Are you looking for your next summer hiking destination? Why not visit Zermatt in the heart of the Swiss Alps?
Whether coming here solo, with friends or as a family, you won’t be bored. Get inspired before your next holidays with our list of 5 exciting things to do in Zermatt.
5 Things To Do In Zermatt
There’s hardly a better-known mountain in the world than Matterhorn and the village that lies at its foot is equally famous. Welcome to Zermatt, the European capital of mountaineering, snow sports, and an all-year-round outdoor leisure center, where everyone will find something for themselves.
Whether you are a cogwheel train fan, an avid hiker and adventure seeker, or looking for a great place to relax surrounded by splendid nature, Zermatt has something special just for you. Thanks to fantastic infrastructure and accessibility, you will be able to enjoy the great outdoors regardless of your age and fitness level.
Here are our top 5 things to do in Zermatt.
1. Take a Stroll Through the City
Zermatt’s quaint streets are a true delight to explore. Take a leisurely walk and immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of this alpine village. Though small, Zermatt has a lot to offer: artisanal shops, cafes, restaurants, and galleries hold treasures ready to be discovered.
Hunt for some typical Swiss souvenirs: watches (wristwatches or beloved by Swiss cuckoo clocks), traditional Swiss shirts with an Edelweiss pattern, or Swiss army knives. Local produce such as cheese, chocolate, and cured meats, or local preserves would also be a fantastic gift to bring home.
But Zermatt is more than shops only. One of the obligatory things to do in Zermatt is visiting the Old Village. Here you’ll discover what Zermatt looked like 300 years ago, before becoming a famous leisure resort.
“Hinterdorf” (“back village”), spuns just off the main street. Lined with traditional wooden houses dating back to the 16th and 18th centuries, Hinderdorf, with its cobblestone streets and rustic barns, allows you to take a step back in time.
Learn more about the Zermatt’s fascinating history at the subterranean Zermatt Museum called Zermatlantis, which provides an opportunity to delve into the history and culture of the region. Finally, pass by the mountaineers’ cemetery, where you can pay your respects to the pioneers of mountain climbing.
2. Travel with Gornergrat Cogwheel Train
Whether you’re a train aficionado or just an ordinary Joe, a ride with the famous Gornergrat cogwheel train is definitely one for the books.
Hop aboard this 125-year-old train for awe-inspiring panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains.
Having gone down in history as the first electric cableway in Switzerland, the Gornergrat Bahn brings its passengers to the peak of Gornergrat mountain on a staggering 3089 meters (10 135 ft). From there, you can admire unparalleled views of Matterhorn and the surrounding peaks, the Gorner glacier, and valleys.
If the weather is good, climb to the top of Gornergrat for an awe-inspiring 360-degree view. If you feel like it, you can even do a short hike around the peak to get a closer look at the local fauna and flora.
Visit the Kulmhotel and an observatory, treat yourself to a hot drink, and if the weather is not favorable, pop by one of the newest attractions at Gornergrat, Zooom Matterhorn. Here, thanks to a pair of VR glasses, and a suspended parachute seat, you will be able to feel as if you were gliding above the Matterhorn.
3. Panoramic Cable Car Rides
One of our favorite things to do in Zermatt is ride with its multiple cable cars, gondolas, and chairlifts. Zermatt is a paradise for everyone who loves the peak view but perhaps doesn’t feel quite like climbing all the way up to the top.
With a dense network of aerial cable cars, most of the famous peaks are reachable within 20 to 30 minutes of an enjoyable ride.
With a Zermatt Peak Pass, you can conquer Rothorn, Gornergrat, and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at a favorable price. It’s a perfect option for travelers who wish to combine sightseeing with hiking, dining, and exploring the high Alps conveniently.
4. Fine Dining Experience
Switzerland is renowned for its culinary delights, awarded with more than one Michelin star. Zermatt is no exception: whether gilded with a shining gourmand order or not, plenty of Zermatt’s restaurants provide a broad range of experiences ready to satisfy every palate.
That’s why our list of best things to do in Zermatt cannot go without dining recommendations.
Chez Vrony, reachable via cable car to Findelbach or after a short walk from Sunnegga, provides a combination of alpine charm and world-class dining. Hotel Walliserhof serves typical Swiss cuisine of the best sort. Restaurant Chami-Hitta is an affordable place with great food and an even better view of Matterhorn.
5. Go On Gentle Hikes
One of the best things to do in Zermatt is, of course, go hiking. It is a one-of-a-kind place offering one of the most spectacular hikes in Europe. A variety of gentle hikes and walking trails makes nature around Zermatt accessible for travelers of all ages. These trails allow you to explore the Swiss Alps at your own pace and are suitable for everyone.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, Zermatt’s trails have something to offer. The famous 5-lakes trail is a must for some, however, we also recommend the Crystal Trail, which showcases the interesting geological structure of this region. Sunnegga, reachable by a funicular, offers great easy hikes, for instance, to Mossjesee.
If you can, definitely do a short hike around Riffelsee and admire the reflection of the Matterhorn’s silhouette reflected in the crystal-clear lake. For more inspiration, have a look at our hiking tours in Switzerland.
Guided Day Trips In Zermatt
Zermatt is a place where nature and culture come together in harmony. Great infrastructure makes it accessible for all, regardless of age and fitness level.
Our list of things to do in Zermatt doesn’t nearly exhaust all the opportunities. This Swiss village has it all, whether you’re passionate about history, want to indulge in delicious Swiss cuisine, or embrace the great outdoors. The list of things to do in Zermatt is truly endless.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the magic of Zermatt. It’s a journey you’ll remember for a lifetime. Plan your visit to Zermatt with ECHO Rails and discover the hidden gems of this fantastic place. Embark on a guided hike in Zermatt with a local English-speaking guide and discover a whole new side of this well-known resort.
Click below to learn more about our guided tours in Zermatt.