The Gornergrat Railway leads from Zermatt (1620 m) to the 3089 m high located Gornergrat. From there panoramic views of the various 4000 m high mountains including the Matterhorn can be enjoyed.
The train needs about 45 minutes for the 9,4 km long trip and also stops in Riffelalp and Riffelberg. Both places are located in the middle of Zermatt's hiking region.
Although we didn't use the Gornergrat Railway, we crossed the route several times on our hikes and always enjoyed watching it creeping up the mountain.
In summer 2007 the single fare was 38,00 CHF and the return fare was 76,00 CHF (about 48 Euro). Various discounts are available.
The Riffelalp tram is the highest tramway in Europe.
It links the train station Riffelalp with the 5-starred Hotel Riffelalp (2222 m) and was built to transport guests of the hotel.
The 675 m long route is only served by the tram from June until October. The original tram was opened in 1899 but had to be closed 60 years later due to a fire which destoyed the hotel.
The hotel was rebuilt in 2000 and the replicated tram was inaugurated in June 2001.
As Zermatt is car-free most tourists arrive by train. The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn company runs an hourly service on the route Brig - Visp - Zermatt.
The narrow gauge cog railway needs about 90 minutes for the scenic trip through the Vispa Valley.
The single fare is about 35 CHF (23 Euro, 2007).
Please note that the Eurrail pass is not valid on this route, but allows a 25 % discount.
Zermatt is a car-free resort. Access for private transport is only allowed as far as Täsch (5km from Zermatt). You could let your car at the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch (New Park and Rail car park completed in 2007) for CHF 13.50 per day. Shuttle trains operated from Tasch to Zermatt (trip of 12 minutes) run every 20 minutes. Return ticket CHF 15.20 (or CHF 7.60 with half fare card).
At Visp Railway station about 100 free carpark is available, but train trip costs more than from Täsch and duration trip is about 1 hour.
Insider tip: Do not forget to give a quick free call from the Tasch railway station thanks to the hotels board. Somebody will waiting for you at our arrival ;-)
It is easy to get around in Zermatt. Most distances can easily be covered on foot.
In winter the bus service is included in the ski-pass : two routes with electrically-powered buses serve all major intersections.
Several funiculars and gondolas serve the mountain region of Zermatt.
For one of our hikes we used the undergorund funicular which took us from Zermatt to Sunnegga paradise. Sunnegga paradise is good starting point for many hikes.
The trip takes only a few minutes and covers a difference in altitude of about 650 m.
In summer 2007 the single fare was 14,50 CHF and the return fare was 22,50 CHF (about 14,00 Euro). Various discounts are available.
Experience the fascination of the unique natural scenery at 3'089 m above sea level. The GGB Gornergrat-Monte Rosa-Bahnen transport you from Zermatt to the Gornergrat vantage platform in about 42 minutes. Around you rise 29 four-thousand-meter-high mountains laden with snow and ice. The second longest ice stream of the Alps, the Gorner Glacier, is at your feet and an extensive hiking area is waiting to be explored by you.
For bikers there is a choice of four different routes and early risers on sunrise rides are rewarded with a unique atmosphere.
Prices (Zermatt - Gornergrat return, 2nd class):
Adult CHF 67.- EUR 45.-
Half fare card CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
Child (6-16y.) CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
The only way to get to Zermatt, other than hiking, is by train. Even if you drive, cars are not allowed in Zermatt. You have to park in Täsch and take a "pendelzug" (shuttle train) to Zermatt (CHF 15.60 return).
The private railway used to be known as the BVZ (Brig-Visp-Zermatt) Bahn, running, as you might expect, from Brig to Visp to Zermatt. The railway recently merged with the Furka Oberalp (FO) railway (formerly responsible for service from Brig to Disentis) to form the Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn (MGB). The MGB runs a section of the "Glacier Express," a scenic train running between Zermatt, Brig, Disentis, Andermatt, Chur, and St. Moritz. But we're interested in the journey to Zermatt.
From Brig, the narrow-gauge train slowly winds its way up the Mattertal for the 80-minute ride to Zermatt. To board the train, exit the train station at Visp (or Brig, if you're coming from Milan/Domodossola or Kandersteg) and walk to the "MGB" station (just outside the Brig and Visp main railway station) to await your connecting train.
RAILPASS VALIDITY: If you have a Eurailpass, select pass, or multi-country pass, the MGB does not honor your pass. You'll have to go to the ticket counter and purchase a ticket (CHF 68 2nd class return from Brig, CHF 66 from Visp). However, if you have a Swisspass, you're in luck, as this family of passes is valid on these private railways. While a few trains are 1st class only, you generally don't need reservations to get to Zermatt. If you travel towards Disentis, however, reservations are compulsory on most trains, and cost about CHF 8 extra, even with a Swisspass.
If you stop at Riffelalp on your way to/from Gornergrat you may see a small tram. This red tram departs from Riffelalp station, and takes guests along the road to the 5 star hotel, Riffelalp Resort 2222.
The Riffelalp tram is special as it is the highest tramway in Europe. The tram first operated in 1899, but was damaged by fire in the 1950's. Years later the tram was resurrected and since 2001 it has been running again.
Primarily built to transport guests of the 5 star hotel, it is open to non-guests as well for a small charge (2 CHF in July 2008). Don't get too comfortable though, the track is only 675m long.
One of the highlights of many trips to Zermatt is to take the Gornergrat Bahn (GGB) rack railway. Trains depart every 24 minutes from the GGB train station, across the street from the main train station. The 40-45 minute ride will take you up to the Gornergrat and its observatory. From there, you can get magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
Another option, instead of taking the train all the way to the top, is to stop at one of the intermediate stations and hike around the area. One of our favorite trips is to get off at Riffelalp and hike along the ridge to the Stellisee and the Unterer Rothorn.
As of August 2012, fares are CHF 40 per person one-way Zermatt to Gornergrat, CHF 80 round trip. One-way fare to Riffelalp is CHF 18. You get a 50% discount with Swisspass, Swiss Card, and "Halbtax" (half-fare card). 25% discount with Eurailpass valid in Switzerland. Check the website for details on passes and special sunrise excursions.
One thing is for certain, there is no subway in a mountain resort like Zermatt, right? Wrong. The Sunnegga-Bahn, a part of the "Rothorn Paradise" transportation system to get from Zermatt to the Rothorn, will whisk you from Zermatt to Sunnegga in about 3 minutes. You actually have to walk into the mountain about 150 meters (200 yards), then board the sloped train by a series of steps. When you get to Sunnegga, you have to exit and climb stairs to make your way out to Sunnegga. You'll have to climb the same number of stairs, so choose whether you want to climb them as you enter or as you exit. There is elevator access for those with limited mobility.
Travel between Zermatt and Sunnegga costs CHF 14.50 one way, CHF 22.50 round trip. Cost with Swisspass or half-fare card is CHF 7.50/11.50. The subway is closed for maintenance from late April through late May.
Take the Gornergratbahn,located just right next to the train station in Zermatt.Sometimes they have the so-called "happy hour" where you pay less to go to Gornergrat,I think its starts from 12noon 'til the last descent.Gornergrat railway was the first electric cogwheel train in Switzerland.
Zermatt is a car-free town, though don't despair about having to drag your suitcases for miles to your hotel, as there are these cute electric vehicles that whiz around town.
Most hotels and many restaurants seemed to have their own branded ones zipping about the place, and there are taxis as well. We were collected from the station by our hotel's electric car, and as we alighted the train there seemed to be a sea of these odd little vans waiting for people just like us.
It is worth noting that these electric cars practically make no sound, so be careful if you are walking on the road as they tend to sneak up on you! And they drive fast.
If you are driving to Zermatt, you will actually have to park your car in a giant car park in Tasch, and then catch the train into Zermatt, which takes around 10 minutes.
The bus is commuting from Spiss to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise station. We alighted at the Gornergratbahn station. The fare is included to those who have special tickets like Ski Pass and Peak Pass. Tickets for individual travellers is 2.50 CHF per person (one way).
A panoramic trip through the Alps in the heart of Switzerland on the famous Swiss mountain railways from Zermatt to St.Moritz.
Called the Slowest Fast Train in the World due to the 7 1/2 hour railway journey across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass at 2’033 metres in altitude.
Prices (Zermatt - St-Moritz return, 2nd class):
Adult CHF 244.- EUR 163.-
Half fare card CHF 122.- EUR 81.-
Child (6-16y.) CHF 122.- EUR 81.-
Prices (Brig - Zermatt return, 2nd class):
Adult CHF 67.- EUR 45.-
Half fare card CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
Child (6-16y.) CHF 34.- EUR 23.-
Railway journey 1h30 (one way).
Exclusive offers for the 75th are already all fully booked.
We travelled to Zermatt via the scenic Glacier Express train (more info in "Things to Do" tip), though when we departed we just went by regular train.
Train travel in Switzerland is easy. Trains are clean and run on time. Stations are well signposted and fellow travellers are considerate. The trains we travelled on all had luggage areas and toilets. It is a stress-free way to get around the country.
Being on the train is also a great way to do some sight seeing on route. Some of the rail lines travel through the most gorgeous mountain scenery. One day we travelled on the Glacier Express, on a 6 hour journey from Chur to Zermatt. The train travels through valleys, up mountains, past lakes and glaciers.
The only confusing thing connected to train travel in Switzerland is deciding what type of ticket or rail pass to buy. Sure you can buy tickets from place to place as you go, but there are various passes that may work our more economical depending on your itinerary and rail usage.
I spent some time before our trip calculating out the cost of buying various tickets versus rail passes, and in our case determined that a Swiss Pass offered the best value. The Swiss Pass is valid on almost all trains (supplement was required to use the Glacier Express), on buses, ferries, and we got 50% off the cost of cable cars and mountain transport in Zermatt.
You can investigate Rail Passes here
Train timetables and routing here