Located high in the Valais Alps of Switzerland , lies the quaint little village of Zermatt. Known as the skiers paradise, Zermatt has a lot to offer to its tourists. Also, the village lies at the foothills of the mighty Matterhorn. And, Matterhorn is one of the 29 peaks higher than 13,000 ft in the Upper Valais region. While you can go for hiking these peaks, there are quite a few other things to do in Zermatt. You can go out to walk through a glacier, go skiing in mid-summer, climb mountains or explore the village at a slow pace. Let us take a look at some of the best things to do in Zermatt.
Best time to visit Zermatt
Zermatt is quite a beautiful destination and offers something different in every season. Although it is advisable to visit Zermatt in the months from November to January during winters, the summers are quite pleasant as well. While winters offer a great chance for snow and skiing activities, it is during summers when you can explore the peaks and trails in Zermatt properly. Thus, summer season from June to September is the best time to visit Zermatt for exploring around and enjoying skiing activities. Let us now take a look at the best things to do in Zermatt.
Top Incredible things to do in Zermatt
1. The Matterhorn
Although, it is not recommended to ascent the peak unless you are a mountaineering expert, you can visit the base camp. The mighty Matterhorn is among the most popular peaks in the entire world. People from all over the world visit Zermatt to get a glimpse of Matterhorn.
While you are here, make it a point to visit the base camp at Hornli Hut. This is the point from where you can witness the mighty pyramid shaped peak in its full glory. Also, there are a number of vantage points from where you can get a glimpse of the Matterhorn. Thus, visiting the base camp of Matterhorn is among the best things to do in Zermatt.
2. Klein Matterhorn
The next peak right along the Matterhorn is the Klein Matterhorn. And the best part about this one is that you can visit the top with an aerial tramway. Also, it is the highest location in all of Europe accessible by this mode of transport. Thus, if you are someone who is not into long walks and treks, you can go for Klein Matterhorn. Upon reaching the top, you will reach the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise where there’s a tunnel leading you through to the Breithorn Plateau. Also, while you are here make sure to descent into Glacier Grotto for amazing views. Thus, visiting Klein Matterhorn is among the things to do in Zermatt for non skiers.
- Cable Car starting from 80 CHF for an adult
- Tickets for Glacier Park – 90 CHF Time Required to explore 3-4 hours.
Also See: Top things to do in Grindelwald
3. Paragliding over Zermatt
One of the best experience you can ever have in Zermatt, is going for a Paragliding tandem ride above the mighty peaks. 38 out of 48 peaks in Switzerland lies in Zermatt making it a paradise for adventure lovers. While you are here, do not forget to take a paragliding ride over the beautiful peaks in Zermatt. Paragliding in zermatt is one of the experiences you must have while you are here. Head out to one of the companies and drive all the way up to the take off points. It might seem scary at first to jump off, but once you are out there in the open sky, flying above all, it is magical. The breathtaking views of peaks along with the famous Matterhorn while the cold breeze hitting your face is something you should not miss. Thus, paragliding in Zermatt is one of the things you must do while you are here.
- Paragliding Tandem Cost- Starting from 220 CHF
- Flight Time – 20-25 mins
Zermatt has a number of things to surprise its visitors and leave them spell bounded. One of the such unforgettable experience you can have is the highest open-air rack railway in Europe. Gornergrat is a beautiful place tucked away in the mountains and a perfect point for day trips from Zermatt. Head out to the Gornergrat platform for boarding the Gornergrat Bahn. It must be hard to believe but the train was started back in 1896 and is running since then. The train ride takes around 35 minutes to complete and courses over beautiful ravines , stone pines and larch forests.
You will arrive shortly at a small tourist development where you can sit and enjoy the scenery around. The Matterhorn is hard to ignore during the ride, but you also witness the views of Dufourspitze which is the highest mountain of Switzerland. Also, you will witness the Gorner Glacier which is the second largest glacier in the alps. Thus, going out for a train ride from Gornergrat is among the best day trips from Zermatt you can go for.
- The round trip of trip will cost you around 76-80 Swiss Franc
Zermatt is quite popular for adventure sports owing to its beautiful location among the Swiss Alps. There are quite a few things to do in Zermatt including paragliding, cable rides , hikes, treks and skiing. Among the all, skiing is the most popular adventure sport in Zermatt.
Zermatt is easily among the best places to ski owing to lower slopes blanketed with snow even in summer season. Head out to Breithorn plateau which is among the best places for skiing in Zermatt.
You can enjoy skiing on your own or learn it from the experts there. Also, if you want to explore the area around and have a more intrepid skiing experience, then you can hire a mountain guide who will take you off the piste. Also, there a quite a few restaurants and cafes perched high on the hills where ski resorts are located. You can enjoy a meal while having the mighty view of Alps from these cafes. Thus, Skiing is among the best things to do in Zermatt.
- A day pass for Skiing will cost 42 CHF while 380 CHF for a week.
6. Exploring the village of Zermatt
While you are busy exploring the adventure around Zermatt, do not forget to take out some time to explore the beautiful village itself. Among the most laid back villages you will ever visit, Zermatt is a true Swiss beauty you will love. With car-free lanes and small cafes and shops on the streets, spending a day by just walking around the town is something you must do while in Zermatt.
Also, the history of the village mostly relates back to alpinism and tourism. It was 1855, when Edmund Whymper and his team stayed at the Monte Rosa Hotel which is the oldest in Zermatt. The whole village itself is an open air museum to experience the laid back lifestyle and culture of the people. Thus, if you wish to take a break from the adventure and enjoy some leisure time, do not forget to visit the village. Also, visiting the Old Village is one of the things to do in Zermatt for non skiers.
Also See: Romantic places in Switzerland
7. Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum
The mighty Matterhorn has a great history to it. And what other than the Matterhorn Museum to learn about the mountain. People who come to Zermatt are surely mesmerized by Matterhorn and are left with questions in their mind. Visit the famous Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum to know it all.
The whole museum is arranged like a traditional Alpine village,with around a number of galleries in 14 authentic buildings that were dismantled and rebuilt again . Each building holds a different aspect and nature of the Matterhorn peak. Visiting the museum and witnessing the history of first ascent of Matterhorn is something you should not miss. Also, there a number of things kept in the museum like climbing ropes and other gears that were used by the climbers during their ascent. Thus, visiting Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum is easily among the things to do in Zermatt.
8. Go for Ice Skating in the town
Yes, you can spend an entire day lazing around in Zermatt in the main town doing some ice skating. While there are a number of ski resorts that offer ice skating as an option , the Zermatt outdoor rink is located right in the center of the town. The stunning backdrop of the town lighted up in the evening surrounded by the mighty mountains is something you should not miss.
Also, the space is open for free to all tourists from morning 10am to 7pm in the evening. You just need to get a pair of skates on rent and head out to spend the day ice skating. You can also enjoy some delicious meal and coffee in one the restaurants around the rink.. Thus, going for ice skating in the town is easily among the best things to do in Zermatt.
- Ice Skating Equipment Rental – 150 CHF / Hour
9. Exploring the Village of Findeln
At Sunnegga, you can hop on to the four-seater chairlift which takes you the beautiful village of Findeln which is perched on a hill. The village was built in 1954, before which the whole area was used to grow rye and barley. The majestic slopes at Findeln overlooking the mighty mountains and quaint little houses is something you should not miss.
The villagers are not staying here year around. Mostly during the months of summers, they come up to stay here and work with the cattles to produce milk, cheese and cultivate grains. Then the produce is sent down to the town of Zermatt. While you are here, do not forget to visit the old barns and farmhouses which are still standing along with the chapel that dates back to 17th century. You can spend an entire day by just lazing around the village and admiring the views . Thus, a visit to Findeln Village is easily among the best day trips from Zermatt you can go on.
10. Visiting the Gorner Gorge
Zermatt is a quaint little town with beautiful houses, alpine resorts and abundant natural beauty. Take out some free time from the adventure and head out to the beautiful Gorner Gorge. Located at about 15 minutes by foot from Zermatt, the gorge is an absolute form of natural beauty that you should not miss.
It is said that since the last ice age, the Gornervispe has sliced through the serpentine rock making its way and continues to deepen every year. Since the year 1880, the gorge was open for tourists and was made navigable by foot. You walk through the gorgeous wooden bridges to witness the perspectives of the tortured rocks and the crystalline waters below. Also, in the months of September, there is a strange phenomenon happening here, when the light gives water a turquoise blue color. Thus, visiting the Gorner Gorge is easily among the best things to do in Zermatt.
- Tickets for adults cost 5 CHF while 2.5 CHF for children
In the end, with the quaint little houses surrounded by mighty mountains and a number of alpine ski resorts, Zermatt is a perfect place to spend your quality time at. Do not wait any further. Pack your bags, book your tickets and head out to explore this beautiful Swiss village tucked in the arms of Valais Alps.
Further Read: Honeymoon destination in Switzerland