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March 9, 2021

Verbier vs. Zermatt – Which Is Better?

Verbier vs Zermatt city centres

When it comes to winter holidays, most people agree that Switzerland is the ideal place to visit during the cold months. The country is famous for its luxurious ski resorts, and while there are a plethora of exquisite resorts there, among the most famous places are undoubtedly Verbier and Zermatt.

Both of these resorts have loyal advocates who come back year after year and often debate about which of them is better, Verbier or Zermatt ski resort. While both of them are great in their own ways, it’s time to compare them to see which one is superior.

Zermatt ski area

Zermatt Trail Map

The Zermatt ski area covers 360km of pistes and is divided into four areas:

  • Sunnegga
  • Gornergrat
  • Klein Matterhorn
  • Schwarzsee

To enter the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, which is an extensive ski area, you need a Zermatt ski pass.

This area stretches from the Rothorn Paradise (3,103m) and Gornergrat (3,089m) to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn, 3,883m) and Schwarzsee Paradise (2,583m). While you’re in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise area, you can ski in Switzerland and Italy, linking to Cervinia.

The Zermatt ski area has 80 wide-open cruising rolling reds as well as 36 blue and 30 black pistes. According to Zermatt snow reports, you can expect a depth of snow on the mountain of 158 cm, which is perfect for Zermatt skiing lovers and is a bit more snow than Verbier sees.

Verbier ski area

Verbier Piste map

Verbier is located in the center of Four Valleys, which is one of the largest ski areas in Europe. The area rises to 3300m in the high alpine and stretches from 1,500m to 3,330m with a total of 412 km of runs. Skiing in Verbier is amazing for everyone thanks to the multiple different ski areas:

  • Verbier ski area. The main ski area is equipped with ridges that differ based on their difficulty level and lifts that lead to those ridges. The main ski area is ideal for mixed ability groups.
  • Mont Fort ski area. This area has three pistes but is loved by expert skiers due to its huge off-piste potential. However, non-skiers also enjoy this area, as it has a 360-degree view of the Alps.
  • Bruson ski area. With only 6 slopes that cater more to experts, this area isn’t exactly for beginners, but it’s the ideal place to be during bad weather days since it’s located below the tree line.
  • Savoleyres and La Tzoumaz ski area. With a variety of pistes, an easy and playful terrain, and one of the longest sled runs in Switzerland, this area is best known for being family-friendly.
  • Mont Gele. Finally, this area is perfect for advanced skiers because of its steep and deep pistes. It also has three distinct skiable faces as well as an amazing view.

Zermatt village

Church of St. Mauritius Zermatt

Zermatt mountain village is a municipality in the district of Visp in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. The village is a municipality and the Zermatt ski resort is considered to be one of the best in the Swiss Alps.

An interesting fact is that the Zermatt ski resort was proclaimed to be a car-free resort in 1961 and the village itself still provides a traditional, unique, and charming experience for visitors. There are still about 30 ancient buildings around to keep this experience alive and the old village is centered around St Mauritius Church.

For its tourists, Zermatt offers beautiful chalets, excellent skiing, and a pretty good nightlife scene.

Verbier town

Verbier center

Verbier is a town located in the south-west of Switzerland in the Four Valleys ski area. It borders Italy to the South and France to the West. One of the things that make Verbier different from other alpine resorts is its clear absence of high-rise development as well as some amazing tourist spots.

Even though Verbier is an expensive resort, there’s no doubt that it’s worth the money. It offers superb skiing for beginners, experts, and anyone in between but that’s not its only appeal. It also offers luxury chalet accommodation as well as phenomenal bars and restaurants.

Additionally, the town is filled with shops from international brands as well as local businesses, so there is something for everybody to enjoy.

Après-ski

Cheering with alcohol glasses

After a long day of skiing, snowboarding, and enjoying the snowy Alps, most vacationers love to go out and experience the nightlife in the place they’re staying. So when it comes to après-ski and the nightlife scene, what do these two resorts have to offer?

Verbier après-ski

While snowy mountains and amazing skiing opportunities are the main reason why vacationers love to visit Verbier, the city’s nightlife is a close second. Anyone who has ever visited Verbier knows that its nightlife needs no introduction.

For those who are looking to have a drink after a long day in the snow, there are après-ski bars such as the Farinet and Le Pub Mont Fort. However, if you’re the type of person who likes to party, you’ll probably be fascinated by the town’s nightclubs like The Farm and Etoile Rouge.

If you want to start off your après-ski in style, you can visit the restaurant Le Mouton Noir or the bar Ice Cube. Both of these spots offer high and south-facing terraces that face the Grand Combin towards Mont Blanc, giving visitors a breathtaking and unforgettable view.

And if you want to come to Verbier to focus more on the nightlife, you should start your night off at the world-famous Farinet après bar that has live music, which usually kicks in between 7 pm and 9 pm. Later on, you can dine and dance at Etoile Rouge or the Farm Club, both of which guarantee a good time.

With such a great nightlife full of different options, it’s not hard to see why Verbier is the place to be for many rich and famous people who want to party in style.

Zermatt après-ski

You can expect everything from sophisticated acoustic guitar sets where people can relax and unwind all the way through to dancing on tables at rowdy clubs from the Zermatt après-ski scene. It’s safe to say that the Zermatt ski resort also has some impressive spots to offer.

If you choose Zermatt for your holiday, you can start off your après-ski while skiing the final Riedweg run to the village in the Sunnegga-Rothorn area. On the way, you will find The Champagner Bar where you can enjoy a glass of Veuve-Clicquot and talk to the friendly staff.

For most people, the Papperla Pub in Zermatt village is not to be missed. When you enter the pub, you’re greeted by the welcoming staff and you can spin the shot roulette wheel before you head inside to listen to their in-house band in a dark room until 2 am.

If you’re the type of person who’s after something a bit more refined, you can stop by for delicious cocktails and a light bar menu at the Snowboat Bar on the river.

Those who are attracted to dancing and singing are usually drawn to Harry’s Bar in the center of the village, while those who are looking for a simple beer, sports, and a burger love to visit The Brown Cow.

Even though Zermatt’s apres-ski isn’t as glamorous and big as Verbier’s, there’s still a lot of things you can see and a lot of places you shouldn’t miss.

Verbier vs. Zermatt – so, which is better?

We could go on and on about how amazing both of these resorts are and all of the things they have to offer. And while both of them have their own perks and are very similar, the question of which of them is better is still a heated debate amongst many.

When it comes to the ski area, Zermatt has a more readily accessible area but fewer pistes, so for those who want to spend all day on the slopes, Verbier is the better option. Not only because of its size but also because of its many pistes suitable for skiers of all levels.

As for the weather, both Verbier and Zermatt are located in the snowy Alps, so you can expect a fair bit of snow. While Zermatt weather usually brings more snow, the weather in Verbier is amazing year-round.

Both the village and the town are beautiful in their own way. Those who are looking for a more old-fashioned experience would enjoy Zermatt and those who want to spend the day walking around, shopping, and taking in the sights would love Verbier.

The après-ski and nightlife are similarly matched for both of these places, but Verbier’s nightlife is world-famous for a reason and is one of the reasons why so many people are drawn to Verbier.

While these two resorts are closely matched in what they offer to vacationers, we have to give Verbier a slight advantage over the Zermatt ski resort. If, after reading this article, you think the same, there’s nothing to wait for. Book your tickets and secure your accommodation for this ski season in Verbier.

Category: Verbier Info