Boasting the beautiful Matterhorn right by its side, the city of Zermatt is as breathtaking as the peak of its towering neighbour. This would have to be one of Switzerland’s most outstanding small settlements. Beginning as a small station for mountaineers, Zermatt quickly grew into a tourism resort as word quickly spread of its wonderful skiing, hiking and climbing facilities.
Today, Zermatt is a popular tourist destination, as it is close to a plethora of ski and hiking trails. Throughout the year, tourists come to the city. A Zermatt city centre hotel is best booked in advance and it is recommended that tourists do this before arriving. The downtown area is strictly pedestrianised, except for the small, city run motor cabs that take people across the city centre.
There are some things to do that will enthrall all visitors to this amazing little corner of Switzerland. The top eight to experience are shown below.
1. Night scene – this is arguably the most significant part of the downtown area for tourists. Why is this so? Well, let’s think about it? After a long and arduous day of sightseeing or skiing or hiking or whatever outdoor activity tourists decided to do for that day, there is always a plethora of pubs and clubs to help these patrons unwind with a drink, a meal, and some social interaction. This is the best way to let your hair down after a hard days holidaying, and with the many pubs open for business every night of the week, tourists have an array of night spots to choose from.
2. Festivals – tourists who are fortunate or smart enough to visit the city of Zermatt during one of the large festivals will never forget that trip. The most interesting events for tourists on the yearly downtown calendar are the two August folklore festivals, which are both food and music influences. In addition, the Zermatt Festival in September also attracts many classical music lovers.
3. Photography – any traveller to the city of Zermatt and its central district will agree that it is simply one of the world’s most photographic town centres. But, tourists don’t have to be professional photographers to take awesome pictures, as regular travellers just need to point and shoot…let the background to the rest! Take home some of the most memorable souvenirs on your camera.
4. Shopping – shopping will delight travellers, as there are a variety of stores found along the inner city streets of Zermatt. Antiques, clocks, watches, jewelry, clothing and of course Swiss army knives are the main items for purchase within the city.
5. Art Galleries – the Galerie Butterfly, Glacier Gallery and the Z’art Gallery are just some of the art display centres found within the downtown district of Zermatt. Come and get some photographical inspiration before heading off into the city and its surrounds for some independent photography.
6. Museums – the Matterhorn Museum takes the cake when it comes to central Zermatt’s museums. It is by far the largest and most visited, offering an enormous range of information that will no doubt fascinate patrons. Mountaineering, the city history, famous expeditions and more will be seen inside the museum.
7. Tours – Fancy a ride on a mule? Well, this is available along the streets of Zermatt’s centre. However, walking tours are the most popular and most detailed tours available. Guided tours are certainly recommended for any new comer to this amazing little town.
8. Climbing Cemetery – finally, when tourists have an hour to spare, head straight for the main church in the city centre, then visit the Climber’s Cemetery. It may not sound like much, but visitors are always amazed at what they read!
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Zermatt City Centre Hotel content.