The attractive town of Grindelwald is located in the Swiss Bernese Alps and is bordered by the north face of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. Known locally as ‘the vibrant Eiger village’, Grindelwald offers spectacular views and plenty of activities to keep visitors happy.
During the winter months, Grindelwald buzzes with ski enthusiasts; you only have to take a look at a Grindelwald map to discover the wide variety of ski trails on offer.
In the summer, visitors enjoy the many and varied outdoor activities on offer, and the vistas are just as incredible.
As you’ll read in this article, there are enough things to do in Grindelwald to spend a week there. But, if you only have a day or two, you won’t be disappointed either.
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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:
Things to do in Grindelwald
Grindelwald has many delights to discover, and the Jungfraujoch excursion is one of the best. It’s also one of the top reasons that tourists visit Grindelwald.
This incredible journey to the summit of the Jungfraujoch at 3,454 metres is one of Switzerland’s most popular day trips.
Known as Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, the mountain peak can be reached by train from Grindelwald in around 90 minutes, or, as of December 2020, by cable car to Eiger Glacier station with a connecting train to Jungfraujoch in around 30 minutes.
Numerous things to do await you at the summit including an ice palace, the Sphinx Observatory which offers awe-inspiring views of the Aletsch Glacier, shops and restaurants, and snow activities in summer.
The Jungfraujoch can be visited 365 days of the year.
Due to the popularity of this excursion, it is recommended that you buy your tickets in advance.
- Regular roundtrip ticket from Grindelwald – BUY HERE (Select Grindelwald as your departure point in the pricing area.)
First Mountain Grindelwald
First is a relatively small summit situated on the slopes of Schwarzhorn and easily accessible from Grindelwald.
The cable car station sits at the end of Grindelwald village and First is particularly popular with those who enjoy hiking. Keen walkers can hop off the cable car at any of the stations en-route and hike to the summit or back down to Grindelwald.
Grindelwald to First is an easy journey involving cable cars. The Firstbahn Grindelwald gondola has three stages:
Leg one of the Grindelwald – First journey involves a short ride from Grindelwald to Bort, the next leg takes you from Bort to Shreckfeld before you board the final cable car from Shreckfeld to First.
The entire journey from Grindelwald to First takes 25 minutes. Cable cars operate continuously from 9am to 4.30pm (slightly longer hours in high season). There is a short closure period for maintenance from 25 October to 18 December (inclusive) 2020.
Once at the summit of Mt. First, there are plenty of things to see and do.
First Cliff Walk
One of the most popular attractions on Mt. First is the First Cliff Walk. Visitors will be wowed by the First Cliff Walk Grindelwald (sometimes called Skywalk Grindelwald), a walkway which seems to cling precariously to the side of the mountain.
The Cliff Walk Grindelwald-First features a 45-metre-long observation platform with fantastic mountain views.
First Mountain Restaurant
If the fresh mountain air is making you hungry, the mountain restaurant at First is well worth a visit. Serving up a delicious range of food and drinks – from Swiss cuisine to international dishes – there’s sure to be something on the menu to appeal.
With both indoor and outdoor dining areas, the First Mountain Restaurant is the perfect place to fuel up before partaking in the many activities available on First.
Hike to Bachalpsee
A wonderful way to really immerse yourself in the beauty of the area is to hike from First to Bachalpsee. Grindelwald has plenty of picturesque hiking trails and this is one of the most popular.
The trail starts just above the cable car station at First and is mostly flat.
Passing through alpine meadows and alongside bubbling streams, the path offers spectacular views before arriving at Lake Bachalp. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of Mt. Schreckhorn reflected in the glacial waters of the lake.
The round-trip hike from First to Bachalpsee is just under six kilometres in length and you should allow around 50 minutes to walk each way.
When it comes to returning to Grindelwald, there are numerous ways to travel. You might like to take the three-leg cable car ride for your descent or perhaps you’d like to hike, but why not consider travelling part of the way by other means?
Below are your options (all operate from early June until late October, depending on weather conditions).
If the Cliff Walk doesn’t provide quite enough of a thrill for you, the First Flyer Grindelwald, which propels adrenaline junkies along an 800-metre zipline at speeds of around 80 kilometres per hour, might be for you.
Starting just near the First summit station, the zipline finishes at Schreckfeld where you can rejoin the cable car for your descent to Grindelwald.
Another airborne activity to try is the First Glider. Strapped to a purpose built eagle which is attached to a pulley, you’ll soar from First to Schreckfeld at 80 kilometres per hour whilst taking in the spectacular views.
Just like the First Flyer, the First Glider operates from early June until late October and is weather dependent.
A fun way to descend from Schreckfeld to Bort is onboard a mountain cart, a cross between a go-kart and a sled.
Fitted with hydraulic brakes, the mountain carts are well-suited to terrain of the three-kilometre gravel and asphalt track.
Helmets are compulsory (and provided with mountain cart rental) and the carts are suitable for everyone over 135 centimetres.
Grindelwald has some of the most spectacular alpine scenery just waiting to be discovered and one of the best ways to enjoy it is on two wheels!
If your mountain cart ride has your heart pumping, next up is a trotti bike from Bort to Grindelwald.
Trotti Bikes have a scooter-like appearance with thicker tyres, suspension and brakes and allow you to cruise on down to Grindelwald – through lush alpine pastures – at your own pace, be that fast or slow.
Helmets (compulsory) are included with Trottibike rental.
Hop on your Trotti Bike – Grindelwald awaits!
Bort Adventure Playground
An adventure park for kids (and the young at heart) is located beside the Bort cable car station. The Bort Alpine Playground is a 700-metre park with a mountain stream, and there’s plenty of fun to be had via the ropes and nets.
Youngsters will have a great time climbing and balancing (and doing their best not to fall off)!
Grindelwald attractions are many and varied, and Pfingstegg, another mountain summit, proves to be popular in summer.
Pfinstegg, at 1,391 metres above sea level, can be reached by cable car and is home to an excellent summer toboggan track.
The Rodelbahn (Grindelwald toboggan run) is open during the warmer months – early May to late October, allowing thrill-seekers of all ages to speed along a 736-metre track at up to 45 kilometres per hour.
There are also superb hiking trails leading to the glaciers if you want to let your feet take the strain.
Pfingstegg, Grindelwald has a great viewing platform, and when the weather in Grindelwald, Switzerland is clear enough, you can enjoy wonderful views of the valley and Alps beyond.
There’s also a restaurant where you can enjoy a meal or drink with a view.
Grindelwald Glacier Canyon Walk
A short hike from the centre of town, the Glacier Gorge Grindelwald (gletscherschlucht in German) sits between the Mettenberg and Eiger. Grindelwald Glacier has changed a great deal over many years. Once upon a time, it met the floor of the valley and people would ski on the lower portion of the glacier canyon.
Grindelwald visitors today can’t do this but a canyon walk allows you to witness how the glacier has retreated over time, and you can view the imposing rock walls for yourself.
Consisting of a one kilometre walkway through naturally formed tunnels and rock galleries, the canyon walk allows you to discover how the gorge has been formed.
Those brave enough can walk across the ‘spider web’ net which spans the Lutschine River seven metres below.
Allow one to two hours to complete the Grindelwald Canyon Walk, which is open daily from late May to late October. A visit to the canyon walk is an ideal way to spend a rainy day in Grindelwald.
Grindelwald Canyon Swing
If you’re looking for some real adventure when you visit Switzerland, Grindelwald Canyon Swing is the answer.
Grindelwald has a fast-flowing glacial river at the base of the deep canyon, and the ledge above acts as the launch pad from which nervous participants leap. If you’re seeking a heart-stopping adventure, this could be it!
There’s a very calm instructor by your side to talk you through the process, but not much can prepare you for the 50-metre free fall between the narrow, rocky canyon walls – especially when you’re travelling at 120 kilometres per hour!
Located at the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon (see above), the Grindelwald Canyon Swing operates from mid-April until mid-November. > Click here for prices and details.
Grindelwald is surrounded by numerous mountains, and Männlichen is another worth visiting.
At 2,343 metres, the mountain can be accessed by the Grindelwald-Mannlichen gondola railway.
Grindelwald – Männlichen – Grindelwald services operate from 9am to 5pm daily (Closed 26 October, 2020 – 4 December, 2020).
On arrival at Mannlichen, take an easy 30-minute along the Royal Walk to the summit platform where magnificent views await. The panorama of Kleine Scheidegg, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley is laid out before you – it’s a vista you’ll never forget.
There are numerous other hiking trails on Mannlichen, as well as a mountain inn and a children’s adventure playground, home to an 8.5 metre high wooden cow which features a slide and a viewing platform.
Royal Walk is open 5 December 2020 to 18 April 2021 (depending on the snow conditions) and then again from mid-May to end of October, 2021.
Hiking in Grindelwald
If you enjoy hiking, Grindelwald will suit you perfectly. There are numerous paths and trails suitable for any level of hiker, from beginners to more advanced walkers. We’ve already mentioned the hike to Bachalpsee above but there are plenty of other hikes to choose from, as you can see on this Jungfrau Region hiking map.
The Panoramaweg, between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg, is a 4.4 kilometre one-way walk that will provide you with wonderful views of the Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger.
The trail, which descends around 160 metres, can be covered in just over an hour. It is open from the end of May until mid-October.
More seasoned hikers might prefer to take the route from Mannlichen down to Wengen. This 11 kilometre one-way hike allows you to take a scenic amble and view the big three – Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau – as you descend almost 1,000 metres.
Allow around three hours to complete the trail which is open from July to October.
If you’d prefer to be accompanied on your hike by a knowledgeable local guide, why not book a 4-hour guided hike. > Click here for further details and prices.
Other Activities in Grindelwald
There’s certainly no shortage of activities in Grindelwald – things to do exist at every turn. If you want to spend a little time away from the hiking trails and downhill runs, there are many other activities that you can enjoy.
Indoor Rope Park
The largest in Europe, and suitable to visit in any weather, the park is situated at Sportzentrum Grindelwald and allows you to try your hand at climbing the Eiger, albeit in a safer and more controlled way.
There are five circuits to choose from, and instructors are on hand to ‘show you the ropes!’
Other attractions include the Grindelwald Museum – ideal for lovers of history and art – and an excellent mini golf course which you’ll find in the heart of the main street.
With one of the most spectacular landscapes in Switzerland, it’s not surprising that paragliding is a popular activity in Grindelwald.
If you’d like to take to the skies and enjoy the scenery from above, book an instructor to try out paragliding. Grindelwald’s beauty won’t disappoint.
Spa and Wellness Centres
Perhaps you’d rather spend a day relaxing and being pampered, then opt for a spa treatment and boost your wellness. Grindelwald has numerous hotels that feature their own wellness centres and include steam baths, saunas and solariums.
Restaurants, cafes and bars
The village has a rather laid-back vibe, so you won’t find lots of late-night partying; however, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Grindelwald to stave off hunger and thirst after a busy day.
Skiing in Grindelwald
We can’t talk about all the things to do in Grindelwald, Switzerland without mentioning winter sports. The skiing in Grindelwald is impressive and there are just over 150 kilometres of slopes to suit all levels of skier.
At bodmiArena in the centre of the town, you’ll find the largest beginner’s ski area in the Jungfrau Region, covering 6,000 square metres. It also offers sled runs and snow tube rides. > Click here to check prices and details.
If you want to ski, Grindelwald is a great choice, so grab your ski-pass – Grindelwald is waiting to welcome you!
Other winter activities in Grindelwald
Other fun activities to try in Grindelwald include curling, night sledding, snowshoeing and hiking. The First Flyer zipline and Tissot Cliff Walk (mentioned above) are also open in winter.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not hike to Faulhorn (allow around two hours) and then take a 15-kilometre sled ride back to Grindelwald on Big Pintenfritz, Europe’s longest sled track.
With the weather in Grindelwald being so icy and snowy during winter, you could turn your hand to ice climbing. Adventurers will enjoy the thrill of pulling themselves up the sheer wall of ice, using specialist equipment to test their skill.
Exploring the Jungfrau Region
How about a change of scenery? If you’d like to explore further afield, you could always check out the sights and sounds of Interlaken. Grindelwald is around 30 minutes by train from Interlaken. If you have your own vehicle, it’s about a 30 minute drive.
Where is Grindelwald
Grindelwald is located in the Jungfrau Region of central Switzerland, just 30 minutes from Interlaken.
It is 65 kilometres from Bern, 87 kilometres from Lucerne and 137 kilometres from Zurich.
The nearest airport to Grindelwald for international travellers is Zurich. You can check the travel times from Zurich Airport by train below or book a private transfer here.
How to get to Grindelwald
All visitors arriving in Grindelwald by train will need to travel via Interlaken. Rail services from Interlaken to Grindelwald operate every 30 minutes. The journey from Interlaken to Grindelwald by train takes 33 minutes.
Trains from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald travel via Wilderswil, again services are half-hourly.
The train Zurich to Grindelwald takes two hours and forty minutes.
You’ll find the journey times from other popular destinations below:
- Bern to Grindelwald – 1h:04
- Lucerne to Grindelwald – 2h:32
- Geneva to Grindelwald – 3h:26
Grindelwald can be easily reached by car from anywhere in Switzerland. Nearby Interlaken is connected to all major cities via the motorway network and Grindelwald is a further 30 minute drive.
> Click here to read our tips for driving in Switzerland.
Parking in Grindelwald
If you are arriving in Grindelwald by car and your accommodation does not have parking space available, there is a large multi-level car park underneath the Eiger Centre (where you’ll find the Coop Supermarket) in the centre of Grindelwald. Fees apply.
Where to stay in Grindelwald
When it comes to a variety of accommodation, Grindelwald has all styles covered. You can see our detailed article on the best hotels in Grindelwald here but there are also plenty of self-catering options, as well as hostels and camping, too.
If you love camping, Grindelwald has three camping grounds to choose from. Perhaps you’re looking for hostels in Grindelwald, that option is covered, too.
However if you’d prefer to stay in one of the many apartments in Grindelwald, the choice is wide ranging. There are lots of self-catering apartments listed on Booking.com and Airbnb. Grindelwald has fantastic options for couples, families and larger groups. There are even some typical Swiss chalets in Grindelwald that can be rented.
Weather in Grindelwald
No matter what the weather, Grindelwald has plenty to offer. If you’re after warmer temperatures, June, July and August are your best bet, when the temperature sits around 25°C.
January is usually very cold, as you would expect during the winter period. Temperatures sit around the 1°C mark, so expect plenty of snow! Grindelwald lies at the base of the Jungfrau ski region, so, fortunately, you can make the most of the snowy conditions.
As you can see, there are many things to do and places to visit in Grindelwald.
You won’t be wondering what to see in Grindelwald, instead you’ll be wondering how to cover all the incredible sights in your visit.
From hiking to the Tissot Grindelwald Cliff Walk, to skiing or taking a cable car, Grindelwald will keep you busy all year round.
If you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, Grindelwald is a must-visit destination.
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