The town of Brig with its historic old quarter and the Stockalper Palace lies in the sunny Upper Valais at the foot of the Simplon Pass. Situated at an important junction, Brig is an ideal starting point for excursions. It is close to hiking and ski regions on the Lötschberg and Simplon, and in the Aletsch. It also has its own thermal baths, making it an attractive holiday resort.
Rail Travel Times:
St Moritz to Zermatt: 7 hours 30 minutes
Plan and Book:
Brig: See and Do
The lovely old town with its stately houses, cosy inns and hotels will tempt you to linger awhile. Lively Bahnhofstrasse is great for shopping, and the Stockalper Palace in Brig is one of the most important baroque palaces in Switzerland.
The history of Brig is closely linked with the Simplon Pass, one of the most beautiful alpine passes which starts immediately beyond the city gates. Napoleon built a road through the Simplon Pass in the 19th century to move his armies, thus creating the first man-made road in the Alps.
Brig is a perfect starting point for an excursion to Zermatt or Saas-Fee, for example. It also lies along the route of the famous Glacier Express, which links Zermatt and St. Moritz. Going south, Brig is the most northerly border station for the Simplon railway tunnel to Italy. To the east, you pass through Goms, and the Furka Pass leads to central Switzerland; the Grimsel Pass into the Bernese Oberland; and the Nufenen Pass into the Ticino.
Kander Viaduct on the Lötschberg railway line
The Lötschberg railway line connects Spiez in the canton of Bern with Brig. It crosses the Bernese Alps, from the Bernese Oberland to Upper Valais, through the Lötschberg Tunnel in the middle of the line. Together with the Simplon Tunnel south of Brig, it constitutes one of the major railways through the Alps and an important north-south axis in Europe. The line is famous for its double loop of spiral tunnels in the Kander Valley on its northern approach to the Lötschberg Tunnel and the climb out of the Rhone Valley on a steep mountainside through numerous tunnels and viaducts on the southern approach. Its culminating point is 1,240 metres above sea level, making it the highest line of the main Swiss railway network.
Brig in Winter
There are skiing areas near Brig on the sunny terrace of Rosswald and in Rothwald on the Simplon road. The ski areas of the Aletsch are also close by as is Goms, a veritable paradise for cross-country skiers.
Brig in Summer
There are over 150 km of marked hiking trails on the Simplon and Lötschberg and in the Aletsch region. Cycle and mountain bike routes also abound. Experts will enjoy the tour to the Rosswald viewing plateau. The Brigerbad Baths, one of the biggest open-air thermal centres in Switzerland, are thoroughly exhilarating.
Simplon Pass - the 35-km-long Stockalper road from Brig to Gondo. Simplon Pass is featured in the Simplon Ecomuseum, dedicated to the history of the Pass from the time of Stockalper to Napoleon.
Stockalper Palace - a baroque place built by the merchant prince Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper. He made his fortune by trading in salt, silk and other goods along the mule track he had extended through the Simplon Pass.
The old town of Brig - interesting old town with aristocratic houses, a pilgrimage and collegiate church and Sebastians Chapel.
Brigerbad - one of the biggest open-air thermal spa centres in Switzerland, just 6 km from Brig. It has a spa grotto swimming pool, water chute (182 m), fresh water and Olympic pools.
Ausserberg on the Lötschberg south slope
Lötschberg south slope - a mountain walk along the dry, hot, step-like southern slope of the Lötschberg railway line: a walk famous for its panoramic views.
Aletsch Glacier - the longest glacier in Europe and part of the Jungfrau - Aletsch - Bietschhorn UNESCO world natural heritage site.
Farmers Market - takes place every Saturday morning in the picturesque town center. Organic producers from the region sell their products (every Saturday morning).
Alpine Town Festival - with some great names in Swiss music such as Patent Ochsner, Polo Hofer, Zuri West, Florian Ast and many more meet for the big show on the town square in Brig (end of June).
Upper Valais Film Days - grand winners cinema event. During one week award-winning films are shown in their original version on the Brig castle premises (end of August).
Beach in Town - top-class volleyball sheer enjoyment and a fun tournament make for a great summer beach feeling on the Brig town square (June).
Brig Beach in Town