A Guide for the Best Views of the Matterhorn
How to get to Zermatt
The question of how to see the Matterhorn is only relevant if you can get close to it! The good news is that Zermatt is easily accessible from anywhere in Switzerland, keeping in mind that it is tucked away in a corner of the far south of the country. The city of Visp, whether you can get there directly or have to change somewhere, is where all regular trains to Zermatt pass.
If you want to take the famous Glacier Express train, during this time you will need to get to St. Moritz. Keep in mind that this is neither the fastest way to reach Zermatt, nor the most direct, it is a tourist train. The journey here, as the old saying goes from The Lord of the Rings, is far more important than the destination. Surprisingly, the Eurail Pass and the Swiss Pass cover the train, which means it won’t have much of an impact on your bottom line.
Where to see the Matterhorn
City of Zermatt
If it is clear when you arrive in the city of Zermatt, you will be able to see the Matterhorn as you exit the station. Depending on where you are staying and the orientation of your room, you will also be able to see the mountain from your room. I could see it from mine at Bahnhof Hotel!
Most of the articles on how to see the Matterhorn will rightly point you to one of the cable cars out of town. The first stop on the trip (which actually takes you on a funicular, at least at the start) is at Sunnegga, which has a good view of the Matterhorn, but not the best.
From Blauherd, which is the train station just past Sunnegga after your transfer from the funicular to the cable car, the view is even better. This is the case both when you are in the cable car that goes up to Blauherd station, as well as from Blauherd itself.
For me the best place to see the Matterhorn (without embarking on a long or strenuous hike, it is) is Stellisee, which is located about a 15-minute walk from Blauherd station. This is one of the many places near the Matterhorn to see the classic “mirror plane” represented by so many postcards and advertisements.
Matterhorn glacier paradise
If you want to see the Matterhorn against the backdrop of the glaciers that surround it, ride the Matterhorn Gondola (which is across town from the cable car) to the aptly named Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Note that if you continue to Italy from Switzerland you can take the gondola to the border!
Is the Matterhorn worth seeing?
I have seen some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, from Everest to Fuji to Etna. And I must say: despite the fatigue I feared when I first saw the Matterhorn when I arrived in Zermatt, the emotion that ran through my veins was pure ecstasy. And it was just based on the view I saw from the city, the top of the mountain half covered in clouds.
Indeed, it was not until I reached Stellisee in Blauherd (which I mention in the fourth main section of the way to see the Matterhorn above) that the enormity of the Matterhorn, both literally and figuratively, became apparent to me. There’s a reason people flock from all over Switzerland, Europe and the world. Frankly, because the Matterhorn is really beautiful and amazing!
Other FAQ on Seeing the Matterhorn
What’s the best way to see the Matterhorn?
The best way to see the Matterhorn is to take the train to Zermatt and take a cable car to Lake Stellisee, accessible via the “Blauherd” stop. Alternatively, you can also admire the Matterhorn view from the city of Zermatt or from some private sightseeing flights.
How much does the Matterhorn tour cost?
Seeing the Matterhorn, officially speaking, is free – there is no entrance fee or national park tax. However, you will have to pay the cost of access to Zermatt and then up to the point of view you choose, which, to be fair, may be covered by your Eurail or Swiss Pass. By paying in cash, it costs around CHF 200 round trip to get to Zermatt from Zurich, then another CHF 50 round trip for tickets up and down the main cable car to Blauherd.
Which city is closest to the Matterhorn?
Zermatt is the city literally at the foot of the Matterhorn and from where most of the tourist activities to the Matterhorn start. However, the town of Visp is also relatively close to the Matterhorn; the Glacier Express train starts in St. Moritz, which is not at all close!
The bottom line
I hope I have given you many practical tips for seeing the Matterhorn. Whether you take in the views from the city of Zermatt or take the cable car to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, it’s impossible not to feel humbled by the beauty of Switzerland’s most famous mountain, unless you are unlucky to have a cloudy day, in which case you might not see the peak at all. Protect yourself from inclement weather by choosing sunny summer months and planning to stay at least a few days so that you have several chances of seeing the perfect view.