If you’re visiting for the first time, you may be wondering how many days in Zermatt you will need to experience the best of its attractions and soak up the atmosphere.
Located at the foot of the Matterhorn – one of the most famous mountains in the world – the beautiful town of Zermatt is a year-round vacation destination. Summertime Alpine hikes and winter skiing are just two of the many activities this exciting resort has to offer.
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To answer how many days you will need really depends on how fast-paced you want your visit to be.
You could certainly see and do quite a lot in 2 days. But your schedule would be very busy, with little time to stop and relax.
If you prefer a slower pace – with a bit more time to spend at your favorite attractions – then we’d recommend spending 3 days in Zermatt instead.
How To Decide How Long To Stay In Zermatt
Whilst the pace of your visit is important when deciding how many days for Zermatt you’ll need, it’s not the only consideration.
So we’ve put together this useful guide for planning the length of your stay, and all the things you’ll need to think about.
We’ve also included a list of some of the best things to see and do in the town, and how long you’ll need to set aside for each. This should help you plan a realistic itinerary at a pace you’re happy with.
To help you figure out exactly how long you’ll need in Zermatt, make a list of the things you want to do in Zermatt, and consider the time of arrival and departure. Then, look at the distance between places to keep it realistic.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll know how many days in Zermatt you’ll need.
Time Of Arrival, Hotel Check-In Time, And Time Of Departure
The times at which you arrive in and depart from Zermatt will affect how much sightseeing you can do on those days.
If you have a very late arrival or early departure, you probably won’t be able to visit any attractions on those days. In that case, it might be a good idea to add an extra night to your stay.
Next, take a look at the times you check into and out of your accommodation. If they don’t match your arrival and departure times, you may find yourself stuck with your luggage at some point.
You certainly won’t want to be sightseeing with your bags in tow, so you’ll need to plan what you’ll be doing with them ahead of time. In most cases, your hotel or accommodation provider will take care of your luggage for you.
But don’t just assume this to be the case as not all hotels offer this service. And bear in mind that some may charge a fee.
If your accommodation provider is unable to help, then your best option is to use the storage facilities at Zermatt railway station. You have a choice between lockers and a manned luggage desk.
The lockers are available in various sizes but are not suitable for very large pieces of luggage, or for storing anything valuable. In those situations, it would be best to leave your bags at the manned office.
The other alternative is to find a private luggage storage service online. This is a good option if you prefer to have everything booked and paid for in advance.
Activities In Zermatt
Zermatt is a lively tourist destination with many things to see and do. Don’t wait until you have arrived in the town to choose the highlights you will plan to visit. Instead, make a list ahead of time (our suggestions below will help with this).
Making a list like this will help you work out how many days in Zermatt is enough to see everything you want to. Don’t forget to factor in time spent queuing for different attractions.
You also need to include time spent traveling from one attraction to the next.
Note that many travelers prefer to book tours and activities in advance to save time, skip the queues and make the most of their holidays.
Pace Of Activities
Be realistic when it comes to planning your itinerary and don’t over-schedule yourself. Of course, you’ll want to see as much of Zermatt as possible but not to the extent that you won’t really have time to take it all in!
If you want to have the flexibility to spend longer at some of your favorite sites, then consider adding an extra night to your stay.
Sustainability is very important in Zermatt, which is why the resort is completely free of cars!
Don’t worry, though, because getting around is very easy.
Much of the town is accessible by foot. In fact, walking around is the best way to soak up the town’s fun and relaxed atmosphere.
But if you want to rest your legs, you have three main options – the eTaxis, the eBuses, or cycling. Zermatt’s electric buses are free to use.
There are two lines – the red line connects the train station, the town center, and the Winkelmatten district. The green line connects the train station, the town center, and the cableway/funicular stations.
eTaxis are available 24/7, whilst bikes can be rented at multiple locations throughout the town.
What To Do In Zermatt
Here are our recommendations for the top 6 things to see and do in Zermatt. To make planning your itinerary easier, we’ve also suggested roughly how long you’ll need for each attraction.
Ride The World’s Highest Cable Car
This unforgettable experience starts with a journey in an 8-seat gondola of the Matterhorn Express. Passing forests, hamlets, and meadows, you’ll travel to Trockerner Steg where you’ll hop onto the 3S cable car for your journey to the mountain’s peak.
The panoramic views that you can enjoy from your heated seat are absolutely breathtaking. You’ll cross the Theodul Glacier before arriving at the viewing platform at the summit.
Here you can take in the stunning Alpine vistas, including 14 glaciers. There is also a cinema lounge showing short mountaineering movies and an ice palace featuring handmade sculptures.
Suggested time: 2 hours
Experience The Thrill Of Paragliding With Alpine Views
Flying in tandem with an experienced instructor, this once-in-a-lifetime adventure lets you experience Zermatt’s incredible views from a unique perspective!
The experience begins with a safety briefing, followed by a cable car ascent to your take-off point. Be sure to chat with your pilot en route, as they’ll be happy to share with you their knowledge and stories about the region!
Once you’ve arrived at the mountain you’ll soon be soaring through the skies. You are free to simply sit back and enjoy the 360° views as your pilot takes care of all the technical details.
A memory card filled with pictures and videos of your experience is included.
Suggested time: 2 hours
Enjoy A Guided Hike
There’s nothing quite like getting up close to nature, and this full day of activities allows you to do just that.
This guided hike starts with a 30-minute journey aboard a cogwheel train to the Gornergrat Summit Station. Once you reach the open-air 360-degree viewing platform it’s time to take photos of some of the best Alpine views you’ll ever witness.
After relaxing at the Kulm Hotel, you’ll then enjoy a fascinating hike through a nature reserve along posted trails. A stop at an Alpine lake is included and you’ll have lots of opportunities to admire the stunning geology and flora of the region firsthand.
Suggested time: 8 hours
Learn More About Zermatt At The Matterhorn Museum
It’s quite fascinating to see how Zermatt has developed over the years and this museum is the best place to get an insight into its history.
It covers everything, from the Matterhorn’s natural history to stories of those who have tried to climb it. The exhibits are varied and fascinating, including everything from mountain boot handcraft to a reproduction of the village square.
You can even see the piece of frayed rope from the first attempt to scale the mountain in 1865. Questions are encouraged and audio guides are available.
Suggested time: 1 to 2 hours
Take A Private Tour Of The Village And Gornergrat Mountain
This private tour is a good way to see the best of Zermatt in a short amount of time. Your experienced guide will show you around some of the older parts of the village, with its typical chalet-style architecture.
Sharing their local knowledge with you, they’ll give you a better understanding of the area. They will also take you to see some hidden gems you may otherwise have missed!
You’ll then move on to Gornergrat Mountain for some awesome views. You’ll also get the chance to learn more from your guide about the changing landscapes you’ll see around you.
Suggested time: 6 hours
Visit The Mountaineers’ Cemetery
The Matterhorn isn’t just one of the most famous peaks in the world – it is also one of the deadliest. Nowhere is that quite as evident as during a visit to this tranquil site, located on the grounds of St. Mauritius Church.
Both moving and interesting, the cemetery serves as a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the region.
The beautifully tended graves bear inscriptions that tell you more about those that died trying to climb the mountain. Three of the four climbers who died in the 1865 expedition are buried there and many memorials are adorned with mountaineering gear such as ice axes and ropes.
Suggested time: 2 to 3 hours
Final Thoughts On Zermatt Getaways
So just how many days do you need in Zermatt to get the most out of your visit? I hope this guide has helped you make your decision and that you have a fantastic break in this idyllic Alpine resort.
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