21 Days in Europe: Zermatt, Switzerland
Air BNB: Stylish Modern DESIGNER Double Studio 2 (Zermatt Switzerland, $68 per night)
Tips on your stay/Quick Review: Overall, this BNB was enough to have a place to sleep for 2 nights, but it wasn’t anything particularly special besides the view of the river from our balcony. A lot of the place still seemed unfinished/ not working as it should (this is a fairly new apartment complex and is still under construction in some areas). Even still, we’re not ones to complain too much and $68 per night is practically unheard of in most of Switzerland, ESPECIALLY in Zermatt. Most hotels range anywhere from $200up to $2,000 a night! With a town as beautiful as Zermatt being so expensive, we were glad for the cheap stay.
However, if I were to go back and do it all again I might look in the town called Wisp to stay in. It was super cute and is safe enough away from Zermatt to have a cheaper stay. Even 4 star hotels there are around $167 a night! It’s only about an hour to an hour and a half train ride to Zermatt for any activities/ shopping you want to do there.
Now to actually talk about Zermatt...
Food in Zermatt is pretty expensive (25-80 Swiss Francs on average). If you choose right though, you can get a really great experience in atmosphere, taste, and views during your meals.
When asking a waitress at Restaurant Stadel what some authentic Swiss meals were, she quickly pointed us to fondue.
At first I thought “appetizer” and “chocolate fountain”, but she recommended a 6-cheese fondue that you eat with bread and potatoes. It doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but the rich cheese and two baskets full of potatoes and bread are definitely enough to make you full!
Luckily, it’s one of the low-priced foods on menus in Zermatt (around 23 Swiss Francs).
Other lower-priced meals usually include rostï and pasta. If you’re lucky, you can find the perfect time of day to eat dinner outside where there isn’t such a crowd! At this one, you can just see the Matterhorn in view!
The restaurant itself was my favorite in Switzerland just because of its cozy coffee-shop feel with amazing-quality food and service!
If you’re thinking “French”, you’re totally right. But French influence and tourism is a huge thing in the Zermatt area so it fits right in! We ordered from a cute little family-owned business whose hours are “from midday to sunset”. She’s a master at the art of making crepes and she is a crazy good multitasker too; she made three at once, rang up all three customers, and they were just perfect. We ordered the Matterhorn crepe, and well...I’ll let the picture do the talking.
This building is so cute, right?
The awesome thing? They’re EVERYWHERE here! While Lucerne was also in the mountains, it had more of a college and lake town feel, whereas you get a cozy, ski-town village feel in Zermatt.
There’s a lot of history, too.
You’ll see a lot of cute chapels and beautiful bronze plates on the ground that have names of the original founders of Zermatt and explorers of Europe that have come through the town at some point or another. There’s also a big, beautiful church in the middle of town where some still gather to have Sunday services and weddings. We even saw a bride outside of the church the first day we came in. Imagine getting married with the Matterhorn just behind in view!
Lastly, we definitely can’t leave out the oh-so-famous Matterhorn!
There were so many opportunities in the Zermatt area to do a little hiking to see popular sites and beautiful views. We took two hikes during our stay:
Gornerschluct Gorge (Zermatt)
Paying a small $5 fee for the gorge allows you entrance to a surprising series of views down the Gornera River, and winds through cavelike structures. If you lean over the railings just an inch, you’ll be welcomed with an updraft of cool air from the mist of the rushing water, and be able to see the ice-blue water’s mark on the smooth rocks around it. There is also a short hike past the gorge to get a higher overlook of the river and an entire valley of wildflowers to surround you.
I could look around me in one area, walk a little ways down, and still see a different type of flower that I had seen before! Some were so unusually beautiful that I had to snap some up close!
Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge (Randa)
Just 2 towns away by train, the small village of Randa holds a very special hidden treasure in the mountains behind it. Through a 5.5 mike total hike, you can experience the world’s longest suspension bridge!
Doesn’t look too bad, right?
Stats: 279 ft above ground below, and spans 1,621 ft between two mountains. Viewable sights: Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and Bernese Alps.
It’s definitely not for those with a fear of heights, but if you can get there, it’s definitely worth it! The climb up is definitely strenuous though, and mostly incline (which made for an intense but amazing leg workout), so make sure you bring lots of water!
When you get back down though, there’s a water station of fresh glacier water to greet you! So refreshing!
It’s pretty obvious why this is one of my longest travel posts; Zermatt has so much to offer and there is so much more we wish we could have seen!
Tomorrow we board the train for Salzburg, Austria!
~Gal with a pal