A trip up to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular things to do in the Bernese Oberland. 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. In this guide, we cover what you need to know about how to visit Jungfraujoch and have the best experience.
This high alpine experience has a huge price tag. Also called the Top of Europe, there is a lot of marketing and advertising to make you, as a tourist, feel like this something you must do. And it’s working. Jungfraujoch is getting to be a very crowded experience, especially in the summer months.
To be perfectly honest, I had no burning desire to visit Jungfraujoch. We went only because it seemed like something we should do. How could we, as travel bloggers, spend six days in the Jungfrau region and not visit Jungfraujoch? Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised and really did enjoy our visit.
But even so, is it worth the expense?
In this article, I will let you know how to visit Jungfraujoch, what to expect when you are here, give you tips to have the best experience, and give you our opinion whether or not a visit here really is worth it.
Interesting Facts about Jungfraujoch
In the Jungfrau region of Switzerland, there are three famous peaks: Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch. The translation of Jungfraujoch is Jungfrau saddle. Essentially, you will visit the part of the mountain range that connects Jungfrau with Mönch, so you won’t actually stand on the top of Jungfrau.
The view from Kleine Scheidegg of the Jungfraubahn before it enters the tunnel | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch is the location of the highest train station in Europe. Construction of the railway began in 1896 and was all done by manual labor: pick axes, shovels, and human labor. It took sixteen years to complete the railway, officially opening in 1912. Jungfraujoch was given the name Top of Europe, now that it was an alpine tourist destination easily accessible by train.
Now, the name Top of Europe is a bit of a misnomer. The elevation at Jungfraujoch is 3454 meters. If you also have plans to visit Zermatt, you can visit Glacier Paradise, which sits at an elevation of 3883 meters. That is 429 meters higher than Jungfraujoch.
Jungfraujoch is also the location of the highest post office in Europe.
How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Next we cover everything you need to know about how to visit Jungfraujoch, from ticket prices, to how to get to Jungfraujoch, and what you can do once you are here.
How to Get to Jungfraujoch
The only way to get to Jungfraujoch is by train. And you will take a series of trains or gondolas to get here. This can take several hours, depending upon your starting point.
Train and trail map of the Jungfrau region | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
First, you will have to get to Kleine Scheidegg or Eigergletscher. There is a new gondola, the Eiger Express, that connects Grindelwald (station: Grindelwald Terminal) with Eigergletscher. Eigergletscher sits just above Kleine Scheidegg.
If you start in Wengen, you will travel through Kleine Scheidegg. If you start in Grindelwald you will go directly to Eigergletscher, bypassing Kleine Scheidegg. If you start in Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, or Gimmelwald, you can go through Kleine Scheidegg or Grindelwald. Those coming from Interlaken, Zürich, and Lucerne will also travel through Grindelwald, as this is faster than taking the train to Lauterbrunnen and continuing on to Kleine Scheidegg.
Travel Routes to Jungfraujoch:
Here are the routes and travel time estimates for the towns in the Jungfrau region. If you are arriving in Eigergletscher from Kleine Scheidegg, you will transfer trains and this takes about 12 minutes. You can also see the full timetable here.
Wengen Option #1: train from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg: 22 minutes; Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch (with a transfer at Eigergletscher): 44 minutes; Total time including transfers: 1 hour 25 minutes
Wengen Option #2: train from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen: 13 minutes; train to Zweilütschinen: 9 minutes; train to Grindelwald Terminal: 17 minutes; Eiger Express to Eigergletscher: 10 minutes; train to Jungfraujoch: 26 minutes; Total time including transfers: 1 hour and 58 minutes. This route has a longer overall time and many more transfers, but the advantage is the earlier arrival time at Jungfraujoch. If you want to be on the first train to Jungfraujoch, you will have to travel this route (based on my research in June 2022).
Lauterbrunnen Option #1: train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg (through Wengen): 38 minutes; Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch (with a transfer at Eigergletscher): 44 minutes; Total time including transfers: 1 hour 41 minutes
Lauterbrunnen Option #2: train to Zweilütschinen: 9 minutes; train to Grindelwald Terminal: 17 minutes; Eiger Express to Eigergletscher: 10 minutes; train to Jungfraujoch: 26 minutes; Total time including transfers: 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Mürren: train Mürren to Grutschalp: 13 minutes; cable car Grutschalp to Lauterbrunnen: 4 minutes; train to Zweilütschinen: 9 minutes; train to Grindelwald Terminal: 17 minutes; Eiger Express to Eigergletscher: 10 minutes; train to Jungfraujoch: 26 minutes; Total time including transfers: 2 hours and 5 minutes
Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch: Eiger Express to Eigergletscher: 20 minutes; Eigergletscher to Jungfraujoch on the Jungfraubahn: 26 minutes; Total time including transfers: 56 minutes
Interlaken Ost to Jungfraujoch: Train Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald: 29 minutes; Eiger Express to Eigergletscher: 20 minutes; Eigergletscher to Jungfraujoch on the Jungfraubahn: 26 minutes; Total time including transfers: 1 hour 36 minutes
Note: You can also travel from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch through Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg, but it is a longer journey (2 hours and 6 minutes vs. 1 hour and 36 minutes).
PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you take the train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, sit on the right side of the train for the best views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
The view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley on the train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg.
Once in Kleine Scheidegg you will board the train that goes to Jungfraujoch (called the Jungfraubahn). The first train of the day to Jungfraujoch leaves Kleine Scheidegg at 8 am.
Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraubahn | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
What We Did
We stayed in Mürren. To get to Jungfraujoch, we took the train from Mürren to Grutschalp, a cable car to Lauterbrunnen, a train to Kleine Scheidegg, and the train to Jungfraujoch. This journey took us 2 hours. We departed Mürren on the 6:36 am train and arrived in Jungfraujoch at 8:35 am.
We booked our tickets the day before at the train station in Mürren. To get an early start, we booked the first train of the day to Jungfraujoch.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Jungfraujoch?
Tickets to Jungfraujoch are expensive.
Round trip tickets from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch cost CHF 156 in the high season (June 1 to August 31). You will also have to purchase tickets to get from your starting point to Kleine Scheidegg. This could cost an additional 50 to 90 CHF depending on where you are staying.
If you are starting in Grindelwald, round trip tickets from Grindelwald Terminal to Jungfraujoch cost CHF 221 in the high season (if you start in Grindelwald, you do not go through Kleine Scheidegg, since you take the Eiger Express to Eigergletscher).
So, without any discounts, a round trip journey to Jungfraujoch can cost at least 200 CHF per person. In US dollars, that’s just about $200.
For ticket prices and timetables, visit the official Jungfraujoch website.
Fortunately, there are ways to get cheaper tickets.
What to Expect on a Visit to Jungfraujoch
Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch
It takes 35 minutes to travel from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch. Most of this ride is in a dark tunnel. It also gets chilly on the train, even in the summer, as you gain elevation.
Just before arriving in Jungfraujoch, the train stops for a five-minute break and your first view of the snowy Alps. You can get off the train and walk to a viewing area for a view of the Aletsch Glacier. The view is just OK and you will get a better view of the glacier once at Jungfraujoch.
The Jungfraujoch train station is located inside the tunnel. From here, it’s just a short walk to the main building.
ABOUT THE ELEVATION: You are now at an elevation of 3454 meters (11,300 feet) and most likely you will feel the effects. You will get out of breath easily and could even feel a little light-headed. Altitude sickness is very rare, especially with such a short visit, but does occasionally happen to visitors here. Signs of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, and vomiting, so if you begin to experience any of these symptoms, make sure you let a staff member know.
8 Things to do on Jungfraujoch
1. Main Building
Your visit starts in the main complex, a multi-story building with restaurants and shops. Your visit will also end here, so you can save the shopping for later.
There are blue “Tour” signs that direct you where to go. Basically, you will do one big loop through the tunnels in the mountain, visiting the attractions along the way.
In the main complex, there are several restaurants. The first thing we did was eat breakfast at the self-serve restaurant.
2. Jungfrau Panorama
The first thing you come to is the Jungfrau Panorama, a 4-minute 360° cinematic experience.
3. Sphinx Terrace
Ride the elevator up to the Sphinx Terrace for one of the best views of the day. From here, at an elevation of 3571 meters, you get panoramic views over the Alps. You also get to see the Aletsch Glacier, which is the longest glacier in Europe.
It’s cold here, even in the summer. We were wearing hats, gloves, hiking pants, a short and a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket and we were still cold.
Sphinx Terrace | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
The Aletsch Glacier.
View of Jungfrau from the Sphinx Terrace | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
View of the trail to Mönchsjochhütte.
4. Aletsch Glacier
Ride the elevator back down to the underground tunnel and walk out to the Aletsch Glacier. You can simply walk out onto the snow for closer views of the glacier take your pick from activities here to do.
Snow Fun Park
Go snow tubing, zip lining, skiing, or snowboarding. All of these activities come at an additional cost. Click here for prices.
You can also try to get a hole in one at the Omega driving range. For 10 CHF you get 3 attempts to get a hole in one. Learn more here.
Hike out to Mönchsjochhütte
The trail from the main complex out to Mönchsjochhütte may look short and easy, but it takes 45 minutes to walk this distance (2.4 km one-way). And it’s worth it.
This was our favorite experience at Jungfraujoch.
To get to Mönchsjochhütte, it is an uphill walk on a well-groomed snow trail. It looks easy in photos, but at this elevation, it’s more challenging than you might expect. Small hills take your breath away. In the summer, as the sun warms up the snow, it can get slushy which makes walking more difficult.
But the views over the Aletsch Glacier are magnificent. It really feels like you are walking on top of the world.
Hiking to Mönchsjochhütte | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Trail to Mönchsjochhütte | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Once at Mönchsjochhütte, enjoy the view. It’s warm and cozy inside of the hut. This would be a nice place to get a warm drink and a snack. Or, if you are here midday, consider having lunch.
The walk back is much easier. Now, you have views of the Sphinx Observatory and the peak of Jungfrau.
The view of the Aletsch Glacier from the hiking trail | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Plan on this hike taking 1.5 to 2 hours, longer if you plan to get a drink or a meal at the mountain hut.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Don’t forget your sunglasses! On a sunny day, the snow is literally blinding in its brightness. Tim unfortunately lost his sunglasses earlier in the morning and Kara left hers at home. To shield their eyes, they had to pull their hats down over their eyes.
5. Alpine Sensation
You will enter the tunnel system again and walk a short distance to the Alpine Sensation. This colorful, slightly cheesy display is geared towards young kids. There is also a display about the history of the construction of the railway.
Alpine Sensation | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
6. Ice Palace
This is a cool experience, in more ways than one. Carved out from the glacier are tunnels and ice sculptures. You literally walk on a sheet of ice as you view the sculptures.
Inside the Ice Palace | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
This area is kept at a very chilly -3°C, so you will need those hats and gloves in here.
7. Glacier Plateau
Step back outside one more time for another amazing view of Jungfrau and the Alps. Have your photo taken with the Swiss flag.
View of Jungfrau | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
Glacier Plateau | How to Visit Jungfraujoch
8. Back Inside the Main Building
One inside the main complex, there are souvenir shops where you can spend more of your money.
At Lindt Chocolate Heaven, you can learn about how chocolate is made. There are also numerous shops selling the typical Swiss souvenirs: watches, pocket knives, key chains, and snow globes.
From here, it’s a short walk back to the train station.
How Much Time Do You Need at Jungfraujoch?
Two hours is the bare minimum. This gives you enough time to do the full tour, minus the Snow Park and the walk to Mönchsjochhütte.
If you want to include the walk to Mönchsjochhütte, give yourself at least four hours here.
If you plan on snow tubing or zip lining at the Snow Park, you could spend most of the day at Jungfraujoch.
What We Did: We arrived at 8:35 am. The first thing we did was catch a quick bite to eat at the self-service restaurant. Then, we did the tour of Jungfraujoch, including the walk to Mönchsjochhütte. We ate lunch at the same self-service restaurant (the food is decent and the prices are reasonable) and then took the 12:13 departure train from Jungfraujoch.
From Jungfraujoch, we did not immediately go back to Mürren. We got off at the first stop, Eigergletscher, and hiked the Eiger Trail to Alpiglen. This was our favorite experience of the day. In the late afternoon, we also hiked the Panorama Trail between Männlichen and Kleine Scheidegg, and this is another great hike to add on to your day.
To see the full itinerary, with more information about how to arrange your transportation, read our One Day in the Jungfrau Region Itinerary.
The Eiger Trail
On the Panorama Trail to Männlichen
Is Jungfraujoch Worth It?
All in all, it’s a great experience. You get to see stunning alpine views and the Aletsch Glacier, which is located in the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ride a train to Europe’s highest train station, hike through the snow out to the charming Mönchsjochhütte, and even go zip lining or snow tubing.
I enjoyed this visit a lot more than I thought I would.
However, it’s not for everyone.
It feels touristy and commercialized. Some people who visit Jungfraujoch say that it is very overrated and over-priced for what you get.
This is a very expensive excursion and for some people, it may be more money than you are willing to spend.
A visit to Jungfraujoch is worth it if:
- You want to see spectacular alpine views.
- Riding a historic railway interests you.
- You come from a climate where you typically don’t get to see snow.
- You want to visit one of the highest points in the Swiss Alps (without mountain climbing).
A visit to Jungfraujoch is not worth it if:
- You dislike the idea of spending 3 to 4 hours on a train.
- The weather is bad.
- You don’t like crowded touristy sites.
- Spending a small fortune for this experience sounds ridiculous to you.
You can have an amazing experience in the Bernese Oberland without ever setting foot on Jungfraujoch. Ride the cable cars to Schilthorn, Birg, Grutschalp, First, or Männlichen for stunning views. Hike the Eiger Trail or hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg for jaw-dropping views of Eiger and Jungfrau. Have dinner in Mürren at a restaurant with views of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau (the view is incredible!). If you want a truly thrilling experience, go paragliding or climb the Mürren via ferrata.
If Jungfraujoch is more money than you want to spend but you still want high alpine views in the Bernese Oberland, consider a visit to Schilthorn instead. The views are spectacular and the visit is cheaper than it is to Jungfraujoch. You don’t get to see much snow in the summer, but it’s a thrilling cable car ride to get here.
A visit to Jungfraujoch rounds out the entire Bernese Oberland experience. You get to play in the snow, see the Aletsch Glacier, and get to stand on one of the highest, most easily accessible places in Europe. If all of this sounds great to you, then a visit to Jungfraujoch is definitely worth it.
For us, it was worth it, and I’m very glad we did it.
Helpful Tips for Visiting Jungfraujoch
Visit Jungfraujoch on a clear day. Watch the weather and pick the clearest day to visit Jungfraujoch. If it’s a cloudy day, you might as well stay in bed and pull the covers over your head, because you’ll get the same view. Check the weather forecast here.
The weather is generally clear in the morning. Clouds tend to move in later in the day.
Want to see the view at Jungfraujoch? Click here for a live view from the webcam.
When you purchase your tickets, make a seat reservation. There are two lines to board the train in Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch: those with seat reservations and those without seat reservations. If you have a seat reservation for the 12 pm train to leave Jungfraujoch, you will get on that train. Without a seat reservation, you wait in line for available seats, and this line can be very long in the afternoon. Without a seat reservation, you might have to wait for several trains to arrive before you get a seat.
Tickets to Jungfraujoch are non-refundable. Be absolutely sure of your travel plans before purchasing these tickets.
Purchase your tickets in advance. On a clear day, tickets can sell out, especially for the morning trains. Purchase your tickets 1 to 2 days in advance.
Bring hats, gloves, and lots of layers, even in the summer. Wear sunscreen. And don’t forget your sunglasses!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best things to do on Jungfraujoch?
Our favorite experience on Jungfraujoch was hiking out to Mönchsjochhütte. Walking on the snow while having stunning views of the Aletsch Glacier make this one of the best things to do at Jungfraujoch. Other highlights include the view from the Sphinx Terrace, taking photos at the Glacier Plateau, and visiting the Ice Palace.
How long does a visit to Jungfraujoch last?
A typical visit lasts 2 to 4 hours. With 2 hours, you can do the Blue Tour through the main complex. With four hours, you can tour the main complex and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte. If you want to go snow tubing or zip-lining, add on another 1 to 2 hours.
What is the best time of day to visit Jungfraujoch?
The best time to visit Jungfraujoch is first thing in the morning. At this time, the weather is generally clearer and crowds are lower than midday and in the afternoon. Ideally, book the first train of the day, on the clearest weather day of your visit to the Jungfrau region.
Which is better, Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn?
We liked the Schilthorn experience more than the Jungfraujoch experience. Schilthorn is cheaper and less crowded, the cable car ride to get there is more scenic and thrilling, you can dine at a rotating restaurant, the view is better, and you can easily add on the Birg Thrill Walk for one of the best views in the Bernese Oberland. Get the full comparison in our article Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn, Which One Should You Visit?
Which is better, Jungfraujoch or Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the highest cable car station in Europe. At 3,883 meters, it is significantly higher than Jungfraujoch (3,454 meters), despite Jungfraujoch being called the “Top of Europe.” A visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is cheaper than Jungfraujoch. At Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, you get 360° views of the Swiss Alps, a unique view of the Matterhorn, and the chance to go skiing in the summer and hike to the summit of Breithorn. Of the two, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise was our favorite, since it had less crowds and the cable car rides to get to it are beautiful.
Tours of Jungfraujoch
If you want to take the hassle out of planning your visit to Jungfraujoch, consider joining one of these tours.
Do you have any questions about how to visit Jungfraujoch? If you have been here, do you think it’s worth it? Let us know in the comment section below.
More Places to Go in Switzerland:
JUNGFRAU REGION OF THE BERNESE OBERLAND: What exactly is the Jungfrau region? Find out in our Guide to the Jungfrau Region, which includes maps and important travel planning information. We also have articles about the best things to do in the Jungfrau region as well as the top hikes in the Jungfrau region. The Mürren via ferrata and Schynige Platt to First are thrilling hikes to put on your list.
SCHILTHORN: Schilthorn is another alpine experience in the Jungfrau region. It’s cheaper, the views are better, and you can easily add on the Birg Thrill Walk.
ZERMATT: In Zermatt, don’t miss the hike from Gornergrat to Riffelberg. For more ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Zermatt. For more alpine views, learn how to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (and find out if it is worth it) and how to climb to the summit of Breithorn.
LUCERNE: Learn how to spend one perfect day in Lucerne with a trip to Mt. Pilatus.
SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to Zermatt is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary, which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our 10 Days in Europe itinerary guide, which has 10 great itineraries for your next trip to Europe.
Read all of our articles about Switzerland in our Switzerland Travel Guide.
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