1 Day at Gornergrat | Best Views of the Matterhorn!

Today we’re going to show you the best of Gornergrat, including a breathtaking view of 29 mountains above 4,000 meters, a visit to Switzerland’s highest-altitude hotel, the famous black-nosed sheep, and an alpine lake that mirrors the Matterhorn.

Brett looking at the matterhorn from gornergrat zermatt

Whether you love luxury, hiking, food, or unforgettable experiences, Gornergrat has something to offer every traveler on their Swiss vacation. But first, we gotta get up there. So let’s hop on the Gornergrat railway (Gornergrat bahn).

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Scenic Train Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn

The Gornergrat Bahn departs from Zermatt village. It opened in 1898 as Switzerland’s first electric cogwheel train and runs 365 days a year. Better yet, it’s eco-friendly by generating electricity during each descent to help power the next journey to the top. 

Here’s a tip: sit on the right side for the best views!

The train climbs 1469 meters along the 9.4km route, passing bridges, tunnels, forests, and mountain lakes. You finally reach Gornergrat, the fifth and final station, in just 33 minutes.

Views from Gornergrat

Right away you’ll be welcomed by the view, and after all, that’s one of the biggest reasons to come up here! From the Gornergrat terrace, you can see the Dufourspitze, Switzerland’s highest peak; the Gorner Glacier, the second-biggest glacier in the Alps; the mighty Matterhorn; plus 29 other peaks over 4000 meters. But words don’t do it justice, you just gotta see this for yourself!

We recommend coming up here first thing in the morning because that’s when the weather tends to be the clearest. And as you can see, there are plenty of views worth admiring!

In addition to the viewing terrace, there’s a Grand Tour photo spot, selfie with the Matterhorn, and a golden locomotive!

Panoramic Walk at Gornergrat

There’s even a short 20 minute panorama walk so you can truly enjoy 360° of the Swiss Alps.

But what else can you do up here? I mean, the views are a good enough reason to visit, but you can also do a few hikes from here, and it’s pretty awe-inspiring to stare at those snowy peaks while you walk. But before you start hiking, there are a few more things to see up here. 

Gornergrat Hotel (Europe’s Highest Hotel!)

This is Europe’s highest hotel! Beyond just a luxurious place to lay your head at night, the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat also has 2 restaurants, an observatory, and plenty of shopping. So whether you’re hiking or not, there’s still something for everyone up here.

Zooom the Matterhorn Museum

Pass by the cute mountaineering chapel on your way to Zooom the Matterhorn Museum. It’s next door to the hotel, or just a 5-minute walk/quick lift ride from the Gornergrat railway station.

We’re not big museum people, but this one was actually pretty neat because it gets you up close and personal with the Matterhorn (also called the Horu by the locals). And it’s free with your train ticket!

The first part has periscopes that let you check out the Matterhorn. 

Then there’s a 3D cinema showing the Matterhorn during all 4 seasons of the year. This is really cool because we were here in the summer but it’s pretty spectacular to glimpse the Matterhorn clothed in snow for the winter!

The last part of Zooom the Matterhorn is where you put on 3D glasses and relax in a floating armchair to symbolize what it’s like to glide through the sky as a paraglider. 

Was it worth it? Absolutely — mainly because the virtual reality paragliding experience was so fascinating!

If you wanna learn about other places that are worth a visit in Zermatt, check out our Zermatt Itinerary and Travel Guide!

Introducing 3 day guide to zermatt itinerary by aplins in the alps swiss travel guide

Tickets to Gornergrat

Before we start our hike, let’s talk about how you can get up to Gornergrat.

In 2024, a standard round trip ticket for adults costs anywhere from 92-132 CHF, depending on the season. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling with the Eurail or Interrail pass, there is no discount so you will have to pay full price.

This ride is fully covered by both the Peak Pass and the Peak2Peak ticket.

But we’re big fans of the Swiss Half Fare Card, so we used that to get 50% off our tickets. You also get 50% off if you’re traveling with the Swiss Travel Pass

As usual, kids are free up to the age of six, and from 6 to 15, they’re half price (or free if you’re traveling with the Swiss family card). But here’s a fun surprise — kids can travel for free during Winter up to age 9.

And this is random but fun — dogs can ride with you for free!

Also, when you buy a round trip ticket from Zermatt to Gornergrat, you can use the return ride within 10 days of your ascent. So if you’re planning to stay at Switzerland’s highest hotel, then this ticket works in your favor!

How to buy tickets for the Gornergrat Railway

We bought tickets on the SBB app with a Supersaver discount. We feel like it’s easiest to buy them on the app, and you don’t have to worry about waiting in line. 

Tip 1: Pick a Swiss train pass with confidence using our free Swiss Train Pass Checklist.

Tip 2: Learn about Supersaver discounts in our Ultimate Guide to Swiss Transportation.

Tip 3: Find out if Gornergrat Priority Boarding is worth the splurge in our 3-Day Guide to Zermatt.

Hiking from Gornergrat

Time to start walking, and we think you’re gonna like this trail.

We’re following the Meet The Sheep Trail to find the famous black-nosed sheep as we walk from Gornergrat to Riffelberg!

There’s even a website that shows you where the sheep and shepherd are during the summer months. But first, we walked from Gornergrat to Rotenboden with epic Matterhorn views along the way! This is also where we followed the Meet the Sheep Panels. You can scan the QR code on each one to learn more about these famous animals!


We’ll see the sheep soon! Along the way we pass through Rotenboden. This has the highest alpine flower garden and a lake that reflects the Matterhorn on a clear day! (It was a bit breezy when we visited so we didn’t have great reflections, but it was still lovely!)

When you see an iconic photograph of the Matterhorn in front of an alpine lake, it’s often snapped here at Riffelsee

And if you look to the mountain on the left side of the lake (with the Matterhorn in the background), you might spy some climbers. Apparently they use this rock as a place to practice before they summit the Matterhorn!

Meet The Sheep Trail

It’s finally time to hike to the sheep! When we were in Zermatt, Switzerland, the sheep were nestled in the hills between Rotenboden and Riffelberg.

They are absolutely adorable! And friendly, particularly if you rub them between their horns. The shepherdess was super friendly and answered some of our questions about the sheep. She even informed us that if we pet the babies too much, they will start to follow us. (While that’s precious, she asked that we don’t pet the babies so they safely stay with the pack of sheep!) One of my favorite memories was watching one sheep rub her bottom on a rock…almost as if she was jamming out to some rock music, haha!

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to these little sheepies to continue on our way to the next scenic spot. 


The trail is about 5km and 1hr15m from Gornergrat to Riffelberg via Riffelsee. You could end your hike in Rotenboden, but we continuted to Riffelberg for some goooood looking’ foodie spots!

There is a special Gourmet ticket that includes your train ride, aperitif, 3-course meal, coffee, and dessert, but we thought it was pretty pricey at 149 CHF (with the Half Fare Card discount already built in). Also, I could never eat all of that food by myself. So we crafted our own 3-course meal instead!

We went to Riffelhaus 1853 for a Valais apero platter and a glass of wine. As you can imagine, the terrace had sweeping Matterhorn views, and we also enjoyed watching paragliders take off from the field in front of us!

Then we walked to Buffet and Bar Riffelberg for their self-service rösti stand. If you haven’t heard of rösti, it’s a traditional Swiss dish that’s basically glorified hash browns with onions and bacon. Not to mention the terrace views!

With a bit of room left in our stomachs, we hopped back on the Gornergrat Bahn and rode down to Riffelalp. It was just a short 10-minute walk from the Riffelalp station to our next stop.


Next on our list was Ristorante Al Bosco because we wanted to try a Matterhorn pizza…but unfortunately they were closed when we went there!

Tip: Learn from our mistakes, and check opening days and hours before your visit!

Instead we wandered through the adorable area of Riffelalp (complete with a mini train, water fountain, walking paths, and playground). Then made our way to Alphitta for dessert. As usual, we were blown away by the amazing Matterhorn views from the terrace and high-quality, delicious food. (If you’re a foodie, don’t skip Zermatt!)

Find more things to do in Zermatt, Switzerland!

From Riffelalp, you can ride the Gornergrat Bahn back down to the village of Zermatt.

If you want to learn about other can’t-miss food spots or more things to do in Zermatt, be sure to check out our Zermatt Travel Guide, and we’ll see ya in Switzerland!



Jana is an SEO copywriter and content editor plus travel YouTuber. She loves all things gelato, sunshine, and words. Her perfect day? Tossing on sunglasses to read a book and catch some rays, then dinner with her husband and friends. In her free time, Jana disciples teen girls and cooks from scratch (like homemade pasta). Jana lives in Switzerland with her husband, Brett.

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