Search for Information

Home  Bernese Oberland  Top of Europe

Spectacular Views to and from the Top of Europe
The Jungfraujoch


View to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau

Introduction | How to get to the Top of Europe | Tickets
Tours | Where to Stay | Good to Know

A visit to the Top of Europe is pure Alpine bliss. And climbing the Alps has never been easier. The Jungfraubahn takes visitors to the top without a drop of sweat.

More than 100 years ago, the visionary entrepreneur Adolf Guyer-Zeller took it upon him to make the Jungfraujoch accessible to everyone.

Construction started in 1896 and was finished in 1912. Since then, the Jungfraubahn takes visitors from Kleine Scheidegg through the more than 7 km / 4.4 miles long Eiger North Wall tunnel to the Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest train station - 3454 meters (11,333 ft.) above sea level and entirely built into the tunnel.


The Jungfraubahn at Kleine Scheidegg
The Jungfraubahn on "Kleine Scheidegg", ready to take visitors to the Top of Europe. Right in front is the notorious Eiger North Face

The summit triumvirate Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau infuses a spell on everybody who comes eye to eye with these mighty mountains. It's pure bliss to experience the sunrise behind this powerful trio, and I can understand cultures who worship their mountains as holy places.


Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, part of the Bernese Alps
The Jungfraujoch (the Sphinx is in the middle of the red circle) is the ridge between Mt. Jungfrau and Mönch

The 4158m / 13,641 ft. high Jungfrau - which means "young woman" or "virgin" - is the tallest of the bunch. To her left reside Mount Mönch - the Monk (4107m / 13,474 ft.) and Mount Eiger - or Ogre (3970m / 13,025 ft.), which might be the smallest of them, but by no means the easiest to conquer. The feared Eiger North Wall - often called "Mörder Wand" (murder wall) took eight lives before the first climber, Heinrich Harrer, finally made it to the top in 1938.

The Jungfrau Railway stops twice on the way up the tunnel. Once at the Eigerwand (2685m / 8,809 ft.), and then at the Eismeer (3010m / 9,875 ft.). Visitors can disembark to get a glimpse through picture windows unto a landscape of eternal ice and snow.

Once on top, a 250m long tunnel called "Alpine Sensation" connects the "Sphinx Hall" with the "Ice Palace", a cave filled with wildlife sculptures carved of ice. The tunnel is a new attraction and opened in 2012 for the centenary celebration. Alternating exhibitions are taking place and guests are transported on a moving walkway along a 90m long mural depicting the development of tourism in the Alps. The 360 degree cinema in the Sphinx Hall informs of the high-Alpine world surrounding the Top of Europe.

The panorama view from the Sphinx observation platform is nothing less than sublime. On clear days one sees not only the mighty Bernese Alps, the Aletsch Glacier and the valleys below but also beyond Switzerland's border to the Vosges Mountains in France and the Black Forest in Germany.

You don't have to starve on the Top of Europe. Five restaurants serve food and drinks - from snacks to gourmet menus to Indian cuisine.

A short walk on groomed glacier tracks is a memorable experience. Snow tubing, a short zip line and a small ski lift awaits the more adventurous.

For those who want to explore the World of eternal ice and snow close-up, a glacier trekking tour to the Konkordia hut (and overnight there) at 2850m / 9,350 ft. enriches the breathtaking adventure.

You don't need mountaineering skills to do this trek. Local guides bring the inexperienced safely through and over the Aletsch Glacier, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site.

Doing this trek, you could easily get addicted to the world of mountaineering. If that's the case, the "Konkoridia Climbing Garden" is not only for advanced climbers, but an ideal place for beginners to test the waters.


Trekking on the Aletsch Glacier
Trekking on the Aletsch Glacier toward Konkordia hut. © Julian Davis
Top of Index

How to get to the Top of Europe?

Where ever you stay in the Jungfrau Region, access is easy with mountain transportation.


Map of the Jungfrau Region

  • Direct access by train from Interlaken Ost to Kleine Scheidegg via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen or Grindelwald. Trains divide in Zweilütschinen, so depending which route you want to take make sure you board the right coach. All tickets are valid via Grindelwald and/or Lauterbrunnen/Wengen - therefore you an do a round-trip and see both or all three villages;
  • When you stay in Interlaken West, you either change trains in "Interlaken Ost" or take a bus (faster) to Wilderswil where you catch the train to the Jungfrau Region;
  • The Jungfraubahn runs 365 days a year
  • .
Top of Index

Tickets and Passes

The trip up to the Top of Europe - the Jungfraujoch - is not included in any Swiss Travel Pass:

  • Swiss Pass Holders receive 25% discount;
  • If you use up a Swiss Travel Pass day, the trip to Wengen and/or Grindelwald is included. But from there you will need to purchase a connecting ticket, either from Grindelwald or Wengen via Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch and back. This is a round-trip ticket with which you can get to know both villages;
  • For non-pass holders the "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon" ticket could be an option between May 1 and October 31. This means you profit from a lower ticket price if you either visit the Jungfrau in the morning or the afternoon. Do pay attention to the small print on their website. Both tickets are only valid on certain trains;
  • Half Fare Card holders receive 50% discount on all tickets;
  • Other Options: Should you spend your holiday only in the Jungfrau Region, do check out the Regional Bernese Oberland Pass - valid between May and October - (Swiss Travel Pass holders receive a discount) or one of the Jungfrau Passes;
  • Admission to the Sphinx (viewing platform), the Ice Palace and "Alpine Sensation" are included in all tickets;
  • Guided day trips from Zürich and Lucerne.

Where to buy Jungfrau Tickets

All tickets can be purchased at any train station in Switzerland on the day you visit the Jungfraujoch. Quick and easy. You could purchase tickets online in advance, but I don't recommend doing that. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and only go to the Top of Europe when the weather is good or you could get disappointed.

Tip: Tickets are not exactly cheap, and when the peaks are shrouded in clouds, are rained or snowed upon, you wouldn't see much. Have an alternative plan ready.

It's a different thing when there's fog. Quite often during fall and winter months, lower areas are thick with wafts of mist. But above the fog line, the weather could be brilliant. You wouldn't see the valleys below, but it looks like the mountains grow straight out of a sea of mist. Quite an enchanting experience.

I advise to make a seat reservation when travelling in July and August (only possible before noon). It's CHF 10 per person (return) and you can make the reservation without having to purchase a ticket in advance.

Top of Index

Guided Tours to the Jungfrau Region

It's easy to get to the Top of Europe as an independent traveller.

However, if you prefer the comfort of a group, there are several options on offer. You can book tours through the regional tourist offices or the Jungfrau website itself. Following a few options:


Day trips to the Jungfrau Region

If you want to visit the Top of Europe on a day trip while staying in Zürich or Lucerne, here some possibilities:


Daytrips from Zürich

  • Top of Europe: Day trip to Jungfraujoch via Interlaken.
    This will be a very long day of approx. 11 hours and 30 minutes;
  • Interlaken and Grindelwald: A visit to the glacier village, including "Grindelwald First" (First meaning ridge in German) between May and October (without Jungfraujoch)
    Duration: All day;
  • Kleine Scheidegg: Via Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Wengen to the foot of the triumvirate Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (Top of Europe not included)
    Duration: All day.

Daytrips from Lucerne

  • Top of Europe: Jungfraujoch via Interlaken
    Duration: Very full day;
  • To Grindelwald: Glacier village Grindelwald, including a gondola ride to "Grindelwald First" (ridge) (between May and October) via Interlaken
    Duration: 1 Day (approximately 9 hours);
  • Kleine Scheidegg: Travel to the foot of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau via Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Wengen (Jungfraujoch not included)
    Duration: Full Day.

Guided Hiking Tours

These are all-inclusive tours, guided or self-guided:

Top of Index

View to the Bernese Alps

Where to Stay

I'd say that depends on what you plan to do.

If you only visit for the day, staying in Interlaken, Unterseen or even Thun makes sense. Should the weather not cooperate you will have easy and quick access to other sightseeing options.

If you want to stay for a few days or longer to explore more than just the Jungraujoch and do some hiking, then one of the following options could be right for you:

  • Wilderswil: All of the Bernese Oberland is practically at your doorstep. Starting point for Schynige Platte, Isenfluh and the whole Jungfgrau Region;
  • Grindelwald: When Grindelwald First, Grosse and Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen are on your itinerary, this charming chalet village could be your base. Ideal for skiing too;
  • Lauterbrunnen is ideal to explore the valley of over 70 waterfalls, the Schilthorn/Mürren/Gimmelwald area and easy access to Wengen and the Jungfrauoch;
  • Wengen (car-free) is ideal for sun worshipers; easy access to Männlichen, Wengern Alp, and Jungfraujoch. Fabulous winter and summer activities;
  • Mürren and Gimmelwald (both car-free) at the foot of the Schilthorn for best views to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Easy access to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Great hiking and skiing.

Depending on what you are looking for - hotel, private rooms or apartments - this booking guide will help you find accommodation.

Top of Index

Good to Know

  • When staying in the Jungfrau Region, do check with your hotel. Sometimes they offer packages - meaning the trip up to the Jungfrau is already included in the price for the room;
  • Always ask for the Visitor's Card when you stay overnight in the Jungfrau Region. You receive this card from your hotel or rental apartment owner. The card is free of charge and you get a small discount for activities such as Air-Glacier tours, bike rentals, Park and Museums entrances etc.;
  • Bring sunglasses and warm clothing, even in the peak of summer. The wind is quite harsh on the Top of Europe. Wear good shoes - you will walk on snow and ice on top.
Warning: The Jungfraubahn brings you to the top very fast. If you experience strange signs of dizziness, headaches or even nausea, it could very well be that you suffer from altitude sickness. Return to deeper levels immediately. It's not advisable to bring baby's under the age of two.

Pressed for time?

If you only have a day for the whole Jungfrau Region, you can do the round-trip Interlaken - Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg - Wengen - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken (or visa-versa) without having to go up to the Jungfraujoch. You'd be still face to face with the intoxicating Bernese Alps but would have time to linger in these towns a little longer. You can disembark trains where ever they stop and continue later, as long as you return to your destination before midnight.

Top of Index

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning that when you book a trip through these links, I receive a small fee - at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your supported since it helps to keep this website alive. Thank you!

Thanks for sharing this page!

Search for Information

Just type a word or phrase into the box
and off you go!

Where in Switzerland is the
Topf of Europe?

Bernese Oberland map Bernese Oberland Map
Map of the Jungfrau Region © www.Jungfraujoch.ch

Search this train timetable for
connections and prices:


SBB|CFF|FFS

Timetable

Date: 22.04.13
Time:
Departure
Arrival
Traffic Information

Swiss Train Passes

Search for Hostels


TripAdvisor

Reviews and Booking Hotels


View to the Bernese Alps
View to the Bernese Alps from Bern's house mountain, the Gurten.

Copyright © 2011 - 2016 Fida Wild - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Checker