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How To Reach Zermatt and Matterhorn From Zurich

Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Darla Uhl

How To Get From Zurich To Zermatt

There is no direct train from Zurich to Zermatt.

To get from Zurich to Zermatt by train, take the Intercity train from Zurich to Visp (2 hours). In Visp, change to the next train going to Zermatt (1 hour 6 minutes). For those going with cars, the route will be first to drive from Zurich to Täsch. Afterward, leave the car in the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch, and then ride on the train going to Zermatt from Täsch.

You cannot bring your car directly to Zermatt. Zermatt is car-free.

Image of Matterhorn by

How To Get From Zermatt To Matterhorn

Klein Matterhorn has the highest mountain railway station in the Alps. The journey to Klein Matterhorn begins in the rear part of the village of Zermatt. From Zermatt, the journey to Trockener Steg takes under half an hour. This is a direct journey without needing to change from one gondola section to the other.

First, you reach Furi with a 6-seater gondola lift. In winter, you can change from and to the Riffelberg/Gornergrat area. The hamlet at 1867 meters is a mountain pasture, where cows and sheep still graze today. A footpath leads to the glacier garden. This footpath also leads to the Hanging Bridge over the Gorner Gorge (Gornerschlucht).

The journey continues up to the Schwarzsee – the gateway to Matterhorn. The cable car here opened back in 1956. From Schwarzsee, visitors can see the entire valley and the village of Zermatt below. In this area, they can also see the Chapel “Maria zum Schnee”. From this place, you can continue your journey without having to change trains or make a stopover.

Further on, the Matterhorn-Express gondola descends into the Furgg valley. This is the foot of Matterhorn. Then it ascends to the Trockener Steg station with a 125-seat large gondola lift. There it is possible to change to the 100-seat aerial cable cars going to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, a.k.a. the Klein Matterhorn.

The cable car to Klein Matterhorn holds two records. It is the highest mountain railway in Europe at 3,820 meters. It also covers the longest span in the world (2,885 meters) without a mast.

Construction of this 3,820 mountain station required two thousand cubic meters of concrete. In months of hard work, the material was flown by helicopter from 3,000 to almost 4,000 meters. It came to an end three years after beginning construction.

How long does it take to get from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn?

The entire journey from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn takes 40 minutes.

  • Zermatt to Furi takes 5 minutes.
  • Furi to Trockener Steg takes 8 minutes.
  • Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn takes 8 minutes.

Is Zermatt worth visiting?

Zermatt is a beautiful and car-free mountain village in Switzerland. It is in the southernmost German-speaking area of the country. It has been world-famous for a long time now. Near it is an equally well-known mountain, the Matterhorn. Toblerone chocolates worldwide show this mountain on its packaging. The chocolate itself mimics Matterhorn mountain itself. The many hiking trails and alpine dwellings in the region are amazing. Some mountain railways in the area also hold world records.

Zermatt is the most logical village to stay in if you wish to visit Matterhorn. It is definitely worth visiting if you can afford the high price tag.

Can you walk from Täsch to Zermatt?

Yes, walking is possible from Täsch to Zermatt. Only 6 kilometers away, it is a quick 2-hour walk [Editor’s note: 12/6/2021: the previous information of it being a 2-minute walk has been corrected].

Most people do take the train to and from Täsch due to all the baggage that they bring with them.

Highest Viewing Platform in Europe

No cable car brings visitors to a higher point – the highest viewing platform in Europe at 3,883 meters. You can stand in the middle of the snow and glacier world. 38 four-thousand-meter-high peaks, 14 glaciers in France, Italy, and Switzerland surround you there.

An astounding one-third of all four-thousand-meter-high peaks of Europe is within 15 kilometers of this vantage point.

It’s impossible to get enough of this view. It includes the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau in the north. To the west is Breithorn. And even the famed Mont Blanc of France is in the east.

The aerial cable car has been traveling from the Trockener Steg to the Klein Matterhorn since 1979. The government granted the license to start in 1973 after several difficulties.

It was heavy work all around as it was hard labor in a cold setting. Sometimes there were storms with wind speeds of over a hundred kilometers per hour. Disruptions in construction work also occurred due to snowfalls. Temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees also caused issues. Special protective measures were also in place for the workers.

The platform is almost 800 meters above the Lower Theodul Glacier.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Image by Dennis Jarvis from flickr

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the year-round ski area between Zermatt and Klein Matterhorn. It belongs to Matterhorn Ski Paradise ski area during winter. Matterhorn Ski Paradise covers Cervinia/Valtournache, Gornergrat, and Sunnega/Rothorn. It is a huge ski area.

Matterhorn Ski Paradise offers 360 kilometers of perfectly groomed slopes for all visitors. Families, free riders, beginners, and advanced skiers can all enjoy this ski area.

Aside from the viewing platform, there is also a Cinema Lounge. In the Cinema Lounge, there are various shades of blue and white crystal elements on the walls. The cinema shows Zermatt film sequences on several topics. Examples of topics are alpinism, mountains, flora, and fauna. It is in the Breithorn tunnel.

Matterhorn Glacier Palace

Image by Dennis Jarvis from flickr

The Glacier Palace lets visitors walk through a crevasse in the glacier or slide down the ice slide. The sparking ice crystals and shimmering ice sculptures are worth visiting. To reach it, a passenger lift drops 15 meters below the surface.

Matterhorn Glacier Ride – The World’s Highest 3S Cableway

3S cableways combine the most advanced technology with the highest safety standards and greatest ride comfort. They offer numerous advantages over conventional circulating cableways, ensuring a more stable ride in high winds and providing increased carrying capacity and greater driving speed. 

– Matterhorn zermatt bergbahnen,

The world’s highest, most advanced 3S cableway opened in November 2018. It carries passengers to Klein Matterhorn. 3S is an abbreviation of the German word dreiseil, meaning tricable. It is a cable car system that combines the benefits of a gondola lift with those of a reversible cable car system. This ensures more stability and minimizes essential maintenance work. It is generally thought of as having a longer service life for each of its individual components.

A second Matterhorn Glacier Ride is currently under construction. The second glacier ride has a structurally identical 3S cableway. It is expected to finish during the winter season in 2021/2022. The cable cars will connect Testa Grigia (Italy) and Klein Matterhorn (Switzerland).

Included in the construction is also closing the last remaining gap in the Zermatt area. This covers the gap between Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia. Zermatt Bergbahnen AG expects both projects to finish at the same timeframe. With this project’s completion, the highest crossing of the Alps by cable car will be a reality.

Can you walk up the Matterhorn?

No. There are no walking trails on the Klein Matterhorn. Only alpinists and skiers are on the glacier fields and firn fields. Firn is snow leftover from past seasons. It gets recrystallized after into a substance denser than névé, which is a younger, more granular type of snow.

Image by gavia26210 from Pixabay

There are mountain hiking trails with a more gentle incline below Trockener Steg station. Hikers with good footwear can venture into this area.

If going up to more than 4,000 meters is enticing, there is a possibility to go up to Breithorn (4,146 meters). The hike, including the way back, takes 60 to 80 minutes and the height difference is 100 meters. Easy it may sound, the way up takes getting used to and can be demanding. Anyone who goes within one day from Zermatt village up to the mountains can already run into circulatory problems. Even only by taking the cable car, the heights of Zermatt’s four-thousand-meter peaks cannot be underestimated.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of 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.

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