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Andermatt: Winter Family Adventures Guide

Updated: Feb 26

Family fun guide to getting the most out of Andermatt with kids in the winter - with or without skis. Andermatt, Canton of Uri, Switzerland.


The "it" factor


Andermatt Family sledging Snow White

What makes it special:



What needs to be considered:


  • Accommodations can be pricey, especially during peak season. For budget-friendly options, book in advance or consider a place in nearby villages like Göschenen or Wassen, just a 10-20 minute drive away.

Don't feel like reading? Watch a video instead!



The fun factor


Embarque on a marmot- themed quest around Andermatt!


Nestled in the heart of the Alps, Andermatt is a beautiful village known for skiing and exciting off-slope activities. What lured us to visit was the Murmeli-pass (Marmot Pass) adventure—a fun quest awaiting eager explorers.


We picked up a booklet with a Murmeli-pass quest map from the village's information center (it is also available from Matti Restaurant at the Nätchen ski station), and set out to uncover five fun locations scattered around Andermatt, from the valley down to the mountain peaks. Successfully locating all five of these spots (though just four were needed for the award) earned us a prize, which we joyfully collected from the tourist information center.


This quest isn't quite a typical hike, although parts of it offer pleasant walks through the village or snow-covered fields. It's more of a fun way to discover the most exciting spots for kids in Andermatt. At each location you visit, you'll find two things: a small box with a hole puncher to mark your Murmeli pass as proof of completing your quest, and a fun activity for the whole family.  While completing the activities isn't necessary to complete the quest, they definitely add to the fun! Simply punch holes in your Murmeli pass to complete the mission.


We split our adventure over two days. On day one, we ventured up the mountains for two locations, turning it into a ski and sledging adventure .On day two, we tackled three more in the village, enjoying a leisurely stroll.


Alternatively, you can complete it in one day (though a bit rushed) or spread it out over five days—one adventure each day. Either way, we absolutely love this concept!



 

PART 1: THE MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE


To begin your adventure, hop on a train or gondola from Andermatt to Nätchen mountain station. If you opt for a one-way (or return) ticket, SBB half fare rates apply. We chose a one-way gondola ticket and enjoyed sledding down once (which proved to be plenty), priced at only 7CHF per adult (here are more options).




QUEST 1: Have fun in the snow in Nätschen ski station


Upon exiting the gondola, you'll find yourself in a winter wonderland, perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The area is divided into sections: one for those enrolled in ski school and another for solo riders. Each section features a convenient magic carpet to transport riders back to the slope, along with various training stations scattered around. Since the magic carpets do not require a pass, it's a great spot to learn in relaxed and cost effective manner.


We enrolled our young one in a half a day class, which had just four kids in the group. What we appreciated was the balanced mix of riding and breaks for the kids—opportunities to sit, rest, and enjoy storytime with the teacher. This approach makes skiing more accessible for little ones.


You have the option to book the class alone or add on a supervised lunch afterward. It's a good choice for parents seeking relaxation in the nearby restaurant while their kids ski, or for those eager to hit the slopes themselves, given the nearly 180 km of connected slopes accessible from this station.



Adjacent to the ski school area lies a cute little sledging carousel, perfect for even the youngest adventurers to enjoy being pulled around. Needless to say, we spent about 30 minutes there—us relaxing while our 4-year-old gleefully circled around.


Near the carousel, you'll find a little bar offering snacks, drinks, and tables, along with your first task: punching holes in your Marmot Pass. Simply punch the holes in the designated spots to complete your first challenge.




BONUS QUEST: Hit the indoor playground at the Matti Restaurant


Right beside the ski area sits one of our favorite family restaurant on the slopes. While they offer all the standard items, we were especially liked their varied kids menu and salads. The highlight, however, was the indoor play area, conveniently visible from the restaurant table. After enjoying our lunch, we treated ourselves to an extra hour of relaxation with coffee, while our little one had a blast playing nearby, all within our sight.



QUEST 2: Sledge down to Andermatt


Once you've finished exploring the peak, grab your sledges (or rent one in the Andermatt village) and embark on a fun 4.7 km sledge run. It's mostly flat, making it suitable for families with younger kids (who can sit together on one sledge). However, be mindful of the sections without barriers and steep mountains if you're afraid of heights.


The final stretch is particularly steep, offering an exhilarating challenge for adventurous sliders. If you prefer a gentler descent, you can finish the slope earlier and either take a bus or walk back to the village along a paved road – as we did.


If sledding isn't your thing, you can also walk down, as we've seen many people do.


About a third of the way in, keep an eye out for snow-white, seven dwarfs, and a witch – they signal the location of the second box. Punch your map, and you've completed the second part of your quest!




 

PART 2: THE VILLAGE ADVENTURE

QUEST 3: Spin around on ice


Next stop - the ice skating rink! It offers beautiful views of the mountains and is a great place to enjoy some ice skating fun. You can bring your own skates or rent them there. For beginner ice skaters, there are cute little penguins available to hold onto while learning. Additionally, there's a small bar serving snacks and drinks (our 4-year-old loved her hot dog!).


Tip: The ice rink has limited opening hours, so be sure to check before heading there. It often opens at 13:30, so consider adjusting your itinerary if you plan to visit other activities earlier in the day.



Andermatt Family ice rink map tip

Tip: If you're walking from the tourist information office area, be cautious when using Google Maps. We made the mistake of following it directly and ended up at the ice skating rink on the other side of the tracks, where you can't cross by foot. Instead, head down to the train station, where there's an underground path to the other side of the tracks.



QUEST 4: Pet the lamas at the Bonetti Barn


Just a short 15-20-minute walk away (900 meters), or, in our case, a more leisurely 45-minute stroll due to our toddler's insistence on walking atop the snowdrifts lining the road (fun!), you'll reach the Bonetti Barn (Stall Bonetti). Here, we encountered lamas or alpacas (we are not sure which), and sheep who greeted us with curiosity. Our toddler was thrilled as the animals were quite lively, frolicking around their enclosure and engaging with us. However, please remember not to stress the animals and feeding them is not allowed.


Don't forget to punch your Matti Card here to complete this quest!



QUEST 5: Sledding hike with picture-perfect panoramas


The final quest awaits next to the Nordic House sporting goods store. While you can drive there with plenty of parking available, we found the journey to be the most fun! If there's enough snow, you'll need to pull the sledge along the path marked on the map, which our 4-year-old absolutely loved. The path, as marked on the map, is mostly flat and offers breathtaking views along the way!


The last quest station sits adjacent to the main entrance, near the parking area and the gate signaling the start of the ski touring path. If you're up for extending the adventure, there are more walking routes in the vicinity to explore.





Adjacent to the Nordic House there is also a lovely and somewhat upscale The Cotton Club Restaurant, which, while welcoming families, isn't specifically geared toward them. We stopped by for a quick drink and some delicious sushi, which we thoroughly enjoyed! Although they don't offer a kids' menu, they kindly agreed to serve a bowl of rice to our toddler, who had fun trying to eat with chopsticks. Let's just say, attempting chopsticks turned into an impromptu drumming and dancing session. Who knew dining could be so musical?




In the Kunst (Art) Cafe you can enjoy bubble tea, waffles, or hot dogs and kids over 6 (and adults) can unleash their inner artist. They also offer painting sessions (extra charge). Unfortunately, we arrived on the days they were closed, but hey, it's just another reason to come back!


Tip: Give them a call in advance to check their opening hours whilst planning your visit.



The food factor


With around 87 restaurants in Andermatt, there's plenty of culinary delights to explore. Our top pick for kids is Matti restaurant, thanks to its fantastic kids' menu and an adjoining playroom that offers parents peace of mind. But with such a diverse range of dining options, foodies are sure to find something to delight their taste buds. Be sure to share your favorite spot with us!


The value factor


Family Andermatt Ski Class Kids

THE MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE

  • One way ticket Andermatt to Nätschen

    • SBB train

      • Half-Faire / Kids 6-15: 3.90 CHF

      • Full price: 7.80 CFH



Kids below 6 years old: Free

Tip: Half Fare discount applies only at ticket counters, not machines.



THE VILLAGE ADVENTURE: Free


The comfort factor


There are excellent hotels and apartments in Andermatt, but the best deals are often snatched up quickly. If you're looking to save money and find budget-friendly options, consider booking accommodations in nearby villages like Göschenen or Wassen, which we did, just a short 10-20 minute drive away.


Winter Family Wonderland of Andermatt - Practical Info


  • By car

    • Park in Parkplatz P1 / Feldküche. During busy times, late arrivals may be directed to alternate parking areas, but frequent shuttle buses ensure convenient access.

    • If you are staying over night, ask your hotel what is the best place to park.

  • By public transport

  • Useful links

  • Nätschen ski area operating times:

    • December 16, 2023 to April 7, 2024,

    • Open from 09:30 to 15:45

  • More info

  • Quests overview



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