What to do in Meiringen in winter (Swiss life, the snowy edition)
Meiringen – known for its meringues, Sherlock Holmes fame, and being just half an hour from Interlaken – is perhaps at its best in summer, especially if you want to climb, hike, bike... or just sun yourself with a view of the mountains. But it's Switzerland, and the Hasliberg ski resort is here, so there's always something to do in winter on good weather days. Here are some outdoor favourites.
1. A day skiing on Hasliberg
With the ski lift less than ten minutes walk from the train station, this is the most obvious choice if you want to enjoy the slopes without lugging your skis to a bigger resort like Grindelwald. Hasliberg is a cosy (read: small) resort, and I prefer it that way. The Meiringen-Hasliberg lift takes you to Reuti, where you can get another gondola up to Bidmi, and then continue on chairlifts. You can see prices on the Meiringen-Hasliberg website, then pick up a ticket at the desk. If you need to, you can also rent skis in Reuti.
2. ...Or a Friday night
If you want to experience skiing in the dark, catch the Meiringen-Hasliberg lift on a Friday. You probably won't be able to see where you're going, nor will the Swiss kids hurtling past you, but it's one for the bucket list.
3. Snowshoeing up in the mountains
There are other options than skiing or boarding. Hasliberg has a lot of winter hiking routes, which are so well groomed you can usually get away with just wearing hiking boots. But you can rent snowshoes in Reuti too. You'll probably only pass a few other hikers or toboggans en route, especially if you head up early in the morning, which makes for a more peaceful time up the mountain. The routes are all on the map, and marked by pink signs.
If you have a Halbtax (half-fare) travel card, you can get a day hiking pass up to Bidmi for about 15 CHF. And when you're done for the day, you could call via the Hotel Reuti for a glühwein, heisse schoggi, and/or a slice of apfelstrudel with ice cream, cream, and custard.
4. Other winterwandern
If you don't want to pay for a lift pass, you can still go for a snowy hike in or around Meiringen, such as past the 13th-century Resti ruins. You can take the stairs up to the top of the castle if you'd like a view of the town, or you can continue through the woods.
5. Exploring the village
Meiringen is small, but still a good place to wander around. You'll probably run out of things to see after about twenty minutes, but then you can just call into the Victoria Hotel for a coffee.