Discover essential tips in our guide to visiting Zermatt with children in the summer and winter season. Zermatt is the perfect holiday destination for families with kids of all ages. The picturesque village offers plenty of activities and fun things to do. Adults can look forward to relaxing moments, as many great services are waiting to be discovered. Continue reading to find out more about visiting Zermatt with children!
Zermatt for the whole family - the ski slopes also are for young and old. (© Pascal Gertschen)
If you are travelling by train, you have the option of buying a “Children’s Day Ticket”, which gives children aged 6 to 16 free travel on the entire Swiss public transport network. This is available for as little as CHF 19 and is valid in 2nd class, or for CHF 33 and is valid in 1st class. You can buy a half-price ticket for your children aged 6 to 16 when you have the half fare card.
All children under the age of 6 travel free of charge in 1st and 2nd class when accompanied by an adult if their parents have a corresponding ticket for the same class.
The Wolli Card can be easily ordered online and then collected on site from the Zermatt Tourist Office (located at the train station), the sales points of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG or the sales points of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn and the Gornergratbahn. A deposit of CHF 5 per card is required, which will be refunded when the card is returned.
The Wolli Card is a free club card for all holiday guests up to nine years of age, who spend at least one night in Zermatt and are under the guidance of someone who purchases at least a two-day pass. The list of benefits is long; children can use all mountain railways and the local bus in Zermatt for free, they are exempt from visitor’s taxes and benefit from other discounts as well as special Wolli events that take place on the slopes of Zermatt and in the village.
If you visit Zermatt in summer (May-September), you can benefit from several playgrounds in the village. Of course the playgrounds also are open from October until April, but they usually are covered with snow in winter. At the “Gletschergarten Dossen” playground, a climbing stone and a large xylophone await the children. If you want to spend a few hours here, you can fire up the grill at the barbecue area.
The playgrounds “Obere Matten 1” and “Obere Matten 2” are located in the centre of the village and are ideal for children and teenagers from 0 to 15 years. There are climbing structures, slides, swings, sandpits and a climbing rock. Boccia, beach volleyball, football and tennis can be played right next door.
The “Winkelmatten” playground is located at the southern end of Zermatt, just outside the village centre, but with a magnificent view of the Matterhorn. Right next to the playground is the popular Sonnmatten restaurant, where the adults can have a drink while the children play.
Please note that dogs are prohibited on all playgrounds.
Do you like hiking, but have a toddler with you? No problem, because in and around Zermatt there are several hiking trails that are suitable for prams. The “Furiweg” leads down a driveway and the path is lined with larch trees that provide pleasant shade. The “Waldweg” zigzags through a mixed larch forest and you are repeatedly surprised with a view of the Matterhorn in the distance. On the “AHV” trail, a well-maintained forest path leads you around the village of Zermatt.
You can also take a short tour with the pushchair on the Gornergrat Mountain, which offers fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and the “Gorner Glacier”.
If you don’t have the pram with you, you can rent a suitable one in a sports and bike shop.
Zermatt offers families a variety of activities for both fine weather and rainy days. (© Pascal Gertschen)
In winter (November-March), everyone who wants to try skiing can learn so in the “Wolli beginners’ park”. The park is located at the “Leisee” and is suitable for all ages. The Leisee shuttle takes you from the Sunnega Station to the Wolli Park. Restaurants are nearby and there is a magnificent view of the Matterhorn and other mountains.
In Zermatt you can also benefit from experienced ski instructors who will teach you or your children in individual or group lessons. You don’t have to carry your ski equipment with you to Zermatt, but can rent your complete equipment for children, teenagers and adults in various sports shops in the village.
Practice makes perfect - in the Wolli beginners' park even the youngest learn to ski. (© Michael Portmann)
In the Zermatt ski areas you will find some particularly family-friendly restaurants with children’s meals, children’s seats and in some cases toys for the little ones. These include the Buffet & Bar Riffelberg, the Buffet Bar Sunnegga and the Chämi-Hitta. The ICE Buffet Bar with Asian and regional cuisine on Trockener Steg and the Gitz-Gädi near Furi are also suitable. In the village we recommend Les Marmottes with regional dishes in different price ranges, Pizzeria Grampi's and the Italian restaurant Molino.
On rainy or snowy days, when strolling through the pretty streets of the village sounds uninviting, there are a few places suitable for you to include in your bad-weather programme. The Matterhorn Museum “Zermatlantis” shows Zermatt’s past with original houses, artefacts from the first ascent of the Matterhorn and other interesting relics. Children up to the age of 9 visit the museum free of charge.
In the indoor adventure world “Zoom the Matterhorn”, the mountain landscape around Zermatt can be zoomed in on with periscopes, giving you new insights into the imposing mountain peaks. In an immersive 3D cinema, you can view the Matterhorn in all four seasons and thanks to the outstanding execution, it feels as if you are really standing in front of the famous mountain. And finally, you can choose between two virtual paragliding flights that let you glide over the alpine landscape whilst sitting in a floating chair and wearing 3D glasses. Children up to the age of 9 visit the adventure world free of charge in winter. In summer, all children up to 6 years of age have free admission.
Would you like to enjoy some time just the two of you? For example during a romantic dinner, an extended hike or on the ski slopes? You can book childcare services. They have multilingual and professionally trained staff, and undertake numerous activities with the little ones, such as sledging, ice skating, snow painting, handcrafting, drawing, baking or visit playgrounds. Prices include prams, travel cots, night lights, bottle warmers, booster seats etc. and are brought by the nanny on request. You can also book the service if you need an extra pair of hands, or if you don’t have time to take the children to ski school.
Immerse yourself and your family in the special atmosphere that surrounds Zermatt. It seems as if time has stood still when you walk through the narrow streets and stroll past the mountain chalets. The Matterhorn towers high above the village, overlooking the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and cafés. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – Zermatt is always worth a visit and with the whole family.
In summary, visiting Zermatt with children is a great choice in summer and winter if you enjoy the outdoors. This picturesque village offers a range of activities, from discounted travel options to free access to mountain railways with the Wolli Card. Enjoy playgrounds, family-friendly hiking trails, skiing in winter, and even a nanny service for parents who want some alone time.
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