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Andermatt or St. Moritz: Which is Better?

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Darla

Unable to decide if you should visit Andermatt or St. Moritz in Switzerland? Andermatt and St. Moritz and Andermatt are both stops on the well-known Glacier Express train, as well as ideal locations for skiing and hiking. St. Moritz is widely recognized as a glamorous destination amidst dreamy landscapes. Meanwhile, Andermatt is gradually gaining popularity thanks to recent developments in the area. Each place has its advantages and characteristics, so it’d be good to know which one’s right for you. If you’re not sure which one to choose, then this guide is for you. 

You can’t go wrong with Andermatt or St. Moritz.  There’s plenty to do, shops, and restaurants in both Andermatt and St. Moritz.


Key Differences: Andermatt vs. St. Moritz

The key differences between Andermatt and St. Moritz are as follows:

AndermattSt. Moritz
Population: approx. 1,538Population: approx. 5,200 
Total Area: 62.26 km2Total Area: 28.69 km²
Elevation: 1,447 m (4,747 ft)Elevation: 1,822 meters
Valley: UrsernValley: Engadine
Highlights: Gemsstock, Nätschen, Schöllenen Gorge and Devil’s Bridge, Göscheneralp, Furka PassHighlights: Diavolezza, Morteratsch Glacier, Piz Corvatsch, Bobsled Run, Segantini Museum
Lake: NoneLake: Lake St. Moritz, Lake Staz
River: ReussRiver: Inn

Which is Better: Andermatt or St. Moritz?

Andermatt and St. Moritz are similar in many ways: lots of hotels, great places to ski, and many things to do, and they’re both high up in the mountains. But the big difference is where they are: Andermatt is in the middle of Switzerland, while St. Moritz is closer to Italy on the western side of the mountains.

  • Andermatt, nestled in the Urseren Valley and surrounded by the towering peaks of the Swiss Alps, offers an ideal starting point for exploring the pristine landscapes of central Switzerland. With an elevation of 1,447 meters, Andermatt is slightly lower than St. Moritz.
  • St. Moritz is an alpine resort town nestled in the middle of the Engadine Valley, surrounded by mountains and lakes. At 1,822 meters above sea level, St. Moritz is one of Switzerland’s highest mountain resorts. 

Andermatt is a better choice if you want an authentic alpine experience in Central Switzerland without the high price tag. Visit St. Moritz for alpine experiences, water sports, high-end shopping, and discovering Engadine Valley.  

So it’s just a matter of preference. Both of them are awesome, so it won’t be easy to pick one. In this article, you’ll learn about all the places we can visit nearby as well as the advantages of staying at each of them.

My preference: If you want a stunning mountain vacation, I’d suggest picking St. Moritz over Andermatt. But it’s just my preference. Both places are great, but I really love the beautiful Engadine Valley where St. Moritz is located.


Andermatt in Winter from Wikimedia

Andermatt is nicely situated at the heart of Switzerland, bordered by Hospental to the west, Göschenen and Gurtnellen to the north, Tujetsch in the Grisons canton to the east, and Airolo in the Ticino canton to the south. Andermatt’s position as a meeting point for these cantons is highlighted at the peak of Piz Alv, where a world icon marks the spot connecting Graubünden and Ticino, showcasing its geographical importance.

Andermatt is located at an altitude of 1,444 meters above sea level, and the surrounding peaks reach up to 3,000 meters. The Ursern Valley, home to Andermatt, is known as one of Switzerland’s stunning high valleys.

Andermatt is famous for its great skiing and snowboarding options. With the combined efforts of Andermatt+Sedrun+Disentis, which includes SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun and the Disentis mountain railways, it has become a top-notch ski destination. It offers a whopping 180 kilometers of ski slopes and a network of 33 lifts that go up to 3,000 meters above sea level, making it the biggest ski area in Central Switzerland.

Image of St. Moritz by TouringSwitzerland.com

St. Moritz has always stood for beauty and luxury. The town has five grand hotels and big buildings instead of the small wooden chalets present in Zermatt or Verbier. It is also renowned for its skiing resorts. St. Moritz is a more upscale vacation destination. It offers modern amenities and architecture. St. Moritz is world-famous and among the first winter sports resorts in the world. It sits above Lake St. Moritz (St. Moritzersee in German) which turns frozen during winter.

In the village, there are many things you can do. You can visit the following:

St. Moritz has 25 crystal clear mountain lakes adding to the beautiful Alpine scenery. Some of the nearest ones are Lake Staz, Lake St. Moritz, Lake Champfèr, and Lake Silvaplana. There are forests and glaciers to enjoy. Hiking, climbing, sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and skiing are also possible here.

Nearby pretty villages are Celerina/SchlarignaPontresina, Sils, Maloja, Silvaplanaand Zuoz. There is also a beautiful peninsula nearby called Chastè.


Places to Visit: Andermatt vs. St. Moritz

  • Schöllenen Gorge – Schöllenen Gorge is a wild, yet beautiful natural gorge located between Göschenen and Andermatt. The Schöllenen Gorge is a narrow and winding passage characterized by the powerful flow of the Reuss River cascading over rocky terrain.
  • Göscheneralp – Göscheneralpsee is an incredibly picturesque place with high mountain peaks and the Damma Glacier.
  • Furka Pass – Drive through Furka Pass, a breathtaking mountain pass known for its winding roads and panoramic views.
  • Rhône Glacier – Explore Switzerland’s impressive Rhône Glacier and its captivating Ice Cave, an incredible tunnel sculpted within the glacier itself.
  • Lake Arnisee – Situated in the serene setting of Arnialp at an altitude of 1,368 meters, Lake Arnisee is perfect for those who want somewhere quiet. Nearby Chänzeli provides captivating views of the Uri Alps.
  • Glacier Express – The Glacier Express, an iconic scenic train journey, departs from Andermatt and offers a breathtaking ride through the Swiss Alps. From Andermatt, you can choose to go to either St. Moritz or Zermatt.
  • Disentis – Disentis, nestled in the Swiss Alps, is renowned for its charming town ambiance and is home to the historic Disentis Abbey, a centuries-old monastery known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning architectural beauty.
  • Lake Lucerne – Lake Lucerne is special due to its distinctive fjord-like features, including a narrow shape with numerous inlets and twists, pristine waters, and breathtaking natural scenery.

There are many places to visit near St. Moritz. There are many beautiful tourist attractions in the Engadine Valley. Some places to visit near St. Moritz are the following:

  • Pontresina – a beautiful alpine village with Engadine houses and Belle Epoque hotels
  • Guarda – a fairytale village famous for Schellen-Ursli, a children’s book by Selina Chönz
  • Celerina – sunny village next to St. Moritz with excellent tourist infrastructure.
  • Chastè Peninsula – a wooded peninsula surrounded by mountains, nature, and a lake
  • Alp Grüm – offers a fantastic view of the Palü Glacier, the Lagh da Palü Lake, and the Bernina mountains surrounding it. From Alp Grüm, you will see Piz Varuna east of Piz Palü, a 3,453-meter-high mountain located on the border between Val Malenco, Italy, and Val Poschiavo, Switzerland.
  • Fuorcla Surlej – amazing views of the following mountain peaks: Piz Boval, Piz Morteratsch, Bernina Massif, Piz Roseg, Dschimels, Piz la Sella, Piz Scerscen, and more.
  • Muottas Muragl – a panoramic mountain in Pontresina with fantastic views of the lakes of Engadin Valley
  • Corvatsch – the highest mountain station in the region at 3,303 meters provides an impressive Alpine panorama
  • Diavolezza – fantastic views of the highest peaks of Eastern Alps – Piz Bernina, Piz Palü, and Piz Morteratsch
  • Val Roseg – a beautiful side valley accessible by foot or carriage from Pontresina
  • Val Fex – a protected side valley accessible by foot or carriage from Sils
  • Val Trupchun – the most protected park in the country – Swiss National Park
  • Morteratsch – the place to see the third longest glacier in the Eastern Alps – Morteratsch Glacier

Skiing: Andermatt or Zermatt

Image of the Ski Slope in Nätschen, Andermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com

Andermatt is famous for its great skiing and snowboarding options. With the combined efforts of Andermatt+Sedrun+Disentis, which includes SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun and the Disentis mountain railways, it has become a top-notch ski destination. It offers a whopping 180 kilometers of ski slopes and a network of 33 lifts that go up to 3,000 meters above sea level, making it the biggest ski area in Central Switzerland.

The ski resort of St. Moritz has three locations – Corviglia, Corvatsch – Furtschellas, and Diavolezza – Lagalb. Corvatsch is the highest in Graubünden. Whereas Diavolezza-Lagalb has the most freestyle slopes and is ideal for night skiing.

Below, we have a table comparing the slopes available in Andermatt and St. Moritz.

Pistes (in km)AndermattSt. Moritz
Corviglia
St. Moritz
Corvatsch

Furtschellas
St. Moritz
Diavolezza

Lagalb
Easy47.54213
Medium84798920
Difficult37341815
Freeride16.5810
Total18516312045
Ski seasonMid-November to Mid-Aprilend of November to
early April
end of November to
mid-April
mid-October to
May
Pistes Comparison: Andermatt vs. St. Moritz

When it comes to ski resorts, both Andermatt and St. Moritz offer fantastic experiences, but they have different vibes. Both destinations boast some of Switzerland’s most extensive ski slopes.

Ultimately, the choice between Andermatt and St. Moritz depends on your preferences and skiing abilities. If you’re seeking a challenging and adventurous experience, Andermatt might be the perfect choice. But if you prefer luxury amenities and a lively atmosphere, St. Moritz could be more to your liking.


Hotels: Andermatt vs. St. Moritz

While St. Moritz may offer a wider selection of luxurious hotels, Andermatt also has fantastic hotels for varying budget preferences.

Image of The Chedi Hotel in Andermatt by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • The Chedi Andermatt (5-star) – The Chedi Andermatt boasts Swiss hospitality merged with Asian elegance. With more than 200 fireplaces, luxurious amenities like pools, a spa, and diverse dining options, this hotel offers an exceptional stay. Guests enjoy spacious rooms adorned with alpine-style decor, while activities like skiing, hiking, and cycling await in the picturesque surroundings.
  • The Base Andermatt (4-star apartments) – The Base Andermatt, located in Andermatt’s Uri region, provides spacious apartments near the ski elevator, featuring fully equipped units, free WiFi, and private parking, with shared lounge areas for relaxation.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, Andermatt (4-star) – The hotel boasts a restaurant, fitness center, indoor pool, sauna, concierge services, and private parking. Its rooms feature amenities like a flat-screen TV, safety deposit box, coffee machine, and private bathrooms with free toiletries, some even equipped with kitchens.
  • Hotel Bergidyll – Riders Haven (3-star) – Hotel Bergidyll – Riders Haven in Andermatt offers cozy rooms with private bathrooms, some boasting mountain views and balconies, alongside amenities like free WiFi and a restaurant; guests enjoy skiing, hiking, and the hotel’s convenience, with praise for its welcoming staff and delicious cuisine.
Image of Kulm Hotel St. Moritz by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • Kulm Hotel St. Moritz (5-star) – Due to the pioneering efforts of hotel founder Johannes Badrutt, St. Moritz became a winter sports mecca. This makes the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz a special part of the city’s history. This elegant hotel has 5 restaurants, a spa with a pool, a whirlpool, a children’s pool, an open-air pool, and more. Also nearby, the hotel has its 9-hole golf course with pitching, chipping, and putting areas. During the winter months, guests can skate and curl at the hotel.
  • Badrutt’s Palace (5-star) – There are six restaurants, an indoor pool, a spa, and fitness center, valet parking, a tennis court or ice skating rink (depending on the season), and a free shuttle service to the train station at this elegant 5-star hotel in St.Moritz. Badrutt’s Palace is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Swiss Deluxe Hotels, and Swiss Historic Hotels.
  • Suvretta House (5-star) – Skiers will love this exclusive ski-in/ski-out hotel in Suvretta-Corviglia. There’s a regular shuttle service that takes you to other ski resorts and St. Moritz. They have a huge indoor pool, a fully-equipped gym, a sauna, gourmet specialties, and a kids’ restaurant.
  • Hotel Steffani (4-star) – This well-priced hotel has 3 restaurants, 3 bars, a nightclub, and a spa area with an indoor pool. Just 300 meters from Corviglia ski area, it’s in the heart of St. Moritz.
  • Hotel Waldhaus am See (3-star) – The Waldhaus am See is one of the leading 3-star hotels in Switzerland. A few steps from the train station, it features a breathtaking view of the Engadin Valley and is situated on the banks of St. Moritz Lake. With over 2,500 different kinds of whiskey, the hotel has the largest whiskey bar in the world.
  • St. Moritz Youth Hostel (Hostel) – An affordable option is to stay at a hostel in St. Moritz where you’ll get everything you need – free breakfast, linen, security lockers, hot showers, microwave, a play area, and free wifi.

Summary: Andermatt vs. St. Moritz

Deciding between both towns can be tricky because they have similar offerings. You’ll find enough restaurants, hotels, and shops in Andermatt and St. Moritz. You’ll also find a lot of picturesque towns and villages nearby. You can also ride the famous Glacier Express train from both locations.

St. Moritz and Andermatt provide excellent skiing opportunities, with access to extensive ski areas and well-maintained slopes suitable for all skill levels. In addition to skiing, both locations provide a variety of other outdoor experiences to enjoy.

For those into gourmet dining, both mountain resorts have their share of Michelin-starred restaurants. St. Moritz has restaurants such as IGNIV by Andreas Caminada, Dal Mulin, and Ecco St. Moritz. Andermatt has the Japanese Restaurant by the Chedi and Gütsch by Markus Neff.

Here is a summary of the advantages of visiting Andermatt or St. Moritz.

Advantages of Visiting Andermatt

  • Hiking trails in Andermatt are likely to open earlier in the summer compared to those in St. Moritz due to Andermatt’s lower elevation, providing an advantage for visitors looking to start summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking sooner in the season.
  • Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis is part of the Epic Pass, providing certain pass holders access to the ski resort in winter, depending on their Epic Pass Access.
  • Andermatt offers more affordable lodging options than St. Moritz without compromising quality, providing visitors with comfortable accommodations at reasonable prices.
  • Because of its location in the heart of Switzerland, Andermatt is closer to other popular Swiss destinations like Lucerne, Zurich, and Zermatt compared to St. Moritz.
  • Andermatt features breathtaking landscapes, including majestic mountains, glaciers, and lakes, rivaling the scenic beauty of St. Moritz.
  • While Andermatt may not have high-end boutiques like St. Moritz, you can still find sports stores and Swiss souvenirs.

Advantages of Visiting St. Moritz

  • Summer and winter are the best times to visit St. Moritz. If you want to see certain mountains and vistas, make sure you check when the cable cars are operational. It’s common for cable cars to close for maintenance and holidays during the shoulder season.
  • While the scenery in St. Moritz is just as beautiful as in Andermatt, I find the village of St. Moritz and the surrounding villages in Engadin are even prettier than Andermatt village.
  • St. Moritz has a larger selection of 5-star hotels. You can also find an array of 3- and 4-star hotels as well as a hostel.
  • St. Moritz has a lot of high-end shops such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Cartier, Gucci, and Dior. Choose it over Andermatt if you prefer high-end shops.
  • St. Moritz is surrounded by many lakes. In addition to St. Moritz’s lake, there are plenty of other bathing lakes nearby. Lake Silvaplana is popular for water sports and Lake Sils is the largest and most scenic in the valley.

Thanks for checking out our comparison between Andermatt and St. Moritz. No matter where you go, have fun! 

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Darla is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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