Visiting Zermatt, Switzerland
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Welcome to your guide on visiting Zermatt during the ski season! Below I'll tell you the best way to spend your time in this picturesque and historic Swiss village including where to stay, eat, drink and play!
Before getting to Zermatt for an epic ski trip, be sure to check out my blog post "How to Pack for a Ski Trip" to make sure you bring the right essentials in your suitcase!
Getting to Zermatt
First, you need to know how to get to Zermatt. Most important to note is that there are no gas powered vehicles in the town of Zermatt. Just bicycles, a few horse drawn carriages, and what look like suped-up golf carts that they pass as taxis and shuttle services. To get to Zermatt without your own vehicle you need to make your way to the Tasch train station at the base of the mountain. The train ride from Tasch to Zermatt takes about 12 minutes and leaves every 20 minutes from 6am to 11pm, then every how after that until the next morning at 6am. The train station is open 24/7 and has ticket kiosks if there are no ticketing attendants available.
Where to Stay
You've now arrived in Zermatt! Where are you staying? There are a number of accommodations throughout town. There are a variety of hotels as well as vacation rentals that you can choose from. I like to choose a place closer to the center of town and the train station so I don't have to lug my suitcases and ski equipment very far. Some of the nicer hotels will offer a shuttle service to pick you up, so check before hand for when you arrive!
Below is a list of great hotels in close proximity to the train station and ski lift. These hotels are also near tons of restaurants, bars and shopping and are moderately priced.
Hotel Walliserhoff Zermatt**** - I've stayed here several times with my family. It's the perfect distance from the train station and ski lift. They have a great daily breakfast buffet as well as a restaurant, bar and sauna.
Hotel Pollux **** - Equipped with a restaurant and bar, breakfast buffet and a wellness area including a sauna, steam bath, spa shower and Jacuzzi.
Hotel Schweizerhof **** - Close to the train station but can also send a shuttle to pick you up with your bags.
Hotel Gornergrat-Dorf *** - Includes a restaurant and bar as well as a sauna.
Hotel Testa Grigia *** - A total of 37 cozy rooms, with great wifi and a breakfast buffet.
*Photos provided by the Hotel Walliserhoff Zermatt*
Not too concerned about the distance to the train station and looking to stick to a smaller budget? Here is a list of accommodations that are on the cheaper side.
Hotel Adonis *** - Small family run hotel, dog friendly with a private garden. Breakfast buffet, sauna and fitness room included.
The Matterhorn Hostel * - Option for private or dorm type rooms. Bathrooms and showers are communal. Includes a restaurant and a bar.
Hotel Helvetia ** - Breakfast buffet and restaurant with Swiss menu items as well as some Thai food!
Looking to go all out during your stay in Zermatt? Here is a list of luxury hotels in town.
The Omnia ***** - Indoor/outdoor pool, spa, and fitness room with daily yoga and Pilates classes. Michelin awarded restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace.
Hotel Firefly **** - Book a treatment in their spa or relax in their indoor pool, sauna, salt grotto, or steam bath.
Mont Cervin Palace ***** - Take a carriage ride from the train station to the hotel when you arrive. Several restaurants and bars as well as a spa. Indoor pool, whirlpools, children's pool and sauna area.
Grand Hotel Zermatterhoff ***** - Three different restaurants and a large outdoor terrace. Horse-drawn carriage rides to and from the train station when you arrive. Indoor pool and Spa.
*Photos provided by The Omnia Hotel*
Throughout Zermatt you can also find a lot of vacation rentals through companies like Homeaway.com and VRBO.com. When booking a vacation rental make sure to look at the exact location on a map. Some vacation rentals in Zermatt can advertise being close to town (which is technically true) but in reality you might have to walk literally up a mountain to get to them.
Looking for an accommodation during your stay in Zermatt that is more unique? Check out these unique stays!
Iglu-Dorf ****- Igloo hotel on the slopes
Kulmhotel Gornergrat ***- Hotel and restaurant housed in a an expedition base and planetarium on the slopes.
Where to Eat and Drink
There is no shortage of restaurants in Zermatt. The majority are either going to be Swiss-German or Swiss-Italian cuisine. You really can't go wrong with any place you find in town but one thing is for sure, MAKE A RESERVATION. I can't tell you how many times we were turned away at dinner time (especially during the high tourism season) because we did not make a reservation. You really have nothing to lose by making a reservation. If you decide not to go to that particular restaurant because something came up or you found another place, just call in and cancel. You're much better off by having a reservation than by having no set plans at all. What I usually like to do, right when I get into town, is walk around, get my bearings, and find a place I think I'll enjoy either that night or the night before. Usually you won't have a problem getting a table during the lunch hours, it's dinner time that you want to make sure you reserve it ahead of time.
Below I've complied a list of some of my favorite restaurants and bars in town with their perspective addresses.
Rostall - Bahnhofplatz 50
Casa Mia - Bahnhofplatz 36
Swiss Chalet - Bahnhofstrasse 18
Theodors Stuba - Bahnhofstrasse 30, inside the Walliserhof Hotel
Pizzeria Ristorante Milano - Bahnhofstrasse 53
Walliserkanne (pictured above) - Bahnhofstrasse 32
Le Gitan Grill - Bahnhofstrasse 64
Brown Cow Bar (serves food also) - Bahnhofstrasse 41
Little Bar (the smallest bar in Zermatt) - Bahnhofstrasse 60 (approximately)
Skiing and Snowboarding
Zermatt has a total of 360 kilometers/224 miles of ski runs. This means you can ski the whole day and never hit the same slope twice if you don't want to. This is one of the reasons why thousands of people from all over the world flock to Zermatt during the ski season.
You can find everything you need to know here >>> Zermatt Ski
Ticket pricing and time tables
Where to rent ski equipment
Information for ski schools and ski instructors
The location of restaurants and cafes throughout the slopes
Condition of the slopes
Popular Apres-Ski spots and events
Feel free to leave any of your own suggestions on where to stay, eat and play while visiting Zermatt, Switzerland in the comments! Also, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
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