Zermatt is car free. If you drive you have to park in a huge multi-storey carpark in Täsch and take the train 5km to Zermatt. It costs up to 15CHF per day to park and then another 15CHF return for the train. Once you get to the train station its then a choice or lugging your gear or taking one of the electric taxis. From the train station to pretty much anywhere should cost a maximum of 20CHF.
Away from the slopes there’s a skating rink, a cinema, museum and plenty of shops to lose a small fortune in. If you need kit take a look at Stoked near the icerink in centre of the village.
From fresh oysters at Elsie’s to fine-dining at Prato Borni you can get pretty much any cuisine you like here. Even on a reasonable budget there are some good mid-range restaurants.
Hotel post on the main street has 4 restaurants and 5 bars all in the same building. The Broken Tex-Mex does some tasty nachos at 15CHF, and the Brown-cow’s burgers start from 12CHF.
The resort is twinned with the excellent Japanese resort of Myoko, and there’s an appropriately named sushi restaurant on the main street next to the Italian Seilerhaus Monino which serves some pretty good pizzas.
Starkey's above the Matterhorn Hostel serves excellent un-pretentious Thai food at a very reasonable 15-20CHF
This may be news to the village planners but there is a well disguised McDonalds open till 11pm on the main street near the station. The one kebab shop in town which is near the main Platz closes when it really should be opening at 9:30pm, but expect to pay 10CHF.
Self-caterers will find a Co-op in the shopping centre across the road from the train station, and there’s a Migros just off the main street.
This is one of the liveliest places in Switzerland for après ski and there are a number of good bars open till the early hours. Things kick off on the slopes après style near the village at the Hennu Stall, you can’t miss it if you’re boarding down from the Matterhorn. As soon as the sun disappears they have a live band inside.
If you’ve spent the day on the Sunnegga then you’ll be hard pressed to miss the Snowboat Cafe, it’s situated on the side of the river near the funicular entrance, and it’s shaped like, um, a boat. At the Matterhorn end of the village the Papperla Pub starts early outside and later inside they have a band most nights. The bar is open until 1:30am but the party carry’s on downstairs at the Schneewittchen until 3:30. The Hotel Post on the main street has 5 bars/clubs to suit all tastes and there are plenty of places along here to justify a pub crawl and a sore head in the morning.
Staying in Zermatt is going to cost you, however if you’ve got no problem staying in a dormitory room, then you can do it on a budget.
The Hotel Bahnhof has doubles from 92CHF and a bed in a dorm for 35CHF. The Matterhorn Hostel is well located, 200m from the Gondola with dorms from 34CHF. It’s pretty tidy and with free wi-fi but there isn’t any real kitchen facilities, and they charge at extra 7CHF for a basic breakfast. The 8-person dorms have 2 of the bunks pushed together; very cosy.
The Alpenstern is a good budget b&b and there are a number of cheapish places you can stay on mountain if you like being a hermit.
Zermatt has an official YHA and dorm rooms from 50CHF, you need to be a member. An ensuite double costs over 100CHF per person. The prices do include breakfast and evening meal. Day membership costs an additional 6CHF
There are over 1500 apartments available in the area but book early as you will never find any real late bargains here.
Options over in Täsh are cheaper and the trains run late enough that you can still sample the nightlife. Pension Alpenblick is basic but has single rooms from 43CHF