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Ski Towns for Non-Skiers in Switzerland

Hi All,
We're traveling to Switzerland in Early December and would enjoy taking in one or two of the ski villages in Switzerland, however we are not skiers. What has the scenery and ambiance but still enough other things to do (shopping, restaurants, etc)? We'll stay for a few days in Zurich, I think, then looking to venture out from there. This will be the end of our trip, so we'd likely need to get to an international airport from there. I'm open to longer train rides, if it's worth the end result. Open to day trips or overnight stays. For reference, we really enjoy spending time in Vail, Aspen, etc. Is seeing the Matterhorn worth it (or even feasible in December)?

Posted by
312 posts

Stayed in Zermatt for Christmas many years ago, and it was lovely. We went up the Gornergrat, saw the Matterhorn in brilliant sunshine at-12C, walked around the town. I wouldn’t want to stay there for more that about 2 days, though, as there wasn’t that much more for non-skiers to do. This may have improved by now, though.

Posted by
16190 posts

Most ski villages will offer activities for non-skiers such as groomed winter walking trains, snowshoeing, sledding, and sometimes tobogganruns. Here, for example, is what’s on offer at Wengen:

https://wengen.swiss/en/

For a good array of restaurants and shops, you may want a larger village such as Zermatt. Here is their winter activity page:

https://www.zermatt.ch/en/winter

And yes, as reported above, one may see the Matterhorn in winter. It would be worth waiting for.

The journey from Zermatt to Zurich for your flight home takes 3.5 hours (to the city, not the airport) with a single change of trains en route. To Geneva takes 30 minutes longer.

Posted by
20032 posts

If you like Vail and Aspen, you'll love Zermatt. Shopping, restaurants, etc, they got all of that. And if stay 3 days you have a good chance of seeing the Matterhorn. I was there in January and it was clear as a bell everyday. But weather is weather.