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10 Best Day Trips from Zermatt Switzerland

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Admin

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As the home of the Matterhorn, Zermatt is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations. Although there are plenty of interesting things to do and places to visit here, such as hiking and skiing, you still might want to take day trips from the mountain resort. Below are some suggestions for the best day trips from Zermatt for those based there.

For day trips from Zermatt, the typical train travel time is one and a half to two hours.

This article discusses the 10 best day trips from Zermatt. Among these are well-known cities and mountain resorts. Let’s go!

1. Gornergrat

A day trip up Gornergrat is one of the most convenient and beautiful day trips from Zermatt. A good day with clear views will reward you with spectacular views of high mountain peaks and glaciers, as well as the iconic Matterhorn.

Image of Gornergrat by TouringSwitzerland.com

Gornergrat is a rocky ridge overlooking the Gorner Glacier near Zermatt, Switzerland. It is located between the Gorner Glacier and the Findel Glacier and offers fantastic views of the surrounding Pennine Alps.

Gornergrat can be reached by the Gornergrat Rack Railway (GGB), the highest open-air railway in Europe. It climbs along the side of the mountain at an average incline of 16% to the observation point in Gornergrat.

Here are some of the high mountains that you can view from Gornergrat:

  • Matterhorn – Cervino – 4,478 meters
  • Dufourspitze – 4,634 meters
  • Nordendspitze – 4,609 meters
  • Liskamm (Ostgipfel and Westgipfel) – 4,527 meters and 4,479 meters respectively
  • Castor – 4,228 meters
  • Pollux – 4,092 meters
  • Klein Matterhorn – 3,883 meters
  • Dent Blanche – 4,358 meters
  • Zinalrothorn – 4,221 meters
  • Weisshorn – 4,505 meters
  • Allalinhorn – 4,027 meters

Besides seeing all these high mountains, you’ll also get to see the third-largest glacier in the Alps – the Gorner Glacier.

If you are considering visiting Gornergrat, you can check out our article: Is Gornergrat Worth Visiting?

Don’t miss these attractions in Gornergrat
* Gornergrat 360° Loop and Viewing Platform
* Zooom the Matterhorn
* Riffelberg
* Riffelalp

How do you get from Zermatt to Gornergrat?

To learn more about reaching Gornergrat in Zermatt, take a look at How to Get to Gornergrat in Zermatt.


2. Brig

Connected by the Glacier Express, the lovely town of Brig offers a splendid option for a Zermatt day trip.

Brig is a charming town located in the Swiss Alps known for its picturesque landscapes, historic buildings, and access to nearby ski resorts. The historic town of Brig lies in the Upper Valais region of Switzerland. Brig, also officially known as Blig-Glis, is located in the Rhone Valley, 691 meters above sea level.

The most famous attraction in Brig is the Stockalper Palace. The Brigerbad Thermal Baths, the largest open-air thermal baths in the Alps, are perfect for those who love to soak and relax.

If you would like to learn more about Brig, check out our article Brig, Switzerland: Where It Is and What You Need to Know.

Don’t miss these attractions in Brig
* Glacier Express – Zermatt to Brig
* Brig’s Old Town
* Stockalper Palace
* Brigerbad Thermal Baths
*  World Nature Forum, Naters

How do you get from Zermatt to Brig?

There are direct trains that run from Zermatt to Brig twice per hour. Zermatt to Brig is also served by the famous panoramic train Glacier Express.


3. Spiez

Spiez is a scenic day trip destination from Zermatt. A wine resort nestled in a picturesque bay, offering a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Spiez is less than 2 hours from Zermatt.

Image of Spiez and Niederhorn behind by TouringSwitzerland.com

For those who love nature and the outdoors, Spiez is the perfect destination. This peaceful town is situated on southern the banks of Lake Thun, in a small protected bay, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains of Niesen and Niederhorn. With its beautiful landscapes and tranquil atmosphere, it is the perfect place to unwind and simply spend some peaceful time by the lake.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the Spiez Promenade and soak in the breathtaking views of Lake Thun. Embark on a scenic boat cruise to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of the lake. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Spiez Castle is a must, where you can uncover the secrets of its medieval past.

Furthermore, you can also explore the Alpine viticulture in Spiez by visiting the local vineyards, indulging in wine tastings, and even purchasing some bottles to take home as souvenirs. For outdoor enthusiasts, a hike to Faulensee provides an opportunity to discover the natural beauty of the region.

In addition to the above, Spiez offers vibrant events, swimming opportunities, child-friendly adventures, and the chance to explore the magnificent Niesen Mountain. There are also more fantastic attractions near Spiez for those who want to further expand their exploration of the area.

If you would like to read more about Spiez, you can check out our article 10 Best Things to Do in Spiez, Switzerland.

Don’t miss these attractions in Spiez
* Spiez Village
* Cruise on Lake Thun
* Spiez Castle
* Alpine Viticulture (Vineyards, Museum)
* Spiez Promenade

How do you get from Zermatt to Spiez?

From Zermatt, take the regional train to Visp. In Spiez, take the connecting train to Spiez. The total travel time from Zermatt to Spiez is 1 hour and 40 minutes to 1 hour and 46 minutes, depending on which train you take.


4. Sion

In just under two hours, you can travel to the lovely city of Sion from Zermatt. With its sunshine, unique landscape, history, and wine culture, Sion is one of the best day trips from Zermatt.

Image of Sion by TouringSwitzerland.com

The city of Sion is the capital of the Swiss canton of Valais, located in the southwest region of the country. The region is known for its wine, fruits, sun, and proximity to some of Switzerland’s highest mountains. Sion’s history goes back to the first century when the Romans called it Sedunum.

The Sion plateau lies north of the Rhone, dominated by the Valeria and Tourbillon hills. The old town with cobblestone streets is filled with markets, shops, and restaurants. There are many historical buildings in Sion that can be explored on foot. Weather permitting, visitors and locals often eat outside and sip wine.

The underground lake of St. Leonard is a wonderful gem near Sion that I highly recommend visiting.

Don’t miss these attractions in Sion
* Chateau de Tourbillon
* Valère Basilica
* Old Town of Sion
* Musée cantonal d’histoire
* Musée cantonal des beaux-arts
* Musée cantonal d’archéologie
* Sion Cathedral
* Tour des Sorciers
* St. Leonard Underground Lake

How do you get from Zermatt to Sion?

Sion can be reached by train from Zermatt via Visp. It takes 1 hour and 47 minutes to travel from Zermatt to Sion.


5. Saas-Fee

A lovely mountain resort without cars, Saas-Fee is known for its glaciers and cute marmots. Saas-Fee is an excellent day trip from Zermatt for experiencing a classic Swiss mountain village and being all around glaciers.

Image of Saas-Fee Village by TouringSwitzerland.com

Car-free Saas-Fee offers excellent skiing and a picturesque landscape. The area is surrounded by tall mountains and glaciers. It is located just on the opposite side of the valley with the MIschabel mountain range separating the two.

Saas-Fee can be reached either by bus from Stalden-Saas. There is a parking lot right near the village (Dorfplatz, 3906 Saas-Fee).

Compared to other ski resorts in Switzerland, Saas-Fee opens its ski season in November. Also, there is plenty to do for people of all interests such as brewing beer, trails, bobsleigh runs, glacier trails, gorges, visiting the Mittelallalin station and the Ice Pavilion, rafting, and swimming at Aqua Allalin.  

If you want to visit Saas-Fee, you can check out this article How to Spend 1 Day in Saas-Fee.

Don’t miss these attractions in Saas-Fee
* Mittelallalin 
* Marmots in Spielboden
* Glaciers in Saas Valley
* Längfluh

How do you get from Zermatt to Saas-Fee?

From Zermatt, take the regional train to Stalden-Saas. In Stalden-Saas, take the bus to Saas-Fee. If you come by car, there is a parking lot (Saas-Fee Parking) beside the village.


6. Thun

In just under two hours, you can travel to the lovely town of Thun from Zermatt. As a picturesque lakeside city with an old town, Thun is one of the best day trips that you can do from Zermatt.

Described as the gateway to Bernese OberlandThun in Switzerland is also one of the biggest cities in Canton Bern. You can find it on the northern part of Bernese Oberland sitting on the northern edge of Lake Thun. Thun boasts of beautiful castles, the reformed town church on the Schlossberg, an old church, a park, an accessible lower bridge, and majestic views of the mountains.

Between April and October, you can take passenger boats on Lake Thun. Boats in Lake Thun stop in Interlaken West, Neuhaus (Unterseen), Beatushöhlen-Sundlauenen, Leissinge, Beatenbucht, Merlingen, Faulensee, Spiez, Gunten, Einigen, Gwatt Deltapark, Längenschachen, Oberhofen am Thunersee, Hilterfingen, Hünibach, and Thun.

If you would like to learn more about Thun, check out our article 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland.

Don’t miss these attractions in Thun
* Old Town of Thun
* Thun Castle
* Lake Thun
* Schadau Castle and Park
* Wocher Panorama
* Art Museum
* Scherzlingen Church
* Aare River
* Thuner Wasserzauber (September/October)

How do you get from Zermatt to Thun?

Take the regional train from Zermatt to Visp. In Visp, take the connecting train to Thun. It takes just under two hours to get from Zermatt to Thun.


7. Interlaken

Interlaken, with its breathtaking mountain panorama, two stunning lakes, and adventure sports offers exciting activities amidst stunning backdrops. The journey will take longer than 2 hours, but it will be well worth it.

Image of Harder Kulm in Interlaken by TouringSwitzerland.com

Interlaken, Switzerland is an incredibly popular tourist hub in the Bernese Oberland. In Interlaken, you will find walking trails along the River Aare, many souvenir shops, a Japanese garden, and the local mountain Harder Kulm for spectacular views. A red funicular takes you from Interlaken to Harder Kulm in 10 minutes, with one departure every half hour.

As one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist spots, Interlaken is also a hot spot for outdoor sports enthusiasts. It is also conveniently located between two beautiful lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

For those who are into fun adventures, below are some of the most popular outdoor activities in Interlaken:

  • Tandem Paragliding (GetYourGuide): Experience pure serenity as you float weightlessly alongside an experienced pilot and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Jungfrau region from the sky.
  • Adventure Park (GetYourGuide): Conquer 9 thrilling rope courses and zip lines soaring up to 23 meters above the ground, with the assurance of a comprehensive safety briefing and top-notch safety gear.
  • Kayak Tour of Lake Brienz (GetYourGuide): Paddle through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Brienz with the guidance of an experienced coach, as you soak in the stunning views, including the picturesque Rinngenberg Castle. You may also book this activity in winter (GetYourGuide).
  • Canyoning (GetYourGuide): Dive into the ultimate adrenaline rush with a canyoning expedition in Chli Schilere, featuring challenging rappelling, high jumps, fast slides, and an unforgettable adventure in one of the region’s top canyons.
  • Scenic Jetboat Ride (GetYourGuide): Experience an exhilarating 45 to 50-minute jetboat ride on Lake Brienz near Interlaken, culminating at Giessbach Falls.
Don’t miss these attractions in Interlaken
Harder Kulm
* Höhenweg
* Interlaken-Harder Alpine Game Park
* Lake Thun
* Lake Brienz

How do you get from Zermatt to Interlaken?

Interlaken can be reached by train from Zermatt via Visp and Spiez. It takes from 2 hours 13 minutes to 2 hours 21 minutes to travel from Zermatt to Interlaken.

If you would like to learn more about Interlaken, check out our article Interlaken: 8 Reasons Why You Should Visit.


8. Bern

A day trip to Bern, Switzerland’s de facto capital, is probably one of the most important day trips you can do from Zermatt. This bustling city is a welcome change from the mountain resort of Zermatt thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage site old town, museums, shops, and restaurants.

Image of Bern by TouringSwitzerland.com

Nestled along the banks of the Aare River, Bern offers a variety of attractions for all tastes, whether you enjoy history, art, animals, or simply relaxing in a beautiful setting. It is the federal city of Switzerland. There is much more to discover when you take the time to explore this charming city.

There is no better place in Bern to start your day than the Old Town, located across the Aare River. The Old Town of Bern, which consists of a number of well-preserved buildings from the medieval era, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. A famous symbol of Bern, which dates back to 1218-1220, can be seen right at the entrance to the Old Town: the Zytglogge.

Don’t miss these attractions in Bern
* UNESCO World Heritage Old City of Bern
* Parliament Building
* Bern Minster Cathedral
Historic Museum
* Bern Bear Pit (Bärengraben)
* Bern Zoo (Tierpark Dählhölzli)
* Zentrum Paul Klee
Gurten
* Museum of Communication

If you would like to plan a day in Bern, you can check out our article How to Spend 1 Day in Bern, Switzerland.

How do you get from Zermatt to Bern?

Take the regional train from Zermatt to Visp. In Visp, take the connecting train to Bern. The total travel time from Zermatt to Bern is 2 hours and 11 minutes to 2 hours and 17 minutes.


9. Verbier

Verbier could be a great choice if you’re looking for a mountain resort similar to Zermatt. With exceptional skiing facilities and a lively atmosphere, the resort offers a comparable experience.

Image of Verbier in Summer by TouringSwitzerland.com

Verbier is a well-known upscale mountain resort known for its exceptional skiing facilities. In fact, 4 Vallées is Switzerland’s biggest ski resort, covering Verbier, Bruson, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, and Thyon. It’s a winter wonderland with 410 kilometers of slopes and 92 lifts, so there’s something for everyone. It is a large, high-altitude ski resort.

Image of Verbier in Winter, berntsonlars / Pixabay

Mont-Fort, which towers at 3,330 meters, is the highest with breathtaking panoramic views of the Swiss and French Alps. From Mont-Fort, you can take in the breathtaking views of the ski resort, including Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.

With more than 200 snow machines, snow is guaranteed even at the foot of the runs from December to April. Piste de L’Ours is a legendary slope that has hosted numerous winter sports competitions. Verbier is famous for its marked off-piste trails, which add to its popularity. And for those who want to have fun, the longest bobsled run in western Switzerland can be found in La Tzoumaz.

In case you were wondering how expensive Verbier is, you can check out this article: Is Verbier Expensive? A Close Look at Its Price and Value.

Don’t miss these attractions in Verbier
* Mont-Fort
* Verbier 4 Vallées Ski Area
* Verbier Snowpark
* Bobsled in La Tzoumaz
* Verbier Xtreme Freeride Competition
* Les Attelas (2,733 meters above sea level)
* Les Ruinettes (2,200 meters above sea level)

How do you get from Zermatt to Verbier?

The most convenient way to reach Verbier is to drive from Täsch. Train connections via Visp, Martigny, and Le Châble VS can be quite long (3.5 hours one way), so I recommend taking a car if possible.


10. Montreux

With its vineyards, laid-back lifestyle, lake access, and mountains as a backdrop, this day trip is a relaxing choice. By train, you can visit the beautiful spa resort of Montreux in 2.5 hours.

Image of Chillon Castle near Montreux by TouringSwitzerland.com

Montreux is a charming town on the northeastern shores of Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Known for its mild climate, gorgeous views, and Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux has a lot to offer. 

A stretch of eight kilometers runs from Clarens, through Chillon Castle, and up to Villeneuve. Together with Vevey-Montreux, it has an estimated population of 85,000. Atop the Rochers-de-Naye mountain, you can enjoy amazing views of Montreux, the lake, as well as the Swiss Alps.

If you would like to plan a day in Montreux, you can read our article How to Spend 1 Day in Montreux, Switzerland.

Consider visiting the next-door town Vevey if you have time.

Don’t miss these attractions in Montreux
* Chillon Castle
* Montreux Promenade
* Rochers-de-Naye
* Freddie Mercury Statue

How do you get from Zermatt to Montreux?

Take the train from Zermatt to Visp. In Visp, take the connecting train to Montreux. The total travel time from Zermatt to Montreux is 2 hours and 34 minutes.


Summary: 10 Best Day Trips from Zermatt

For those who are staying for a couple of days in Zermatt, Switzerland, and wish to venture out to other places, we hope that this list was helpful.

Due to the panoramic views and train journey, Gornergrat is a great choice if you’re looking for a day trip nearby. On the other hand, if you want to visit a large city with lots of activities, Bern is the best choice.

If you want to visit small charming towns where you can stroll around, Brig, Spiez, Sion, Thun, and Montreux are all fantastic choices. And in case you want to visit a charming mountain town similar to Zermatt, you can check out Saas-Fee and Verbier.

Considering all the options at your disposal, I hope you will be able to find something from this list that you will enjoy and have a great day trip from Zermatt.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.