The Jungfrau summit is one of the most famous peaks in the Swiss Alps. It has an elevation of about 4000 meters or 13,000 feet. It used to be fairly difficult to access well, until 1912 when Switzerland built the world’s highest elevation cogwheel railway which takes you up to about 11,000 feet. And once you’re at the top, there’s a lot of neat stuff to do.
The Jungfrau is a pricey attraction. It can be a hundred, to a hundred and fifty Swiss franks depending upon where you’re coming from. But I think it’s really worth it. A lot of people, including Rick Steves say it’s too manufactured for them, but let me tell you, I enjoy this manufactured platform that I can view the amazing view from. Otherwise I’d have to be like an ice climber and climb up this mountain. Which I never would.
If you’re coming to Switzerland the Jungfrau is a must see for the natural beauty and splendor. It is truly amazing. Most trips to the the Jungfrau will start at Interlaken Ost. It’s a station at the bottom of the valley. There’s a few different ways to work your way up to the top ultimately to the Jungfraujoch or the saddle that’s in between the two mountains. In this video I’ll be going up the way by Wengen. You can also go up via Grindelwald. And you can also make it a circle trip. You can go up one way and then down the other.
The beginning of the journey up to the Jungfrau, you take the cogwheel train. It’ll come up from Lauterbrunnen, and it stops in Wengen. And then it goes up to the station where you take the main train to actually go up to the Jungfrau. This train is kinda cool because it’s a cogwheel train. You can actually see there’s a track in the middle of it that has all these spikes on it that has the wheel so this train can be really steep. And I’ll tell you, the train is really loud. And what’s interesting is, the windows you can actually put your hand outside you get fresh air coming in which is really great on a day when it’s probably not too hot.
There’s a really popular travel quote that says, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” And this is one of those trips that it really is the journey. I mean the destination’s cool, but the views on the journey are epic. So enjoy the views on the train ride. Have your camera at the ready.
Any way that you’re going up, you’ll eventually arrive at this station Kleine Scheidegg. From here, there’s just a single track that takes you all the way to the top. If you have a seat reservation, there’s a special line you go in. You scan your barcode and then you get on the train. I think some of the best views are the seats on the right side of the train because that’s where you can see the big snowy mountain up there. It’s really odd to be in a place that has green grass and looking up at some place that looks really cold like glaciers might be up there. But this train, pretty comfy. The windows open here too. I’m guessing it’s gonna get pretty cold though. This portion of the train ride is definitely less scenic than the last one. A big portion of this is inside of a tunnel making it also Europe’s highest elevation subway. There’s a nice screen inside the train that shows you where the train is at any given time. How long it is between stops.
But then we get off here at the first stop inside the tunnel. 11 minutes from the top is the Ice Maher station. It’s got panoramic views of the snow. You only get five minutes for you gotta rush back on the train. After briefly admiring that view, it’s back on the train to finally arrive at Jungfraujoch. The final train station. Total travel time Interlaken to here, about two hours. And when you get here, you’ll be in a vast tunnel complex. This is definitely underground.
The different facilities at the Jungfrau are connected via these underground tunnels. You come in and it’s the restaurant complex. The tunnel will take you out to a lot of the outdoor activities. One of the coolest places at the Jungfrau is at the high climate altitude research station. This is the Sphinx Terrace. It’s an altitude of 11,782 feet. From up here you can see snow and what looks like to be a big glacier, in this direction. You can see down into the valley where there’s no snow. You can see the snow tubing and the snow hiking paths. I will say why you’re up here be careful not to drop anything small because it’s open grating and that is a long way down.
Just below the Sphinx Observatory and above the Ice Palace is the Plateau. Named because it’s a big plateau. Some cool Swiss flags right there. The square ones. And this is the best place you’re gonna get your view of the Jungfrau unobstructed.
Do make sure to check the weather before you come. On a clear day the views are amazing. But as you can see, this big cloud mass is moving in. Pretty soon it’s going to be cloudy, and the views will be of clouds. And now about times coming up here. You should come up here early or late. So wake up early. Get the early cheaper trains. Or plan to stay late. Maybe take the last train down. It’s not such a bad idea