Staying in Zermatt for a while and want to explore outside the town while you’re there? Then you’ve come to the right place because this detailed guide includes all the best day trips from the charming Swiss town.
Whether you want to visit a village that’s even smaller than Zermatt, head to a bigger city for the day, or explore the wonderful nature that surrounds this city, we’ve got the perfect day trip for you! Keep reading to see the most popular places for day trips from Zermatt, all of which are easily accessible by public transport in Switzerland!
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Brig is another charming town you can easily visit on a day trip from Zermatt. It’s about an hour and a half away from Zermatt by train, including one train change in Visp. It is also the first stop from Zermatt on the Glacier Express train, which is considered to be one of the most scenic train journeys is on all of Switzerland.
Brig town is best known for its imposing historic landmarks and some great thermal baths. Stockalper Palace is a baroque castle in Brig that attracts tourists from all over the country. You can go on a guided tour of the castle, explore its beautiful formal gardens, and visit the on-site museum to learn more about Simplon Pass and its history.
The World Nature Forum is another popular museum in the town, especially among travelers with young children. The Thermal Baths of Brig is a great destination for travelers who want to relax and unwind briefly, especially after challenging skiing sessions in Zermatt.
Sion is a charming hilly city some two hours outside Zermatt by train. There are no direct trains between the two Swiss towns and you will need to change trains in Visp to reach Sion.
Sion is best known for Valère Basilica, an 11th-century castle that dominates the town’s central area. The castle is on a rocky promontory, and you can see it from most places in the town. The Valais History Museum is situated inside the castle, and it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Domaine des Iles is another very popular attraction in Sion. This is a large park in the southern area of the town, and it’s the perfect place for all outdoor adventurers looking to have some fun in Sion. Visit the adventure park, relax near the lake, or explore the main hiking trails throughout the park.
The Gorner Gorge is a fabulous natural attraction near Zermatt that is easily accessible by public transport and hiking trails. A bus will take you there from central Zermatt in about 15 minutes, but it only takes some 20-25 minutes to hike to the gorge on your own.
This natural attraction is accessible only during the warmer months, so between May and October. It’s open from 9:15 AM to 5:45 PM, and the entrance fee for adults is just 5 CHF. It’s worth noting that they only accept cash, so be sure to have enough on hand since the closest ATM is back in Zermatt.
The Gorner Gorge features wooden walking paths between the cliffs that feature some truly beautiful views. The entire gorge was carved out by Gornervispe glacial waters, and it’s absolutely incredible to witness such a majestic natural formation.
Martigny is a little more than two hours away from Zermatt by train, including a change in Visp. The town is popular with tourists thanks to its excellent attractions, landmarks, and surreally beautiful nature that surrounds it.
Perhaps Martigny’s most popular tourist attraction is the Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard. It’s an absolute must for all dog and animal lovers in town, mainly because you get to pet and play with St. Bernard dogs and learn a little more about them.
Other interesting attractions in Martigny include Fondation Pierre Gianadda, a popular art museum. The Roman Amphitheater is another interesting historical landmark.
The area around Martigny is popular with hikers, and the area has multiple natural landmarks worth visiting. You can also hike to observation decks very close to the town, to experience gorgeous panoramic views of this quaint Swiss town.
Brigerbad is a village west of Brig and it’s where all the best thermal baths in the area are. If you want to spend a day reaping the benefits of some of the best thermal baths in Switzerland, a trip to this lovely village is exactly what you’re looking for.
You can take the train from Zermatt to Visp, and from there, it’s a little more than 5 minutes by bus to Brigerbad. Here you can relax in indoor and outdoor thermal pools, get massages, hit up saunas, and much more. It’s worth noting that the center doesn’t rent towels; you can either purchase them or use any towels that you bring yourself.
Montreux is a beautiful city on the shore of Lake Geneva, best known for its importance in the life of Freddie Mercury. The iconic Queen frontman lived here while they recorded the last Queen album, and there are many easter eggs dedicated to him and the famous band throughout the town. It’s even possible to stay in the apartment the singer once owned, but it’s a pricey experience.
The Swiss town of Montreux is also known for panoramic lake views, delicious local wine, exciting landmarks, and great museums. It’s also very close to Chilon Castle, an iconic Swiss landmark worth visiting if you have the extra time.
Montreux is about two and a half hours away from Zermatt by train. It’s worth noting that there’s no direct train from Zermatt to Montreux and you will need to change trains in Visp.
Ernen is a municipality close to Zermatt, and a good place for a day trip for travelers who enjoy exploring the great outdoors. The beautiful mountain village is part of the Binntal Nature Park, which makes it a great destination for travelers who love to explore.
It takes about an hour to reach Ernen from Zermatt if you have a car, but some two hours if you travel by public transport. You will need to take a train to Visp and then get a bus from there to Ernen.
Ernen is also known as the musical village, thanks to the Ernen Musical Village Association, which organizes a festival of classical music every year. The festival usually takes place in the summer and it’s certainly not a huge festival, but it is a special experience in a quaint little Swiss village.
Visp is the closest city to Zermatt, only about an hour away by train. It’s not exactly a very touristy place, but if you’re looking for some bigger chain supermarkets or a wider choice of restaurants than in Zermatt, this is the closest place.
Visp is also an important transport hub for the region, and if you want to travel to other towns in the area, you’ll often need to change trains here. Also, because Visp is surrounded by mountains, it’s a starting point for many popular hiking trails. So, if you’re bored with the hiking opportunities in Zermatt and you want to explore a little farther, strap on your best hiking boots and head to Visp for the day.
Lausanne is a gorgeous city on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, accessible by train from Zermatt. It will take you almost three hours to travel to the city by train (two hours if you have a car), so try to catch one of the earliest trains possible to have enough time to explore this beautiful.
Lausanne is famous because it’s the headquarters of the Olympic Committee, so it’s not surprising that the city also boasts a great Olympic Museum. It’s one of the top tourist attractions in town, besides the hilly historic center with beautiful landmarks and architecture.
The Gothic cathedral in Lausanne is considered an absolute masterpiece, one of the highlights of the city’s historic center. There are also quite a few interesting museums here and historical palaces.
The more adventurous travelers can hike to Saubelin Tower to experience gorgeous panoramic views of the city and the lake.
Travelers wanting to explore more of Switzerland’s stunning nature should head straight to the Rhone Valley. The Upper Rhone Valley stretches between Sierre and Oberwald, while the Lower Rhone Valley lies between the southern edge of Lake Geneva and Sierre.
Rhone Valley is home to gorgeous nature, which you can explore via hiking trails. Shorter hikes allow you to explore smaller sections of the valley and see some amazing natural landmarks (lakes, gorges, etc.).
Additionally, you should also know that the Lower Rhone Valley offers several great opportunities for rock climbing. The area between the southern edge of Lake Geneva and Martigny is home to quite a few mountains and boulders that attract mountaineers and climbers from all over the country and wider.