Blessed with austere mountain appeal, Andermatt contrasts low-key village charm with big wilderness. The town was once an important staging post at a four-way crossroads – the north–south route over the St Gotthard pass (2106m) linking Lucerne with Ticino; the Furka Pass (2431m) corkscrewing west to Valais; and the Oberalp Pass (2044m) looping east to Graubünden. With the opening of the 17km-long Gotthard Road Tunnel in 1980, however, Andermatt found itself bypassed on the all-important north–south route.
Of late there has been some mega-development for Andermatt in the form of hotels and massive expansion of the ski lifts under the name Ski Arena. More hotels are planned, but for now the traditional charm of the town centre remains blissfully intact.