Nicknamed the “Mountain of Mountains,” the Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in Europe, reaching a mighty 14,692 feet (4,478 meters). Known for its jagged triangular shape, it’s one of Switzerland’s most famous peaks—not only for its views, but also for its appearance in the logo for Toblerone, the iconic Swiss chocolate brand.
Zermatt is the easiest starting point for a Matterhorn tour, but it’s also possible to explore the mountain on a day trip from Zurich, Lucerne, Geneva, Montreux, or from Stresa, Italy, across the border. Ride the cable car to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, where views span the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps; take the cogwheel railway to the peak of neighboring Mount Gornergrat for a spectacular view of the Matterhorn; or visit the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can purchase combination tickets for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and the Gornergrat railway.
- Hiking or climbing around the Matterhorn is only recommended for experienced mountaineers, and with assistance from and a certified mountain guide.
- The alpine village of Zermatt (the gateway to the Matterhorn) is car-free, and can only be reached by train or electric shuttle buses.
How to Get to There
The Matterhorn is located in the Swiss Alps, close to the border of Italy and just southwest of Zermatt. From Zermatt, trains and cable cars run to the surrounding peaks—to reach the Matterhorn, take the cable car from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Valley Base Station, a 45-minute journey via Furi, Trockener Steg, and Schwarzsee.
When to Get There
The Matterhorn is impressive sight any time of year—it’s possible to visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise all year round. The most popular times to visit Zermatt and the surrounding peaks are either in July and August, a popular time for hiking and outdoor activities, or from December to March, when the ski season is in full swing.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
At a dizzying 12,740 feet (3,883 meters), the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is Europe’s highest summit station. After the thrilling ride on Europe’s highest aerial cableway, visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of famous peaks (including Jungfrau and Mont Blanc), explore the icy sculptures of the Glacier Palace, or have lunch at the mountaintop restaurant. Additional activities include year-round skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing excursions, snow tubing, and hikes to the summit of The Breithorn mountain range.