Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: the must-knows

  • Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a gondola and cable car journey from Zermatt to the mountain “Klein Matterhorn” at nearly 4000 m altitude.
  • The excursion offers stunning views, restaurants, a glacier grotto, year-round skiing, and much more.
  • You can make an international cable car trip: hop on the gondola to Testa Grigia in Italy.
  • We think Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a unique experience and worth the money.
  • If you want to see the mountain Matterhorn as it’s often depicted, we recommend Gornergrat or Sunnegga-Rothorn instead.
Min. time required: 2:30
Season: all year
Recommended season: early January to late February, early April to late October and early December to late December
Max. altitude: 3883 m (12740 ft)

What is Klein Matterhorn/Matterhorn Glacier Paradise? Copy link to clipboard

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a viewpoint near Zermatt, to be reached by cable car. The top station is officially called "Klein Matterhorn", which means "Little Matterhorn". It's located at a ridge at an altitude of 3883 m, in between the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif and at the Swiss-Italian border. 

The view of the high peaks surrounding Zermatt is impressive. You'll see the Matterhorn from the south-east. This is a different perspective from what you see in most Matterhorn pictures.

A restaurant, a Glacier Palace, the Cinema Lounge, and year-round snow-fun options complete your visit. You can even travel on to the Testa Grigia mountain station in Italy: this gondola ride takes just minutes.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise prices and tickets Copy link to clipboard

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise - 2024 price overview for return tickets

PriceMore informationTicket
CHF 60*more info and pricesticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (summer high season: July, August) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet
CHF 54.50*more info and pricesticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (spring and fall shoulder season: May-June, September-October) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet
CHF 47.50more info and pricesticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (winter low season: November-April)
CHF 120*more info and pricesnormal ticket without rail pass discounts (summer high season: July-August) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet
CHF 109*more info and pricesnormal ticket without rail pass discounts (spring and fall shoulder season: May-June, September-October) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet
CHF 95more info and pricesnormal ticket without rail pass discounts (winter low season: November-April)

Additional costs for the Crystal Ride gondolas

If you want to ride one of the Crystal Ride gondolas, you need an additional ticket. Prices vary and start from CHF 10.

Additional costs for the cable car Klein Matterhorn - Testa Grigia (Italy)

From Klein Matterhorn, you can make an additional gondola ride to Testa Grigia in Italy. A return ticket Zermatt-Klein Matterhorn-Testa Grigia costs:

  • CHF 185 in high season: July-August
  • CHF 163 in shoulder season: May-June, September-October
  • CHF 135 in low season: November-April

Where to buy Matterhorn Glacier Paradise tickets

Tickets are available online and at the gondola valley station in Zermatt.

The Peak2Peak ticket and the Peak Pass

The Peak2Peak ticket and the Peak Pass can be used for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and for other mountain excursions from Zermatt. We've explained all you need to know in our Zermatt guide.

Get your Matterhorn Glacier Paradise tickets Copy link to clipboard

Zermatt: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car Ticket
Zermatt: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car Ticket
Hop on the world's highest cable car with a ticket for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and discover its spectacular viewing platform, unique ice palace, and cinema lounge.

Offered by GetYourGuide:

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Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Ticket
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Ticket
Take a cable car to Europe’s highest mountain station at an altitude of 3883m

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Ticket for Zermatt Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
The Zermatt Bergbahnen Ag take visitors right to Europe’s highest mountain station – at amazing 3883 metres. The panoramic view over the largest glaciers of the Alps and over no fewer than 38 breathtaking giants of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps is truly unparalleled. The Mont Blanc, highest mountain …

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  • Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
  • Lowest Price Guarantee: Viator will refund the difference if you find a better price.
  • Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
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Cheaper cable car tickets with your rail pass Copy link to clipboard

Adventure Card Discount 50%:
  • Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (cableway)
Day Pass Discount 50%:
  • Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (cableway)
Swiss Half Fare Card Discount 50%:
  • Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (cableway)
Swiss Travel Pass Discount 50%:
  • Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (cableway)
Swiss Travel Pass Flex Discount 50%:
  • Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (cableway)

How to reach Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: directions and map Copy link to clipboard

A journey of just under 1 hour on foot, by gondola and by cable car brings you from the rail station of Zermatt to the top station 'Klein Matterhorn'.

How to reach Zermatt

Zermatt is car-free. You can reach it by train as explained here.

Hiking to the gondola valley station

From the rail station, follow the signs to the gondola station. This takes 20 minutes on foot. Alternatively, there are electric buses to get there. From the valley station, the ride up to Klein Matterhorn takes about 35 minutes.

From Zermatt to Furi by gondola

Zermatt-Furi: the direct route

The actual trip starts from the valley station at an altitude of 1640 m. You will board the gondola to mid-station Furi at 1867 m. The route crosses the forests and meadows just outside Zermatt.

Zermatt-Furi: alternative route via Riffelberg and the Riffelberg Express

In December-April and in July-August, there's a gondola connecting the cogwheel train station Riffelberg (en route to Gornergrat) and Furi. Find more information here.

From Furi to Trockener Steg by cable car

Furi-Trockener Steg: the direct route

In Furi, you need to change to a cable car. After bits of forests, the cable car will fly over a rough, rocky, high-alpine landscape. Then you will reach mid-station Trockener Steg at 2939 m.

Furi-Trockener Steg: alternative route via Schwarzsee

Instead of the direct cable car from Furi to Trockener Steg, you can also take the gondola from Furi to Schwarzsee, the little lake at the base of the Matterhorn. From there, another gondola takes you up to Trockener Steg.

From Trockener Steg to 'Klein Matterhorn' by cable car

You need to change again to cover the final section: the cable car to the top station "Klein Matterhorn" at 3883 m.

This section features a few extra luxurious cabins, named the "Crystal Ride". These cabins have a glass floor that turns transparent during the ride.

From Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia in Italy

If you want, you can board yet another gondola route (on which Crystal Ride cabins are available too) that crosses over to the ski area of Testa Grigia in Italy. This takes just 4 additional minutes.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise map - routes to Furi, Schwarzsee, Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn

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Operation dates, schedules and timetable Copy link to clipboard

When is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise open?

The route via Furi and Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn is available all year round. Other options:

  • The alternative route via Schwarzsee is available from 11 November 2023 until 1 May 2024. For the summer season of 2024, we expect dates to be similar to the 2023 ones: from late May to mid-August.
  • The Riffelberg Express between Furi and Riffelberg (en route to Gornergrat) operates from 2 December 2023 to 21 April 2024. For the 2024 summer season, operation is expected from July to August.

Planning your trip in the Swiss timetable

You can consult the cable car and gondola schedules using the links here. It's also possible to plan your trip in the Swiss timetable. These are the destinations to enter:

  • "Klein Matterhorn" is the name of the top station.
  • "Zermatt" is the rail station of Zermatt.
  • "Zermatt (Matterhorn Talstat.)" is the valley station in the village where the actual journey starts.
  • "Furi", "Trockener Steg" and "Zermatt Schwarzsee" are the names of the mid-stations.
  • "Testa Grigia" is the name of the gondola station on the Italian side of the border.

Best months for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Copy link to clipboard

The best seasons to travel to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise are December to February, and April to October:

  • December to February is the winter season. You can expect snow on the mighty peaks surrounding Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and in clear weather the views are mesmerizing.
  • April-June is spring, and the snowy peaks create beautiful contrasts with the green vegetation in the Matter Valley.
  • July-September is the summer season. From early July to mid- or late August, the alternative route via Schwarzsee is open as well. This means you can make a varied round trip.
  • October is early Fall. Chances of fresh snow increase and the conifers surrounding Zermatt start showing their autumn colors.

If you visit Zermatt in November and March, don't hesitate to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise! The views are very rewarding, even though the vegetation in the valley isn't at its best.

Weather tips and forecasts Klein Matterhorn Copy link to clipboard

Which temperatures to expect at Klein Matterhorn

The top station 'Klein Matterhorn' is at very high altitude, so temperatures are much lower than in Zermatt. Even in summer it can be around freezing point. In winter temperatures are mostly far below that: about -10°C to -20°C.

The type of weather you need

A visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is best in clear and sunny skies. You can still enjoy indoor activities such as the restaurant and the Glacier Palace. But if clouds block the views you'll miss out on the amazing views that make this trip so special.

Low clouds and fog in the Matter Valley don't mean it's not worth going up. Especially in autumn, the sky can be completely clear higher up in the mountains. So always check both weather forecasts and webcams that show the views at the top shortly before you leave.

Current forecasts and temperatures for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

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What to see and do at the top station “Klein Matterhorn”

  • There is an outdoor viewing platform. You can see the many peaks of the Swiss and Italian Alps there.
  • You can also enjoy the views from the modern restaurant with panoramic windows.
  • The Glacier Palace is an ice grotto inside the glacier with ice sculptures.
  • The Cinema Lounge shows movies about the Alps, mountaineering and more.
  • Under favorable weather conditions, you can ski year-round: even in summer!
  • It’s possible to extend your journey by a 4-minute gondola ride down to Testa Grigia in Italy.

What to see and do at mid-station “Trockener Steg”

The last cable car station before Klein Matterhorn is Trockener Steg, which is worth a stop. This is what you can do there:

  • In winter there are lots of ski slopes to enjoy.
  • In summer several hikes start here. A famous trail is the one to the Gandegg hut, which has a small restaurant and offers basic lodging.
  • You can have lunch in the restaurant.
  • There’s an interactive exhibition (the “InfoCube”) to learn about the cableway to Klein Matterhorn.
  • Of course, the views here are beautiful as well, and you’re actually slightly closer to the Matterhorn here than at Klein Matterhorn.

How to cross over to Italy: “Matterhorn Glacier Ride 2” to Testa Grigia

A new cableway between Testa Grigia in Italy (at 3458 m) and Klein Matterhorn is available since July 2023. Along with the existing route from and to Zermatt, this “Matterhorn Glacier Ride II” provides a unique cross-border journey by cable car. The new gondola route connects the skiing areas of Zermatt with those of Breuil-Cervinia in Italy. But non-skiers too can enjoy this fantastic route.

The 4-minute gondola ride between Klein Matterhorn and Testa Grigia features the same gondolas as those between Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn. Every 2 out of 10 cabins is a “Crystal Ride” one.

If you want, you can even descend by cableway to the Breuil-Cervinia: a tourist resort in the Italian Alps.

What to expect at Testa Grigia

The Testa Grigia gondola station in Italy is located amidst a snow sports area. The “SnowXperience Plateau Rosa” park is great for both beginners and experienced skiers. Snowtubing will also be available in 2024. Or just sit back and enjoy the views from the Italian restaurant.

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise FAQ

  1. Is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise worth it?

    Yes: at nearly 4000 m it’s one of the highest spots in the Alps you can reach as a tourist. Being surrounded by the snowfields, glaciers, rocks and peaks surrounding Zermatt is a special experience. And the gondola journey is very scenic. You’ll see the scenery and vegetation change as you get higher and higher.

  2. Are Matterhorn, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Klein Matterhorn the same?

    No. The Matterhorn is the famous Swiss mountain you’ll see depicted on many photos and logos. Only mountaineers climb it. Tourists can’t walk or travel up to the Matterhorn. But you can get great views of the Matterhorn from various viewpoints near Zermatt.

    Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is one of those viewpoints. Its top station is officially called “Klein Matterhorn”. Both names are used for one and the same excursion.

  3. How long does an excursion to Klein Matterhorn take?

    If you spend about an hour at the top, you need about 2,5 hours for a round trip from Zermatt. There’s a lot to see and do though, so we recommend counting on at least half a day.

  4. What is the “Crystal Ride”?

    Crystal Ride cabins are gondolas with special glass floors, decorated by thousands of crystals. They operate in addition to the normal cable cars on the legs Trockener Steg-Klein Matterhorn, and Klein Matterhorn-Test Grigia (in Italy). The glass floors turn transparent during the ride, which results in a thrilling view of the rocks and snow fields far below.

    You need an additional ticket for a ride in Crystal Ride cabins. Availability is limited.

  5. Which clothes should I wear to Klein Matterhorn?

    Dress in multiple thinner layers so that you can adapt to varying temperatures. Make sure you’re well protected against the cold at the top. Bring along gloves, sunglasses, a scarf, and a warm waterproof coat. Solid shoes are important if you plan to visit the ice grotto ‘Glacier Palace’.

    Check weather forecasts shortly before you leave. Find more tips for suitable clothes here.

  6. Where and when can I ski at Klein Matterhorn?

    Under favorable weather circumstances, skiing near Klein Matterhorn is possible all year long. The hard summer snow is not suitable for beginner skiers though. If you want to book a beginner’s class, you can best do so in winter.

    There’s a snowpark at two different locations. In winter it’s located near the top station of the Furggsattel chairlift, which can be accessed from mid-station Trockener Steg. In summer, the park can be found on the Plateau Rosa. You can reach it via the top station Klein Matterhorn.

  7. Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Gornergrat or Sunnegga: how to choose?

    Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the longest and most thrilling excursion. It offers a true high-alpine experience and the best chances to see snow year-round.

    The Gornergrat excursion is a short yet incredibly scenic train ride to one of Switzerland’s most famous viewpoints. The angle from which you see the Matterhorn is perfect for taking pictures.

    Sunnegga-Rothorn is ideal for families and hikers and it’s relatively cheap.

    Find our in-depth comparison here.

  8. Is altitude sickness a problem?

    Klein Matterhorn is located at an altitude of 3090 m. Anyone can suffer from (light) altitude sickness from about 2000 m. Usually, it helps to take things slow and sit down for a while.

    Special precautions apply to children under 2 years old, as well as people who are pregnant or in poor health: before visiting areas over 2500 m, you’d better consult your doctor. In most cases staying at such altitudes for just a few hours is no problem.

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Page author: AnnikaSince early childhood I've been visiting Switzerland during my holidays and I just fell in love with the country. I spent many summers in the Bernese Oberland, which still feels like my second home, and then started to explore other areas. Traveling, hiking and photographing in the Swiss Alps are my absolute favorite activities.