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Things to do: nature, sightseeing, winter sports
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps. Matterhorn was one of the last Alpine peaks to be conquered and it gained international attention following the attempt by British mountaineer Edward Whymper to scale its 4,478 m (14,692 ft) height. At the foot of Switzerland's tallest mountain range, Zermatt's economy revolves around tourism; its population surges during the summer and winter seasons and slows in the off-season. Skiers and snowboarders flock here for challenging terrain in winter, while mountain bikers and road cyclists take advantage of the location in summer. Hikers also love Zermatt because it provides connection into Italy and France. The dense town center is mostly pedestrian, with some battery-powered vehicles and horse-drawn carriages. Take stress off the schedule by using our Switzerland vacation route planner.
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Where to stay

When staying in car-free Zermatt, proximity to amenities is key, as you'll be mostly restricted to traveling by foot. Populated by charming Swiss chalet-style hotels and inns, Zermatt may be humble in character, but not in price. Most of the hotels are fairly expensive, though there is the odd hostel and pension that might offer a slight discount. To save yourself a bit of money, look into renting an apartment in lieu of a hotel. If you're really strapped for cash, consider camping instead--this area offers a year-round mild climate.
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