Grindelwald First Cliff Walk
Interlaken/Jungfrau Region Things to Do

How to Visit Grindelwald First

October 20, 2023 Last Updated on March 12, 2024

Grindelwald First is a small summit located on the slopes of the Schwarzhorn. It’s a popular area among hikers – and winter sports fans. In fact, there are plenty of things to do once you reach the mountain summit (which is often referred to as the Top of Adventure), whatever the season.

It’s very easy to access First mountain from the charming village of Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland. You can reach First by cable car, and the station is just a short walk or drive from the centre of the village.

This guide is here to help you make the most of your trip to Grindelwald First.

Whether you’re seeking free things to do in Grindelwald once you reach the summit, are wondering about Grindelwald to First ticket prices or want to take the Grindelwald First cliff walk, this article has you covered. 

From how to visit Grindelwald First by car or taking the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald First, to all the top Grindelwald First activities, read on so you can plan your day at the Top of Adventure in Switzerland.  

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Quick summary of Grindelwald First prices

Single tripRound trip
Regular adult ticketCHF 34CHF 68Buy your Ticket
With Jungfrau Travel PassFreeFreeBuy your Pass
With Berner Oberland PassFreeFreeBuy your Pass
With Swiss Travel PassCHF 17CHF 34Buy your Pass
With Half Fare CardCHF 17CHF 34Buy your Pass
With Eurail Global PassCHF 17CHF 34Buy your Pass
*Not all passes may be available all year round.
Viewing platform of the First Cliff Walk near Grindelwald in Switzerland
The viewing platform on the First Cliff Walk offers spectacular views.

About Grindelwald First

Grindelwald First in Switzerland is a minor summit with a cable car station and can be found on the slopes of the Schwarzhorn. It’s close to the village of Grindelwald in the well-known Jungfrau region of Switzerland. 

Known as the Top of Adventure, things to do at the summit of First include summer hiking, winter sports, thrilling adrenaline rides and of course taking in the scenic views. Walking trails to be found here include the popular route to Lake Bachalpsee.

You can also dine in style while enjoying panoramic views when visiting First, or allow the kids to challenge themselves at the adventure playground. It’s also possible to take part in more adventurous pursuits – such as riding a Trotti bike or paragliding. 

Whether the views appeal to you most or it’s all about the thrill, head to First at Grindelwald in Switzerland to experience the Top of Adventure!

Where is Grindelwald First?

Grindelwald First is a small summit on the slopes of the Schwarzhorn, within the Bernese Oberland – or Bernese Highlands. The summit is accessible from Grindelwald village, where there is a cable car station. 

Grindelwald and First mountain lie within Bern canton, and are around 30 minutes from Interlaken and 90 minutes from the capital, Bern.

How to get to Grindelwald First

Sign at Grindelwald railway station indicating the direction of the Firstbahn
A sign at Grindelwald train station indicates the direction of the Grindelwald Firstbahn, the cable car to First.

The Grindelwald First cable car is located in Grindelwald village. You can reach this valley station by taking a 10-minute walk from the train station, or via a short car or bus journey from the village centre. 

The Grindelwald Firstbahn – as it’s also known – takes about 25 minutes to reach the summit. Services operate between 9am and 4.30pm daily, all year round. In the peak summer season, these hours are extended to satisfy the increase in demand. 

There is a brief period of closure for annual maintenance, however, between early November and mid December. 

Taking a trip on the Grindelwald to First gondola involves three stages. The initial leg is a short ride from Grindelwald to Bort, and the second transports you from Bort to Schreckfeld. The final sector of the First Grindelwald cable car trip takes you from Schreckfeld to the summit of First. 

Cable cars run continuously throughout the day so there is little to no waiting time when transferring from one section of the cableway to another.

How to get to Grindelwald village

Before boarding the Grindelwald to First cable car, you’ll need to reach the village. 

When travelling by train, you’ll have to come to Grindelwald via the popular Swiss resort of Interlaken. The motorway network around Interlaken also makes it simple to reach Grindelwald when travelling by car. 

> Find out more about getting to Grindelwald

> Discover how to get to Grindelwald from Zurich

Before you travel to the Jungfrau Region

All visitors to Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region who don’t have a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card should consider purchasing a Jungfrau Travel Pass or a Berner Oberland Pass.

These two passes offer free and discounted transport on trains, buses, boats, cable cars and funiculars in the region. The Berner Oberland Pass also offers free and discounted admission to a number of other attractions.

Read more about the passes and what they cover on the links below:

Grindelwald First cable car timetable

Grindelwald First cable car station in Grindelwald
The valley station of the Grindelwald Firstbahn (cable car) is located in Grindelwald village.

When you’re wondering how to get to Grindelwald First, then you’ll need to know what times you can travel. The service operates continually between morning and late afternoon, with extended hours of operation in summer. 

Cable car services depart throughout the day, all year round. They operate at least between 9am and 4.30pm daily. In summer, services start earlier and finish later in the day. 

Grindelwald First tickets

You can visit First in Grindelwald by booking a stand-alone ticket for your travel. When visiting Grindelwald First, Swiss Travel Pass holders and Half Fare Card holders receive a discounted price. You can even travel free of charge with a regional pass. See below for further details.

Individual tickets for Grindelwald First

Skip the queues at Grindelwald First by buying your tickets in advance online. Tickets are valid for a full day, and you can alight at any of the three stations en route. 

> Click here to book Grindelwald First cable car tickets

Discounted Grindelwald First tickets for travel pass holders 

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, a Half Fare Card or a Eurail Global Pass, then you’re entitled to half price tickets for Grindelwald First. 

Holders of the regional Jungfrau Travel Pass or Berner Oberland Pass can travel free of charge.

Things to Do at Grindelwald First

As the Top of Adventure, there’s plenty to do once you disembark at the summit of First. From how to visit the Grindelwald First cliff walk to taking a thrilling ride on the Grindelwald First Flyer, here’s all you need to know about what to do at each of the three stops. 

Note: the adventure activities at Grindelwald First are extremely popular and long queues can be expected from June to September (inclusive). 

At the time of writing it is not possible to purchase tickets for any of the adventure activities in advance.  We recommend you arrive at the activity early and be prepared to wait in line. 

Signs at each of the cable car stations indicate the approximate waiting time for each activity.

At the summit – First

First Cliff Walk

First Cliff Walk at Grindelwald First
The First Cliff Walk is one of the most popular (and free) Grindelwald First activities.

The Cliff Walk at First in Grindelwald is both free of charge and completely unmissable. Sometimes called the Skywalk Grindelwald, this suspended walkway offers a thrilling Grindelwald First walk, as it seems to cling onto the mountainside. 

The walkway offers a 45-metre observation platform, from which you can take in superlative views of the Grindelwald valley, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

  • Open: Year round
  • Additional cost: No
  • Height/weight restrictions: No

First Flyer

First Flyer at Grindelwald First
 The Grindelwald First Flyer is a zipline that runs from First to Schreckhorn. © Jungfrau Railways

You can take the Grindelwald First Flyer – or Grindelwald First Flieger as it’s known in German – between First and Schreckfeld stations. 

This fly line in Grindelwald is around 800 metres long, and can achieve a speed of around 80 kilometres (or 50 miles) per hour.

After taking the ride, you can board the cable car bound for Grindelwald, instead of travelling back up the mountain. Or you can rent a mountain cart – see below for more info. 

Up to four people can take a ride on this Grindelwald flyer at once. If you can bear to look down, the views of the surrounding mountain peaks are incredible, as the fly line suspends you over Alpine meadows. 

Though the flyer is weather dependent, it does operate on a year-round basis. It’s an adventurous, fun-filled adrenaline ride, offering some of the finest views you’ll find anywhere in the world. For safety reasons, weight restrictions do apply.  

  • Open: Year round
  • Additional cost: Yes
  • Height/weight restrictions: Yes

First View Platform

Newly opened at First in Switzerland is the View Platform. This is close to the summit cable car station, it’s open all year and free to use.

The platform is nearly 2,195 metres above sea level, and offers multiple perspectives on the surrounding Swiss mountains. 

  • Open: Year round
  • Additional cost: No
  • Height/weight restrictions: No

First Mountain restaurant

Savouring Swiss or international specialities is a superb way to enjoy the views from First. You can dine here indoors or out, so it doesn’t matter what the weather has in store. 

Book a table at the Grindelwald First restaurant for arrival, so you can fuel up before taking a hike. Or treat yourself after making the effort, with a meal that you might well remember forever. 

Hike to Bachalpsee

Bachalpsee on Mt. First, Switzerland
The hike from Grindelwald First to Bachalpsee is fairly easy and takes around 50 minutes.

The Grindelwald First to Bachalpsee hike is the most popular route on the mountain. It commences just above the station you’ll arrive at when taking the cable car from Grindelwald to First. 

This mostly flat route will take you through Alpine meadows and past meandering Swiss streams, with beautiful views all the way. You might also glimpse Mount Schreckhorn reflected in the lake, especially on a clear day. 

The round trip route is around six kilometres (or four miles) long, and it takes about 50 minutes to walk to the lake, or back. Do bring your own snacks and drinks as there isn’t anywhere to purchase supplies along the way. 

Hike to Schilt (Marmot Trail)

An alternative Grindelwald First hike to take is the Marmot Trail trek to Schilt. It begins at the top of First, and passes marmot carvings as you walk between First and Schilt. With a little luck, you might also see some of the creatures along the way too.

This hike takes around an hour each way, and there are BBQ facilities at the end of the trail, by Bettmer Lake. It’s best to allow a whole morning or afternoon, so you can take along a picnic lunch to share while looking out for these small animals. 

Hike to Schynige Platte

Another Grindelwald First hiking route will take you to Schynige Platte. This one is for those who want more of a challenge, as it takes around six hours to complete. 

The hike from First to Schynige Platte offers some spectacular panoramas. You can see lakes Sägistalsee, Brienz and Bachalpsee, Alpine flora on the Matten, and views of the Jungfrau massif from the Faulhorn. 

Hiking trail on Mt. First Switzerland
There are plenty of scenic hiking trails on Mt First to choose from.

Guided 4-hour Hike

If you’d prefer to have an experienced guide with you as you hike, this 4-hour guided hike is perfect. Included is the cable car ticket from Grindelwald to First, a bus trip back to Grindelwald at the completion of your hike and your own private guide.

During this medium-level panoramic hike, you will see breathtaking views of Bachalpsee, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as you pass through Alpine pastures dotted with flowers.

> Get more info about the hike here

Paragliding

If you’ve always wanted to feel like you’re flying through the skies, what better place to do exactly that than scenic Switzerland? 

Paragliding Jungfrau offers guidance from experienced, expert pilots, who will lead you on a paragliding adventure at the top of First. 

> Find out more and book your paragliding experience here

At Schreckfeld intermediate station

First Glider

First Glider at Mt First, Switzerland
Get yourself strapped in to the Grindelwald First Glider and you’ll fly through the air like an eagle.

Looking like an oversized eagle, the Grindelwald First Glider offers adrenaline-seekers another thrilling mountain adventure.

The Grindelwald Glider travels at around 70 kilometres per hour as you glide backwards, towards First. Then you’ll travel at over 80 kilometres per hour while sailing through the air towards Schreckfeld.

Both weight and height restrictions apply, and again you can experience the ride as a group of four. 

  • Open: Year round
  • Additional cost: Yes
  • Height/weight restrictions: Yes

Mountain carts

Mountain carts at First near Grindelwald in Switzerland
Grindelwald First mountain carts are a fun way to get from Schreckfeld to Bort.

If you’ve taken the First Gilder or Flyer from the summit to Schreckfeld station, you then have the option of riding down to Bort station via a Grindelwald cart. It’s another way to enjoy an adrenaline rush while spending time at First. 

The mountain carts are like a hybrid between a sled and a go-kart, and are fitted with hydraulic brakes. A three kilometre trip down the asphalt and gravel track will transport you to Bort, where you can catch the gondola (or perhaps ride a Trottibike) back to Grindelwald village. 

The carts are suited to anyone over 135 centimetres tall. Helmets are supplied – and compulsory – and you can travel on a Grindelwald First Mountain Cart between early May and early November.

  • Open: May to November
  • Additional cost: Yes
  • Height/weight restrictions: Yes

Bergrestaurant Schreckfeld

Restaurant at Schreckfeld on Mt First
There are a few restaurants – all with stunning views – at Mt. First, Switzerland.

Bergrestaurant Schreckfeld in Grindelwald (or above Grindelwald, in fact) offers incredible mountain views while you dine on freshly prepared, home cooked food. 

Here you can watch the chefs at work preparing your meal, and dishes are made using locally sourced and regional produce. 

At Bort intermediate station

Trotti bikes

Family with Trotti bikes at Mt First near Grindelwald, Switzerland
Trotti bikes (or scooter bikes) are a fun activity that the whole family will enjoy at Grindelwald-First. Our family loves them!

After gliding or ‘flying’ to Schreckfeld, then taking a mountain cart to Bort, you can complete the final leg of the journey back to Grindelwald by Trotti bike. 

Hire a Grindelwald First Trotti bike and you can cruise – or rush – down to Grindelwald as fast or slow as you please. The sealed track is fringed by lush Alpine meadows, and includes several sweeping bends. 

First Trotti Bikes operate – weather permitting – between early April and early November. Helmets, which are compulsory, are provided. The bikes somewhat resemble scooters, with thick tyres and suspension for shock absorption. 

  • Open: April to November
  • Additional cost: Yes
  • Height/weight restrictions: Yes

Adventure playground

Adventure playground at Bort on Mt First above Grindelwald in Switzerland
Younger family members will be entertained at the excellent Bort adventure playgound.

Enjoying a stunning mountain setting, Bort adventure playground is perfect for kids who need to let off some steam. This is really simple to find, as it’s situated right by Bort cable car station. 

The equipment includes ropes, nets and slides, so it should keep the kids amused for a while. As they play, the grown-ups can sit with a drink or snack from the restaurant here. 


Planning a trip to Switzerland?

At Holidays to Switzerland we are passionate about sharing our love of Switzerland and helping you to plan the perfect trip. Read our guide to planning a trip to Switzerland to kick start your travel plans and join our free Switzerland Travel Planning group on Facebook to chat with other past and future travellers.

Want monthly news and podcast updates, helpful travel tips and special deals sent straight to your inbox? Subscribe to Holidays to Switzerland and we’ll send you a bonus copy of our 10 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Switzerland guide.

🇨🇭 Check out our exclusive discount offers and save on your Swiss vacation. 🇨🇭


Grindelwald First winter activities

In winter, get a Grindelwald First ski pass and you can skim down over 60 kilometres of groomed slopes while taking in magnificent views of the Bernese Alps. 

The area also offers around 40 kilometres of sledge runs. There’s also the White Elements snow park for less experienced skiers. 

Should you want more places to ski or snowboard, you can also head to the areas of Grindelwald-Wengen and Mürren-Schilthorn, which also form part of the Jungfrau ski region.

How long should you spend at Grindelwald First?

Allow just over an hour for the round trip cable car trip when planning to visit Grindelwald First. As for time there, about five hours will let you see and do most of the things that you might want to.

If you want to take longer hikes, participate in a lot of activities or stop at all the stations, you may like to allow longer. A whole day is ideal. 

Cable car station at Mt First
The Grindelwald First cable car operates continuously throughout the day. Journey time from Grindelwald to First is around 35 minutes.

Can you stay at Grindelwald First?

You can indeed stay at Grindelwald First if you want to. The panoramas from the Berggasthaus First hotel are breathtaking, and of course it can only be accessed via cable car. 

If you want to ensure you are first in line for the First Flyer, staying overnight at Grindelwald First is a good idea.

Berggasthaus First hotel

Berggasthaus First is located at the summit, in the same building as First gondola station. Offering ski-to-door access, it’s a simple property offering a range of accommodation types. These include dorm room beds, doubles and family rooms with shared bathrooms. Some have mountain views.

The hotel has free WiFi, a restaurant with a terrace, a lounge and an apres-ski bar. Each room sleeps up to eight, and guests love staying here as they spend time among the mountains after all the visitors have departed for the day. 

> Click here to book a room at Berggasthaus First

Best time to visit Grindelwald First

When is the best time to visit Grindelwald First depends on what you want to do there. Some activities operate all year round. For winter sports you’ll need to pick the season accordingly.

Outside the winter months, summer is a popular time to visit, and when all activities (apart from those that require snow) are operational. July, August and September are busiest, so visit in June if you can to avoid the biggest crowds. 

You can expect milder weather between April and September, so spring and early autumn can also be a good time to head to the mountains. For alpine flora, booking your trip for spring to early summer is the best option. 

If you want to travel on a budget, the area is more peaceful – and therefore accommodation is cheaper – between October and March. 

Panoramic view from Grindelwald First in Switzerland
It’s worth taking the Grindelwald First gondola to the summit just for the views.

Practical advice for visiting Grindelwald First

Parking in Grindelwald village

The Eiger Centre in Grindelwald, where you’ll find the Coop supermarket, has a large multi-storey car park beneath it. Fees apply. Alternatively, you may be able to park at your Grindelwald hotel

These are the closest options for Grindelwald First parking, as you need to take the cable car to the summit. 

Grindelwald First weather and webcam

Checking the Grindelwald First webcam is a great idea before you set off, as you can see what conditions really are like at the summit. 

As a general guide to the local weather, expect cold temperatures at First. These can dip as low as -14°C (7°F) overnight in January and February, which are the coldest months. Even daytime highs in winter can be as low as -8°C (18°F). 

During summer, 14°C (or 57°F)  is about as hot as it gets here. As a mountain summit, the weather can be very windy, cold and changeable. So always wear layers, as well as packing waterproof and windproof clothing. 

Grindelwald First FAQs

Should I go to Grindelwald First or Jungfraujoch?

Whether to visit First or Jungfraujoch – or in which order – depends on your priorities. First is known as the Top of Adventure, and is ideal for adrenaline activities, hiking and of course stunning views from the Cliff Walk.

Jungfraujoch Top of Europe is more about seeing the glacier and the snow, as well as getting great views over the Swiss Alps from this high elevation. 

If you are visiting Grindelwald during high season (roughly June to September), you may not have time to visit both First and Jungfraujoch in one day if you want to try some of the adventure activities at First.

Can you walk down Grindelwald First?

You can walk – instead of taking the cable car – from the top of First to the village of Grindelwald if you want to.

It’s a tough route, though, and only recommended for experienced hikers at their own risk. If you do, make sure you wear sturdy footwear, and carry both water and weatherproof clothing. 

Bort cable car station on Mt First near Grindelwald, Switzerland
If you want to enjoy any of the paid activities at Grindelwald First allow plenty of time as queues can be very long. This is the queue for the mountain carts in June.

Is Grindelwald First worth visiting?

Grindelwald First and the surrounding area has so much to offer in every season, including winter sports, summer hikes and adrenaline-inducing activities, making it well worth visiting.

The views from the summit are also among the most scenic in the whole of Switzerland. 

Whether your priority is taking in the stunning views, or experiencing thrilling adventures, 

try to spend at least a full day on First. For an even more memorable experience you can even stay overnight at the Berggasthaus First hotel. 

However you experience it, First is not to be missed when visiting the charming Swiss village of Grindelwald.

Ready to visit Grindelwald-First? Get your tickets here!

🇨🇭 You can see all our helpful Grindelwald and Jungfrau Region articles here, and discover more things to do in Grindelwald.


Switzerland Travel Essentials