Experience the fascination of the unique natural scenery at 3'089 m above sea level. The GGB Gornergrat-Monte Rosa-Bahnen transport you from Zermatt to the Gornergrat vantage platform in about 42 minutes. Around you rise 29 four-thousand-meter-high mountains laden with snow and ice. The second longest ice stream of the Alps, the Gorner Glacier, is at your feet and an extensive hiking area is waiting to be explored by you.
For bikers there is a choice of four different routes and early risers on sunrise rides are rewarded with a unique atmosphere.
Prices (Zermatt - Gornergrat return, 2nd class):
Adult CHF 67.- EUR 45.-
Half fare card CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
Child (6-16y.) CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
Zermatt is a car free town and only electric cars are allowed. These taxis are governed by all sorts of laws that forbid them using the main street at certain times of the day. Hence you can pay quite a bit to get from the Bahnhof to your hotel if the poor blighter has to go the long way around. I paid 12CHF to get to my hotel when I arrived and I walked back to the Bahnhof in 7 minutes when I was leaving. So, if you can find out exactly where your hotel is situated (and most of them are within walking distance of the bahnhof) and if you have luggage that is not too cumbersome, then I recommend that you walk.
Having said that, you may still need to get a taxi. When you come out of the main entrance to the Bahnhof, you will find them lined up to your right. Some of them belong to certain hotels, so lucky for you if your hotel is one of those.
Zermatt is a car-free resort. Access for private transport is only allowed as far as Täsch (5km from Zermatt). You could let your car at the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch (New Park and Rail car park completed in 2007) for CHF 13.50 per day. Shuttle trains operated from Tasch to Zermatt (trip of 12 minutes) run every 20 minutes. Return ticket CHF 15.20 (or CHF 7.60 with half fare card).
At Visp Railway station about 100 free carpark is available, but train trip costs more than from Täsch and duration trip is about 1 hour.
Insider tip: Do not forget to give a quick free call from the Tasch railway station thanks to the hotels board. Somebody will waiting for you at our arrival ;-)
It is easy to get around in Zermatt. Most distances can easily be covered on foot.
In winter the bus service is included in the ski-pass : two routes with electrically-powered buses serve all major intersections.
The Glacier Express is very plush and comfortable even in second class, but I would have seen just as much on regional trains and saved 30CHF which was the supplement I paid with my Swiss Flexi Pass.
It wasn't the relaxing journey I had imagined, as there was frantic activity happening all the time, mainly concerned with serving lunch at the seat for anyone who had 41CHF to spare. I chose to bring my own lunch but I would guess that about 80% of the passengers order on board. This means that between going around taking the orders, setting each place with all the necessary table linen, cutlery, wine glasses etc, delivering the meal (two to three courses) and dishing it up at the seat, collecting the dirty dishes and generally cleaning up, the whole journey consists of countless staff going up and down the aisle and constantly bumping the poor people (such as I) who are sitting on the aisle seats. Then of course, there is the lady who comes along with the trolley and the credit card machine and sells the many and varied souvenirs and we mustn't forget the ticket inspector and finally the staff coming around to collect the money for the lunch just in the nick of time before the train pulls into your destination. It's one of those "been there, done that, got the T-shirt" kinda things. I certainly wouldn't do it again.
There are buses that will take you to neighbouring towns. These leave regularly from across the road in front of the bahnhof. There are also horse and buggies that are available to use in much the same way as a taxi. Enlarge the photo of the horse and buggy to see what I mean by the caption.
Zermatt is a car-free town, though don't despair about having to drag your suitcases for miles to your hotel, as there are these cute electric vehicles that whiz around town.
Most hotels and many restaurants seemed to have their own branded ones zipping about the place, and there are taxis as well. We were collected from the station by our hotel's electric car, and as we alighted the train there seemed to be a sea of these odd little vans waiting for people just like us.
It is worth noting that these electric cars practically make no sound, so be careful if you are walking on the road as they tend to sneak up on you! And they drive fast.
If you are driving to Zermatt, you will actually have to park your car in a giant car park in Tasch, and then catch the train into Zermatt, which takes around 10 minutes.
We travelled to Zermatt via the scenic Glacier Express train (more info in "Things to Do" tip), though when we departed we just went by regular train.
Train travel in Switzerland is easy. Trains are clean and run on time. Stations are well signposted and fellow travellers are considerate. The trains we travelled on all had luggage areas and toilets. It is a stress-free way to get around the country.
Being on the train is also a great way to do some sight seeing on route. Some of the rail lines travel through the most gorgeous mountain scenery. One day we travelled on the Glacier Express, on a 6 hour journey from Chur to Zermatt. The train travels through valleys, up mountains, past lakes and glaciers.
The only confusing thing connected to train travel in Switzerland is deciding what type of ticket or rail pass to buy. Sure you can buy tickets from place to place as you go, but there are various passes that may work our more economical depending on your itinerary and rail usage.
I spent some time before our trip calculating out the cost of buying various tickets versus rail passes, and in our case determined that a Swiss Pass offered the best value. The Swiss Pass is valid on almost all trains (supplement was required to use the Glacier Express), on buses, ferries, and we got 50% off the cost of cable cars and mountain transport in Zermatt.
You can investigate Rail Passes here
Train timetables and routing here
The new Lötschberg base tunnel is one of the major Swiss project of the century.
The Lötschberg base tunnel is 34.6 kilometres long and extends from Frutigen in the Kander valley (canton Bern) to Raron in the Rhone valley (canton Valais).
After it opens in 2007, the new high-speed rail tunnel, together with the Simplon tunnel, will be the first fast north-south transalpine link. Speeding through the Lötschberg base tunnel will be possible up to 280 kph!
From December 2007, good news the journey time to the Valais will be reduce.
*Interlaken - Zermatt 2h09 instead of 3h11, so less 72 minutes!
*Bern - Zermatt 2h06 instead of 3h13, so less 72 minutes!
*Basel – Zermatt 3h13 instead of 4h24, so less 71 minutes!
*Zürich - Zermatt 3h14 instead of 4h24, so less 70 minutes!
The Valais region now has much faster connections to the rest of Switzerland, so more time to enjoy your stay.
To help maintain Zermatt's original character,roads are kept exclusively for electric vehicles, such as electric bus,electric taxi or even horse drawn carriages.Very environment friendly,huh;) If you like to walk,you can just walk around Zermatt,it's envionmnet friendlier I guess;) I have tried the bus, it cost me 2.50 sfr. for one way trip from Zermatt train station to Schwarzsee cable car station.
Take the Gornergratbahn,located just right next to the train station in Zermatt.Sometimes they have the so-called "happy hour" where you pay less to go to Gornergrat,I think its starts from 12noon 'til the last descent.Gornergrat railway was the first electric cogwheel train in Switzerland.