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

Should you visit Zermatt or Lausanne?

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 Lausanne can help you decide which place is right for you.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a stunning, iconic, and breathtaking town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

Lausanne

Lausanne is a cultural, international, and diverse city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Zermatt and Lausanne: 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
  • Very walkable
  • 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 students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Zermatt or Lausanne?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Zermatt than Lausanne, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Zermatt is better known for its skiing, nightlife, resorts, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Lausanne is more popular for its museums and historical sights. Zermatt is more touristy than Lausanne and is known for its skiing, hiking, winter sports, and stunning views of Matterhorn. Also, Zermatt is famous for The Matterhorn. Lausanne is well known for being the home of the International Olympic Committee headquarters.

The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn

How is Zermatt different from Lausanne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Skiing?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is a world-class destination for winter skiing. However, Lausanne is not a skiing destination.

The snow ski experience you'll have in Zermatt is among the best in the world. 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.

Lausanne is not a skiing destination.


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

Zermatt
Lausanne

Lausanne 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 Lausanne specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. You'll find many great museums around town that cover a range of topics. The Olympic Museum is very interesting. You should also check out the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and the Hermitage Foundation.

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 Lausanne? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Both Zermatt and Lausanne offer excellent local cuisine and 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.

Lausanne has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The city is filled with delicious chocolate, cheese, and wine. Fondue is a favorite, but you'll also find cured meats on most menus. While food can be expensive, it's also high quality and usually locally produced.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Nightlife?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is well known for its evening party scene. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

Zermatt is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities Lausanne has a few options to choose from. There are a surprising number of clubs around town and it's not hard to find somewhere to party. The large student population and the international vibe make this a fascinating place for nightlife.


Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Resorts?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is well known for its resorts. However, Lausanne is not a resort destination.

Zermatt is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are a number of upscale inns and hotels in town. Many have pools or hot tubs with views of the mountains.

Lausanne is not a resort destination.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for its Old Town?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Lausanne is very good for its historic old town. However, Zermatt does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Lausanne to see the historical old town. There's a relatively large historic section that has a Gothic cathedral and many quaint shops.

Zermatt does not have a historic old town.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Hiking?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is a world-class destination for its hiking experiences. However, Lausanne is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Zermatt draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. 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.

Lausanne is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Zermatt or Lausanne?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Both Zermatt and Lausanne are excellent 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.

Lausanne is well-known for its shopping. You'll find luxury Swiss watch brands, jewelry, chocolate, and many other interesting things to buy. Prices can be high, but so is the quality. It's fun to look, even if you're not planning to purchase.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Families?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Zermatt is known to be 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.

Lausanne offers lots of family activities. There are kid-friendly museums, petting zoos, and other fun activities in town. You can also take a boat ride or let the kids run around one of the parks in town.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Couples?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Zermatt has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. 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.

Lausanne is a nice destination for couples. The medieval old city is fun to explore. The lakefront setting also offers fun activities like boating. There are also a number of museums in town to explore.


Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is well known for backpackers. However, Lausanne is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Zermatt is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Lausanne is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not the most popular town for backpackers but there are some affordable hotels. It's also more reasonably priced than many Swiss cities.

Is Zermatt or Lausanne Better for Students?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Lausanne is a well-known place for students. However, Zermatt is not popular with students.

Lausanne is very popular with students. There are 11 institutes for higher learning in town, so students make up a significant percentage of the population. The city is also full of culture, making it a very livable city.

Zermatt is not popular with students.

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

Zermatt
Lausanne

Both Zermatt and Lausanne offer notable public transit options.

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

Lausanne has some public transit options. There is a comprehensive network of transportation options available in town including buses and boats.


Is Zermatt or Lausanne a more walkable city?

Zermatt
Lausanne

Zermatt is a world-class destination for its ease of walking around. Also, Lausanne is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

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

Lausanne is somewhat walkable. Many parts of the city, including the historic sections, and relatively easy to explore on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Lausanne or Zermatt?

How long in Zermatt or Lausanne?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Zermatt or Lausanne to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Zermatt than Lausanne because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Zermatt, and 1-2 days is enough time in Lausanne.

Families should spend more time in Zermatt than Lausanne. 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 Lausanne. 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 Lausanne 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 Lausanne? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zermatt 2-5 
    Lausanne 1-2

One day in Zermatt or Lausanne?

The beautiful town of Zermatt offers nightlife and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Lausanne, you'll find nightlife and food. 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 Lausanne?

Zermatt is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zermatt, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

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


Five days in Zermatt or Lausanne?

Zermatt is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zermatt, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Lausanne is a great place to explore. 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 Lausanne?

Zermatt is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lausanne. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Lausanne. 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, Lausanne or Zermatt?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zermatt is $222, while the average daily cost in Lausanne is $226. 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 Lausanne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zermatt $125
    Lausanne $135
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zermatt $250
    Lausanne $270
Compare Hotels in Zermatt and Lausanne

Looking for a hotel in Zermatt or Lausanne? 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 Lausanne


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 Lausanne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zermatt $53
    Lausanne $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zermatt

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zermatt:

  • 3-Hour Private Transfer from Zermatt and Saa to Geneva Airport: $239
  • Breuil-Cervinia to Milan Malpensa Airport MXP-Departure Transfer: $118
  • Cervinia, Italy to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $127
  • Zermatt to Malpensa Airport (MXP) - Departure Private Transfer: $143

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lausanne

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lausanne:

  • Lausanne accommodation to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer from Geneva Airport to Évian-les-Bains: $161
  • Taxi, Airport Transfer and Limousine Service in Switzerland: $235
  • Private transfer from Vevey to Geneva Airport: $266

Is it cheaper to fly into Zermatt or Lausanne?

Prices for flights to both Lausanne 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 $57
    Lausanne $61

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zermatt $56
    Lausanne $37

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
  • Fondue under the stars experience in Zermatt: $114
  • Tapas tour in Zermatt: $114
  • Majestic Matterhorn: Zermatt to Glacier Paradise Cableway Ticket: $186
  • Mount Gornergrat: Zermatt's Spectacular Summit Ticket: $205
  • Romance and Charms of Zermatt – Walking Tour: $224
  • Mystic Zermatt Tour: Peaks, History & Culture: $225
  • Private Village Tour in Zermatt’s Alpine: $246
  • Interlaken Private Tour: Zermatt Village & Glacier Paradise: $818
  • Interlaken Private Tour: Zermatt & Gornergrat Scenic Railway: $860
  • Interlaken Private Tour to Gornergrat & Matterhorn Paradise: $1,046

Tours and Activities in Lausanne

Here are a few actual costs in Lausanne for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Medieval A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.20
  • Lausanne Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.60
  • Lausanne (City Center) Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • Lausanne Ouchy District City Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16
  • The Olympic Museum Entrance Ticket in Lausanne: $23
  • Guided Walking Tour in Lausanne: $32
  • Chaplin's World Entrance Ticket: $34
  • Round trip cruise from Vevey to Chillon: $35
  • Boat cruise from Lausanne to Evian: $44
  • Guided tour of the city of Evian-les-Bains: $55
  • Round trip cruise from Lausanne to Chillon: $63
  • Walking Tour in Lausanne Switzerland: $69

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zermatt $28
    Lausanne $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Zermatt

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Zermatt:

  • Activity in private minibus, wine tasting in Valais: $79
  • Wine Tasting in Valais: $86


When comparing the travel costs between Zermatt and Lausanne, we can see that Lausanne 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 Lausanne Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Zermatt or Lausanne?

Lausanne has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Zermatt. When comparing the sizes of Zermatt and Lausanne, 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.