The Gornergrat Railway is a unique fully electrified railway travelling over the mountain: Gornergrat. The train travels to an altitude of 3039 metres. Hop on the Gornergrat Railway and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Matterhorn. In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about the Gornergrat Railway.
What is the Gornergrat Railway?
The Gornergrat Railway is an eco-friendly open-air cog railway that travels from Zermatt station to the summit of the Gornergrat. The train travels full-year around. In around 33 minutes the electrified cog railway takes you to the summit through beautiful landscapes, tunnels and bridges. The train takes you through several different landscapes, rocky landscapes, greenery and forests, this makes it a unique experience.
When you visit Zermatt, there are plenty of things to do, but in our opinion, one of the highlights definitely is the Gornergrat Railway! A unique experience, with unforgettable views.
What is the Gornergrat Railway famous for?
The Gornergrat railway is famous for several reasons, one of the reasons is because it’s electrified, which makes it eco-friendly. Another reason is the fact that the railway is the highest open-air cog railway in Europe. In 33 minutes the train climbs 1469 metres over a distance of 9.4 kilometres, which is impressive.
The views are another reason why the Gornergrat Railway is so famous. As we already mentioned you will travel through several landscapes, during the 33 minutes on the railway you will see fabulous panoramas of the Monte Rosa massif, where you can view Switzerland’s highest peak, this is the Dufourspitze, with a height of 4634 metres.
The second-largest glacier of Switzerland can be viewed from the cog railway as well, this is the Gorner Glacier. Besides these two landmarks, you will see around 29 mountains above 4000 metres. As we mentioned you will travel from Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat, during the journey you can view the majestic Matterhorn as well!
Ticket price of the Gornergrat Railway
There are several different Gornergrat Railway tickets, there are full tickets, and there is an option to combine culinary experiences and a trip with the Gornergrat Railway. The prices do vary according to the time of the year, this is something to keep in mind.
The ticket prices for the Gornergrat Railway are:
- Adult: 88 CHF
- Adult with a GA, half-fare card, or the Swiss travel pass: 44 CHF
- Adult(single ride): 44 CHF
- Adult with a GA, half-fare card, or the Swiss travel pass(single ride): CHF
50% discount on ticket prices
There are several ways to get a 50% discount on your ticket, we will sum them up below:
- Half-fare season ticket
- Children from 6-15.99 years old
- Swiss half-fare card
- The Swiss travel pass
- General season ticket
Good to know: the Eurail pass won’t give you any discount on the Gornergrat Railway tickets.
Ticket prices for different sections of the Gornergrat Bahn
You can buy a ticket for the full Gornergrat Railway journey, from Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat. But just like the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express it is possible to travel a section of the route, it works like this:
there are a total of 4 intermediate stations, called: Findelbach, Riffelalp, Riffelberg and Rotenboden. These stations are situated between Zermatt at 1608 metres and the Gornergrat at 3089 metres. In the image below you can view an illustration of the stations between the beginning and the end of the Gornergrat Bahn
The chance to just hop on the railway and travel a section of the route makes it interesting. This means you do not have to travel the full route. The image below shows you the prices for the different possible sections of the Gornergrat Railway:
The easiest way to buy a ticket for the Gornergrat Railway is online. You can easily order a ticket online, and you will receive a pdf ticket, you can also add it to your Swiss travel pass. Of course, you can also buy a ticket at the ticket machine at the Gornergrat valley station. At the Tasch station, you can also buy a ticket for the Gornergrat or to Zermatt.
The route of the Gornergrat Railway
We already showed a short description of the intermediate stations between Zermatt and the summit: Gornergrat. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the route of the Gornergrat Railway.
Starting station: Zermatt
The start of the Railway is in Zermatt, at an altitude of 1608 metres, you can hop on the train. Zermatt is a famous ski resort, with excellent ski facilities during the winter season. And of course, the Gornergrat Railway.
1st Station: Findelbach
So let the journey begin, we are on the train, travelling to the first stop: Findelbach(1770 metres). This is quite close to the starting station in Zermatt, here you can have a nice walk, take a camera with you to make some beautiful photographs. This is not the stop for skiers, it is a nice place to stop if you want to ice climb, these routes start here.
2nd Statin: Riffelalp
From Findelbach station to the next station Riffelalp at 2211 metres is a beautiful place to get off the train, a lovely place to relax. If your purpose is skiing, you can go to the Furl lift, this is the starting point of the ski area. The Riffelalp station is the starting point of the historic Riffelalp tram line, the tram travels to the Hotel Riffelalp, this hotel dates back to 1884!
3rd Station: Riffelberg
Station 3 is Riffelberg at an altitude of 2582 metres. This station is a perfect place to enjoy the views of the majestic Matterhorn. If your purpose is skiing then this is a great starting point. An entrance to the pistes and the Girthittli chair, this is a perfect spot for beginner skiers. Here you can find more easy pistes. The views are fabulous!
4rd Station: Rotenboden
Arriving at the fourth station Rotenboden at an altitude of 2815 metres. As Riffelberg already gave a beautiful view of the Matterhorn, the Rotenboden station gives an even more beautiful viewing point, this is the station to get out if you want to make the famous picture of the reflecting Matterhorn on the lake.
5th Station: Gornergrat
Time to head to the final station: Gornergrat at an altitude of 3089 metres. This is the final station where skiers and hikers get out, to enjoy the breathtaking views or to visit the Kulm Hotel, this hotel has two observatories, which is really cool.
Here you can have a fabulous view of the Gorner Glacier, as we mentioned above, this is the second-largest glacier in the Alps. The 360 panorama is incredibly beautiful, you will have a view of so many mountains, as you reached an altitude of 3000 metres!
Some tips to prepare for your visit
Always check the weather forecast first, when it’s foggy outside, and the mountains are covered by clouds, it does not really make sense to go up to the Gornergrat. The views won’t be as beautiful as on a sunny day. As you travel from approximately 1600 metres to 3000 metres, take a thin jacket with you. As temperatures may drop during the journey. Of course take some sunglasses and sunscreen with you, if you travel during summertime. The sun is strong at higher altitudes. Take a hat for your kids too!
During the winter season, take some gloves with you, it can be significantly colder at the summit than at the starting point of the Gornergrat Railway. In our experience, it is a half-day activity. As it takes approximately 1 hour to go up and down with the railway. Of course, the time you spend on the summit depends on what you are going to do, maybe have lunch at the summit with the breathtaking views? In general, we had a trip of around three hours, including travelling with the Gornergrat Railway.
Sick of heights? The Gornergrat is situated at around 3089 metres. People can suffer from some light altitude sickness when travelling above an altitude of around 2000 metres. But, do not let this keep you stopping from visiting the Gornergrat. Just take it easy, sit down for around 15 minutes, get used to the altitude and once you feel okay, continue the journey. Please take it slow, and stop every now and then, this is especially for the elderly, or people with less good health or pregnant woman. In general, staying at an altitude like this, just for a few hours is not a problem at all.
Best season to hop on the Gornergrat Railway
The best season to hop on the Gornergrat Railway really depends on the purpose of your visit. If you are in Zermatt to ski then visit the Gornergrat during the winter season. Also for winter hiking, this is a perfect time. The views of the snowy landscape are fabulous too!
We travelled during the summer season, this is a lovely time too, all flowers are flourishing and the greenery is so beautiful. Also most of the time during the summer season it does not get as cloudy as in the autumn season.
In this blog post, you can read about everything you need to know about the Gornergrat Railway. The train is fully electric, which is good for the environment, the train travels from Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat in around 30 minutes. The views are breathtaking. You can take the route in sections, there are five stations in total, in the blog you can read more detailed information about the intermediate stations.
The price for a return ticket for the full route is 88 CHF, as mentioned, you can also purchase a ticket for a section of the route, check the prices above. The best season to travel with the Gornergrat railway really depends on the purpose of your visit. We wish you a lovely time, exploring the Gornergrat.