View of old village with Matterhorn peak background in Zermatt

Things to do in  Zermatt

High-altitude thrills

High in the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais, Zermatt is known as the village of the Matterhorn, aka the Toblerone mountain. But this chocolate box town is more than just a pretty face. A mecca for mountaineers for more than a century, Zermatt is famed for its year-round glacier skiing with a vast ski area that links to Cervinia in Italy. Less-active folks have things to do in Zermatt, too, with an easy-on-the-eye old town, a wealth of gourmet restaurants, and a fun (if swanky) après-ski scene.

Top 8 attractions in Zermatt

Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn)

Dating back to 1898, Switzerland’s Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn) continues today as Europe’s highest open-air railway. Its train whisks sightseers and skiers from the resort town of Zermatt to the mountain’s 10,135-foot (3,089-meter) station, while providing views of Alpine hamlets, colossal glaciers, and the iconic Matterhorn.More


Nicknamed the “Mountain of Mountains,” the Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in Europe, reaching a mighty 14,692 feet (4,478 meters). Known for its jagged triangular shape, it’s one of Switzerland’s most famous peaks—not only for its views, but also for its appearance in the logo for Toblerone, the iconic Swiss chocolate brand.More

Grimsel Pass

The Grimsel Pass route through the Swiss Alps reaches some 6,500 feet (1981 meters above sea level—linking the canton of Bern with the canton of Valais. Wild and often treacherous, the path was once used by traders and mules to transport Swiss cheese, and holds a sacred place in Switzerland’s history.More
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Europe’s highest aerial cableway leads to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, beneath the north face of the mighty triangular peak made famous by the Toblerone logo. At an altitude of 12,740 feet (3,883 meters), the glacial wonderland offers incredible views over the Alps and thrilling activities year-round.More
Furka Pass

Furka Pass

This dramatic mountain pass high in the Swiss Alps is widely considered one of Europe’s most exciting roads. Reaching an elevation of almost 8000 feet (2500 meters, the route is known for its dramatic bends and striking vistas, as well as its role in 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.More
Zermatt Mountain Railways (Zermatt Bergbahen)

Zermatt Mountain Railways (Zermatt Bergbahen)

With a network of cable cars and cogwheel railways traversing the snow-clad slopes of the mighty Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt Mountain Railways (Zermatt Bergbahnen) provides the link between the car-free mountain resort of Zermatt and the iconic peak.More


This sunny peak on Mount Rothorn is one of the most popular in the Zermatt-Matterhorn resort, a haven for family-friendly skiing in the winter and scenic hiking up to Blauherd and Rothorn in the summer. Take the funicular from Zermatt to explore the gentle pistes, relax on the Leisee Alpine lake, or hit the trails on foot or wheels.More
Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Paradise

Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Paradise

At an altitude of almost 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), the Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Paradise ski slopes are among the highest in Europe. Unlike many ski resorts in the Alps, this one is accessible year-round. In the warmer months, skiers head high up to Theodul Glacier to enjoy miles of ski runs with spectacular mountain backdrops.More
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All about Zermatt

When to visit

Zermatt offers year-round skiing thanks to its high-altitude glacier, but the official winter season kicks off in early Dec. and continues to the tail end of Apr. Early season skiers are rewarded with the best snow falls, while March and April are ideal for piste-side sun seekers. Spring highlights include the annual Zermatt Unplugged acoustic musical festival, and travelers can add hiking, mountain biking, and climbing to their summer plans.

Getting around

The alpine town is car-free, meaning that the only way to get there is by train. Travelers can leave their cars at Täsch, and use the Matterhorn Gotthard railway to reach Zermatt in less than 15 minutes. Most hotels and chalets offer pickup services by electric carts or even horse-drawn carriage, and the old town is accessible on foot. It’s also worth knowing that the ski lift tickets include journeys on Zermatt’s public electric buses year-round.

Traveler tips

Zermatt’s food is as serious as its skiing. If you have Swiss francs to splurge, lunchtime plates of rosti and raclette are especially good amid the Matterhorn views. If you want to save your money, ski down Klein Matterhorn on one of the world’s longest runs, and you’ll find Italian restaurants offering more bang for your buck. Fresh pasta and polenta dishes beckon, ready to be chased down with a bombardino, the Italian take on an eggnog shot.


People Also Ask

How many days do you need in Zermatt?

It depends what you want to do. If you want to enjoy the huge ski area, give yourself a week. Likewise, a week is ideal for summertime hiking and outdoor activities. If you just want to come and see the Matterhorn and have lunch, all you need is a day.

Is Zermatt in Switzerland worth visiting?

Yes, Zermatt is worth visiting to experience a Swiss mountain town that checks off all the boxes. It boasts a storybook old town—all winding narrow streets and larch-timber chalets. It’s totally car free. And it’s framed by the Matterhorn, one of the Alps’ most picturesque mountains.

What is Zermatt known for?

Zermatt is best known for Matterhorn mountain with its pyramid-shaped peak, immortalized on packets of Toblerone chocolate. But, it’s not just known for its aesthetics. It’s also known as a bucket list (and expensive) destination for plucky climbers, hikers, and skiers who come for the challenging and fun terrain.

Which is better, Zermatt or St. Moritz?

As Swiss mountain towns, Zermatt and St. Moritz are somewhat similar, both loved by skiers with money to spend. But, the towns appeal to different crowds, and neither is better. Zermatt is more traditional and a haven for outdoor activity. St. Moritz feels more modern with a glamorous, upscale edge.

What is the best month to visit Zermatt?

Zermatt is different in summer vs winter, and both seasons are lovely. To experience summer activities with fewer tourists, come in September when it's still warm. For winter sports fun, December offers a fairytale ambience. In March and April you have more scope for “bluebird” snow days—skiing under sunny skies.

Is Zermatt a party town?

Not exactly. While there’s lots of nightlife in Zermatt, it doesn’t have the raucous party town reputation of Verbier—another upmarket Swiss ski town. The action starts with après-ski fun when the lifts close and continues into the wee hours. There’s no shortage of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs whenever you visit.

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