This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Engelberg.
Engelberg is a tiny, but major, village resort in the Swiss Alps. It is within the canton of Obwalden, in the very central of Switzerland, near Lucerne. The town was originally known for the quality of education from the Benedictine Abbey, but now is more known for being a year round resort and spa town.
The easiest way to get here is by flying to Zurich. From Zurich, you can take a train to Engelberg, with a possible transfer in Lucerne. The train system in Switzerland is excellent, so its easy to get around without your own transport. Engelberg also has a free town bus which operates predominantly in the winter.
Engelberg is first mentioned in connection with the Abbey in the early 12th century. It was a sleepy mountain town with monks until the 1850s, when the tourism industry noticed and moved in with new hotels and cafes. Roads were built and widened, and a railway and funicular were both opened, which facilitated tourism to the higher parts of the mountains.
Hostel accommodation in Engelberg is limited, but it does exist. Most of the hostels (and other accommodation) caters to the hikers and the skiiers; expect space for winter gear, muddy boots, and more. The word for “hostel” in Swiss German is “jugendherberge,” but you’ll find that most people speak English.
The town is well-equipped for year-round tourism. In addition to the many downhill ski trails around there are also tobogganing trails, cross country ski hills, and funicular rides to the stations on the mountain. In the summer, hiking around the lake or up to the cheese dairies in the hills, mountain biking, and swimming are popular activities. If you are in the area in late September, you can watch the Alpabzug, which is the parade of cows returning from the pastures in the hills to to their village barns for winter.
Written by local enthusiast for Engelberg hostelsJakob Lombardi