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Zermatt vs. Grindelwald: Which Swiss Ski Resort is Right for You?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Switzerland is famous for its stunning Alpine scenery and world-class ski resorts, and two of the most popular destinations for winter sports enthusiasts are Zermatt and Grindelwald. But which one is the better choice for your next ski vacation? Let's take a closer look.


Mountains
Zermatt

Skiing: Zermatt vs. Grindelwald


Both Zermatt and Grindelwald offer excellent skiing opportunities, with plenty of runs for skiers of all skill levels. Zermatt is known for its high-altitude skiing, with some of the most challenging terrain in the Alps. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a must-visit for experienced skiers, with its year-round skiing and incredible views of the Matterhorn. Grindelwald, on the other hand, has a more relaxed atmosphere and is great for families and beginner skiers. The Jungfrau Ski Region offers a variety of runs, with stunning views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.


Things to Do: Zermatt vs. Grindelwald


While both Zermatt and Grindelwald are primarily ski resorts, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy as well. Zermatt is a car-free town, which adds to its charm and offers a unique experience for visitors. You can take a ride on the Gornergrat Bahn, which is Europe's highest open-air cog railway, and offers incredible views of the Matterhorn. Grindelwald is a more traditional Swiss town, with lots of shops and restaurants to explore. You can take a ride on the Jungfrau Railway, which is Europe's highest railway, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.


Skiing

Cost: Zermatt vs. Grindelwald


Both Zermatt and Grindelwald are expensive destinations, but there are ways to save money. Zermatt is notoriously pricey, with high-end hotels and restaurants. However, there are more affordable options available, such as self-catering apartments and budget hotels. Grindelwald is a bit more affordable, with a wider range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. In terms of lift ticket prices, both resorts are similarly priced, with discounts available for multi-day tickets.


Accessibility: Zermatt vs. Grindelwald


Zermatt is a bit more difficult to get to, as it is a car-free town. Visitors typically take the train from Zurich or Geneva, which can take several hours. Grindelwald is more accessible, with a direct train from Zurich taking around 2.5 hours. Trains from Interlaken to Grindelwald are included in the cost of lift tickets, with the lifts, ski lockers, and ski rentals all conveniently co-located in the train station. Both resorts are easily navigable on foot, with good public transport options available.


Snowboarding
Snowboarding in Grindelwald

Views and Scenery: Zermatt vs. Grindelwald


Grindelwald has breathtaking views from every inch of the resort, including the train ride, Gondola rides, each peak, and everywhere in between. We thought this would be difficult to beat, but this is where Zermatt wins out. The Matterhorn provides a striking picture difficult to describe. It's truly a one-of-a-kind place in the world that should be on everyone's bucket list. The extensive train and gondola system sprawl around the surrounding mountains, each with unique and beautiful views of the Matterhorn, many glaciers, and the rest of the Alps.


We spent most of our time in Switzerland skiing in Grindelwald because of its location relative to where we lived. It was the perfect place for Jess to learn how to ski (they had multiple "beginner's parks" and plenty of blue runs.


Overall, both Zermatt and Grindelwald are excellent choices for a ski vacation in Switzerland. Zermatt is great for experienced skiers looking for challenging terrain and a unique atmosphere, while Grindelwald offers a more relaxed atmosphere and is great for families and beginner skiers. When it comes to cost and accessibility, Grindelwald has the edge. Ultimately, the decision between these two resorts will come down to personal preferences and priorities. What's your opinion on Zermatt vs. Grindelwald?

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