St Johann in Tyrol
Wander down the Bahnhofstrasse for a truly memorable shopping experience. You'll stumble across an amazing variety of traditional products like Swiss army knives and cuckoo clocks, amongst clothing and fragrances in the 316 shops. If you're a chocolate fan, make sure you pay a visit to the wonderful Lindt or Boite à Chocolat stores.
Like most Swiss towns, you'll find one or two prestigious watch makers in Zermatt - Omega and Swatch are just a couple of brands present in the resort. Designer shops aren't rare either, but if you fancy more choice, you can jump on a train to Interlaken or Montreux.
Zermatt's Alpine setting makes laid-back evenings easy - a glass of wine and mountain views are the perfect combination for end-of-the-day relaxation. The Beau Site Piano Bar is the best place for this with its panoramic terrace, stylish lounge, wide selection of drinks and soothing piano music.
With 60 bars and clubs, Zermatt has all you need to let your hair down. Alex's Cocktail Bar and Sunset Bar are a couple of pre-drink choices, while the Broken Bar Disco is your late-night venue. It's a legendary nightclub in the Alps, renowned for its famous barrel that partygoers must have a go at dancing on.
If you’re a real foodie, Zermatt is the place to be. From high-quality mountain restaurants to artisan food stores and cosmopolitan bars and restaurants, you’ll never run out of things to try. You won’t be limited to just Swiss food either – you’ll find restaurants serving Japanese, American, Indian and Turkish dishes too. There are restaurants dotted about all over the place, on both sides of the river.
On the mountain is Restaurant Chez Vrony, a gourmet restaurant with lots of character. It’s an ideal spot for lunch, with fantastic views and an extensive menu.
At the bottom of the Oberdorfstrasse is Zermatt’s oldest restaurant, Restaurant du Pont. It has a great reputation for cheese, so you can definitely get your fill of fondue and raclette here.
In a nice location near the Sunnegga funicular is Snowboat, a beautifully designed restaurant that prepares healthy and filling international dishes. The locals are always popping in to say hello, and they occasionally have live music to accompany their tasty cocktails.
The car-free town of Zermatt is ideal for traversing on foot – especially since it’s less than a mile long. Make sure you leave some time to walk down the Hinterdorfstrasse, the oldest surviving street in Zermatt. Watch out for bicycles and electric cars though - they can be pretty speedy.
Take advantage of your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday for up to 50% off Swiss train journeys during your stay. From Zermatt, you can hop on a train to Bern (2 hours 15 minutes), Interlaken (2 hours 15 minutes), Montreux (2 hours 45 minutes) and Lausanne (3 hours). You can also get to Visp and Brig further in the valley and, from Stalden (the stop before Visp), you can take a bus to Saas Fee.
Buses run approximately every 25 minutes and there are two different lines. The green link runs along the river to all of the lift stations, whilst the red line loops around the resort. Your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday gives you up to 50% off buses, and electro-buses are free if you’ve bought a Peak Pass.
Zermatt has an excellent network of cable cars and mountain railways. A Peak Pass is certainly worth the money, as it gives you unlimited access to the four main lifts for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Schwarzsee Paradise and Gornergrat.
There’s plenty on offer for walkers in Zermatt, with over 400km of signposted trails. The trails will take you through pine-scented forests, over mountain streams, around high-altitude lakes and across Alpine meadows. You can step out of town in pretty much any direction to explore, or you can use the mountain railways and cable cars to access more of the fantastic walks – and with the majestic Matterhorn as a backdrop, you’re sure to have fantastic views. Back in town, you can wander down the Hinterdorfstrasse – the oldest surviving street in Zermatt, which dates back to the 16th century.
An educational walk, where you’ll learn about marmots along the way. Take the Sunegga lift up to Blauherd and then follow signs for route 8 to Murmelweg. Along the way, information boards will tell you all about marmots, and you’ll finish at Sunegga, which has its own marmot viewing platform. You’ll also pass Lake Leisee, where you can stop for a swim. The Sunegga funicular will take you back down to Zermatt.
Take the cable car at Stalden to visit Europe’s highest vineyard. Afterwards, stop in Visp for a drink or something to eat, or even take some time to explore the old town, which has two lovely churches and some remarkable stained glass windows. If you’ve taken the train further afield for the morning, you could always stop here on the way back to Zermatt.
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