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Travel / Tours / Switzerland / Grindelwald
Visit Grindelwald in Switzerland
  Bus excursions
  Kleine Scheidegg
  International Snow Festival
  Further information


Grindelwald (height: 1034 m, 3393 ft) is a village in the Bernese Oberland, with a population of about 4,000 residents.
It is a convenient base from which to explore the mountains in the Jungfrau region, with good train, bus and cable-car connections.
It has enough hotels and hostels to be able to accommodate groups as well as individual travellers.
This page provides information about some of the excursions which you can make from Grindelwald.

There are attractive views of the mountains from Grindelwald

A typical Swiss mountain house

Tour of the Jungfrau Region
Author: Kev Reynolds
Publisher: Cicerone Press
Date: April 2006
The Bernese Alps: A Walking Guide
Author: Kev Reynolds
Publisher: Cicerone Press
Date: May 2005

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If you walk along the main road from Grindelwald train station through the town centre, after 10 minutes you reach the cable car called Firstbahn. After Grindelwald there are three staging posts at which you can join or leave: at Bort (1570m), Schreckfeld (Grindel) (1955m) or First (2168m). The journey to First takes 25 minutes.

There are many different options for a summertime excursion, depending on how much time you have and how energetic you feel. For example:
- Enjoy the cable car ride to First, stop for a drink or meal at the restaurant or go for a short wander near the top, then return by cable car.
- Walk from First to the lake Bachalpsee (2265m) and then back to First. This is a gentle path which takes about 50 minutes each way.
- Walk down either part of the way or all of the way back to Grindelwald: from First to Schreckfeld takes about 30 minutes, from Schreckfeld to Bort about 50 minutes, and from Bort to Grindelwald about 1h10.
- Walk from First to Grosse Scheidegg, then take the bus back to Grindelwald. The walk takes about 1h15, and the bus journey back lasts about 35 minutes (you may want to break the bus journey at Oberer Gletscher to have a look at the glacier).
- Walk from First to Waldspitz (1919m) (40 minutes), then either take the bus back to Grindelwald (about 35 minutes, but services are not frequent) or walk down to Bort (40 minutes) and take the cable car back down.
- Paraglide from First down to Grindelwald (a tandem flight with a professional pilot: a reservation is required; the website link is shown below).

Cable car at one of the stopping points

The ride will not suit people who are scared of heights

View from in front of the terminus at First

Paragliding over the valley


The mountain lake Bachalpsee

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The bus station in Grindelwald is a very short walk from the train station. The route with the most frequent service is from here to Oberer Gletscher (journey time: 15 minutes), Grosse Scheidegg (35 minutes) and Schwarzwaldalp (55 minutes). In the opposite direction there are services going either to Waldspitz (40 minutes) or to Bussalp (30 minutes).

It is possible to make a circular trip starting an ending in Grindelwald, but you need to set off in the morning if you want to have time for some breaks along the way. The route is as follows: Grindelwald - Schwarzwaldalp (55 minutes by Grindelwald Bus), Schwarzwaldalp - Meiringen (40 minutes by Postbus), Meiringen - Brienz (10 minutes by train), Brienz - Interlaken Ost (1h15 by boat), Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald (35 minutes by train). The total journey time without any additional stops is 5 hours.

The Oberer Gletscher is a 15 minute bus ride from Grindelwald (or a 60 minute walk). From the bus stop it is a 10 minute walk to the front of the glacier, which looks blue (the colour depends on the weather conditions). After a further 10 minute walk there is an ice cave which can be visited for a small entrance fee (only during summer months).

Oberer Gletscher (The Upper Glacier)

Grosse Scheidegg

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From Grindelwald you can take a train to Kleine Scheidegg (2061m, 6762 ft): the journey takes about 35 minutes (there is also a train to Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen, taking about 45 minutes). This is where you change trains if you are visiting Jungfraujoch (see below). Kleine Scheidegg is also popular for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Mountaineers gather at Kleine Scheidegg before attempting to climb the North Face of the Eiger (one of the most difficult mountaineering challenges in Europe).

can be reached by a cable car which starts at Grund, which is a short walk from Grindelwald. Another cable car will take you from Männlichen to Wengen (near Lauterbrunnen).

Map of the area around Kleine Scheidegg

(c) Jungfrau Railways. Photo:
Kleine Scheidegg and the North Face of the Eiger (nearest)
(c) Jungfrau Railways. Photo:
Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen is a popular skiing area in winter

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Jungfrau is the highest mountain in this area (4158m, 13642 ft). Below the peak is Jungfraujoch (3454m, 11333ft). You can reach here by taking a train from Kleine Scheidegg, passing through steep mountain tunnels. Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in Europe. There is a weather station called the Sphinx Research Institute which has an indoor viewing platform (you may be able to see France to the west, Germany to the east, and Italy to the south). You can see some ice sculptures, have a meal and, if conditions allow, take a walk on the ice.

Some notes about visiting Jungfraujoch:
- The train journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch takes about 50 minutes. From Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch takes about 1h35.
- Make sure you are wearing warm clothes when you visit, even in summer. There is usually a difference of about 15°C between the temperatures at 1000m and at 3000m, and at Jungfraujoch it is normally below freezing.
- If it is cloudy you may not be able to see anything. Check the weather forecast and try to plan your visit on a sunny day. There is a webcam on the Sphinx weather station which is broadcast on local television, on the internet (for the link, see below), and at Interlaken Ost train station.
- Dog-drawn sleigh rides are sometimes available (at extra charge). You are most likely to be able to do this in the morning (by the afternoon the sun softens the ice).
- There is a post office. If you send a letter or postcard it will be given the special postmark "Top of Europe".
- The air is thin at high altitudes such as this. Try not to walk too fast, and take a rest if you start to feel dizzy.
- Visiting Jungfraujoch is expensive (nearly 200 Swiss Francs in 2006), but a discount is available if you have a Swiss rail pass.

(c) Jungfrau Railways. Photo:
Jungfraujoch: Sphinx (3571 m), with view over the Aletsch Glacier
(22km/14 miles long: the longest in the Alps)
(c) Switzerland Tourism. Photo:
Viewing terrace of the
Sphinx Research Institute

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In early January each year there is a 6-day International Snow Festival in Grindelwald. Teams of artists from across the world come here to create sculptures from blocks of snow. Each year there is a theme, and the works of art are judged both by a jury and by the public. The 25th annual festival is between 15-20 January 2007, and the theme is "highs and lows".

Snow sculpture

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* Visitor information

Grindelwald Tourist Office:
Jungfrau (summer information):
Jungfrau (winter information, including piste and snow reports):
Switzerland Tourism:

Firstbahn Grindelwald / Jungfraubahn (train to the top of Jungfrau):
Paragliding Grindelwald:

* Independent travel
- To travel to Grindelwald by train it takes about 35 minutes from Interlaken Ost (about 3 hours from Zurich, or 4 hours from Geneva).
- Grindelwald Bus:
- Jungfrau Railways:
- If you have a Swiss Pass it is free to travel from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald. Cable-cars and mountain trains are not free, but you can obtain a 50% reduction by showing your pass.

* Weather forecast
Grindelwald forecast:

* Live webcams
Cams showing current conditions: Jungfraujoch ; Kleine Scheidegg ; First ; Männlichen (Maennlichen) ; Wengen ; Schilthorn

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Lauterbrunnen: Travel/Tours/Switzerland/Lauterbrunnen
Unspunnen (festival of Swiss traditions in Interlaken): Travel/Tours/Switzerland/Unspunnen

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