Grindelwald Switzerland - Vacation Guide
Grindelwald lies at the foot of the notorious Eiger north face. It is a village in the Bernese Oberland surrounded by the pristine mountain range of Mount Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The valley’s numerous vantage points make Grindelwald one of Switzerland’s largest ski resort destination. It also entails some of the world’s most renowned excursions along the Swiss Mountain railways, one of which visits Europe’s highest railway stations at the Kleine Scheidegg followed by the ascend to Jungfraujoch which is also known as Top of Europe.
Grindelwald’s first cableway was built in 1908 bringing visitors to the Wetterhorn’s summit. Since then Grindelwald’s cableways have expanded to the Jungfraujoch, First, Kleine Scheidegg, Schilthorn, Bussalp, Schnyige Platte, Pfingstegg, Grosse Scheidegg and Männlichen. These mountain excursions give visitors access to 300 km (187 miles) of hiking trails during Grindelwald’s summer months. Whereas during the winter months the general area around the villages offers up to 210 km (130 miles) of groomed slopes and many other winter sport activities.
The Grindelwald region’s stunning scenery of flowering meadows and mountainous landscapes has attracted guests for many years since its start of alpine tourism. The Jungfrau region’s cultural landscapes are awarded each year in order to maintain and preserve this aesthetic charm. A Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation doesn’t only make for a beautiful destination but also an ideal starting location with easy access to Swiss Mountain railways and an endless amount of excursions and activities.
Things to do in Grindelwald
Best time to visit Grindelwald
A Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation has the ultimate playground for mountaineers, skiers and really any traveller wanting to experience Switzerland’s beauty. One of the most thrilling excursions within the Bernese Oberland region is among the Swiss Mountain railways and includes visiting the Jungfraujoch, also often referred to as the Top of Europe. The Grindelwald glacier village presents visitors with an endless amount of year round activities and excursions.
Mountain Grindelwald Tours
The Jungfrau experience includes travelling to Europe’s highest railway station at an altitude of 2,061 m/6,762 ft called Kleine Scheidegg. From there you take the cogwheel train to the summit of the Jungfrau at 3,454 m/11,332 ft from where you will have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and on a clear day can see into Germany and France. And looking west you will see the largest Glacier of Europe, the Aletsch Glacier. As one of the Bernese Oberland’s ultimate excursions, the Jungfraujoch is truly an unforgettable experience for visitors.
The Schilthorn’s summit is a must-see during any Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation. It offers the ultimate Swiss skyline of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and is elevated at 2,970 m/9,744 ft. In addition to its spectacular view, the summit features a revolving restaurant called Piz Gloria. Visitors can enjoy a delicious meal while having a 360° panoramic view. The Schilthorn can be reached from Grindelwald by taking a train along the Swiss Mountain railways and a bus to Stechelberg’s valley station, from where the Schilthorn aerial cableway departs.
The Schnyige Platte historic cogwheel train brings guests back in time to the Belle Epoque with its 19th century vintage rolling stock. The mountain station is at an altitude of 2,076 m/6,811 ft and features an authentic Swiss restaurant along an Alpine Garden. Schnyige Platte’ cogwheel train is accessible to Grindelwald visitors by train on the Swiss Mountain railways from Zweilütschine to Wilderswil.
Tours to other cities from Grindelwald Switzerland
Beautiful Bern is only 1.5 hours away from Grindelwald. The Swiss Capital is a city of medieval magic, and listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Attractions include the famous clock tower, the new bear park which is home to Berne's heraldic animals, excellent shopping arcades and the Albert Einstein House.
Interlaken is also located in the Bernese Oberland between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Interlaken is 30 minutes away via car or train, and is an ideal starting point for many mountain and lake excursions along the Swiss Mountain railways. Interlaken’s lakeside location offers visitors beautiful cruises among historic paddle steamers. Interlaken is mainly a vacation destination however also a conventional location of international importance and the gateway for many mountain excursions.
Other Grindelwald Tours
The Golden Pass Line is a panoramic train route that spans across the Swiss Mountain railways from the shores of Lake Lucerne to the vineyards of Lake Geneva. It is popular to take the Golden Pass train to and from Montreux. Visitors on their Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation board the train in Interlaken from where the train proceeds towards Montreux. The train duration between Grindelwald and Montreux is approx. 3 hours whereas the route in its entirety takes about 5 hours.
St. Beatus Caves
The St. Beatus caves’ subterranean waterfalls, stalagmite and stalactite formations are a spectacular sight that can be explored at depths of 1,000 m/3,280 ft. These caves are located on the shores of Lake Thun and can be reached from Grindelwald within 80 minutes on the bus or a train on the Swiss Mountain railways. Visit Switzerland’s first and only underground cave museum as a half or even full day excursion.
Bernese Oberland Cruises
The Bernese Oberland Navigation has a fleet of 12 cruise boats and 2 paddle steamers that navigate either Lake Brienz or Thun year-round. The cruises depart from Interlaken Ost and West, which is about 35 minutes from Grindelwald via car or train on the Swiss Mountain railways. This excursion offers a unique perspective of the Bernese Oberland on the water. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on your Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation. Cruise during the day or evening with entertainment and beautiful views.
Grindelwald Switzerland Summer Sports
Grindelwald and its surrounding region feature 300 km (186 miles) of maintained walking trails. Accessible by Swiss Mountain railways, one of the region’s most beautiful hiking route stretches from Grindelwald-First to the Schynige Platte. Even the easier hiking paths feature fantastic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau including the route that leads from Männlichen to the Kleine Scheidegg.
Grindelwald’s Golf Course features a driving range and 9-hole course for beginners and experienced golfers. The course and its beautiful mountain scenery lie at the foot of Mount Eiger, where you can take the Swiss Mountain railways to the top. This is Switzerland’s only golf course at which players do not need a golfing license to play. Therefore it is a great opportunity to explore Grindelwald’s natural beauty while practicing a leisure sport.
Other Summer Sports
A Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation offers many additional and adventurous sports aside from mountain biking, tennis, fishing or hiking. Grindelwald’s pristine landscape makes it a great place for paragliding, bungee jumping, river rafting or canoeing.
Grindelwald Switzerland Winter Sports
Skiing and Snowboarding
Grindelwald’s main ski regions, First, Kleine Scheidegg — Männlichen, and Murren — Schilthorn, are accessibly by the Swiss Mountain railways. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy more than 210 km (130 miles) of groomed slopes at any one of these resorts. A total of 30 ski lifts allow skiers to ski at altitudes of up to 2,500 m/8,202 ft. Grindelwald offers unique skiing experiences especially that of the Lauberhorn slope which was popularized by the World Cup ski circus.
Grindelwald’s indoor sports center offers access to a public pool, sauna, steam baths and a foot spa. This facility’s wellness center is an ideal retreat for skiers returning to Grindelwald on the Swiss Mountain railways after a long day of physical activity. The sports Center also includes an ice rink, curling hall and its very own restaurant.
Other Winter Sports
Grindelwald offers access to 80 km (50 miles) of additional winter walking trails which run along beautiful glaciers. Grindelwald also features 60 km (37 miles) of toboggan runs which includes a 15 km (9 miles) stretch from the Faulhorn Mountain and into the valley.
Entertainment in Grindelwald
Grindelwald’s Hotel Bernerhof invites visitors to enjoy some cinematic entertainment whether one is a hotel guest or not. The modern cinema theaters seat up to 120 guests and offer a delicious food and wine menu. This relaxing cinema experience is an ideal way to enjoy some leisure and entertainment.
Shopping in Grindelwald
Most of Grindelwald’s shops are sporting good stores, which offer high quality ski equipment and accessories. However there are also plenty of clothing stores, Swiss watch stores, souvenirs and inviting bakeries for visitors to explore. The majority of shops and boutiques are clustered around Grindelwald’s main street.
Museums in Grindelwald
This interesting museum exhibits local history in regards to the Swiss Mountain railways, handicrafts, winter sports, agriculture, alpine farming and much more. Discover Grindelwald’s rich history and the mysterious Myth of the Eiger during your Grindelwald, Switzerland vacation. The Heimatmuseum is located on the village street and is within close proximity to the city’s church.
Swiss Woodcarving Museum
The Swiss Woodcarving Museum is located in Brienz and is easily accessible via car or Swiss Mountain railways. As Switzerland’s only museum dedicated exclusively to woodcarving, this exhibit traces the crafts’ history and techniques with carving demonstrations. The museum showcases woodcarvings from other Swiss regions to highlight its role in Swiss culture, economy and tourism history.
Location and Map
Grindelwald is located in Central Switzerland and its nearest airport is 137 km (85 miles) away in Zurich. Visitors can reach Zurich with easy train connections along the Swiss Mountain railways with duration of 2 hours. As Switzerland’s capital, Berne is located 74 km (46 miles) northwest of Grindelwald. An additional airport for traveling to Grindelwald is Geneva, located at 235 km (146 miles) away.
Elevation: 1,047 m/3,435 ft