Grindelwald is a village in the Bernese Oberland that lies at the foot of the famous Eiger north face. Surrounded by the stunning mountain range of Mount Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, the village’s numerous vantage points make it one of the best places to afford tourists great views and impressive ski resorts.
Since it’s surrounded by the mountainscape of the Eiger north face and the Wetterhorn, Grindelwald is a top tourist destination for people hoping to explore Switzerland and its natural beauty, no matter what the season may be. This article will serve as your Grindelwald travel guide and things to do in this mesmerizing town.
About Grindelwald and best time to visit
Grindelwald is the ideal location for outdoor activities and sports. It has become a popular tourist center for its mountain excursions and ski resorts. But its beauty is not the only reason behind its popularity. Grindelwald also has a great central location that makes it easy and convenient to access.
During the winter months, Grindelwald is awash with ski lovers from all over the world. Similarly, during the summers, the beautiful village is filled with visitors enjoying the many outdoor activities it has to offer along with the accompanying panoramic views.
Best Time to Visit
For Grindelwald, it doesn’t matter when you come to visit. It will always have something to offer. If you are after warmer and milder weather, June, July, and August are the best months to pay Grindelwald a visit. This is when the temperatures sit around a comfortable 20 C to 25 C.
On the other hand, if you are a winter sports enthusiast, January is the perfect month to visit Grindelwald. Temperatures hover somewhere around 1 C and there is plenty of snow to make the most out of your ski trip.
Things to do in Grindelwald
Whether you are looking to explore the glacier canyon of Grindelwald, ride a zipline, take a hike on its many trails, or spend a relaxing evening at the restaurants and bars in the resorts after a thrilling ski session, a trip to Grindelwald is tough to beat. Your visit to this gorgeous Swiss town can be as relaxing or as adrenaline-filled as you’d like it to be.
The Jungfraujoch is situated at an altitude of 3,434 meters in the Bernese Alps. A cable car ride and cogwheel train journey can take you there in around 90 minutes. This journey includes traveling to Europe’s highest railway station at an altitude of 2,061 meters.
Jungfraujoch neatly sits between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, in the center of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage site “Jungfrau – Aletsch – Bietschhorn.” Jungfraujoch affords its visitors some of the most spectacular views, making the trip to the summit well worth it.
Once at the top, there are numerous activities waiting for you to take part in. There is an ice palace, the Sphinx Observatory, shops, restaurants, and snow activities to indulge in.
Skiing and Winter Sports
Sitting at an altitude of 1,032 meters, Grindelwald is a great winter destination. The ski regions of First and Kleine Scheidegg – Männlichen – Wengen offer 160 meters of pistes to ski on. However, the most outstanding piste is the Lauberhorn piste, located near Wengen. There are also 150 km of slopes, made to suit all levels of skiers.
Grindelwald also has 80 km of winter walking trails with views of the surrounding majestic glaciers along with one of the longest, at 15 km, toboggan run in the Alps from the Faulhorn into the valley.
Other fun activities in Grindelwald during the winters include curling, snowshoeing, and night sledding.
Hiking in Grindelwald
In Grindelwald, there are over 300 km of walking trails. Therefore, if you are an avid hiker, Grindelwald is the perfect place for you.
Some of the most beautiful hikes of the region include the high-altitude walk from Grindelwald-First along the Bachalpsee to the Faulhorn mountain hotel which then leads to the Schynige Platte.
Additionally, providing fantastic views of the Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger is the Panoramaweg, which is a 4.4 km one-way walk situated between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg.
Grindelwald First Mountain
The First mountain is easily accessible by a gondola from Grindelwald. It’s a brief 10-minute walk from the railway station to the gondola station. Additionally, the gondola can also be accessed through various bus services.
The entire journey lasts about 25 minutes with cable cars operating from 9 am to 4:30 pm. These hours are a bit longer during peak seasons.
First Cliff Walk
First Cliff Walk is a must-see attraction in the Jungfrau region. A 15-minute roundabout walk from the summit station of First, it offers some of the most incredible mountain views and thrilling experiences, making your trip to Grindelwald memorable.
The easiest way to get to First Cliff Walk is by taking the 25 minutes gondola ride from Grindelwald to First. From there, it should take you no longer than a 5-minute hike to the Cliff Walk.
First Flyer and Glider
For visitors who crave an experience much more thrilling than the First Cliff Walk, the First Flyer and Glider is the next best thing.
The First Flyer is a zip line that travels from First to Schreckfeld that can reach impressive speeds of up to 84 km/h. It propels adrenaline junkies on an 800-meter zipline.
In addition to the First Flyer, the First Glider provides no less of an adventure. The Strap Glider will take you from the enormous heights of the First all the way to Schreckfeld at 80 km/h whilst you take in the spectacular views around you.
This ride can be taken by up to four people who are strapped into a safety harness attached to a pulley.
Hike to Bachalpsee
Grindelwald has no shortage of picture-perfect hiking trails. One of the most popular hiking options for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the region is the hike from First to Bachalpsee.
The trail is mostly flat which is great for beginner and family hikers, which makes it a popular choice amongst visitors. It passes through the alpine meadows and offers stunning views prior to arriving at Lake Bachalp.
Going to and from First to Bachalpsee falls just under 6 km in length. This typically takes around 50 minutes to walk each way.
Mountain Carts and Trotti Bikes
A great way to descend from Schreckfeld to Bort is through a mountain cart – which is essentially a cross between a sled and a go-kart. The mountain cart has hydraulic brakes and is pretty well-suited for the terrain and you will be provided with helmets.
Another fun transportation choice is the Trotti bikes. These have an appearance similar to a scooter but with thicker tyres, suspension, and brakes. Trotti bikes are great as you can control the speed at which you descend down to Grindelwald and make your way through the lush green pastures.
Bort Adventure Playground
The Bort Alpine Playground is a 700-meter park that provides an adventure for both the kids and those that are young at heart.
The playground is host to a mountain stream and provides fun by way of ropes and nets where people can climb and test their balancing skills by trying their best to not fall off. This park resides beside the Bort cable car station, which is another great experience by itself.
The Männlichen mountain is only one of the many peaks you can easily reach from Grindelwald. With the Grindelwald-Männlichen gondola you reach the top station at 2343 meters above sea level within a few minutes.
From there you can reach the summit viewpoint with a short 30 minute hike along the “Royal Walk”. The view with the panorama of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, the small Scheidegg, Grindelwald and the Lauterbrunnen valley that can be enjoyed from there has indeed earned the designation royal.
At the top station of the Männlichen cable car there is a mountain restaurant, children’s playground and viewpoints. Various hikes also start from there, including the one to the Kleine Scheidegg.
Pfingstegg, a mountain summit in Grindelwald, is a popular summer excursion that allows visitors to hike to a number of restaurants and mountain huts.
Standing at 1,391 meters tall, Pfingstegg can be reached via cable car. Here you can enjoy one of the most popular activities in Switzerland: a toboggan run.
Grindelwald’s toboggan run – called the Rodelbahn – is open during the warmer months of spring till fall. This gives thrill-seekers plenty of time to come and experience the impressive 736-meter track at up to 45 km/h.
When the weather at the top is clear enough, you can enjoy remarkable views of the surrounding valleys and the Alps beyond. You can also take some of the nearby hiking trails that lead to the glaciers. This, however, is an option that is more suitable for experienced hikers and climbers.
Grindelwald Glacier Canyon Walk
The Glacier Gorge Grindelwald sits between Eiger and Metterberg. It is a narrow glacier ravine with a small river running through it, surrounded by 300-meter walls. It is a short hike from the center of Grindelwald and consists of a 1 km walkway.
This walkway takes you through the many naturally-formed tunnels and rock galleries, helping you discover how the gorge was formed. Inside the gorge, there is a “spider web” net that stretches across 170m2 where visitors can jump around.
The Grindelwald Canyon Walk usually takes around 1 to 2 hours and is open every day from late May to late October.
Grindelwald Canyon Swing
For adventurers and thrill-seekers, a great place to pay a visit is the Grindelwald Canyon Swing. While you will have a calm and cool instructor to guide you through the process, nothing will diminish the adrenaline rush of the 50-meter free-fall between the narrow, rocky canyons when you will be traveling at the speed of a whopping 120 km/h.
Exploring the Jungfrau Region
If you want a quick change of scenery, you always have the option of exploring the Jungfrau region further. You can take a short train ride to Interlaken or any of the nearby places, such as Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren, and Brienz.
Other activities in Grindelwald
Apart from all the things mentioned above, you can also go golfing in Grindelwald. The town’s golf course offers a driving range with a 9-hole course that is suitable for both beginners and expert golfers alike. The course provides beautiful mountain scenery as it lies at the foot of Mount Eiger.
This is Switzerland’s only golf course that doesn’t require players to own a golfing license. Therefore, it is a great option for visitors to explore the natural beauty of Grindelwald while having some fun.
In addition to golfing, another popular activity in Grindelwald is paragliding. Situated in Grindelwald is Europe’s largest indoor rope park, located inside Sportzentrum Gindelwald. Since it’s indoors, the park can be visited any time of the year.
For people who like their peace and quiet, Grindelwald also has several spas for visitors to relax and get pampered. You will find many hotels that often come with their own wellness centers.
Since the village has a laid-back energy, there won’t be a lot of late-night partying spots. However, there are plenty of lively restaurants and bars in the town to eat and enjoy some drinks in.
Where is Grindelwald and how to get there
Located in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland, Grindelwald is a short 30 minutes away from Interlaken.
Here is the distance of Grindelwald from the major cities:
- Bern: 65 km
- Lucerne: 87 km
- Zurich: 137 km
The nearest airport to Grindelwald for international travelers falls in Zurich. All the tourists arriving by train have to travel via Interlaken. This railroad journey from Interlaken to Grindelwald takes 33 minutes.
From Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald, the trains travel via Wilderswil after every half hour. If you are coming from Zurich on a train, it will take about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Here are travel times for other populations to Grindelwald via train:
- Bern: 1 hour and 4 minutes
- Lucerne: 2 hours and 32 minutes
- Geneva: 3 hours and 26 minutes
The town of Grindelwald is also quite accessible by car from different parts of Switzerland. There is a motorway network that connects all the major cities to Grindelwald which lies only a 30-minute drive from the town.
It is important to note that if you decide to travel by car and your accommodation does not have parking space available, there is a large multi-floor car park underneath the Eiger Center. The Eiger Center lies in the center of Grindelwald and you will be charged a fee for the duration of the parking.
Where to stay in Grindelwald
Grindelwald has no shortage of varying accommodations. It is a place that has got all the bases covered and provides a lodging option for every type of visitor.
There are plenty of self-catering options along with hostels and 3 vast camping grounds to choose from. Not to forget, the luxury hotels and ski resorts that come with splendid views.
This wide array of accommodation choices along with Grindelwald’s convenient location makes it a great tourist destination. Just make sure you do your research beforehand to see what fits your budget the best.
Known for its awe-inspiring views of Eiger’s north face and the beautiful alpine sceneries, Grindelwald is a place that one should not miss. Not only is it a great spot for adrenaline junkies but it is also one of the most family-friendly tourist destinations in Switzerland. This makes it an all-around perfect holiday destination for all sorts of visitors in both the summer and winter months.