The mountains are iconic of Switzerland and a trip to Jungfrau is something everyone should do once in their lifetime! It’s an unforgettable Swiss mountain experience and one you’ll always remember regardless of the weather conditions.
Imagine being at 3,454 meters above sea level surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, walking on snow and feeling the cool mountain air on your face. It’s pure magic! Jungfrau is the highest train station in Europe at 3,454 meters high in the Swiss Apls and makes this unique adventure possible. It’s an example of brilliant Swiss engineering and it’s a mountain experience that everyone can enjoy! Seeing glaciers up close and getting to explore the mountain landscape without the tough climb is a great chance to explore this harsh and often inaccessible environment.
The journey to Jungfrau starts by taking the cog railway which is an easy and comfortable way to travel in the mountains. The train for Jungfrau only departs from Kleine Scheidegg station which can be reached from either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald stations. The journey to/from Kleine Scheidegg is simply breathtaking!
Suggested route: Lauterbrunnen – Kleine Scheidegg – Jungfrau -Kleine Scheidegg -Grindelwald. (Trains depart every 1/2 hour and you can switch the start/end stations of you wish!)
Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg has stunning alpine valley views! The windows of the train can be pulled down half way which is handy for photos!
Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfrau is mostly tunnels through the mountain but a stop at Eismeer is a must for the stunning views of glaciers from above.
Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald has great mountain views too!
The train journeys show a wide variety of landscapes and the views from the windows are incredible. (So many photos were taken!)
If you have time, I’d recommend visiting/staying in both the mountain villages of Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald as they have lots of outdoor activities and hiking options to enjoy!
Things To Do
At Jungfrau base station there are a wide range of activities to try alongside shopping and restaurants. It’s very easy to navigate around the different attractions , simply follow the ‘Tour’ signs. Here are some of my highlights below!
This is the highest point at 3,571 meters above sea level! It’s a great viewing platform and I’m sure the views would have been incredible on a clear day!
This a memorial to the 30 miners who lost their lives during the construction of the railway.
There is a cute snow globe at the end of the passage.
Here you can see hand crafted ice sculptures and wonder through the ice caves! A pretty cool experience…!
There is snow and ice all year around to play in! It’s fun to take a walk and get a picture with the Swiss flag at the top!
You can hike 45mins to the highest serviced mountain hut through the high alpine along a marked trail. (You must stick to the trail as it’s steep sided and deep snow.)
This was my favourite experience and I felt like a true mountain explorer! Totally silent with just the wind howling and snow lightly falling! (Surprisingly your eyes adjust to the bright whiteness) We didn’t make it to the hut as the visibility was so poor but an out of this world experienc. In the summer you can stay overnight and watch a mountain sunset/sunrise! (Would be epic, next time!)
Other things to check out are: Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven (Yum!), Top of Europe shops and you can even book a tour to do the Aletsch glacier hike.
What To Wear
Proper clothing is essential on this trip as you are at high elevation and the weather can change very quickly. There is a greater exposure to wind/rain/sun and you should be prepared for all conditions. Good footwear such as hiking shoes/trainers are most comfortable as they offer good support and grip whilst walking on ice. There is snow all year round so a warm layer, waterproof jacket, sunglasses, hat, gloves and scarf should be taken with you. Being prepared will allow you to make the most out of the experience and you’ll be comfortable exploring all the activities including the glacier walk, ice palace and the plateau!
Anytime you are 1800 metres above sea level, you can suffer from altitude sickness. As there is less oxygen this can affect your breathing. (Most people experience minor symptoms but it shouldn’t cause you an issue.) Keeping hydrated and walking slowly helps to reduce the feeling of altitude sickness. Also avoid drinking alcohol/smoking as the effects are felt more quickly than usual. If you are hiking you should acclimatise slowly.
To Tour Or Not To Tour?
You can either join an organised tour or travel independently to Jungfrau. It was nice having everything organised and all the reservations booked in advance. However it did feel a bit rushed and I would have liked to spend more than 2.5 hours at the top! The trains are easy to navigate so this is an easy solo trip and with the volume of tourists that visit daily you’ll be safe at the top.
A visit to Jungfrau is a once in a lifetime experience and you’ll get an insight into the mountain landscape! It’s also an achievement to say that you’ve made it to the top of Europe! The Jungfrau region is truly spectacular and offers everything from snowy mountain peaks to crystal blue lakes and lush alpine meadows with pretty wild flowers! It’s definitely worth spending time in the heart of Switzerland and exploring all the different adventures the region has to offer!
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Until next time – where will your next adventure take you?