Best Things to Do in Zermatt, Switzerland: Top 12 Attractions

Are you thinking about visiting Zermatt in Switzerland this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Zermatt. These majestic sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Ahh Zermatt—known for its towering peaks, the iconic Matterhorn, and a sense of adventure that’s as palpable as the crisp Alpine air. Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, this charming car-free village is more than just a winter wonderland. It’s a year-round paradise that attracts travelers with promises of unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re visiting in the winter or the summer, there are always plenty of things to do in Zermatt to keep you enthralled.

Imagine waking up to the sunrise striking the Matterhorn’s summit, its golden rays slowly illuminating the valley below. Picture yourself hiking along the scenic Five Lake Trail, each step revealing a new, breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains. And let’s not forget the allure of skiing down world-class slopes, regardless of the season. Yes, you read that right, skiing 365 days a year!

So, if you’re ready to elevate your travel game, keep reading. We’re about to dive into the ultimate guide to the best things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland. Buckle up, Swiss visitors —adventure awaits! Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Zermatt.

The top places to visit in Zermatt, Switzerland right now
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Best Places to visit in Zermatt

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Zermatt? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this scenic vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Zermatt places to visit.

Are you looking to go skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and go hiking and mountain biking in the summer? Or would you prefer to explore charming villages, enjoy delicious Swiss cuisines and take in breathtaking views of the mountains? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Zermatt can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Zermatt that you should know about.

1. Matterhorn

If you’re wondering where to visit in Zermatt, look no further than the iconic Matterhorn. This pyramid-shaped mountain is not just a symbol of Switzerland; it’s a rite of passage for anytraveler visiting Zermatt. Imagine standing at the base of this colossal peak, its jagged edges cutting through the sky like a masterpiece sculpted by Mother Nature herself. The experience is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

But don’t just admire it from afar; take the Gornergrat Railway to get up close and personal with this natural wonder. As you ascend, you’ll pass through lush forests and alpine meadows, each turn revealing a more stunning view than the last. Once you reach the top, brace yourself for a panorama that will steal your breath away. The Matterhorn stands there, in all its glory, surrounded by a sea of peaks and glaciers.

And here’s a pro tip: visit during sunrise or sunset. The way the light dances on the mountain’s face is a sight to behold, making it one of the coolest things to do in Zermatt. Whether you’re an avid mountaineer or a casual tourist, the Matterhorn is a must-see, a memory that will etch itself into your soul forever.

Visiting Matterhorn is one of the best things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Visit the iconic Matterhorn—a symbol of the country, offering an awe-inspiring experience beneath its jagged, pyramid-shaped peak.

2. Gornergrat Railway

All aboard the Gornergrat Railway, one of the best places to go in Zermatt for panoramic views that will leave you speechless! This cogwheel train is more than just a mode of transportation; it’s a journey through the heart of the Swiss Alps. As the train chugs its way up the mountain, you’ll be treated to vistas of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and a host of other peaks that define the Swiss skyline.

The ride itself is a marvel of engineering. Built in 1898, the Gornergrat Railway is one of the highest cogwheel trains in Europe. It ascends from Zermatt to the Gornergrat summit in about 33 minutes, covering a distance of 9.3 km and an altitude difference of 1,469 meters. Talk about an exhilarating climb!

Once you reach the summit, you’re in for a treat. The viewing platform offers 360-degree views that are nothing short of spectacular. It’s a must-see in Zermatt, especially for photography enthusiasts. Capture the grandeur of the Alps, the sprawling glaciers, and the distant valleys in one epic shot. Trust me, your Instagram feed will thank you!

Take the Gornergrat Railway for breathtaking panoramic views of the Matterhorn on a journey through the heart of the mountains.
Take the Gornergrat Railway for breathtaking panoramic views of the Matterhorn on a journey through the heart of the mountains.

3. Five Lakes Trail

Ready to lace up those hiking boots? One of the best things to do in Zermatt is hiking the Five Lakes Trail, known for its stunning alpine lakes in Switzerland. This moderate hike offers a smorgasbord of natural beauty, from shimmering lakes to jaw-dropping views of the Matterhorn. The trail takes you through a series of five lakes, each with its own rare charm and character.

Starting at Blauherd station, the hike is about 9.3 km long and takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. The path is well-marked, making it accessible even for hiking newbies. Along the way, you’ll encounter the Grindjisee, Stellisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee lakes. Each lake offers a different perspective of the Matterhorn, and trust me, you’ll want to capture every angle.

Thinking of where to go in Zermatt to truly disconnect and immerse yourself in nature? The Five Lakes Trail is the answer. It’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of the Swiss Alps. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this trail is a must-add to your itinerary.

Hike the Five Lakes Trail for stunning alpine lakes and Matterhorn views on a moderate trek through five unique natural wonders.
Hike the Five Lakes Trail for stunning alpine lakes and Matterhorn views on a moderate trek through five unique natural wonders.

4. Theodul Glacier

For those who live for the thrill of carving through fresh powder, Zermatt offers a skiing experience like no other. The Theodul Glacier is your ticket to year-round skiing, making it one of the must-see Zermatt attractions for winter sports enthusiasts. Forget about waiting for the right season; here, every day is a ski day!

The glacier is part of the Zermatt-Cervinia ski area, which boasts over 360 km of pistes. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the diverse range of slopes caters to all skill levels. And let’s talk about the views—skiing with the Matterhorn as your backdrop is nothing short of surreal. It’s like gliding through a postcard!

But the Theodul Glacier offers more than just skiing. You can also try snowboarding, freeriding, and even summer skiing. Yes, you heard that right—summer skiing! It’s one of those Zermatt things to do that you won’t find just anywhere. So, gear up and hit the slopes; this is one adventure you won’t want to miss.

Experience year-round skiing at Theodul Glacier, where every day is a ski day, regardless of the season.
Experience year-round skiing at Theodul Glacier in Zermatt, Switzerland, where every day is a ski day, regardless of the season.

5. Furi

If you’re searching for unique places in Zermatt, set your sights on Furi, a small mountain hamlet above Zermatt. Here, you’ll encounter the Zermatt Blacknose Sheep, an adorable breed that’s become a symbol of the region. With their distinctive black faces and spiral horns, these sheep are irresistibly photogenic and a must-see for any visitor.

Furi is accessible by a quick cable car ride from Zermatt, and it’s here that you can track these charming creatures via GPS. Yes, technology meets tradition in this quaint alpine setting! Once you arrive, you’ll find the sheep grazing in the lush meadows, surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps.

Furi’s uniqueness extends beyond its charming sheep residents. The area is also known for its traditional wooden barns and the Dossen glacier garden, adding layers of cultural and natural interest to your visit. Meeting the Zermatt Blacknose Sheep at Furi is a delightful experience that combines wildlife, scenery, and local culture into one unforgettable destination. Is this among the top things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland? 100%!

Experience riding a cable car in Furi amidst lush alpine meadows and the Swiss Alps backdrop.
Experience riding a cable car in Furi amidst lush alpine meadows and the Swiss Alps backdrop.

6. Lake Stellisee

There’s something magical about watching the sunrise, and when you’re in Zermatt, Lake Stellisee offers one of the most enchanting experiences. This alpine lake, located at an altitude of 2,537 meters, provides a perfect mirror for the iconic Matterhorn. As the sun ascends, the lake’s surface glows with shades of pink and orange, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Getting to Lake Stellisee involves a moderate hike or a convenient cable car ride from Zermatt to the Blauherd station. From there, it’s a short walk to the lake. The effort is more than worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with one of the best places to go in Zermatt for photography or simply soaking in the natural beauty.

Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket! After the sunrise, the serene environment makes for an ideal breakfast spot. Whether you’re a photographer, a nature lover, or someone looking to experience the quieter moments of life, a sunrise at Lake Stellisee should be on your list of Zermatt places to visit.

Watching sunrise at Lake Stellisee is one of the best things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Watch the enchanting sunrise at Lake Stellisee, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of pink and orange hues in Zermatt, Switzerland.

7. Läderach

When in Switzerland, indulging in Swiss chocolate is a must, and Zermatt offers you the perfect opportunity to do just that. Head over to Läderach, a renowned Swiss chocolatier located right in the heart of the village. Trust me, this is one of the coolest activities in Zermatt for anyone with a sweet tooth.

As you step into the store, the aroma of cocoa fills the air, instantly making your mouth water. Rows upon rows of chocolate bars, truffles, and pralines await, each crafted to perfection. And the most exciting part? You can watch the chocolatiers at work, skillfully molding and decorating these heavenly treats.

More than just a chocolate shop, Läderach is an experience. You can join a chocolate-making workshop and learn the art of Swiss chocolate crafting from the masters themselves. It’s one of those unique things to do in Zermatt that adds a delicious twist to your trip. So, go ahead, indulge a little—or a lot! Your taste buds will thank you.

Indulge in Swiss chocolate at Läderach in the heart of Zermatt—an essential activity for sweet-toothed travelers.
Indulge in Swiss chocolate at Läderach in the heart of Zermatt, Switzerland—an essential activity for sweet-toothed travelers.

8. Chez Vrony

If you’re a foodie at heart, you can’t leave Zermatt without dining at Chez Vrony, an upscale restaurant that offers a culinary journey through the Swiss Alps. Situated in the hamlet of Findeln, this eatery is one of the best places in Zermatt to experience authentic alpine cuisine.

Getting to Chez Vrony is part of the adventure. You can either hike or take a cable car to Sunnegga, followed by a scenic 20-minute walk. As you arrive, the rustic charm of the restaurant, combined with panoramic views of the Matterhorn, sets the stage for a memorable meal.

The menu is a celebration of local ingredients, from mountain herbs to organic meats. Whether you opt for the traditional raclette or venture into contemporary dishes, each bite is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region. And let’s not forget the wine—sourced from local vineyards, it’s the perfect complement to your meal.

So, if you’re curious about what to do in Zermatt for an unforgettable dining experience, Chez Vrony should be at the top of your list.

Dine at Chez Vrony in Findeln for an authentic alpine culinary journey—a must for foodies.
Dine at Chez Vrony in Findeln for an authentic alpine culinary journey—a must for foodies.

9. Glacier Paradise

Are you on the hunt for cool destinations in Zermatt? Welcome to the Glacier Paradise, also known as Klein Matterhorn. Imagine stepping into a world of ice, snow, and panoramic views that stretch as far as the French and Italian Alps. Now, that’s what I call a winter wonderland!

The Glacier Paradise holds the title for Europe’s highest cable car station, sitting at a dizzying 3,883 meters. But the real magic happens when you step out and explore. From the Ice Palace, intricately carved from the glacier itself, to the observation deck offering 360-degree views, this place is a sensory overload in the greatest way possible.

And for my adrenaline junkies, how about some skiing or snowboarding? The Glacier Paradise offers year-round snow sports, making it a haven for those who just can’t get enough of the slopes. If you’re more of a hiker, there are trails that offer unparalleled views of the Matterhorn.

In a place like this, every moment feels like a scene straight out of a postcard.

Explore the Glacier Paradis for a winter wonderland of ice, snow, and panoramic views.
Explore the Glacier Paradis for a winter wonderland of ice, snow, and panoramic views.

10. Zermatt Forest Trails

If you’re a nature lover, the forest trails around Zermatt offer an enchanting escape. Picture this: you’re walking through a canopy of pine and larch trees, the air is crisp, and the only sounds are the chirping of birds and the rustle of leaves underfoot. This is one of the best places to go in Zermatt if you’re looking to connect with Mother Nature.

The trails are well-marked and range from easy walks to more challenging hikes. One popular route is the Zmutt trail, which takes you through charming hamlets and offers stunning views of the Matterhorn. Along the way, you’ll find several spots perfect for a picnic or just to sit and soak in the tranquility.

The forest trails are more than just a walk in the woods. They’re a chance to learn about the local flora and fauna, as informational boards are placed along the routes. It’s an educational experience that adds depth to your adventure.

Make sure the forest trails are on top of your list of Zermatt places to visit. It’s a serene experience that balances out the adrenaline-pumping activities Zermatt is famous for. As such, it’s no wonder that these trails are among the best things to do in Zermatt for all types of travelers.

11. Matterhorn Museum

Art and history enthusiasts, this one’s for you. The Matterhorn Museum, located in the heart of Zermatt, is a treasure trove of local culture and history. It’s one of those unique places in Zermatt that offers a deep dive into the region’s past, from its early inhabitants to the daring first ascent of the Matterhorn.

The museum is designed like an underground village, complete with old wooden houses, a chapel, and even a barn. As you wander through, you’ll encounter fascinating exhibits that tell the story of Zermatt and its people. From ancient artifacts to contemporary art, there’s something here for everyone.

But what sets this museum apart is its focus on the Matterhorn. You’ll find a detailed account of the first successful climb, complete with original equipment and personal diaries. It’s a humbling experience that makes you appreciate the courage and determination of those early mountaineers.

The Matterhorn Museum is among the Zermatt attractions that is a journey through time.

The Matterhorn Museum is a treasure trove of local culture and history, ideal for art and history enthusiasts.
The Matterhorn Museum is a treasure trove of local culture and history, ideal for art and history enthusiasts.

12. Gornergrat Observatory

Imagine standing 3,089 meters above sea level, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Swiss Alps, with the universe unfolding before your eyes. Welcome to the Gornergrat Observatory, one of the highest astronomical observatories in Europe. This is a must-see in Zermatt for anyone captivated by the cosmos.

The observatory offers guided tours where you can learn about celestial bodies, constellations, and even get a closer look at planets through their powerful telescopes. The experience is made even more magical by the absence of light pollution, allowing for a crystal-clear view of the night sky.

What makes this experience truly unique is its location. The observatory sits atop the Gornergrat Bahn, one of the world’s oldest cogwheel railways. So, not only do you get to explore the universe, but you also get to do it from one of the most iconic locations in Switzerland.

A night at the Gornergrat Observatory should be high on your list of the best things to do in Zermatt. It’s an awe-inspiring experience that combines science, nature, and a touch of Swiss charm.

Exploring Gornergrat Observatory is one of the best things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland.
The Gornergrat Observatory offers a cosmic experience at 3,089 meters above sea level, surrounded by the Swiss Alps’ majestic peaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Zermatt

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Zermatt? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Zermatt:

What’s the best time to visit Zermatt?

The best time to visit Zermatt depends on your interests. Winter (December to April) is perfect for skiing and snow sports with picturesque snowscapes. Summer (June to September) offers ideal hiking and outdoor activities, while the shoulder seasons provide a quieter experience with pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

What can you do at Zermatt if you don’t ski?

Zermatt is renowned for its world-class skiing. However, even if you’re not hitting the slopes, there’s a plethora of activities and attractions to enjoy in this charming Swiss town:

  1. Gornergrat Railway: Take a ride on this cogwheel train, which offers panoramic views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks. The journey culminates at the Gornergrat summit, where you can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Alps.
  2. Matterhorn Museum: Delve into Zermatt’s history, learn about the first ascent of the Matterhorn, and get a glimpse of traditional Valaisan village life.
  3. Glacier Paradise: Accessible by the highest cable car in Europe, this attraction offers an observation deck with sweeping views, an ice palace, and even a cinema lounge showcasing a film about the Alps.
  4. Hiking: Zermatt boasts numerous hiking trails suitable for all levels. Walk amidst the serene alpine landscapes, with the Matterhorn as your backdrop.
  5. Mountain Biking: Explore the numerous mountain biking trails that crisscross the region, offering routes for both beginners and seasoned riders.
  6. Paragliding: Experience the thrill of soaring over Zermatt’s stunning landscapes, with professional pilots ensuring a safe and memorable flight.
  7. Spa Day: Indulge in a relaxing day at one of Zermatt’s luxurious spas, many of which offer wellness treatments, saunas, and pools with mountain views.

How do I get to Zermatt?

To reach Zermatt, you typically take a train to the town of Täsch, as private cars aren’t allowed. From Täsch, you can continue by electric taxi or shuttle to Zermatt. Alternatively, you can arrive by helicopter or use the Gornergrat Railway if you’re coming from the nearby city of Brig.

Is going to Zermatt expensive?

Zermatt is known for being a high-end destination, and costs can be relatively high. Accommodation, dining, and activities are often pricey. However, there are budget-friendly options like hostels and self-catering, and the stunning natural scenery is free to enjoy. Costs depend on your preferences and choices.

Scenic view of the charming town of Zermatt, Switzerland
Scenic view of the charming town of Zermatt, Switzerland

What language is spoken in Zermatt?

The primary language spoken in Zermatt is Swiss German. However, due to its international tourist appeal, you’ll also find English, French, and Italian spoken in many establishments, especially in the hospitality and service sectors. It’s a multilingual destination catering to a diverse range of visitors.

How many days do you need in Zermatt?

The ideal duration for a visit to Zermatt largely depends on your interests and the activities you wish to pursue. However, for a well-rounded experience of what Zermatt has to offer, a stay of 3 to 4 days is generally recommended. Here’s a suggested breakdown:

Day 1: Explore the Town and Gornergrat Railway

  • Start your day wandering through the car-free streets of Zermatt, soaking in the charm of its wooden chalets.
  • Visit the Matterhorn Museum to understand the town’s history and the iconic mountain’s significance.
  • In the afternoon, take the Gornergrat Railway to the summit for panoramic views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks.

Day 2: Glacier Paradise and Adventure Activities

  • Head to the Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) in the morning. Explore the ice palace, observation deck, and cinema lounge.
  • Depending on the season, indulge in activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or mountain biking.

Hiking and Relaxation (Day 3)

  • Dedicate a day to explore Zermatt’s numerous hiking trails. The Five Lakes Walk is particularly popular, offering stunning views of the Matterhorn’s reflection in the lakes.
  • In the evening, unwind at one of Zermatt’s luxurious spas or wellness centers.

Day 4: Optional Activities and Departure

  • If you’re an adventure enthusiast, consider paragliding over the alpine landscapes.
  • Spend some time shopping for souvenirs, Swiss watches, and chocolates.
  • If you’re staying longer, consider additional activities like heli-tours, ice skating, sledging, or simply enjoying the town’s gourmet dining options.

What is Zermatt best known for?

Zermatt is best known for the iconic Matterhorn, one of the most photographed mountains in the world. It’s a year-round destination offering world-class skiing, hiking, and mountaineering. The village itself is charming and car-free, making it a unique blend of natural beauty and Swiss hospitality.

Is Zermatt worth visiting?

Absolutely, Zermatt is a must-visit destination in Switzerland. Its stunning natural landscapes, including the iconic Matterhorn, offer a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The village provides a unique blend of Swiss charm, world-class amenities, and activities that cater to all ages and interests, making it worth every minute and penny.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Zermatt

And there you have it, folks—a comprehensive guide to the best places in Zermatt that you absolutely can’t miss. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer the Alps or a nature lover seeking serenity, Zermatt has something for everyone. From the towering majesty of the Matterhorn to the intricate artistry at the Matterhorn Museum, this Swiss paradise is more than just a pretty face; it’s a multifaceted gem waiting to be explored.

So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Zermatt is calling, and trust me, you don’t want to miss this call.

The top things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland for all types of travelers
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