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8

(mostly) Free

Things to Do in

Zermatt

Zermatt

Zermatt

Great

COVID-19

Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking

A perfect, yet pricey, European ski town.  Zermatt sits in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn (14,691’) and offers a summer hiking paradise.  The facade of the town is rustic, but the shops are upscale.  Despite its ritzy nature, hikers are hikers, and they were everywhere.  The Matterhorn sits alone, but the Alps otherwise dominate the landscape with the Monte Rosa Massif, the tallest range in the Swiss Alps, serving as an imposing wall of rock, snow, and ice.  In all, we spent just two days in Zermatt and logged 20+ miles of hiking while soaking in the astounding, staggering views.  As a side note:  Zermatt is touted as a pedestrian friendly car free town, but it is overrun with small electric taxis!

Free

Walking around town is free, unless you buy something. After that, everything costs money, primarily transportation (trains). Once you have paid for transportation, these were our favorite things to do.

  • The Five Lakes Hike. A MUST DO. This is a beautiful, easy, 9.3K hike past, you guessed it, five lakes with constant views of the Matterhorn. To get to there you need to take the funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga, and then switch to a gondola that goes to Blauherd. From there, follow the signs (and the crowds) to the hike. We were on the first gondola up for the day beat some of the crowds.

  • Visit the Sunegga Viewpoint. It is the end point of the Five Lakes Walk. More beautiful views of the Matterhorn and a really fun playground area for the kids.

  • Gornergrat. This is the viewpoint for the Monte Rose Massif and surrounding glaciers.  Hiking trails abound from this location. We hiked down to Zermatt from here to save on the cost of the train ride. It was fine, but we wouldn't recommend it. At first we felt lucky to have views many people didn't see, but by the end we were over the downhill trek.

  • Walk through the village of Zermatt to find interesting restaurants, shops, viewpoints of the Matterhorn, and playgrounds.

  • Visit the Hiker's Cemetary. Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks in the world and many who have died are buried in this cemetary in the churchyard. You can take your time to read the gravestones, which have details about the climbers, like their age and where they died. We noted that some of the stones are adorned with their mountaineering gear.

Worth the Money

  • Visit the Matterhorn Museum to learn more history about the mountain, the hiker's and the famous accident in 1865 that killed four hikers.

  • Buy a toblerone candybar and eat it in the company of the majestic mountain peak. Trust us, you won't be the only one.

  • Go paragliding. We did our paragliding in Wengen but had signed up to go in Zermatt and had our trip cancelled due to high wind. None of the paragliders we saw while visiting looked unhappy with their experience. Definitely try this activity.