Andermatt is a town and ski resort in the canton of Uri, Switzerland. It is located at a crossroad in the Alps with great historical importance. Before the opening of the Gotthard car and train tunnels, a big part of the north–south traffic had to pass through here. It has been a rather sleepy town for the last decades but is now slated for the development of a big resort by a foreign investor, so it might be a good time to visit while it is still the quiet place it is now.
There are roads in all four cardinal directions to Andermatt, and being a bit off the beaten track, driving there may be an alternative. The town is surrounded by mountain passes, and you need to cross at least one in order to get into the town. The highest of them, Furka to the west is situated at more than 2,400 metres and he Andermatt itself more than 1400 meters (almost one mile) above sea level. Driving through alpine passes is a great experience and the views are fantastic. However remember that the engine heats up when ascending and the brakes when descending.
Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (for travel details see Swiss national railways SBB ) operates local trains to Andermatt from Davos Platz, Göschenen and Visp. The Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz also stops at Andermatt.
During the summer months, a bus connects to Meiringen (roughly 2 h) via the Susten pass twice daily.
There are not actually many museums and monuments and that like in Andermatt. However, the town's alpine-style houses and the nature with the surrounding summits are certainly worth photographing. Do bring a camera.
- 1 Devil's bridge (Teufelsbrücke) (On the road between Andermatt and Göschenen.). The Schöllenen Gorge below Andermatt used to be the bottleneck on the important Gotthard route. The first bridge was built here around 1300 and a first stone bridge around 1600. The two bridges which are now present are from 1830 and 1958. A famous Swiss legend tells of how the first bridge was built by the devil in exchange for the soul of the first men to cross the bridge. According to legend, a ploy was then used and a dog sent over the bridge instead. The devil got angry and brought along a boulder large enough to smash the bridge but was convinced on the way not to do so. He dropped the 2 boulder where he was and it is supposedly still there today next to the road.
- 3 Talmuseum Ursern, Gotthardstrasse 113, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. We-Sa 16:00-18:00 during the season. A small museum inside an old nobleman's residence. Fr. 7/3.
Like many other towns in the Alps travelers are attracted by various outdoor activities like skiing in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer.
- 1 Skiarena Andermatt-Sedrun (120 km, 11 lifts), ☏ . Andermatt shares a ski area with Sedrun the other side of the Oberalppass. The train between the two towns is included in the price of the ski ticket. Day pass Fr. 60/30.
Shops in the town centre sell equipment for outdoor activities, but being a "tourist" town in Switzerland, they are not especially cheap. Classic Swiss souvenirs like chocolate, cuckoo clocks and Swiss army knives are also available.
"Hotel" and "restaurant" are interchangeable concepts in Andermatt – most restaurants are situated in hotels.
- 1 Gasthaus zum Schwarzen Bären, Gotthardstrasse 137, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The rooms are small but overall it's a suitable place to sleep without spending too much. single from Fr. 125.
- 2 Drei Könige und Post, Gotthardstrasse 69, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A hotel on the upper end of the scale. Situated in the house where the German author Goethe lived in the late 18th century. double Fr. 160-280 depending on the season.
Being on a crossroad, there is many choices on where to go on from Andermatt:
- Go south, over the Gotthard pass to sunny Ticino.
- Head west to one of the many resorts in the Surselva.
- Take the Glacier Express westwards to Fiesch, Brig or even all the way to Zermatt.
- Go north, towards Lake Lucerne and one of the destinations around it, such as Brunnen or Lucerne.