Located high in the Swiss alps Valais, Zermatt village lies in one of the most visited areas in Switzerland. The Matterhorn peak is a short distance from this village and there are lots of activities that you can enjoy doing in this region. All around Zermatt there are numerous iconic places that you can visit. The Matterhorn is just one of the peaks that are higher than 4000 meters above sea level in the upper Valais region.
Zermatt is definitely in the top of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland, Europe and probably the world.
Zermatt in the southern region of Switzerland is a popular resort that is famous for hiking, climbing, and skiing. The town lies at an elevation of 1600 meters is close to Matterhorn peak and its main street is lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants. There is a public outdoor ink for curling and ice skating. The area has become famous in the recent past. However, in the past, this region was a majorly agricultural community. Nonetheless, the area has been developed gradually and its main activities currently are tourism. Most of the city is now filled with restaurants, hotels, and apartments for tourists.
How to get to Zermatt
To get to this location there are only two options and this includes by train or by foot. The first option is by train and you can get to this location by boarding a train that is part of the Swiss rail network. If you are using a Swiss travel pass then you can board a train in the network with ease. However, if you do not have a pass you should check out the train’s schedule and the cost before purchasing your tickets. Zermatt is part of the Swiss train classic, the glacier express.
The glacier express is popular because it gives people a dimension of the Swiss alpine mountains. The train runs through the route from time to time and you should check out the schedule. On the other hand, if you choose to board an automobile then you should be prepared to leave your car at Täsch. This is a town that is close to Zermatt and from there you will have to take a train to Zermatt. Zermatt is a car-free location so you will not be there in your car. You should take the time to review the parking fees and the cost of transport as well right here: Swiss trains.
Ticket price back and forth is 16.40 CHF.
Parking in Täsch depending on how long you will stay in Zermatt can start at around 10 CHF.
If you want to have more adventurous time, you can hike from Täsch to Zermatt. It is a quite easy hike, no steep mountains, most of the time you would walk not far from the rails. You can have a look at my hiking experience and all other information right here: Hiking from Täsch to Zermatt.
If you take a train or hike, you will get to the train station (hike leads to the train station) and the village center is just minutes away.
What to do in Zermatt
1. Visit Matterhorn glacier paradise
While scaling the mountain in Matterhorn can be a tempting experience, you should explore activities that will be fun to do. You can take a gondola and get to the highest viewing platform in Europe at 3883 meters altitude and enjoy the view of Matterhorn glacier paradise. While high up in the glacier paradise you can have a 360-degree view of the Swiss alps and the surrounding location. The view up there is breathtaking and you will never experience something like this. However, if you fear heights and want to relax there are restaurants with big screens and you can enjoy a movie as you chill and absorb the breathtaking views of the mountains.
It is a fascinating place with a restaurant and exclusive views to the white peaks all around you (Swiss Alps, Italian Alps, French Alps), if you are lucky and the air is clean, you will get to see the highest mountain in Europe, in France – the majestic Mont Blanc. I have seen it once and the best views to it from the viewing point above restaurant or through the windows in the restaurant. I was lucky enough to drink hot coffee at that altitude and see the Mont Blanc.
If you get a bit dizzy up there, do not worry. You are very high and you get there with gondolas just in an hour, so your body doesn’t really adapt that fast. Just walk slow and do not rush. I was there couple of times and all the time I feel a bit slow in the beginning.
In Glacier paradise you can visit the ice chambers/maze and walk inside the glacier.
In winter – it is the most amazing place to ski and you can even ski to Italy if you wish.
Once you get to Glacier paradise, be ready to spend there at least 1-2 hours. The whole experience will take you 4 hours (from Zermatt to Glacier paradise and back). I highly recommend as well get out from the gondolas at each stop place (you will have to change gondolas couple of times) and just walk around in the mountains. You will get exclusive views to Matterhorn, some lakes and maybe even will meet some sheeps.
Ticket price: 104 CHF, you will get a discount if you have Swiss Travel Pass. All info here: Glacier paradise tickets.
2. Visit Gornergrat
You will never get enough of Matterhorn because it is a location that is rich in history, diversity, and unique places that you can enjoy while there. Gornergrat is a popular locating that was opened in 1898 as an excursion location, you can reach this location by traveling through the Gornergrat Bahn. This is an electric cogwheel railway and it is open all year round, therefore you are not limited to one location.
The ride itself is a great experience that you do not want to miss as there are dramatic views of forests, bridges, tunnels, and mountain lakes. Once you are on top of the platform you will be treated to some of the most amazing views of monte Rosa massif and Gorner glacier. If you want to visit this location and spend some time then you can stay at the Kulm hotel Gornergrat. It has a world-class restaurant and exceptional observatory spot.
If you want the full adventure experience, you can hike up to Gornergrat. You will get the full mountain experience, will get to see many fantastic trails, lakes, mountains, peaks and valleys. Have a look at it right here: Gornergrat hike.
On the top, at 3120 meters altitude, you will find a majestic observatory hotel. I don’t know how often you get a chance to sleep in such a place at such altitude, but if I were you, I would not miss this opportunity. The views there at night to the stars are simply out of this world.
3. Enjoy your hikes at Rothorn
High up above at 3103 meters above sea level the Rothorn is peak collection and it is a perfect location that has the best sculptures surrounding Zermatt and the entire alpine world. However, Rothorn is best for adventurous individuals because it has some of the most challenging hikes and glaciers in the alpine peaks. You can enjoy some hiking in the well-marked trails and you have direct access to some of the challenging ski pistes as well. Some of the most outstanding experiences include skiing at night under the moonlight. The area has well-lit skiing locations.
From there you will get a completely clean view to Matterhorn and many other mountain peaks around it.
If you are going to hike from Rothorn, be aware of the surroundings, have a plan, follow the trail, be ready to have all the needed equipment and have a map of the place. Some of the hikes up there are very demanding.
You can reach Rothorn with a gondola from Zermatt.
4. Have some fun at Sunnega
Sunnega is at 2200 meters above sea level and it will give every member of the family a chance to enjoy the region. The funicular ride from Zermatt will take you less than ten minutes and this is a short trip that you will get there before your children become impatient. Upon disembarking there is a location that has excellent views of Matterhorn and the surrounding locations. There are playgrounds with a barbecue area which gives you a chance to take a break whenever you need some change.
Sunnega is simply called the Zermat family paradise: it has a barbeque place, playground, access to the lake where you can swim, Marmot-watching stations (you will be very excited to see one), mountain bike trails and much more. It is a really well rounded family place.
More information about Sunnegga is right here: Sunnegga.
5. Explore Findeln village
When you are done relaxing at Sunnega, you can take a four-seater lift that will bring you to Findeln. It is one of the most unique places that you can never miss something to do in the area. It is a cluster of farmhouses that were mainly for the growth of barley and rye on the slopes of the region. The village lies at 2100 meters above sea level and it is mainly occupied only during the summer period. The villages will take their cows to graze in this location. They will then process cheese, milk, and grain down the valley to sell them. Even if you do not visit this destination during the summer period you can always enjoy the ancient structure and the culture of people in the region.
If you want to see the living history and how people lived in the Alps hundreds of years ago – that is a place to visit. This is a hidden gem in the region of Zermatt.
Over there you will find restaurants and even hotels.
6. Be adventurous at Schwarzsee
Technically for many people, Schwarzsee is a cable car location. Sitting at 2600 meters above sea level this is a perfect point where you can have an amazing view of the village and the surrounding region. This is also a perfect starting point to most hiking trails and you will not miss a hiking route to go. There is a small chapel that sees many mountaineers gather for a short prayer before they embark on their mountaineering activities.
There are themed trails and there are often characterized by scree and boulders scattered all around. Along the trails, you will see more information about the history of the trails as well as how to hike it.
7. Visit Matterhorn museum
The history of Matterhorn relatively depicts the history of Zermatt. You can get to know more about this history by visiting the Matterhorn Museum. In the museum, you will get to know different aspects of the country such as the culture, diversity, changes over time, and some of the unique features of the city. The museum is set on the underground location and it adds more novelty to the visit of this location.
You can find more information about the tickets and opening times right here: Zermatt museum.
8. Explore Gorner gorge
One of the main areas that you should look into is some adventure to Gorner gorge. This is a gorge that was created by melting water of the Gorner glacier and this has water that swirls and churns each spring. There are wooden walkways between the towering cliffs and you can look at how nature has chiselled everything into a unique feature. Getting to this location will take you about fifteen minutes and this is a perfectly reliable location for an excursion.
Ticket price: 5 CHF.
More information right here: Gorner Gorge.
Top things to do in Zermatt conclusion
Zermatt offers breathtaking views that you should explore and enjoy visit to the Swiss alps and the mountainous region.
Zermatt is simply a hiker’s, nature lover’s, mountaineer’s and adventure seeking person’s paradise. It is simply a breathtaking location with many mountain peaks, lakes, mountain river and many hidden treasures.
You should definitely visit Zermatt at least once in your life.
If you have any questions about Zermatt, please let me know, I will do my best to help you!
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