Towering at 4,478 meters high, the mighty Matterhorn overlooks the small town of Zermatt. Zermatt is one of those fairy towns that we learn about from an early age in the United States.
In between looking at pictures of the Matterhorn in geography books and visiting the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride at Disneyland, one can feel a bit more connected to the energy and majesty of this mountain.
Well, Disneyland didn’t prepare me for what we saw in Zermatt.
Where is Zermatt, Switzerland?
We travel to learn, right? But that doesn’t cover for my naiveness of actually where the Zermatt was.
I mean — it’s in Switzerland, but did you know how far south the Matterhorn actually is. For some reason, that detail didn’t stick in my ‘unworldly’ brain.
For those still in the guessing phase, here is a map to help you out.
Zermatt mountain town vibes
I’m a lover of mountain towns, but Zermatt surpassed my expectations.
Like any town like this, they have a sense of ‘touristic unrealness’. Zermatt seems to be mainly full of rich Swiss and tourists, but what I didn’t expect …
The locals can still be found. For example, the local Zermatt bus driver driving his e-bus. (By the way, did you know that there are no cars in Zermatt?)
Let’s just say, I loved this mountain guy’s German accent. It was a real treat for my German learner’s brain.
Back to vibes.
My favorite was the architecture of this town. It really felt like a small mountain town with the wooden cabins, the blooming flowers in the windows, and the strong current river running through the middle of town.
I’m sure it was staged for tourists, but it was still lovely to look at.
Best views in Zermatt
I’m biased, but I think the best views in Zermatt were of the Matterhorn.
It felt like every place you walked in Zermatt, the mighty Matterhorn that was not far behind you.
And the Matterhorn is incredibly moody.
It’s sometimes in the clouds. It’s sometimes completely hidden, and many times, you can’t see the peak.
Rarely, you can see the Matterhorn on a clear, sunny day.
I can also report that it’s very cold at the top of the Matterhorn (at 2 degrees C) and even in the summer.
If I was to wrap this article up — and give you a list of my favorite things to do in the area, it would be this.
- Riffelalp – the views from this spot are amazing. Take the famous Gornergrat Bahn to this location and hike around during the day. I would honestly ride this train up and down that mountain on multiple days.
- 5 Lake Hike – at the end of the Sunnegga bahn, you exit the train, and the direction of the 3 lake tour is right in front of you. The views as you hike along these lakes are amazing.
- Restaurant WALDHAUS – we really enjoyed this restaurant, and we had Fondue (which isn’t as exciting as you would think).
I didn’t have as much time in Zermatt as I wanted, and I was sick when I was there.
But I will see this charming mountain town again in the future. Zermatt struck me as the perfect location for a family, partner, or single person trip.
That makes it special.