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Zermatt is a town in the Visp district in the German speaking part of Valais Canton (Wallis) in Switzerland. It's a popular tourist destinations, both in winter and summer and has a population of just under 6,000.
The village is situated at the end of Mattertal at an altitude of 1,620 metres above sea level.
Although it is not the highest mountain in the Alps, the Matterhorn is considered to be one of the landmarks on this mountain range. The distinct pyramid-like summit is its claim to fame. It is part of the Pennine Alps and it overlooks the towns of Zermatt and Cervinia (in Italy). However, it is the image from the north side that is most well-known to the world.
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Theoretically, Air Zermatt can fly you in. Realistically, this is not for everyone's budget. The nearest airports with good connections are Geneva and Zürich. Or you can opt for some of the airports in the north of Italy, like Turin and Milan. It takes several hours at least to get to Zermatt though.
Swiss Federal Railways provides services from other places in Switzerland like Visp and Brig. Zermatt is also the start or end of the Glacier Express rail service connecting to St. Moritz and Davos. The Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn is another great way of arriving and/or leaving Zermatt.
Zermatt is a car-free area, except for some electric vehicles. You have to park your own car in Täsch and take the taxi or train for the last 7 kilometres. Check the Zermatt Park and Ride options.
The main road to Täsch starts from Visp.
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Small electric buses travel from one end of town the other and to a few ski stations. There are cable cars running all the way to the summit of the Klein Matterhorn (3883 metres), where you can find the highest scenic outlook platform in Europe. The Gornergrat Railway goes to the top of Mount Gornergrat.
The town is small enough to navigate on foot.
|Hotel Alfa Zermatt||Obere Mattenstrasse 18||Hotel||81|
|Matterhorn Hostel||Schluhmattstrasse 32||Hostel||72|
|Matterhorn Hostel Apartments||Untere Wiestistrasse 8||Apartment||-|
|Youthhostel Zermatt||Staldenweg 5 Winkelmatten||Hostel||80|
|Hotel Rhodania||Steinmattstrasse 71||Hotel||-|
|Casa Della Luce Apartments||Postfach 153||Apartment||-|
Switzerland has a high rate of people with their own internet connection and computers, so internet cafes are not as common compared to other countries and compared to the past. But still you will be able to find a computer in the main cities and tourist areas, also at libraries, video rental shops, train stations or tourist information places. Wifi is widely available, though sometimes at a cost. A growing number of hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and fastfood joints now offer free wifi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Switzerland's country code is 41 and the emergency phone numbers are 117 (police), 118 (fire department) and 144 (emergency rescue service/ambulance). Swiss phone numbers consist of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.
If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas. There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros and Coop for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is Yallo. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive).
Swiss Post is the national postal service of Switzerland and has fast and reliable services. For more information about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally, they have a very useful Price Calculator. Domestically, there is priority mail (arriving the following day) and economy mail which takes 2-3 days to be send within Switzerland. Stamps can be bought at the post offices or from shops and kiosks that also sell postcards. In general, post offices are open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00pm to 5:00 or 6:00pm, with a lunchbreak in between. Opening times on Saturdays are usually only during mornings. Larger cities and central post offices might keep longer hours and skp the lunchbreak. If you want to send packages internationally, you might also consider international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS.
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