier or Zermatt, Aetsch Arena in the canton of Valais (at an altitude of 1,845 and 2,869 metres above sea level) nevertheless has a lot going for it. The ski resort boasts not one but three vantage points (or view points) – Eggishorn, Bettmerhorn, and Hohfluh – which are considered the area’s highlights. All view points are easily accessible by cable car and each platform will allow you to take in the sights of the mesmerising Great Aletsch Glacier from different angles.

Hikers can also take a mini ski break and explore the over 1000-year-old Aletsch forest – one of Europe’s oldest Swiss stone-pine forests.

The area had its last snow fall on November 6th, 2023.


You can tune into the ski resort’s live status updates here.

Cost: Aetsch Arena’s ticket prices for its four-hour tickets, day ski pass, and the multi-day ski passes (up to 21 days) are dynamic. This means that the earlier you secure your ticket, the cheaper it will be. However, note that the weather conditions will not influence the ticket price.

The resort has released a few price examples for its winter 2023/24 schedule. The day ski pass with cable car from valley level costs between 53  francs and 79 francs online (online discount valid until the day before).

Perks: Anyone under the age of 20 (and up to your 20th birthday), can take advantage of the Ski for free offer in the vast ski area of the Aletsch Arena throughout the winter season and get a free one-day ski pass every Saturday.

What’s more, the SBB Snow’n’Rail offer means that you, your parents or any accompanying adults can get a 20% discount on the price of public transport from any station in Switzerland.

Aetsch Arena also offers free two-hour 'taster' courses run by the Aletsch Arena ski and snowboard schools to offer beginners a chance to learn some basic ski or snowboarding skills. You can also rent equipment for free, if needed.

The free courses for this winter season will take place as follows:

  • Bettmeralp Ski School, on 16.12.2023
  • Riederalp Ski School, on 13.01.2024
  • Fiescheralp Ski School, on 20.01.2024

Season start: December 8th, 2023.

READ MORE: When do the ski resorts open in Switzerland this year?


Mythenregion (Lucerne)

Known locally as an inexpensive family resort, the Mythenregion offers winter sport enthusiasts 50 fantastic kilometres of piste close to the town of Lucerne.

The resort also includes 36 kilometres of south-facing winter walking trails, snowshoe trails, toboggan runs, a freestyle park, a children’s ski cross piste, a cross-country ski trail, countless cosy mountain restaurants and even a Swiss Ski School.

You can enter the Mythenregion via four entry points: via the Rotenfluebahn cable car from Rickenbach ob Schwyz, with the Brunni-Holzegg cable car in Alpthal, via the Handgruobi ski lift and from Ibergeregg (the mountain pass from Schwyz or Oberiberg).

You can keep up with the ski resort’s weather situation via its live webcam here.

Cost: An adult day ticket for the winter 2023/24 season costs 49 Swiss francs while young people and retirees pay a lesser 44 Swiss francs for the day.

Children from the age of six pay 31 Swiss francs (per day). Younger children may use the lifts free of charge.

Downsides: Though a ski resort well worth a visit, if you do not live in central Switzerland, you may want to consider the public transport cost before planning the trip. It may be that a local – albeit more expensive – alternative might work out cheaper in the end.

Additionally, sitting at an altitude of 1,070 to 1,593 metres above sea level, the Mythenregion ski resort is sat lower than Aetsch Arena (as well as many other Swiss ski resorts). This means that the likelihood of snow fall also lower in this region (and those situated at even lower altitudes than the Mythenregion). Luckily, many Swiss ski resorts will have dedicated snowmaking machines to ensure skiing is still possible.

Perks: Families are entitled to a family day ticket which features a 10-percent discount on the standard price.

Moreover, the region’s Mythenpark – a freestyle park – is a favourite among visitors. The park features 20 to 25 obstacles and jumps of varying difficulty levels as well as breath-taking views over central Switzerland

Season start: December 1st, 2023.


Amden Weesen (St. Gallen)

Small but mighty. The 20-kilometre Amden Weesen ski slopes are located between 931 metres and 1684 metres above sea level above the beautiful Lake Walen in the canton of St. Gallen.

The Amden ski area is split between the Mattstock and Arvenbüel zones. The Mattstock area is located directly above the village of Amden and features medium-difficulty slopes and several restaurants.

The Arvenbüel district offers visitors easy and medium level slopes and is known to be a beginners’ favourite. The area also has a snow park.

Both areas have great bus connections.

You can follow the ski resort’s snow report here.

Cost: Visitors interested in visiting the Sportbahnen Amden will have to fork out just 38 Swiss francs for a day ticket, while kids aged 6 to 16 pay only 24 Swiss francs.

If a whole day’s worth of skiing isn’t your cup of tea, you can also opt for a half-day ticket (either until 12:30pm or from 12pm onwards) for just 29 Swiss francs.

A family day ticket will set you back 99 Swiss francs (without lunch) or 140 Swiss francs (with lunch). This includes two adults and up to three children.

Perks: Curling (Eisstockschiessen), or farmer’s curling as its called among Amden residents, is a must-try – though you will have to pre-book. The event – held on the ice rink in Arvenbüel - can be attended by a group with up to 40 participants (cost from 140 Swiss francs) and includes some tasty, mulled wine and cheese fondue following the game.

Downside: Very advanced athletes may be left underwhelmed as the ski resorts primarily caters to easy and medium level skiers.

Season start: December 16th, 2023.


Kaisereggbahnen Schwarzsee (Fribourg)

The ski resort is located at 1,750 metres above sea level and includes two chairlifts, two ski lifts as well as a ski school area. The resort offers a total of 13.7 miles of great slopes while snow is assured thanks to the use of snow guns in the area.

Cost: Daily adult tickets for the Kaisereggbahnen Schwarzsee cost 41 Swiss francs (children 26 Swiss francs).

Visitors also have the option to purchase half-a-day tickets that cost either 35 Swiss francs apiece (stay until 1pm), 38 Swiss francs (from 11am onwards) or 35 Swiss francs (from 12.30am onwards).

Perks: From mid-December onwards, visitors will have the unique opportunity to skate on the region’s frozen mountain lake. Ice skating is only possible in good weather conditions (there must be sufficient ice and snow).

You can keep up-to-date with Schwarzsee’s skating on ice event here.

Just remember: Skating on ice is always at your own risk.

The ski resort is also a member of the Magic Pass with which you can enjoy unlimited access to partner ski lifts in six cantons in Switzerland and France.

Downsides: With its two chairlifts and two ski lifts, Schwarzsee is one of Switzerland’s smaller ski resorts. Though the area offers a range of activities, such as skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, its offer might pale when compared to activities offered in some of Switzerland’s larger Swiss ski resorts. Depending on how much variety visitors would like in a day, Schwarzsee may well leave some athletes wanting.

Season start: December 16th, 2023.

READ MORE: When do the ski resorts open in Switzerland this year?


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