Zermatt is a unique picturesque Swiss town located in the Valais canton of Switzerland (Altitude: 1620m). The town is known for its stunning views of the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in the Alps and one of the most famous mountains in the World. Zermatt is of course a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, but it also offers a range of activities and attractions for non-skiers.

Key Takeaways

  • Enjoy stunning views of the Matterhorn.
  • The town is easily accessible by train or car and is a car-free zone.
  • Zermatt offers a range of activities, facilities and attractions for both skiers and non-skiers.

Location and Accessibility

Zermatt is a picturesque town located in The Matter Valley (German: Mattertal) in southwestern Switzerland, south of the Rhone Valley in the canton of Valais. It is a car-free town, which creates a unique charming and peaceful atmosphere.

Location and Accessibility

The easiest way to get to Zermatt is by train with the station right in the centre of the resort. The nearest airport is in Geneva, and from there, it takes around three and a half hours to reach Zermatt by train. Alternatively, you can fly to Zurich and take a train to Zermatt, which takes around four hours.

If you prefer to drive, there are several car parks in Täsch, a nearby village. From Täsch, you can take a shuttle train or taxi to Zermatt. It is important to note that private cars are not allowed in Zermatt, except for electric vehicles used by the local authorities.

Public Transport in Zermatt

Zermatt is a small town, and everything is within walking distance. However, if you prefer not to walk, there are several options for public transport. There are daily E-Buses that can take you almost anywhere in town.

The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn is a train that runs through the town, connecting Zermatt to nearby villages and towns. There are also several cable cars and gondolas that take you up to the mountains, providing stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

In summary, Zermatt is a charming town in the Swiss Alps that is easily accessible by train. And although it is a car-free town, there are several options for public transport with the ability to store your car in the nearby town of Täsch.

Zermatt scenery

Climate Conditions & Weather

The climate in Zermatt is influenced by its high altitude and location in the Swiss Alps. The weather can change quickly, so it is important to be prepared for all conditions.


The temperature in Zermatt varies throughout the year. In the winter months, from December to February, temperatures can drop to as low as -10°C. In the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can reach highs of 25°C. It is important to note that temperatures can vary depending on altitude, with higher altitudes being cooler.


Zermatt experiences precipitation throughout the year, with the wettest months being from May to September at around 60mm (2.4 inches). Beyond September the rainfall turns into consistent snowfall throughout winter.


Zermatt receives a substantial amount of snowfall during the winter months. The altitude of the resort, which ranges from around 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) in the village to over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) at the highest ski lifts, contributes to its reliable and consistent snow cover.


Zermatt enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. However, it is important to note that the sun can be strong at high altitudes, and you should take precautions to protect your skin.

In summary, the climate in Zermatt is influenced by its high altitude and location in the Swiss Alps. Visitors should be prepared for all weather conditions, including cold temperatures, precipitation, and strong winds, but also plenty of sunshine and great snow coverage in the Winter.

Zermatt walking

Outdoor Activities

Zermatt is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities throughout the year. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to try in Zermatt:

Skiing and Snowboarding

Zermatt is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, with over 360 km of pistes and some of the highest slopes in Europe. The resort is suitable for all levels, from beginners to experts, and offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding options. The ski season in Zermatt usually runs from late November to early May, but some of the higher slopes remain open for skiing and snowboarding even in the summer.

Slopes and Terrain

Variety: Zermatt boasts an extensive network of slopes catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From gentle beginner slopes to challenging expert runs, there’s something for everyone.

Elevation: With lifts and cable cars reaching altitudes of over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), Zermatt offers excellent vertical drops and long, exhilarating descents. This high elevation also ensures reliable snow conditions throughout the season.

Off-Piste and Freeriding: Beyond the groomed runs, Zermatt is renowned for its off-piste and freeride opportunities. Adventurous skiers and snowboarders can explore the untouched powder in designated areas, often accessed by lifts and cable cars.

Lifts and Infrastructure

State-of-the-Art Lifts: Zermatt’s ski resort features modern and efficient lifts, including cable cars, gondolas, and chairlifts. These lifts provide quick access to various parts of the mountain, minimizing wait times and maximizing your time on the slopes.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a highlight of Zermatt’s skiing experience. It’s the highest cable car station in Europe, providing access to the Klein Matterhorn and offering panoramic views of the Alps.

Après-Ski and Accommodation

Vibrant Village Atmosphere: Zermatt’s village exudes a charming and welcoming atmosphere. After a day on the slopes, visitors can enjoy the numerous restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops in the pedestrian-friendly village centre.

Overall, Zermatt’s combination of stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and top-notch infrastructure makes it a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, whether you’re a novice or an expert seeking an unforgettable alpine adventure.

Hiking Trails

Zermatt is surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes in the Swiss Alps, with a vast network of hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. Visitors can explore the beautiful alpine meadows, glaciers, and peaks, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and other iconic mountains. The trails are well-marked and maintained, and visitors can choose from short walks to multi-day hikes. Here are some of the notable hiking trails available in Zermatt and the surrounding area:

1. Five Lakes Walk:

This is a relatively easy hike suitable for all skill levels. The trail takes you past five picturesque mountain lakes with stunning reflections of the Matterhorn. The walk provides ample opportunities for photography and relaxation in the midst of nature.

2. Gornergrat Ridge Trail:

For panoramic views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks, the Gornergrat Ridge Trail is a must. You can hike up from Zermatt to the Gornergrat railway station or take the train up and hike down. The trail offers stunning vistas of glaciers, mountains, and the iconic peak.

3. Schwarzsee to Hörnli Hut:

This intermediate-level hike takes you to the Hörnli Hut, the base camp for climbers attempting to summit the Matterhorn. The hike offers magnificent views of the mountain and the surrounding area, and you’ll get a glimpse into the world of mountaineering.

4. Trift Bridge Trail:

This trail leads you to the impressive Trift Bridge, a suspension bridge that spans a glacial gorge. The hike offers a mix of alpine landscapes and a thrilling bridge crossing that’s sure to leave you in awe.

5. The Matterhorn Trail:

For a longer and more challenging hike, the Matterhorn Trail takes you on a circuit around the base of the mountain. This trail provides various viewpoints of the Matterhorn from different angles and elevations.

6. Edelweissweg (Edelweiss Trail):

This gentle and family-friendly trail is suitable for all ages. It’s named after the famous alpine flower and offers a delightful walk through meadows filled with vibrant flora, offering a different perspective of the surrounding peaks.

7. Schönbielhütte:

This hike leads you to the Schönbielhütte, a mountain hut with stunning views of the Matterhorn and its surrounding peaks. The trail takes you through alpine meadows and offers a taste of the region’s natural beauty.

8. Stellisee Loop:

This loop trail offers a combination of tranquillity and stunning views. The Stellisee Lake reflects the Matterhorn in its clear waters, making it a favourite spot for photographers.

Mountain Climbing

Zermatt is a popular destination for mountain climbers, with some of the most challenging peaks in the Swiss Alps. The most famous peak is the Matterhorn, which attracts climbers from all over the world. Other popular peaks include the Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Weisshorn. You can hire a mountain guide to explore these peaks safely and enjoy the stunning views from the summit.

In conclusion, Zermatt is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities throughout the year. Residents & visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding, hiking trails, and mountain climbing, among other activities. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is something for everyone in Zermatt.

Zermatt transport

Culinary Delights: Food & Drink in Zermatt

Zermatt is not only known for its stunning natural beauty and world-class skiing, but also for its culinary delights. From fine dining to local cuisine, there is something for everyone’s taste buds.

Fine Dining

Zermatt is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, offering exquisite menus and exceptional service. One such restaurant is the Alpine Gourmet Prato Borni, which serves Swiss and European cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant boasts a stunning view of the Matterhorn and offers an extensive wine list to complement its dishes.

Another fine dining option is Cervo Puro, located within the trendy Cervo boutique hotel. It offers a sophisticated menu that combines iconic Alpine flavours with Northern Italian cuisine. The restaurant’s cosy atmosphere and attentive service make for an unforgettable dining experience.

Local Cuisine

For those looking to try traditional Swiss cuisine, Zermatt has plenty of options. One such restaurant is Chez Vrony, which offers a cozy and rustic atmosphere with stunning views of the Matterhorn. Its menu features classic Swiss dishes such as raclette and fondue made with locally sourced ingredients.

Another local favourite is Restaurant Findlerhof, which offers a gourmet menu with an extensive wine list. The restaurant is located in the hamlet of Findeln and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

In addition to these restaurants, Zermatt has several mountain huts that offer traditional Swiss cuisine such as rosti, a potato dish, and alpine macaroni, a hearty pasta dish made with cheese and potatoes. These mountain huts are perfect for a midday break during a day of skiing or hiking.

Overall, Zermatt’s culinary scene offers a range of options for foodies and those looking to try traditional Swiss cuisine.

Cultural Attractions

Zermatt is not just about outdoor activities and stunning natural landscapes. The town also boasts a rich cultural heritage that can be explored through its museums and historical landmarks.


Zermatt has a number of museums that showcase the town’s history and culture. The Matterhorn Museum, located in the centre of town, is a must-visit for anyone interested in the region’s mountaineering history. The museum tells the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn and the subsequent development of mountaineering in the area. Visitors can see artefacts from the early days of mountaineering, as well as displays of the natural history of the region.

Another museum worth visiting is the Zermatlantis Museum, which focuses on the town’s development and history. The museum has exhibits on the town’s early settlers, its development as a tourist destination, and its modern-day culture. Visitors can also see a scale model of the town and learn about the unique challenges of living in a car-free environment.

Historical Landmarks

Zermatt has a number of historical landmarks that are worth exploring. One of the most iconic is the St. Mauritius Church, which dates back to the 15th century. The church is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and impressive organ, and is a popular destination for visitors.

Another landmark worth exploring is the Riffelberg Chapel, which was built in the late 19th century. The chapel is located on a hill overlooking the town and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take a short hike to the chapel and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Overall, Zermatt’s cultural attractions offer a fascinating glimpse into the town’s history and heritage. Whether you’re interested in mountaineering history or just want to explore the town’s landmarks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Shopping in Zermatt

Zermatt is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide range of stores selling everything from Swiss chocolates to luxury watches and jewellery. The town’s main shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, is home to some of the most exclusive boutiques in the world, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci.

In addition to high-end fashion, Zermatt also has a number of shops selling traditional Swiss souvenirs, such as cowbells, cheese, and cuckoo clocks. One of the best places to find these items is the Matterhorn Museum shop, which offers a wide selection of gifts and souvenirs related to the famous mountain.

For those looking for something a little more unique, Zermatt has a number of artisanal shops selling handmade goods. One such store is the Artisan, which specializes in handmade leather goods such as bags, belts, and wallets.

In terms of food and drink, Zermatt has a number of specialty stores selling local products such as cheese, wine, and chocolate. One of the most popular is Läderach, a Swiss chocolatier that offers a wide range of handmade chocolates and truffles.

Overall, Zermatt is a shopper’s paradise, with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or traditional Swiss souvenirs, you’re sure to find it in this charming alpine town.

Environmental Responsibility

Zermatt is a town that takes its environmental responsibility seriously. As a car-free town, it has already taken a significant step towards reducing its carbon footprint. The town’s primary motivation for its ban on combustion vehicles is to prevent air pollution from obscuring the view of the Matterhorn. As a result, even Zermatt’s public transportation often does not depend on combustion.

The Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, responsible for the ski lifts and cable cars in the region, has also taken several measures to reduce its environmental impact. They have installed solar systems on several of their buildings and have committed to using renewable energy sources. Additionally, they have implemented a waste management that ensures that waste is separated and recycled wherever possible.

The town has also implemented several green policies to encourage visitors to be environmentally responsible. For example, visitors are encouraged to use refillable water bottles and to avoid single-use plastics. The town’s restaurants are also encouraged to use locally sourced, organic produce, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

Zermatt’s commitment to environmental responsibility extends beyond its borders. The town is a member of the Alpine Convention, a treaty signed by eight Alpine countries to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps. Zermatt has also partnered with several organizations to promote sustainable tourism in the region, including the Swiss Alpine Club and the World Wildlife Fund.

Overall, Zermatt’s commitment to environmental responsibility is commendable. The town has taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable tourism in the region.

Zermatt skiing

To Summarise

Zermatt is a charming and luxurious alpine village that offers a unique experience to its residents and visitors, making it a great option for those looking to invest in a second home in the Alps. From its stunning views of the Matterhorn to its car-free streets, Zermatt has a lot to offer. Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know about Zermatt:

  • Zermatt is car-free, so visitors must park their cars in Tasch and take the train or taxi to the village.
  • The village is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Switzerland, making it a paradise for hikers and skiers alike.
  • There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from, and the Zermatt tourism website is a great resource for finding the best one for you.
  • Zermatt’s ski slopes are some of the best in Europe, and the village is home to the highest ski lift in the world.
  • Zermatt is also known for its excellent restaurants, serving up a mix of traditional Swiss cuisine and international dishes.

Overall, Zermatt is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a luxurious alpine experience. With its stunning scenery, world-class skiing, and charming village atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Zermatt is a popular destination for people from all over the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some beginner-friendly skiing options in Zermatt?

Zermatt is a great destination for beginner skiers. The Wolli Park and Sunnegga-Blauherd area are ideal for those who are new to skiing. These areas offer gentle slopes and easy-to-use lifts, making it easy for beginners to get around. The ski schools in Zermatt are also excellent and offer lessons for skiers of all levels.

How can I get to Zermatt via train from Matterhorn Switzerland?

Zermatt can be reached via train from Matterhorn Switzerland. The train journey takes around 45 minutes and offers stunning views of the mountains. Visitors can take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn from Matterhorn to Zermatt. The train runs every hour, and tickets can be purchased at the station.

What are some must-see sights or activities in Zermatt during the summer?

During the summer, visitors to Zermatt can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding. The Gornergrat Bahn railway is also a must-see attraction. The train takes visitors to the top of Gornergrat, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains. Other popular summer activities include visiting the Matterhorn Museum and exploring the town’s charming streets.