If snowboarding on the Toblerone-shaped Swiss alps isn’t on your wish list, there’s one thing — or village, rather — that can convince you to pack your bags and explore Switzerland’s gems. Zermatt, a quaint village sleeping at the foot of Matterhorn, is a sight to behold. From scenic views to a heart-warming bowl of cheese fondue, the must-visit sites in Zermatt hits so close to home, it’s hard to leave the village without wishing you don’t need to go!
Want to know something even better? Zermatt isn’t just a pretty sight. Whether you’re traveling to Zermatt for the 1st or the nth time, this eco-village proves why it is one of the most bucket-worthy Swiss destinations through its parade of outdoor activities. With trails designed for biking, ice skating, and everything outdoorsy, Zermatt keeps you on your toes with its year-round activities.
Things to Do in Zermatt Switzerland
Is cozying up under a warm blanket in top-class Zermatt hotels far from your idea of a perfect holiday destinations? The village keeps your travel tank full with its wide array of outdoor activities. From kid-friendly to adrenaline-pumping sporting activities, there’s surely something in the village for you. To keep you on the right track, below are some of the top things to do in Zermatt:
Five Lakes Walk
Let’s start with family-friendly things to do in Zermatt first. The Five Lakes Walk is a 9.8-kilometer hike suited for beginner hikers. Its trail shows you picturesque vistas of crystal-clear lakes and the Matterhorn. The hike begins in Blauherd and concludes in Sunnegga. In between, you can explore five pristine lakes, the Stellisee, Leisee, Grindjisee, Moosjisee, and Grünsee, hence the name.
The Five Lakes Walk is suitable for children as the inclines are not steep, making the trails easy to overcome. The hike usually lasts only for 2 hours. But if you want to spend time taking IG-worthy selfies with its mirror-like lakes, feel free to do so! It’s not every day that you see a sight as awe-inspiring as the lakes reflecting the Alpine mountains, anyway!
Forest Fun Park
If you’re traveling with kids, one of the must-visit sites in Zermatt you shouldn’t miss is the Forest Fun Park. It’s basically a recreational site centered on giving kids and adults a chance to engage in exciting outdoor activities. Located at the edge of Zermatt, this park is designed with 31 zip lines and 95 obstacle courses. Once you’re done swinging from one zip line to another, you can enjoy Swiss refreshments on its beautiful terrace.
Stroll and Shop in the Village Center
There’s nothing special about strolling, shopping, and food tripping, except when you’re in Zermatt, where you can enjoy different activities. The village may appear small, but it goes big when it comes to providing you a heart-piercing traveling experience.
If you love a mix of architecture and history, begin your tour in Hinterdorf. Known as the old section of the village, Hinterdorf houses traditional homes that are inspired by old barns dating back from as early as the 16th century. You can also explore the Walk of Climb in the village’s main street. The Walk of Climb, which commemorates the first hikers of Matterhorn’s peak, is one of the must-visit sites in Zermatt.
But if it’s history you’re after, you can understand the humble beginnings of Zermatt before it sprung as a world-renowned ski resort by visiting the Matterhorn Museum. The site shows you a full display of Zermatt’s glorious transformation. If you’re done sight-seeing, you can also shop and enjoy Swiss delicacies in the village’s shopping centers, restaurants, and lounges.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Pressed with time so you want to filter some of the things to do in Zermatt? Do yourself a favor and put the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at the top of your must-visit list. Accessible via a cable car, this world-class tourist attraction gives you awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn and other Alpine summits.
Yes, we get it. It’s not easy to ride a cable car suspended around 3,800 meters above sea level, but trust us — the journey is worth it! Just imagine yourself getting past sky-high glaciers and having panoramic, snap-worthy views of lush meadows, and you’d get the point.
Perfect for families and solo travelers, the Matterhorn Express accommodates children over 3 years old. Once you reach the 360-degree viewing platform, you can get spectacular views of 38 mountain peaks and enjoy luxurious amenities, including a cinema, an ice palace, and a restaurant.
The best part: the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise gives you endless opportunities to engage in fun outdoor activities such as tobogganing, snow tubing, and skiing. If any of these don’t put this viewing platform at the top of the must-visit sites in Zermatt, we don’t know what will!
Bike around Zermatt’s Single-track Trails
Intrepid biker or not, Zermatt’s singletrack trails can keep your heart pounding for all the right reasons. A host of Enduro World Series in both 2019 and 2020, the village has long made a noise in the biking community for its rugged singletracks. Aside from its spectacular mountains, the village is also the perfect avenue to brush up on your pedaling skills, thanks to its car-free policy. Here, you can enjoy hours of mountain biking as you breathe fresh, unpolluted air.
Now, choosing a trail can be quite difficult since Zermatt is home to a varied network of biking trails. But if you have to pick just one, make sure it’s any of these four famous trails: the Gornergrat, the Flow Trail Sunnegga, the Hobbit Trail, or the Findeln trail.
Book the Gornergrat Train
If sky-high cable cars are not your cup of tea, there’s one acrophobia-friendly way to enjoy the Swiss Alps: take the Gornergrat train. This eco-friendly train takes you to Gornergrat, a rocky ridge that gives you access to amazing views of two of the highest Alpine summits, the Durfourspitze and Gorner Glacier. This, along with views of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif, makes riding the Gornergrat train one of the most unmissable things to do in Zermatt.
Also located in the area is 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, one of the most luxurious Zermatt hotels. So if you don’t mind spending on accommodation, staying overnight here is one experience you should try. If you happen to visit Zermatt from June to September, check on the “Meet the Sheep” activity in Gornergrat. As the name implies, the experience allows you to encounter sheep native to the Alpine region.
Paraglide in Zermatt
Want to get a closer look at Matterhorn? Nothing can get you closest to this Alpine gem than to book a paragliding experience. Scary for some but adrenaline-pumping for intrepid travelers, paragliding allows you to see Matterhorn from a different perspective. Here, you can fly with experienced pilots, who adjust your route depending on your paragliding experience and preferences. While you’re there, you can also arrange a heliskiing experience, which is a completely different level of snowboarding.
Doesn’t sound like something you’d be willing to do? Don’t worry! You still have another option. If you’d love to see Matterhorn from the air, you can book a helicopter ride, which is a family-friendly alternative to all these extreme sports. Helicopter rides are a guided experience where pilots give you important insights about the Matterhorn.
Key Takeaways When Choosing the Things to Do in Zermatt
If there’s one important lesson we’ve learned from traveling around the world, it’s knowing to choose your own adventures. It doesn’t matter if you’re seeing Matterhorn from a parachute or from a helicopter. What’s important is that you know how to define your limitations. By allowing yourself to choose the adventures that speak true to who you are, you can make travel memories that count.