In our view and many others, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is one of the most famous attractions located in Switzerland, specifically in the Swiss Alps. This is located, easily reachable and viewable from the town of Zermatt. The 360° views of the Alps on a clear day is one of the most stunning views in Switzerland, and something everyone should experience at least once!
Most tourists visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise either in Winter or Summer, since it’s beautifully white and snowy or delightful green and sunny. We’ve written this post based on factual information, as well as from our personal experience of visiting during Winter.
What is the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise famous for?
Spectacular views From The 360° Viewing Point
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise offers for most people stunning views of the Matterhorn, one of the most famous and iconic mountains in the world. The ride of 3883m to the klein Matterhorn is a beautiful route that everyone can experience.
In the distance on clear days, you can also spot so many points of interest. These views include seeing the mountains of Mont Blanc, Eiger, Breithorn, Jungfrau, and also local points like the village of Zermatt and the Gornergrat.
Visitors (even non-skiers) can take the cable car up to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The 360° views of the Alps is a must-see for everyone visiting Switzerland, where you can see Switzerland, France and Italy!
Highest cable car station in Europe
The cable car that takes visitors to the summit of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the highest in Europe, reaching an altitude of 3,883 meters (12,740 feet).
The cable car ride is an amazing experience in itself, as visitors are lifted high above the mountain slopes and travel through the clouds to reach the summit. The journey takes about 45 minutes and offers unparalleled views of the Matterhorn and other iconic peaks in the region. It starts in the village of Zermatt, which goes through Furi, Schwarzsee and then Trockener Steg.
With your ticket, you are able to get out at all the stations along the way, such as for taking photos or skiing of course. We did get out on the way back down to enjoy some different angles of views, as the highlight was of course getting to the top first thing!
This cable car is also a remarkable feat of engineering, as it enables visitors to reach an altitude that was once only accessible to mountaineers and extreme adventurers. It provides a unique perspective on the Swiss Alps and offers visitors the chance to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the mountain landscape in a comfortable and safe way. Even if they are not going to ski or snowboard after arriving at the peak!
GET YOUR TICKETS: You can purchase your tickets online in advance or get them at the Zermatt Bergbahnen station (the first cable car station). We bought our tickets online before visiting (which also included a peak ticket to Gornergrat, which were automatically loaded on to our Swisspass cards.
At the summit, visitors can also explore the Glacier Palace, a chilly but interesting network of ice tunnels and caves carved into the glacier. The palace features ice sculptures and installations, as well as an ice slide and an ice bar. During our visit, there were ice feature statues of people, birds, a dragon and an ice chair to sit on!
The entrance is with a lift down to the opening of the glacier, and it was included in our tickets we had for the visit with the Matterhorn Glacier Express. So you can check this before arriving to see if its included in yours too!
Skiing and Snowboarding
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is, as you may know it best, as a popular starting point for skiing and snowboarding, with lots of slopes and trails for all skill levels to choose from. From the peak, you can even choose to ski or snowboard into Italy with the adjoining slopes.
Visit The Cinema Lounge
While at the top, take a seat in the cinema lounge for watching a short film about the beauty of the Alps and region. If you are new to the area, it’s a great starting point to watch and learn before seeing the real thing in person!
Unlike many ski resorts, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is open year-round, offering a range of activities in both summer and winter. So in the Summer, you can go hiking, mountain biking, or paragliding, while in the Winter they can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or sledding.
We saw you can also book a helicopter ride in Zermatt, which would take you on a short ride around the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. So if you want to make your visit more special, consider this!
We have only experienced the area during Winter, so we hope to be back in the Summer!
How Much Time Do You Need To Visit The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
If you are to visit like we did, 1 full day is best to truly enjoy everything without rushing. Keep in mind what we did was based on our visit in November, when there was already a lot of snow!
With 1 full day we suggest the following itinerary;
- Head up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in the morning when the cable car is opening. It can get busy like a normal commuting rush hour, so arrive early if you want to get up to the peak before 10am.
- Visit the 360° viewing platform and spend some time here taking in the beauty of the Alps
- Head to the restaurant for a small snack to eat or warm drink – during winter we had Gluhwein here!
- Take the lift down to the Glacier Palace ice tunnels and admire the sculptures.
- Watch the short film in the cinema area
- Take the cable car down to Trockener Steg and have some lunch. They have a buffet area as well as a pizza restaurant. Both have amazing views of the surrounding Alps. There is also a free exhibition called InfoCube Zermatt that you can visit, which shares information on the construction of the structure in the Matterhorn.
- Head next down to the Schwarzsee cable car station. Here you can get out and walk to the “Zermatt” sign with the Matterhorn in the background for photos! We also took our drone out for making some timelapse and videos.
- Take the cable car again down to Furi. It’s a great place to walk around and enjoy, with pretty views of Zermatt too. There are also many restaurants here if you would want another drink or bite to eat.
- Lastly to hear back down to Zermatt, either by walking one of the hiking routes or with the last part of the cable car.
You can of course choose to skip the lower stations and spend half a day at the top, so if you are tight for time, you should still enjoy a visit to the peak!
If you want to keep your visit efficiently in seeing everything, you can also consider booking a private tour! We didn’t try this, but it looks like a fantastic opportunity to see all in one short sweet visit!
Top Questions Asked About Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Will I get Altitude Sickness on Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
Many people will experience the affects of being at a higher altitude, which may include a little headache or a feeling of faint dizziness. You’ll probably feel the affects of the altitude because the air is so thin at this altitude.
Take the following cable car back to Zermatt if you feel any serious signs and symptoms, and alert a staff member so they are aware to help you.
When we visited, I definitely had altitude sickness issues (mostly dizziness) but after a 10min sit down and relaxation in the restaurant area I mostly got used to it and it became manageable. Whereas Dawid was totally unaffected by the altitude change!
Can I Use My Swiss Travel Pass On the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
Yes you can! You can get up to 50% discount on tickets to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, so make sure to remember this and save yourself money on tickets.
What Is The Best Time To Visit The the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
We suggest visiting first thing in the morning of your visit. Of course it does depend on when you are visiting, but from our experience visiting in winter, the cable car was busy with mostly skiiers in the morning. So the actual viewing platform and restaurant at the peak was not busy since everyone was already skiing down the slopes instead!
Personal Experience Of Our Visit To Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
From our own personal experience, we enjoyed visiting the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise during the start of the Winter period in November. We are non-skiers, so our full weekend experience in Zermatt did not include skiing. However it was a fun, romantic trip with the most amazing views from the mountains.
Since it was the start of Winter, the snow had just arrived and not every hotel or restaurant was open. We had booked the weekend at the beautiful House Mojo, which had direct views of the Matterhorn. We mostly did our own food to keep costs down, but there were a few restaurants already open for the season nearby that were perfect.
Still wondering if you should visit? Our answer = Visit!!