A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Zermatt vs. Bern for Couples, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Zermatt or Bern?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Zermatt and Bern can help you decide which place is right for you.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a breathtaking, charming, and stunning town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Zermatt and Bern: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Matterhorn
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Zermatt or Bern?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Zermatt. Although Zermatt and Bern are both popular with visitors, Zermatt has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Zermatt is more popular for its skiing, food, nightlife, resorts, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Bern is known for its museums and historical sights. Zermatt is more touristy than Bern and is known for its skiing, hiking, winter sports, and stunning views of Matterhorn. It is also home to The Matterhorn. Bern is popular for its well-preserved old town and its reputation as the home of the Lindt chocolate factory.

The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn

How is Zermatt different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Bern and Zermatt. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Skiing?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is renowned for snow skiing. However, Bern is not a skiing destination.

If you're an avid snow skiier, Zermatt should be on your list. This is Europe's highest ski resort and it is one of the most famous and beautiful, at the base of the world renowned Matterhown. The slopes attract professional skiers from around the world who come for the challenging skiing and spectacular setting.

Bern is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Zermatt or Bern?

Zermatt
Bern

Bern is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Zermatt is not a good town for its museums and history.

Many visitors head to Bern specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city is filled with architecture and charming character. While you're in town make sure you visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Bern Cathedral.

While most people don't head to Zermatt specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. You don't visit Zermatt for the museums, but it is worth checking out the Matterhorn Museum while you're in town.

Is the Food Better in Zermatt or Bern? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Zermatt makes for a great culinary experience. There are actually many great restaurants right on the slopes, so you don't have to head into town to enjoy a meal. In town, you'll find many cozy restaurants that have terraces that offer spectacular views.

Bern has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is a well-known place for nightlife. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Zermatt offers plenty to do in the evening. The town cuts loose in the evening with locals and visitors intermingling at the many bars and live music venues around town. Elegant fun is a great way to describe the nightlife scene and whether you're looking for a mellow night out or a more vibrant party, there's something for everyone.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.


Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Resorts?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is a well-known place for its resorts. However, Bern is not a resort destination.

Zermatt is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are a number of upscale inns and hotels in town. Many have pools or hot tubs with views of the mountains.

Bern is not a resort destination.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Zermatt
Bern

Bern is a well-known place for its historic old town. However, Zermatt does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Zermatt does not have a historic old town.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Hiking?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Bern is not a hiking destination.

People visit Zermatt specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. There are countless hiking trails in the area that cater to all levels of fitness. Almost all trails offer some sort of view of Matterhorn, and it's possible to enjoy a great view without much effort. It's also possible to do a multi-day trek while staying in mountain huts which will get you well into the amazing scenery.

Bern is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Zermatt or Bern?

Zermatt
Bern

Both Zermatt and Bern are great shopping destinations.

Zermatt is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Luxury boutiques that sell jewelry, watches, and clothing are found all around town. You'll also find sporting equipment or anything that you may have forgotten. For the best shopping in town head to Bahnhofstrasse.

Bern is well-known for its shopping. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Families?

Zermatt
Bern

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Zermatt or Bern.

Zermatt is a very family-friendly place to visit. From world class hiking to countless outdoor adventures, this is a great place to explore with kids. There are a number of kid-friendly ways to view Matterhorn as well as cable cars and Glacier Palace.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Bern is very family-friendly. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Couples?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is renowned for romance. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Zermatt makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Couples who seek an adrenaline filled adventure will be in heaven in this iconic alpine destination. There are breathtaking views of Matterhorn, stunning hikes, impressive skiing, and a charming town where you can enjoy a great meal after a day filled with adventure.

Bern makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.


Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Zermatt
Bern

Both Zermatt and Bern are great destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Zermatt. There are a couple of hostels in town that cater to the backpacker and budget crowd. It's an expensive place to visit, with food and entertainment costing a lot, but if you can swing it, it's well worth a visit.

Many backpackers visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Is Zermatt or Bern Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Zermatt
Bern

Bern is a well-known place for its public transit. Also, Zermatt is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation in Bern. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Zermatt has some public transit options. There are ebuses in town, but the town itself is car free and walking is your best option.

Is Zermatt or Bern a more walkable city?

Zermatt
Bern

Zermatt is renowned for its walkability. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

It is easy to get around Zermatt on foot. There aren't any cars in town so this is a very pedestrian-friendly town with charming streets and walking paths.

Bern is a very walkable town. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.


For even more information, also check out Is Zermatt Worth Visiting? and Is Bern Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Bern or Zermatt?

How long in Zermatt or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Zermatt and Bern. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Zermatt than in Bern. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Zermatt, and 1-3 days is enough time in Bern.

Families should spend more time in Zermatt than Bern. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Zermatt, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Zermatt than Bern. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Zermatt that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Zermatt than Bern if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Zermatt.


  • How many days in Zermatt or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zermatt 2-5 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Zermatt or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Zermatt. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Bern, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Zermatt or Bern?

Zermatt is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Bern, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Bern has to offer.

Five days in Zermatt or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting the iconic destination of Zermatt. This town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Bern is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Zermatt or Bern?

The breathtaking town of Zermatt offers skiing and nightlife. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bern. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Bern. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Switzerland, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Switzerland, The Best Luxury Tours to Switzerland, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Switzerland.


Which place is cheaper, Bern or Zermatt?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Zermatt is $229, while the average daily cost in Bern is $256. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Zermatt and Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zermatt $129
    Bern $165
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zermatt $258
    Bern $330
Compare Hotels in Zermatt and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Zermatt or Bern? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Zermatt


Hotels in Bern


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Zermatt Hotel Prices and Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zermatt $54
    Bern $34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zermatt

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zermatt:

  • Breuil-Cervinia to Milan Malpensa Airport MXP-Departure Transfer: $118
  • Cervinia, Italy to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $126
  • Zermatt to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $141
  • 3-Hour Private Transfer from Zermatt and Saa to Geneva Airport: $235

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Car Departure Transfer from Bern to Bern Airport BRN: $73
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $191
  • Private Transfer From Bern To Basel With a 2 Hour Stop in Olten: $213
  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $227

Is it cheaper to fly into Zermatt or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern and Zermatt change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Zermatt $58
    Bern $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zermatt

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zermatt.

  • Evening Tapas Tour with Dinner and Drinks: $122

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zermatt $58
    Bern $34

Tours and Activities in Zermatt

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Zermatt are as follows:

  • Sion Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car Ticket: $106
  • Fondue under the stars experience in Zermatt: $114
  • Tapas tour in Zermatt: $114
  • Alpine Village Tour 2 hours: $129
  • Gornergrat Bahn Cogwheel Train Ticket: $135
  • Mount Gornergrat Spectacular Summit Train Ticket: $187
  • Mount Gornergrat: Zermatt's Spectacular Summit Ticket: $206
  • Romance and Charms of Zermatt – Walking Tour: $221
  • Mystic Zermatt Tour: Peaks, History & Culture: $222
  • Private Village Tour in Zermatt’s Alpine: $242
  • Paragliding Tandem Tour with Matterhorn View: $336

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.36
  • Self-Guided Reading City Tour in Bern: $5.73
  • Bern WarpSpeed Intro Sport Walking Tour by Expert and Born Native: $7.35
  • Self-Guided Tour of Bern's Fountains, Clocktowers, and Legends: $9.99
  • Self-Guided Audio City Tour in Bern: $11
  • Fribourg Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Thun Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Guided Walking Tour in Bern: $35
  • Bern : Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide (Private tour): $59
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $60
  • Highlights & Hidden Gems of Small Group Guided Walking Tour: $86

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zermatt $29
    Bern $27

Sample the Local Flavors in Zermatt

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Zermatt:

  • Wine Tasting in Valais: $86


When comparing the travel costs between Zermatt and Bern, we can see that Bern is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Zermatt Expensive? and Is Bern Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Zermatt or Bern?

Bern has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Zermatt. When comparing the sizes of Zermatt and Bern, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Zermatt or Bern?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Zermatt or Bern in the Summer?

Both Bern and Zermatt are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Zermatt for the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Bern because of the family-friendly experiences.

Zermatt is around the same temperature as Bern in the summer. The daily temperature in Zermatt averages around 23°C (73°F) in July, and Bern fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

It's quite sunny in Bern. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Zermatt. Zermatt usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during summer. Zermatt gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Zermatt. In July, Zermatt usually receives more rain than Bern. Zermatt gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zermatt 23°C (73°F) 
    Bern 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Zermatt or Bern in the Autumn?

Both Bern and Zermatt during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Zermatt because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Bern this time of year.

In the autumn, Zermatt is a little warmer than Bern. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Zermatt in October average around 15°C (58°F), and Bern averages at about 13°C (55°F).

In the autumn, Zermatt often gets more sunshine than Bern. Zermatt gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 126 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Zermatt. Zermatt usually gets more rain in October than Bern. Zermatt gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zermatt 15°C (58°F) 
    Bern 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Zermatt or Bern in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Zermatt and Bern. The skiing, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Zermatt this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bern. It's quite cold in Zermatt in the winter. In January, Zermatt is generally much warmer than Bern. Daily temperatures in Zermatt average around 5°C (41°F), and Bern fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

Zermatt usually receives more sunshine than Bern during winter. Zermatt gets 119 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 65 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Zermatt usually receives more rain than Bern. Zermatt gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zermatt 5°C (41°F) 
    Bern 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Zermatt or Bern in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Zermatt as well as Bern. Many travelers come to Zermatt for the small town charm and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Bern in the spring for the natural beauty.

Zermatt is a little warmer than Bern in the spring. The daily temperature in Zermatt averages around 13°C (55°F) in April, and Bern fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

In the spring, Zermatt often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Bern. Zermatt gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 164 hours of full sun.

Zermatt receives a lot of rain in the spring. Zermatt usually gets more rain in April than Bern. Zermatt gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Zermatt 13°C (55°F) 
    Bern 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Zermatt

Zermatt Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)