A complete guide for visiting Zermatt, Switzerland


The Matterhorn from the edge of Zermatt main town

The Matterhorn from the edge of Zermatt main town



Zermatt in Switzerland is famous for the Matterhorn mountain, which is one of the highest summits in Europe and is instantly recognisable by its narrow peak (and from being on the Toblerone packet!). Seeing the Mattherhorn in Zermatt is one of the best things to in Switzerland and a must when visiting this beautiful country.



Contents

How to get to Zermatt?
What is there to see and do in Zermatt?
1. See Switzerland's famous Matterhorn mountain
2. Learn about the history of Zermatt
3. Go shopping on Zermatt's main street
4. Snuggle up and enjoy a hot drink
5. Hit Zermatt's ski slopes
6. Go Mountain biking
7. Go for a hike with views over Zermatt's mountain ranges
What is there to do in Zermatt for families?
When is the best time to visit Zermatt?
What to pack for a visit to Zermatt?
How many days do you need in Zermatt?


Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of my other recommendations for the best things to see and do in Switzerland.



Zermatt is a popular resort for skiing, hiking and mountain biking. Before planning your trip to Zermatt, you'll need to know how to get there and what there is to do in Zermatt so that you can plan how long to stay, so here is my handy guides complete with my top tips and recommendations for planning your visit to Zermatt.



A complete guide for visiting Zermatt, Switzerland - how to get there and the best things to do


How to get to Zermatt?

Zermatt is car free, so the only way to get there is by train or taxi (or helicopter if you're feeling fancy!).


Täsch is the ‘jumping off’ point for everyone visiting Zermatt. From here you will need to either travel by train or taxi the rest of the way to Zermatt. If you have your own car, there are plenty of companies offering park and ride packages, where you park your car with them and they will take you by taxi to the entrance of Zermatt. The most popular method of transport is the Täsch - Zermatt shuttle train. The train only takes 12 minutes and runs frequently everyday, so no need to book. At the Täsch station, there is also a huge, secure car park which costs just 16 CHF per day. You can book ahead if you would like, but we just turned up and collected a ticket on entry.


Once you arrive in Zermatt, there are small electric shuttle taxis to take you to your accommodation if you are staying over, but to be honest, the town is small enough that it’s easy to walk the rest of the way, if you are able to.


The fact that Zermatt is car free means that you will need to plan a little more in terms of how to get there and which option works best for you, but the public transport is so easy and convenient and Zermatt is definitely worth visiting and the little bit extra planning you need to do get there is no hassle.


The Matterhorn reflecting in Stelisee on the 5 lakes walk in Zermatt



What is there to see and do in Zermatt?


1. See Switzerland's famous Matterhorn mountain

The Matterhorn is Zermatt's main attraction, and luckily, you don't have to do a long hike to see the famous mountain peak, which is great if you're only visiting for the day! The Matterhorn can be seen from the town (we were lucky enough to see it from our hotel room!). If you don't manage to get a room with a view, or you're only visiting for the day, head to the church in the centre of Zermattt, where there is a viewing platform with a telescope to get a closer look.


The Matterhorn viewpoint from Zermatt Church

The view of the Matterhorn from the church viewpoint in the centre of Zermatt



2. Learn about the history of Zermatt

You can also find out about the history of the region and learn about mountaineers who have climbed the Matterhorn at the Matterhorn museum, next to the church. Entry to the museum is 10 CHF per person.


3. Go shopping on Zermatt's main street

If you have some spare cash to spend, there are plenty of high end jewellery, watch and clothes shops in the town, as well as hiking and skiing equipment stores.


4. Snuggle up and enjoy a hot drink

A great way to spend the afternoon in Zermatt is to sit outside at a bar, snuggled under the warmth of a heater with a hot chocolate or aperitif. There's some great places in the main town, but I would recommend heading slightly away from the main high street to Bergrestaurant Blatten which is surrounded by meadows and mountain views.


The town of Zermatt, Switzerland



5. Hit Zermatt's ski slopes

Depending on what time of year you visit, Zermatt is a popular ski resort and the winter season is the busiest time of year. Unfortunately I don't ski or snowboard so for advice on the best slopes and runs for you, check out the Zermatt tourism board.


6. Go Mountain biking

During the summer months, Mountain biking is a popular activity in and around Zermatt. Again, for the best routes to suit your level, visit the Zermatt tourism board.


7. Go for a hike with views over Zermatt's mountain ranges

There are so many hiking routes in Zermatt to choose from, and, once again, the Zermatt tourism website is a great place to research the best trail for you. We did two hikes in the two days we were in Zermatt, the 5 Lakes (5-Seeweg) trail and also an edited version of the Kulturweg trail, which is a great short trail, starting from the centre of Zermatt. Check out my post here for more detail on these two hikes.


The Matterhorn reflecting in Grindjsee on the 5 Lakes Walk, Zermatt

The Matterhorn reflecting in Grindjsee on the 5 Lakes Walk, Zermatt


The historic hamlet of Blatten on the Kulturweg walk in Zermatt

The historic hamlet of Blatten on the Kulturweg walk in Zermatt



What is there to do in Zermatt for families?

Child-friendly hikes, mountain biking routes and skiing aside, there's lots to do for families in Zermatt. Just outside of town is the Forest Fun park, which has lots of activities such as a tree top adventure and climbing. There are also several smaller playgrounds around Zermatt.


If you want to venture a little further out of the main town, Leisee lake is another great choice for families. It is just a 10 minute walk from the funicular station at Sunnegga and has a beach, playground, barbeque areas and you can also swim in the lake in warmer, summer months. It offers great views of the Matterhorn too.


The view of the Matterhorn from Sunnegga

The view of the Matterhorn from Sunnegga



When is the best time to visit Zermatt?

Zermatt can be visited all year round, with hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter months. For the best value, visit in the shoulder season. We went to Zermatt in early October, when the hiking season is coming to an end and the ski season is getting started. Going in the shoulder season means that accommodation is slightly cheaper and there are fewer crowds.


Be warned that visiting in the shoulder season can have some downfalls. When we visited in early October, some of the gondola routes were already closed for the season, which meant that certain hikes were not possible, but in all honesty, that didn't cause us any concern as we were quite flexible on what hike we completed. There was also a little bit of construction on some of the hikes and in the town, as preparations for ski season were underway. Some of the restaurants (particularly the mountain chalets) were also closed, but again, this didn't spoil the experience for us, as there was plenty open for us to choose from and still a great atmosphere.



What to pack for a visit to Zermatt?

What you pack will of course vary depending on the season you are visiting and the activity you will be doing, but you will definitely need to pack layers! The weather can vary in degrees very quickly from morning to afternoon and depending on what altitude you are at, so pack thin layers and take them with you.


You will need sun cream, even in the winter. Even when we went in October, the sun was so strong, and despite the weather being just 5 degrees, we found ourselves peeling off the layers once we got hiking, as the sun made us so warm!

Switzerland has some of the freshest water, meaning that not only can you drink the tap water, but it is also delicious! Make sure that you take a reusable water bottle to fill up before your day out, especially if you will be hiking all day.


Make sure that you pack plenty of snacks, especially if you are hiking out of season, as a lot of the mountain restaurants will be closed. There's plenty of shops and bakeries in the town to grab supplies before you go.


If you’re hiking, make sure you have good, sturdy, supportive shoes and, depending on what route you take, hiking poles may be needed.


Moosjisee in Zermatt



How many days do you need in Zermatt?

Again, this does depend on what activity you are wanting to do in Zermatt. If you simply want to see the Matterhorn and experience the town, then you can visit Zermatt on a day trip. Personally, I think that one day is too short. We spent two nights in Zermatt, meaning we had two full days. During that time, we managed to wander round the town, complete two hikes and enjoy the surroundings and atmosphere of the resort. If you enjoy hiking, I would recommend 2-3 nights in Zermatt in order for you to complete a couple of hikes. If you are in Zermatt for skiing, you may want to stay a little longer.




I hope you've found this guide useful when planning your trip to Zermatt. In my opinion, visiting Zermatt and seeing the famous Mattherhorn is a must in Switzerland and is one of the best things to do here!




Make sure to save this post for future reference!







All links on this website are my own recommendations or sites I found useful when planning and are not affiliated. I do not receive any commission from including these links within this blog.


955 views0 comments