In Zermatt, life is all about the mountains; you either climb them, ski down them, or spend your time gazing at them. Located in Switzerland’s Valais canton, it is the home of the majestic and pyramid-like Matterhorn. Standing at 4,478 m, it is Europe’s most recognizable peak, the symbol of Switzerland, and the centerpiece of life in this car-free, glamorous village. A playground for skiing enthusiasts, Zermatt is the highest mountain resort in Switzerland and the best place in Europe for heli-skiing.
Where to Stay
Perched like an eagle’s nest above Zermatt, The Omnia cuts a contemporary shape into the steep hillside. Inspired by the classic American mountain lodge, this luxurious hideaway was reimagined for the Swiss Alps by New York–based architect Ali Tayer and blends modernist and alpine charm. While it is not directly in the village, you don’t have to be worried about trekking into town: a slick glass lift whooshes you down through the cliff and connects you to the main square; while an electric shuttle picks guests up from car-free Zermatt’s train station.
One of the finest places to stay in Zermatt is Firefly, which is located in the foothills of the Matterhorn. Among its sleek, contemporary rooms, our preferred choice is the slick Skylight Loft, which sleeps between two and 12 guests, with five plush bedrooms, a private sauna, and sensational views of the Matterhorn from its penthouse position.
Located in a historic Belle Époque building right in the village, BEAUSiTE has a castle-like character and nods back to the golden age of alpinism. With a touch of British flair, the property was renovated and reopened in 2021, with warm honey hues that evoke the golden larch forests of the Zermatt hills. Our favorite room to book is the bright one-bed suite that extends across two floors and has breathtaking views of ‘Horu’, as locals call the Matterhorn, as well as a bathroom with a steam bath and whirlpool. Food is a highlight too, with two restaurants and a fondue hut, alongside a dedicated wine bar.
What to Do
Zermatt is a skier’s paradise and the highest ski resort in Europe standing at 3,804m. It has the best lift infrastructure in the Alps, with new lifts opening for the 2023/24 winter season. The 3S gondola life completes what is known as the Matterhorn Alpine crossing, linking the Matterhorn Glacier with the Testa Grigia on the Italian border with Switzerland — so that you can even go between Cervinia and Zermatt without the need to ski. In addition, a new cable car from Zermatt village to Furri will open at the end of this year. For us and many others, there is no better place to ski in the world.
Zermatt is the heli-skiing capital of Europe.
Try a sightseeing flight with Air Zermatt, it’s a magical way to see the Matterhorn and its surrounding peaks.
An afternoon in Zermatt
The center of Zermatt is filled with traditional wooden bars, hot chestnut stalls, and gluhwein stands, as well as luxury shops, which give it an authentic feel. Horse-drawn sleighs and carriages are a great — and family-friendly way — to soak up its atmosphere.
Where to Eat Lunch on the Slopes
Make sure to stop for an incredible lunch at the family-run Chez Vrony, a local institution with a vibrant history. Looming over the mountainside at 2,100 m, it has embodied a family tradition for over 100 years.
Findlerhof is a great spot for lunch and offers stunning Matterhorn views. Order its Apfelstrudel, fresh out of the oven.
Where to Find Aprés-Ski
On the descent from Sunnegga to Zermatt, is the legendary Teehäuschen Flora. This is the best place to end your skiing day. Where you can drink ice-cold Champagne, accompanied by beautiful views of the Matterhorn, and over Zermatt.
Cervo is a great spot too, just at the bottom of the piste. It has live music and a beautiful terrace.
Where to Dine in Town
Spycher, their menu is centered around Flambé dishes from meats to desserts. Take the Crepes Suzette for dessert.