10 Viewpoints in Zermatt (Matterhorn Famous & Unique Views)

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There is one thing I never miss when I travel: I visit a place where I can enjoy panoramic views. I like to gaze at beautiful landscapes that inspire awe in me. Through the amazing view before my eyes, I even more appreciate the beauty of life.

If you’re like me and visiting Zermatt, you’ll be glad to know that finding awe-inspiring views is effortless. Even from the village center, you can see the iconic peak of Switzerland, the Matterhorn, standing tall and majestic. And thanks to the impeccable train and cable car systems, reaching even more breathtaking vantage points is a breeze, no strenuous hikes required. To me, these are some of the reasons why Zermatt is so much worth to visit,

Anyhow, the beauty of Zermatt’s viewpoints goes beyond just the usual sights of Matterhorn! Some unveil Matterhorn and Pennine Alps from unique angles, hidden from most visitors. This post unlocks these hidden gems, providing details on how to reach them and maximize your visit.

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Switzerland -Zermatt

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If you haven’t booked any accommodations yet, you can use this hotel browser to find the best hotel deals in Zermatt and Switzerland. It will show you the prices and ratings of different hotels.

Below are the tickets and tours to some of the viewpoints that offer a new and special perspective of Matterhorn. You can book them online if you want to see some of these viewpoints during your trip to Zermatt.

Tip: Planning a week-long trip to Switzerland? Save money with the Swiss Travel Pass! This pass grants you unlimited travel on various public transport options and free entry to hundreds of museums across the country.

1. Kirchbrücke

Kirchbrucke, one of the viewpoints in Zermatt. From this bridge, you can see
Photo of Matterhorn from Zermatt

Our journey begins with Kirchbrücke, a scenic spot in Zermatt that’s conveniently located in the town center. This bridge serves as a connection between the two halves of Zermatt, divided by the main river of the valley, Matter Vispa.

From the vantage point of Kirchbrücke, looking south and perpendicular to the bridge, a picturesque view unfolds. The majestic Matterhorn is framed by pine trees and chalets adorned with flowers.

You might wonder, when is the ideal time to visit Kirchbrücke? The answer is just before sunrise, precisely when the golden hour is about to start. During this time, you can witness the sun gently illuminating the face of the Matterhorn, from its peak down to its base, in warm, radiant hues.

Given its proximity to most accommodations, Kirchbrücke is an excellent choice for an early morning visit. However, for an even more spectacular view of the sunrise, consider heading to Riffelsee, which we’ll discuss in the sections to come.

Remember, the sunrise spectacle at Kirchbrücke is fleeting, lasting only a few minutes. So, make sure to arrive on time to fully experience this breathtaking display.

2. Sunnegga

A brief stroll north from Kirchbrücke leads you to the Sunnegga-Rothorn Valley Station, the gateway to Zermatt’s second scenic spot. From the valley station, a quick five-minute funicular ride takes you to Sunnegga. This elevated scenic spot, the closest to Zermatt town center, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Alps and the Matterhorn.

Perched at an elevation of 2,288 meters above sea level, Sunnegga provides a stunning panorama of the Matterhorn and the rugged skyline of the Pennine Alps. Some visitors choose to start their day with breakfast at the Buffet Bar Sunnegga, conveniently located next to the funicular station.

While the view of the Matterhorn is spectacular, be prepared for the high prices. For instance, a simple meal of fries costs approximately around USD 12!

In the summer, Sunnegga serves as the starting point for the Five-Lakes hike. You can also visit the adorable marmots at the nearby marmot-watching station. To the west of Sunnegga Jumptrail, a hiking trail leads to a bird’s eye view of the town of Zermatt, situated 500 meters below.

Just a seven-minute walk from Sunnegga, you’ll find Leisee, a small lake. It’s easy to spot from Sunnegga; simply follow the muddy trail heading southeast. The lake features a tiny beach with a few benches, an ideal spot to sit back and take in the scenery.

Lake Leisee is one of the few places in Zermatt where you can capture the reflection of the Matterhorn on the water’s surface. There are two other locations mentioned in this post that are worth exploring.

3. Riffelalp Resort

While I haven’t come across any accounts of people swimming in Lake Leisee in Sunnegga, our third scenic spot in Zermatt offers a unique swimming experience, provided you’re willing to splurge. Nestled at an elevation of 2,222 meters above sea level in the mountains south of Zermatt, Riffelalp Resort 2222m is a haven of tranquility amidst the mountains.

As per the Riffelalp Resort’s website, it boasts the highest spa in Europe. The spa features a pool that provides breathtaking views of the Pennine Alps and the Matterhorn. Picture yourself floating in a heated pool, with the Matterhorn in your sight and the majestic Pennine Alps surrounding you, all while basking in the serenity of the moment. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

You can check the price of a night of stay in Riffelalp Resort here.

4. Riffelsee

While I may not have the means to stay at the Riffelalp Resort just yet, I’m all for embracing the thrill of outdoor adventures. Who’s with me?

Next on our list is Riffelsee, a picturesque lake renowned for its stunning reflections of the Matterhorn. This scenic spot in Zermatt is a must-visit for photography enthusiasts.

Perched at an elevation of 2,757 meters above sea level, Riffelsee is the most accessible lake from Zermatt for capturing breathtaking images of the Matterhorn. The lake’s close proximity to the Matterhorn, coupled with its size, reflectivity, and tranquility, provides an ideal setting for showcasing the grandeur of the Matterhorn.

When is the best time to visit Riffelsee? While there’s no specific time that’s considered the best for visiting Riffelsee, sunrise or sunset can provide a spectacular view of the Matterhorn. However, keep in mind that Riffelsee is typically frozen during winter. When the lake is frozen, the reflection of the Matterhorn on the water isn’t visible, so it might be better to avoid visiting during the colder months.

Is it possible to visit Riffelsee for sunrise? Yes, it is possible to watch sunrise in Riffelsee! In fact, Riffelsee is one of the prime locations for watching the sunrise, offering unparalleled views of the Matterhorn. The Gornergrat Bahn from Zermatt offers a Sunrise Trip to Rotenboden early in the morning. Regular prices for the Sunrise Trip start from 135 CHF for adults.

Picture this: the clear skies gradually brighten, and the first ray of sunlight illuminates the peak of the Matterhorn. As minutes pass, half of the Matterhorn is bathed in a golden hue. The highlight? The reflection of the Matterhorn on the calm surface of Riffelsee. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that you can only witness in Zermatt!

If you’re visiting Riffelsee outside of sunrise, a short stay might suffice, provided the skies are clear and the Matterhorn is fully visible. However, if the Matterhorn is obscured by clouds, it’s worth lingering at Riffelsee. Wait for the sky to clear, if there’s a chance. The sight of the Matterhorn mirrored in Riffelsee is an iconic image, and it’s worth the wait for a clear day to experience it.

5. Gornergrat

Gornergrat, a scenic spot in Zermatt, has been Switzerland’s most visited excursion destination since 1898. This observation deck is perched on a rocky ridge of the Pennine Alps, situated east of the Matterhorn and overlooking the Gorner Glacier to the southeast.

Why is Gornergrat a must-visit? Aside from the stunning mountain views, there are two main reasons: the opportunity to see Gorner Glacier, the second-largest glacier in the Alps, and the journey to the top on Europe’s highest open-air cogwheel train.

Even if the Matterhorn is hidden by clouds, the breathtaking Gorner Glacier can be admired from the other side of the observation deck. At the same time, visitors to Gornergrat are often left speechless by the scenery, even before they reach the top. The views along the train tracks are stunning, and the mountain breeze is invigorating.

That said, while Gornergrat may not be the best place to view the Matterhorn (in my opinion), it still offers outstanding view of Matterhorn and an overall rewarding experience.

To reach Gornergrat from Zermatt, take the cogwheel train. The journey should last for 30 to 35 minutes, with stops at Findelbach, Riffelalp, Riffelberg, and Rotenboden.

When is the best time to visit Gornergrat? It’s advisable to avoid visiting Gornergrat if the weather forecast predicts poor visibility. The Zermatt tourism website provides a webcam for checking the conditions above. The Gorner Glacier may not be clearly visible during winter as it can be covered in thick snow. However, from late spring to autumn, the glacier should be easily visible from Gornergrat.

6. Schwarzsee

Located to the west of Gornergrat, over the Gorner Glacier valley, lies Schwarzsee.

This lake, situated halfway between the Matterhorn and the town of Zermatt, serves as the starting point for the Matterhorn ascents and the Matterhorn Glacier Trail. While you won’t see a reflection of the Matterhorn in Schwarzsee due to its deep location, the calm surface often mirrors the Maria zum Schnee chapel, creating a scene reminiscent of a fantasy novel you wouldn’t want to miss.

Maria zum Schnee chapel is a favored destination for Matterhorn climbers, who visit after a successful climb to express gratitude for a safe journey.

The best view of Schwarzsee can be found from the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, located south of the lake. On clear, calm days, the reflection of the Maria zum Schnee chapel in Schwarzsee is visible, along with the peaks of Zinalrothorn, Wellenkuppe, and Ober Gabelhorn.

Before embarking on the hike to the Matterhorn or heading to the best view of Schwarzsee, consider stopping to enjoy the view of Zermatt from the vantage points located east of Hotel Schwarzsee. The area around Schwarzsee offers some of the best perspectives of Zermatt from above.

When is the ideal time to visit Schwarzsee? If you’re not planning to hike the Matterhorn, consider visiting Schwarzsee before sunset. As dusk falls, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the town of Zermatt in the valley below, illuminated by twinkling lights. Just remember to check the cable car schedule to ensure you catch the last ride back down to the valley, if you’re not planning to hike down from Schwarzsee.

How do you get to Schwarzsee? It’s accessible by cable car from Zermatt. The journey, which includes two stops at Furi and Schwarzsee, takes around 14 minutes in total.

7. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Zermatt Switzerland, Klein Matterhorn
View from Klein Matterhorn

No bucket list of scenic spots in Zermatt would be complete without Klein Matterhorn, the highest peak accessible by aerial tramway. This location serves as the climax of our list, as it’s the highest point we can reach without climbing the Matterhorn.

Why should you visit Klein Matterhorn? Despite the expensive cable car ride, priced at CHF 100+, the views from the top are absolutely worth it, particularly on clear days. Klein Matterhorn is the only location in Zermatt where you can conveniently see the highest peaks of three countries at once: Switzerland, France, and Italy. If you’re seeking an unforgettable experience, Klein Matterhorn is a must-visit.

On a clear day, you’ll have a panoramic view of the entire Pennine Alps, as well as Mont Blanc, which stands at 4,810 meters above sea level in France, and the Gran Paradiso, at 4,061 meters above sea level in Italy. Most importantly, Klein Matterhorn offers the best view of the south face of the Matterhorn, a feature that sets it apart from all other scenic spots in Zermatt.

Beyond the stunning views, Klein Matterhorn also offers other experiences. You can explore the Glacier Palace inside the mountain or watch a film in the Cinema Lounge. The world’s highest 3S cableway, known as the Matterhorn Glacier ride, services Klein Matterhorn and connects to another station linked to Zermatt.

To reach Klein Matterhorn from Zermatt, follow these cable car segments: Zermatt to Furi via the Matterhorn-Express, Furi to Trockener Steg via cable car, and finally, Trockener Steg to Matterhorn glacier paradise.

When is the best time to visit Klein Matterhorn? It’s worth visiting if the skies are clear and sunny. However, given its altitude of just under 4,000 meters, the weather at the summit of Klein Matterhorn can be quite different from the town. Before you go, it’s advisable to check the live cameras on Zermatt’s website.

8. Arbenbachfall

Arbenbachfalls with Matterhorn in the backdrop in Zermatt Switzerland, a view point
Arbenbachfalls with Matterhorn in the backdrop

If you’re seeking a unique scenic spot to visit from Zermatt, Arbenbachfall is a must-see. This 60-meter tall waterfall is located midway through the Edelweiss Path at the farthest point from Zermatt, also referred to as the Zmutt area. The waterfall offers vantage points with the majestic northern face of the Matterhorn as the backdrop. Considered a hidden gem of Zermatt, Arbenbachfall is a sight to behold.

When is the best time to visit Arbenbachfall? The waterfall is most impressive during late spring when the volume of falling water is at its peak due to the melting snow on the mountains. On sunny days, the cascade creates a rainbow from the small water particles, adding to the spectacle.

How can you visit Arbenbachfall? The only way to reach the waterfall is by hiking 7.5 kilometers from Zermatt on an unpaved mountain trail. The hike to Arbenbachfall typically takes between 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours. Here are the exact details of the path you’ll be following:

9. Höhbalmen

Below is a 360-view of Höhbalmen and its iconic bench.

The Edelweiss path in Zermatt passes through several scenic points and charming hamlets. Among these beautiful spots are Arbenbachfall and Höhbalmen. Why should you visit Höhbalmen? Unlike many of the other locations mentioned here, Höhbalmen is a low-key scenic spot where you can unwind and appreciate the surrounding 4000-meter peaks. It’s an ideal place for introspection or self-discovery.

During the summer, the landscape in Höhbalmen primarily consists of meadows dotted with small rocks. It’s common to spot alpine animals such as the elusive ibex and mountain goats roaming the area. Most importantly, at an elevation of 2665 meters, Höhbalmen offers one of the best vantage points for admiring the north face of the Matterhorn, along with the Hörnligrat ridge.

You can also virtually tour Höhbalmen using the Street View of Edelweiss Path below:

Click the box above the zoom (plus and minus) buttons to recenter the map.

Below is a route you can follow to visit Höhbalmen from Arbenbachfall.

The Edelweiss Path is a round-trip hike that starts and ends in Zermatt. While you can choose to follow the route in the opposite direction to the one I’ve just described, it’s important to assess whether the difficulty level of the trail suits your abilities. Here’s some information about the Edelweiss Path hiking trail to help you make that assessment:

Click the box above the zoom (plus and minus) buttons to recenter the map.

10. Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini 

Finally, we are down to the last scenic spot in Zermatt, the Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini.

Zermatt Switzerland, Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini
Zermatt during dusk (view of Matterhorn from Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini)

If you’ve been following my list of the 10 most scenic spots in Zermatt, you’ll notice that we’ve explored the most beautiful locations in a clockwise direction. Our journey began and will end in Zermatt. We started with a scenic spot in Zermatt for sunrise, and we’ll conclude with a vantage point that’s ideal for sunset. Quite poetic, isn’t it?

Located in the northern section of Zermatt, the Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini is a perfect spot for capturing photographs of Zermatt, with the towering Matterhorn as a backdrop. The best time to visit is at sunset, when the houses of Zermatt gradually light up, twinkling in the dusk.

The Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini is a popular photography spot in Zermatt, so consider arriving early to secure the perfect angle for capturing the combined beauty of Zermatt and the Matterhorn.

Prepare Your Zermatt Trip

So, there you have it! Those are the 10 viewpoints in Zermatt that I believe are worth visiting.

If you’re not in Zermatt yet and are eager to experience these viewpoints, hold off on booking your hotels and tickets to Zermatt immediately. It’s crucial to have a well-thought-out plan. Take the time to read guides on visiting Zermatt and check the official Zermatt website for updates.

Remember, Zermatt is not your typical outdoor attraction. While it has become more visitor-friendly (thanks to tourism improvement programs), there are factors you need to consider before going. For example, the availability of cable cars and hiking trails leading to these viewpoints can vary depending on the season. Taking these factors into account will help ensure your visit to Zermatt is memorable.

If you have extra time after exploring the village’s viewpoints, it might be worth checking out some of Zermatt’s hidden gems and unique attractions.

Zermatt Alternatives

Before you set off, be aware that there are many more places in the Alps that offer stunning views similar to those in Zermatt. These locations could serve as alternatives to Zermatt for a more unique trip to the Alps, or perhaps they could be your next destinations after Zermatt.

In Switzerland alone, there are several options. For instance, Lauterbrunnen, with its heavenly appearance, served as J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for the home of the elves in his books. Mount Pilatus, near Lucerne, is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in Switzerland. At its peak, you’ll be rewarded with not only spectacular mountain ranges but also a breathtaking view of Lake Lucerne.

If you’re traveling in Germany, Berchtesgaden is a must-visit for its awe-inspiring views. Like Zermatt, Berchtesgaden boasts several viewpoints. This town also features a picturesque lake called Konigssee, which adds to the appeal of a visit.

The Italian Dolomites, with their spectacular peaks that rival the Matterhorn, should not be overlooked. If you’re visiting the Italian Dolomites, consider making Cortina d’Ampezzo your base. This charming town is centrally located among the notable peaks and picture-perfect lakes in the Italian Dolomites.

Lastly, consider visiting the town of Chamonix, located near the Italian-French and Swiss-French borders. Like Zermatt, Chamonix features alpine lakes that mirror the mountains, glaciers, and breathtaking tourist attractions on mountaintops. Most importantly, from this town, you can see Mont Blanc, the highest peak in all of the Alps.

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Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt, Switzerland

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