Explore my top 24 hand-picked experiences in Zermatt, Europe's ultimate winter sports haven. This guide is brimming with unique finds, from enjoying cheese fondue in an igloo to sampling the quirky High Heel Soup. Discover Swiss culinary delights like Raclette, the après-ski scene at Iglu-dorf Hotel, and vibrant nightlife at Broken Bar. Whether you're a snowboarding novice or a seasoned skiing professional, I've got the best slopes covered on both the Matterhorn and Gornergrat.
- Why: Most luxurious winter sport resort in Europe.
- When: Early February
- Accomodation: Stay at Alpenresort or these other afforable hotels
- Best Attraction: Cheese Fondue at the Igloo Village
- Discount: Save lots of money by purchasing the Swiss Tavel Pass for unlimited travel in Switzerland on trains, buses, boats, cable cars and FREE access to 480 museums.
Buy Tickets for Zermatt
I've often felt that Zermatt, a mesmerizing village perched on the Swiss-Italian border, is inadequately portrayed in most travel guides. That's why my brother and I have taken it upon ourselves to bring you the ultimate travel guide to this charming locale. Zermatt isn't just another Alpine village; it stands at an awe-inspiring height of 3,899 meters and offers an astonishing 360 kilometers of ski slopes. The icing on the cake? Zermatt promises snow 365 days a year and is blessed with an annual snowfall of 300 inches, making it truly unparalleled.
Zermatt Map Download
Attractions • Restaurants • Rooftops
Bars • Nightclubs • Walking Routes
and Bonus Tips.
Best Places for Travel in Zermatt
1. Electric Taxi
Zermatt is car-free, making the air quality in the vilalge extremely fresh, clean and no noise. Only electric taxi's are allowed
2. Riedweg Viewpoint
The best viewpoint of the Matterhorn in the village of Zermatt, it can take 15 minutes from downtown Zermatt to walk up here.
Jump on the highest-altitude cogwheel railway in Europe to the peak at 3089 meters in 33 minutes, great for snowboarding and skiing.
This mountain also offers great skiing and snowboarding and is considered to have the best view of the Matterhorn.
5. Riffelberg Buffet
Mid-way station on the Gornergrat for a delicious Swiss lunch to boast up those calories, try their Bratwurst with Zwiebel sauce.
6. Cervo Après-ski
Looking for a good after party after conquering the slopes? Look no further than Cervo for live music and a warm cafe Luz.
Upon arriving at Zermatt Station, your first move should be to rent your ski or snowboard gear. This ensures that you can ascend the mountains early the next morning without any complications. You can hop aboard Europe's highest-altitude cogwheel railway to get to Gornergrat, standing at 3,089 meters. At the end of this 33-minute journey, you'll find yourself at Kulmhotel, the highest hotel in Switzerland. Here, you can feast your eyes on the majestic Monte Rosa Massif. And for the skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, the Rothorn mountain offers a splendid alternative, featuring what many consider the best view of the iconic Matterhorn.
7. Igloo Cheese Fondue
Enjoy molten cheese fondue within an igloo on top of the Gornergrat mountain, join the tourgroup on Thursday for some live music as well.
Coolest experience in Zermatt, visit a village made out of Igloos including a hotel, bar, jacuzzi and restaurant.
9. Swiss Raclette
Try the Raclette, Swiss molten cheese at Du Pont restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Zermatt for just 8 CHF, $8 US dollars.
10. Matterhorn Museum
Known as Zermatlantis, immersed within the mountain with their most famous exhibit, the broken rope from the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865.
11. St. Mauritius Church
Breath-taking church located in the center of Zermatt. Take a peak inside, it is often open, even during the early evenings.
12. Hinterdorf Street
Stroll the winter winter world of 30 ancient barns, stables and storage units built since the 15th century.
Your culinary adventure in Zermatt should begin with a visit to Chez Heini, which offers the peculiar but tantalizing Red High Heel Soup, usually the soup of the day, and some incredibly juicy lamb chops. The restaurant spices up the atmosphere with entertaining shows during the evening. Or, for just 8 CHF (approximately $8 US), you can sample the Swiss traditional dish, Raclette, at Du Pont, the oldest restaurant in Zermatt.
Did you know the mountain on the Toblerone chocolate bar represents the Matterhorn peak?
14. Zermatt Beer
With such super fresh alp mountain water it is not surprising Zermatt brews their own beer. They offer 4 flavours for each season, try out their lager at the local bars.
No trip to Zermatt is complete without visiting the Matterhorn at 3883 meters, almost 4 km above sea level. Take the Matterhorn cable car to the Klein Matterhorn for the observation platform.
16. Chez Heini
Most unique restaurant in Zermatt for offering the bizarre red High Heel soup and their juicy lamb cops. You can also expect a fun show during the evenings here!
17. High Heel Soup
The soup of the day, often a vegetable soup served in a high heel. Truly, I have never seen such a bizarre dish before.
18. Harrys Ski Bar
A good place to start your Zermatt nightlife adventure, look no further than this cozy bar with energenic locals.
If you're in Zermatt on a Thursday, you're in for a treat with the Cheese Fondue in an Igloo experience, which costs 70 Swiss Francs or $70 US. Your adventure begins with a journey to the Iglu-dorf, located near the Riffelberg station. This impressive structure is more than just a collection of igloos; it includes a hotel, a bar, and even a jacuzzi. Once inside, you're welcomed with a warm cup of mulled red wine and treated to an unforgettable cheese fondue experience, complemented by live music. Along the way, consider pausing at Riffelberg Buffet for a Swiss lunch; their Bratwurst with Zwiebel sauce is a robust choice.
19. Little Bar
The tinniest bar in town with the tinniest entrance and door I have seen. Warning, it can get very tight in here, but their cocktails are fantastic.
20. Broken Bar Nightclub
Hotel Post offers the biggest nightlife complex in Zermatt with multiple stories of bars, dancefloors and live music. Broken Bar and The Factory are the best venues here.
21. Alpen Resort Hotel
Looking for a comfortable stay with all facilities and within budget? Alpen Resort offers panorama rooms, breakfast buffet, a giant pool with Finnish spa and a jacuzzi.
22. Migros Supermarket
Switzerland can be very expensive, luckily there is the Migros Budget Supermarket where you can find the Migros Budget GO GREEN products which are often half the cost of their counterparts.
23. Panaroma Train
The journey from Zurich or Geneva airports can take 3.5 hours, but trust me, this isn't a punishment since you will be rewarded with the best views of the Swiss Alps.
24. Swiss Travel Pass
Covers free transit in Switzerland on trains, boats, buses and cable cars but also access to 420 museums in Switzerland. Starting at 240 CHF, $240 US dollars, it would be a mistake visiting Switzerland without it.
While you're in the vicinity, don't forget to check out Iglu-dorf in its entirety. The facility is an ice architectural marvel, with intricate ice sculptures of wild animals, from buffalos to eagles. Although the cost to rent an igloo room for a night can be on the pricier side, waking up amid such artwork is an experience you'll cherish forever. If you're looking for an après-ski setting that stands out, Cervo offers live music and a warm café atmosphere.
Strolling through Zermatt offers its own set of rewards. The village’s car-free policy means that only electric taxis are allowed, maintaining an air quality that is exceptionally fresh and clean. For those seeking the best views of the Matterhorn, the Riedweg Viewpoint is just a 15-minute walk from downtown. If you’re more culturally inclined, the ancient Hinterdorf Street and the Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis offer a peek into Zermatt's rich history. Don't overlook the St. Mauritius Church, often open even in the early evenings, which stands as a breathtaking monument in the heart of the village.
When the sun sets, Zermatt comes alive with vibrant nightlife. For those who enjoy a cold beer, Zermatt even has its own brewery, offering four seasonal flavors that you can try at various downtown venues, like Harry's Bar or Little Bar. If you’re looking for something more, Hotel Post has a sprawling nightlife complex featuring multiple bars and dance floors, notably the Broken Bar and The Factory.
Don't leave Zermatt without taking full advantage of its unparalleled ski and snowboard opportunities. Two must-have passes are the Matterhorn Ski Pass and the Gornergrat Ski Pass. The Matterhorn Ski Pass, priced at 96 CHF (approximately $110 US), provides you with access to 360 kilometers of ski slopes surrounding the iconic Matterhorn. The Gornergrat Ski Pass comes at a cost of 96 CHF (approximately $110 US) and grants you a truly unique ski experience on the Gornergrat mountain range. Both passes offer unbeatable views and terrains that cater to all levels of expertise, from beginners to professionals. Make sure to grab yours for the ultimate Zermatt experience!
Accommodation-wise, the Alpen Resort Hotel is a superb choice, especially if you're traveling on a budget. With room rates starting at 208 CHF or $240 US, the hotel offers panoramic views of Zermatt and the Matterhorn, a rich breakfast buffet, and extensive wellness facilities including a Finnish spa and gym. Speaking of budgets, the Swiss Travel Pass, also starting at 208 CHF or $240 US, is an indispensable tool. It not only covers free transit across Switzerland on various modes of transport but also offers free entry to over 420 museums.
In summary, Zermatt is a captivating village that perfectly balances tradition with modernity, all under the majestic shadow of the Matterhorn. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie, a foodie, or someone simply looking to take in some breathtaking views, Zermatt has something for everyone. To truly soak in all that this incredible village has to offer, consider staying for at least two to three days. Trust me, you won't regret it.