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Zermatt Travel Guide with Tips and Tricks. How Expensive is Zermatt?

Updated: Apr 1


How expensive is Zermatt?

This is one of the main questions that comes to mind when planning a trip to one of the most beautiful but also busiest ski resorts of the Alps. Here we delve into the world of skiing in Zermatt from the cost perspective and give you our insider information.


Accommodation

When planning a ski trip to Zermatt, accommodation is a significant cost to consider. The village boasts a range of lodging options, from luxurious hotels to cosy chalets, catering to various budgets and tastes. Prices vary depending on the season, with peak winter months typically having higher rates. These peak dates include Christmas, New Year's Week, February school half term and Easter. Take the time to consider these dates and if you are not planning a trip around children's holiday, avoiding these dates can significantly reduce the cost of your stay.


A bedroom in a hotel

We recommend choosing accommodation that is comfortable for you and your family or friends during the ski time. Returning home to a warm and welcoming lodging with excellent staff and food is something we all love during a great holiday. If you're trying to reduce the cost of your stay, look at holiday rents like smaller apartments managed by local companies. Those stays are cosy and can cost less than hotels, especially during busy seasons.


 

Lift Passes

Lift passes in Zermatt grant access to the extensive ski area that includes the Swiss and Italian sides of the mountain. While lift pass prices in Zermatt may seem expensive, the skiing opportunities, well-maintained pistes and lifts, and breathtaking panoramic views justify this expense. If you're not on a tight budget in Zermatt, then having a multi-day pass that covers both the Swiss and Italian ski slopes is the best and most convenient option. However, if you are trying to save some money, here are some tips that can help you:


a chairlift ride over Zermatts pistes in the sun

  1. Book in advance! Online booking ahead of the trip can save you money and time when arriving at the resort. Not only will the early lift pass give you a discount, but it will also help you skip queues at the counter. Automatic machines that process your tickets are located at every lift station in Zermatt ready for you to pick up your pre-arranged ticket.

  2. It isn't very well known, but Zermatt has a ski pass for beginners! This pass only gives access to the beginner area and the first couple of blue runs that stem from there. The pass is much cheaper than a day pass and is all you need for your first day or two of learning.

  3. Skiers holding an Ikon Pass can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in Zermatt. The pass grants access to the resort, providing an opportunity for pass holders to explore the slopes for 5-7 days. It's recommended to check the Ikon Pass website or contact Zermatt directly for any specific details regarding usage. Ikon pass holders can walk straight up to the ski lifts and start skiing! Be aware that the Ikon pass only grants access to Zermatt and not to the connected resort of Cervina.

  4. Flex Ski pass! Are you planning a trip for 6 days but only want to ski for 4? Then the flexible ski pass is the option for you. With this pass, you can choose from different options that allow you to choose the days you ski and the days you rest during your stay in Zermatt. More information here.

  5. Finally, ski passes for children under 9 years old are free and those under 16 get to ski for half price. This can make a massive difference to your ski pass total!


 

Dining

Lunch with the matterhorn view

Exploring Zermatt's culinary scene is a must. From charming mountain restaurants to gourmet dining, Zermatt offers many options to satisfy every palate. Dining in Zermatt is a huge part of tourism and it iss essential to make reservations in advance to secure seats at these beautiful spots! Most of the restaurants in Zermatt offer online booking and require card information to secure a table, so remember to cancel your reservation 24 hours beforehand if you need to.


If you want to opt for a less expensive and quicker meal on the mountain, every larger lift station has a buffet with good quality food. In town, there are also local restaurants that will not break your wallet. We recommend you consult your hotel or ski guide for local places that are delicious and less pricey.


 

Transportation

Navigating the Swiss Apls requires planning and consideration of different transportation options. Whether arriving by car, train, or plane, it is best to understand what the shortest most convenient way but also the cheapest one is.


The closest airports to Zermatt are Geneva and Zürich. Flying into Milan is also an option. Considering the most convenient airport will make life easier and more cost-effective, as sometimes the ground transport to Zermatt can turn out to be as expensive as the flight. Here is a list of the countries that fly to Geneva Airport and here is one for Zürich Airport.


 The Gornergrat train ascending the mountain with the Matterhorn in the background

Train Travel to Zermatt

The Swiss railway system stands out as one of the world's finest, promising scenic routes with great views of the picturesque Swiss countryside. Travelling by train offers some benefits in comparison to other means:

  • it is a beautiful way of seeing the country

  • train is the most cost-effective method

  • you will be on time and will not encounter unexpected traffic


Direct train services connect both Zurich and Geneva airports to Zermatt. The journey from each airport takes about 3-4 hours and the best connections require only one change at Visp train station. By booking train tickets in advance, you can secure cost savings and even opt for a day-saver ticket, granting you the flexibility to travel to Zermatt at any time within a 24-hour period. For more details on ticket options refer to the link.


We should warn you, that despite its advantages, train travel to Zermatt may present challenges:

  • during peak seasons trains tend to be bustling with passengers and finding seats is a challenge

  • if your flight is delayed, check the train schedule in advance, as there is no fast train service at night

  • travelling with much luggage and equipment may be difficult when you need to change trains, so plan accordingly


By leveraging Switzerland's efficient railway system and incorporating strategic planning tips, train travel to Zermatt can set the tone for a seamless and enjoyable start to your Zermatt adventure.


Private transfer

If you look to avoid the hustle of trains or have a large number of travellers, then private transfer is a good option. When searching for a private transfer you can find a plethora of options and prices from many companies. Choosing a local and reliable service is of course a much better option, that we recommend. Local transfer companies, that are based in Zermatt or the next village Täsch, have direct access to drive up to Zermatt. Other alternative companies from outside the area may not have this bonus and you will have to take a train from Tàsch to Zermatt.


AirZermatt helicopter taking off from the slopes

Helicopter transfer

Yes, that's correct! It is possible to arrive from all the above destinations by helicopter direct to Zermatt. Of course, the costs involved are considerable and differ from location to location. The obvious benefit of arriving by helicopter is that it rapidly reduces the travel time to the resort. This option is very expensive, but can be an incredible and unforgettable experience!




Car Rental

While Zermatt is car-free, having a vehicle for part of your journey can offer flexibility and convenience, especially if you plan to explore surrounding areas or access nearby ski resorts. Car rental services are available at all major airports. You will need to leave your rented vehicle at designated car parks outside Zermatt and continue your journey by electric taxi or shuttle into the village. However, this option tends to be expensive as not only do you have to pay for the car but also for its long-term parking.


 

Child sitting on a sledge in the snow

Activities Beyond Skiing

There are numerous activities to do when having a break or rest from skiing. Hiking is an activity that costs nothing but can easily become one of the most beautiful experiences in the mountains. There is a dedicated map of hiking trails that helps to find the most scenic way. You can rent snowshoes, sledges or ice skates and have a low-cost fun day in the snow or on ice. If you like a spa day - those tend to be pricey but can be a good investment if you choose a place with a view or a list of nourishing treatments. Check out our favourites: the best spa view at Mountain Ashram Spa or a great sauna experience at CBD Spa of Schloss Hotel.


 

Sunrise over the Matterhorn

Conclusion

Yes, Zermatt is expensive... But! It is not the most high-priced ski resort, so planning and consideration of costs can make a big difference during your fun adventure in Zermatt. From selecting accommodation to optimising lift pass options - each decision can shape your ski holiday. Zermatt also offers many activities when you want to skip paying for a full day of skiing. Combining early planning with a sense of adventure, your trip promises great moments amidst the stunning Alps. We promise unforgettable views, tasty food, fun activities and no regrets about visiting Zermatt!


The Mountain Company helps you

If you want to make your time in Zermatt full of adventure and make it cost-efficient at the same time, our company can surely help with the planning and logistics. We will answer all of the questions from the very start of planning and provide a selection of options for accommodation and activities depending on your needs. Simply let us know your budget and wishes - and we make a great itinerary for you! Just drop us a request or an email. find more information here The Mountain Company Tailored Holidays.


The Mountain Company Ski guide points at the Matterhorn


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