Best Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

Things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland

Heading to Zermatt and wondering about the best things to do in Zermatt (in 2 days)? Then this post is for you as it will help you plan your Zermatt trip.

Are you looking for a perfect cute town to visit in Switzerland? I have an idea: Why not visit Zermatt? There are many reasons that second my suggestion – if I may so myself. Zermatt is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Switzerland and while it is a perfect place to visit in winter in Switzerland, it is also one of the best places to visit in summer, fall or spring.

Actually, Zermatt is 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 do enjoy time outdoors and being active.

But before talking about the top things in Zermatt (in summer, spring or fall) I will provide you with some travel information, so if you are not interested in reading that scroll down.

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Here are the Best Places to Visit in Zermatt

Ready to find out about the best places to see in Zermatt and best things to do in Zermatt in summer? Here are my top recommendations for things to do in Zermatt:

Zermatt Town

If you use this post as a Zermatt itinerary I suggest starting with the town center. One of the first things I noticed in Zermatt were: many tourists, many flower pots and many ads for luxury watches (and shops) hanging everywhere (the tourists did not hang there, though).

Flower pots, flower pots, and flower pots make Zermatt pretty pretty pretty. If only more places looked like that…

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Strolling through Zermatt is such a lovely and nice way to spend time and one of the fun things to do in Zermatt.

The houses are so charming and the scenery makes everything more beautiful. Zermatt is one of those peaceful and cute places you can stroll through for hours – though it is quite small.

As in all parts of Switzerland, there are water fountains providing fresh drinking water – something my dog and I enjoyed, so bring your bottle and try fresh and yum water.

Zermatt - Town Center is one of the best places to visit in Zermatt @shutterstock
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@shutterstock

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Vispa River

From the old town it is not very far to the lovely Vispa River.

Best cities to visit in Switzerland
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I really liked the Vispa River with its quite strong current and its 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 down on a bench and enjoy these impressive Matterhorn views.

With two days in Zermatt, you probably won’t have enough time to stroll for a full day because a few more top Zermatt attractions are waiting for you.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

As beautiful as Zermatt is – the Matterhorn Mountain is dominating the landscape. The Matterhorn Mountain is probably the most famous mountain in Switzerland and one of the main tourist attractions in Zermatt – and Switzerland.

Quite embarrassing to admit (as a chocolate and Switzerland addict), but I had just realized that the mountain on the Toblerone chocolate is the Matterhorn when I was there.

Matterhorn Cable Car @shutterstock
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Matterhorn Cable Car @shutterstock

I planned to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (Klein Matterhorn) while I was in Zermatt and I think, it is a must-do activity in Zermatt.  While Zermatt is about 1,600 above sea level, Klein Matterhorn is almost about 4,000 meters high and has the highest cable car station in Europe.

I had a ski pass, an international one for a day, which is about 80 Euros and so I planned actually to do a couple of things up on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. First of all, I went on a summit lift to the highest viewing platforms in the Alps which is almost at 3,900 meters above sea level. A 360 panorama view allows you to take in all the 38 peaks towering over 4,000 meters. If you are lucky and the view is very clear you can even see the Mont Blanc (I was not so lucky).

Check out Ticket Prices for the Klein Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Entrance (these are best prices, but if you have Swiss Travel Pass you can save money on the tickets).

Things to Know Before Visiting Klein Matterhorn

I was warned before that the altitude might cause some problems but I did not take it seriously and so I went straight up in one of the cable cars and on the summit lifts. I had to change a couple of times and it took about 30 minutes which might sound like long but it is actually very fast.

There is a little cinema lounge which shows videos about the Matterhorn and the Alps – quite interesting for someone who does not know much about it.

When I arrived at the restaurant and peak shop I actually didn’t feel good at all so I ate a little bit and but I felt still dizzy. I was told the last entry will be 4:15 pm so at 4:00 pm I rushed to the Glacier Palace which is close to the restaurant. It is a kind of museum, inside of a glacier, with ice crystals and ice sculptures.

Glacier Palace Matterhorn @shutterstock
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Glacier Palace Matterhorn @shutterstock

It was a pity it was closed, especially because it is included in the ski pass already (I still added a picture from there for you). There is also like a snow sports area (open all year).

I have never done skiing but if you are just skiing that is probably the best area to ski. If you have a ticket is the snow tubing is free of charge. I would have loved to do that, for some reason I missed out on that. However, even if I had known about it I couldn’t have done it because I was there with my little puppy and I didn’t know where to “park“ him.

Though, I didn’t feel 100% well it was definitely worth it to see it and check Matterhorn Glacier Paradise out. Even if you are used to beautiful mountain views I am sure this trip will amaze you.

I would love to do the trip all over again, stopping several times at the stations (to prevent getting sick again) on my way up and enjoying the views more. I would also love to visit the Glacier Palace as well as doing some snow tubing.

As a tip for those who are not used to be in such heights, I would recommend getting out of at one of those stops so you are not up that fast and to drink a lot. Take breaks. Then it should be even more fun.

Zermatt in summer - What to Do in Zermatt in 2 Days
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I think, for the first day in Zermatt this is probably a great start but of course there are many more fun activities in Zermatt.

More Things to Do in Zermatt

There are more places to visit in Zermatt – and if you are looking for an alternative to Klein Matterhorn you can check out Gornergrat.

Gornergrat

Gornergrat is another beautiful mountain (and almost 1000 meters lower than Klein Matterhorn) with not less stunning views. The “openining 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 Swiss Travel Pass you can save money on both tickets.

Places to visit in Zermatt - points of interest in Zermatt Gornergrat
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Getting up Gornergrat Mountain in Zermatt @shutterstuck

Gorner Gorge

Another Zermatt point of interest is the Gorner Gorge.

If you have some free time you could visit the Gorge. As I was feeling a bit sick, I was not able to see it but I think, this is another tourist sight in Zermatt you should visit.

Gorner Gorge a must see place in summer in Zermatt
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220 million years old is the rock, greenish serpentinite – impressive, or?

It is closed during winter times which makes it the perfect Zermatt summer activity and entry is only about 5€.

The above mentioned activities can be done in 2 days in Zermatt – however, of course there is much more to do. Especially in the summer months, you can spend weeks outdoors exploring the area without getting bored.

More Things to Do in Zermatt in Summer

Shred the Slopes with Summer Skiing

Okay, you may think of winter in Zermatt as the only time you can ski. But opportunities for skiing in the Alps are year-round.

Zermatt is one best ski resorts in Switzerland
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@shutterstock

Zermatt has the largest ski area you can find in the world – it’s also the highest-altitude, so fresh snowfall is common, even in the summer months. Go skiing in the early morning, when conditions are at their best. You can then spend the rest of the day indulging in some summer sun, and enjoying a few of the other summer activities on this list.

Summer skiing here is closed at noon, so that the snow stays fresh during the hottest part of the day. It’ll be ready for you again in the morning.

Go Hiking Along the Mountain Trails

Hiking is certainly one of the best things to do on a summer vacation in Zermatt. The town is surrounded by incredible mountains, including the iconic Matterhorn. There are over 400km of hiking trails to explore, so you can spend days or even weeks doing just that. 

You can easily embark on a hiking trip on your own, or hire a guide for a more informative and directional hiking tour. There’s hiking for all ages and fitness levels, and you’ll always have majestic views and lush surroundings. 

Exploring the hiking trails is one of the loveliest ways to experience an area. You’ll go slow, and see all the little things. You may even spot some of the local wildlife.

Head Out on a Mountain Biking Adventure

If you prefer mountain biking, no worries. Zermatt offers plenty of that too, with over 220km of signposted trails specifically geared towards cyclists.

Whether you’re an advanced cyclist looking for challenging technical trails, or just interested in exploring the mountainous area at a comfortable pace. Zermatt has something for everyone, with 38 mountain peaks, and a diverse collection of tracks and trails. 

Rent a bicycle and head out on a ride. The cable cars mean that even short rides can start high in the mountains, surrounded by exquisite views. You can also explore further on a multi-day trip, going deep into the mountains.  

Try Rock Climbing in the Alpen Mountains

As mentioned, I am not to sorriest person out there and climbing sounds like a lot of effort 🙂 However, Zermatt really is the perfect place for adventure sports, come snow or shine. One of the best things to do during the summer months is rock climbing. It’s something you can’t really do in winter, and Zermatt is one of the most beautiful places in the world to climb.

If you know what you’re doing, you can spend days on multi-pitch climbs with phenomenal views and nearly untouched locations. There’s also sport climbing available for the uninitiated to the highly skilled. It all depends on the kind of challenge you’re looking for.

Keep in mind, you do need to be relatively fit. And you shouldn’t try if you have a serious fear of heights. Because you certainly will be high up.

Spending more than 2 days in Zermatt and have some time to spare? You can also get some practice in at the indoor climbing wall before setting off for the mountains.

Barbeque at a Park

Zermatt has some truly lovely parks, which come to life in summer. The Attermenzen campsite and Schweigmatten are both fantastic places to set up a wood fire. They’re also some of the more interesting places to stay in Zermatt.

Surrounded by Zermatt’s iconic wilderness, with the river running alongside, barbequing at the Attermenzen campsite is a wonderful way to spend a summer’s day. You can get all your favorite foods on the fire and relax with a good book – or with family and friends. With all the adventure and activity of your summer vacation in Zermatt, a little chill time is always welcome.

Of course, a picnic in the park is also a great option, particularly if you have less time to spare. You’ll find tables and benches at the parks, as well as wood for burning if you want it.

Go Flying Through the Trees at Forest Fun Park

Another fun attraction in Zermatt’s summer months is the Forest Fun Park. It’s perfect for families with kids, but solo travelers will also find it a great deal of fun.  

There are five different rope courses for beginners to experienced visitors. All of them take you through the trees, testing your balance and whizzing you along zip lines. It’s a very unusual experience and one that really gets the blood pumping. 

Expect to spend about three hours in the treetops. You can really challenge yourself with one of the harder courses, or take it easy with the green course. 

Relax and Waterski at Schalisee Lake

The Schalisee is an idyllic lake lying in Nikolai Valley, surrounded by mountain peaks. Its blue waters are the perfect place to swim for the brave. Even in summer, swimming in Alpine lakes will leave you with a chill till you thaw in the sun. 

Have a picnic along the lake’s edge, and catch a tan. You can leave it at this, enjoying some laid-back summer fun. But if you want to keep the action going and your adrenaline pumping, water skiing is a fantastic option. 

In summer, a waterski lift is set up at the Schalisee, so you can go flying across the water, pulled along without the use of boats. It’s dismantled in autumn, to keep the lake pristine when it’s not needed.

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, and not something to go for if you’re traveling on a budget. But if you do have the spare cash to splurge on your Zermatt summer vacation, 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 (and how much cash you have left over).

Important Travel Information for Zermatt

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 in Taesch, which charges about 13€ for 24 hours of parking.

From there you have to take a train to bring you up to Zermatt. With a Swiss Travel Pass you do not need an extra ticket and get up for free. Without a Swiss Travel Pass you pay around 15€ for a return ticket.

You could also hike up or cycle – distance is about 7km and it is not flat but probably great if you want to start with some hike.

Where to Stay in Zermatt / Best Zermatt Hotels

Zermatt is known for being an extremely luxurious destination (even for Switzerland standards), and there are no real budget hotels (if you like to find out about my best tips on saving money in Switzerland click here).

Luxury hotels in Zermatt

Here are the best-rated luxury hotels in Zermatt: Grand Hotel Zermatterhof & Hotel Mont Cervin Palace

Mid-range hotels in Zermatt  

Here are some ideas for mid-range hotels that were well-rated in Zermatt: Hotel Testa Grigia & Sunstar Style Hotel

I stayed at the latter one. 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 Matterhorn – if you get the chance, I definitely recommend booking a hotel room with a view of Matterhorn as it is with some extra $.

Click here to find my accommodation guide for Zermatt.

How to Get Around in Zermatt

Since Zermatt is a car-free town there are not many choices for the mean of transportation. However, in Zermatt, all buses or taxis are electric – and as Zermatt is geographically not so big, you can easily walk to many places or use the bike.

Security Tips for Solo Female Travelers

Tips for (solo) female travelers: Zermatt gelt so extremely safe, that I cannot recommend it enough to travel alone. The altitude caused more problems than being a solo traveler.

What to Pack for Zermatt

If you visit Zermatt check out my packing guide where you will find out what to pack for your trip

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST ACTIVITIES 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, I do believe that are the best things to do in Zermatt. If you have only 2 days in Zermatt, you apparently cannot do all, but still you can fit in a lot.

I hope you have gotten some travel inspiration for Zermatt and added some of these attractions to your Zermatt itinerary – after all these are the top places to visit in Zermatt.

Here are more travel tips for Switzerland:

Find out more about the best places to stay in Switzerland.

Find out about the 25 best things to do in Switzerland.

 

Safe Travels, Arzo
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