Your family’s guide to skiing in Zermatt this winter with kids is finally here! If you’ve ever eaten a Toblerone, you’re probably familiar with the iconic image of Matterhorn Mountain. This famous mountain range is a top destination for skiing and snowboarding in the European Alps. If you want a classic ski vacation with old-school charm and modern amenities, visit Zermatt! It offers the perfect mixture of rest and recreation, plus there’s a ton to do off the slopes too. Visiting Zermatt with kids requires some planning, so we’ve compiled where to stay in Zermatt with kids, the best restaurants for families, and more. Keep reading for The Best Family Guide to Skiing in Zermatt this Winter with Kids!
How to Reach Zermatt with Kids
If you’re wondering how to reach Zermatt with your family, here are a few tips! Travelers who want to reach Zermatt by plane can either fly into Zurich-Kloten in Germany (around 3½ hours away) or Geneva-Cointrin in Switzerland (4 hours away). Zermatt is also reachable from EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (around 3½ hours away). Once you reach the airport, you can opt to take a train to Zermatt. The Swiss public transit system is very reliable. From the airport, take the train to Visp, where you’ll transfer for a Zermatt-bound train on the Matterhorn Gotthard line.
Additionally, families can also hire a taxi or car service to drive from the Zurich or Geneva Airport to Zermatt. However, since Zermatt is car-free, the closest they can drop you off is in nearby Täsch. Then, you can take an electric shuttle bus to the foot of Matterhorn Mountain. Then, it is possible to rent a taxi to come up to Zermatt, too. You can find more information about arriving by car here. Finally, electric taxis within Zermatt can take you to your hotel.
Transportation within Zermatt for Kids
Transportation is an important part of this guide to skiing in Zermatt this winter with kids. Zermatt is car-free, which means getting around town requires you to walk, bike, or take an electric bus or taxi. Walking is the main way most visitors choose to get around, as the Zermatt Village is extremely walkable. When you want a break from walking, you can call an eTaxi or hop on the eBus. Electric buses run on two routes: The Green Line and The Red Line. The Green Line travels to attractions like the Ice Palace, while the Red Line runs to the train station, Church Bridge, and other sites.
About Zermatt with Kids
Families can enjoy a chic European ambiance when they visit Zermatt. Located below the peak of the iconic Matterhorn Mountain, this historic ski village combines old and new world charm. In fact, it’s split between a newer village with modern amenities and an Old Village, featuring more than 30 buildings in a traditional style.
Since it’s car-free, you don’t have to worry about parking or getting lost when exploring, either. Wander the easy-to-navigate cobblestone streets to discover delicious restaurants, cozy shops, and ancient architecture. Of course, all this beauty is on full display on the village Main Street, aka Bahnhofstrasse. Featuring a variety of luxury hotels, it’s the perfect place to return to after spending a day on the slopes!
Take a Virtual Vacation to Lucerne with your kids before traveling to Switzerland!
Skiing In Zermatt With Kids
Skiing in Zermatt is spread across three main ski areas. Firstly, there’s the Klein Matterhorn-Schwarzsee, which is the largest and includes a massive vertical drop. Featuring over 200 miles of terrain, it also links to more intermediate slopes in Cervina, Italy, if you want a challenge! On the Swiss side, families can ski in the Theodul Gletcher beginner area (Numbers 78 and 73 are particularly easy).
Looking for more beginner slopes? Take the Sunnegga Express to the ski area at Sunnegga-Rothorn, which has terrain for all abilities. Children who need an introduction to skiing will appreciate the access to Wolli Park, ideal for beginners. For a mix of beginner and advanced slopes, head to Gornergrat-Stockhorn on the Gornergrat Bahn (a cogwheel railway). The Matterhorn Express also provides access to the Gornergrat ski area.
Pro Tip: Thanks to Wolli cards, kids under the age of nine can ski for free in Zermatt! It also offers free access to all lifts/trains in Zermatt, plus discounts at restaurants and hotels. In fact, children up to 9 years sleep for free in their parents’ room if they book a hotel that accepts Wolli cards. Remember to go online to reserve this card before your stay and bring your child’s ID to collect it. Certainly, this is a must for families planning to go skiing in Zermatt this winter with kids.
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Best Ski Schools in Zermatt for Kids
Zermatt has a variety of ski schools for kids. Unlike American ski schools, many programs usually last around 5-6 days, culminating in a fun race! One of the most popular options is Zermatters, aka “The Red School”. Since they only hire local instructors, it’s a fantastic place to receive an authentic Swiss experience. Group skiing lessons are available for kids as young as three years old, and group snowboarding lessons are available for teens and adults. Private ski and snowboarding lessons are also available.
Stoked is another great ski school in Zermatt for kids, featuring group ski lessons for kids between four and twelve. There are also group ski lessons for teens, and half-day ski and snowboard private lessons. Kids can also enroll in the Zermatt Ski School, where they’ll be given GPS trackers to ensure their safety. Family skiing lessons are ideal for beginners.
Aside from the popular ski schools, Zermatt has a variety of options for families who want to take lessons, including private instruction. If you’d prefer a one-on-one experience, book a class with Evolution.
Where to Rent Ski Equipment in Zermatt for Kids
There are plenty of places to rent ski equipment in Zermatt for kids. Around town, you’ll find rental shops such as Matterhorn Sports, Intersport Ski Rentals, and Azzurra Sport, many of which have multiple locations to suit your needs. Other shops for renting equipment include Flexrent, Slalom Sport, and Julen Sport. Each offers various rental packages for adults and children, including discounts the longer you rent. Be sure to compare options to find the best rates on what you’re looking for. Even if you can’t find anything online, a quick walk down Main Street will reveal a plethora of local vendors with affordable prices.
Related Article: Tips for Skiing with Kids for the First Time
Where to Stay in Zermatt with Kids
Zermatt has a variety of family-friendly hotels. For a low-key stay near the Matterhorn Paradise Gondola Station, book a room at Beausite Zermatt. Family suites have bunk beds for kids, and you can visit the game room, indoor pool, and more amenities. The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof offers a luxurious stay in a historic building in the heart of the Zermatt village. It’s right next to the Matterhorn Museum, just a 10-minute walk from the cable car station.
Or, stay at the Mont Cervin Palace, which has designated family suites and a discount for families booking separate rooms. The Omnia Hotel, which combines American comfort with a European ambiance, is a 12 minutes’ walk from the closest gondola lift and 10 minutes from the Gornergrat alpine railway. If you’re looking for more space or apartment-style accommodations, you’ll find plenty of service apartments, chalets, or villas. Finally, Resort La Ginabelle is another great option for families! In fact, they have an all-day kids’ club, an array of baby and children’s amenities, and kids-sized robes. Not to mention, they offer three pools and are also very close to ski school drop-off.
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Where to Eat in Zermatt for Families
Wondering where to eat in Zermatt with kids? We have some tasty options for you to decide between! However, regardless of where you eat in Zermatt, be sure to make a reservation, as it’s hard to get a table at the last minute. Families planning to go skiing in Zermatt this winter with kids will love these on-mountain and in-town options.
Best On-Mountain Restaurants in Zermatt for Families
Families who want a convenient option while skiing in Zermatt will love eating in the mountains. For lunch, Restaurant Findlerhof is a must for Swiss food, accessible via the Sunnegga Express and a walk downhill. Chez Vrony is one of the most popular Apres-ski restaurants in Zermatt, as it provides an unparalleled view of Matterhorn Mountain. To reach it, you can also ride the Sunnegga Express and ski down 15 minutes to the restaurant or hike. Just remember it can get a little steep!
Then, Bergrestaurant Blatten, a traditional alpine restaurant at the foot of the Matterhorn, is another great option for families. To get there, families can either hike up from Zermatt or take the Matterhorn-Express gondola to Furi and hike down to the restaurant. Or, soak up the sun on the outdoor terrace at Restaurant Zum See, which serves Mediterranean dishes with a twist. Restaurant Simi, inside the hamlet of Furi, is great for lunch or dinner.
Best Village Restaurants in Zermatt for Families
If you want to eat off-mountain, head to the Zermatt village for the best selections. Located within Hotel Aristella, Restaurant Spycher is a cozy spot that specializes in flambé, a traditional Swiss meat dish. Kids will love watching the food get cooked in high flames right in front of them! There’s a kids’ menu, plus the option to order half a dish from the main menu. Restaurant 1818 also has an elaborate kids’ menu, plus a fire to keep families cozy.
Of course, you can’t leave Zermatt without tasting some classic Swiss fondue, so be sure to visit SayCheese inside the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. Between truffle cheese fondue and the meat fondue, it’ll be delicious and a sure highlight of your trip! After Seven, Cervo Puro, and The Omnia Restaurant are also good options for parents, all located within hotels. For dessert, visit Creperie Stefanie for a yummy Nutella crepe!
Things to Do in Zermatt with Kids (Besides Skiing)
Once you’ve mastered the slopes, gather your family to enjoy the best activities in Zermatt for kids. Between other fun winter sports and scenic train rides, here are the best things to do in Zermatt with kids besides skiing!
Ride the Gornergrat Bahn (Cogwheel Railway)
All aboard the Gornergrat Bahn! Otherwise known as the highest open-air railway in Europe, this scenic ride takes you to Gornergrat Summit in style. During the 30-minute picturesque journey, you’ll get great views of the mountains and surrounding area, from Matterhorn to the Monte Rosa, Gorner Glacier, and more. Once you reach the top, there’s a viewing platform for more amazing views, plus a coffee shop/restaurant where you can relax and enjoy the ambiance. You can even eat lunch at this incredible location. Here, children will love playing with snow in the viewing area while you wait!
Pro Tip: Families with a Swiss Travel Pass receive 50% off train tickets.
Roam the Igloo Village
Zermatt’s Igloo Village, aka the Iglu-Dorf, is a truly unique destination for families to explore. You can reach it with a quick, 15-minute walk from the Rotenboden station. Or, you can reach Igloo Village by skis! Skiers will love popping in for a drink or lunch. Based on a rotating theme, the igloos here are rebuilt every year by a team of international artists. It’s also the highest igloo village in the world, so it’ll be a fun adventure to see all the art against a gorgeous backdrop.
When families explore during the winter months, you’ll find a hotel, bar, and restaurant to keep you warm. While parents enjoy a drink, kids can get ready to enjoy cheese fondue, which is available on the sun terrace daily between noon and 2 PM.
Visit the Swiss Glacier Cave & Ice Palace
Descend into a world of sparkly sculptures and shimmering crystals when you visit the Swiss Glacier Cave & Ice Palace! This underground attraction is accessible via the Matterhorn Express from Zermatt to Trockener Steg mountain station and then a cable car ride. Once you reach the palace, a lift will take you below the surface level to a winter wonderland! Make your way through a cool ice tunnel that opens into amazing sculptures, a glacier crevasse, and even an ice toboggan run.
New sculptures are featured every year, some of which are in the shape of animals. Kids will love exploring all the fun nooks and crannies and you can take a ton of pictures too, from the ice benches to bedecked thrones. Remember to wear warm clothes!
Explore the Area on a Hike or Snowshoe
Want to take a break from your skis to explore Zermatt? Take a winter hike on foot or snowshoe! There are a variety of family-friendly trails open during the winter, providing great views and maybe even a challenge. Try the walk from Blauherd to Fluhalp for an easy hike or through Randa Village on the Randa Village Trail. Families looking for the best snowshoe trails can try the Challenge Trail, which leads you from Gornergrat down to Rotenboden. The Family Trail is another excellent choice, as it’s not too technically challenging. To rent snowshoes for your adventure, ask your hotel or visit a rental shop in town.
Learn Something New at the Matterhorn Museum
Families looking for an indoor activity in Zermatt can visit the Matterhorn Museum. Located in the Zermatt village, this unique museum traces the evolution of Zermatt from a small alpine village to a luxurious ski resort. Here, families can get a glimpse at how people lived in 19th-century Zermatt through interactive exhibits in the form of a replica village, including fourteen historic houses. Learn more about the mountaineers who risked their lives scaling Matterhorn, and even see the route they took. This is surely one of the best things to do in Zermatt with kids!
Tobogganing is a popular activity in Zermatt. However, we only recommend it if you’re already experienced, as the hills can be quite steep to slide down. If families want to try this activity, head to the toboggan run in Randa Village. Located in the heart of the village, it’s one of the easier runs in Zermatt for kids to slide down. The toboggan run on the Gornergrat is another option for families with older kids who want a thrill. The descent from Rotenboden to Riffelberg covers over 700 vertical feet!
Challenge Yourself Ice Climbing
Ice climbing is certainly one of the most exciting things to do in Zermatt with kids! Sporty kids twelve years old and up can enjoy this experience together with a guide. Local outfitters such as Zermatters offer this exhilarating excursion from December through February at Blatten, Furi, or Schweigmatten, depending on the conditions. Kids will get the chance to climb frozen waterfalls and ice-covered rock walls in a fairytale-esque landscape! The activity lasts around 5 hours altogether including travel to and from, but you should expect to be ice climbing for around 2-3 hours.
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is a wonderful way to enjoy family time in Zermatt! From December through February, families will find an artificial skating rink in the heart of Zermatt village. Admission is free, and you can rent skates from rental shops inside the village. Once you’re done, you can walk around the village to enjoy a sweet treat and warm up. Nothing says ice skating like sipping on cozy hot cocoa or snacking on cookies! Certainly, ice skating provides another fun outing for families taking a trip to go skiing in Zermatt this winter with kids!
Enjoy A Day Trip To Cervinia
Just across the border from Zermatt, families can visit Cervinia, Italy. Home to Breuil-Cervinia, one of the best ski resorts in Italy, it’s accessible on ski through the Klein Matterhorn-Schwarzsee ski area. You can take the Matterhorn Glacie Paradise cable car, walk through a tunnel, and then ski to Testa Grigia to reach Cervinia. From there, you can continue skiing or take the gondola back down to the village. Cozy restaurants like Chalet Etoile, Ristorante Grivola, and La Tana are great for families who want pizza, polenta, or other local delicacies. If you do decide to visit Cervinia, make sure to purchase an international pass.
We hope you liked this Guide To Skiing in Zermatt With Kids In The Winter! Whether you’re an advanced skier or a beginner looking to experience Matterhorn Mountain in the winter, this winter wonderland will welcome you with open arms. Have a wonderful time in Switzerland with your kids!
RELATED ARTICLE: Ultimate Guide To Ski Gear For Kids
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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