From the second you step off the train in Grindelwald, Switzerland, you’ll know you’ve arrived somewhere a little magical. Soaring mountains so close you can reach out and touch them tower over the verdant floor of a valley sprinkled with timber-frame homes and winding mountain paths.
Planning a trip to one of Switzerland’s most beautiful towns? This ultimate travel guide to Grindelwald in the charming Jungfrau Region of Switzerland will help you explore like an insider. From the best things to do in Grindelwald to all the hiking spots and skiing destinations this town is known for, here you’ll find everything you need to plan your trip.
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Make space on your devices for all the photos you’re about to take; everywhere you turn in Grindelwald, you’ll find views better than the last.
When you visit Grindelwald, Switzerland, simply strolling through town and taking in all the beauty is the most memorable highlight. However, Grindelwald is also a multi-faceted destination with a seemingly endless list of things to see and do, which makes it even more appealing to visitors. Hiking, skiing, paragliding, and more are just a few ways to get your adrenaline pumping.
Undeniably, travelers are drawn to Grindelwald by its big-name sights like Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe and adventurous activities at the peak of Grindelwald First, like ziplining and mountain gliding.
However, Grindelwald is so much more than just its biggest attractions. Family-run boutique hotels and innovative restaurants are now the name of the game in Grindelwald, transforming a traditional Swiss village into a true haven for well-heeled travelers looking for something unique.
Stay a while in the so-called “Eiger Village” in the shadow of the breathtaking Eiger Mountain. Not only is Grindelwald the charming Swiss village you’ve been dreaming of, but it’s also a convenient base for exploring the entire Jungfrau Region, which is among the country’s greatest and most picturesque treasures.
Is Grindelwald Worth Visiting?
The magical mountain town of Grindelwald is definitely worth visiting – it’s one of the best cities in Switzerland for travelers! In fact, Grindelwald is by far the best base for exploring the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland, which is Switzerland’s most beautiful region.
The larger Jungfrau Region city of Interlaken might seem like a more obvious place to stay, but with so many of the region’s best activities located in Grindelwald, and this charming town’s great transportation, it’s the place to be to enjoy Jungfrau.
How Many Days Do You Need in Grindelwald?
Most travelers need about three full days in Grindelwald to fully appreciate all this town and its surroundings have to offer, so make sure to save enough space for enjoying Grindelwald on your Switzerland itinerary. Three days will allow you to enjoy the best things to do in Grindelwald, including major attractions like Jungfraujoch, Schynige Platte, and Grindelwald First.
Travelers looking to enjoy skiing, trekking, and exploring nearby Swiss mountain towns should spend a few more days in Grindelwald to have time to fit in everything there is to do here – even up to a week if you’re looking to really dig in!
Things To Do in Grindelwald
1. Visit the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
Grindelwald’s biggest attraction is undoubtedly the Jungfraujoch. Also known as the Top of Europe, Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in Europe, located on the Jungfrau Mountain and perched at 11,332 ft (3,454 meters), just above the impressive Aletsch Glacier.
Year-round snow and ice cover Jungfraujoch, making for a picturesque, festive scene and jaw-droppingly beautiful views no matter what time of year you visit. Speed down slopes in an inner tube, drink hot chocolate on the snow, or lounge on a beach chair with glacier views – there really is something here for everyone to do.
The ride on the Eiger Express up to Jungfraujoch’s iconic glass Sphinx Terrace and Ice Palace is an incredible start to an experience that keeps getting better and better. This is the most modern tri-cable gondola in the world, ferrying passengers up to the top of the Eiger glacier with stunning mountain views over Grindelwald the entire way. The 15-minute journey doesn’t feel like enough.
Jungfraujoch is a popular day trip destination for travelers all around Switzerland. Looking to save the hassle and book a day trip, transportation included? Check out these options:
- Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Day Trip from Zurich
- Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Day Trip from Interlaken
- Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Day Trip from Lucerne
2. Get an Adrenaline Rush at Grindelwald First
After you’ve visited Jungfraujoch, your next stop in Grindelwald has to be Grindelwald First. First (pronounced “fear-st”) is a minor summit of the Schwarzhorn mountain overlooking Grindelwald – take the cable car to the top for an incredible adrenaline rush among some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the Swiss Alps.
Spend a day zipping, biking, and gliding up and down the mountainside at Grindelwald First. Here, you’ll find a great zipline and mountain glider, as well as downhill non-motorized go-carts and “trotti bikes” that take you whizzing down the mountainside. The zipline and mountain flier strap you in for a thrill, but the go-carts and trotti bikes actually ended up being my favorite activities on the mountain – they were much more “extreme” than their names imply!
Also found at the top of the cable car is the First Cliff Walk. Enjoy this see-through walkway and overlook for free, though if you’re afraid of heights, it can be a bit terrifying to be out over the cliff’s edge! The top of the cable car is also the start of the beloved Bachalpsee Lake Hike, an easy 6-km trail to a stunning Alpine lake.
Visitors can choose to take the cable car to the top and simply enjoy the view – this alone is well worth the journey, with incredible vistas over Grindelwald and the surrounding peaks of the Jungfrau Region. This cable car is included as part of the Jungfrau Travel Pass.
Read More: 24+ Best Places To Visit in Switzerland
3. Taking in the Views at Schynige Platte
It’s all about the views at Schynige Platte, located just a short train ride from Grindelwald. Expect some of the most impressive views of Switzerland’s most famous mountains like the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau from this iconic mountain destination, accessible via a vintage railway that has been in service since the 1800’s.
Schynige Platte is a great destination for families looking for a relatively easy hiking destination with the pay-off of incredible views. Riding the vintage Schynige Platte Railway will be a highlight for kids, and this destination’s easier trails with stunning panoramas are accessible even for the little ones.
There’s even a playground and Alpine garden for those who are looking for a little less of a hike and more of a relaxed afternoon. For more ambitious hikers, go for the 6-hour trek from Schynige Platte to Grindelwald First – it’s one of the best hikes in the region. Eating at the restaurant at Schynige Platte is a delicious end to any hike.
The Schynige Platte Railway is included as part of the Jungfrau Travel Pass, as is the train from Grindelwald to Wilderswil, where you can catch the train to Schnyige Platte. Make sure to get your Jungfrau Travel Pass ahead of time online before your trip, and download the SBB Mobile app for instant access to train schedules.
4. Hike at Männlichen
You’ll have no lack of great places to hike around Grindelwald. When even just strolling down the main street of town means enjoying awe-inspiring mountain views, you know you’re in for a real treat when you get out onto the trails.
One of the most popular hiking spots near Grindelwald is at Männlichen. One attractive feature that makes Männlichen stand out is that it’s accessible by a gondola (cable car!) from Grindelwald. What better way to start a hike than by enjoying the panoramic views from above?
I also love to recommend this as a hiking destination in Grindelwald because there are hikes at Männlichen that are doable for all levels of hikers. The Royal Walk is easy and family-friendly, and the overlook into the Lauterbrunnen Valley is impressive. More experienced hikers will love trekking to Kleine Scheidegg, though there are plenty of great options.
The gondola from Grindelwald to Männlichen is part of the Jungfrau Travel Pass, so make sure to grab that before your trip! You’ll also want to download the SBB Mobile app for instant access to train and gondola / cable car schedules as well.
5. Hit the Slopes
While Grindelwald has become an increasingly popular summer destination for its year-round adventurous activities and always-stunning views, it first became a popular destination due to its incredible skiing slopes. It’s still among Switzerland’s best resort towns.
Grindelwald boasts thirty different ski lifts that serve 51 different pistes, meaning there are nearly 100 miles (157 km) of skiing available to downhill ski enthusiasts. 12 miles (20 km) of cross-country ski trails, as well as a terrain park add to the ski experience.
Grindelwald’s slopes tend to be best for intermediate skiers, though there are plenty of great slopes for beginners as well. That makes this town the perfect destination for the majority of skiers, as well as families or groups traveling with skiers of different abilities.
More advanced skiers will probably want to opt for the more challenging slopes of nearby Männlichen and Schilthorn, both of which are easily accessible from Grindelwald’s train station.
Where To Stay in Grindelwald
Despite being a relatively small town, Grindelwald has forty different hotels, thirty-seven of which are relatively small, family-owned properties. This means that you’re in for a really great experience – think boutique accommodations and friendly, personalized attention – when staying here, no matter what Grindelwald hotel you choose.
These are the best hotels to choose from in Grindelwald.
Hotel Pinte ($ – $$)
Conveniently located in the heart of Grindelwald, Hotel Pinte is a simple yet refined hotel that checks all the boxes if you’re looking for a relatively affordable yet comfortable place to stay in Grindelwald. This 180-year-old property is an institution; the restaurant is one of the oldest in town, serving hearty Swiss classics in a charming dining room filled with pictures of the properties from generations past.
Reviews and Bookings: Hotel Pinte
Eiger Mountain & Soul Resort ($$)
Located along the main street in Grindelwald, Eiger Mountain & Soul Resort is a small, charming hotel with plenty to offer. Rooms are simple but comfortable and offer private balconies with mountain views. The hotel also has a fitness center and spa, as well as an excellent breakfast spread and two great restaurants that welcomes locals and visitors alike.
Reviews and Bookings: Eiger Mountain & Soul Resort
Boutique Hotel Glacier ($$ – $$$)
The Boutique Hotel Glacier is Instagram-famous for a reason. Incredible views of the Swiss Alps from private terraces with whirlpools make the hotel’s signature rooms truly unforgettable year-round. Modern design and excellent service at this luxury boutique hotel are just extras when the views are so breathtaking.
Even those who aren’t staying the night should plan on eating at the restaurant at the Boutique Hotel Glacier. The hotel is home to a Michelin-star restaurant with the best fine dining in Grindelwald and is known for its incredible seasonal menu and impressive wine stock – make sure to ask to take a peak at the wine cellar!
Reviews and Bookings: Boutique Hotel Glacier
Bergwelt Grindelwald Design Resort ($$$)
The Bergwelt Grindelwald Design Resort is one of Grindelwald’s larger hotels; the resort’s 90 rooms and suites make it quite large in a town known mostly for tiny boutique properties. Despite being one of the larger hotels in town, the resort’s cool, contemporary rooms and friendly service make it our top recommendation for travelers in Grindelwald.
In addition to its beautiful accommodations, Bergwelt Grindelwald Design Resort has one of the most impressive spas in town. Guests need to make a reservation for a time to use the spa, but spa use is included in a stay. The hotel also has a fantastic restaurant and lively bar, with beautiful outdoor seating perfect for the warmer weather months.
Reviews and Bookings: Bergwelt Grindelwald Design Resort
Places To Eat in Grindelwald
Grindelwald has a surprising array of great places to eat. You’ll find much more to eat in Grindelwald than fondue and schnitzel; a crop of impressive fine dining options await, meaning visitors are in for a culinary experience you would never expect to find in such a small mountain town.
These are our favorite places to eat and imbibe in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
The Michelin-star restaurant at the Boutique Hotel Glacier, Glacier is the best spot in Grindelwald for elevated Swiss cuisine. An obsession with using local and seasonally appropriate ingredients makes meals memorable; tasting menus are a highlight, though there’s something on the menu for everyone.
A historic wine cellar with an enviable Swiss and international wine collection is available for private events, but ask to take a peak, and you’re sure to be regaled with stories and details about Switzerland’s increasingly well-regarded wines and spirits.
There’s no true nightlife to speak of in Grindelwald, so Avocado Bar is the go-to if you’re looking for an after-dinner beer or schnapps. Expect this cozy bar to be full every day of the week, and the expansive patio space with mountain views is particularly popular in the warmer months. Avocado Bar also serves simple meals and bar food and hosts regular live music events during the summer.
The sleek, modern dining room at the Fiescherblick Hotel & Restaurant and its adjoining patio space make Restaurant Fiescherblick one of the most stylish places to eat in town. The menu offers fine dining without being inaccessible for those just looking for a hearty meal. A chef’s choice menu makes the most of local ingredients while drawing inspiration from distinct culinary traditions.
Aspen Hotel Restaurant
The Aspen Hotel Restaurant is located on the hillside just outside of town, but it’s worth the five-minute drive to reach it. Fresh, inventive dishes make the seasonal menu shine, with favorites including venison and memorable vegetarian dishes. It was one of the best meals I had in Grindelwald; the views from the patio were the cherry on top of a fantastic meal.
Grindelwald Travel Tips
Use Grindelwald As Your Base
Grindelwald is hands-down the best base for exploring the awe-inspiring Jungfrau region of Switzerland, so settle down and plan on spending a few days here. It’s our number one recommendation for any Switzerland itinerary, really.
Some of the biggest attractions in the region are right here in Grindelwald: the Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe), the adventure sports and activities at Grindelwald First, as well as some of the best skiing, hiking, food, and accommodations in the area. Using Grindelwald as a base will make your trip hassle-free, while Grindelwald’s convenient public transportation makes it a breeze to enjoy the rest of Jungfrau.
Get the Jungfrau Travel Pass
If you’re planning on spending any amount of time in Grindelwald, you’ll need the Jungfrau Travel Pass! This handy all-access transportation is truly a must if you’re visiting the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, whether you’re based in Interlaken, Grindelwald, or one of the other mountain towns in the region.
The Jungfrau Travel Pass is valid for anywhere from 3 to 8 days and includes access to funiculars, trains, and cable cars in the region. It’s the most cost-effective and hassle-free way to enjoy the Jungfrau Region, and it pays for itself with just a few uses.
While the Jungfrau Travel Pass does not include the entire journey to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, Jungfrau Travel Pass holders get a significantly discounted rate on the journey!
Purchase the Jungfrau Travel Pass Online: Jungfrau Travel Pass
Download the SBB Mobile App
This is a travel tip whether you’re traveling to Grindelwald, Zurich, or any part of Switzerland: the SBB Mobile app is an absolute must! This easy-to-use mobile app offers up-to-date information on train schedules throughout Switzerland. It includes a fantastic system that allows users to input their current location and desired destination and instantly see travel options.
The Swiss train system is incredibly easy to navigate, but I wouldn’t want to do it without the SBB Mobile app. Consider it a requisite of your trip.
Push Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Some of the best things to do in Grindelwald are quite adventurous – maybe more than you’re used to. Paragliding, ziplining in Grindelwald First, go-carting down the mountainside, and more are among the favorites that made our travel experience one that we’ll never forget.
Of course, stick to the spas, viewpoints, and mountain hikes if you wish, but if I can give one recommendation for your time in Grindelwald it is that you push yourself outside of your comfort zone! You might be surprised to find that these adventurous experiences may become the highlight of your time in Grindelwald.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.