Switzerland itself lies at the very heart of Europe. This page contains information for visitors arriving in Switzerland by air, a map of Switzerland, and specific information for getting to Zermatt by rail and by road.
To Switzerland by Air
| International flights into Switzerland normally arrive at either Geneva or Zürich airports - with both being convenient to Zermatt. |
Both airports are superbly organised and fully integrated into the Swiss rail network. Arriving at either airport, one can simply check luggage and skis directly through to Zermatt, and board a train (under the airport terminal) within the hour...
A Swiss jet over the Alps.
Tip - Because Zermatt is car-free, arriving by train is often very convenient for international visitors.
Then just relax and watch the world go by, riding through Switzerland's sparkling landscape in the cosy comfort of a swift train...
Basel, Bern (and now Sion) airports also service some intra-European flights. Milan in Italy is also relatively convenient to Zermatt (4 hrs).
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^ For a larger version of this Swiss map, please click here.
To Zermatt by Rail
| The Swiss Rail network is world famous for its efficiency and is an extremely popular and convenient way to travel within Switzerland. Trains are clean, fast, reliable and frequent. The journey to Zermatt is also beautiful and memorable in itself.|
Hourly rail connections run to Zermatt from all major gateways, including directly from Geneva and Zürich airports. From either direction, one straight forward change of trains at Brig or Visp is normally required. At Brig (or Visp if coming from the west) one changes to the romantic little cog-wheel train for the 60 minute journey up the valley.
Train travel time to Zermatt is
4 hours from Geneva, 3½ from Zürich.
Visit the Swiss Rail online train timetable, where you can easily create a customised train timetable to Zermatt - from any point in Switzerland, or elsewhere in Europe.
To Zermatt by Road
Getting to Switzerland by road is simple, since there are fast, well-maintained motorways through all surrounding countries. Within Switzerland roads are well-maintained, well sign posted and generally uncongested.
Zermatt is in southern Switzerland, at the end of the remote and beautiful Zermatt/Visp valley. Motorists can drive as far as Täsch. The last 7 kilometres must be travelled by train (every
20 minutes, sFr 8.- per person one way) or by taxi (sFr 30.- per person one way, minimum charge sFr 30.-, night rate 10pm-6am sFr 40.-).
The advantage of travelling by taxi is that you can unload your luggage directly from your car into the taxi. We recommend Taxi Alphubel. In winter it is necessary to reserve your parking space well in advance: call. ++41 -(0)27 - 967 15 50 (10.- per day outside, 15.- per day under cover).
Driving time to Zermatt is
3 ½ hours from Geneva, 4 ½ from Zürich,
4 hours from Milan in Italy.
Walk-up car rental in Switzerland is expensive. You can save up to half by reserving online in advance. You can make a start and book online here.
N.b. A motorway permit is required for Swiss motorways ( rental cars hired in Switzerland will have them). If you get stopped on a Motorway without one, you'll have to buy one on the spot, plus pay a fine. The 'vignette' costs only sFr.30; the fine is sFr.100.)
Once in Zermatt
Most guests arrive at the railway station in Zermatt. If you have booked a hotel in advance, normally they will provide a free little electric taxi or horse-drawn sleigh to your accommodation. Please confirm the arrangement when you make your reservation.
If you arrive without any reservation whatsoever and wish to stay, there is a free phone service at the end of the platforms which can help you to find hotel vacancies. Remember however that Zermatt is a very popular place - to arrive in high season without a reservation is to risk disappointment, and perhaps to face the prospect of having to return to Visp or Brig.
For casual visitors electric taxis and sleighs are always available, although most places in the village are no more than a ten minute walk from the station. Zermatt is sufficiently small that street names are rarely used, except for the 'Bahnhofstrasse' - the main street. [ top of page ]
Switzerland - Facts for the Traveller
Visas: Citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the USA (and many other countries) do not require visas for visits of up to three months.
Currency: Swiss Francs (sFr. or CHF)