Grindelwald, Switerland: The top of Europe 16


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Things To Do In Grindelwald, Where to Stay, And How To Save Money While Visiting Heaven On Earth

With its cute little wooden homes with gorgeous flowers draping from the balconies as cows quietly roam under the looming peaks above, Grindelwald Swizterland looks like it has been plucked straight from a postcard.

The best things to do in Grindelwald Switzerland

^Planning a trip to Grindelwald? Pin it for later!^

If you are looking for a place to go in the Swiss Alps, Grindelwald just might be your answer.

At first glance, you may think you’ve never heard of Grindelwald, Switzerland.  It’s actually somewhat surprising that it ISN’T more well known, after all, if a company like “North Face” can name its brand after the mountain sitting just above Grindelwald (Mt. Eiger), then there must be SOMETHING pretty amazing about the place!

And then there are the Rick Steves fans.

If you are a Rick-aholic, like me,

“Hi Everyone.  My name is LeAnna and I love Rick Steves”

“Hi LeAnna….”

Then you have probably wondered “Is Grindelwald worth visiting?”or maybe have even already thought about skipping it for the supposedly more charming Gimmelwald just across the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Expert Tip: Know that Gimmelwald and Grindelwald are TWO DIFFERENT places- each on the opposite side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley (read more about Lauterbrunnen Here).  I’ll cover a few of the biggest differences between the two idyllic Swiss mountain towns a few sections down.

However, Grindelwald shouldn’t be crossed off your list quite yet.  Sure, there are more tourists here (although Gimmelwald is quickly catching up with this trend as well), is much busier, and is considered a resort town.  But, with these also comes the potential for more to do and believe me, if you are wanting to hike, you won’t be disappointed!  So, which side should you go to?

How to Get to Grindelwald

Grindelwald, Switerland: Can't get much closer to nature than that!

It is actually quite easy to get to Grindelwald

Driving to Grindelwald By Car

Can you drive to Grindelwald? Yup! You sure can!

Unlike Gimmelwald, you can actually drive right up to Grindelwald.  However, do note that the very popular (and beautiful) nearby village of Wengen, the popular “First” attraction, and many other villages further on are all car-free, so your vehicle only takes you so far.  Also, parking can be an added expense or hard to find.

Note: To drive in Switzerland, you will need the year-long Vignette.  This is quite pricey coming in at around $40! This is good for a calendar year (not a year from when you purchase).  You can purchase it at any gas station as you enter the country.

Take Train

Even if you have a car, I recommend simply parking it and taking the iconic train ride up.  Most people would argue that this is one of their most enjoyable experiences of Grindelwald, and I would have to agree.

Depending on where you are driving from, or what else you have in mind for the Jungfrau region, you’ll most likely choose between two train stations to get you to Grindelwald (Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen- and I cover on which to stay in below if you have the choice)

Grindelwald Interlaken Train

You’ll get on the BOB “R Grindelwald” train from Interlaken-Ost, which will take about 35-45 minutes and cost around 11 CHF per way (at current time of writing).

You can also take the train to Lauterbrunnen if you are planning time there.  If you are wanting to stop at Lauterbrunnen, then know that the train splits off so you’ll need to be on the front half. From Lauterbrunnen, you can get to Grindelwald a few ways.

Lauterbrunnen Grindelwald Train

You can also take the train straight from Lauterbrunnen, but it takes about an hour (but c’mon, an hour on a train staring at these views can’t be THAT bad, right!?)  From the Lauterbrunnen station, you’ll take the train towards Interlaken Ost and get off for a change at the “Zweilütschinen” station.  At this station, there will be a clearly marked platform/ train for “Grindelwald.”

Do Note: There are several variations of train options if you are going to other destinations, such as Murren or the Jungfraujoch and most are pretty straight forward if you know where you are coming from (Lauterbrunnen vs Interlaken) and where you want to go.

Using a Eurail or SwissPass

Sadly for us budget travelers, it is NOT cheap getting around Switzerland, and the cost of getting around the Jungfrau region can be quite the sticker shock.  You can expect it to cost anywhere between 185-235 CHF (roughly $190-250!!!) if you are planning on going up to the Jungfraujoch, otherwise known as “The Top Of Europe”

If you have a Eurail or SwissPass, you can get up to 25% discount on Jungfrau tickets, but you are still looking at a lot of money.  I cover some “alternatives” below if you are looking at saving a bit of cash.

Getting Around Grindelwald

Grindelwald Train Ride

Train Ride Up to Grindelwald

I think it’s important to note that when people google “Things to do in Grindelwald” they are most likely looking for things to do on the “Grindelwald Side” of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  Grindelwald is both the name of one specific town, but also of a “municipality” which actually includes several other small mountain villages and much of that side of the stunningly gorgeous valley.

Because of this, there is a LARGE area of breathtaking mountain hikes, views, and things to do in the area.  But also because of this, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to get around.

Most major activities and Grindelwald Things To See start at Grindelwald itself.  You’ll most likely need to pass through the town of Grindelwald in order to get to most of the things to do on the list below.

Taking the Gondola Cars

grindelwald gondola

 

One of my favorite ways to get around the Grindelwald Valley quickly, without a ton of effort (besides pulling out a ton of cash from your wallet, which WILL take effort when you see the prices!) is to use a Grindelwald cable car to get to completely different, just as beautiful (if not more) areas.

  • Grindelwald to Männlichen Cable Car: For roughly 30 CHF (one way!) you can take a cable car from Grindelwald up to Männlichen.  The 30 minute climb will give you breathtaking views the entire way up to the mountain.  From here, there are plenty of amazing paths to take for great hikes! (Again, more on those below)
  • From Männlichen, you can make your way on a cable car to the town of Wengen, a great little town with lodging, food, shops, and even mini golf!
  • Take a Gondola to the “First.”  This costs about 60 CHF roundtrip
  • Pfingstegg Gondola: This shorter gondola doesn’t go as high as some of the others, but does take you to a thrilling toboggan run!

The Mountain Cogwheel Train

The mountain train starts in Lauterbrunnen and then climbs it’s way up the Grindelwald side of the valley and heading up to Kleine Schiedegg.  I had heard that if you want spectacular views to sit on the right side of the train.  I followed this advice and was NOT disappointed!

If you are not a hiker, then I think that taking the cogwheel train, for at least a portion of your mountain journey, is an absolute must!

The train comes about twice an hour and will stop at Grindelwald train station – Grindelwald Grund – Brandegg – Alpiglen – Kleine Scheidegg.

Grindelwald Bus

There is the Mountain Bus, which actually goes to quite a lot of popular towns and places.

Top Things To Do In Grindelwald

Now, before I begin this list, I think it’s important to note that when people google “Things to do in Grindelwald” they are most likely looking for things to do on the “Grindelwald Side” of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  Grindelwald is both the name of one specific town, but also of a “municipality” which actually includes several other small mountain villages and much of that side of the stunningly gorgeous valley.  Everything covered below is what is in the area, not necessarily in just the small town of Grindelwald itself.

Also note that the vast majority of the things listed (besides the “Winter” section) are all fantastic things to do in Grindelwald in summer.  However, it is important to know that as late as May and as early as October, don’t be surprised if there is still (or already getting) snow.  We learned this the hard way! 

Walking Around

grindelwald town switzerland

Once you get up to Grindelwald, one of the best things you can do is just start wandering.  You can’t go wrong.  Take a look at any of the giant maps posted around town and figure out what hikes or walks look best depending on your ability level and time.  Alternatively, check out the Wikiloc website, where you can filter out hikes based on your time, ability and more.

Depending on what you want, you can also take a variation of cable cars or the train to another starting point.  These are also in Grindelwald at the same station you just got off from the train.  I’ll cover more about these options as we continue.

The beauty of all this (besides the actual scenery) is that you have tons of options on what you can do!

Go To Männlichen

 

As noted above, you can take the Mannlichen gondola and have a plethora of amazing hikes from here.  This was one of my personal favorite areas of the Grindelwald area, as the views out over the valley and of the mountain peaks surrounding you are unparralleled.

Panaramweg to Kleine Schiedegg: A popular route to take for all ages (even stroller friendly!) is the Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg route and only takes a little over 1 hour (1 way).  This one is highly recommended even for families to really take in the fresh Alpine air and postcard images that surround you.

Männlichen Middle Station (Holenstein) to Brandegg for the “Apfelkuchleinweg:” What the heck is an “Apfelkuckleinweg!?”  The Apfelkucklein is a delicious apple fritter at the restaurant in Brandegg.  This walk is even easy enough for the kiddos.  And did I mention apple fritter as the reward!?  From Brandegg, just hop on the train to get you back to Grindelwald.

From Männlichen , you can also take another gondola to another of my favorite picture perfect villages, Wengen.

Visit Wengen

Which one should you go to? Grindelwald or wengen

The fastest and easiest (and extremely beautiful) way to get to Wengen is to take the cogwheel train straight there.  Alternatively, if you also have Männlichen on your route, you can get to Männlichen first (see above) and from there, take the gondola down to Wengen.

Note: The Cable Car does not go UP to Wengen

Personally, if you are staying on the Grindelwald side of the valley, I would consider not staying in Grindelwald and instead find lodging in Wengen.  Why? Grindelwald can get quite overrun with tourists and while Wengen isn’t exactly an “off the beaten path” location, it is a tad bit quieter in comparison.

You can find a grocery store, plenty of places to stay, lots of restaurants, and even play a round of mini-golf.

It’s also a great little village to just walk around in again and get lost looking at the alpine houses and various views.

While in Wengen, you can also walk about 30 minutes to the Hunnenflue observation deck for, yet again, fantastic views out over the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Ride Downhill On A Scooter (Trotti)

If you love the feel of the wind rushing against your face, but don’t like the actual act of pedaling a bicycle, give the downhill “mountain bikes” a try!  No pedaling involved and yes, the hand brakes work very well!  (It’s like a lazy adrenaline junky’s dream!)

You can rent the scooter bikes from the Bort Intermediate Station where you’ll ride 4.5 KM downhill on a paved road that winds through the lush meadows and ends in Grindelwald.

Hit Up A Spa

Find a Grindelwald Spa Hotel to relax at after hiking

You are going to find a common theme of the suggested activities to do in Grindelwald are outdoorsy and many physical.  What better way to soak in the views and melt away any aches and pains from a long day on the mountain than relaxing at a spa.

In Grindelwald (town) alone, there are 10 spas that you can visit, whether you are staying at the hotel or not.

Enjoy saunas, massages, whirlpools, and more.

Stand At The Top Of Europe: The Jungfraujoch

Ok, this may sound controversial, but we actually didn’t even go all the way up to the Jungfraujoch, despite this being one of the top things to do in Grindelwald.  The cost just couldn’t justify the excursion for us at the risk of a cloudy day where you can’t see beyond your hand. Plus, there was just SO many other things to do all around the Grindelwald valley!

This isn’t to say I didn’t go back and forth on deciding to cross this off my list, and it’s definitely not to say that YOU shouldn’t go.  However, one of my absolute favorite parts of being in the Swiss mountains is the hiking and the breathtaking views.  After much research, I concluded that if show-stopping views is what you want, heading to Maenlich or even Kleine Scheidegg would give you just what you are after.

If you decide to head all the way up, a few things to do at the Jungraujoch are:

  • Walk through a beautiful ice cave and marvel at the ice sculptures at the Ice Palace
  • View the top of Europe from the Sphinx Observatory
  • Eat Swiss Chocolate at the Lindt Chocolate Experience
  • Walk on the Aletsch Glacier

How To Get From Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch (shortest/ fastest route)

  1. Get to Grindelwald using any of the above-mentioned methods at the beginning of this post
  2. Go to Kleine Scheidegg via train (for example, take the Interlaken>Zweilütschinen>Grindelwald train)
  3. From Kleine Schiedegg, take the train to the Jungfrau

How To Get To Jungfraujoch On a Budget

Let’s first clear the air here- there is no “Getting to Jungfraujoch for cheap.”  This literally does not exist.

However, if you are absolutely sure you want to get all the way to the top, there are a few things to consider in order to save a little bit of money here or there.

  1. Take the earliest morning train, as this is often the cheapest since many tour buses can’t make it to that one in time
  2. Look into the “Half fare card” depending on what other activities you are doing in Switzerland
  3. Get a Family Card if you have children
  4. Check out the SBB App for Supersaver tickets (just be warned that if you miss your exact train, that was that.  Also know that it’s best to buy tickets as close to the date of travel as possible.  If the weather is poor, there is really no reason to even attempt going up to the top.
  5. If you are staying in Grindelwald at a hotel, ask for any packages, which may include the ride as well
  6. Do a combo of hiking (for those that can) and cable cars/ trains

First

Head up to one of the most famous summit’s on this side of the Grindelwald Valley.  First is a popular destination because of all that there is to do there.

To get to First, take the 30 minute gondola ride from Grindelwald to the top station.  As with most of the cable car rides in the area, this alone is an amazing and stunning experience in and of itself.

See the FAQ section for more in-depth questions and answer about First

First Glider

The First Glider is truly a unique experience.  Envision lying prone up in the sky, soaring high above the hills, just like a bird.   If you are with a few friends, this is perfect, as up to four people can go on the bird-like structure at one time.  The First Glider isn’t AS thrill seeking as some of the other adventure sports in the area, so it is a perfect activity for anyone wanting just a bit of a different experience and bucket list item to do while in Grindelwald.

In order to do the GLIDER (not First FLYER), you’ll actually start at the town/ cable car station of “Shrekfeld.”  (Therefore, if you are wanting to do both the Flyer and the Glider, it is good to the the Flyer first, which lands you at Shrekfeld, which is where the Glider will start (and end).

Once at First, you will glide your way down to another cable car station “Shrekfeld.”  From here, you can take another cablecar back down to Grindelwald.  Or, you can take the nice walk (or take a really fun mountain cart) to nearby Bort where you can then take a different cable car to Grindelwald.

Grindelwald First Flyer

The zipline in Grindelwald (the First Flyer) is similar to the Glider, except it is a more traditional zipline, with a harness that you then are pulled downward by gravity.  If you love thrills, adrenaline rushes, panoramic 360 views of the Swiss Alps, and have a need for speed, then consider this a must for your “Grindelwald Things To Do.”

As mentioned above, if you are wanting to do both the Flyer and the Glider, it’s advisable to get all the way up the the First station, start with the First Flyer, which will take you to Shrekfeld, then do the Glider, which starts at Shrekfeld, goes up to First and then returns back to Shrekfeld.  From Shrekfeld, you can return to Grindelwald the same ways as stated above in the Glider section.

First Cliff Walk

Grindelwald First Cliff Walk

Photo Credit: The Smooth Escape

Take 15 minutes to walk just a mere 147 feet on the sheer edge with stunning views of the Eiger mountain.  The metal bridge allows you to get 360 views all around you, making it a truly remarkable (and free!) memory to be made in Switzerland.  If you are not afraid of heights, then this walk is doable for all ages and abilities, including strollers.

How To Get To Grindelwald First

The easiest and fastest way to get to Grindelwald First is to take any of the above mentioned routes to get to Grindelwald town.  From there, hop on the 25 minute cable car ride all the way up to the top station of First.

Bachalpsee

bachsee grindelwald Bachalpsee in the berner oberland near First Switerland

Photo Credit: The Smooth Escape

From First, you can take a pretty easy, 1-1.5ish hour hike to this serene alpine lake.  You might think you are actually sitting in a painting, as the stunningly clear water perfectly reflects the mountainous backdrop.

Mountain Carting

Do you remember those “Big Wheels” type tricycles as a kid?  Yeah.  This is like that.  But way cooler because you are in the freaking Swiss Alps!

Pedal your way downhill on the easy to use mountain tricycle for about 30 minutes taking it as fast or as slow as you’d like and end up in Bort, where you can grab some food, have the kids play on the playground and overall, just take a pause a bit if you are doing a full day of hiking or adventure activities

Close Your Eyes and Listen to Distant Cowbells

grindelwald hiking

One of my favorite parts about hiking in Switzerland is hearing and seeing the cows wandering around on the slopes of the mountains.  It is truly a magical sound to hear the cowbells ringing off in the distant and is a strange thrill to stumble upon a pack (what do you actually call a group of cows??) of cows that you have to wind your way through on your hike.

Eat Fresh Swiss Cheese

What’re all those cows up there good for if you can’t enjoy the benefits!  There are plenty of little huts that you can find that are selling fresh made alpine cheese.  It is an absolute MUST!

Try Fondu

True Swiss Fondue in Grindelwald Europe

True Swiss Fondue …but I’ll eat anything with loads of cheese on it!

If you haven’t figured out by now that I am slightly obsessed with cheese, then you haven’t been paying much attention to my other Switzerland posts.  Obviously the Swiss know how to do cheese right.  Melt that ooey, gooey, creamy deliciousness and give me bread and other goodies to dip it in?  YES PLEASE!

Paragliding Grindelwald

It was in the Lauterbrunnen Valley that I first put “Go Paragliding Off A Mountain” on my Travel Bucketlist.  While I didn’t actually do it in Switzerland (I ended up Paragliding over the German Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps instead) I can’t think of too many other places that would be as breathtaking!

When you are in Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen, there are tons of different companies to choose from

Grindelwald In the Winter

Of course in the winter, there are all the classic things to do in a Swiss ski town (obviously plenty of skiing in Grindelwald, go snowshoeing, try some cross country skiing etc).  However, there are a few more fun things you can find in Grindelwald in the winter months.

Tobogganing

You can speed down on the longest toboggan run in the world from Faulhorn to Grindelwald.

Sledging

If you want to take sledding up to new heights (literally and figuratively) then you need to give sledging in Grindelwald a try.

 

Favorite Hikes In or Near Grindelwald

Hiking In Switzerland Swiss Alps Grindelwald

 

While I’ve already mentioned several above that I have personally taken and loved, I think it’s worth noting other popular and favorite routes, since it’s impossible to get to them all myself on just the short weekend trips I’ve taken to Grindelwald.

Pfingstegg- Grindelwald: After taking the gondola up to Pfingstegg (and having a blast on the toboggen!) you can take a easy/moderate hike down to Grindelwald in about 90 minutes.

Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg: Even though I already mentioned this one, I think it’s worth noting again.  This hike was so phenomenal and not very difficult! You can amazing panoramic views out over the valley and only took us about 1.5 hours (with PLENTY of stopping for photos, of course)

Even if you aren’t hikers, you really can’t skip this one.  You’ll find yourself channeling your inner Julie Andrews and start singing “The Hills Are Alive”

 

No? That’s only me? Hmmm….

Hiking in Grindelwald Switerland: grindelwald places to see

 

Marmot Trail: A family favorite hike that the kids will love, and if you are lucky, you may even see some actual Marmots in the hills.  While this walk from First to Wengen is 2 hours long, it is specifically created with wee ones in mind.  It is an easy trek and has information placards everywhere giving it a great educational flair for your kids.

Eiger Trail:  This 6 KM hike is one of the most popular in the area, as it has some of the most rewarding views of both the North Face of Eiger as well as the vast Lauterbrunnen Valley.  Start by taking the train to Eigergletscher (via Kleine Scheidegg)where you will then have a mostly downhill trek to Alpiglen (where you can catch another train to Grindelwald and other locations).

grindelwald to lauterbrunnen valley view while hiking

View Over the Lauterbrunnen Valley Below!

Grindelwald To Lauterbrunnen Hike: If you’ve got more time on your hands in the area, then one way to get down from Grindelwald is obviously to hike. While all downhill, this easy-moderate hike can easily take upwards of 8 hours. Here is a great resource on specific details of how to hike from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen.

 

The beauty of all this (besides the actual scenery) is that you have tons of options on what you can do!

Grindelwald Alps Wildflowers ; This is real life!? How beautiful!

 

Grindelwald With Kids

While many of the above things to do Grindelwald Switzerland may seem like big adventure sports or strenuous hikes, the reality is that the area is actually very family and kid-friendly.  There are plenty of towns with great playgrounds (like the incredible one in Bort).  It is incredibly enjoyable to let your kids go play as you sit back at a nearby table with a refreshing Radler and apple strudel as you soak in the majestic views all around you.

It’s also easy enough to get from point to point via any of the above mentioned public transportations such as cable cars, buses, and trains.  That allows you to choose extremely easy, short, and doable (but still extremely rewarding) walks.

Almost all of the hikes mentioned in this guide are family friendly as well (pending you are ok with baby wearing and/or your kids are ok walking moderate distances of up to about an hour- give or take).

Grindelwald vs Gimmelwald: Which one should I go to?

choosing between grindelwald vs gimmelwald

Ahhh, the age of (ok, maybe just recently old) question of which one to go to Gimmelwald or Grindelwald.

The answer probably lies in a few further questions such as:

  1. How much time do you have? If you have several days, then maybe you don’t even need to choose and you can actually do BOTH Gimmelwald and Grindelwald.  They are close enough (although on separate sides of the valley, so not like RIIIIIIGHT next to each other) to make it totally do-able to see both if you have a few days
  2. What are you looking to do in the mountains? If you are looking for resorts and plenty of things to do, then Grindelwald would probably win out.  However, if you are looking to get away from the crowds, the Gimmelwald side is mighty appealing.
  3. How much hiking are you wanting to do? If you are like me, and just like doing some day hikes, then either side will provide you with breathtaking views.  You really can’t go wrong with either.  Even just 1 day in Grindelwald will give you plenty of choices for short, easy, and astonishingly beautiful hikes.

Pros and Cons to Grindelwald or Gimmelwald

As I said, there are two sides of the valley, both with spectacular views and hiking.  On one side, the main stop you’ll find is Grindelwald and the other will be Gimmelwald

I can’t really distinguish the pros and cons of each side of the valley, because what some people consider a pro, others will view it as a con.  So, take each one with a grain of salt and decide which side of the column you would personally put it in for your own style of travel.

Grindelwald

gimmelwald or grindelwald

  • Grindelwald is more easily accessible that Gimmelwald (you can drive up to Grindelwald instead of having to rely on trains or cable cars…or hiking)
  • Grindelwald Swiss Village is really more of a “resort” town, meaning there are more amenities but also means it is more expensive and there are WAY more people
  • With a family there are more things to do on the Grindelwald side, especially depending on what hotel you stay at (swimming pools and tennis courts at hotels, the FirstFlyer Zipline, an adorable train car that winds you around the mountain and more)

Gimmelwald

The mountain is calling- Gimmelwald Switzerland

  • Gimmelwald is a tiny little village that is only accessible by cable car or by hiking
  • Gimmelwald doesn’t have much in terms of amenities (a few expensive hotels and 1 nice hostel).
  • To get groceries, you’ll have to walk about 40 minutes to the nearby village or Murren.

 

Both are crazy expensive.  We are talking about Switzerland here.  However, keep reading as I’ll give you several tips on how to save money while traveling in Switzerland

Again, no matter which side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley you choose to go to, there is about zero chance that you will be disappointed.  Plus, as my friend, Rick, (I can call him a friend if his books have come on just about every European adventure, right?)  would say, “You can always come back!”

So, if you are absolutely torn on which side to go to, look at it from that standpoint and decide to come back at another time in your life and do the other side.  And I promise…  you will want to!!! (Spoiler alert: This is what I’ve done….numerous times! For some reason, I keep getting called back to explore more and more the Jungfrau region of Switzerland)

Warning: You might find yourself with 2 or even three days and find yourself saying, “Well, that’s plenty of time to do both then!” And while that isn’t necessarily untrue, I would head against this.  I think that both sides of the Lauterbrunnen Valley deserve plenty of exploration and one day in each doesn’t quite do it full justice.

Economical Excursionists Tips to Save Money In Grindelwald

Like most things in Switzerland, transportation around Grindelwald and the surrounding areas are not cheap.

Pack Your Own Food

Alp Käserei Switerland

Stop at any of the käsereis and get fresh Alp Cheese to nibble on as you hike!

In Lauterbrunnen, stop at a store and pack a lunch.  Bringing your own food is not only smart if hiking, but won’t cost you an arm and a leg at a restaurant up in the mountains.  This isn’t to say that grocery shopping in Switzerland is cheap, but it is cheapER than eating out.

Save On the Jungfraujoch

See the above section of Jungfraujoch on all the ways to save.

Study The Timetables and Costs

Different cable cars, trains, and buses all cost different, so it can be really overwhelming figuring out the best pricing options.  I spent so much time trying to get the best balance of affordability, phenomenal views, and the top Grindelwald things to see.

For example, after much researching, I realized that it was cheaper to take the bus (Mountain Bus line 128) to Grosse Schiedegg and then walk an easy 5 minutes to First (47 CHF) rather than the 60 CHF for the First Gondola

Balance Transportation With Hikes/ Walks

If you can, don’t just do all cable cars or train rides.  If you are able-bodied, there are so many amazing hikes and walks that can save you even just a bit of cash by using your own two feet to get from one location to another.

Here’s what we did:

  • Hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Schiedegg (Recommended hike regardless of wanting to go to Jungfrau)
  • In Kleine Scheidegg take the train up to the Jungfraujoch or
  • Hike to Eigergletscher (short, but very steep and difficult) and take the train the rest of the way from there
  • If you want, hike from Kleine Schiedegg to Wengen upon return (2 hours-ish) then finish with the cable car from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen

Are You Using Trains For the Rest Of Your Time In Switzerland?

Are you going to be using the rails in Switzerland for other parts of your trip?  If so, then getting a Eurail, SwissPass, or Half Fare card are all things to strongly consider, as they can give you decent discounts around Grindelwald and the Jungfrau.  This wasn’t the case for us, as we just like to do long weekend trips from where we live in Germany via car, but for anyone doing a longer vacation in Switzerland, you should really take this into consideration.

Get a Family Pass

If you have kiddos under 16, it is well worth looking into a Family Card (or even just a “Junior Card” which is 30 CHF) to “add” onto your adult Swiss Rail Pass.  If you don’t request Free Swiss Family card the then you have to get a junior card for each child.

Stay in Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken

Grindelwald lodging can be extremely pricey.  While Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken aren’t cheap, they are more affordable than the pricey resort costs of Grindelwald and Wengen if you are just doing one day in Grindelwald.

Get Up To $50 Off Your First Stay With an AirBnB Using This Code

Camp Instead Of Hotel Stay

Camping in Lauterbrunnen

Camping in Lauterbrunnen

One way to skip the costs is to camp in the valley.  On the other hand, depending on how many days you are spending in the area, you might have to pay just as much in cable cars and trains than what you saved to camp.  However, if you want to see both sides of the valley and head over to the Gimmelwald side after a day, then camping in Lauterbrunnen is an amazing option as well.  It’s even a great option for families tent camping as well.

Read more about our Camping in Lauterbrunnen Here. 

Buy An Adventure Package

If wanting to do multiple adventure activities (First Glider, First Flyer, Mountain Carting, Mountain Biking, etc) consider the adventure package that allows you to choose two activities and get unlimited aerial cable car access

Hotels In Grindelwald: Where to Stay

grindelwald where to stay

If you are planning a stay in Grindelwald (spending at least one night), there are plenty of great hotels, B&Bs, Chalets and pensions to choose from.



Booking.com

Berghaus Männlichen: I’m not sure if you can beat the prices, views, and accommodations of Berghaus Männlichen.  Located right by the Männlichen cable car, it offers stunning views, has a restaurant on-site and is perfect for families with the playground available as well. See Current Prices and Availability Here

 

Belvedere Swiss Quality Hotel: If you are looking for a spa retreat, head to the Belvedere.  Soak in the hot tub, heat up in the Finnish sauna, take a steam bath, or enjoy the views in the outdoor hot tub.  See Current Prices and Availability Here

 

AirBnBs: Since having kids, we love having an apartment or home to ourselves when traveling.  With Grindelwald hotels being so expensive, you can find some good deals on AirBnB that makes accommodation a bit more affordable. Get Up to $50 Off Your First AirBnB Stay Here

Here is a really great, in-depth post about even more great places to stay in Grindelwald.

What To Pack and Wear For Grindelwald

Obviously, if you are going skiing Grindelwald, then you have all your winter gear.

If you are heading to Grindelwald in the shoulder season or summer months, it can be surprising what you need though.

I was SHOCKED when we encountered snow in September (they said it was an unusually early snowfall) and I wasn’t really prepared for it at all.

I’ve also gotten rained on quite a bit when we went in May!

So, here are a few items that I strongly encourage having on hand:

  • Lightweight Rain Jacket, like this one for cool mornings/evenings or surprise rain showers
  • Quality shoes (NOT tennis shoes, like I made the mistake of once!) I love my Waterproof Merrell Moabs!
  • Good Backpack for Hikes.  I take my Osprey Daylite on all shorter day hikes or our 32 liter Osprey pack, similar to this one for longer hikes (Yes, we love our Ospreys!)
  • LAYERS!  I was so happy to have layers, even when in Grindelwald in May!  I like the lightweight, wicking type of shirts that are easy to layer on and off and don’t take up hardly any backpack space when you do heat up.
  • Zip Away Pants: Even in the summer, I was often surprised how cool I was when I would start a hike and was thankful for long pants, but as the day, and my body, warmed up, I was thankful to unzip the bottom half to turn into capris or shorts. Bonus is that most of these styles of pants are hiking friendly (water-resistant, flexible, breathable, etc) See an example here

Grindelwald, Switerzerland

 

 

 

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LeAnna Brown

Author and Creator at Economical Excursionists
Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

About LeAnna Brown

Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

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16 thoughts on “Grindelwald, Switerland: The top of Europe

  • Lisa

    I love all the information about hikes. My family and I will be traveling to Grindelwald this summer and I will be bringing your information with me as a guide! I did have a question though. According to my maps, Grindelwald is in a separate valley from Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen. You mention that Gimmelwald and Grindelwald are on opposite sides of the Lauterbrunnen valley but Grindelwald seems to be further away.

    • LeAnna Post author

      Thanks, Lisa! It is a stunning area!!! Yes, Grindelwald and Gimmelwald are on two separate sides of the valley, but both in the same general area and not far from one another (if that makes sense?) If you have a car, I recommend driving to the cable car for Gimmelwald (in Stechelberg)- more info can be found about all that in my post here: http://www.economicalexcursionists.com/gimmelwald
      I wouldn’t say they are both do-able in one day, but you could definitely do both over a weekend. ENJOY!

  • anna

    Ahhh! We’ve been here. ABSOLUTELY beautiful! The waterfalls in that valley was stunning. We opted to hike and walk through it instead and loved our time!

  • Nisha

    We have done both … Grindelwald and then Jungfraujoch … by train. But that was long back. It costed us a bomb. We had food up there in restaurant, posted some postcards from the top of Europe and so on. And we enjoyed the whole experience very much.

    I wish I knew about these tips back then to save some money. 🙂

  • Laura

    Hey, why not visit them both? I think I’d have a hard time deciding because they both sound great. And if they’re so close together, then why not experience both and decide for yourself.

  • Jenna

    It really does look like the area is straight out of a postcard! I would love to visit both cities–they both sound like they have some great things to offer. I’d love to do some hiking in the area! Thanks for the tips on saving a bit of money, too–would definitely be a huge help in Switzerland!

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans

    I’d totes visit them both. Cause… When in…. Switerland, right? Especially as they are both so close together. Looks very Heidi of the high country, can picture myself chilling after a hike in that gorgeous greenery too.

    • LeAnna Post author

      Yes! You could totally channel your inner Heidi! I personally loved grabbing a Radler (half beer/half sprite) at any of the lodges and just taking in all the beauty around me. We may have made many pit stops for just this reason 🙂

  • Amr Ali

    LeAnna can u help me with some info about wwoof switzerland ?! as i tried to look up the website of it but i couldnt find any usefull information about how to join them !!
    if so u can send me the details at the email
    thanks