The Jungfrau at 4,158 meters, is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, located between the northern canton of Bern and the southern canton of Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch. The Jungfrau region is filled with huge mountains, alpine meadows, lovely walking trails, small scenic villages, and cable cars. On December 13, 2001, the Jungfrau was included in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites together with areas bordering to the south as the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch.
The name Jungfrau is probably derived from the Wengernalp at the foot of the mountain, which – after the owners, the nuns from the Interlaken monastery – was formerly called Jungfrauenberg. According to another source, the name derives from the appearance of the northern slope of the mountain, which from afar is said to resemble a girl’s veil. Together with the Eiger and Mönch, the Jungfrau forms a massive wall of mountains overlooking the Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Plateau, one of the most distinctive sights of the Swiss Alps.
The border between the cantons of Bern and Valais runs over the Jungfrau summit. The mountain is extraordinarily diverse. In the north and north-west, on her “female” side, are the Wengen-Jungfrau, Schneehorn, the Silberhorn, the Chly Silberhoren and the “Schwarzmönch” in front of her, as well as the torn Kühlauenen and Giessen glaciers. In the west it rises almost completely free of ice 3250 meters above the upper Lauterbrunnen valley. It is the second highest direct slope in the Alps. Its south face rises above the hidden Rottal glacier and its east face above the firns on the Jungfraujoch.
The summit was first reached on August 3, 1811, by the Meyer brothers of Aarau and two chamois hunters from Valais. The ascent followed a long expedition over the glaciers and high passes of the Bernese Alps. It was not until 1865 that a more direct route on the northern side was opened.
Named after the Jungfrau, the Jungfrau Region of the Bernese Oberland is a major tourist destination in the Alps and includes a large number of railways and other facilities. While the mountain peak was once difficult to access, the Jungfrau Railway, a rack railway, now goes to the Jungfraujoch railway station at 3,454 m. As Europe’s highest railway station, the construction of the Jungfrau Railway in the early 20th century, which connects Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, the saddle between the Mönch and the Jungfrau, made the area one of the most-visited places in the Alps. You can get there by either hopping on a cable car or a cogwheel train. Whichever model of transportation you choose, it will be a spectacular trip.
In 1893, Adolf Guyer-Zeller conceived of the idea of a railway tunnel to the Jungfraujoch to make the glaciated areas on its south side more accessible. The building of the tunnel took 16 years and the summit station was not opened before 1912. The goal was in fact to reach the summit of the Jungfrau with an elevator from the highest railway station, located inside the mountain. To relieve the Jungfraubahn financially, it was opened in stages, most of which ended in the tunnel. Some of these stations blasted into the rock still exist today.
Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe
Immerse yourself now in the high alpine wonderland of ice, snow and rock and discover the highlights of the Jungfrau Region from Interlaken to Grindelwald. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, from the Sphinx Terrace you can enjoy a magnificent view of the longest glacier in the Alps, towards Italy, France and Germany.
A unique train journey through the mountain, the pioneering work of the mountain railways: Since 1912, the Jungfrau Railway has travelled through the Eiger and Mönch mountains to Europe’s highest railway station. 5-minute stop during your journey to the Jungfraujoch at around 3,160 m. The train stops so that you can take your personal souvenir picture of the eternal ice. Excursion to the highest railway station in Europe, A multimedia experience tour with take you to a thrilling, multimedia journey back in time through over 100 years of history of the Jungfrau Railway, an alpine sensation.
The ultra-modern terminal with direct rail connection and shopping centre is the start and end point of your journey to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe. The Jungfrau panorama provides a 360-degree panorama of the mountain world that you could never see otherwise. On the glacier platform you are guaranteed snow and ice, you won’t get a better view anywhere else: On one side, a view as far as the Black Forest and the Vosges, while on the other, the Aletsch Glacier comes into view, bordered by four-thousand-metre peaks.
The highest Lindt shop in the world offers an extensive range of the finest Lindt chocolate and provides exciting insights into chocolate production. The best view of the famous Eiger North Face from the new Eiger Express tricable gondola! The world’s most modern tricable gondola takes you from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier in just 15 minutes.
In the Snow Fun Park, take a bird’s eye view of Europe’s longest glacier on a flight with the Tyrolienne. Hike to the highest manned hut in Switzerland on a marked footpath directly across the longest glacier in the Alps. On a mirror-smooth tour through a frosty world, you will discover enchanting sculptures in the niches of the Ice Palace. An eagle, penguin or bear, as though they had just turned to ice, appear quite natural.
The Jungfrau region
The Jungfrau region is a fantastic place, there are many activities here, fFrom hikes to famous villages, waterfalls, and even mountain tops, visiting Jungfrau is one of the best decisions you could make.
The Jungfrau Railway leaves from Kleine Scheidegg, which can be reached from both sides by trains from Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen via Wengen. The train enters the Jungfrau Tunnel running eastward through the Eiger just above Eigergletscher, which is, since 2020, also accessible by aerial tramway from Grindelwald. Before arriving at the Jungfraujoch, it stops for a few minutes at two other stations, Eigerwand (on the north face of the Eiger) and Eismeer (on the south side), where passengers can see through the holes excavated from the mountain. The journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch takes approximately 50 minutes including the stops; the downhill return journey taking only 35 minutes.
A large complex of tunnels and buildings has been constructed at the Jungfraujoch, referred to as the “Top of Europe”. There are several restaurants and bars, shops, multimedia exhibitions, a post office, and a research station with dedicated accommodation facilities. An elevator enables access to the top of the Sphinx and its observatory, at 3,571 m, the highest viewing platform of the area. Outside, at the level of the Jungfraujoch, there is a ski school, and the “Ice Palace”, a collection of elaborate ice sculptures displayed inside the Aletsch Glacier. Another tunnel leads to the east side of the Sphinx, where one can walk on the glacier up to the Mönchsjoch Hut, the only hotel infrastructure in the area.
Apart from the Jungfraujoch, many facilities have been built in the Jungfrau Region, including numerous mountain railways. In 1908, the first public cable car in the world, the Wetterhorn Elevator, opened at the foot of the Wetterhorn, but was closed seven years later. The Schilthorn above Mürren, the Männlichen above Wengen, and the Schynige Platte above Wilderswil, offer good views of the Jungfrau and the Lauterbrunnen valley. On the south side, the Eggishorn above Fiesch also offers views of the Jungfrau, across the Aletsch Glacier.
The small, picturesque village of Gimmelwald is located in the Bernese Oberland at the height of 1,367 meters, near the “Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn” UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gimmelwald is located in the middle of the Swiss Alps and is one of the last car-free villages. Wooden houses full of flowers, cheese stores, and plenty of farm animals characterize the village. It also offers a breathtaking mountain panorama, untouched natural beauties.
A mountain full of tradition and diversity for over 125 years: picturesque views, attractive hiking trails, daily alphorn concerts, a mountain hotel from the Belle Epoque and the unique botanical Alpine garden. Lily the cow accompanies young and old across her Alps.
The small mountain of Schynige Platte is surrounded by so many impressive sights.It’s one of Jungfrau’s most easily accessible mountain spots, perfect for families and experienced hikers. The old-fashioned railway that takes you up to Schynige goes through magical forests, meadows, flowers, and a landscape.
Harder Kulm is a mountain near Interlaken, It only takes 10 minutes to reach Harder Kulm by funicular from Interlaken. The observation deck offers visitors a unique view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as well as the lakes of Thun and Brienz. Once you get on top, you’ll be spellbound by the view of the Bernese Alps. The gorgeous Swiss Alps will come into view after the funicular ride, which lasts about 10 minutes. Not only be the mountains Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau but also views of lakes Brienz and Thun. Enjoy the view from the viewing platform, eat something delicious at the restaurant or start one of the many hiking trails that begin in Harder Kulm.
Wengen is a car-free Swiss village perched on a sun terrace 400 meters above Lauterbrunnen valley. It is located in the Bernese Highlands and is around 1,274 meters above sea level. Wengen has good hotels that welcome you warmly, restaurants with the most delicious food, and shops all over that have everything you need. The entire region around Wengen and alongside the Aletsch Glacier has been established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.
The canton of Bern has plenty of fabulous classic villages, yet none are as high up as Mürren. This one is a former settlement whose design remains recognizable today from the unchanged houses and the Mürren dialect. Mürren is situated on a sun terrace 1,650 meters above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. A cableway that runs from Stechelberg, near turbulent waterfalls and rock faces, takes you right into the center of this car-free village.
Festive reception on Kleine Scheidegg: Two cogwheel railways meet here, where you can discover the most beautiful region in the Bernese Oberland. Because nature is very close, and many excursions will tempt you. The hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is among the most popular in the Jungfrau region.
The effortless downhill trail offers impressive views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain peaks. If you’d like to see the Lauterbrunnen Valley from above, the mountain of Männlichen is an excellent spot to go to. Kleine Scheidegg is a high mountain pass located near Jungfrau and Eiger. Because its location is so high up in the mountains, you have an incredible opportunity to look at views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and Gimmelwald.
The hike to the Bachalpsee lake near the village of Grindelwald is a popular choice by Jungfrau visitors. It captures the special Swiss feeling, offering visitors mountain views, the Grindelwald cliff walk, mountain scooters, zip lines, and fun playgrounds for kids. Because it’s one of the easiest hikes in this region, families and casual hikers, tend to fill up the trail.
Lauterbrunnen is located between giant rocks and mountain peaks in an impressive U-shaped valley deep in the Alps. It’s full of waterfalls, 72 to be exact, and spread around secluded valleys, colorful alpine meadows, and near traditional mountain inns. The name ‘Lauter Brunnen’ means many waterfalls, self-explaining the magnificence of this landscape. The Lauterbrunnen Valley is not only pretty but also one of the most significant nature conservation areas in Switzerland.
There is pure adventure on Grindelwald-First. The First Cliff Walk presented by Tissot is a breathtaking experience. For an adrenalin kick, try the First Flyer and First Glider versions of the Flying Fox. On the two adventure trails, the manoeuvrable mountain carts and scooters require good cornering skills. The hike to the idyllic Bachalpsee lake, on the other hand, is more leisurely.
Spending time in a dream-like village surrounded by mountains and green valleys, Grindelwald was built under the famous North Face of mountain Eiger. This part of Eiger was first climbed in 1938 and attracted hundreds of visitors yearly who battle the rock and try to conquer it. Grindelwald’s alpine pastures are blissful, and with the help of cable cars, it is easy to hit the trails and find mountain lookouts, the Grindelwald Glacier, and lakes.
Schilthorn and Piz Gloria
The Schilthorn is a mountain in Switzerland standing at 2,970 meters above sea level. Wander over spellbinding views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau on one side and the blue waters of Lake Thun On top of it and surrounded by more than 200 alpine peaks, the Piz Gloria stands proudly. It is one of the highest revolving restaurants in the world, allowing you to look at the glorious Swiss Alps from the comfort of your restaurant table. And if the weather is clear enough, you can even see the Black Forest in Germany or the Mont Blanc in France.
The Trummelbach waterfalls are genuinely unique, not just in Switzerland but in all of Europe. There are ten glacial waterfalls inside the mountain, all accessible by tunnel lift, and each one is prettier than the other. The Trümmelbach falls drain the enormous glacial walls of mountains Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau at 20,000 liters of water per second. They are also part of UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
Meiringen: Reichenbach Falls & Aare Gorge
The Reichenbach Falls are beautiful, It was built in 1899 of wooden wagons and gives each person a feeling of nostalgia as it goes nearer and nearer the falls’ spraying water. Another reason people visit Reichenbach is because the famous author Arthur Doyle chose this exact waterfall as the place of death for Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective. This place has plenty of gift shops surrounding Holmes and his many adventures.
The normal route follows the traces of the first climbers, but the long approach on the Aletsch Glacier is no longer necessary. From the area of the Jungfraujoch the route to the summit takes only a few hours. Most climbers start from the Mönchsjoch Hut. After a traverse of the Jungfraufirn the route heads to the Rottalsattel (3,885 m or 12,746 ft), from where the southern ridge leads to the Jungfrau. It is not considered a very difficult climb but it can be dangerous on the upper section above the Rottalsattel, where most accidents happen.
Paragliding in Jungfrau is done by professional pilots who want to share with all non-experienced people the extraordinary sensation of flying. Those who try it once can never forget the feeling, so be careful not to get too addicted to the adrenaline and exhilaration. Every pilot is fully qualified and has years of experience, so you won’t have to be scared at any point during the flight. You can try this once-in-a-lifetime experience with Paragliding Jungfrau or with First Glider. Here’s all you need to know about paragliding in Switzerland.
Being on the First Flieger is easy, freedom is limitless and the pace is high. Perfectly secured in the stable harness, up to four persons whiz along the 800 metre long steel cable from First to Schreckfeld at a top speed of 84 kilometres per hour. In some places, they hover approximately 50 metres above the alpine meadows.
Sledging is a cross between go-kart and sled with much fun to do it only in winter. It travels down the mountain on almost any terrain and is safe, comfortable and also suitable for children from 135 cm in height. The centre of gravity is low, the wheels are wide apart, and hydraulic brakes ensure that you can keep the speed under control over long distances. The same applies to the three kilometre long natural road from Schreckfeld to Bort.
The Trottibike inherited the best features of the scooter and the bicycle. You stand upright on a wide footboard and roll along pleasantly even on bumpy surfaces, thanks to the suspension fork and large tyre with tread. The Trottibike has great brakes, so you can stop at any time from Bort to Grindelwald to view the meadows and farmhouses.
On the road on two wheels: Discover the mountain world of the Jungfrau Region by mountain bike. From Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg or Bachalpsee, from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren, a circular trail on the Hasliberg or a tour lasting several days: in the Jungfrau Region you can ride numerous MTB trails against an impressive mountain backdrop.
Hiking and Trail Running
Numerous trails make the Jungfrau Region a paradise for runners. The diversity of the Jungfrau Region is a huge draw for trail running enthusiasts, with everything from easy trails through forests and meadows to technically challenging trails in alpine terrain. Some trail running routes are also popular with hikers. During the peak season (July/August) and on weekends, the trails can be quite crowded. The routes at higher elevations can also be covered with snow during the summer months.
Murren as a whole is a fantastic place to visit, with the Northface Trail being a tourist favorite. It has everything a visitor may need: mountain views (duh), small villas and wooden houses spread amidst the mountains, colorful alpine meadows, and pastures filled with cows and their ringing bells. This looping walking trail starts from Mürren and goes through some perfect outlook points. You’ll see Monch, Eiger, Jungfrau, as well as the Sprutz waterfall. The course is well marked throughout, and you’ll simply need to follow the signs placed at junctions.
The Hardergrat is long, it provides nonstop geographic features to look at, making it exciting until the end. Like in all high-altitude places in this region, you’ll get yet another view of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, and this time Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn as well. But, the 25km trail is not for those scared of heights since, most of the time, you’ll be walking alongside sharp drops that can go up to 1,500 meters deep.
Blumental Panorama Trail
The Blumental Panorama trail is excellent for beginners, especially families who want a pleasant walk or those who aren’t that athletic. There’s a trail for the more experienced climbers that’ll take you right to Schilthorn’s top, cross the Murrenbach falls, pass through woods, small wooden bridges, go through gates, and finally find yourself in a meadow, face to face with cows and some pigs, strolling and grazing happily in the fields.
Thrill Walk, Birg
The Thrill Walk at Birg leads down into the vertical walls of the imposing cliff. It includes a crawl-through tunnel, glass-bottomed floor, rope and cattle grid, all this for an additional amount of thrill and adventure. The steel structure clings to the rock before going under the observation deck and ends below the cable car station.
First Cliff Walk
The First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald is an elevated walkway over 2,000 meters high. It’s located on the side of the mountain and is one of the greatest attractions Jungfrau has to offer. Not only will you be scared to your core, but the adrenaline will also be unforgettable.
Try the Eiger trail while climbing metal ladders and walking on hour-long trails, with the difficult sections secured with rope, while looking at otherworldly views such as the Wetterhorn and the Grosse Scheidegg.