Zermatt is an adorable little town in the Swiss Alps that is home to the famous Matterhorn. While it’s known for its world class skiing in the winter, summer there is just as beautiful and has plenty of hiking and outdoor activities.
On our way from Lausanne to Milan we decided to stop off in Zermatt for a little day trip to see the Matterhorn.
The town is easily accessible by train from anywhere in Switzerland, and depending on where you are coming from you can take either the Glacier Express or the Cog Train. We took the Cog Train which was pretty cool. To be able to get up the steep inclines of the mountains the train runs on cogs rather than tracks. It also has huge windows that curve up over the roof so you can get a good view of the mountains on your way up. The trains run every 30 minutes, making it really easy to get to and from the town.
Once you get into town, the train station has lockers, so if you have your luggage you can put it away and not have to cart it around all day. It’s worth noting that the lockers can fill up, so the earlier in the day you get there, the more likely you are to get a locker.
There are no cars in the village, the only vehicles are electric taxis and horse drawn carriages, making it perfect for walking around. Check out the town, wander into the many outdoorsy shops, and enjoy the classic Swiss chalet architecture, seriously it adorable. Then head up the hill to see the Matterhorn. It was still pretty cloudy when we got there, so we stopped at the Hotel Alpenrose Restaurant to have some lunch and a local beer. From the porch, there is a perfect view of the Matterhorn so we enjoyed our lunch while watching the clouds dissipate from around the peak.
There is a ton of hiking to do around the Matterhorn, trails range from easy to very difficult so finding the right intensity level shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll get beautiful scenery and awesome views from any of the hikes. Or if you are pressed for time like we were, just walk down the road from the Alpenrose to one of the trailheads for a good view of the the Matterhorn and excellent picture-taking opportunities.
Unless you are planning some serious outdoor activities Zermatt can totally be done in a day. It was the perfect little excursion for us on our way from Lausanne to Milan, it’s kind of nice to break up long train rides with some walking around and sightseeing. Plus, it’s the Matterhorn, who wouldn’t want to check that out?
Oh and here’s a little time lapse video of the clouds around the Matterhorn!