Music and Movies in the Mountains of Klosters

Summer in Klosters
Summer in Klosters | © Destination Davos Klosters / Andrea Badrutt

Editorial Manager

The region of Davos Klosters is best known as a luxury ski destination with a glamorous past and thriving reputation for modern winter sports. As with many Swiss towns, the summer months offer a more tranquil environment but if you head here when the weather is warm and sunny, you’ll find yourself enjoying a very different type of break.

One of the best things about Switzerland is its world-famous rail network which connects the main cities to various rural outposts. Carving its way through mountains and lush greenery, this enviable way of travel is a breathtaking joy, and hopping on a train is certainly the best way to get around here. The wider region I was heading to is Graubünden, where you’ll find popular destinations like St. Moritz as well as the UNESCO world heritage Bernina Express rail route.

Arriving in Klosters

It doesn’t require too much advance planning either, so when I found myself invited to a music festival in Klosters during the summer I got an early flight to Zurich and plotted a route to the small Swiss region by rail. After a couple of hours staring at the sumptuous scenery, I had arrived at my destination. Klosters is a small village around 150 km (95 mi) from the nearest international airport in Zurich. In most literature you’ll find it paired with nearby Davos, which is more famous for hosting events like the World Economic Forum. I arrived soon after the politicians and business leaders had left, but still had plenty to look forward to on my short trip here.

Scenic train rides are a great way to explore the region

One major advantage of visiting Switzerland in the summer is that you are largely protected from the high prices of peak travel. Flights via Swiss Air are cheap and very quick, but then so is rail travel. One further option to investigate is travel by road, especially as many of the main routes around the country provide electric charge points. This is another great reason to visit in the summer as the road can get icy during the colder months.

Accommodation can also come in at a reasonable price with some traditional ski resorts now opening in the summer for a different type of visitor. A short walk from the train station in Klosters you’ll find Hotel Wynegg, a quaint property which has a surprisingly strong selection of local cuisine on offer. The area has a number of influences from surrounding countries – it is known as the ‘Three Languages’ region after all – and you can’t leave without trying some hearty gnocchi or snacking on deliciously rich nut cake.

Klosters Music Festival

On your walk through Klosters you’ll notice Chesa Grischuna, a small hotel with a big reputation around the world. Hollywood actor Gene Kelly was a regular guest, having first visited in 1951 and fallen in love with Klosters. As a dancer he is said to have been adept on the slopes and even more adept at dancing on the tables in the hotel bar. Locals still speak fondly of the star, who enjoyed the quiet way could mingle with people around town. Patricia, his wife, is still a regular visitor and was guest of honour at Klosters Music Festival which screened Kelly’s iconic musical Singin’ in the Rain. As I headed to Klosters Arena the heavens opened to offer a fitting opening act to the performance the audience were about to enjoy. With a live orchestra and enchanting introduction by Patricia, the classic movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood transcended cultural boundaries and left the crowd with a visible spring in their steps.

The festival’s fourth edition was a resounding success, drawing in dignitaries and music lovers from around the region and beyond. The programme for 2023 has also been announced and will feature performances under the theme of “Sehnsucht Natur. Musical Landscapes”. For cinephiles the silent era will be brought back to life with three screenings of the best work by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The City Light Chamber Orchestra will be scoring the presentations and expect a bombastic reception if previous events are anything to go by. Plan your summer trip to Klosters around 29 July – 6 August if you want to take advantage of the concerts while in Switzerland.

Things to do in Klosters

Make sure you pick up the relevant passes to get around Klosters in advance. In my spare time I decided to hop on a train and explore the area and plan to go back to check out more further to the south. It’s also worth picking up a Davos Klosters premium card pass which allows local travel and entry to most of the attractions you’ll find here.

Heading up the mountains in Klosters

Most people here speak perfect English alongside German, so you’ll have few problems if you get stuck. Everything is clearly signposted and the public transport systems run as immaculately as you would expect. You can also walk between most stations if you prefer to take in the fresh air and with the weather having cleared up from the previous night’s downpour I decided to make my way to one of the gondolas and head up to Madrisa.

In winter you can ski, toboggan and snowshoe your way down from the top, but in summer you can walk at leisure. After a few hours of trekking I even found a public foot therapy circuit which was an unexpected highlight. Simply take off your socks and shoes and make your way around a series of stops designed to improve circulation and cure any aches and pains in your feet. You can’t really do any of this in winter, so it was a rare summer treat that helped me decide to take a scenic walk back down to Klosters rather than a gondola ride.

Make sure you try as much of the local cuisine as you can too as it is quite distinctive. There are places to eat in Madrisa as well as many more spots in Klosters itself. It’s worth noting that its a good idea to book in advance for dinner, although many bars will also serve food on a walk-in basis.

One final highlight you might want to check out is the covers tribute band festival. This event signals the end of winter and start of spring here and attracts some of the best acts in the world.

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