Towering mountains, alpine meadows, soaring cable cars, historic cogwheel trains, scenic walking trails, quaint villages and hamlets…this is the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland.
The Bernese Oberland is one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations for tourists. The massive mountains of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau dominate the landscape. Charming villages like Mürren and Gimmelwald cling to the cliffs, overlooking the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley. Cable cars whisk visitors up to the tallest mountain peaks and hiking trails connect small towns and provide amazing alpine views.
For many visitors, the Bernese Oberland is the highlight of a trip to Switzerland, and we are no different. It blew away all of our expectations, and let me tell you, our expectations were very high.
We spent six magical days exploring the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland. This area is so quintessentially Swiss, an alpine wonderland with Swiss chalets, alpine meadows, cable cars, mountain villages, and rustic farms.
This is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
What is the Bernese Oberland?
The Bernese Oberland, also called the Bernese Highlands, is a region in central Switzerland. It’s part of the canton of Bern and it encompasses a portion of the Swiss Alps, including the Jungfrau massif, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Interlaken, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, and extends west to Adelboden and Gstaad.
The Jungfrau region is a smaller portion of the Bernese Oberland. This region includes the Jungfrau massif, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Schilthorn, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, and Interlaken. The Jungfrau region is the touristy heart of the Bernese Oberland and it is where you will find everything on this list.
So, in no particular order, here are the best things to do in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland.
Best Things to do in the Jungfrau Region
Interlaken is the gateway city into the heart of the Bernese Oberland. To get to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Grindelwald, and the other small towns in the Jungfrau region, you will first pass through Interlaken.
Harder Kulm is a mountain that looms over Interlaken. From the top of Harder Kulm, you get an amazing view of the Bernese Alps, so this is a great way to start your tour of the Bernese Oberland.
A 10-minute ride on a funicular zips you up to the top of Harder Kulm for a stunning view of the Swiss Alps. Stretched out in front of you are the mountains Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau as well as views over Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
From here, you can simply enjoy the view from the lofty viewing platform, or you can dine at the restaurant or take your pick from hiking trails that start here.
Harder Kulm Funicular: The funicular station (also called the Harder railway station) is a short walk from the Interlaken Ost train station. Trains leave every 30 minutes with hours of operation roughly from 9 am to 9 pm (mid-April through November). Tickets start at 16 CHF. Click here for updated hours and pricing information.
Lauterbrunnen is small town that is nestled in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This is one of the most famous and the most picturesque towns in the Jungfrau region. Rustic houses, Swiss chalets, hotels, and restaurants all tumble together, while Staubbach Falls cascades down the sheer cliff next to the town.
Most likely, you will pass through Lauterbrunnen while traveling to Mürren, Jungfraujoch, or Schilthorn, and it is worth it to take a little extra time to stroll through town and enjoy the views.
Lauterbrunnen is also a good place to base yourself, since this is a transportation hub in the Jungfrau region.
Mürren is a small town that is perched on a cliff, overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From town, you have panoramic views of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau, the mountains that dominate the Bernese Alps. From Mürren, you get one of the best views of this mountain range.
Drone photo of Mürren.
In town, there are lots of great restaurants and hotels to choose from, as well as hiking trails, cable cars, and a funicular that connects you to other notable places in the Bernese Oberland.
On a visit to the Jungfrau region, I recommend spending at least several hours in Mürren. Have lunch or dinner at a restaurant that has an outdoor terrace with views of the Alps, go shopping, and explore the town. From Mürren, you can continue up to Schilthorn, ride the Allmendhubel Funicular, walk to Gimmelwald or Grutschalp, or dangle over the Lauterbrunnen Valley on the Mürren via ferrata.
Mürren also makes a wonderful place to stay in the Bernese Oberland. This is where we stayed and we highly recommend it. From our room at the Alpenblick Hotel, we had a spectacular view of the Swiss Alps, and it was a wonderful way to start and end our days here.
Mürren Via Ferrata
Does the idea of dangling 2000 feet above the Lauterbrunnen Valley floor interest you? How about walking across a tightrope, with nothing below you except a rushing river? Or how about walking across a wobbly, narrow, suspension bridge? If you said yes to all of these questions, then put the Mürren via ferrata on your list of things to do in the Jungfrau region.
The Mürren via ferrata is a 2.2 km journey, part via ferrata and part hiking trail. You’ll cling to a cliff, climb down steep ladders, walk on a tightrope and a suspension bridge, and (with a guide) zip line across a ravine.
View from the via ferrata.
You start in Mürren and end in Gimmelwald. This takes about 3 hours of your time and can be done with or without a guide.
Ride the Allmendhubel Funicular
The Allmendhubel funicular starts in Mürren and ascends 500 meters up to a picturesque hamlet above Mürren. Once in Allmendhubel, you have gorgeous views over Mürren and the Swiss Alps.
There is a restaurant here as well as a playground for kids, so this makes a great spot to visit if you are traveling as a family.
Ride the funicular round trip, or, if you want to be more active, you can take your pick from several walking trails. You can walk directly back down to Mürren or walk a portion of the Northface trail to get back into town.
About the Allmendhubel Funicular: The funicular runs from 9 am to 5 pm, departing every 15 minutes. Round trip tickets from Mürren cost 14 CHF and if you have the Swiss Rail Pass tickets cost 7 CHF round trip. Click here for ticket prices and the timetable (the Allmendhubel funicular does not run year round; it periodically closes for maintenance work).
Walk the Northface Trail
This trail has a little bit of everything…spectacular mountain views, small hamlets and chalets tucked away amidst the mountains, farms, flower-filled alpine meadows, and pastures filled with cows and their musical bells.
If you are looking for a walk to do with kids, this is a great one to consider. The views change frequently and with a chance to get up close with cows and goats, this trail is good at keeping kids entertained.
The Northface Trail is an easy walking trail that is done as a loop from Mürren. Along the way, you are treated to stunning views of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau as well as views over Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You also have the option to add on Sprutz waterfall.
The Northface trail is 7.4 km long and it takes about two and a half hours to hike the entire loop.
Schilthorn and Piz Gloria
Schilthorn is one of the highest peaks in the Jungfrau region and it is one of the best places to go for panoramic views of the Swiss Alps.
From Mürren, a thrilling cable car ride transports you to the top to Schilthorn. Enjoy 360° views from the mountaintop. The view from here is phenomenal and we thought that this view is better than the view you get at Jungfraujoch.
One of the best things to do while on Schilthorn is to dine at Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant. We had brunch and it was one of our favorite meals while in Switzerland. The food is good and the view is even better. This costs CHF 35 for adults and CHF 20 for kids 6 to 15 years of age.
In 1969, Schilthorn was featured in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While you are here, visit Bond World, tour the James Bond exhibits, and dine in the same restaurant featured in the movie (Piz Gloria). And make sure you visit the restrooms…I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but these are the most memorable toilets in the Jungfrau region.
Getting Here: From Mürren, you will ride a cable car to Birg and then transfer to a second cable car to Schilthorn. It costs 85.60 CHF to travel round trip from Mürren to Schilthorn. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, the journey is free. Click here for pricing. Cable cars leave every 30 minutes starting at 7:40 am in Mürren.
Birg Thrill Walk
When you travel from Mürren to Schilthorn, you will transfer cable cars at Birg. On the way up or the way down, spend 30 minutes at Birg to visit the Thrill Walk.
Steel platforms and ladders are bolted into the cliffs at Birg, giving visitors a thrilling, bird’s eye view of the Jungfrau massif. It’s included in your ticket to Schilthorn, and it is a fun, thrilling, quick add-on to an already spectacular experience.
Gimmelwald is a tiny, postcard perfect town located on the cliffs that tower over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This town is smaller, less touristy version of Mürren.
While you are here, don’t miss the Honesty Shop. If you want a short, easy walk past more farms and alpine meadows, head west out of town, past Olle & Maria’s Bed and Breakfast, into the farmland that sits west of Gimmelwald. Go as far as you like (10 minutes is enough for nice views and a wonderfully empty walking trail) and then turn around when you are ready.
Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe
A trip up to Jungfraujoch is one of the best things to do in the Jungfrau region. Stand on one of the highest points in the Swiss Alps, walk through an ice cave, play in the snow, get panoramic views over the Alps, and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte.
The only way to get to Jungfraujoch is by train. This can take several hours, depending upon your starting point. It’s also very expensive, with round trip journeys costing as much as 200 CHF per person, depending upon your starting point.
Learn more about how to visit Jungfraujoch, and if it is worth it, in our article A Visit to Jungfraujoch…Is It Worth It?
Kleine Scheidegg is a high mountain pass that is located next to Jungfrau and Eiger.
If you have plans to visit Jungfraujoch, you will pass through Kleine Scheidegg. Trains from Grindelwald, Wengen, and Lauterbrunnen drop off passengers at the railway station here. This is where you transfer onto the Jungfraubahn, the final leg of the journey up to Jungfraujoch.
Because of its location high up in the mountains, you have wonderful views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and Gimmelwald.
Kleine Scheidegg with Jungfrau in the background.
Several hiking trails start and end here, including the very popular Männlichen Panorama Trail and the Jungfrau Eiger Walk, which connects Eigergletscher with Kleine Scheidegg.
Männlichen and the Panorama Trail
Männlichen is a mountain located in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland. From the peak of Männlichen, you are rewarded with some of the most spectacular views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley (the cover photo of this post was taken from Männlichen).
The walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is one of the most popular hikes in the Jungfrau region. This easy, mostly downhill trail offers spectacular views of the mountain peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
This hike is suitable for all ages and ability levels. It’s perfect for families, travelers with limited time who want to do a short, memorable hike, and those who want jaw-dropping views with minimal effort.
The Panorama Trail is 4.4 km long (2.75 miles) and if you start in Männlichen, it is a downhill walk to Kleine Scheidegg. This is an easy walk that takes about an hour and a half of your time.
The Eiger Trail
The Eiger Trail is another short but sweet hike in the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland. This point-to-point hike follows the north face of the Eiger mountain. Along the way, you get jaw-dropping views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and also down to Grindelwald.
This was one of our favorite hikes in the region. We liked this more than the Panorama Trail (mentioned above), but you really can’t go wrong with either one. The views are unbeatable, it is mostly a downhill walk so you don’t have to be super fit to hike this trail, and it can be easily added onto a visit to Jungfraujoch or Kleine Scheidegg.
This hike is 7 km (4.5 miles) long and, like the Panorama Trail, is an overall downhill walk. The Eiger Trail is slightly more strenuous than the Panorama Trail.
Learn More: How to Hike the Eiger Trail
Paragliding is one of the most thrilling things you can do in the Bernese Oberland. There are numerous companies that offer tandem paragliding, leaving from Interlaken or Mürren. It’s a bit pricey, coming in at around CHF 200, but what a view you will have!
First Cliff Walk
In Birg, you have the Thrill Walk. In First, you have the Cliff Walk.
This is very similar to the Birg Thrill walk, with metal platforms that are bolted onto the cliffs. You will walk on suspended platforms and narrow bridges, with views of Grindelwald in the valley below.
It’s a nice view, but if you only have time for one cliff walk experience, the Birg Thrill Walk is the winner. The Birg Thrill Walk is more impressive, since you are at a much higher elevation and you are looking directly at the mighty Jungfrau massif.
However, while in First, you can also fly like a bird or zip-line on the First Flyer or First Glider for a quick thrill. Or, ride go-karts downhill on a wide gravel path. The First Cliff Walk is free to visit but you will have to pay to ride the zip-lines and go-karts.
Bachalpsee is a very pretty alpine lake that is just a short walk from First. This is a popular, easy day hike that’s great for families and people of all ages. From First, follow the wide gravel trail and the signs to Bachalpsee. It is 6 km round trip and takes about 2 hours.
This is the view of Bachalpsee when hiking from Faulhorn to First.
Schynige Platte is mountain ridge in the Jungfrau region. To get here, you will ride the cogwheel train from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte. This is a scenic, historic railway that has been in operation since 1893. It takes 52 minutes to get to Schynige Platte, but along the way you have beautiful views of Lake Brienz, Interlaken, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
The view from Schynige Platte.
Once in Schynige Platte, there are several ways to fill your time. Visit the Botanical Alpine Garden, walk the Swiss Flower or Panorama Trails, and kids can play at the alpine playground. There is also a restaurant and hotel here.
Getting Here: From Wilderswil, ride the Schynige Platte Railway to Schynige Platte. This costs 32 CHF one-way. The train is in operation from June 8 to October 27.
Hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First
The hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First is a big day hike in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, but what a spectacular day. A scenic ride on a cogwheel train, alpine lakes, rustic mountain huts, snow-covered trails, and some of the best views of Swiss Alps…these are just a few highlights of this exciting hike.
With views of the Jungfrau massif, Lake Brienz, and numerous alpine lakes, this is often labeled as one of the best day hikes to do in the Jungfrau region.
The most popular way to do this hike is to start in Schynige Platte and end in First. Once in First, add on the First Cliff Walk before riding the gondola down to Grindelwald. This is a great way to spend one day in the Bernese Oberland if you enjoy hiking.
This hike is 16 km (10 miles) long with 860 meters (2820 feet) of elevation gain, so it’s a strenuous hike.
Journey Behind Trummelbach Falls
Glacier melt from Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau drains down into this cavern, forming a series of waterfalls located entirely within a mountain.
Trummelbach Falls is an immensely powerful waterfall, carrying up to 20,000 liters of water per second. The water thunders through these caverns and is almost deafening.
To visit Trummelbach Falls, you will ride an elevator to the upper levels and then walk on a series of staircases to different viewing platforms. It’s loud, it’s chilly (even in the summer months), and you could get wet.
If it is a rainy day, this is one of the best things to do in the Jungfrau region.
Cost: CHF 11
Hours: From April to early November, 9 am to 5 pm, with longer hours in July and August. Click here for updated hours and pricing.
Getting Here: You can walk here from Stechelberg or Lauterbrunnen (20 – 30 minutes one-way) or take the public bus that runs through Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Hike the Hardergrat Trail
The Hardergrat Trail is one of the most famous day hikes in Switzerland and some people say that it is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. This is a tough day hike and for part of the way, the trail follows along a very narrow ridge. With drop-offs and brief sections of rock scrambling, this is a dangerous hike and only recommended for those with a high level of physical fitness and lots of hiking experience.
This was a hike that was recommended to us, but we had to skip it, since Kara was recovering from an injury and was not able to do a massive day hike. But it looks amazing so I couldn’t leave it out of this post. You can read more about it here and we hope to do this on our next visit to Switzerland.
If you have done this hike and would like to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below!
See Them All on a Map
Here are the best things to do in the Jungfrau region on a map.
How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
More Information for Your Trip to Switzerland:
- How to Visit Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus in One Perfect Day
- Lugano, Switzerland: What to Do, Where to Eat, and Where to Stay
- How to Visit Gornergrat and Hike to Riffelberg in Zermatt
- How to Visit Ponte dei Salti in the Verzasca Valley
Read all of our articles about Switzerland in our Switzerland Destination Guide.
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