little boy marvelling at the Matterhorn from the inside of the glacier paradise cabine in Zermatt

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt – An Epic Family Experience

pin to Guide to visit Matterhorn Glacier ParadiseIf you ever wondered what it feels like to

  • Step inside the World’s highest  Glacier Palace
  • Stand on Europe’s highest viewing platform
  • Marvel at 38 of the majestic 4000m mountain peaks
  • Observe 14 glaciers that can be seen in three different countries
  • Stand literally next to one of the World’s most famous mountains, The Matterhorn?

Then this is your perfect opportunity right here.

High up at 3883m Altitude at the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt you and your family have the chance to stand above it all and safely enter a glacier palace (cave), even build a snowman or have a snowball fight.

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Zermatt glaciers from the S3 cableway in Zermatt

Where is the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt?

Zermatt, who has not yet heard of Zermatt!?  A mountain village in the Canton of Valais and home to the world-famous Matterhorn Mountain. Probably the most photographed mountain on earth.

I am assuming you know how to get to Zermatt?

If not, here’s a quick guide.

  • You can only drive by car to Täsch, which lays further down the Matter-Valley. Remember Zermatt is a car free village. Lots of dedicated car parks are sign posted when you enter Täsch.
    Best is to park at the main carpark which is right next to the train station. It feels more like entering an airport than just a train station carpark. But all is very well sign posted.
    You then take the 9 minutes train or shuttle to Zermatt. Check the time table 

Once in the beautiful and famous village of Zermatt you need to make your way up to 3883m Altitude, up to the Klein Matterhorn! Don’t worry Zermatt Bergbahnen AG have installed some amazing cable cabins and gondolas, so you can enjoy the ride up, marvel at the view and do not need to hike it.

View along the “Gornerschlucht” and to the Klein Matterhorn from the Matterhorn Express Gondola.

How to get to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt

You need to head to the cable car Matterhorn Express station which is the 1st cabin to take towards the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

Check out the village map below to see its location. You can easily walk there which gives you the opportunity to walk through the old town of Zermatt and along the river. If it is a clear day you will have a stunning view of the Matterhorn.

You can also take a taxi from the train station, but it will shorten your Zermatt budget by about Chf 20.- to 30.-. Better to walk, it is maximum 20 min. Another option is to take the red or green e-bus line which is included in your mountain ticket.

You need to get a ticket to the Klein Matterhorn – Matterhorn Glacier Paradise return trip. Yes, I agree it is pricey at Chf 115.- but so worth it! Children under the age of 9 are free of charge and if you have a halftax fare card it is 50% reduction. If you are staying several days in Zermatt get some information on what your cheapest options would be for a 2 or 3 day pass which allows you to ride all the cable cars.

 

 

What is Included in the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Ticket?

riding the new 3S cableway up to Klein Matterhorn

Single or return trip to the Matterhorn glacier paradise (option of getting on or off at stations en route)

  • Admission to the Glacier Palace
  • Use of the viewing platform, Cinema Lounge and snow tubing run (check time table, I believe it is mornings only)
  • Admission to the 3S InfoCube, a 3D experience, (this was closed due to COVID during our visit)
  • Bike transport (as far as Trockener Steg)
  • Local bus
  • Dogs are carried for free

 

The ride up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt

From the village of Zermatt all the way to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise you need to count on 45 minutes, including the changeover at Trockener Steg. Within these 45 minutes you will be experiencing jaw dropping vistas, riding over glaciers, looking down into the crevasses and eventually seeing the famous Alps of Italy and France as well. You are in for an epic ride.

I could not believe how pretty it was, and when we rode up, the Matterhorn was covered in clouds for most of the trip. But it did not matter as the surroundings are making up for it, so, so pretty. Have your camera and video device ready.

In the photo below you see where this trip will bring you from a distance. The Matterhorn on your right and can you spot the Klein (little) Matterhorn? This is where the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is situated.

panorama of the matterhorn
Looking over to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt

Furi – Zermatt

The 1st leg up to Furi is short. You will pass some authentic Valaisanne houses, restaurants and have a good view down the Gornergorge. You may even see the suspension bridge on your left.

The ticket allows you to exit, walk around and re-enter. I suggest that on the way down when you are finished up at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at Klein Matterhorn you have a drink in one of the nice restaurants, hike to the suspension bridge (15 min) or maybe even walk down to Zermatt from here.

Schwarzee – Zermatt

If you choose to stay seated at Furi , the next station is Schwarzsee.

Also, from here are several hiking options if you feel like it. If not, remain seated until you arrive at Trockenersteg. Not so long ago,  summer skiing was possible on the glacier all the way down to here

alpine houses at Furi station in zermatt
Middle station Furi in zermatt

Trockenersteg – Zermatt

It is here where you will change to the glorious 3S Cable way.

But first head outside to look at the view and see how impressive the Matterhorn looks. On the upper terrace of the building is a peak finder. You can see the Hörnli Hütte, the start for the Matterhorn Ascent.

Before you enter the last stretch of your cable car ride visit the info cube which explains how the new 3S Bahn was built, some exciting games for the kids and even 3D Vision is available.

matterhorn in zermatt from trockenersteg
The mighty Matterhorn seen from Trockenersteg

The 3S cableway to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

This last stretch is for sure the most impressive. Enter the new and luxurious 3S cableway. I could not believe it when I noticed that the seats are heated, brilliant.

Soon you will be riding over a glacier which gives you some views into the crevasses. Plus, you are right next to the Matterhorn. I could have easily spent some time just riding up and down, it was awesome. Definitely a Matterhorn Glacier Paradise!

riding up to Matterhorn Paradise Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt
the last ride with this beautiful gondola brings you to the Klein Matterhorn

At the top of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Welcome, you have reached Europe’s highest cableway station at 3883m altitude. Just take a moment, remember do not stress up here.

Before climbing up the stairs to the Panoramic platform maybe you would like to first go outside, breathe in the fresh thinner air, throw a snowball and enjoy the surrounding peaks.

Follow the sign to the Matterhorn Glacier Palace, the exit to reach the snow sport activities is right there.

family playing at matterhorn glacier paradise
enjoying the summer snow at Klein Matterhorn

The World’s Biggest Summer Ski Area is in Zermatt

Did you bring your skis? Fancy a summer ski trip? Well, you are at the right place. Up at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise even in the summer months you can enjoy several snow fun activities. Matterhorn ski paradise is the highest winter sports area in the Alps.

Most of the summer, international and Swiss Ski Teams are training here on the Theodul glacier, which is the world’s biggest summer ski area, so don’t be surprised if you see quite a lot of skiers.

For prices and what is open check their website.

Visit the World’s highest Glacier Palace

This is epic. We all absolutely loved stepping into the world of eternal ice. The kids could not believe it and felt like they have entered a magical wonderland. The walls sparkle like diamonds and the blue crystal ice and crevasses are breathtakingly beautiful. The sheer thought of being 15 metres deep inside a glacier is jaw dropping.

The whole experience in words? Epic, magical, unbelievable, awesome and just stunning.

Make sure you have warm clothes, it was freezing cold, which was to be expected 🙂 Read our full experience in the Matterhorn Glacier Palace.

kids in the worlds highest glacier palest
Posing in the World’s Highest Glacier Palace at Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt

Visit the Cinema Lounge in Zermatt

Yes, a fancy cinema lounge showing you some incredible photos and footage on the subjects of alpinism, the alpine world, flora and fauna, and snow and ice. Also, a good idea to sit here a few minutes before you are heading up even higher.

Europe’s highest viewing platform, Zermatt Matterhorn

Follow the signs to the panoramic platform. A lift will bring you yet another step closer to the near 4000m altitude. Exit the lift and SLOWLY climb up the stairs to Europe’s highest viewing platform in the Alps. Be prepared to marvel at a 360-degree panorama which offers views of 38 Alpine peaks and 14 glaciers in three countries – Switzerland, Italy and France.

view from the Viewing platform, the Matterhorn is in the clouds

Pop the question in Zermatt!

I will just throw this in here. At the top is a dedicated place for you to hang your LOVE LOCK !! How romantic to get a YES, at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on Europe’s highest viewing platform?

The key must be deposited in a special letterbox just before entering the lift station.

Amazing views even with the clouds from the Viewing platform at Klein Matterhorn

Hungry- eat at the world’s highest mountain restaurant in Zermatt

Take a seat at the Restaurant Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and even more views are on the menu. Enjoy the Matterhorn through the large panoramic windows whilst savouring some specialties from the Valais.

photo credit @ Zermatt Bergbahnen AG

Tips & Suggestions

  • When we arrived, the weather in Zermatt was cloudy and we could not see the Matterhorn at all. As we had our 2-day tickets for the whole area we opted to go up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.  We thought that for the Glacier Palace we do not need the view and maybe it would clear up or even we will break through the clouds at high altitude.And this is exactly what happened, as soon as we reached Trockener Steg, the clouds broke and we got some great views of the surrounding Alps and even the Matterhorn.
    So, don’t be put off by the weather, it can change three times within one minute. 🙂
  • If you decide to go up even if the weather is not perfect, you may be the only visitors.
    We enjoyed the Glacier Palace alone apart from the last 5 minutes and on Europe’s highest viewing platform were a maximum of 10 persons. Lucky day….. you may also want to check the webcam.
    It is also good to be in the 1st or in the late afternoon crowd, especially if you are sleeping in Zermatt. This way you can beat the day tourists.
  • Make sure you are dressed appropriately also during the summer months. And definitely if you are planning to visit the highest glacier palace in the world, believe us a pullover is not enough.
  • If you are looking for a place to stay, we have chosen the Mountain Paradise Hotel. A chalet style small Hotel only 3 min from the Matterhorn Express Station and the RED BUS line stops right outside the door. Plus it is away from the crowds.
Areal view of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise :: Photo Credit to @Zermatt Bergbahnen AG

Zermatt Facts

Location:: Zermatt, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise up at Klein Matterhorn
Length:: 45 minutes ride by cable cars starting at the Matterhorn Express station
Level::
This is an activity that brings you up to 3883m altitude, keep that in mind
Highest point:: 3883m
Ascent::  from Zermatt 2263m by cable cars

Good to know

  • Restaurant and toilets are available at the top
  • Low clouds in Zermatt may mean clear blue sky at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, check webcams
  • Have warm clothes with you. A waterproof and windproof ski jacket would be perfect.
  • Not recommended for very young children, ask your doctor for his opinion. Here is a “Perfect Family day in Zermatt”  if your kids are still young.
  • You can ski up at the World’s biggest summer ski area
  • Pushchair & wheelchair friendly but not to the viewing platform
  • This is a High Altitude visit. Read more below or if you have any medical concerns ask your doctor for advice.

High Altitude; what it means

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION

This is just a reminder that for this visit you will be going up to 3883m altitude. Most people will be fine, and maybe only feel a slight shortness of breath when climbing up some stairs. If for any reason you are unsure about ascending to this altitude, consult your medical professional. Best to be aware!

Altitude can cause altitude sickness. Some of the symptoms are, nausea, headache, feeling strange, shortness of breath etc. Everybody reacts differently. You may suffer symptoms even if previously you had none at such an altitude. The medics say, very high altitude is between 3,658 – 5,487 meters (12,000 – 18,000 feet) and the rest is classed as extremely high altitude. The Klein Matterhorn is at an altitude of 3883m which puts it in the very high-altitude group.

If you have never been up to such an altitude and are not sure, check with your doctor. This is the safest solution. Also, the recommended age for bringing your kids up to such altitudes is five years or more. It is important that your children are able to tell you how they feel.

If you have younger kids and are looking to visit Zermatt, check out “How to spend a Perfect  Family day in Zermatt” 

Normally and in most cases, if one feels symptoms of altitude sickness, you need to immediately seek lower altitude, this increases the oxygen pressure in the air and makes you feel better pretty much instantly.

It is also important that you have a good breakfast, drink a lot of water, and wear warm clothes. It is best to layer the jackets and just take it easy whilst up there. Relax and marvel at the breathtakingly, beautiful view.


You may also like these Family Hikes & Activities in Zermatt

I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when visiting Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Zermatt.

If I have left anything out or you have a question, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries also.

Thank you & Never Forget to Explore

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Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife and founder of Packed Again – a Swiss Family Travel & Adventure Blog. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.

It is outdoors where we feel the most connected and happy with each other.

The Blog will give you lots of information on Swiss Adventures & Beyond.

Never Forget to Explore!

Thank you Corina

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