Attractions and Activities in Grindelwald
Grindelwald has it all: it is a playground for mountaineers, hikers and walkers, skilled skiers and beginners, or people who just want to enjoy natural beauty and the impressive mountain scenery of the Jungfrau Region. We are presenting you just a few of the many activities that are possible in Grindelwald and its surroundings.
Excursions: >>Mountain ExcursionsCity Excursionsother Excursions
First (2,186 m / 7,170 ft):
In 25 minutes, the modern 6-seat gondola takes you from Grindelwald up to the First mountain which is one of Europe's most beautiful viewpoints offering panoramic views of the Bernese Alps with seven peaks of over fourthousand meters (13,120 ft). During wintermonths, the First invites to great skiing and snowboarding, and in summertime, there are 100 km (62 miles) of picturesque footpaths for all levels, and from the middle station "Bort", you can rent a Trotti-Bike to experience a pleasant way of descending to the village.
Maennlichen (2,227 m / 7,305 ft):
From Grindelwald Grund on the valley floor the longest gondola cableway in Europe takes you in just 30 minutes up to the Männlichen. From here you have a fabulous view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, as well as the valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. During winter, the Maennlichen is a popular place for winter sports, and in summer, this mountain has a host of hikes to suit all tastes - whether you prefer short or long, wild, tame or tough.
Kleine Scheidegg (2,061 m / 6,760 ft):
In 33 minutes, the Wengernalp Mountain Railway takes you from Grindelwald up to the Kleine Scheidegg, the pass between the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald Valleys, which lies directly beneath the towering trio of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau mountains. From here, the Jungfrau Cogwheel Railway begins its remarkable journey to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe. The Kleine Scheidegg is a lively, bustling place: during the winter it's the departing point of numerous skiing runs, and during summer time, you'll meet Alpine herdsmen with their cattle, climbers preparing to attempt the Eiger North Face and visitors from all over the world. This is also the starting point for some of the loveliest hikes in the region.
Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe (3,454 m / 11,330 ft):
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 1 1/2 hours by train from Grindelwald to the top). Snow and ice 100% guaranteed! The UNESCO World Heritage offers the Sphinx observation hall, an impressive Ice Palace and a hiking plateau in the glacier - these are year-round attractions up on the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. Summer attractions include a skilift, husky-drawn sledging and adventure activities.
Schilthorn - Piz Gloria (2,970 m / 9,742 ft):
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 100 minutes by train and gondola from Grindelwald to the top). The most spectacular 360° panorama in the Alps! Dine-and-wine in the world's first revolving restaurant at an altitude of nearly 3,000 metres. Impressive views embrace some 200 snow-capped peaks, ranging from the Bernese Alps to Mont Blanc in France and Germany's Black Forest.
Schynige Platte with Alpine Garden and "Teddyland" (1,967 m / 6,452 ft):
Half-day or Full-day excursion, open May - October (approx. 100 minutes by train from Grindelwald to the top). Take the cozy cogwheel railway to this superb vantage point, where the views of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau are acclaimed as the finest. Other attractions include extensive hiking trails, the Lowa Hiking Shoe Test Center and, especially for our little ones, a large Teddy Bear exhibition. The Alpine Garden is a famous botanical attraction that comprises some 500 different flowering plants and ferns grouped in 15 groups of near-natural locations. From mid-June until late September, the Alpine Garden is an ever changing blaze of colour.
other Mountain Excursions:
Grindelwald is surrounded by mountains - there are several more mountains that are easily accessible on foot, and/or by bus or gondola such as the Pfingstegg, Grosse Scheidegg, Bussalp or Waldspitz - just to mention a few.
Interlaken - in the Heart of the Swiss Alps:
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 35 minutes by train from Grindelwald). Interlaken, the small town between the cristal-clear lakes of Thun and Brienz is surrounded by Alpine pearls such as sparkling streams, fantastic falls and extraordinary mountain scenery including the famous peaks of the Eiger, the Moench and the Jungfrau. Don't miss strolling along Interlaken's famous "Höheweg" promenade - it is one of the best locations in Switzerland for souvenir and watch shopping, and offers superbe views of the Jungfrau mountain range. Consider combining the excursion to Interlaken with visiting other sights such as the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum or the St. Beatus Caves.
Thun - Gateway to the Bernese Alps:
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 75 minutes by train from Grindelwald). Thun (pronounced "Toon") is one of the most original towns in Switzerland. It occupies an admirable site with magnificent views of the Bernese Alps and is much overlooked by visitors pressing on to Interlaken. With its picturesque castle, the quaint medieval Old Town, and Lake Thun, one of the loveliest and largest lakes in Switzerland, Thun is well worth a visit.
Bern - Switzerland's captivating Capital:
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 90 minutes by train from Grindelwald). Founded in 1191, this is a city of medieval magic, listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Attractions of Bern include several historic sites such as the famous Clock Tower, the bearpits (home to the city's heraldic animals), the House of Parliament, the Paul Klee Center, the Swiss Alpine Museum, and excellent shopping arcades.
Lucerne - City of Lights:
Full-day excursion (approx. 3 hours by train from Grindelwald). Lucerne is ideally situated in the historic and scenic heart of what many believe to be the "true" Switzerland - picture mountains, lakes, cowbells, alpine villages and meadows full of Edelweiss. Lucerne is renowned for its attractive townscape, historic Chapel Bridge and shopping facilities. There are various routes to get from Grindewald to Lucerne: either via Bern, or the scenic Golden Pass train via Brienz along Lake Brienz and over the Brünig Pass.
Montreux - City of the Swiss Riviera:
Full-day excursion (approx. 3.5 hours by train from Grindelwald via Bern). This attractive excursion crosses the "border" between German and French-speaking Switzerland and takes you to the shores of Lake Geneva. Enjoy the mild climate and the beautiful terraced vineyards of Lavaux that are part of the UNESCO world heritage. While in Montreux, you want to consider visiting one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Switzerland, the Chateau de Chillon: in the 13th century this castle was built in a unique setting on the shores of Lake Geneva, and today also serves as a typical postcard souvenir from Switzerland. There are various routes to get from Grindewald to Montreux, either via Bern, or the scenic Golden Pass train through the Simmental Valley via Gstaad (travel time approx. 4 hours).
Other Excursions / Sights:
Alpine Bird Park:
Sick and injured birds are cared for and looked after here - an ideal excursion for the whole family to observe various Alpine birds as well as an Alpine garden. The Alpine Bird Park including restaurant is situated at 1,400 m (4,592 ft) asl at the foot of the Wetterhorn mountain between Grindelwald and the Grosse Scheidegg and is open all year round.
The wildly-romantic gorge, with its mills, erosion, pink and green marble blocks, is a masterpiece of nature. From the Gletscherschlucht hotel restaurant a wooden walkway leads over raging water, through galleries and tunnels in the rock over 1,000 m (approx. 0.7 miles) into the depths of the gorge. At the entrance to the Glacier Gorge there is a crystal museum with minerals found in the Bernese Alps. The Glacier Gorge is reached within 35 minutes on foot from the center of Grindelwald, or by bus from Grindelwald station within just a few minutes.
open April - November; located in the Lauterbrunnen Valley between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen. 10 glacier-waterfalls inside the mountain made accessible by tunnel-lift and illuminated. The Trummelbach river drains the mighty glacier defiles of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains - up to 20,000 liters of water per second.
St. Beatus Caves:
Half- or Full-day excursion (approx. 80 minutes by train and bus from Grindelwald); open April - October. Switzerland's first and only underground cave museum - spectacular but safe. Explore this mysterious maze of stalactites, stalagmites, lakes and waterfalls to a depth of 3,000 meters. Located on the shores of Lake Thun; from Wengen by train to Interlaken and on by ship, car, bus - or on foot along the historic Pilgrims' Path.
Cruises on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz:
Half- or Full-day excursion or evening cruise; from April - October. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on a modern motorship or one of the renovated stately steamers. Excellent catering and banquet facilities, theme events and club, company and family festivities, paddle steamer with children's club, evening cruises with entertainment. Cruises on Lake Thun depart at Interlaken's "West" railway station, cruises on Lake Brienz from Interlaken's "Ost" station.
Ballenberg Open-Air Museum:
Full-day excursion (approx. 100 minutes by train and bus from Grindelwald); open Mid-April through End of October. Experience Switzerland as it used to be! In Ballenberg rural culture and the life of our ancestors becomes a fascinating experience. More than one hundred century-old buildings from all over Switzerland, 250 farmyard animals, traditional, old-time gardens and fields, demonstrations of local crafts and many special events create a vivid impression of rural life in days gone by.
Sports: >>Summer SportsWinter Sports
There are more than 300 km (186 miles) of marked walking, hiking and mountain paths inviting to discover the Alpine landscape around Grindelwald. Many are panoramic, high-Alpine paths with mountain taverns along the way providing for rest and refreshment. The well-signed trails are in the Kleine Scheidegg - Maennlichen area, the First - Bussalp - Grosse Scheidegg area, or in the Pfingstegg area. There also are several Theme Routes such as the "Floral nature Trail" or the "Felix Trail" for families with children. Free brochures with suggestions for walks and various detailed hiking maps are available at the Tourist Office which also offers guided hikes.
Grindelwald is a true montain biking arena with 160 km (100 miles) of signed mountain-bike routes devided into three levels (difficult, medium, easy). There is also a training course at the Upper Glacier. Bikers' Map is available at the Tourist Office where you also want to inquire regarding the TOP TEN bike runs (with awards for participating).
The Jungfrau Region has a long tradition as a mountain climbing center and the summit of the Jungfrau was reached as early as 1811. The mountain guides of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen have rightly gained a legendary reputation, as have their many spectacularly courageous rescue attempts. Mountaineers will really be on a high! Famous peaks over 4,000 meters high such as the Jungfrau or the Mönch and tempting peaks of over 3,000 meters (e.g. Eiger or Breithorn) issue their icy challenge!
Many different tours, varying in length (with overnights in mountain huts) and difficulty are offered by the Mountain Guide Associations or organized by the Tourist Office. A few of the easier guided routes do not require mountain experience and are suitable for family tours, but you must be in top condition!
The Grindelwald Valley and the Lauterbrunnen Valley and surrounding regions are popular for various adventure sports such as river rafting (the Lütschine River offers exciting Class 4 white water rafting), canyoning, bungy jumping, ice-climbing, paragliding, skydiving or base jumping.
Enjoy a round of Golf in the unique mountainous scenery at the foot of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. At present this is the only Golf course in the Bernese Oberland where you can play Golf without official Handicap. Use the Driving Range or book a green fee for the 6-hole course - whether you are a beginner or an experienced Golf player, you just pay the green fee. The equipment is available for free! After a short introduction the Golf Operations Manager will give you admission to the course.
Grindelwald's Nordic Walking Trail takes you from the village via "Sand" on a slighlty ascend to "Trychelegg", and then through the woods to the "Nellenbaum" and to the Glacier Gorge (approx. 1 hour).
other Summer Sports:
Grindelwald features a public outdoor swimming pool (heated; open from June - September), tennis courts and mini-golf, and the Sports Center
with an indoor swimming pool, wellness oasis with Sauna and Steam-Bath, ice rink for figure skating, ice hockey and ice-stick shooting, a curling hall with 4 rinks, and an indoor rope park.
Skiing / Snowboarding:
Grindelwald is the winter sport resort of superlatives and also the biggest village in the Jungfrau Region. You have access to three great ski areas totalling 42 mountain rides and 213 km (132 miles) of groomed runs: the "Grindelwald-First" (9 mountain rides - 50 km / 31 miles; snowpark and superpipe), the "Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen" (21 mountain rides - 110 km / 68 miles; half-pipe and jump-street), and the "Mürren-Schilthorn" (12 mountain rides - 53 km / 33 miles; fun-snowpark).
The Alpine topography of the Jungfrau Region offers little space for Nordic cross-country skiing. The views of the mountains, though, are all the more spectacular. Grindelwald offers approx. 17 km (10.5 miles) of cross-country skiing tracks of all levels of difficulty. Sunny skiing tracks are on the Bussalp, and skating tracks with guaranteed snow in Grindelwald Grund.
Tobogganing has a long tradition in the Jungfrau Region, and especially in Grindelwald (where the "Grindelwald" sledge-model has been invented). There are several sledge-runs totaling approx. 60 km (37 miles) in the Grindelwald region, with 36 km (22 miles) in the First ski area. Even at night, toboggan runs to the village or torch-light walks through the winter landscape after a cozy evening with a cheese fondue in the rustic atmosphere of a mountain
hut, are always an unforgettable experience. In Grindelwald also snow-tubing is quite popular - not only among children, and you might want to try a ride on the "Velogemel": this vehicle, equipped with a wooden frame, two metal runners and a steering bar in front, is unique to Grindelwald and are not found anywhere else in Switzerland. They are indeed a rarity and therefore an attraction to visitors from overseas as well as "Velogemel" fans, who often purchase them as souvenir. There is even a Velogemel World Championship
held every year in Grindelwald.
other Winter Sports
include ski-touring, more than 80 km (50 miles) of well-prepared winter footpaths for winter walking (approx. 30 km / 18.5 miles in the Kleine Scheidegg - Maennlichen area; approx. 50 km / 31 miles in the First - Bussalp area), snow-shoe trekking and ice-climbing, and the Grindelwald Sports Center
with an indoor swimming pool, wellness oasis with Sauna and Steam-Bath, ice rink for figure skating, ice hockey and ice-stick shooting, a curling hall with 4 rinks, and an indoor rope park..
Go Out: (Dining / Entertainment / Nightlife)
Grindelwald has a good selection of restaurants, mostly hotel based, serving international meals from around the world: Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and of course Swiss specialties.
Nightly entertainment mainly consists of musical concerts, folklore evenings, or socialising at the bars and discos. During the vacation seasons - winter and summer - you will find plenty of entertainment options in Grindelwald - during the day and night (approx. 10 bars / discos). During winter time, the nightlife often starts with the "Apres-Ski" at one of the numerous ski- and snow-bars which are located on the slopes and at the bottom of the various ski areas.
Have you ever sipped some wine while sitting in a double-seat in a cinema? The Bernerhof Cinema in Grindelwald makes this „just like at home“ feeling true. Enjoy a movie in the best seats in this modern 120 seat cinema and relax.
Do not forget your purse ..... Grindelwald is famous for a wide range of high-class shops. In addition to the traditional jewellers, boutiques and souvenir shops, on the village's main street you will find many sports shops, including biking, walking and climbing shops.
In general, shops in Grindelwald are open from:
8 or 9 AM - Noon and 1:30 or 2 PM - 6:30 PM on weekdays (5:30 PM on Saturdays)
Shops are closed on Sundays.
During high season, some shops extend the opening hours in the evenings as well as are opened on Sundays.
World Snow Festival:
Every year Grindelwald hosts the international Snow Festival on the natural ice-rink in the village center. Over a period of 6 days, international artists design figures and sculptures out of meter-high blocks of snow. The World Snow Festival has developed into one of the most fascinating and popular winter events in the glacier village.
Lauberhorn - International Ski Races
Since 1930, the Lauberhorn Alpine Skiing Competitions (Downhill, Slalom and Super-Combination) are one of the biggest snow events in the world, attracting more than 40,000 people over 3 days. The Downhill Race is the longest in the world and is said to be the most beautiful in the world as it is embedded in a uniqe landscape - surrounded by the massive mountains of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
Velogemel World Championship:
The Velogemel snow-bike is Grindelwald's trademark and previously served as a means of transport in the snow. Every year the Velogemel Championship takes place here, involving racing down a slope at break-neck speed. This Velogemel World Championship was brought to life in the jubilee year 1996 (850 years Grindelwald).
The SnowpenAir concert on Kleine Scheidegg has become a true Swiss tradition. The highest-altitude open-air concert in snow takes place on the Kleine Scheidegg at 2,061 m (6,760 ft) above sea level and in front of the unique backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.
: (in August)
New dimensions in a magnificent mountain world - the most beautiful and spectacular endurance event in the Swiss mountains! From Thun (560 m / 1,837 ft above sea level) up to the Schilthorn summit (3,000 m / 9,840 ft): 3.1 km / 1.9 miles swimming (Lake Thun: from Thun to Oberhofen), 86 km / 53.4 miles biking (from Oberhofen via Sigriswil, Beatenberg, Interlaken, Meiringen and Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald), 31 km / 19.3 miles mountain biking (from Grindelwald via Kleine Scheidegg, Wengen and Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg) and 25 km / 15.5 miles uphill run (from Stechelberg via Lauterbrunnen and Muerren to the top of the Schilthorn).
Calendar of Events in Grindelwald and the Jungfrau Region
The museum shows the transition of the small rural mountain village of Grindelwald into the current international tourist resort. Take a look at furniture and tools of the mountain farmer’s household, and get informed how agriculture was handled in the middle of the 19th century, and about handicraft, alpinism and wintersport. The museum is located in the „Talhaus“, just next to the church.
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