Some rave about its beauty and insist that everyone go visit the place. While others are of the opinion that it is more of a rich peoples’ ghetto. Well, whatever. I recently had the opportunity to visit and report here about the things to do in Zermatt. And you should adopt this travel tip and do likewise!
At least you shouldn’t miss out on the Dont Worry Just Travel Newsletter, so register for it here on the right.
A great thing about Zermatt is the fact that it is car free. Thus, in many places, visitors actually get the chance to just listen to the sound of the surrounding nature and the forest.
For your travel planning
The best way to get there is via train. The SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) timetable offers all the information you need. If you are motorized, drive up to Täsch, park your vehicle and take the train to Zermatt.
Zermatt is perfect for a day trip. But its homely feeling surely makes you want to stay for a few days. Upon your arrival, you’ll find a street lined with shops – you may have seen similar ones in other alpine places in Switzerland. The style of the houses, however, is significantly more homely and rustic than for example in St. Moritz or Davos.
Soon one gets to see, for the first time, the reason why so many tourists come here:the Matterhorn. Every now and then, one can catch a glimpse of it framed between the rooftops. And to get the best, the world-famous view of the Matterhorn you have to come to Zermatt.
But how do you get near one of the most famous mountains in the Alps, one that sits partially on Swiss and on Italy territory? Simple. Get up the Klein Matterhorn (little Matterhorn), or as it is now officially called by the tourism board, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.
The ticket there and back, assuming you don’t have the discounted Halbtaxabo, costs an impressive 100 CHF (approx. 110 USD), even a little more if you also purchase a ticket for the Glacier Paradise. Yet, even if the price is a little steep, it is worth it. The prices can be found on their webpage.
The ascent, with two changeovers, takes about 40 minutes. Once you get to the top, you will notice that the air at 3883 meters above sea level is quite a bit thinner than normal and that breathing is a little more laboured. Via an elevator or steps you’ll reach the viewing platform, which offers a perfect view of the Matterhorn as well as a panoramic view of the mountains in the Swiss, Italian and the French Alps.
This viewing platform is, by the way, the highest in Europe, an approximate 400 meters higher than that at the tourist magnet Jungfraujoch. It was a very special feeling for me to be standing up here and to experience this just once up close and in person.
When you have had enough of the view, make sure you visit the caves that have been struck into the glacier to enchant the visitors, and touch the walls, to feel the ice.
The mountain station of the Klein Matterhorn is also the starting point of a skiing area that can be skied upon all year round.
Another way of getting a look at the Matterhorn up close is the Gornergratbahn. This is also quite an impressive option, as the funicular carries its passengers up to a height of 3135 meters, from where one can also observe the snow-covered mountaintops of the Alps. The ride there and back is, at 82 CHF (approx. 90 USD), a little cheaper. The exact prices can be found here.
Back down in Zermatt you may perhaps feel the pangs of hunger. One can get good meals here, but it’s not exactly inexpensive. For a proper meal in a restaurant, including drinks, you should budget a minimum of 40 USD, half that for takeaway.
And afterwards, how about something less touristy?
The newsletter of Dont worry Just travel: Once a month everything that is new in an overview plus additional tips free of charge and non-binding.