Zermatt is a scenic village in the Swiss Alps – the ultimate destination to admire the majestic Matterhorn.
In this blog post, I will show you the best spots in Zermatt to spot the best views of this iconic peak, as well as the other attractions and activities that make Zermatt a must-visit destination.
Whether you are already in Zermatt or planning to go there, this post will help you make the most of your trip.
You will also find a map of the scenic spots in Zermatt, tips on how to get there, and useful information on visiting Zermatt in this article.
Are you ready to discover the beauty of Zermatt? Let’s get started!
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you.
Use the table of contents to skip to topics.
(Zermatt isn’t only about scenic views and Matterhorn. Learn more from my post: 10 reasons to visit Zermatt)
10 Best Views in Zermatt (With Matterhorn)
Zermatt is a paradise for anyone who loves to explore and hike in the Swiss Alps.
The majestic Matterhorn mountain makes the scenery even more breathtaking.
Are you wondering where to find the best views in Zermatt?
Here are some of the most scenic spots in Zermatt that you don’t want to miss:
- Riffelalp Resort
- Bench on Höhbalmen
- Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
- Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini
Note: See the map I created to find their exact locations.
For each scenic spot in Zermatt, you shall know the following:
- What you can expect to see during clear weather (why you will visit)
- How to visit each
- Other tips, either of the following:
- When is the best time to see
- Photography tips
- Next scenic spot to visit next
If you’re looking for a Switzerland itinerary, check out my post on how to spend 3 to 14 days in Switzerland (including Zermatt).
You can save money on public transportation with the Swiss Travel Pass if you’re staying for a week or more.
And if you need a place to stay in Zermatt, you can find the best hotel deals here. Just use the map feature to see which hotels are the most convenient and accessible.
Let’s kick off the list of scenic spots in Zermatt with Kirchbrücke, the easiest to visit, located in the heart of the town. It connects two parts of Zermatt, halved by the valley’s main river, Matter Vispa.
Standing in Zermatt’s Kirchbrücke, facing south and perpendicular to the bridge, you see a picturesque view of Matterhorn together with the pine trees and flower-embellished chalets.
When is the best time to visit Kirchbrücke?
The most desirable time to go is before sunrise, a few minutes before the golden hour begins. This is when you’ll see the sun slowly brush the face of the Matterhorn, from its pinnacle to its base, with warm, bright colors.
Kirchbrücke is probably the closest scenic spot to your hotel, so I recommend making it one of your first stops of the day. However, a better option for watching the sunrise in Zermatt is Riffelsee, as you’ll see in the following sections.
The sunrise spectacle at Kirchbrücke only lasts for a few minutes, so don’t be late and miss out on this awe-inspiring sight!
Sunnegga Scenic Spot
A short walk north from Kirchbrücke will take you to the Sunnegga-Rothorn Valley Station, our gateway to Zermatt’s second scenic spot.
From the valley station, take a 5-minute funicular ride to Sunnegga, the closest elevated scenic spot to the Zermatt town center. Sunnegga is the most accessible place to visit from the town center, offering stunning panoramic views of the Alps and the Matterhorn.
Rotate the 360-image above to see Matterhorn at the back.
Sunnegga is located at an elevation of 2,288 meters above sea level, offering stunning panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the rugged skyline of the Pennine Alps.
Some people choose to have breakfast at the Buffet Bar Sunnegga, located just beside the funicular station.
It’s a lovely place to start your day with a view of the Matterhorn, but keep in mind that the prices are high.
A simple fries meal costs CHF 9.90, which is approximately USD 10.
During the summer, you can start a Five-Lakes hike from Sunnegga or visit the cute marmots at the marmot-watching station, a short walk away.
There is also a hiking trail located west of Sunegga Jumptrail that leads to a bird’s eye view of the town of Zermatt 500 meters below.
Finally, a small lake called Leisee lies just a 7-minute walk from Sunnegga.
You should be able to spot the lake from Sunnegga; just follow the muddy trail going southeast.
The lake has a tiny beach with a couple of benches where you can sit and enjoy the scenery.
Lake Leisee is one of the lakes in Zermatt where you can photograph Matterhorn with reflections on the water’s surface.
I mentioned two others in this post that you would really want to discover!
I haven’t heard of anyone swimming in Lake Leisee in Sunnegga yet, but you’ll definitely be able to swim at our third scenic spot in Zermatt, especially if you have the luxury to spend.
Riffelalp Resort 2222m, located at 2,222 meters above sea level in the mountains south of Zermatt, is the place where absolute heaven-on-earth mountain relaxation awaits.
According to the Riffelalp Resort’s website, they have the highest spa in Europe, with a pool that offers stunning views of the Pennine Alps and the Matterhorn.
Imagine yourself floating in a heated pool, gazing at the Matterhorn and admiring the wonders of the Pennine Alps in complete relaxation. Dreamy, right?
Here is a sample of the view from the Riffelalp Resort’s pool:
Image of 360-degree view from Riffelalp Resort’s pool
Here is the link to the Riffelalp Resort arrivals page to guide you to reach the hotel. You can book accommodation at that link as well.
Scenic Spot Beside Riffelsee
Since I can’t afford to stay at the Riffelalp Resort yet, I guess I’ll have to enjoy the fun adventures in nature first. Who’s with me?!
So, let’s move on to Riffelsee, the most picturesque lake for Matterhorn reflection shots, which is our next scenic spot in Zermatt.
Riffelsee is situated at an elevation of 2,757 meters above sea level and is the most accessible lake from Zermatt for taking stunning photos of the Matterhorn.
The lake’s proximity to the Matterhorn, its size, reflectivity, and stillness make it the perfect spot to capture the Matterhorn in all its glory.
Going to Riffelsee
Rotenboden is the closest train station to Riffelsee, and it’s only a short train ride from the valley station.
It takes about 30 minutes to reach Rotenboden from Zermatt.
However, it’s more practical and efficient to go straight to Gornergrat to see more views and then hike down to Riffelsee.
That way, you won’t need to hike uphill or take another train ride if you want to visit Gornergrat, which is another scenic spot in Zermatt.
When to Visit Riffelsee
Is it possible to visit Riffelsee to watch the sunrise?
Yes, it is possible! Actually, Riffelsee is one of the best places to watch the sunrise, with the best views of the Matterhorn. Gornergrat Bahn from Zermatt offers a Sunrise Trip to Rotenboden early in the morning.
The Sunrise Trip costs 99 CHF for adults at regular prices.
When to visit Riffelsee?
There is no specific time of the day best to visit Riffelsee not unless you’re an enthusiast wanting to see the Matterhorn in a spectacular sunrise or sunset.
However, Riffelsee is usually frozen during winter.
You would not see Matterhorn’s image inverted on the water when it’s frozen; thus better to skip it during the chilly months.
Why Visit Riffelsee
Just imagine the clear skies slowly turning brighter and brighter, and the peak of Matterhorn is finally hit by the first ray of light from the sun! Minutes passed, and half of the Matterhorn was painted golden.
What’s even better? You see Matterhorn reflected over the calm Riffelsee!
It’s the most spectacular thing you could ever witness in Zermatt!
If you’re visiting Riffelsee outside of sunrise, you may only need to stay for a short time if you have clear skies and can see the Matterhorn in all its glory right away.
However, if the Matterhorn is hidden behind clouds, I recommend staying at Riffelsee for a while and waiting for the sky to clear, if there’s a possibility.
The image of the Matterhorn reflected in Riffelsee is truly iconic, and it’s worth waiting for a clear day to see it.
Gornergrat is a scenic spot in Zermatt and Switzerland’s most visited excursion destination since 1898.
It is an observation deck perched on a rocky ridge of the Pennine Alps, directly located in the East of Matterhorn and overlooking the Gorner Glacier southeast.
It’s a two-in-one-package destination that will absolutely take your breath away.
Going to Gornergrat
How do you get to Gornergrat?
From Zermatt, take the cogwheel train heading to Gornergrat.
The train ride should last for 30 to 35 minutes, with stops at Findelbach, Riffelalp, Riffelberg, and Rotenboden.
Get your skip-the-line ticket for the cogwheel train here:
Why Visit Gornergrat
Why shouldn’t you miss Gornergrat?
Two reasons: the Gorner Glacier, the second-largest glacier in the Alps, and the ride to the top on Europe’s highest open-air cogwheel train.
Plus, Gornergrat is the best scenic spot to visit from Zermatt. It’s not the best place to see the Matterhorn, but it’s still a win-win situation.
Even if the Matterhorn is shrouded in clouds, you’ll still have the breathtaking Gorner Glacier to enjoy on the other side of the observation deck.
Visitors to Gornergrat are often speechless by the scenery, even before they arrive. The views along the train tracks are stunning, and the mountain breeze is refreshing.
When to visit Gornergrat
Don’t go to Gornergrat if the weather forecast predicts poor visibility.
The Zermatt tourism website has a webcam you can watch to check the conditions above.
You can use this Gornergrat live camera as an example.
You may not be able to see the Gorner Glacier very well during the winter, as it can be covered in thick snow.
However, from late spring to autumn, you should be able to spot the glacier easily from Gornergrat.
Schwarzsee Vantage Point
To the west of Gornergrat, over the Gorner Glacier valley, lies Schwarzsee, a lake located halfway between the Matterhorn and the town of Zermatt, where the Matterhorn ascents begin.
Schwarzsee is the starting point for the Matterhorn Glacier Trail.
Why Visit Schwarzsee
While you can’t see an inverted Matterhorn in Schwarzsee due to its deep location, you can often see a reflection of the Maria zum Schnee chapel on its calm surface.
This chapel is a popular destination for Matterhorn climbers, who come here after a successful climb to thank God for a safe hike and legendary experience.
The best view of Schwarzsee is from the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, which is located south of the lake.
On calm and clear days, you can see the Maria zum Schnee chapel reflected in Schwarzsee, as well as the peaks of Zinalrothorn, Wellenkuppe, and Ober Gabelhorn.
Before you head to the best view of Schwarzsee or start the hike to the Matterhorn, you may want to stop and enjoy the view of the town of Zermatt from the vantage points located east of Hotel Schwarzsee.
The area around Schwarzsee is definitely one of the best vantage points to observe Zermatt from above.
When to visit Schwarzsee
What is the best time to go to Schwarzsee?
If you’re not planning to hike the Matterhorn, I recommend visiting Schwarzsee before sunset.
At dusk, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the town of Zermatt in the valley below, twinkling with lights.
Just be sure to check the cable car schedule and make sure you catch the last ride back down to the valley, if you’re not planning to hike down from Schwarzsee.
Going to Schwarzee
Schwarzsee is accessible by cable car from Zermatt.
The journey takes around 14 minutes in total, with two stops: Zermatt to Furi, then Furi to Schwarzsee.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn)
No Zermatt scenic spots bucket list is complete without Klein Matterhorn (Little Matterhorn), the highest peak reachable by aerial tramway.
This is the climax of my list of scenic spots in Zermatt, since it’s the highest point we can go to without climbing the Matterhorn.
Why visit Klein Matterhorn
The cable car ride to Klein Matterhorn is expensive, at CHF 104, but the views from the top are absolutely worth it, especially on clear days.
Klein Matterhorn is the only place in Zermatt where you can conveniently see the highest peaks of three countries at once: Switzerland, France, and Italy.
If you’re looking for an incredible experience, Klein Matterhorn is a must-visit.
On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the entire Pennine Alps, as well as Mont Blanc (4,810 meters above sea level) in France and the Gran Paradiso (4,061 meters above sea level) in Italy.
Most importantly, Klein Matterhorn is also where you can get the best view of the south face of the Matterhorn.
This is something that sets Klein Matterhorn apart from all the other scenic spots in Zermatt.
In addition to the stunning views, there are also other experiences to enjoy at Klein Matterhorn.
You can go inside the mountain to visit the Glacier Palace, or watch a film in the Cinema Lounge.
Going to Klein Matterhorn
Klein Matterhorn is serviced by the world’s highest 3S cableway, called Matterhorn Glacier ride, linked to another station connected to Zermatt.
Go to Klein Matterhorn from Zermatt, and follow these cable car segments:
- Zermatt – Furi (Matterhorn-Express)
- Furi – Trockener Steg (cable car)
- Trockener Steg – Matterhorn glacier paradise
Book your visit to Glacier Paradise here:
When to visit Klein Matterhorn
Visiting Klein Matterhorn is worth it if the skies are clear and sunny.
But, at an altitude slightly lower than 4000 meters, the weather at Klein Matterhorn’s summit could be very different from the town. Before you go, check first the live cameras on Zermatt’s website (click here to see).
Viewpoint Near Arbenbachfall
Suppose you are looking for a unique scenic spot destination you can visit from Zermatt. In that case, Arbenbachfall is what you need to see.
Arbenbachfall is a 60-meter tall waterfall located midway through the Eidelweiss Path at the farthest point from Zermatt (others refer to it as the Zmutt area).
This waterfall has vantage points wherein the background will be the glorious northern face of the Matterhorn.
It’s a scenic spot we can consider the hidden gem of Zermatt.
How to visit Arbenbachfall?
The only way you can go to Arbenbachfall is by hiking 7.5 kilometers from Zermatt on an unpaved mountain trail.
It will probably take you 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours of a hike to reach Arbenbachfall.
Here are the exact details of the path you’ll be following:
Click the box above the zoom (plus and minus) buttons to recenter the map.
When should I visit Arbenbachfall?
It’s best to see Arbenbachfall during late spring when Arbenbachfall has an enormous amount of falling water.
This is due to the melting snow on top of the mountains. It looks most majestic on a sunny day when a rainbow is created by the small water particles produced by the cascade.
Höhbalmen Scenic Spot
Eidelweiss path passes through several scenic points and beautiful hamlets in Zermatt. Arbenbachfall is one of these beautiful spots, and Höhbalmen is another.
Why visit Höhbalmen
Unlike most of the other places I’ve mentioned here, Höhbalmen is a low-key scenic spot where you can simply relax and enjoy the presence of the surrounding 4000-meter peaks.
It’s the perfect place for soul searching or finding oneself.
During the summer, the area in Höhbalmen is primarily meadows with small rocks scattered all around. You can often find alpine animals roaming here, such as mystical ibex and mountain goats.
Most importantly, at 2665 meters, Höhbalmen gives you one of the best vantage points for admiring the north face of the Matterhorn, with the Hörnligrat ridge.
Here is a 360-view of Höhbalmen on its iconic bench:
You can also virtually tour Höhbalmen using the Street View of Edelweiss Path below:
When to visit Höhbalmen
Höhbalmen is a simple yet scenic place in Zermatt.
There’s no particular time best to visit Höhbalmen. However, it would be better to go to Höhbalmen during Summer when the snow is gone, and the meadows are lush again.
You can just lie down on the grass with Matterhorn beside you and feel carefree more than ever!
Going to Höhbalmen
How to go to Höhbalmen?
Hiking is the only way to get to Höhbalmen at the moment.
From Zermatt, follow the Edelweiss Path, which also leads to Zmutt and Arbenbachfall.
Once you reach Arbenbachfall, continue hiking up into the mountains and follow the Edelweiss Path until you reach Höhbalmen, which should take around 2 hours.
To return to Zermatt, simply hike back along the Edelweiss Path.
Here is a route you can follow to visit Höhbalmen from Arbenbachfall:
Click the box above the zoom (plus and minus) buttons to recenter the map.
Eidelweiss Path is actually a round-trip hike from Zermatt.
You can do the opposite way I mentioned just above. But here’s the Eidelweiss Path hiking trail information so you can assess if the difficulty is just right for you:
Click the box above the zoom (plus and minus) buttons to recenter the map.
Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini
Finally, we are down to the last scenic spot in Zermatt, the Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini.
If you’ve been following my list of the 10 most scenic spots in Zermatt, you’ll realize that we’ve just discussed the most beautiful locations in a clockwise direction.
We started in Zermatt, and we’ll end in Zermatt, just as our journey will.
We began with a scenic spot in Zermatt for sunrise, and we’ll finish with a vantage point that’s best for sunset. Poetic, eh? LOL.
Anyway, located in Zermatt’s northern section, the Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini is a perfect spot for taking photographs of Zermatt, with the Matterhorn towering above the town.
Sunset is the best time to go here to witness Zermatt’s houses slowly turn on their lights and sparkle in the dusk.
The Viewpoint Le Petit Village at Mürini is a popular photography spot in Zermatt, so you may want to arrive early to get the perfect angle for capturing the combined beauty of Zermatt and the Matterhorn.
More Things To Do In Zermatt
A trip to Zermatt does not end after seeing Matterhorn and visiting its scenic spots. There’s a lot more to do in town. You can view museums and go to historical sites.
Among those, here are the five worthy things to do that your wanderlust, awe-thirsty self would love to find:
- Hinterdorf Street
- Gorner Gorge
- The Hamlet of Zmutt
- The Hamlet of Herbrigg
Note: You shall see photos of the views you can expect to see a place/activity at the end of each section.
You can also try the following:
See the map I created to find their exact locations.
Travel back in time to the 16th and 18th centuries on Hinterdorf Street in Zermatt, which is home to traditional larch houses.
The barns, stables, and homes in this part of town tell the stories of how the locals have thrived in Zermatt for nearly 500 years.
Wanderers and photography enthusiasts will love exploring the quaintness of this historic street.
Hinterdorf Street is open daily, so you can visit anytime.
To learn more about the history embedded in these traditional barns, stores, and houses, you can join a tour. To participate, simply visit the Zermatt tourism office and inquire.
Do you also want the most unique experience when traveling to Zermatt?
Why not try staying or visiting Iglu-Dorf, a four-star igloo hotel, bar, and restaurant?
For me, just seeing an igloo and entering it is already a significant bucket list accomplishment!
They have igloo rooms with fabulous carvings, designs, and lighting.
I also learned that they have a whirlpool, which is fantastic, as you can see the Matterhorn directly from the window of your room.
You can learn more from Iglu-Dorf-Zermatt’s website, but here’s a sample view you’ll see inside:
Zermatt is known for its spectacular views of 4000-meter peaks, but it also has breathtaking views underneath and between its gigantic rocks.
If you’re interested in exploring this unique landscape, check out Gorner Gorge, a 220-million-year-old ravine with wooden walkways that allow you to safely explore the dramatic rock formations and turquoise river flowing below.
Gorner Gorge is a great place to experience the natural beauty of Zermatt in a variety of ways.
For the best views, visit the gorge when sunlight enters its rocky openings from above. The rays of the sun create magical colors in the ravine, especially between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in mid-October.
Gorner Gorge is open daily from 9:15 AM to 5:45 PM. It is easily accessible from Zermatt’s town center, just a 15-minute walk to the south along the path beside the river.
The Hamlet of Zmutt
In a previous discussion about Arbenbachfall and Höhbalmen, I mentioned the Edelweiss Path.
As I continued to explore the trail, I discovered that these are not the only exciting places you’ll find along the way.
There’s another one called Zmutt Village.
Zmutt is a charming hamlet with no more than 40 houses and shops built in the traditional Upper Valais style.
Nestled in lush meadows with mountains all around, it’s the idyllic place you might be looking for.
There are small shops and beer gardens in the middle of the village where you can rest and relax after an hour-long hike from Zermatt.
The Hamlet of Herbrigg
If you want to see idyllic places like the hamlet of Zmutt but are short on time in Zermatt, don’t worry.
The hamlet of Herbrigg is another beautiful rustic village just outside of Zermatt that’s very easy to visit.
The hamlet of Herbrigg is located just above Zermatt’s ZenStecken bus station. However, you can go straight to Herbrigg from Zermatt’s center. Here are the steps you can follow:
- From the Church of Saint Mauritius, walk south following the direction of Matterhorn.
- At the first fork way, choose the path on the right.
- Continue walking, and you shall encounter another fork after a few steps. Again, choose the path on the right, and you will be in Schälpmattgasse.
- Along Schälpmattgasse, you shall see a stairway going up. Proceed to this, and you will be at Herbriggweg – the path to Herbrigg.
- Follow Herbriggweg, and within 15 minutes, you shall be in the hamlet of Herbrigg.
Here is the map to visualize the route you’ll be taking:
During the summer, meadows with small barns dot the Herbriggweg. The scenery is especially lovely on a sunny day.
But really… why visit the hamlet of Herbrigg?
Not only is it an idyllic place, but it’s also home to the oldest barn in Europe.
Perched at around 2,000 meters, the hamlet of Herbrigg also offers excellent views of Zermatt.
This oldest barn in Europe, located in the hamlet of Herbrigg, is said to have been built in 1261.
It’s impressive for a wooden structure to last that long!
In fact, it’s mind-blowing to think that it’s older than some civilizations in the world.
Interestingly, the hamlet of Herbrigg has been the source of folklores.
Like the tale of the ghost who was banished to sneeze forever in a barn in the village.
The spirit was only freed from the curse after a milkmaid told him, “Bless you!”
Map of Scenic Spots and Activities in Zermatt
You can see from this map how many things to do in Zermatt. Chamonix, a town like Zermatt and the best destination in the French Alps, has many attractions too. If you want to visit places like Zermatt, discover Chamonix and the 10 reasons why you should visit Chamonix.
Things to Know When Visiting Zermatt
With all the scenic spots, scenic hotels, and lovely hamlets, it seems I can spend more than a month in Zermatt in a full retreat. It’s just one of the most beautiful we all dream about, right?
In this part of the blog, you will learn essential things to know when going, staying, and exploring Zermatt. So without further ado:
Going to Zermatt by Private Car
How to go to Zermatt by car?
Zermatt is a car-free town in the Swiss Alps, only accessible by public transportation and electric taxis. The road is closed for public traffic after Täsch, which is a town about 3 miles away from Zermatt.
You have to leave your car in Täsch and find a parking spot there.
There are plenty of options, both indoor and outdoor, but the prices vary depending on how long you want to park and who you choose to park with.
From Täsch, you can either take a train or a taxi to Zermatt.
The trains run every 20 minutes and take about 12 minutes to get to Zermatt.
The taxis are run by private companies that have permission to use the road between Täsch and Zermatt.
The fares depend on how many people and how much luggage you have.
Matterhorn Terminal Tasch lets you park with a fee on its 2100 covered parking lots. You can reserve slots/tickets from their website.
Going to Zermatt by Public Transportation
If you’re planning to travel from Europe, getting to Zermatt by train is quite straightforward.
Your end station will be Bahnhofplatz Zermatt and there are a couple of options for your journey:
- You can start from any major city, then switch to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn at Visp, which will take you directly to Zermatt.
- Alternatively, you can enjoy a scenic ride on the Glacier Express from St. Moritz, Davos, or Chur.
Airports near Zermatt
If you’re coming from a distance and Switzerland or Zermatt, you’ll likely be flying in and then transitioning to land travel.
The airport you choose to fly into can be a key decision, as it can impact both your time and budget.
In this part, I’ll provide you with an estimate of the effort, time, and cost associated with each option to help you make an informed decision.
There are five international airports that serve as convenient gateways to the Swiss Alps or Zermatt:
- Zurich, Switzerland | 15 Best Reasons Why You Should Visit Zurich
- Geneva, Switzerland | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Geneva
- Basel, Switzerland | 7 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Basel
- Bern, Switzerland | Bern 1, 2, 3-Day Itinerary: 22 Best Things To Do In Bern
- Milan, Italy | 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Milan
You can also have a day trip to Zermatt from these cities. See the tours below:
Using Rome2Rio.com, one of the most reliable travel planners on the internet, I created the tables below to help you compare the trip from these five airports to Zermatt:
Going to Zermatt by private car from nearby cities with airports:
|Cities near Zermatt with airports
|Zurich (ZRH)||247.7||3h 55m|
|Geneva (GVA)||236.9||3h 12m|
|Basel (BSL)||335.3||4h 14m|
|Bern (BRN)||239.7||3h 19m|
|Milan (MXP)||194.9||3h 17m|
Going to Zermatt by public transportation from nearby cities with airports:
|Cities near Zermatt with airports
|Commute Difficulty||Travel Time||Cost
|Zurich (ZRH)||2 train rides||3h 50m||98 to 183|
|Geneva (GVA)||2 train rides||3h 56m||89 to 167|
|Basel (BSL)||1 bus ride + 2 train rides||4h 53m||91 to 175|
|Bern (BRN)||1 bus ride + 3 train rides||3h 24m||57 to 111|
|Milan (MXP)||3 train rides||4h 28m||77 to 177|
See notes here.
Here are my references:
Will you be coming from Milan to visit Zermatt? Make sure you don’t miss visiting northern Italy’s best attractions (reasons to visit). If you like places similar to Zermatt, I recommend going to:
- Cortina d’Ampezzo — is a town at the center of the best attractions in the Dolomite mountains. Learn more about Cortina and the places you can visit from Cortina here.
- Bolzano — is the city, gateway to the Dolomites. It has a few unique attractions aside from the breathtaking views of the Dolomites. Discover the reasons why you should visit Bolzano.
- Trento — is the city south of Bolzano. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts like me. Have a look at the 15 things to do in Trento.
Zermatt and the Nearby Attractions
Zermatt isn’t the only destination in the Swiss Alps. There are a lot, and they are all incredibly worth a visit too. Here are some of the most beautiful towns in the Swiss Alps you can visit before or after Zermatt:
|From Zermatt to||Travel Time
|Lauterbrunnen||3h 12m||3h 22m||4 train rides||Zermatt – Lauterbrunnen|
|Grindelwald||3h 19m||3h 36m||4 train rides||Zermatt – Grindelwald|
|Interlaken||3h 3m||2h 41m||3 train rides||Zermatt – Interlaken|
|Kandersteg||3h 38m||3h 1m||2 train rides||Zermatt – Kandersteg|
|Saas-Fee||1h 30m||1h 56m||1 bus ride + 1 train ride||Zermatt – Saas-Fee|
See notes here.
Jungfrau Region. A top destination in the Swiss Alps with adventures, scenic trains, and remarkable mountaintop attractions. Check these out:
- Interlaken (with beautiful lake attractions)
- Lauterbrunnen (heaven on earth valley with rustic villages)
- Grindelwald (best destination for outdoor activities and adrenaline-pumping adventures)
- Kandersteg. A lovely village closest to Oeschinensee, one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Learn more: 10 Things to do in Kandersteg.
- Gruyeres (Bonus). A preserved medieval village in the Prealps. Come to taste authentic Gruyeres Cheese and unlimited chocolates! Discover: 10 Reasons to visit Gruyeres.
Zermatt and the Swiss Alps Cities
Aside from the Swiss metropolises with airports, Switzerland has beautiful big towns and cities near the Swiss Alps that you can also visit quickly before and after exploring Zermatt. They are Montreux, Sion, Brig, Thun and Lucerne. Here is the table showing Zermatt’s distance and travel time to these cities:
|From Zermatt to|| Travel Time
| Travel Time
|Montreux||2h 23m||2h 39m||2 train rides||Zermatt – Montreux|
|Sion||1h 44m||1h 44m||2 train rides||Zermatt – Sion|
|Brig||1h 16m||1h 24m||1 train ride||Zermatt – Brig|
|Thun||3h 22m||2h 10m||2 train rides||Zermatt – Thun|
|Lucerne||3h 20m||4h 12m||3 train rides||Zermatt – Lucerne|
NOTE: the data in all of the tables are only estimates, and values may differ at different times depending on the schedule of the train and buses. Also, weather and traffic should be considered. For public transportation, Travel time includes the time needed for transfers.
Learn more about these cities from my articles below:
- Montreux — is a town beside Lake Geneva. It has a beautiful promenade. You can quickly visit Chillon Castle, a castle on a lake, from Montreux. See all reasons why you should visit Montreux.
- Sion — is a town famous for its wines. But I like its church and the ruined castle on top of its two hills. Sion is a picturesque city, and you can learn more about Sion and the 5 best things to do in Sion here.
- Brig — is a town with great access to many tourist attractions not only in Switzerland but also in Italy. Learn more from my article, Best Things To Do in Brig.
- Thun — is a town with its own lake, Lake Thun. It has a castle, and you can visit more castles (i.e., Oberhofen Castle) from Thun! See the 7 best things to do in Thun.
- Lucerne — is a town nearest to Zurich. Come here for a lovely stroll in a medieval historic town center and adventures in Mount Pilatus/Mount Rigi. See all the 15 reasons to visit Lucerne.
If you visit Montreux, you can have a day trip to Gruyeres. It’s a preserved medieval village with its own unique cheese. You can also have unlimited chocolates from one of its attractions. Learn more about Gruyeres here: 10 Best Reasons Why You Should Visit Gruyères Switzerland.
When to go to Zermatt
The best time to visit Zermatt depends on the activities you’re interested in. Let’s try to look on what you can expect for each season.
On the plus side, if you’re into winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, Zermatt is pretty much a dream come true.
But even if you’re not into skiing, there’s plenty to do. You can go winter hiking, ice skating, or sledging
The ski season usually kicks off in late November and goes until mid-April. Now, on to the not-so-great parts.
Zermatt is a popular spot, especially during ski season. So, it can get pretty crowded, particularly during the holidays.
Also, keep in mind that it’s not exactly a budget destination. Accommodation and other expenses can be quite high during peak ski season.
And then there’s the weather. Since Zermatt is in the Alps, it can be quite cold and unpredictable. So you’ll want to pack plenty of warm clothes and be ready for changing conditions.
So, you’re thinking about heading to Zermatt in the spring, right?
Well, let me break it down for you.
On the upside, spring in Zermatt is pretty much a nature lover’s dream.
Spring in Zermatt is a pleasure for the eyes: crocuses, violets and gentians blossom.
The days are getting longer, the first flowers have bloomed and nature is awakening. Spring in the mountains is incredibly beautiful and well worth seeing.
Plus, if you’re still up for some skiing, you can still hit the slopes. And as spring progresses, temperatures can reach up to a comfortable 15 degrees Celsius.
If you fancy some more skiing, you can still carve some turns, and fans of hiking and biking can gradually retrieve their gear and start planning and tackling their first tours.
Towards the end of the season you can see temperatures reach as high as 15 degrees Celsius.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
The beginning of the spring season still tends to be a little cold. Early in spring visitors may still experience temperatures as low as -6 degrees Celsius.
From early May winter season officially ends in Zermatt.
Around this season, the rain falls followed by warm winds in the altitude of 2000 to 3000 meters.
If you want to ski during this time, you have to ascend up to 3000 meters on to the glacier for good snow.
If you’re more into hiking and climbing, the best time to visit Zermatt is during the summer, between late June and early October.
Summer unveils the awe-inspiring beauty of The Matterhorn and the Swiss Alps. You’ll see with verdant valleys and peaks crowned with snow.
Yes – for those who love the great outdoors, Zermatt is a haven during the summer.
It offers more and more plethora of activities such as hiking, biking, and paragliding.
Skiing? You can still ski even if it is summer! Klein Matterhorn invites you to experience summer skiing on its 21-kilometer slope.
It’s also during the summer that you can experience the rich culture of Zermatt.
Numerous events and festivals take place throughout the summer season.
However, being a popular tourist destination, Zermatt can get quite crowded during the summer months.
If you prefer a quieter, less busy atmosphere, this might be a drawback.
You might find the prices for hotels and other services to be higher than expected.
Zermatt in autumn is a spectacle. The changing leaves transform the landscape into a stunning display of fall colors.
The larch trees, in particular, turn a beautiful golden yellow, creating a striking contrast against the clear blue sky.
The mountains remain accessible, offering that breathtaking view.
If crowded tourist spots aren’t your thing, you’ll appreciate that Zermatt sees fewer tourists in the autumn compared to the summer season.
What’s the down side?
Keep in mind that some services, like lifts, start to shut down in early October. This could limit your access to certain trails.
Early snowfall can make some trails impassable. It’s important to keep an eye on the weather and trail conditions.
With hiking trails and other parts of Zermatt potentially closed due to snow, your activity options might be a bit limited.
Zermatt is one lovely destination in the great outdoors. Because it’s vast and would require us to hike, ride trains, or cable cars, planning is quite an important thing to do before going. Here are some of the things you must know when exploring Zermatt:
Zermatt Mobile App (Matterhorn)
Zermatt is perhaps one of the most convenient places to visit today. With its Smartphone App “Matterhorn,” you get all the things you need to explore Zermatt and the mountains. Here are some of the application’s features that will definitely be useful when you visit Zermatt:
- The list of all the attractions in Zermatt. You will easily find the “Must-Sees,” shops and restaurants, places you can hike or bike, things to do during bad weather, and the list go on!
- You can also check the weather of the high-altitude destinations with the live webcams in the app.
- The status of the lifts and pistes is also indicated in the app, telling you if they are operational or not yet.
- You can also check the overall weather in Zermatt, snow thickness, and avalanche risk in certain places.
- Most importantly, you can buy and reserve tickets, join a tour, and get different passes from the app.
How Long to Stay in Zermatt?
Deciding how many days to spend in Zermatt really depends on what you’re interested in doing.
If you’re into a variety of activities like hiking, riding cable cars for breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, exploring the charming town, or even skiing, then you might want to consider staying for 1 to 4 days.
If you’re short on time, you can still see and do quite a lot in just 2 days.
However, keep in mind that your schedule will be packed and there might be little time to relax.
If you prefer a more leisurely pace with ample time to fully enjoy your favorite attractions, then a 3-day stay would be ideal.
To me, experiencing at least one sunrise in Zermatt is a must, as it gives you the opportunity to witness the Matterhorn’s breathtaking golden hour.
Additionally, it’s important to factor in the weather and allow for an extra day to ensure you can fully appreciate the scenic views Zermatt has to offer.
Therefore, a trip of two days (or longer) to Zermatt comes highly recommended.
Photos to Inspire you to Visit Zermatt
Zermatt is sure a beautiful place to be. Mountains will always be awe-inspiring. For some, it is a once-in-a-lifetime destination that all their lives they’ve been dreaming of visiting. If you are traveling to Zermatt, be grateful because you’re really blessed and lucky!
I hope this article helped you or at least inspired you to visit Zermatt and Switzerland.
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