Wheelchair Accessibility in Zermatt, Switzerland

This analysis of the wheelchair accessibility in Zermatt, Switzerland is from Summer 2022.

Zermatt does not permit cars, so everyone walks or bikes around town. This makes for a very city where everything is within walking/scooting distance, curb cuts do not matter a lot as you can walk down the street, and most of the restaurants offer outside dining on the sidewalk/street (if they aren’t wheelchair accessible themselves).

We spent one night in Zermatt, and walked/scooted everywhere. We walked/scooted from the train station to our hotel, Le Mirabeau Hotel & Spa — separate review here. We then walked along the main promenade by the train station and then down by the river banks to the Kirchbrücke bridge for an amazing view of the Matterhorn. We grabbed a quick snack at patio of Chez Max Julen in the Hotel Beau-Rivage, ate dinner at the Michelin Guide recommended The Omnia, and then walked back to our hotel. All in one afternoon/evening.

map of wheelchair accessible route through Zermatt
Source: Google Maps

Wheelchair Accessibility of Main Street (Bahnhofstrasse)

The main promenade (Bahnhofstrasse) is the main road that runs down Zermatt. It is lined with numerous apparel shops, food retailers, and restaurants. It was mostly smooth, but there were rougher stretches of cobblestone in the old town portion (by The Omnia).

Across from the train station is a shopping complex that had my two favorite stores: Laderach Chocolates and Montbell. We were familiar with Laderach from their store in San Diego, and so were thrilled to see it in its native country. The store front had an automatic door in/out of it, and we were greeted by warm smiles and free samples. It was gorgeous and delicious. Montbell was in the same complex as Laderach, but it took a little work to find the elevator to access it. The store was fun to explore, and Montbell continues to be my go-to for ultra lightweight and flexible winter clothes. I am not a paid sponsor for these companies–I just like them and loved exploring them in Zermatt.

laderach store is wheelchair accessible; display case to left and shelves on walls to sides
Laderach’s store…so good.

Accessibility of Kirchbrücke Bridge

At one end of the downtown, there is St. Mauritius Catholic church, the Matterhorn Museum, and Mountaineer’s Cemetery…all of which are gorgeous and fun to explore. Kitty corner to the cemetery is the Kirchbrücke Bridge, which goes over a raging river and has a great vantage point of the Matterhorn. This is a popular place for people to take selfies with the mountain.

wheelchair accessible photo spot for matterhorn

There is an elevator that takes you down to the paved pathways that run along the river below the bridge. The pathway runs for quite a while out toward the Matterhorn, as well as all the way back through town. The bridges below the Kirchbrücke are not accessible as you move toward the Matterhorn, but they are accessible as you get closer to downtown (e.g., ramped walkways/streets). In other words, you cannot cross the river to get to the other path past the Kirchbrücke. But you can also access the pathways via a road through the cemetery, or from numerous other roads that are parallel to the main street and run downhill from the town to the river. As such, the pathways on both sides of the river are accessible and definitely worth exploring. The elevator is a convenience, not a necessity, for accessing the pathways.

We stopped for a snack at the Restaurant Max Julen, which had a nice ramp to get onto the patio. We only had fries and wine, but it was a delicious afternoon snack under the shadow of the Matterhorn. This was another example of the wheelchair accessibility in Zermatt.

Dinner at The Omnia

We arranged months in advance for reservations at The Omnia, which is a Michelin Guide recommended restaurant with vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant soon thereafter limited dining to only hotel guests, but still honored our reservation.

The restaurant is accessed by going up a relatively steep side street that leads into a paved and fully accessible cave. The case has an elevator that goes up to the hotel, restaurant, and patio levels. We spent some time on the patio overlooking the town before being seated at the restaurant. The tables were accessible–they were long tables that could sit multiple groups, but there were dividers between the groups for privacy (and for COVID purposes). The staff were courteous, eager to help, and simply delightful. And the food was probably the best we had on the trip–we had high expectations, and they were surpassed.

And because the whole town is withing walking/scooting distance, we just walked/scooted back to our hotel…enjoying the main street/bahnhofstrasse the whole way back. Wheelchair accessibility in Zermatt was top-notch!

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