Best Things to Do in Zermatt: If you dream of snow-capped peaks, quaint villages, and enchanting lakes, then you will fall in love with the compact resort town of Zermatt – beautifully hidden in the stunning Swiss Alps. One of the most famous resorts in Switzerland, Zermatt has been attracting visitors since the 1800s and is famous for its breathtaking scenery and its festive spirit and friendly atmosphere for the whole family.
- 1 25 Best Things to Do in Zermatt
- 1.1 1. Mauritian Church
- 1.2 2. Unterrothorn
- 1.3 3. Climbers Cemetery
- 1.4 4. Matterhorn Museum
- 1.5 5. Riffelsee
- 1.6 6. Sunnegga
- 1.7 7. Climb the Breithorn
- 1.8 8. Gorner Gorge
- 1.9 9. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
- 1.10 10. Matterhorn
- 1.11 11. Be Vigilant When Walking the Streets of Zermatt
- 1.12 12. Climb the Gornergrat and Fall
- 1.13 13. Make the Toblerone Logo Fit
- 1.14 14. Make the 5 Seenweg Hiking Trail
- 1.15 15. Sunnega Paradise
- 1.16 16. Climb the Rothorn Paradise
- 1.17 17. Cross the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
- 1.18 18. Get to know the Church of San Mauricio
- 1.19 19. Remember Some Mountaineers Who Died in Their Cemetery
- 1.20 20. Gornegrat Train
- 1.21 21. Enjoy the Schwarzsee
- 1.22 22. Cross the Suspension Bridge of Furi
- 1.23 23. Skiing, One of the Most Popular Activities to Do in Zermatt
- 2 A Charming Hotel in Zermatt
- 3 What to Do in Zermatt, in the Village
- 4 Zermatt and the Sky
- 5 Zermatt and Cervino
- 6 History of Zermatt
- 7 Tips for Visiting Zermatt
- 8 Conclusion
25 Best Things to Do in Zermatt
The most popular ski and snowboard trails in Zermatt are some of the highest quality in the world. It is home to many iconic mountains, including the Matterhorn, Breitorn and Rothorn, and many intriguing tourist attractions such as the Matterhorn Museum and Climbing Cemetery. Whether you want to conquer the snow, relax by a picturesque lake, or simply admire the views, Zermatt has something for everyone.
1. Mauritian Church
Located in Zermatt’s charming village, the Mauritius Church of St Mauritius is a compact, quaint parish church with a fascinating history. With its foundations stretching back to the 13th century, the Church of St. Mauritius has gone through several transformations to become what it is today. In 1980, the church underwent a complete renovation to give it a modern, impressive interior.
The church, which houses the bell tower, is also known for its special artifacts, such as altars and a baptismal façade, included in the Swiss List of Cultural Property of Regional Importance.
One of Zermatt’s many majestic mountain peaks, Unterrothorn (better known as the “Rothorn”) impresses with both its dramatic snow-capped ridges and advanced funiculars, which visitors ride the funicular to climb the mountain. It is impressive that the Blauherd-Rothorn funicular can accommodate over 100 passengers while offering 360-degree views of Zermatt’s epic mountain peaks.
Standing at a staggering 3,103 meters above sea level, at the Rothorn, visitors can enjoy world-class dining, outdoor sculpture exhibits, and endless hiking trails. Undoubtedly among the highest and best mountains in Zermatt, the Rothorn can capture the breath of any visitor.
3. Climbers Cemetery
While Zermatt is filled with adventure and fun, it’s also important to be safe at all times. The mountaineer cemetery, specially designed for honorary climbers, is a sobering but necessary reminder that visitors must be very careful when navigating these magnificent mountains.
Immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of this place, remembering the brave climbers who died in Zermatt. The climbing cemetery contains about 50 tombstones, each of which has a touching tribute attached to it, telling the stories of these brave people who passed away doing what they loved.
4. Matterhorn Museum
With countless stunning mountains dotting Zermatt’s perimeter, the Matterhorn Museum, also known as Zermatlantis, offers visitors an educational break between mountain activities.
This is where visitors can dive into Zermatt’s history, learn about the first courageous climbers to climb these mountains, and get an idea of how the Zermatt area developed.
Passionate students, especially in the Matterhorn, will be able to admire historical artifacts and special exhibitions as they share the history of Zermatt’s mountain culture.
A place you are unlikely to forget after seeing it, the Riffelsee is an alpine postcard lake that sits 2,757 meters above sea level. Although quietly hidden from Zermatt’s most famous hiking trails, this enchanting lake still attracts visitors with its reverent reflection of the regal Matterhorn.
Best viewed early in the morning or in the evening, when the lake is at its most stationary location, this lake is also a popular spot for visitors to explore some rare alpine flowers that adorn the lake. With its serene qualities, tranquil atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Riffelsee is every photographer’s dream.
Described as a “family-friendly” peak, Sunnegga is a hit for families because of its high availability and supremely suitable activities for young children. Just a 4.5-minute funicular ride from the center of Zermatt village, visitors are taken through a rock tunnel that runs through the mountain’s interior until they are led out onto an impressive terrace overlooking the Matterhorn.
Younger visitors will surely love the Marmot Playground in summer, a Marmot Observation Station where the whole family can learn more about these adorable animals. The sunny season will also pamper visitors with trails such as the Flower Walk or the Five Lakes Walk. Mountain biking or the more niche “kick biking” are other popular activities that families can enjoy together.
7. Climb the Breithorn
The highly acclaimed Breitorn is another of Zermatt’s highly respected peaks. With several jagged peaks, glaciers, and thick snow cover, Breitorn can look intimidating at first. However, visitors are relieved to know that Braythorn Summit is one of the most accessible peaks in the area.
Standing at 4,164 meters above sea level, the Breithorn ascent is considered the easiest to climb from Zermatt’s four-thousand. With a return journey of about 3 hours, climbers will still have to go with a guide if they want to conquer Braythorn.
8. Gorner Gorge
You might not expect to find an emerald green, an alluring gorge in the cool Swiss Alps, but this is exactly what visitors fall for when they visit the Horner Gorge in Zermatt. This gorge will take visitors on a scenic 15-minute walk through intricate cliffs, serene tea water, and magnificent gorges, during which they will sail through a gorge that nature has spent over 220 million years in handicrafts. Gorner Gorge’s wooden staircases will lift and lower visitors to different heights and delight them with many pleasant surprises.
For various landscapes, a refreshing walk through the Gorner Gorge is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.
9. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
With the cable car to the Schwarzsee, you can continue to the Kleine Matterhorn (3,883 m.). The highest place in Europe without climbing. The landscape from here is of inhospitable and dramatic beauty.
Snow and ice are the masters of the environment. It is only worth going up if it is a very clear day; if it is not the case, you will have fewer views. The views from the viewpoint are spectacular. It seems that you touch the sky. On one side, the mass of the Breithorn (4,164 m.) And on the other, the Matterhorn (4,478 m.)
Below we can see the Theodul Glacier, where fans of snow sports practice skiing or summer snow. As if that were not enough, you can visit the highest ice palace in the world or have fun in snow tubing, which is free and is the star attraction for young and old.
As we said, Zermatt offers much more than mountains to its guests. The lifts and trains’ schedules are made in Swiss-style, so in the early afternoon, you will likely be back in town, the ideal time to discover other activities.
Iconic and symbolic in all respects of Switzerland, the incredibly stunning Matterhorn is one of the world’s highest and most recognized peaks. The Matterhorn sits proudly on Switzerland and Italy’s border, connecting the two countries with its elegant, almost symmetrical pyramid shape.
Inspiring the Disneyland Matterhorn Bobsleigh Ride, it’s no surprise that even Walt Disney himself fell in love with the Matterhorn – it stands at an altitude of 4478 meters, this mountain is majestic, regal, and one of a kind.
If you do not consider yourself an expert in mountaineering, it is best to look at the Matterhorn from afar through vantage points such as the Klein Matterhorn, Gornergrat, Rothorn, and Sunnegga.
11. Be Vigilant When Walking the Streets of Zermatt
The most peculiar thing about Zermatt is that only electric cars can circulate to avoid pollution. It is a good measure, and the air quality is also very noticeable. When we left Zermatt, as soon as we got off the train, we noticed the air much dirtier due to the smell in Interlaken (and that is not Paris or Tokyo !).
The only downside to electric vehicles is that they don’t make any noise. So if you are walking confused, the minibusses can almost brush you without you knowing it. We get the occasional scare!
12. Climb the Gornergrat and Fall
The Gornergrat was our favorite high mountain viewpoint in all of Switzerland. From there, you can see up to 29 peaks higher than 4,000 meters, including the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, the highest in Switzerland. There are several shops, restaurants, an astronomical observatory, and a hotel with privileged views in addition to the viewpoint. It must be spectacular to go to sleep and wake up with absolute tranquility surrounded by that landscape. There are also several trails in the area to enjoy nature while hiking.
The rack railway departs from in front of Zermatt station. It has been operating since 1896 when it became the first in the world to run entirely on electricity. The trip to Gornergrat, at 3,089 meters, takes about 35 minutes.
13. Make the Toblerone Logo Fit
One tourist thing to do in Zermatt is to buy a Toblerone before going up to Gornergrat. Once up, try to fit the Matterhorn’s tip that appears in the box of the chocolate with the real mountain. You have to have a perfect pulse! By the way, do you know that the Toblerone logo hides a bear? We tell you its meaning and other curiosities of Switzerland.
14. Make the 5 Seenweg Hiking Trail
This hike is a must-do in Zermatt in good weather. It is called the Five Lakes Road because it passes through the Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjiesee, and Leisee lakes. All of them are beautiful and have views of the Matterhorn. It is a 9.3-kilometer walk that takes about two and a half hours. It can be done as a family since it is not technical or complicated at all. Also, there is a children’s playground right next to Sunnegga Station.
The ideal is to start the trail in Blauherd and finish in Sunnegga. In this direction, most of the path is downhill and is less physically demanding. The combined ticket to do the trek costs CHF 39 (€ 34). Includes the trip from Zermatt to Blauherd and from Sunnegga back to Zermatt.
15. Sunnega Paradise
The first underground funicular to be built in the Swiss Alps takes you from Zermatt to the Sunnegga Meadows (2,288m) in just five minutes.
Here you can enjoy one of the most beautiful excursions in all the Alps: the route of the five lakes, among which the Leisee and especially the Stellisee and the Grindjisee with its fir forest should not be missed. All of them with glorious direct views of the Matterhorn.
Next to Lake Leisee is the Wolli Park, a fun alpine playground that will delight the little ones. We cannot forget the charming alpine hamlet of Findeln (2,032 m.) Which offers hikers some of the best restaurants in all of Switzerland and a privileged natural environment.
16. Climb the Rothorn Paradise
Also, from Blauherd, you can take a second cable car up to Unterrothorn Mountain, at 3,104 meters. It is an excellent vantage point of the dozens of four thousand that surround Zermatt, including – of course! – Matterhorn. Many say that it is the best viewpoint of the famous mountain.
We did not have the opportunity to verify it because the cable car was closed due to some earth movements in the area. From there, there is direct access to ski slopes and various trails.
17. Cross the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge
Something unique to do in Zermatt is to cross the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. The Charles Kuonen Bridge spans 494 meters over an 85-meter precipice. Do not try to cross it if you suffer from vertigo, in addition to being very long and high, the walkway is made of bars and you can see what is below. It is only open from May to September as it can be dangerous in snow.
How to get to the Charles Kuonen Bridge
Getting to the bridge is not an easy task. You can do a two-day hike from Zermatt to Grächen. They say it is one of the most beautiful in the Alps. But if you don’t have that much time or are not in good physical shape, you can also get there from Randa. The train ride from Zermatt to Randa takes just 15 minutes. Once at Randa station, there is an 8.7-kilometer circular path that passes over the bridge. It takes about 4 hours to do the walk (round trip).
18. Get to know the Church of San Mauricio
An exciting stop to do in Zermatt is to visit its church. Its tower can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, and it is one of the most privileged churches in the world: the Matterhorn can be seen from the stairs. This religious building is dedicated to Saint Maurice. The church’s current version is from 1980, but records indicate that it exists as far back as 1285 – almost nothing!
19. Remember Some Mountaineers Who Died in Their Cemetery
The Matterhorn is one of the most beautiful mountains we have seen. But it also has its ugly face, and it is one of the most dangerous for mountaineers. Near the church in Zermatt, there is a cemetery dedicated to those who lost their lives trying to scale mountains in the area. Many of the graves are accompanied by flowers and objects related to mountaineering: boots and ice axes. It is a very emotional visit to make in Zermatt to remember all these victims.
20. Gornegrat Train
It is the quintessential excursion in Zermatt and a classic throughout Switzerland. The famous red rack railway that goes up to the top of Gornegrat (3,089 m.) It is an adventure in every rule. From its panoramic terrace at 3,100 m. you will admire 29 four thousand, among which is the Matterhorn, and other mythical peaks such as Monte Rosa, Liskamm, or Weisshorn.
Not only that, but you can also see the second longest glacier in the Alps, the Gorner. It is a mythical place, and we recommend arriving in the afternoon when there are many fewer people and, if the day is right, you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset.
But the intermediate stations before reaching the top are also impressive. We highlight Riffelalp (2,211 m.) From where you can get to the Riffelalp Resort hotel in five minutes and enjoy a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.
Another highlight is the Riffelsee lake, with the pyramidal silhouette of the Matterhorn reflecting in its waters. Essential. This beautiful lake is a ten-minute walk from Rotenboden station (2,815 m.)
21. Enjoy the Schwarzsee
Another highly recommended visit to do in Zermatt is Schwarzsee (black lake). It is a small but gorgeous mountain lake. On its shore, there is a curious chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows. Legend has it that it was built by two hikers who got lost in the fog. They promised that if they were rescued, they would build a chapel, and there it is.
The lake is the starting point of the Matterhorn ascent for the more experienced mountaineers. When they return, it is a tradition that they stop in the chapel as a thank you. In winter, there is direct access to the ski slopes, so there is a hotel right there.
How to Get From Zermatt to Schwarzsee
There are two cable cars to take: Zermatt-Furi and Furi-Schwarzsee. The whole journey takes about 20 minutes. A ticket to and from Zermatt costs CHF 43.50. If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, there is a 50% discount.
22. Cross the Suspension Bridge of Furi
Right over the Gornera river, there is a 100-meter long suspension bridge. And almost 100 meters of a drop below! Crossing it is an essential thing to do in Zermatt for the more adventurous. The bridge is part of a straightforward circular walk of 3 kilometers. It only takes an hour and is ideal to do as a family from the center of Furi. You can get there on foot from Zermatt or by taking the cable car in just 5 minutes.
23. Skiing, One of the Most Popular Activities to Do in Zermatt
On this list of things to do in Zermatt, we couldn’t forget about skiing! It’s actually what most visitors are going to do, both in winter and summer. And it is that the Zermatt ski resort has more than 360 kilometers of slopes. At the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, there are slopes open all year. This is why many professional skiers choose Zermatt as their base of operations.
There are several different ski passes. Some give only access to the slopes, while others also include transport in funiculars and cable cars in the area. Prices and options vary in the summer and winter seasons.
A Charming Hotel in Zermatt
Finally, we would like to recommend one of the best hotels in Zermatt, the Matterhorn Focus, built-in steel and glass, with sublime views of the Matterhorn and rooms that exude design alpine character on all four sides. Ideal for your holidays in Zermatt or to give a romantic getaway to your partner.
What to Do in Zermatt, in the Village
1. Zermatt Cemetery
Whether or not you are a mountain lover, you cannot miss the cemetery next to the church and where dozens of climbers who left their lives trying to climb some of the mythical peaks that surround Zermatt are buried. It is curious to see how many tombstones have motifs related to mountaineering or climbing.
if you want to get away from the bustle of Bahnhof Straße and enjoy the best views of the Matterhorn from Zermatt, you have to go up to this neighborhood. Access is effortless as you just have to go to the Sunnegga funicular station and take a lift that will leave you in front of one of the best restaurants in Zermatt, the Cervo Hotel. From here, and going up the street, you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets over Zermatt and the Matterhorn.
3. Zermatt Old Town
It may seem strange, but Zermatt was once a pastoral village, with harsh living conditions typical of mountain villages. This set of houses and racecards makes up the old Zermatt engulfed by chalets and its shops’ luxury. Walking through its flower-filled houses is like being in an oasis full of peace and tranquility.
4. Bahnhofstrasse in Zermatt
The station street is the main shopping artery in Zermatt. Dotted by dozens of restaurants, hotels, and shops, it offers its charms to tourists. If you want to return from the Alps with a gift, this street will surely fulfill your expectations.
Even if you are not very shopping, the ride is pleasant, and the fact that there are no motor vehicles is still more appreciated. Some of the restaurants on the street are dedicated to gastronomic institutions. Even if the prices are not low, you can always order a delicious raclette and enjoy Zermatt’s urban life.
You probably don’t come to Zermatt with the idea of seeing a museum. The same thing happened to us until we decided to enter this underground museum next to the church and located right in front of the historic Monte Rosa hotel. In it, the Zermatt of the middle of the s is recreated with great success. XIX, at the height of the conquest of the Matterhorn.
Children have a great time entering different rooms, such as the barn, the parish priest’s house, or the Monte Rosa hotel’s reception. Still, the star is a piece of rope with which the Matterhorn was crowned for the first time and which ended in misfortune to break and rush into the void part of the expedition. For the price and time allocated to the activity, it is worth immersing fully in the first mountaineers’ era.
Zermatt and the Sky
One of the main reasons why Zermatt is so important is that it has one of Europe’s best ski slopes. It has 360km of slopes suitable for all levels, in its routes, it connects Switzerland with Italy and with the highest lifts in Europe. Its slopes reach up to 3,820m in winter and 3,899m in summer.
We don’t know much about skiing but if it is one of your dreams, Zermatt is one of the best places for it. Imagine crossing valleys, crossing glaciers, being able to enjoy spectacular long-term descents.
Zermatt and Cervino
For many, the Matterhorn is considered the king of the mountains and is one of the world’s most photographed peaks. Without forgetting that it is one of the symbols of Switzerland. One of the curiosities of this mountain is that its conquest is linked to the history of the evolution of mountaineering and mountain tourism.
For many years, climbing to the top of the Matterhorn was only a dream until July 1865. Because of the tragedy during the descent of the first ascent, where four mountaineers died, there was a great commotion. This story reached the Queen of England, who tried to ban its climbing. It was from here that this imposing mountain quickly became a world reference for mountaineering.
History of Zermatt
But in addition to snow and mountaineering routes, Zermatt offers much more since we recommend you to walk through its old town and its streets. Its history goes back several centuries in time but its moment of splendor began with the arrival of the railway to the town in the mid-nineteenth century. This fact facilitated the arrival of mountaineers, skiers and tourists to Zermatt.
The historic center of the town is the most picturesque and not many people take the time to get lost in its corners. Their houses are made of wood and their mazouts are more than 500 years old. For us, it was quite a surprise since it not only offers a large number of shops to buy and a variety of hotels and restaurants.
And it is that Zermatt nature and its history is very important since it is a member of the “Best of the Alps” association, where the best mountain villages in the Alps are found. Zermatt being a benchmark in caring for the environment, hospitality and mountain gastronomy.
Tips for Visiting Zermatt
- Dedicate it between a full day if you only want to walk through the town and get to know the natural surroundings a little and if you have the opportunity to stay a weekend either in winter or summer.
- It has two important seasons, which you can imagine, summer and winter. Their activities change and in both seasons, there are many things to do.
- Even if you go in summer, wear a sweater because it is cool and a bit cold at night.
- We recommend you to book in advance in hotels or rural houses since prices are usually higher than usual and in high season it gets full of people.
To get to the town of Zermatt you will have to take a train since it is the only way of access. Since in the town it is prohibited to circulate with vehicles that use fuel. You will have to take the train from the town of Tasch, which is where the ban begins, or from Visp.
We hope you enjoy your experience and it becomes an unforgettable memory. Good trip!!!
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