As a little girl growing up in Southern California, the Matterhorn was always a symbol of Disneyland to me. I would see it standing tall on the side of Interstate 5 and it seemed to tower above everything else. As I’ve gotten older and buildings have gotten taller, it’s a little harder to spot the Disneyland Matterhorn these days, but it is still there, eliciting excitement from those that spot it from the freeway, knowing that the happiest place on earth is just down the road. When we were mapping out our extended stay in Europe we knew that even though it was a little off the beaten path, making a trip to Zermatt to see the real Matterhorn was a must. We started by researching how to get to Zermatt. It definitely takes a little extra effort to get to there, but as we found, it is SO worth the trouble and expense!
The Alps are so majestic. Very green, jagged and so dramatic. Zermatt is a famous ski resort in the Swiss Alps, and most of it’s local economy is based on tourism. Summertime in Zermatt is quite busy with tourists coming from all over the world to hike, mountain bike, and believe it or not…ski! You can ski year-round at the Matterhorn.
HOW TO GET TO ZERMATT
If you are hoping to visit Zermatt, I hope that these tips I have to share with you on how to get to Zermatt will make things a little easier for you to plan your trip. Zermatt is a car-free. Because it’s car-free it can be a little labor intensive to get you and all of your stuff there. It also gets to be a bit expensive, so just prepare yourself. Switzerland is expensive in general, and when you plan a trip to Zermatt, that price goes up exponentially.
You can reach Zermatt by helicopter, taxi or train, the most affordable option is definitely the train. It is a three step process to get into town, and there are costs at every step. If you are traveling to Zermatt by car, here are the steps we took to get to the town of Zermatt.
Driving to Zermatt
The road to Zermatt ends about 3 miles outside of town in Tasch. There is a very nice parking garage where you park your car and leave it for the duration of your stay in Zermatt. There are ticket machines where you can pay for your parking all over that are available 24 hours a day, so whenever you return to your car, it is no trouble to settle up. 2019 pricing for the parking garage is as follows:
|Time||Car (up to 2.30 m total height)||Coaches|
|Up to 2 hours||4.- CHF||20.- CHF|
|Up to 4 hours||7.50 CHF|
|Up to 6 hours||10.50 CHF|
|Up to 8 hours||13.50 CHF||30.- CHF|
|1 day||15.50 CHF / day||40.- CHF / day|
|Up to 8 days||14.50 CHF / day|
The Matterhorn Terminal Tasch and Zermatt Shuttle Train
Once you park your car in the Matterhorn Terminal Tasch, you will take the Zermatt Shuttle Train to arrive in the town of Zermatt. It is wise to book your train tickets online ahead of time to make your transfer easier. You can book tickets here.
Ticket prices on the Zermatt Shuttle Train for 2019 are currently 8.20CHF per person each way. If you are bringing luggage, a nice thing to know is that you can make a reservation (by at least 4pm the day before your arrival) for a group baggage cart that will easily transport your luggage (up to 20 pieces). It is a free service if you are riding the train.
Trains depart every 20 minutes to take to Zermatt as well as from Zermatt back to the parking garage. The train ride is a quick 12 minute trip. In our experience, the trains are clean, spacious and not overly crowded. It was easy to find a seat and get our luggage on and off the train.
Once you arrive at the Zermatt station you have one more step to get to your hotel or apartment. Depending on how far it is to your hotel, you will either need to walk…(dragging luggage is not particularly fun) or you will need to hire one of the many electric taxis that will drive you from the train station to your hotel. These are EXPENSIVE! We had a short ride from the station to our Airbnb, with four people and 4 bags…and it was 20 CHF. Whoa!
When you add it all up it took us about 40 minutes to get from the parking garage to our Airbnb, and cost us about 170 CHF round trip for transportation (parking garage, train tickets and eTaxi) for our 3 night stay in Zermatt. A small fortune and a lot of transporting luggage and kids, but when you want to have a once in a lifetime experience and see something as amazing as the Matterhorn in person, it is definitely worth every penny.
I hope that these tips on how to get to Zermatt are a help in planning your trip and give you an idea of what to expect. I have lots more to share about our stay in Zermatt and our visit to the Matterhorn. If you are planning to visit Zermatt yourself, just prepare yourself now that it will be expensive! Start saving your pennies! 🙂
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