Julie Switzerland 72 Comments

Does a trip to the highest cable car station in Europe sound thrilling to you? How about having 360° views across the Alps? If so, then put Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on your Swiss to-do list.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is an alpine wonderland of ski slopes, panoramic vistas, ice carvings, and a unique view of the Matterhorn. On this visit, you will ride a series of cable cars to the highest station in Europe and get panoramic views over the Alps. It’s an amazing experience and very easy to do from Zermatt.

In this post, learn how to plan your visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, how much it will cost, and if it is worth it.

We visited Matterhorn Glacier Paradise twice. As you will see from our photos, we had both a cloudy day and a sunny day. 

Interesting Facts about Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Klein Matterhorn, aka Little Matterhorn, is a mountain peak in Switzerland. This is the location of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. At 3,883 meters (12,740 feet), Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the highest cable car station in Europe. It is considerably higher than Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe, which is also located in Switzerland. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise sits 429 meters (1,407 feet) higher than Jungfraujoch.

To get to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise you will ride a series of cable cars. The final leg of the journey, from Trockener Steg to the summit, is on a new cable car system that was completed in 2018.

The only way to get to the summit is on these cable cars. There are no hiking trails since Klein Matterhorn is always covered in snow.

How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Next we cover everything you need to know about how to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, including how to get to here, ticket prices, and what you can do once you are here.

How to Get to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

To get to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, your journey will start in Zermatt. To get to the summit you will ride three cable cars, and to make things a bit more complicated, you have two routes to choose from.

Below is a map of Zermatt. I highlighted the location of the cable car stations between Zermatt and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

Zermatt Map

Map of the cable cars and hiking trails in and around Zermatt. Source: www.zermatt.ch.

The route you choose depends on two factors: the time of year that you are doing this and whether or not you want to make a quick detour for a unique view of the Matterhorn.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: The cable car routes and timetables change from month to month. There is both a summer timetable and a winter timetable, which you can see on the official website. Before you go, check the hours of the cable cars since they are not the same all year round. The cable cars can also close in the spring and fall for maintenance, so keep this in mind as well.

The first leg of this trip, from Zermatt to Furi, is the same no matter which route you choose. One gondola runs between Zermatt and Furi. Beyond Furi, you can take your pick between two different cable car routes.

The first cable car station, the Zermatt Bergbahnen, is located at the southern end of Zermatt. To get to the station, you can walk or ride the bus. From Zermatt Bergbahnen, ride the gondola to Furi.

 Furi Cable Car Station

The view of Furi cable car station with Zermatt in the background. This photo was taken from the Hängebrücke.

Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise through Schwarzsee

This is the route to take if you want a unique view of the Matterhorn. It’s also the most popular route since it is the most scenic and these gondolas run on a longer daily schedule in the summer.

Zermatt to Furi: It is a 5 minute ride from Zermatt to Furi. In Furi, transfer to the cable car to Schwarszee.

Furi to Schwarzsee: It is an 8 minute ride to get to Schwarzsee. If you like, you can hop off the cable car and walk a short distance towards the lake to take of photo of the Matterhorn, take a photo with the ZERMATT sign, or walk down to Schwarzsee for a closer view.

Matterhorn Express View

The view from the gondola right before you get to Schwarzsee | How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

 

Schwarzsee and Matterhorn

View of the Matterhorn and Schwarzsee

 Schwarzsee Zermatt

Schwarzsee

 

Zermatt Sign

The Zermatt sign is just a 2-minute walk from the Schwarzsee station.

Schwarzsee to Trockener Steg:  Get back on the gondola in Schwarzsee and ride this to Trockener Steg (9 minutes).

Trockener Steg to the summit: Board the futuristic cable car, called the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, for the final leg to the summit (8 minutes).

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Gondola

Total Travel Time: 30 minutes, not including the time for transfers and photos. It usually takes 1 hour to get from Zermatt to the summit on this route.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: The above route does not operate all year. During most of May and October, the gondola from Furi to Schwarzsee to Trockener Steg does not operate (you will have to follow the route below).

Zermatt to Furi to Trockener Steg to Glacier Paradise

This route is slightly faster and more direct than going through Schwarzsee. However, it is not offered all day. In the summer, the cable car from Furi to Trockener Steg has limited hours, usually running only in the early morning hours. Check the official website before you go to confirm that these cable cars are running during the time you plan to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

Zermatt to Furi: It is a 5-minute ride from Zermatt to Furi. In Furi, transfer to the cable car to Trockener Steg.

Furi to Trockener Steg: It is a 7-minute ride from Furi to Trockener Steg.

Trockener Steg to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: Board the futuristic cable car, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, or the red, older cable car for the final leg to the summit (8 minutes).

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car

Two cable cars travel between Trockener Steg and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride are the newer, blue cars that run all day in the summer. If you are traveling to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in the early morning, you will most likely ride the older, red cable car shown in the photo above. We rode the red cable car on our early morning ascent before hiking to Breithorn.

Total Travel Time: 20 minutes without time for transfers. It usually takes 40 minutes to get from Zermatt to the summit on this route.

Which route is better? We did both. I recommend the first route (Zermatt → Furi → Schwarzsee → Trockener Steg → Matterhorn Glacier Paradise) since you get to stop off at Schwarzsee, which is a nice place to visit. Plus, if you are visiting in the summer, this is the route you will most likely take, since it runs all day.

GETTING YOUR TICKETS: You can purchase your tickets online in advance or get them at the Zermatt Bergbahnen station (the first cable car station). The first time we did this (in July), we purchased our tickets from the ticket booth in the station. We started at 8 am and we had no issues getting tickets and never had to wait in line. On our second visit, we were here earlier, as this was the start of our climb to Breithorn.

Crystal Ride Tickets

For an additional fee, you can ride one of four Crystal ride gondolas from Trockener Steg to the summit. These cabins are decorated with Swarovski crystals and the floor is made of glass so you can see the glaciers below.

We frequently get asked if the extra money for the Crystal Ride is worth it. We have ridden the cable cars to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise two times, never having tickets for the Crystal Ride, and we don’t feel like we missed out on anything by not having the glass bottom floor. 

Cable Cars to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

The cable car route between Trockener Steg and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

 

Matterhorn from Cable Car

View of the Matterhorn from the cable car

 

Trockener Steg

The view of Trockener Steg from the cable car.

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?

Round trip tickets start at CHF 109 per person. This price will be higher during the peak summer months (round trip tickets cost CHF 120 in the summer). This price includes the cable car ride and entrance into Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. There are several optional things to do on Glacier Paradise which will have additional fees.

There are ways to save money when traveling to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Here are your options.

Peak2Peak Ticket

The Peak2Peak Ticket allows you to visit both Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Gornergrat on the same day.

First, you will visit Glacier Paradise. On the way back to Zermatt, you will ride the cable car to Riffelberg and then ride the Gornergrat railway to get to Gornergrat. Once you are finished in Gornergrat, you will ride the railway back to Zermatt.

It is also possible to do this in the opposite direction.

This ticket includes free admission into Glacier Palace.

Ticket prices start at CHF 150. Here is the link to get updated prices for your visit. 

This is a great option for those with limited time in Zermatt. It’s worth it if you have clear skies, since you get to see the Matterhorn from two spectacular viewpoints in one day. Just be aware that the Peak2Peak ticket is only offered during the summer months.

Price Reductions with Travel Passes

Get a 50% price reduction with a Swiss Travel Pass or half-fare pass. Children who are 9 through 15 years old get a 50% discount with a Junior Card or a Grandchild Card. Children under 9 are free.

Switzerland Travel Guide

Things to Do at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

If you visited Jungfraujoch, the visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is very similar, just on a smaller scale with fewer visitors. Take in the view from the observation platform, visit the ice cave, and walk out onto the snow.

The Viewing Platform

At this point, you are standing at 3,883 meters and have 360° views over the Alps. From here, you can see 38 mountain peaks and 16 glaciers with views across Switzerland, Italy, and France. On a clear day, you will be able to see Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau to the north and Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, to the east.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Viewing Platform

Viewing platform

 

Alps View Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

View from the viewing platform | How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

From the viewing platform, you also get a spectacular view of the Matterhorn. At first, you might not even recognize it. Since you are looking at it from a different angle than the classic view from Zermatt, the mountain looks very different.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise View

The Matterhorn

 

Matterhorn Viewing Platform

 

If you look in the opposite direction you will see another mountain peak called Breithorn. It is possible to climb to the summit of Breithorn (keep reading).

Breithorn and Gornergrat

Breithorn | How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

 

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

View of the steps to the viewing platform and the ski slopes

 

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Love Locks

There is also a spot where you can attach a love lock.

Glacier Palace

Touted as being the highest Glacier Palace in the world, this ice cave is filled with ice carvings and sculptures. If you already visited Jungfraujoch, this is very similar to touring the Ice Palace, so this may not be worth it, unless you really like to see ice sculptures.

To visit the Glacier Palace, there is an additional fee.

Dragon Ice Carving

Swiss Cow and Ice Sculpture

Visit the Cinema Lounge

This small cinema plays short film clips that showcase the beauty of this alpine world.

Go Skiing

Go skiing in Switzerland’s highest ski resort. Slopes are open 365 days per year, so even in the warm summer months, you can go skiing.

Want to ski the longest slope in the world? Starting at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, there is a 25 km slope that ends in Zermatt, making it the longest descent in the world.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Skiing

Learn more about skiing at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise here.

Summit Breithorn

If you are looking to add a real adventure onto your trip to Zermatt, climb to the summit of Breithorn. This is considered to be one of the easiest 4,000+ meter mountains to climb in the region. To do this, you do need to be in excellent shape and have prior mountain hiking experience.

This hike starts and ends at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. It takes roughly 3 hours. The hike is 5.7 km with an elevation gain of 407 meters.

Hiking to Breithorn

Hiking to Breithorn | How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

 

Top of Breithorn

On top of Breithorn

 

Earth Trekkers Breithorn

Breithorn Climb

The trail and the view on top of Breithorn | How to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

How Much Time Do You Need at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?

If you visit the viewing platform, watch a short film clip at the cinema, and tour Glacier Palace, you need about two hours (maybe less if you move very fast).

If you add on skiing or the climb up Breithorn, your visit could last all day.

Rather than returning directly back to Zermatt, you also have the option to visit Gornergrat (using the Peak2Peak ticket) or hike one to the trails that start at the cable car stations between the summit and Zermatt. 

Day Hikes between Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Zermatt

If you like the idea of adding on a hike to this visit, you can hike from Trockener Steg to Schwarzsee, Schwarzsee to Furi, and/or Furi to Zermatt. All of these hikes are downhill. Of these, our favorite is hiking from Trockener Steg to Schwarzsee on the Matterhorn Glacier Trail. This is an easy hike with great views of the Matterhorn. To do this, visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise first, then ride the cable car to Trockener Steg, hike to Schwarzsee, and ride the gondola to Zermatt.

Matterhorn Glacier Trail Zermatt

View from the Matterhorn Glacier Trail

Another awesome but challenging hike is Schwarzsee to the Hörnlihütte. To do this after visiting Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, ride the cable car to Trockener Steg, ride the gondola to Schwarzsee, hike out-and-back to the Hörnlihütte, and then ride the gondola to Zermatt.

Hornlihutte Zermatt

Hörnlihütte and the Matterhorn

Is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Worth It?

In my opinion, it is worth it. The views across the Alps are incredible and to stand on one of the highest, most easily accessible places in Europe makes this excursion worth the cost and the time.

For those who like the idea of adding on some time on the ski slopes, especially in the months of July and August, this an experience that is very unique to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

With that being said, make sure you get to Gornergrat. This was, by far, or favorite experience in Zermatt. The views from Gornergrat and the easy hiking trail to Riffelberg are jaw-dropping and not to be missed. Either add it on to this visit or do it on a separate day.

Best View of the Matterhorn

View of the Matterhorn from Gornergrat

If you only have the time and money for one high alpine experience and you are trying to decide between Jungfraujoch and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, I recommend Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. A visit here is cheaper, faster, and you have better views than what you get at Jungfraujoch. This is also much less touristy so crowds should be lower.

Helpful Tips to Have the Best Experience

Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on a clear day. Watch the weather and pick the clearest day to visit Glacier Paradise. Check the weather forecast here. 

The weather is generally clear in the morning. Clouds tend to move in later in the day.

Bring hats, gloves, and lots of layers, even in the summer. Wear sunscreen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Famous for?

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the location of the highest cable car station in Europe. It is one of the most easily accessible destinations in Europe to get 360° views of the Alps. It is also famous for being a skiing destination 365 days of the year. 

Can you get altitude sickness on Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?

At this elevation the air is thin and you will most likely feel the effects of the altitude. Zermatt sits at 1,620 meters. To get here, you will ascend over 2,000 meters (over 6,500 feet) in about one hour, which is a big gain in a short period of time. Many people will notice the effects from being at a higher altitude, which include mild shortness of breath and maybe even a mild headache or a slightly dizzy feeling.

Altitude sickness is rare but not impossible. Symptoms include headache, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, notify a staff member and then take the next cable car back to Zermatt.

What is the best time of day to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?

The best time to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is first thing in the morning. At this time, the weather is generally clearer and crowds are lower than midday and in the afternoon. 

Is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on the Swiss Travel Pass?

With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can get a 50% discount on tickets to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

Which is better, Jungfraujoch or Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?

Jungfraujoch and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise are very similar experiences, but of the two, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise was our favorite, since it had less crowds, better views, and the cable car rides to get to it are beautiful.

More Information about Zermatt

BEST OF ZERMATT: For more great things to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Zermatt. Learn how to plan your visit with our Zermatt Itinerary, which has suggestions for how to spend your time if you have 1, 2, 3 or more days in Zermatt.

GORNERGRAT: Learn how to visit Gornergrat and hike to Riffelsee and Riffelberg.

SUNNEGGA & ROTHORN: In our Guide to Sunnegga, Blauherd, and Rothorn, learn how to visit this area, what there is to do, and how to spend one day visiting the highlights.

HIKES IN ZERMATT: For a full list of hikes, check out our guide Best Hikes in Zermatt. We also have trail guides for the Five Lakes Trail, the Breithorn summit, how to hike to Hörnlihütte, how to hike the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, and the hike from Furi to Gorner Gorge to Zermatt.

More Great Cable Car Rides in Europe

If You Like this Experience…

Here are more thrilling cable car rides to the highest peaks in Europe:


Do you have any questions about how to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise? Let us know in the comment section below.

More Places to Go in Switzerland

MORE GREAT HIKES IN SWITZERLAND: The Bernese Oberland is one of Switzerland’s top hiking destinations. Hike the short, incredibly scenic trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg,  walk the Northface Trail from Mürren, or hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn, a longer, more challenging, but awesome hike in this region. We also recommend hiking to Riffelberg in Zermatt and hiking the Gastlosen Tour near Gruyères.

JUNGFRAU REGION: What exactly is the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland? Find out in our Guide to the Jungfrau Region, which includes maps and important travel planning information. We also have articles about the best things to do in the Jungfrau region as well as the top hikes in the Jungfrau region. The Eiger Trail and Schynige Platt to First are our favorite hikes. A visit to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular experiences in the Jungfrau region, but is it worth it?

LUCERNE: Learn how to spend one perfect day in Lucerne with a trip to Mt. Pilatus.

LAUSANNE: Lausanne is another beautiful Swiss city with lots of great things to do and it also is a great home base for day trips in the area, such as Gruyères and Montreux, Vevey and Chateau de Chillon.

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to Zermatt is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary, which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.

We have TONS more information about Switzerland in our Switzerland Travel Guide, including Zürich, Lucerne, the Bernese Oberland, Zermatt, Lugano, and Lausanne.

 

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Zermatt Switzerland

 

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 72

  1. Avatar for Nupur
    Nupur

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for all the super helpful details on this article and the whole site! I am visiting Switzerland in Sept this year, and just couldn’t have done all the planning without you guys! Thanks again.

    I have a question on Zermatt – Between Gornergrat and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, I can only do one activity first thing in the morning. The other one I can do around noon on the prior day. Which of these two should I reserve for the morning? With Gornergrat, I plan to do the Rotenboden to Riffelalp hike. And for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, I want to do the Matterhorn Glacier Trail.

    Your guidance is appreciated!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Nupur. That’s a great question. Afternoons tend to be cloudier than the mornings. Whichever view is more important for you to get cloud free is the one I recommend doing in the morning. Also, it will take more time to visit MGP and hike the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, so you could do this in the morning when maybe you will have a little more time. I recommend watching the weather as it gets closer to your time in Zermatt and then decide how to order these 2 sites. I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Rajesh
    Rajesh

    Hi Julie – Your detailed inputs on each location is very helpful. I am planning about 8 days in Switzerland between 26-May to 03-June this year (2024). I wanted to seek your inputs on the itinerary I am thinking. We have not done any hiking in snow, nor much experience in snow – will be first time for my family (including a 21 yr old daughter).

    Day 1: Land in Geneva afternoon, see local attractions such as Flower Clock, Lake Geneva etc
    Day 2: Matterhorn & Gornergrat – stay at Zermatt (with an early morning travel from Geneva). I am finding hotels are very costly in Zermatt, is there an alternative option?
    Day 3: Stay at Interlaken. Explore the city. Paragliding
    Day 4: Stay at Interlaken. Jungfraujoch (assuming this is better than Mt Titlis), Ice museum
    Day 5: Stay at Lucern. Mt Platis
    Day 6: Stay at Lucern. Day trip to Liechenstein
    Day 7: Stay at Zurich. Visit Rhine Falls
    Day 8: Depart in the evening. Visit Lindt Chocolate museum

    Am i trying to do too much? What would you suggest?

    Thanks a ton

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      It’s not too much but it is a lot of moving around. Overall your itinerary looks good but the thing that stands out the most is just the one day in Zermatt. It’s usually a good idea to have at least 2 days here, to make the travel time worth it and to give yourself a better chance of seeing Zermatt (sometimes it likes to hide behind the clouds). You will probably get into Zermatt midday and this would give you enough time to do one thing, like Gornergrat or Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. If you eliminated something, that would be the place I would recommend, and then add that time to Interlaken or the Jungfrau region. But it also works if you leave it in. You will just be traveling by train someplace every day so make sure you are OK with that. Switzerland is expensive, in particular Zermatt, so you could look into staying in a hostel there to save money. We have not been to Mt. Titlis so I don’t know if it is better than Jungfraujoch, but it’s good to do something in the Jungfrau area and Jungfraujoch overall is a good option (plus it is a guarantee you will see and walk on some snow). You could also follow this one day itinerary for the Jungfrau region, if you want to hike an easy trail. Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Patti
    Patti

    Hi!
    Stumbled onto your site and it’s extremely helpful! Thank you for the time and effort you put into this! Question for you, can you combine the Peak2Peak with any other cards to get a 50% discount. I’m not finding anything specific.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, you get 50% off the Peak2Peak Pass if you have a Swiss Travel Pass or Half-Fare pass. On the official website for the Peak2Peak Pass, scroll down and look at the Prices & Reductions section for a list of reductions for the pass. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Ruchi
    Ruchi

    Hi Julie,
    Thank you for the well laid out information in this article.
    Can you share if there are options of playing with Snow for kids at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise or elsewhere in Zermatt area. Activities like snow tubing or similar? (like at Mt Titlis.)

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Here is a link to the activities offered at the Snow Fun Park at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. I don’t see snow tubing listed but there is a slope for kids. In the summer, I don’t know of any other place in Zermatt for snow activities but if you are there in the winter, I imagine that snow tubing could be offered on another slope. Have a great time in Zermatt! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Megan Bloomer
    Megan Bloomer

    We want to do round-trip from Zermatt to Glacier Palace. I am looking for clarification if the price (CHP 95) is roundtrip or one way (meaning we would need to purchase 2 sets of one way tickets). Nothing is clear regarding this, and no checkout link offers the option of purchasing multiple tickets (departure & return) for each person.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, round trip tickets start at 95 CHF (a round trip ticket means to and from Zermatt and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and these are also sometimes also referred to as return tickets). Have a great time in Zermatt! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Ellen
    Ellen

    Hi, my family of four, is visiting Switzerland in Dec to ski. I would love to visit the Matterhorn glacier. Can you recommend if there is any hiking we can do during that time?

    Thanks

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hiking trails in December are fully covered in snow. You could end up skiing at some of the same places we hiked, or at least nearby. Have a great time in Zermatt! Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Jia
    Jia

    Hi,

    Love your article! It is so comprehensive and details 😀
    I would like to ask if I am using the Peak2Peak ticket, would you recommend to go Gornegrat first or Glacier Paradise?

    Jia

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      If you are going to visit soon, the order doesn’t matter much. On many days, clouds can form around the Matterhorn, so which ever view you prefer to have cloud free should be first, to increase your odds of good photos. However, if your visit is next year, roughly from July 1 to August 20 when the Riffelberg Express is running, do Matterhorn Glacier Paradise first and then Gornergrat, because that saves you some transportation time. You can learn more about this and see sample itineraries for doing this in either order in our Zermatt Itinerary. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Maxima
    Maxima

    Hurray! My last question – if you had to choose one alpine region to visit whether it be Jungfrajoch vs Gornergrat/Matterhorn – which one do you reccommend? I might not be able to go to both so trying to pick one. I’ve read and googled many websites and both have pros and cons and I cannot chose one!

    Thank YOU for ALL your help. You have no idea how much you helped me and I cannot thank you enough. Will definitely reccommend your website to everyone!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      I would pick the Gornergrat and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise over Jungfraujoch. I LOVE the views of the Matterhorn on the hike from Gornergrat to Riffelberg and I think it is one of the best easy hikes in Europe and a must-do in Switzerland. Jungfraujoch is overpriced in my opinion. Instead of visiting Jungfraujoch in the Jungfrau region, you could hike the Eiger Trail and/or the Panorama Trail from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, have an amazing experience, and spend a lot less money. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Maxima
    Maxima

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for replying!

    I did look at your itineraries – thank you so much they are beyond helpful! I have 7 days in Switzerland and trying to cover the highlights with my mother since it is our first trip! I will definitely make Interlaken home base then!

    I think Zurich, Bern, Interlaken, Zermatt, Lucerne were the big cities I saw based on various itineraries I have read. Are there any others that you reccommend or that I should veto from the list? I am trying to make sure I hit the major cities with her. I do plan to return to Switzerland another time but as a first timer with her I am trying to make sure I do the major things! If based on your travels there is a must visit place, please let me know!

    Lastly, this might be a silly question but I know the Swiss Alps are in Switzerland. I assume the Matterhorn is part of the Swiss Alps and the Alps will be visible to us everywhere? Is it also possible to go paragliding in the Swiss Alps or no? Google is telling me multiple different things so I wasn’t sure.

    Thank you again Julie for your help and answering these posts. You made my day when I saw your response!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      We have not been to Bern yet but it looks like a very nice city to visit. However, I don’t feel like we missed out on anything by not going to Bern. In my opinion, the mountain towns are the best places to visit (Zermatt and the small towns in the Jungfrau region). So, if you cut out a city, Bern would be my first choice. Lucerne and Zurich are both great places to visit and not to be missed. On your future trip to Switzerland, it would be nice to spend at least 3 days in the Jungfrau region, in Murren or another small town. From Interlaken you will visit this area and get a nice introduction to it but it’s definitely worth a return visit and longer stay. Yes, the Matterhorn is in the Swiss Alps and you will see them from almost any place in Switzerland (I can’t recall if we could see the Alps from Zurich). Interlaken is a popular place to go paragliding, so a quick Google search will give you more info on this. We haven’t gone paragliding in Switzerland but did it in New Zealand and it is an incredible experience. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Maxima
      2. Avatar for Maxima
        Maxima

        Hi Julie!

        Again, many thanks for your replies and help. First timer going to Switzerland and planning is hard but your website is helping a lot. After going through your website, I came up up with this itinerary – I was wondering what your thoughts were.
        Day 1 – arrive in Zurich after flight, train to Interlaken (stay in Interlaken), explore Interlaken
        Day 2 – Day trip to Jungfraujoch region (take the railway to Jungfraujoch) from Interlaken
        Day 3 – Day trip to Zurich (Old town, maybe Rhine Falls) from Interlaken
        Day 4 – Day trip to Lucerne (Chapel Bridge, Mt. Pilatus) from Interlaken
        Day 5 – Day trip to Geneva from Interlaken
        Day 6 – 7: Zermatt (stay in Zermatt) check out Gornergrat and Matterhorn) on Day 6, and maybe on Day 7 go to Bern as a day trip unless better to explore Zermatt for two days?
        Day 8: Travel back to Zurich to travel back home

        Thank You!

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          Hello Maxima. That all looks good. Here are a few suggestions. It’s best to stay in Zermatt for the 2 days that you are there. From Zermatt, you would spend quite a bit of time on the train to do a day trip to Bern from here. Zermatt town is charming and the extra day also allows you to ride the cable car to Rothorn and Sunnegga. I think day 5 is a better day for a Bern day trip. We have been to Geneva and didn’t find it very interesting, so your time might be better spent in Bern.
           
          One more suggestion would be to have 3 towns as a home base. This would save you some time on the trains. Here is a sample itinerary with the changes above: (1) arrive in Zurich, travel to Lucerne, sleep in Lucerne (2) Day in Lucerne with Mt Pilatus (3) travel to Interlaken, afternoon in Interlaken (4) day trip to Jungfraujoch (5) travel to Zermatt, afternoon in Zermatt (6) Zermatt (7) travel back to Zurich, afternoon in Zurich (8) fly home. You could day trip to Bern from Lucerne, shifting the end of the itinerary by one day. But just make sure you give yourself enough travel time on day 8 to travel from Zermatt to Zurich if you have a flight that same day (that’s why I ended with Zurich instead of Zermatt).
           
          Cheers, Julie

          1. Avatar for Maxima
            Maxima

            Hi Julie,

            That was extremely helpful. I’ve been reading more of your posts and I am thinking of vetoing Bern and Geneva and staying more in the Lauterbrunnen vs Murren region. It looks stunning. I was thinking of doing the following below – as it’ll allow me to see city, valley, mountains – a beautiful all encompassing Switzerland trip! What do you think?

            Day 1 – Arrive in Zurich, travel to Lucerne, sleep in Lucerne
            Day 2 – Day in Lucerne with Mt Pilatus
            Day 3 – Travel to Lauterbrunnen, sleep in Lauterbrunnen – Trummelbach Falls
            Day 4 – day trip to Jungfraujoch (some reviews are stating this is a tourist trap and isn’t worth the price? Based on other things I have read, this is a must visit!
            Day 5 – travel to Zermatt, afternoon in Zermatt, sleep in Zermatt vs Lauterbrunnen
            Day 6 – Zermatt (Gornergrat vs Matterhorn or both!)
            Day 7 – Travel to Zurich and explore Zurich
            Day 8 – Fly home

            Thoughts? Sorry this keeps changing. I keep reading more and more and this changes things! Thanks so much!

          2. Avatar for Julie Post
            Author
            Julie

            Yes, I think this all looks very good. Here is our guide to Jungfraujoch…it’s a nice place to visit but it is expensive. For us, it was worth it because we did the hike to Monchsjochhutte. If we hadn’t had done that, it might not have been worth it. A nice alternative is Schilthorn, however, there is some construction going on around Schilthorn, so that might take away from that experience. For your time in Zermatt, definitely stay in Zermatt. It takes too long to travel between Lauterbrunnen and Zermatt to do it every day. It looks like you have a good plan now. Have a great time in Switzerland! Cheers, Julie

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