The Jungfrau region in Switzerland is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Whether you go for the incredible ski runs in Winter, or the hiking trails in the Summer, you’re bound to be blown away by the beautiful Swiss Alps. This area has been awarded the status of a UNESCO world heritage site, which stretches to the Jungfrau mountain range in the south. This guide offers a day by day breakdown of the best things to do in the area during Summer, to ensure you make the most of your short stay!
WHERE TO STAY IN THE JUNGFRAU REGION
The Jungfrau region begins in Interlaken, which is the largest town in the area. As you’ve probably heard, Switzerland isn’t the cheapest place to travel. If you’re looking to save some money, I’d recommend opting for the nearby towns of Lauterbrunnen, Winderswil, or Grindelwald. These areas are well connected by train, and you could save a lot of money by staying slightly outside of the main town.
ON A BUDGET
Balmer’s Hostel is one of the most popular locations in the area for budget travelers. This accomodation has a mixture of private and dorm rooms, with prices as low as €30 per person per night.
The hostel is situated in three Swiss wooden chalets, and features a courtyard, terrace and garden. After a long day of hiking, you can also use their Jacuzzi to unwind!
They have a kitchen where you can cook your own meals, a cosy TV room where you can stream your favourite shows, and a music room equipped with 2 guitars and a piano!
This is a great place to stay if you’re going to be out and about during the day, and just need a base to relax in the evenings. It’s also perfect for solo travelers, as there are lots of opportunities to meet new people at Balmer’s.
MID RANGE ACCOMMODATIONS IN JUNGFRAU
If hostels aren’t your thing, and you’re okay with spending a bit more, I’d probably recommend staying in an Airbnb. For me, the greatest benefit of having an Airbnb is being able to cook your own meals. As Switzerland is quite expensive, and it isn’t necessarily a place you visit for the food, having a kitchen is a huge bonus.
AIRBNB IN WILDERSWIL
I stayed at this gorgeous Airbnb in Wilderswil, which is one stop on the train from Interlaken. The area was beautiful. The train station is just outside the door, there are lots of shops nearby and some delicious restaurants to check out!
Although this was slightly outside of my price range, it was the perfect place to relax and unwind for a couple of days. The views from the balcony were incredible, and even having breakfast here each morning felt like such a treat.
The accommodation came in at about €60 per night for three people sharing, and for me it was worth every cent.
THE JUNGFRAU TRAVEL PASS
Before we get in to the itinerary, I’m going to let you know about the Jungfrau travel pass. You can get a pass ranging from three to eight days. This will allow you unlimited access to the trains, cable cars, and some ferries in the region. You can get a discount on Jungfraujoch tours when you purchase this pass, as well as discounts on Piz Gloria, and all Top of Europe shops.
I’m going to recommend that you take it easy on your first day and do a boat tour. On our second day, you’ll head out to Lake Oeschinensee in Kandersteg (not covered by the pass). For this reason, it might make more sense for you to wait until day 3 of your trip to get the pass, but I’m getting ahead of myself!
Important point to note: make sure you bring your train pass with you on everywhere you go. I was in Jungfrau for a week, and I had my ticket checked on every single journey.
DAY ONE – INTERLAKEN AND LAUTERBRUNNEN
GRAB LUNCH IN INTERLAKEN
Whether you are arriving by plane to Switzerland, or have travelled on a train, you will probably have just finished quite a long journey. Today we will take it easy and soak in the quaint streets, beautiful churches and epic mountains.
First things first, you’ll want to drop your bags at the accommodation and get some food. We ate at Velo Cafe and Bar in Interlaken, and this was some of the best food of our entire stay! They serve delicious brunch, including veggie wraps and avocado on toast. The bicycle themed interior is a quirky touch that we loved, and they also had some delicious coffees and pastries.
STROLL AROUND LAUTERBRUNNEN
We are going to jump on the train which takes about 30 minutes and go to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is a gorgeous valley, surrounded by two epic cliffs and features 72 waterfalls. One of the best things to see here is Staubbach Waterfall, which towers over the village at 300m high. You can climb the steps by the waterfall and get right behind it, or simply watch the cows graze in the fields below.
SUNSET CRUISE ON LAKE THUN
A tour of Lake Thun is a great way to enjoy the amazing views at a slow pace. Sunset cruise tours run from May to October, and give amazing views of the five castles surrounding Interlaken. You can reserve your ticket here, which costs about 74 CHF for first class, or 45CHF for second class. During the trip, you can enjoy one of the colourful sunsets over Lake Thun and enjoy a delicious three-course “sunset menu”.
DAY TWO – OESCHINENSEE
DAY TRIP TO LAKE OESCHINENSEE
Today we will be heading just outside of the Jungfrau region, to Lake Oeschinensee. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the world. The aqua blue water is surrounded by snow topped mountains, and there are many waterfalls around the lake. You can see the sun melting the snowy mountains, sending glacier water rushing to the lake.
HOW TO GET TO LAKE OESCHINENSEE FROM INTERLAKEN
Lake Oeschinensee is located in Kandersteg, in the Bernese Alps. You will need to get the train from Interlaken Ost to Kandersteg, which will have a stop in Spiez. You can buy tickets for the train here, and you’ll want to get return tickets. The cable car to Lake Oeschinensee is a 1km (10 minute) walk from the train station, and can be found here. The cable car costs 30 CHF return, and runs from 08.30 to 18.00 in the summer months.
At the top of the cable car, you’ll see a small coffee shop with beautiful views over Kandersteg. The walk to the base of the lake takes about 20 minutes from here. If you have limited mobility, you can wait for the electric shuttle bus which costs 8 CHF.
If you’re looking to save some money, you can opt to skip the cable car and hike to the lake. However, as there is an amazing panoramic hike of the lake at the top, I’d conserve your energy. As we’re only here for one day, taking the cable car will save you 1-2 hours each way.
WHAT TO DO AT LAKE OESCHINENSEE
Duration: 3 Hours, 8.5km
To find the panoramic hike at Lake Oeschinensee, take the second mountain path on your left and follow signs for Ober Bergli. The looped trail goes through the mountains, and gives incredible views of the lake below. Alternatively, you can start the hike from the base of the lake. As you get to the lake, turn left, passing the restaurants with the lake to your right. The route is well sign-posted, and follow the directions again for Ober Bergli. At the halfway point you will find a small hut which sells some snacks to keep you going!
The trail itself can get quite steep in places, and is not suitable for strollers. We did see children, but none under the age of about 5 or 6. The trail is a narrow, alpine track, and good footwear is essential.
GO FOR LUNCH
There are a number of spots beside the lake where you can grab lunch. We headed to Berghotel Oeschinensee for some soup and bread, and it was pretty good! They have also set up a food-truck outside the restaurant serving pizzas, sausages and french fries. There are some picnic tables beside the food-truck, as well as plenty of places to sit and relax by the lake! This is the perfect option if you are short on time and just want good food, fast!
RENT A BOAT ON OESCHINENSEE
Cost: 30 minutes: CHF 17.00, 1 hour: CHF 28.00
You can rent a boat for a new perspective of the lake, and surprisingly it won’t break the bank! At only 17.00 CHF for half an hour, you can row underneath the beautiful Swiss Alps. So sit back, relax, and take it all in!
HEAD BACK TO JUNGFRAU FOR DINNER
Now it’s time to head back to Interlaken, from Kandersteg through Spiez as we arrived. By the time you get back, you’ll probably be exhausted and just want something quick and easy before bed. May I suggest, the most expensive Big Mac in the world? Or else why not try the famous McRaclette!
DAY THREE – GRINDELWALD
This is hands down one of the most beautiful places on the planet. To get to Grindelwald first, you’ll need to get a series of gondolas. The journey takes about 30 minutes and brings you to 2,168 metres above sea level. At the top you’ll be greeted by Alpine Cows with hanging bells around their necks, with the Swiss Alps as your backdrop!
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to get your Jungfrau pass for today’s adventure! We are heading out to one of the highlights in the Jungfrau region, Grindelwald! Similar to Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald is a valley surrounded by a dramatic mountains. The train from Interlaken Ost will take about 40 minutes. Spend some time exploring this cute little town before we head off to our first stop.
WHAT TO DO AT GRINDELWALD FIRST
FIRST CLIFF WALK
This is a must see attraction in the Jungfrau region. The First Cliff walk is an elevated walkway, hanging off the cliff face in Grindelwald. You are elevated over 2,000m above sea level, a thrilling experience with amazing views of the alps! You don’t have to have any hiking experience to complete the First Cliff walk. The metal pathway is extremely safe, and suitable for children. The elevated viewing platform is also the perfect location to stop and get some photos!
FOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS
There are two options for those looking for a bit more of a thrill at Grindelwald First:
- First Fliers (Cost: 31 CHF)
This is an 800m zipline you can take from First to Schreckfeld at speeds of up to 80km per hour. Enjoy incredible views of the Swiss Alps from 50m above the meadows.
- First Gliders (Cost: 31 CHF)
Float through the mountainscape attached to a giant bird sculpture. Similar to the First Flier, you can glide through the 800m route at speeds of up to 83km per hour.
- First Mountain Cart (Cost 21 CHF)
Zoom down the side of the mountain Mario Kart style! Feel the thrill as you fly down the mountain on a mix between a go kart and a sled. The paths are totally safe, and the brakes allow you to go at a speed that is comfortable for you.
GET LUNCH AT THE FIRST MOUNTAIN RESTAURANT
The restaurant is located just beside the viewing platform, and has a wide selection of hot and cold foods. Grab yourself a sandwich and some coffee, and enjoy the amazing views from the outdoor dining area.
GET ICECREAM IN GRINDELWALD
When you’ve finished up in First we’re going to head back down to the main town for some icecream! Kalte Lust is a cute little gelato stand just outside the train station, serving some delicious ice cream and sorbets. They are a well known Swiss brand of ice cream who pride themselves on being homemade, regional and sustainable. And I’ll add delicious to that list!
DINNER AT HARDER KULM
Harder Kulm is a restaurant in with a viewing platform at 1,322 metres above sea level. The restaurant over looks both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and you can also admire the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain ranges. To get to Harder Kulm, you will need to ride the funicular which is a short distance from the Interlaken Ost station. You will want to plan your trip for sunset to get the best views. Keep in mind the last funicular leaves at 21:40 in the summer months.
If I’m being honest, the food here is only alright. They serve pizzas, burgers and traditional dishes such as fondue. Even though the food isn’t great, I would still recommend a trip here as the views are truly breathtaking.
DAY FOUR- PIZ GLORIA
You might recognize Piz Gloria from as the film location for the iconic Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The visibility at Piz Gloria is incredible, and on a good day you can see over 200 mountain peaks. Spend some time here enjoying the spectacular panoramic views of the Alps.
HOW TO GET TO PIZ GLORIA
From Interlaken Ost, you will need to get a series of trains and cable cars to Murren. When you arrive at Murren, head to the train station beside the Skyline Shop to get your ticket to Piz Gloria. This ticket will not be included in your Jungfrau travel pass, but you can get 30% off when you present your travel pass. From here, you will take two further cable cars and ascend to 2.970m above sea level.
WHAT TO DO AT PIZ GLORIA
360°-RESTAURANT PIZ GLORIA
This is the world’s first revolving restaurant! The seating platform rotates, giving you 360 degree views of the Swiss Alps while you eat. Enjoy some delicious food and amazing views from the warmth of their restaurant.
Note: It is vital you book this in advance. This is probably the most popular attraction at Piz Gloria, and constantly books out. Make sure you reserve a table before you go to avoid disappointment.
PIZ GLORIA WALK OF FAME
This walk of fame is slightly different to most, in that it is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Take in those epic mountain views whilst reading through the world’s first 007 walk of fame.
BOND TOUR AND BOND CINEMA
Learn more about the cast and crew of this iconic movie whilst watching some of their best on screen moments.
One stop down on the cable car you’ll find the Birg Skyline Walk. Similar to the First cliff walk at Grindelwald, this walk consists of a metal path that hugs a cliff edge. This walk also features a small metal cage that you can climb through, with nothing but some metal wire standing between you and a 2,000ft drop!
HEAD TO MURREN
When you’ve finished up at Piz Gloria, we’re going to head back down the cable car to Murren. This mountain village has breathtaking views of the valley of Lauterbrunnen. I’d recommend grabbing a coffee at Cafe Liv. There is a small seating area just across the road from the cafe, where you can sit back and watch the paragliders soaring above you.
BIRG THRILL WALK
LUNCH AT WINTEREGG
I’m not lying when I say this the best meal I had throughout my entire time in Switzerland. Head on the train from Murren to Winteregg, and we are going to stop off at the only restaurant in town, just beside the train station. Renewed restaurant serve absolutely amazing food, and this is the perfect place to stop off and relax before we continue our journey. An added bonus to this delicious food is the incredible view. I had the pasta dish and it was incredible. My friend Dylan tried their Rosti, and he also loved it! If I haven’t sold you on the food yet, just check out this view and you’ll be adding it to the top of your bucket list.
TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE
This is the stop that isn’t really a stop. One of the best parts about travelling through the Jungfrau region, is just travelling on the trains themselves. The views from the windows are breathtaking, just look!
I’d recommend taking the train up to Kleine Schneidegg. On the way here, you will pass through Alpine villages, meadows and forests. Kleine Schneidegg is renowned for its beautiful views of the three peaks, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
This is also the last stop on the way to the Top of Europe tour. If you are heading to Jungfraujoch, make sure to plan some time here to get used to the changing air pressure!
THAI DINNER AT INTERLAKEN
We are going to get dinner at Little Thai in Interlaken. As the name suggests, this is a small Thai restaurant and takeaway. I got the Pad Thai which was absolutely delicious! The staff were super friendly, and they even serve Chang, a famous Thai beer!
DAY FIVE- CAVES AND PARAGLIDING
THE ST. BEATUS CAVES
Cost: 18 CHF
Duration: Anywhere from 1-3 hours
I hadn’t really planned to do the St. Beatus caves until a local messaged me on Instagram and described it as “unmissable”, so I knew it had to be added to my list! These caves are situated high above Lake Thun, and is a natural wonder which is millions of years old.
Legend goes that a dragon once lived in these caves, until it was chased away by an Irish Monk about 2,000 years ago. As you wander through the caves you will see a system of grottos, stalactites, stalagmites and waterfalls which formed over millions of years.
To get to St. Beatus caves, take the number 21 bus from Interlaken West bus terminal. It is a very short journey, about 15 minutes. The bus will drop you right outside the caves, and it is a short walk uphill to get to the entrance.
You can explore the caves at your own pace, or go with a guided tour, which depart every 45 minutes.
PARAGLIDING OVER JUNGFRAU
Cost: 180 CHF
Duration: 1.5 hours (with 15-20 mins flying)
Today we are going to do something I thought I’d never do. Strap a man to my back and run off the edge of a cliff. Paragliding is one of the most popular activities in the Jungfrau region, and throughout your stay you’ll see lots of people flying above you.
There are two places I’d recommend to go paragliding. First, we have Outdoor Interlaken where you glide over Interlaken. The second option is with Airtime Paragliding in Murren. I opted to do the tour in Murren, as I really fell in love with Lauterbrunnen and wanted to experience gliding over the area.
This was a truly unforgettable experience. The guides were so friendly, and put me right at ease. The birds eye view at 1650m over Lauterbrunnen was incredible, and I loved every second of it! My guide made sure that I was comfortable throughout the tour, and didn’t do any sharp turns without asking my preference first. Would highly recommend this!
At the end, you have the option to purchase photo and video footage of the experience. This costs 40 CHF, and I was really happy with how my footage turned out!
DINNER IN WILDERSWIL
For dinner we are going to head to Luca Piccante in Wilderswil. They have a great selection of delicious pizzas and pastas. Everything here was perfect, the staff were so friendly, the food and wine were great, and the view is breathtaking!
AND THAT’S IT!
I hope you’ve had an amazing stay in the Jungfrau region, and that you’ve found this guide helpful! If you’ve any questions, be sure to leave me a comment.
Thanks so much for reading!