Skier Matt Soumet in Verbier

Destination: Verbier, a Swiss mountain town that is anything but neutral

Destination: Verbier, a Swiss mountain town that is anything but neutral

The town of Verbier itself offers an array of restaurants, a thriving nightlife, a bounty of hotels and plenty of good people to boot. Brits, Scots, Frenchies, Aussies and even a few Swiss make up a large part of the community here. Some of them have carved out a nice life for themselves while others are simply here for the season, to pour some beers, beat you in darts and ski as much of the amazing terrain as they can.

Switzerland in general is not a cheap place to travel, but if you’re smart about your choices, you can have your fun without breaking the bank (unless that’s your thing). As Verbier sits on the side of the hill with the Medran gondola plaza up top, some of the more expensive hotels sit higher up. At the valley floor is a little town called Le Châbel, with some cheaper lodging options. If you choose to stay down there, you can take the gondola up to Verbier, but note that it doesn’t run all night. If you want to experience some nightlife, you’re better off spending a few extra bucks to stay in Verbier.

Skier Matt Soumet in Verbier

Matt Soumet slashes a turn in Verbier. Photo by Gitgo

The über-fancy W Hotel, where rooms go for up to $1,000 per night and no luxury is spared, sits right next to the Medran. About a 20-minute walk or a short bus ride down the hill from the gondola, in what’s known as Verbier Village, you can find some modest places to stay, such as Hotel Les Touristes or B&B du Bry. But if you’re willing to drop a few hundred bucks per night for a good spot, you can put yourself right in the middle of all the action and just a few steps down the hill from the gondola. Places like Hotel Mirabeau, Central Hotel Verbier and Hotel Farinet are sprinkled amongst the bars. The latter just happens to be home to one of the best joints in town. Farinet’s Après Ski Bar, mentioned earlier, is perpetually packed to the brim with locals and tourists alike as live music blares from the stage, and bartenders pour shots from atop the bar straight into your mouth (or all over your face). It’s one of the best après spots you’ll ever find.


Verbier. Photo by Gitgo

If you’re trying to eat on a budget, there are a couple of take-out windows in town that will give you the best bang for your buck. But don’t forget to try some local cuisine. Check out Relais des Neiges or Le Caveau, both on the main drag of Rue de Medran, for some raclette or fondue.

Finally, if you’re looking to hit the town post-dinner, you have a few options. Your first stops should be at The Loft Bar or Pub Mont Fort. Both have a casual atmosphere, drink specials and plenty of locals to banter with. If the wee hours of the morning are when you really shine, then Casbah, the Farm Club or Twin Peaks will be right up your alley. Get sweaty on the dance floor and don’t worry that you’ll be way too hungover to make a decent turn in the morning. Just delay your flight and stay a few extra days. When the time comes, getting to or from the airport is relatively easy. You can reserve a shuttle with AlpyBus for about $60 or save a few bills by taking the train.

So, whether you’re on a mission to ball out or just want to get the authentic European ski experience, Verbier will not disappoint. Book your flight, pack your skis and get ready for a ski trip that you will likely never stop bragging about.

Related: Destination: Taos Ski Valley, a true skiing treasure in the desert

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