Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Vs. Jungfraujoch: Which Has The Best Views?

matterhorn vs jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise are similar attractions in different regions of Switzerland. Both places offer sprawling views of glacial landscapes, towering mountain summits, and tunnels underneath the glaciers. 

So, how can you possibly decide which one to visit? If you know everything about the two destinations, it shouldn’t be hard to decide which option is better for you. So, here’s everything you need to know about Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Jungfraujoch, and hopefully, by the end of this detailed comparison, you will know which tickets to book! 

General Information

Matterhorn Glacier ParadiseJungfraujoch
LocationKlein MatterhornLauterbrunnen/Grindelwald
Elevation3,883 meters3,463 meters
ActivitiesHiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, glacier tunnels, observation platform, restaurantsGlacier tunnels, viewing platform, restaurants, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, lodging
Opening Hours9:15 AM – 3:45 PM7:45 AM – 5:45 PM
Travel Time45 minutes45-90 minutes
Cost95 – 120 CHF100 CHF – 220 CHF
Departure StationZermattInterlaken/Grindelwald
Time Needed3-6 hours3-5 hours
General information about Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Jungfraujoch

Location and Transportation

Jungfraujoch is in Central Switzerland, in the Berner Oberland region, while Matterhorn Glacier Paradise sits above Zermatt in southern Switzerland, close to the border with Italy. Both destinations are easily accessible by public transport.

Getting to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Gondola to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is accessible by cable cars that depart from Zermatt. The cable cars run every 10 minutes, so frequently enough that you don’t need to arrive at a specific time to catch the gondola up the mountain. They run from the Zermatt Matterhorn gondola station in the southern part of the ski resort.

To get to the gondola station you can:

  • Walk for 20 minutes from the main train station in Zermatt
  • Ride an E-bus
  • Take an electric taxi

Red and green buses run on this route, but they are infrequent and the wait for the bus would likely be longer than the walk. Electric taxis are a good option if you don’t want to walk, but they’re pricey. Once you arrive at the Matterhorn gondola station in Zermatt you will need to change cable cars a couple of times:

Gondola stops and changes from Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Gondola stops and changes from Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
  • Zermatt Bahnhof to Zermatt Matterhorn gondola station – 15-20 minutes (walking)
  • Zermatt to Furi gondola – 7 minutes
  • Furi to Trockener Steg gondola – 10 minutes
  • Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn – 11 minutes

It should take 45-60 minutes to travel from the Zermatt ski resort to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, depending on the pace and crowds at the gondola station.

One very important thing to note is that kids younger than three years are not allowed on board the cable car from Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn because of altitude sickness

Tickets for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cost 95-120 CHF depending on the season. That’s the full price; various discounts are available to travelers in possession of

  • the Half-Fare Card
  • Swiss Travel Pass
  • Interrail/Eurail
  • Zermatt Peak Pass

Getting to Jungfraujoch

Eiger Express
The Eiger Express gondola to Eiger Glacier station

Jungfraujoch is most easily accessible from Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken. Traveling to the mountain saddle includes riding a train, gondola, and cogwheel train to the highest train station in Europe:

  • Interlaken to Grindelwald – 45 minutes by train
  • Grindelwald to Eiger Glacier station – 15 minutes by gondola
  • Eiger Glacier Station to Jungfraujoch – 26 minutes by cogwheel train

The Eiger Express gondola from Grindelwald to Eiger Glacier is one of my favorite sections of this journey, but I’m a sucker for panoramic views. Trains run between Grindelwald and Eiger Glacier only in the summer and they’re cheaper than the gondola, but take a lot longer to arrive at the glacier station.

Optional Seat Reservations

Seat reservations are available for the cogwheel train, but they are not mandatory. One reservation is 10 CHF and it guarantees you a spot on the trail at a specific time. Booking your seat is a good idea if you’re traveling in the peak season and want to have a guaranteed spot, but it is not necessary if you’re okay with waiting a little while.

It takes up to 90 minutes to travel to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken, but only 45 minutes from Grindelwald. Tickets for the Jungfraujoch cost 100-220 CHF depending on the departure point and any travel passes you have.

Discounts are available for anyone who has

  • a Swiss Travel Pass
  • Interrail/Eurail card
  • Half-Fare Card (the largest discount)
  • Berner Oberland Pass (currently 99 CHF)
  • Jungfrau Travel Pass (63 or 75 CHF depending on season)

Landscape and Views

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
The views at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Klein Matterhorn and Jungfraujoch both offer spectacular views of towering summits.

On the Jungfraujoch, you can see the holy trinity of the Bernese Alps – Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch. As well as Europes’s longest glacier – the Aletsch.

On the other hand, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise offers panoramic views of Switzerland’s most famous mountain, the Matterhorn.

Both destinations also have glacial landscapes and snow-capped summits. They are very similar, although I will say that at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise there’s more to be explored. A detour to Schwarzsee offers spectacular views of the tall mountain peaks and a wonderful Alpine lake. Gornergrat and Riffelberg are also nearby and easily accessible from the Furi station.

Things to Do At Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Glacier Palace

Sculptures at the Glacier Palace
Sculptures at the Glacier Palace, image courtesy of Matterhorn Paradise

Glacier Palace is a tunnel under a glacier with ice sculptures carved into the walls. It’s a stunning place and one of the best things about the trip to Klein Matterhorn. However, I have to point out that you need to be dressed for the occasion – it’s always below zero (Celsius) in the Glacier Palace, and I was honestly a little bit distracted by the cold.

Bring a warm jacket, gloves, a hat, and maybe even a balaclava if you don’t want to exit the Glacier Palace looking like Rudolph. Water-resistant pants are also a good idea because there are several improvised (ice) seats in the walls and even a slide that cuts through the palace.

The slide looks fun, but I honestly didn’t dare try it because the space is very narrow and panic-inducing if you’re even a little bit claustrophobic.

Cinema Lounge

The pods at the Cinema Lounge
The pods at the Cinema Lounge, image courtesy of Matterhorn Paradise

The visitor’s center at Klein Matterhorn is home to the highest cinema in Europe. The Cinema Lounge features egg-shaped pods where you can cozy up to watch cinematic videos of Swiss landscapes.

There aren’t too many pods here, so arriving early in the day will be crucial for ensuring you have a pod to yourself. Otherwise, there won’t be any available seats for watching the films, but you can still see the cinematic shots of the Swiss Alps when standing in front of the screen.

Observation Platform

The viewing platform at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
The viewing platform at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

The observation platform at Klein Matterhorn offers stunning views of 38 mountain peaks (taller than 4,000 meters) and 14 glaciers. On days with good weather, the views stretch all the way into Italy, France, and Switzerland, so clear skies are imperative for the visit.

The platform railing features informative boards that tell you exactly which summits you’re looking at, which is very helpful. However, I will say that I barely got a glimpse of these boards the last time I went because the observation deck was very busy.

Many people visiting Klein Matterhorn will only go to the observation platform, snap a few photos, and return to the gondola. Sometimes, there are lines for the platform, so it’s best to head to Klein Matterhorn first thing in the morning.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Hiking at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Hiking at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Hiking and mountain biking are the best outdoor activities in the area of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. With countless trails for hikers and cyclists, you could easily spend days exploring the various sights in the area and it wouldn’t be enough.

Schwarzsee has some of the most popular hiking trails in the area, which range from easy loops around the lake to long-distance trails from the lake to Zermatt.

The trail from Trockener Steg to Schwarzsee is also very popular. It’s mostly a downhill hike, and it takes around two hours to reach the Alpine lake. Return is possible via hiking trains and gondolas to Furi and Trockeneer Steg.

Many MTB trails are also accessible from Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn. The Breuil-Cervinia Bike Park has more than 100 kilometers of mountain biking trails in the landscapes of both Switzerland and Italy.


Skiing matterhorn glacier paradise
Skiers at the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

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Klein Matterhorn has snow year-round and it’s one of the best destinations in Switzerland for skiing in the summer. Professional athletes from all over the world come here to train in the off-season, and there’s a good chance you’d be skiing alongside the pros if you came here in the summer.

Ski passes are also a good way of saving money on Glacier Paradise tickets. You can ride all the gondolas and enjoy the views, and they’re cheaper than visitor’s tickets. It might not be possible to buy them if you show up on the day of the visit without any ski gear, but if you get them a couple of days in advance or online, nobody should question you about them.

Things To Do At Jungfraujoch

Eismeer (Sea of Ice)

Eismeer Stop
Eismeer (sea of ice) – a view of Aletsch Glacier

The cogwheel train makes one five-minute stop at Eismeer before arriving at Jungfruajoch. Anyone can get off the train here and head to a room with an impressive view of the Aletsch Glacier – the longest glacier in Europe.

It’s a great way to kick off the entire experience and a preview of the incredible landscapes visible from the mountain saddle.

Top of Europe

Sphinx Observatory Jungfraujoch
The Sphinx Observatory at the Top of Europe, Jungfraujoch

Top of Europe is the name of the visitor’s complex at Jungfraujoch. It’s home to the highest train station and post office in Europe, as well as attractions and activities for the visitors:

  • Ice Palace (tunnel with ice sculptures, under Aletsch Glacier)
  • Sphinx Observation Deck (viewing platform with the best views of the Bernese Alps)
  • Alpine Sensation (a corridor connecting the Sphinx Hall with the Ice Palace)
  • Jungfrau Panorama (video exhibit with 360° views of films with scenes of the Swiss Alps)
  • Lindt Chocolate Heaven (the highest Lindt shop in the world)

Those are just the attractions at the visitors center, and everything apart from the Sphinx Observation deck is indoors. You can access everything without paying extra – entrance is included in the cost of tickets to Jungfraujoch.

One thing to keep in mind is that, just because the attractions are indoors, doesn’t mean they’ll be warm. The temperature in the Ice Palace is constantly below zero degrees Celsius, so keep that in mind when dressing for the day.

Snow Fun Park

Skiing at Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch has an area where you can ski and snowboard in the summer and it’s called the Snow Fun Park. It’s open from May until October, and it features ski pistes, a zipline, sledding, and tubing runs. This is the perfect place at Jungfraujoch for families because everyone is welcome at the Snow Fun Park.

However, the activities available here are not included in the cost of Jungfraujoch tickets and they will be extra. It’s 35 CHF per person for skiing and snowboarding, but just 20 CHF for the zipline and other activities. Children under the age of 15 can get a significant discount.


Jungfraujoch monchsjoch hut
Monchsjochutte at Jungfraujoch

Monchsjochutte is a hiker’s cabin about half an hour from the Top of Europe. A hike across the glacier will take you to this hut, which is open from March to October. It has a restaurant with delicious Swiss dishes, and it’s a place where hikers and climbers who want to attempt an ascent on the Monch can spend the night.

Hiking to the hut is a great way to extend your visit to Jungfraujoch and make the most of it. It’s a relatively easy walk as long as you’re wearing boots with plenty of traction on slippery surfaces.


Restaurant Crystal at Jungfraujoch
Restaurant Crystal at Jungfraujoch

Both Jungfraujoch and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise have a few places where you can grab a bite to eat if you forgot to pack lunch. Just keep in mind that the few restaurants at these popular tourist destinations are quite expensive and bringing your own lunch is the best option for travelers on a budget.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise has just one restaurant, but it’s the highest one in Europe. The menu is classic Swiss, with staples like:

  • Rosti
  • Cheese
  • Burgers
  • Main courses with meat

Jungfraujoch has more options for food:

  • Bollywood (self-service)
  • Aletsch (self-service)
  • Crystal (table service)
  • Restaurant at Monchsjochutte
  • Lindt chocolate shop

At both Jungfraujoch and Glacier Paradise there are more options at lower transit stations. So, Kleine Scheidegg, Eiger Glecier, Grindelwlad, but also Furi, Trockener Steg, and Zermatt.

Best Time To Visit

When is the ideal time to visit these two Swiss attractions? Both are open year-round so you can truly go whenever you want.

Best Time to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Klein Matterhorn gondola in sunny weather
Klein Matterhorn gondola in sunny weather

The peak season for visits to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is in July and August. Late summer sees the largest crowds at Klein Matterhorn and gondola tickets are the most expensive.

Traveling in the shoulder season means smaller crowds and cheaper tickets, so it’s certainly something to consider. Also, the days are still long in June and September and the weather should be nice.

Additionally, no matter when you decide to visit the Glacier Paradise, it’s always best to travel there first thing in the morning. The crowds are the smallest early in the day, so you can explore the area at your own pace, without waiting in lines.

Winter is also a good time to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise because there’s still plenty to do at the summit. Winter hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, and even mountain biking are all available in the colder months. With a little bit of luck, you can still enjoy the mesmerizing views of the mountains on clear, sunny days.

Pro Tip: There’s a webcam stream of the observation platform that allows you to check the weather and crowds at the summit. 

Best Time to Visit Jungfraujoch

A view of the Aletsch Glacier

The best time to visit Jungfraujoch is between May and October. The weather is the nicest and it’s much easier to plan the trip on a clear, sunny day. The views are the highlight of any trip to Jungfruajoch, so it’s especially important to have good weather during the visit.

The tickets are not changeable or transferable, so if you buy them in advance for a day with poor weather, you can’t do anything about it except waste the money. The experience of visiting Jugnfraujoch is highly dependent on the weather because fog can obstruct visibility beyond the observation platform.

Jungfraujoch is open year-round so it is still possible to visit in the winter. The Snow Fun Park and Monchsjochutte are closed in the winter season, but the Top of Europe complex is open. If the skies are clear, winter is as good a time as any to travel to the Top of Europe, as long as you don’t mind the cold.

Regardless of the season, visiting in the morning is best for avoiding crowds at Jungfraujoch.

Pro Tip: Check the weather forecast on the days before the trip, and the images from the webcams at Jungfraujoch

Reasons to Visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Over Jungfraujoch

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Why should you visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise instead of Jungfraujoch? Because:

  • Traveling in southern Switzerland, preferably in Zermatt
  • Staying in the area for a while and you can wait for good weather
  • Tickets are more affordable
  • Skiing in the summer
  • Highest mountain station (gondola) on the continent
  • Views of the Matterhorn
  • More outdoor activities in the area

Reasons to Visit Jungfraujoch Over Matterhorn Glacier Paradise


Are there reasons to plan a trip to Jungfraujoch instead of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise? Absolutely, and they are:

  • You’re traveling in Central Switzerland
  • You want to go skiing in the summer
  • Highest post office in Europe
  • Spectacular views of glaciers and summits in the Bernese Alps
  • Traveling with small children
  • A larger visitor’s complex with more things to do

Map of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Jungfraujoch Attractions and More

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Better Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Or Jungfraujoch?

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is better if you’re traveling in southern Switzerland but Jungfraujoch is better if you’re staying in the Bernese Oberland.

Both destinations are special and offer unique attractions to the visitors, so the best one for you primarily depends on which Swiss region you want to discover. 

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

One thought on “Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Vs. Jungfraujoch: Which Has The Best Views?

  1. thanks for the detailed differences on each place. it really made me pick the right one. would love to hear from you on how to plan and places to visit with preschoolers, as there is no much hiking n more kids activities

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