2 DAYS IN ZERMATT ITINERARY
Are you headed to Zermatt and wondering how to spend 2 days in Zermatt? Then this post is for you as it will help you plan your Zermatt itinerary.
Zermatt is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, and while it is a perfect place to visit in winter in Switzerland, it is actually a great idea at any time of the year. I have been to Zermatt a few times so far. However, I am neither a skiing person nor overly sporty, yet I enjoy time outdoors and being active – and as such a person I totally adore Zermatt.
This small mountain village at 1,6000 meters (5,250 feet) above sea level offers a fascinating range of activities – but even if you just like to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Zermatt is the perfect destination for you.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR ZERMATT ITINERARY
Here are some important travel tips for your Zermatt itinerary.
How to Get to Zermatt
- If you plan a Switzerland road trip, you should know that Zermatt is a car-free town.
- So you have to leave your car in Taesch, a little village close to Zermatt. There is a big covered big car park, which charges about 13€ for 24 hours of parking.
- From there you have to take a train that brings you up to Zermatt. With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can get up for free. Without a Swiss Travel Pass, you pay around 15€ for a return ticket.
- You could also hike up or cycle – the distance is about 7 km, and it is not flat but probably great if you want to start with some hiking.
Swiss Travel Pass
If you use public transportation in Switzerland, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass.
- It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
- You can also do boat cruises without additional costs. There are no lakes in Zermatt to cruise but if you create a Switzerland itinerary, and visit more places, then you might enjoy those boat cruises.
- It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price). You can use it for all the mountain rides mentioned here in Zermatt.
- Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.
The prices are quite high. But I have bought them myself, and it pays off if you get around via public transportation and are active. If you just plan to visit other places and stay in Switzerland for more than 3-4 days it most likely will make sense financially.
So, check out prices for train rides and mountain excursions and then calculate if it is a good option for you. For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/ mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland).
How to Get Around Zermatt
Since Zermatt is a car-free town, there are not many choices for means of transportation. However, there are cars in Zermatt – but they are electric. Actually, it is full of taxis, shuttle buses, and regular buses. So, do not be surprised to see it full of little cars.
- Regular buses – there are several stops through the town. Just hop on any bus at one of the few stations. I had a Swiss Travel Pass, so I could use them for free (I only used them once after the hike). Apparently, you can use them for free if you have other cards as well, but please double-check before.
- There are also taxis – they are also electric and quite small.
- As Zermatt is geographically not so big, you can easily walk to many places or use a bike. If you are not an experienced hiker, check out my guide with hiking tips in Switzerland.
Where to Stay in Zermatt
Zermatt is known for being an extremely luxurious destination (even by Switzerland standards). There are no real budget hotels (if you like to find out about my best tips on saving money in Switzerland, click here).
- Luxury: This luxury hotel in Zermatt knows how to spoil its guests, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof.
- Mid-range: I stayed at Sunstar Style Hotel. The prices were very reasonable (summer prices are normally better than the prices in winter) and the location was great. I even had a great room view of the Matterhorn. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend booking a hotel room with a view of the Matterhorn even though it might be more expensive.
- Click here to find my accommodation guide for Zermatt.
Safety Tips for Solo Female Travelers
- Tips for (solo) female travelers: Zermatt felt so extremely safe.
- Exercise common sense and keep your belongings to yourself.
- Do not drink too much – even though Switzerland is a safe country, it is always safer to not drink (much) when you travel solo.
What to Pack for Zermatt
If you visit Zermatt, check out my packing guide, where you will find out what to pack for your Switzerland trip. And if you visit in the winter, the winter packing guide might be super helpful for you.
MATTERHORN FUN FACTS
- Matterhorn is the German name – in Italian it is Cervino and in French, it is known as the Mont Cervin.
- Annually, 3000 people climb the Matterhorn successfully.
- In 1892 the Swiss Federal Assembly approved a proposal for cable car access – but after more than 68,000 people signed a petition against a cable car, the construction was prevented.
- Want to hike the Matterhorn yourself? Then you should be experienced in rock climbing and alpine hikes – let´s put it like that: most of us are probably not going to climb/hike the Matterhorn! But there are some fantastic hikes that offer great views of the Matterhorn.
- Check out my dedicated post on Matterhorn.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ZERMATT IN 2 DAYS
Ready to find out about the best things to do in Zermatt in two days and the top places to visit? Here are my top recommendations.
DAY 1 IN ZERMATT
After dropping off your luggage at the hotel, head out and explore the beautiful village center.
Stroll Zermatt Town
I suggest starting with the town center which starts just left from the train station.One of the first things I noticed in Zermatt: many tourists, many flower pots, and many ads and shops for luxury watches. Flower pots, flower pots, and flower pots make Zermatt pretty pretty pretty. Strolling the town center is one of the top things to do in Zermatt. The houses are so charming and the scenery makes everything more beautiful.
TIP: As in all parts of Switzerland, water fountains provide fresh drinking water. So bring your bottle and refill it with fresh water.
Walk Along the Matter Vispa River
From the old town, it is not very far from the lovely Matter Vispa River. The Vispa is a river in the canton of Valais with a length of 84 kilometers (52 miles).I really liked the Vispa River with its quite strong current and unusual gray/white color (glacier water). You cannot miss it, and though this is not one of the typical Zermatt tourist attractions, I still enjoyed my walk along the river. There are many cafes and restaurants along the river where you can sit down and relax – or you bring your own snacks and sit on a bench and enjoy these impressive Matterhorn views.
Head to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise – Klein Matterhorn
Let´s visit a mountain peak (of course, with great views of the Matterhorn). Since visiting Matterhorn itself is almost impossible for most of us here is a great alternative: Klein Matterhorn also known as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.
Zermatt is about 1,600 meters above sea level, and Klein Matterhorn is almost about 4,000 meters high – and it has the highest cable car station in Europe.
You could start by visiting the highest viewing platforms in the Alps. The panorama view allows you to take in all 38 mountain peaks towering over 4,000 meters. If you are lucky and the view is very clear, you can even see Mont Blanc (I was not so lucky).
- Check out Ticket Prices for the Klein Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Entrance (these are the best prices, but if you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can save money on the tickets).
At the top is a restaurant and shop as well as a little cinema lounge which shows videos about the Matterhorn and the Alps. The Glacier Palace, which is close to the restaurant, is another main attraction. It is a kind of museum, inside of a glacier, with ice crystals and ice sculptures.
There is also a snow sports area (open all year). If you have a ticket, the snow tubing is free of charge.
You have to change cable cars/gondolas a couple of times, and it takes about 30 minutes to the top. It might sound long, but it is actually very fast to get up so high. I recommend getting out at one of those stops and taking a break for half an hour or so, so you are not up that fast – and drink a lot of plain water. Then it should be even more fun because you are less likely to feel sick. Though I didn’t feel 100% well, it was definitely worth getting up the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Even if you are used to beautiful mountain views, I am sure this trip will amaze you.
- TIP: Check out the opening hours, because certain activities/places close quite early, e.g. Glacier Palace.
HOW TO GET TO KLEIN MATTERHORN:
- There are no hiking trails, so you can only get there via cable cars.
- The cable car station in Zermatt is easy to find – head towards Furi cable car station and start your first part of the trip there. Then you have to change cable cars a few times but it is quite straightforward.
- It takes about 30-40 minutes to get to the top (without stops).
Back in Zermatt town, you can have dinner at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants and end your day with more views of the mighty Matterhorn Mountain.
DAY 2 IN ZERMATT
After an exciting and busy day 1 in Zermatt, it is time to explore more of Zermatt. This day can include some hiking but does not have to. Regardless what you opt for, you´ll get up Gornergrat today.
Get up Gornergrat
Gornergrat is another beautiful mountain standing at about 3135 meters above sea level (almost 900 meters lower than Klein Matterhorn) with no less stunning views. The “opening hours” are longer than on Klein Matterhorn, so if you start your day later or very early, this might be an alternative.
- Tip: If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can save money on the ticket (50%).
I got up the Gornergrat by the cogwheel (it just takes 30 minutes) and then hiked down all the way to Zermatt. Up Gornergrat the views of the surrounding mountains and a glacier were breathtaking. Luckily, the sky was clear (unlike when I visited Klein Matterhorn) which allowed me to enjoy this day trip even more. You can see the highest mountain in Switzerland – Mount Rosa (also known as the Dufourspitze) which stands at 4634 meters above sea level.
TIP: No worries, I could not name all the mountains myself. There are telescopes (free to use) that also give you all the names of the mountains you can see.
In June 2021, a new attraction opened at Gornergrat – Zooom the Matterhorn. It is an interactive museum with virtual activities like paragliding. Virtual paragliding in Zermatt was really, really great. It is just a short experience (3 minutes) but good enough for me.
- Ticket prices for adults are around 12 CHF.
- Random info: If you want to visit Zooom the Matterhorn with a dog, you will need to put him/her in a bag.
Hiking at Gornergrat
Even if you are not into hiking, I highly recommend the short hiking loop at the top of Gornergrat. It takes about 20-30 minutes and you have superb views already.
Hiking Down Gornergrat
Additionally, you can also hike down. It takes several hours and it is a quite steep hike – but it is worth it. I hiked down from Gornergrat – all the way to Zermatt. It was a steep downhill hike and not knee-friendly. I still recommend it, if you are a fit person. It took me about 5-6 hours, but apparently, it will only take 3-4 hours for some more sporty people.
Along this hike, you will pass Lake Riffelsee. It is a small, yet beautiful lake that – on clear days without wind – has the reflection of the Matterhorn.Hiking in and around Gornergrat is a good way to see more of the stunning nature in Zermatt.
Visit Gorner Gorge
Another place to visit in Zermatt is Gorner Gorge. The rock – greenish serpentinite – is an astonishing 220 million years old. You do not actually have to visit the gorge and pay the entrance fee – you will see quite a bit already by just hiking down from Gornergrat. And it looks stunning!
If you hike down from Gornergrat, then you can add it to your itinerary, as it is “on your way” to Zermatt town. Some parts are open 24/7 and then you can also go inside the gorge.
- Gorner Gorge is closed during winter times, making it the perfect Zermatt summer activity.
- Entry is only about CHF 5 (bring cash).
You can do the above-mentioned activities in 2 days in Zermatt. However, of course, there is much more to do in Zermatt. If you stay longer than 2 days in Zermatt, especially in the summer months, you can spend weeks outdoors exploring the area without getting bored.
If you hiked down, instead of using the cogwheel train, you are probably tired and just want to rest for the end of the day. If you still have time, why not see the Matterhorn from a different perspective?
See the Matterhorn From a Sightseeing Flight
The Matterhorn is one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world, covered in snow and surrounded but the majestic Alps. If ever you’re going to explore somewhere by flight, this is it. At least, it is on my own Zermatt Bucket List.
A helicopter flight is definitely pricey – but if you do have the spare cash to splurge on your Zermatt trip, you’ll certainly land with no regrets. You can see it all in just a 20-minute flight, but they range from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on just how much you want to see.
Learn About Zermatt at Matterhorn Museum
Oh, did I mention that Matterhorn Mountain is the main sight in Zermatt? Well, if you still do not believe me, then visit the Matterhorn Museum in the town center. The main topic of the cultural-natural museum is the Matterhorn.
The museum is in the form of a reconstituted mountain village consisting of 14 houses (church, hotel, huts, and granaries). You will find info on the development of Zermatt and the tourism sector, including information on the triumph and tragedy surrounding the first ascent of the Matterhorn.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN ZERMATT
Zermatt is a must-see place that should be on any Switzerland itinerary. I loved every second of my trip, and even though I haven’t managed to do all the above-mentioned activities myself (especially the helicopter ride is a big dream of mine), I believe these are the best things to do in Zermatt.
If you have only 2 days in Zermatt, you clearly cannot do all, but still, you can fit in a lot. I hope you have gotten some travel inspiration and added some of these attractions to your Zermatt itinerary.
Here are more travel tips for Switzerland:
- Find out more about the best places to stay in Switzerland.
- Check out the 25 best things to do in Switzerland.