Nestled in the Swiss Bernese Alps of the Jungfrau region, the picturesque alpine village of Grindelwald overflows with opportunities for exploration and adventure all year round. This tiny nook of Switzerland is a little slice of heaven on Earth, and these are the best things to do in Grindelwald.
Between the adrenaline-inducing winter sports and peaceful summer hikes surrounded by stunning scenery, the Jungfrau region is a haven for outdoor adventures and some pretty ridiculous views. The blend of Grindelwald’s fascinating history with its continuous modern development assures there’s always something new to discover.
Experience the memorable views from Grindelwald First, dive into Grindelwald’s history at its local museum, and push on to new heights with the challenging Eiger Trail hike. Between these moments of excitement, I’ll share tidbits about the town’s charming atmosphere as we walk through its idyllic lanes, savor Swiss delicacies, and finally unwind at a soothing spa.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Grindelwald, Switzerland
- 1. Exploring Grindelwald Village
- 2. First Cliff Walk
- 3. Hiking to Bachalpsee
- 4. Jungfraujoch Day Trip
- 5. Take on the Outdoor Sports of Switzerland
- 6. Eiger Trail Hike
- 7. Grindelwald Museum
- 8. Männlichen
- 9. Grosse Scheidegg
- 10. Pfingstegg
- 11. Gletscherschlucht (Grindelwald Glacier Canyon)
- 12. Mountain Biking
- 13. Downhill Skiing
- 14. Cross-Country Skiing
- 15. Sledding
- 16. Marmot Trail
- 17. Spa Experiences
- What is Grindelwald Known For?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the must-see sights on a Grindelwald itinerary?
- What are the indoor activities in Grindelwald during rainy days?
- What are some popular nighttime attractions in Grindelwald?
- What is the best way to visit Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald?
- Is it preferable to stay in Interlaken or Grindelwald?
- Most significant landmark: Jungfraujoch
- Best park: White Elements
- Best free activity: Exploring Grindelwald Village
- Best activity for kids: Sledding
- Best activity for adults: Having a Spa Day
- Best place to stay: Endweg
Things to Do in Grindelwald, Switzerland
1. Exploring Grindelwald Village
Grindelwald, a picturesque Swiss alpine village, offers unique experiences and breathtaking landscapes. When I arrived at the alpine village, I was captivated by the wooden cabins and Swiss alpine architecture. The town features a vast market, shopping areas, and stores selling Swiss delicacies and souvenirs – perfect mementos to take home.
While exploring the village, I enjoyed sightseeing and sampling the variety of snacks and Swiss delicacies in the cafes. It’s an idyllic town that oozes Swiss vibes.
2. First Cliff Walk
The First Cliff Walk, also known as the Skywalk Grindelwald, was a fantastic experience. To get there, I took a gondola from the village to the summit of the Schwarzhorn.
Upon reaching the attraction, I was greeted by stunning views of jagged, steep mountainsides, peaks, alpine pastures, and remote lakes. The First Cliff appeared ideal for various hikes, some of which will be detailed later.
The First Cliff Walk, tested my fear of heights, especially when the path projected 45 meters over a steep slope. The walkway provided an excellent opportunity to soak in the beauty of Grindelwald and capture amazing photos and videos of the spectacular scenery below. The entire experience was exhilarating.
3. Hiking to Bachalpsee
I then embarked on an incredible hike from the First Summit station to Bachalpsee. This lake is one of the most popular attractions in the Grindelwald region and should not be missed.
On a clear and sunny day, the magnificent views of the surrounding mountain peaks, particularly the reflection of Mount Shrekhorn, can be seen in the crystal-clear water of Lake Bachalpsee.
Grindelwald is home to many beautiful hiking trails, and the climb to Bachalpsee is definitely the most scenic. The region’s natural beauty was truly showcased on this hike.
The journey to Lake Bachalpsee is only about an hour, a 5.9-kilometer round trip that begins at the first station. It climbed to an elevation of 2,265 meters above sea level, taking approximately 50 minutes for strong hikers like me to finish.
The trail starts right above the first cable car summit station and is pretty flat for the first half of its length. Along the way, I passed through grasslands, crossed sparkling streams, and enjoyed stunning views of the surrounding mountains. I saw fields with grazing cows and quaint alpine cabins dotting the landscape.
As I approached the pristine Lake Bachalpsee, I was rewarded with a panorama that made the climb even more worthwhile. The beautiful reflection of Mount Shrekhorn and the surrounding peaks on the surface of the clear water was a view I’ll never forget.
4. Jungfraujoch Day Trip
During my visit to Grindelwald, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go on a day trip to the renowned Jungfraujoch, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everyone should try this thrilling journey at least once in their lives. The tour in the Jungfrau region, also referred to as Top of Europe, is one of the most popular activities for visitors in Grindelwald.
To reach the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, which stands at 3,454 meters above sea level, I took a train and cable car that lasted approximately 90 minutes from Grindelwald to the Eiger mountain summit. The journey stopped at the Eiger Glacier Station, which offered incredible views, and I had to get the camera out to snap some photos.
Once I reached the Top of Europe, I explored the magical Ice Palace, took in the views of the Aletsch Glacier, and stopped by the Sphinx Observatory. This day trip offered unparalleled scenery and a genuine appreciation of the world we call home.
5. Take on the Outdoor Sports of Switzerland
In Grindelwald, I found various outdoor sports available for visitors to try. During my stay, I participated in several activities, such as biking, skiing, and sledding.
Grindelwald has a few bike rental and testing facilities, allowing me to explore the village’s paths and many hiking trails on two wheels. Cycling through the picturesque landscape was a thrilling experience, giving me a new perspective on the village’s beauty.
Winter sports enthusiasts won’t be disappointed, either. As snow covers the green splendor of Grindelwald, an influx of skiers and snowboarders arrive.
The village has three excellent skiing locations: the Grindelwald First region, Kleiner Scheidegg-Männlichen, and Bodmi Arena. I had a fantastic time trying out the different slopes and enjoying the incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Sledding is another popular winter activity in Grindelwald. The well-maintained surface offers a thrilling descent without being too fast to miss the remarkable views of the Jungfrau and Eiger mountains. It’s an exhilarating experience, suitable for adults and children, and a great way to enjoy the stunning landscape.
Finally, the Eiger Trail is an excellent option for those seeking a more challenging activity. This six-kilometer hike takes you right up to the Eiger’s north face and down again, offering an unforgettable journey.
6. Eiger Trail Hike
Not feeling the burn from earlier hikes, I took on the Eiger Trail hike, which I learned is considered one of the most challenging ascents in the area and came highly recommended for hiking enthusiasts like myself. This 6-kilometer trail takes you right up to Eiger’s North Face and back down, offering a thrilling experience and amazing views of the surrounding landscape.
Eiger Glacier is a convenient starting point for the trail. As I hiked along, I was utterly in awe of the foothills of the majestic North Face of Eiger, the gorgeous lakes, and the high alpine pastures I passed.
It’s essential to be prepared for the challenge and to remember that it’s a demanding hike, especially for those who haven’t experienced hiking trails like this one before.
7. Grindelwald Museum
Address: Dorfstrasse 204, 3818 Grindelwald, Switzerland
I also visited the Grindelwald Museum, which takes visitors on a journey through the village’s history, including its tourism development in the late 18th century. The museum houses many interesting artifacts and historical information regarding Grindelwald. I was particularly intrigued by the museum’s account of the devastating fire the village endured in 1892.
As I walked through the museum, I looked through historic mountaineering equipment and farming implements. Learning about the construction of the Grindelwald cable car and railway network more than a century ago was fascinating.
Additionally, I enjoyed admiring local handicrafts from the Bernese Alps on display. Overall, the Grindelwald Museum was a great way to take a break from outdoor activities and learn about the heritage of this alpine village.
While searching for places to get more shots of the area, I couldn’t resist the allure of the Männlichen, a 2,343-meter-high mountain nestled in the heart of the Jungfrau region. This is an unmissable experience with activities for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
For me, the adventure began with the cable car ride up to the mountain. There are two options: the open-air cable car from Wengen or the cable car from Grindelwald, both with incredible views. I opted for the “Royal Ride” cable cars from Wengen with an open-air balcony – a decision I didn’t regret.
Once I reached Männlichen, I was greeted by a captivating sight.. Gazing out at the majestic trio of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau was incredible, with the grand Wetterhorn standing proud in the background.
In terms of activities, Männlichen has no shortage of options. The well-known Royal Walk is a must – a short yet rewarding hike with stunning vistas. For families, the Liselotte-themed trail offers a fun experience, and hikers are in for a real treat with numerous trails that explore the surrounding region.
Those needing refreshment will find solace at the Männlichen mountain hut, where I enjoyed a hearty meal and mingled with fellow travelers. As for accommodations, Grindelwald and Wengen have a variety of hotels to suit various budgets and preferences.
Männlichen is not just a spectacular mountain peak; it’s a symbol of Grindelwald’s unrivaled beauty and serenity. My experiences there have etched themselves indelibly in my memory, and I hope you’ll have a chance to discover the magic of Männlichen, just as I did.
9. Grosse Scheidegg
The crisp mountain air fills my lungs as I take in the picturesque beauty of Grosse Scheidegg…
This is undoubtedly one of the must-visit spots in Grindelwald – maybe the whole world. This mountain pass sits right between the Bernie-er Alps and the Schwarzhorn, acting as a gateway to some of the region’s most breathtaking hikes.
I found myself hiking the trail from Meiringen to Grosse Scheidegg, encountering the famous Reichenbach waterfall, known for its connection to the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes. This route offers awe-inspiring panoramas as you gradually climb to the pass, revealing unparalleled views of the surrounding Bernese Alps. And if you’re a canyon fan, you can detour and visit the dramatic Rosenlaui Gorge, a hidden gem that’s definitely worth the extra effort.
Standing at Grosse Scheidegg, I was greeted by a magnificent view of glaciers, notably the Aletsch Glacier – an intriguing sight that should not be missed. Part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area, this vast icefield is a testament to the power of nature.
Grindelwald also has something unique – mountain carts- for thrill-seekers. These gravity-powered, three-wheelers took me on a rollercoaster-like ride down the carefully paved roads, snaking their way through the landscape. From Grosse Scheidegg, I hopped on a mountain cart, and what followed was a heart-pumping ride amid the valley and nearby peaks.
Grosse Scheidegg is a gem that shouldn’t be missed in the land where giants tower over the valleys. It rewards the daring with a medley of experiences – from serene hikes to adrenaline-pumping rides. So, when in Grindelwald, make it your mission to conquer the Grosse Scheidegg and let the majesty of the Swiss landscape leave an indelible mark on your memory.
My visit to this quaint Swiss village led me to the mesmerizing Pfingstegg. Accessible by cable car, the mountain area offered activities for tourists and photographers like me searching for sensational snaps. The eastern side of the Grindelwald Valley is where I hopped aboard at the first cable car station, which soon brought me to the top of Pfingstegg with unparalleled views of the village below.
Upon reaching the summit, I was greeted by a charming restaurant with an open-air terrace. Savoring Swiss cuisine while soaking in the serene beauty of the surrounding peaks was an unforgettable experience. The area around the mountain restaurant also featured a playground and a picnic area with a grill pit – perfect for unwinding with freshly grilled treats and a glass of wine in the mountain air.
For adventure seekers, Pfingstegg has much to offer, such as paragliding and Trottibike adventures. Paragliding provided an adrenaline rush, allowing me to take in the breathtaking landscape from a bird’s-eye view. On the other hand, the Trottibike excursion allowed me to explore the charming village at a leisurely and enjoyable pace.
In addition to these thrilling experiences and mountain attractions, Pfingstegg is a fantastic starting point for memorable hikes. I found myself taking on the trail towards the awe-inspiring Grindelwald glacier.
11. Gletscherschlucht (Grindelwald Glacier Canyon)
While traveling in Grindelwald, I explored the stunning Gletscherschlucht, a remarkable glacier gorge. Surrounded by 300m tall rock walls, the narrow ravine traverses a small river created by the lower Grindelwald glacier.
I opted for the elevated walkway, which stretches about 870 meters down the canyon. It led me through tunnels carved into cliffs veined with pink and green marble. A key highlight I encountered inside the gorge is the massive 170m² “spiderweb” net, enabling me to leap and bounce with a newfound sense of freedom.
But that wasn’t all. The Gletscherschlucht offers the Grindelwald Canyon Swing for those searching for more adrenaline. Jumping off a platform high above the gorge, the brave are left to free fall into a 90-meter abyss, only to be caught by an 85-meter rope, swinging back and forth through the narrow glacier gorge at speeds reaching 120 km/h.
While Gletscherschlucht is accessible with a half-hour hike from the Grindelwald train station, those looking for a faster route can take Bus Two from the train station.
12. Mountain Biking
Bikers take note: mountain biking in Grindelwald is an experience like no other. I cruised along the slopes of the Swiss Alps, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. The sheer beauty of this place is enough to leave you breathless, and I don’t just mean from the physical exertion.
Starting my journey from Grindelwald, I tackled the popular Bachalpsee loop, trail number one. It’s an excellent warm-up route, whether you decide to conquer the 1,000-meter road climb on your bike or take the hourly bus from Grindelwald to the Grosse Scheidegg pass as a shortcut.
Riding through the Kleine Scheidegg and marveling at my first mountain top at the Lauberhorn ski run in Wengen, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to bike through some of the most picturesque trails in Switzerland. With over 1,500 meters in elevation gain, this is not your average ride. But believe me, the challenge is worth it.
For those who need a break from pedaling, there are so many things to do in Grindelwald catering to mountain biking enthusiasts. Grab some new gear or rent an E-mountain bike to make your ride through the Swiss Alps more enjoyable. Shops like Mountainbike Grindelwald provide guided E-Mountain bike tours, allowing riders to experience the stunning landscape of Grindelwald in just two hours.
The time I spent exploring the biking trails around Grindelwald, Lucerne, and beyond will forever be etched in my memory. The stunning panoramas, the pulse-pounding ascents, and the exhilaration of zipping down these majestic slopes are truly unmatched.
13. Downhill Skiing
I remember stepping off the gondola in Grindelwald, greeted by the spectacular winter scenery. The snow was pristine, and the elevation of the peaks made for a truly breathtaking view. As a skiing fanatic, I was eager to hit the slopes.
The first thing that struck me about the skiing terrain in Grindelwald was the variety of options available. I started with the beginner-friendly Oberjoch snowpark, perfect for warm-up laps and honing my skills.
After getting comfortable on the snow, I couldn’t resist the call of the White Elements freestyle park. It boasted an exhilarating mix of jumps, rails, and other features, offering the perfect playground to test my mettle.
As I whizzed from slope to slope, the adrenaline flooding my system, I realized that the itinerary possibilities in Grindelwald are seemingly endless. In addition to the snowparks, there’s a superpipe at Shrekford and a terrain park near the Bargelegg lift – ample proof that skiers of all levels would find thrills here.
14. Cross-Country Skiing
Some people aren’t about downhill skiing and prefer a somewhat flatter experience – I enjoy both. As I strapped on my skis, the backdrop of the Eiger and Wetterhorn peaks provided ample motivation to take on the seemingly endless tracks. The cross-country track at Grindelwald Grund, right between the Eiger Glacier and the Glacier Gorge, was the perfect place to glide through the snow and take in the awe-inspiring landscape.
Skiing by the towering Eigergletscher took my breath away as well. This phenomenal glacier creates a serene, otherworldly environment that feels almost surreal. The well-maintained tracks made my skiing experience much smoother, allowing me to focus on the enchanting surroundings rather than constantly adjusting to the terrain.
While skiing through Grindelwald, I encountered trails for all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts. This accessibility makes cross-country skiing in Grindelwald an experience for everyone – whether you are a novice or a veteran.
Sledding in the Jungfrau Region is a must-try activity when exploring this beautiful part of the Swiss Alps. As I embarked on a 13-kilometer sledding trip, the view of the Bernese Alps and the mighty north face of the Eiger captivated my attention.
The route, varying between leisurely forest passages and thrilling gradients of up to 36%, caters to adventure-seekers like me. I highly recommend the Big Pintenfritz, one of the longest sled runs in Europe, which takes you from Faulhorn through Bussalp and down to Grindelwald Oberäll, all while enjoying the scenic views of Schreckhorn, Wetterhorn, and Eiger mountains.
For those looking to experience sledding at Grindelwald terminal at its finest, I recommend getting a sledding ticket for the Eiger Run from Kleine Scheidegg. The Swiss Travel Pass covers most regional train tickets, making it an ideal way to explore Grindelwald.
During my journey, I stumbled upon the unique Velogemel, a Swiss wooden go-kart, which was an absolute blast. I highly recommend trying it out and checking out the night sledding options in the area.
16. Marmot Trail
I knew I had to explore the Marmot Trail. Nestled among the stunning alpine landscapes, this trail offered a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and witness the local wildlife, the marmots. These curious, furry squirrel family members made this trail a leisurely yet engaging experience.
I began my journey by taking a 30-minute gondola ride from Grindelwald to First. The ascending ride provided me with views of the Swiss Alps that I’ll never forget.
Upon arriving at the first station, I found the trailhead and started my hike. Along the way, I discovered informative boards about marmot behaviors and habits.
Patience paid off as I managed to catch a glimpse of a few marmots whistling nearby. They popped their heads out of the caves, cautiously examining their surroundings before darting back underground. These fascinating creatures served as a reminder that even in the imposing presence of the Swiss mountains, there was still room for life to thrive.
As I moved along the path, I was captivated by alpine meadows, wildflowers, and the incredible mountain ranges. Reaching Grosse Scheidegg, I took a moment to revel in my accomplished journey, knowing that the bus would take me back to the village at my leisure. This hiking trail has earned a special place in my global travel memories.
17. Spa Experiences
After an eventful day of so many things to do in Grindelwald, I found that unwinding and relaxing at a spa was the perfect way to recharge for more exploration. To my delight, many hotels in the village provide spa services to guests and non-guests.
I used these spa experiences to soothe my aching muscles after walking, photographing, eating, souvenir hunting, hiking, gliding, ziplining, skiing, and tobogganing. As I entered the spa, I could immediately feel the serene atmosphere and pleasant aromas designed to help me forget my tiredness.
The treatments and facilities were top-notch and provided me with the relaxation I sought. Various options, such as massages, saunas, and steam rooms, allowed me to choose the best treatments to suit my needs. I highly recommend setting aside time to pamper yourself while exploring this heavenly Swiss village and its captivating offerings.
What is Grindelwald Known For?
My journey into the history of Grindelwald, a beautifully picturesque alpine village, reveals a humble beginning from 1500 BC. At that time, several Celtic tribes settled in the area, forming the charming village we know today. As I delved deeper into its past, I discovered that Grindelwald was initially an alpine farming community in a remote location.
The village’s transformation into a bustling tourist destination began in 1818 with the opening of its first hotel. This move started Grindelwald becoming one of Switzerland’s pioneering tourist destinations. The local community often refers to the village as the Eiger Village due to its beautiful surroundings, comprised of the North Face of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn.
Grindelwald enjoys a special status in popular culture, having served as a filming location or inspiration for two highly successful movie franchises: Star Wars and James Bond. This aspect further adds to the village’s allure, making it a sought-after destination for tourists and adventurers.
As I strolled down the idyllic lanes, I admired the unique aura of the Swiss Alpine Village houses. I enjoyed the town’s vast market, shopping area, and stores featuring Swiss delicacies and souvenirs. These attractions provide visitors with a glimpse into the rich heritage and evolution of the Grindelwald community.
Segueing away from the town’s bustling center are the majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and lush alpine pastures that beckon tourists to explore and immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of Grindelwald.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the must-see sights on a Grindelwald itinerary?
There are so many things to do in Grindelwald that it’s hard to choose, but you cannot miss the First Cliff Walk, reachable via the gondola ride from Grindelwald. This thrilling suspended walkway offers breathtaking views of the alpine landscape. In addition, a visit to the Aletsch Glacier at the Sphinx Observatory atop the Jungfraujoch is a must-see.
What are the indoor activities in Grindelwald during rainy days?
When it rains in Grindelwald, I like to head indoors and explore the fascinating Jungfraujoch Ice Palace. Carved into the glacier, it houses impressive ice sculptures and offers a unique experience. Additionally, if you are a sports enthusiast, you can visit the Grindelwald Sports Center, featuring a swimming pool, ice rink, and even a bowling alley.
What are some popular nighttime attractions in Grindelwald?
For a lively Grindelwald night, I recommend grabbing a drink and mingling with locals at one of the many pubs and bars in town. If you’re a fan of live music, the Avocado Bar often hosts bands, bringing an atmosphere to the evenings. Watch for special events at Grindelwald’s hotels, as they sometimes host themed parties and concerts.
What is the best way to visit Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald?
The most scenic and enjoyable way to visit Jungfraujoch is by taking the train. From Grindelwald, you can catch a train to Kleine Scheidegg, then switch to another train that takes you to Jungfraujoch, which is accessible year-round.
Is it preferable to stay in Interlaken or Grindelwald?
Staying in Grindelwald will offer a better experience overall but is more expensive than Interlaken. This charming Swiss village offers a more intimate experience, as stunning mountains surround it and provide easier access to outdoor activities.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.