Matterhorn view
City breaks, Outdoor, Switzerland

One day in Zermatt – What to do (beside skiing)

Zermatt is a lovely ski-resort in the district of Visp, in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais, in Switzerland, and it is a place that you cannot really miss if you are in this beautiful country. The best way to go to the Zermatt village is by train since the area is a car-free area. Trains depart from Visp every half-hour and the ride, which takes about 1 hour, will bring you through the beautiful landscape of the deepest cleft valley in Switzerland (here you can find more info about train prices). Once arrived at Zermatt station, which is inside the village, I suggest spending half-day exploring the village and the other half-day going up to Gornergrat, to admire the beautiful view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains.

Zermatt village
Zermatt village – View from View Point 1

Zermatt village is the typical Alps village and it is so cute! To see it from the above, you should walk to the point which I indicated as ViewPoint 1 on the map. The walk is a bit uphill, but it is so worth it because the view is so beautiful! You can see all the village with the Matterhorn in the background.

If you don’t want to walk that much, you can see the Matterhorn also from a bridge inside the village (ViewPoint 2 on the map). Well, when I was there I could see just clouds, but Matterhorn should be hidden somewhere there.

Matterhorn – View Point 1

After the village exploration, it’s time to take the “cog railway to the sky” which will bring you directly from Zermatt station (1,620 m) to the summit of the Gornergrat (1469 meters higher). The regular price of the cog rail is 47 CHF per person, but you can get a reduction of 50% if you own a Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Half Fare Card (Here you can find more details about ticket prices). This cog railway is called “cog railway to the sky” because it is Europe’s highest open-air cog railway and it was the world’s first fully electrified cog railway.

Zermatt to Gornergrat
Cog railway raid from Zermatt to Gornergrat

Views during the ride are just stunning. The railway ride will bring you in a dreamy atmosphere, passing through a forest and several tunnels, and it offers unforgettable views of the Matterhorn and wildlife. The train I was in needed to stop several times to allow chamois to pass through the railway.

Deer spotted during the train raid
Deer spotted during the train raid

Once on top, be prepared for a breathtaking scenario of the Matterhorn.

Matterhorn view
Matterhorn view from Gornergrat

The triangular shape of this mountain is so characteristic that it inspired the triangular shape of the Swiss chocolate Toblerone. Did you know that? I didn’t! But when I discovered it I couldn’t help but take a picture holding Toblerone with the Matterhorn at my back. Toblerone is one of my favourite chocolate! I just love the classic honey and almond recipe. Look at me in this pic! I couldn’t be happier 🙂

Matterhorn Toblerone
Matterhorn, Toblerone and happiness

At this point of the day, it’s time to go back to the village to take the train which we’ll bring you back to Visp. You can go down skiing or snowboarding, or if you cannot do either of the two (like me) you can go down using the cog railway again. I enjoyed a lot more the way down because the train was almost empty and I could pick the perfect spot to admire the panorama. Here a short video of the view from the train!


I hope this post convinced you that Zermatt is an amazing place. It is definitely one of my favourite places in Switzerland, and you should definitely include it in your Switzerland tour.

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