Grindelwald is with the Jungfrau region one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland. Not without reason the Jungfrau region belongs to the Unesco World Heritage. Here we present our top excursion, sights and places to visit in Grindelwald.
Text and pictures by Marc Gottwald
The Jungfraujoch is known far beyond the Swiss borders and is considered the most popular tourist attraction in Switzerland. With the slogan “Top of Europe”, the Jungfrau region has landed a marketing hit, because the Jungfraujoch is also the highest train station in Europe. In addition, the Jungfraujoch is the filming location for a wide variety of movies. For example, scenes from the Netflix series Crash Landing on You were filmed here a few years ago.
However, it is important to know that you are not on the top of the Jungfrau, it’s the Jungfraujoch. From here you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Swiss mountains with some of the highest peaks in the Alps. You will also spot the impressive 22 kilometer long Aletsch glacier, which is the largest glacier in the Alps.
The Alps are a mountain arc about 1200 kilometers long, stretching from Austria through Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy (South Tyrol) as well as France.
From Grindelwald Terminal, where the V-Bahn (cable car) runs, you can reach Jungfraujoch in about an hour. You have to change connections once at the Eiger glacier, which will take you through the Eiger mountain in about 25 minutes. It is also possible to take the train (Wengeneralpbahn) to the Eiger glacier instead of the cable car. However, this ride takes much longer.
Please note that the temperatures on the Jungfraujoch are much colder than in Grindelwald. Therefore, even in summer it can be particularly fresh. If you are not sure about the weather, please to check the webcam beforehand. In winter it is often foggy in the valley but sunny on the Jungfraujoch. If there is fog, rain or it is snowing, we would not recommend a trip to the Jungfraujoch. Because the price of at least 164 CHF per adult from Grindelwald terminal is relatively high (as of 2022).
The Jungfraujoch is also open in winter.
Another attractive destination from Grindelwald but much cheaper than the Jungfraujoch is the Kleine Scheidegg. With the Wengeneralpbahn you can reach the place from Grindelwald train station in about 32 minutes without changing the train. On the Kleine Scheidegg you enjoy a fantastic view directly on the Eiger and have countless hiking possibilities. A highlight is the trail Eigergletscher – Kleine Scheidegg or vice versa.
In winter, an adventurous toboggan run starts from Kleine Scheidegg down to Grindelwald. Depending on the speed, you can plan a good hour.
If you like it cozy, you feel free to stop at a restaurant and enjoy a traditional Swiss menu. Furthermore, Kleine Scheidegg was also one of the film locations in Crash Landing on You (CLOY).
Grindelwald Bort Trottibike Scooters
In summer, the cable car station at Grindelwald Bort rents scooters for a descent back to Grindelwald. The partly steep route gives every adventurer a kick. But also nature lovers and photographers get their money’s worth, because the route leads along a brilliant alpine panorama. That’s why it’s even worth making a stop now and then.
In winter this activity cannot be practiced, but from about the beginning of May to about the end of October the scooters are offered.
How to get there? From Grindelwald you take the cable car to Bort, where you get the scooters for the downhill.
Grindelwald First Cliff Walk
The cable car to Grindelwald First is the same as to Bort, but you stay a while longer. At the top you see a footbridge that leads over the cliff. And this is exactly our next destination. The First Cliff Walk has gone viral several times and is a highlight and top excursion tip of Grindelwald.
In about 15 minutes you walk along a rock to the footbridge, which juts out 45 meters above the cliff.
The walk is free of charge and open in the snow-free seasons in late spring, summer and autumn. Please note that the opening hours are only during the cable car ride times.
Lake Bachalpsee – top half day trip near Grindelwald
Lake Bachalpsee above Grindelwald is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. It takes about 30 minutes to hike from Grindelwald First in the direction of Bachalpsee. The path is open all year round, so also in winter. However, especially the time in late spring is worthwhile. Then the alpine flora is in bloom which means that plants like gentians and rare orchids can be discovered. Please do not pick flowers, because some of them are strictly protected.
On the way to Bachalpsee, thanks to benches, there are always places to sit and enjoy the view of the Eiger and the other mountains. By the way, one of the spots also appears in the series Crash Landing on You.
Hike First – Grosse Scheidegg
A dreamlike hike from summer to autumn goes from First to Grosse Scheidegg. Often undisturbed you will meet happy cows and have the unique view almost to yourself. The hike takes about two hours. From Grossen Scheidegg you can take the bus to Grindelwald. Please note the travel times and seasons of the bus and the cable car. It is also possible to hike back to the Alpendorf in another two hours.
Let’s be honest, the region around Grindelwald is one of the tourist hotspots of Switzerland. Nevertheless, there are places where you can find peace and quiet and have the panorama respectively nature almost completely to yourself. One of them is the lake called “Antseeuwen”.
Especially in the early morning hours the place is a dream when mountains like the Eiger are reflected in the lake. But also at any other time of the day the lake is worthwhile for every peace seeker and dreamer.
This is a sight in summer and autumn as the lake is snow covered in winter.
Glacier Gorge Grindelwald
The Glacier Gorge is another destination in Grindelwald. With the idyllic path, the rushing of the milky blue glacier water and the imposing rock walls, which are partly 300 meters high, the Glacier Gorge in Grindelwald should definitely be on the bucket list.
Depending on the temperatures, the gorge is open from the beginning of May until the end of October. Please inquire before visiting.
Village walk Grindelwald
If you are in Grindelwald, you almost have to take a walk through the village. Along the shopping street, where souvenir stores, bakeries and much more await you, you have a top view of the Wetterhorn. On social media, several videos have gone viral from here.
If you walk up the slopes towards Mühlebach after the village church, you will be away from the hustle and bustle and most of the traffic. In addition, you can enjoy a picture-perfect view.
Pfingstegg toboggan run
Who doesn’t know them, the tobogganing pictures and videos that went viral on the Internet. One of them is the Pfingstegg toboggan run above Grindelwald. In just a few minutes you can reach the place with the cable car and plunge into an unforgettable adventure. The cable car and toboggan run is open from mid-May to mid-October. Please check the exact opening hours, which vary depending on the season.
Round trip Grindelwald – Wengen – Lauterbrunnen – Grindelwald
How about a dreamlike trip from Grindelwald to Wengen and then continuing to Lauterbrunnen? Let’s start the round trip, where we certainly recommend to plan 6-7 hours.
Wengen is also one of Grindelwald’s top destinations and can be reached comfortably from Grindelwald by a panoramic train ride. The only thing is that you have to change train at Kleine Scheidegg. Here you have about 30 minutes to explore the beautiful area and take photos, because the connecting train arrives about half an hour later. The whole trip from Grindelwald to Wengen takes around 1.5 hours including waiting for the connection train.
Once in the mountain village of Wengen, you will have a perfect view of the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains and the entire Lauterbrunnen valley. A walk along the village to the church is highly recommended, because there you will find one of the most beautiful viewpoints.
After that we will take the train from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is an idyllic village in the Lauterbrunnen valley and famous thanks to the impressive waterfall called Staubbachfall. Staubbachfall is the second highest waterfall in Switzerland and a top destination for Grindelwald due to its beauty and proximity.
The return journey by train takes around 40 minutes via Zweilütschinen (change trains) to Grindelwald.
This round trip is also a highlight in winter. Especially Wengen has long sunshine in contrast to Grindelwald. If you also want, you can extend the trip with a hike along the Lauterbrunnen Valley. During the snowmelt in spring or warm winter days a visit is very impressive.
Grindelwald for families
Grindelwald has a lot to offer for families. Besides hiking and cable cars, these two tips are high on the bucket list:
Mini Golf Grindelwald
Directly on the main street of Grindelwald there is an 18-hole miniature golf course, which delights both children and adults. Normally the course is open from mid-April in spring to mid-October in autumn.
Of course, it is especially spectacular to play in front of such a beautiful backdrop.
Alpine playground Grindelwald Bort
If one were to choose the most beautiful playgrounds in Switzerland, the place at Grindelwald Bort would definitely be on the top. The children’s paradise is 700 square meters in size, where besides balancing and nets, there is also a small stream to dam up.
The playground is open from the beginning of May till mid-October.
Wellness hotels in Grindelwald
The alpine village of Grindelwald, like various other mountain villages in Switzerland, is known for its great wellness hotels. This is also one of the favorite activities of the Swiss in the colder seasons like winter.
Those who come to Grindelwald have therefore lots of choice. Great hotels like the Aspen Grindelwald, Belvedere or Hotel Spinne are spoiling the guests with whirlpools and fantastic views.
Also high on the list is the 5-star Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald. Please be sure that especially during high season it’s worth it to book the hotel early.
Grindelwald in winter
Depending on the month, the village of Grindelwald does not receive a single ray of sunshine in winter. This is not a big deal, because most people are in the mountains anyway and enjoy the power of the sun in the heights.
Furthermore, in the region you can do everything the heart of a snow fan desires. For example wellness hotels are very popular among Swiss. Here we give you a small overview of the winter activities:
If you love tobogganing, you will get your money’s worth in Grindelwald. Around 60 kilometers or 38 miles await you, including the longest toboggan run in the world. It’s a whole 15 kilometers (around 10 miles) slope from the Faulhorn to Grindelwald. However, depending on snow conditions, not all slopes are open. To make sure the best thing is to call Grindelwald tourism at the day you wanna do your snow adventure.
Another great tip is the slope from Bachalpsee back to Grindelwald. Here you first have to hike for about 30 minutes before you race down into the valley just before Bachalpsee.
The slope from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald is also recommended.
The Jungfrau region is one of the most attractive regions for skiing in Switzerland. With about 160 kilometers (100 miles), the slopes in the ski arena are extremely long and varied. Therefore, there ski slopes for every level of difficulty among them.
Snow cannons also ensure that the slope conditions are perfect. Nevertheless, in particularly warm winter it may happen that not all slopes are open.
Snowshoe and snow hiking
Around Grindelwald there are many fantastic winter hikes that make every heart beat faster. One of the highlights is the hike from First via Schreckfeld to Bort.
Furthermore, you will also be rewarded with a beautiful view at the hike from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen. These are just two of the many possibilities in the Jungfrau region.
There are also several unprepared snowshoe trails available. Please be careful not to disturb the animals and stay on the official trails.