View of Grindelwald from Pfingstegg cableway
Interlaken/Jungfrau Region Itineraries

Jungfrau Region Switzerland: 3 day itinerary

May 20, 2022 Last Updated on May 20, 2022

The Jungfrau Region in Switzerland has so much to enchant the visitor. Though quite rightly the area is known as a winter sports destination, it offers so much more besides. Whether you want to see soaring mountain peaks, tumbling waterfalls or glittering lakes, exploring this part of Europe is a joy.

This suggested itinerary for visitors to the Switzerland Jungfrau Region will allow you to experience some of this area’s key highlights. It is suitable for those staying anywhere in the region, including Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Grindelwald and Wengen as well as the larger Swiss resort of Interlaken.

There is a lot of flexibility here, so feel free to switch things around according to your timings and preferences.

On the first day, for instance, you can travel to almost 4,000 metres above sea level to Jungfraujoch before visiting the beautiful waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen, or opt to see Schilthorn and Murren instead.

Relaxing by Lake Brienz is an ideal way to spend part of your Jungfrau Region Switzerland 3 day itinerary.
Relaxing by Lake Brienz.

The Jungfrau region is also renowned for its crystal clear lakes, so we recommend taking a trip to either Lake Thun or Lake Brienz on day two.

For day three, the delights of Grindelwald await, as well as trips up First mountain and a seasonal sunset dinner at Harder Kulm.

Active types may also like to set aside an additional day to enjoy winter or adventure sports in the area, or to take to the hiking trails that traverse the Jungfrau Region. Whatever your plans, this Swiss region is sure to leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

Read on so you can plan your ideal 3 days in the area, letting this Jungfrau Region itinerary be your guide.

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


Jungfrau Region Day 1 itinerary

Your first day in the Jungfrau region can be spent according to where you wish to visit most: will it be an excursion to Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn? The former is often referred to as the ‘Top of Europe’, and lies at 3,454 metres above sea level.

Schilthorn, meanwhile, has an elevation close to 3,000 metres, and featured in the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Bond movie.

You can combine either of these peaks with a visit to Lauterbrunnen to see the glorious waterfalls there on the return trip.

It’s also possible to squeeze in a visit to Murren while you’re passing through en route to Schilthorn, and you may also like to stop at Birg or take the funicular railway to Allmendhubel.

A note on clothing for your first day. If you plan to go to the Jungfraujoch Ice Palace and/or the Alpine Sensation, you’ll need warm clothing. For those who want to see the waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen, comfortable footwear that’s also sturdy is recommended – and you may also like to take wet weather gear or wear fast-drying clothing.

For current information about the Jungfrau Region weather, we recommend checking the Meteo Swiss website.


Morning

Jungfraujoch

Jungfraubahn
An excursion to Jungfraujoch is the highlight for many visitors to the Jungfrau Region. Image courtesy Swiss Travel System.

There are several options open to you when visiting Jungfraujoch. For a 3 day itinerary like this, we recommend taking the Eiger Express cableway to make the most of your time. 

You’ll travel via Grindelwald to take the Eiger Express cable car from there to Eiger Glacier, before boarding a train to take you to the summit of Jungfraujoch – aka the Top of Europe. The state-of-the-art cableway is very modern, and has only been open since the end of 2020.

The total journey time is around 1 hour and 10 minutes from Interlaken, and you’ll get to see the majestic Eiger Glacier along the way.

As the cabins on the Eiger Express offer 360 degree panoramic views, a major highlight of this trip is the incredibly scenic journey.

Once you get to Jungfraujoch there is plenty to keep you occupied. Aletsch Glacier is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest glacier found in Europe, while at Jungfraujoch Ice Palace you can view the latest works of ice art.

Other highlights include the Alpine Sensation – a 250 metre tunnel connecting the Ice Palace to Sphinx Hall – the Lindt chocolate shop and the Sphinx Observatory.

There is also a selection of shops and restaurants at the summit and a range of snow activities during the summer months.

Click here > to buy your tickets for Jungfraujoch


Lunch

For lunch at the Top of Europe – with quite possibly the most spectacular views you’ve ever experienced – you could either take a picnic along or take a table at one of the cafes and restaurants there.

Top options include Restaurant Crystal for a la carte dining, or Restaurant Aletsch for lighter yet equally delicious meals. Both are open all year round.

If you feel like trying something a little different and are visiting between early April and late October, head to Restaurant Bollywood for authentic Indian cuisine.

For drinks, snacks and light meals, there is also the Sphinx Bar by the observatory and the Coffee Bar at the railway station.


Afternoon

Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen is located in what is known as the Valley of the Waterfalls.

When you depart Jungfraujoch in the afternoon, we recommend taking the train all the way to Lauterbrunnen so you can spend a little time exploring and seeing the waterfalls.

This trip takes about an hour and 25 minutes, and a stop to look around the village of Lauterbrunnen and see the Staubbach Falls and Trummelbach Falls there is very worthwhile. In fact this Swiss village is surrounded by over 70 waterfalls.

Trummelbach Falls are closed in winter but Staubbach Falls can be viewed all year round.

Day one ends with your return to Interlaken  – or your Jungfrau Region base – in time for dinner.


Day 1 alternative itinerary

Schilthorn

Schilthorn-Piz-Gloria-at-sunset
The 360 degree views from the summit of the Schilthorn are breathtaking. Image courtesy Schilthorn.

Instead of heading to the Top of Europe, you may prefer to see Schilthorn – especially if there’s a James Bond fan in your party as the destination starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. That might well sway the decision of anyone unsure whether to visit Schilthorn or Jungfrau.

There are two options for getting to Schilthorn. You can take a series of cable cars all the way from Stechelberg, or opt for a journey via both cable car and train from Lauterbrunnen. Both of these options involve travelling via Murren.

In total it takes around an hour-and-a-half to get from Interlaken to the Schilthorn summit. If you’re an early riser, you could even book a James Bond brunch to savour at Schilthorn while taking in those magnificent views.

Over 200 Swiss mountain peaks are visible from the top of Schilthorn, including the famous Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch mountains. It really is an incredible sight. Again the journey is a key part of the experience and a major highlight of the Jungfrau Region.

Piz Gloria Schilthorn is the absolute peak of the mountain and is positioned 2,970 metres above sea level. When skies are at their clearest, you may be able to see as far as Germany’s Black Forest and Mont Blanc in France.

At Piz Gloria Schilthorn you can find a range of attractions including the observatory and Bond World. The latter is fun even for anyone who’s never heard of Bond (although surely such folk are few and far between).

With interactive displays, it’s great for both adults and kids. There is also a 007 Walk of Fame to follow and a Bond cinema showing scenes from the movies.

You can even stop at the 360 Degree Restaurant for lunch – or brunch if you’re arriving early. This was the world’s first revolving mountain restaurant and offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a meal or drink whilst watching the spectacular scenery float by.  

Schilthorn also has a more informal takeaway cafe and a souvenir shop, and in the summer months there are free folklore shows held between 11am and 3pm.

Click here > to buy your tickets to Schilthorn


Birg

Skyline Observation Deck at Birg on Mt. Schilthorn
The Skyline Observation Deck at Birg offers spectacular views to the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Image courtesy Schilthorn.

Birg is Schilthorn’s middle station and it’s worth making a pitstop here for the views. Here there is the Skyline Observation Deck, the 200-metre Thrill Walk pathway and Bistro Bird. At the latter you can enjoy lunch with sweeping mountain views.

In summer you can also take a two hour hike from Birg to Grauseeli, or in winter visit the Igloo Village.

Murren

You’ll be passing through Murren when you take a trip to Schilthorn, so it makes sense to stop and explore this pretty village. It’s also a great place to take a lunch break while admiring the spectacular views of the mountains and Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Allmendhubel

If you still have time, you can also take the funicular train from Murren to Allmendhubel. It’s worth taking this trip for the journey itself as well as the Flower Trail there, where you can see up to 150 Alpine flora species.

This railway is open all year, except when closed for maintenance between mid-April and mid-June and mid-October and mid-December.

Alternatively, head to Lauterbrunnen in the afternoon to see the waterfalls (Trummelbach Falls are closed in winter) before returning to your Jungfrau Region base.


Jungfrau Region Day 2 itinerary

Day two of this itinerary involves a Swiss must-see – one of the numerous lakes this European country is famous for. You can pick between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

After an action-packed time the day before, today is a little more leisurely and you can take things at your own pace.

Although the lakes are technically in the Bernese Oberland rather than the Jungfrau Region, they are so close to Interlaken that many visitors like to enjoy the lakes whilst in the region.

Lake Thun

Spiez Castle Switzerland with Lake Thun and Bernese Alps in the distance.
Spiez, with its attractive castle, is a must-visit town on Lake Thun.

Lake Thun is known locally as Thunersee. Getting to Lake Thun means taking a 35-minute train trip from Interlaken to Thun, where you can then spend some time exploring the town.  Highlights include the Old Town, the Castle and Thun Panorama, the world’s oldest surviving circular painting.

The Bernese Alps act as a majestic backdrop to the calm waters of the lake which connects the towns of Thun and Interlaken. Many cruises operate between Thun and Interlaken, so taking one of these for your return journey is highly recommended.

There are various Swiss villages to see along the banks of the lake including Oberhofen, Spiez and Faulensee. Stopping off at Spiez en route is a great idea, as you visit Spiez Castle and have lunch in the town.

An alternative is to visit the St. Beatus Caves on your way back to Interlaken. The caves were formed more than a million years ago, and comprise a network of limestone caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.

Click here > to buy a cruise day pass for Lake Thun


Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz in Switzerland's Berner Oberland region
The turquoise waters of Lake Brienz.

Option 2 is to visit Lake Brienz which is a little smaller than Lake Thun, but no less appealing. Known in Switzerland as Brienzersee, we suggest travelling to Brienz by taking a boat trip across the lake.

You may choose to disembark at the village of Iseltwald or Giessbach Falls (or both). The Falls carry water 500 metres to Lake Brienz, with the water cascading down in 14 stages. There are walking trails beneath the falls, too.

You could book a table for lunch at the Grand Hotel Giessbach for superlative views of the falls as you dine or continue on to Brienz by boat to grab a bite to eat.

Allow some time to stroll the pretty streets and the lakeside promenade in Brienz and if time permits why not take a ride on the Brienzer Rothorn steam train (summer season only)?

The name refers to a mountain belonging to the Emmental Alps range, and the Brienz Rothorn Bahn is the best way to reach it. Whether you love trains, mountains or stunning scenery, a ride on this steam-powered rack railway is a must for many.

You’ll need to allow at least three hours for the Brienz Rothorn excursion as the journey time to the summit is one hour each way.

On your return to Brienz, you can take a regular train back to Interlaken – twice hourly departures, journey time around 20 minutes).

Click here > to buy a cruise day pass for Lake Brienz (valid April to October only)


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.

Subscribe to receive our monthly news and podcast updates, helpful travel tips and special deals, and we’ll send you a copy of our 10 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Switzerland guide. > Click here to subscribe.


Jungfrau Region Day 3 itinerary

Your third day in the Jungfrau Region is best spent discovering Grindelwald and First Mountain. An optional extra is to hike to Bachalpsee Lake from First.

While in Grindelwald, you can explore the village and visit Grindelwald Glacier Gorge. Later in the day you could also add in a return funicular ride to the summit of Harder Kulm to enjoy a scenic sunset dinner before leaving the region.


Morning

First Mountain

Tissot Cliff Walk observation platform at Grindelwald First
The Tissot Cliff Walk at First is free to visit. Image courtesy Jungfrau Railways.

You’ll need to travel to First via Grindelwald. The train from Interlaken to Grindelwald takes around 35 minutes, and from there you can board the cable car bound for First.

Once you arrive at the summit there are several options regarding things to do. You could opt for an energetic one hour hike to Bachalpsee Lake, which is about 3 kilometres from the cable car station.

Other activities available at the summit include the First Cliff Walk or a trip on the First Flyer zipline or the First Glider.

Click here > to buy your tickets for Grindelwald First


Lunch

You might like to take a picnic with you to enjoy by the lake, or choose to stay in First instead for lunch at the First Mountain Restaurant.


Afternoon

Grindelwald

Mountain Carts at Mt. First near Grindelwald
Mountain carts (pictured) and trotti bikes are a fun way to descend from Mt. First. Image courtesy Jungfrau Railways.

Attractions like Trotti bike and mountain cart rides also await at Mt. First, or else you can return by cable car to Grindelwald.  A 13-minute bus trip to from the town centre to Grindelwald Glacier Gorge is recommended, where you can stroll along the canyon and learn more about the glacier.

Click here > to buy your tickets for Grindelwald Glacier Gorge (seasonal)

It’s also worth spending some time strolling around the village, too.

Other things to see and do in Grindelwald include booking into a day spa, going paragliding and visiting the indoor rope park. There is also a good range of restaurants, shops and cafes here.

Note: Some of the activities mentioned on Mt. First, and the Grindelwald Glacier Gorge are only open during the summer months.


Evening – optional (& seasonal)

Harder Kulm

Harder Kulm with lake view
Harder Kulm’s Two Lakes Bridge offers stunning views of Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and the Bernese Alps.

Harder Kulm is easy to reach from central Interlaken, as the funicular departure point is just 5 minutes’ walk from Interlaken Ost station. There are breathtaking views of the Bernese Alps, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz from the summit.

Enjoying dinner at the Harder Kulm Panorama Restaurant makes it well worth the short trip from Interlaken. Like the funicular, this is open between mid-April and late November.

Click here > to buy your tickets to Harder Kulm


More things to do in the Jungfrau Region

For more places to visit and things to see in the area, check out our complete guide to the Jungfrau Region here.

Over 60 attractions of Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region are also covered in this article.


Where to stay in the Jungfrau Region

You can find out all about the best places to stay in the Jungfrau region in our local guides to accommodation in Interlaken, Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.

Not sure which town or village to stay in? Our Jungfrau Region Travel Guide will help you to decide. Click below to get your copy.

Image showing inclusions of Jungfrau Region Travel Guide

Jungfrau Region 3 day itinerary – Final Thoughts

Taking trips from a town such as Interlaken to the Jungfrau Region is so worthwhile. It would be a shame to miss out on trips to the soaring mountain peaks by cable car or funicular, enjoying a hike amongst spectacular scenery or cruising across a clear Swiss lake.

There are also enchanting towns and villages to explore, including Lauterbrunnen, Murren and Grindelwald, where you can see dramatic gorges, tumbling waterfalls, spectacular views over the surrounding valleys and more.

However you choose to spend your time in the Jungfrau Region, we’re certain you’ll enjoy the trip of a lifetime in this glorious place.


View from Murren
The attractive car-free village of Murren is worth a visit on your way to or from the Schilthorn.

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 Regional Pass Berner Oberland.

These two passes offer free and discounted transport on trains, buses, boats, cable cars and funiculars in the region. The Regional Pass Berner Oberland 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:

> Click here to read our Jungfrau Region Travel Guide


Switzerland Travel Essentials

Top image credit: Jungfrau Region