Switzerland – where to start? We have done quite a few of the peaks and it is just hands down one of the most picturesque countries. Everywhere you turn there is just amazing things to see, experience and do. You can either drive, jump on a bus or a very scenic train, whichever you choose Switzerland will leave you in awe.
The Jungfraujoch is located between the well known mountains of Mönch and Jungfrau, in the heart of Jungfrau. It is also known as the Top of Europe and has the highest railway station in Europe located 3,454 metres above sea level! The views from the top of Jungfraujoch are amazing and something we both will never forget!
Get yourself to Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken Ost. Whether you’re driving or getting the train this would be one of the easiest points to start your trek up to the Jungfrau Mountains. There is a car park at either location where you can leave your car which is what we did. We took the cog train (Bernese Oberland Railway) for the journey up to Jungfraujoch, from there you change to the Wengeralp Railway half way up to continue to the journey to the top of Europe – Jungfraujoch. Be prepared as it will be a costly day! The ticket cost approx 200 CHF ea return. The CHF to AUD is fairly similar so budget for a $280 day if you choose to eat up there and purchase some souvenirs, without food of course.
Depending where you stay you can get yourself a ‘Swiss Card’ for travellers which offers some further discounts, not dramatic but every dollar counts right? See here for more information what discounts they offer and where to obtain one.
We do recommend that you check the weather and views are best early in the morning. We travelled to Jungfrau in May so it was coming up to summer and it was fairly quiet in the morning (arrived 10am?) but once we got to the summit, there was quite a lot of people there already and apparently its quite busy regardless what season – but can you blame it? It is really beautiful, the trip up there and of course at the top! Don’t be disappointed if you arrive up top and its a bit cloudy, its a mountain so its expected. You just have to spend a bit more time and hope it’ll clear out, and as you can see from the pictures when its clear it truly is unbelievably stunning!
As there is snow up there all year round (there is a glacier afterall) it’s best to wear light, multiple layers. This way you can take off any layers as you get warm. Whilst it can be beautiful and sunny and not seem cold, once you venture into the ice cave it can get very chilly. We cannot stress enough how important it is to wear warm sturdy shoes and warm socks! There is nothing worse than cold toes! Haha.
It can get very expensive up there – the ticket alone is very costly. To make the day more manageable you can take your own lunch and drinks up there. Have your own little alpine picnic by packing some sandwiches, drinks and chocolate. However, if you wish to splurge then treat yourself to meal in one of the restaurants, it isn’t too expensive but remember it is a tourist destination after all so of course will be a little more costly than in the towns below. Don’t forget your camera, spare batteries and of course a backpack for everything else you might need to carry!
It is quite a slow journey up the mountain but nonetheless, it is gorgeous. We got off the train at Kleine Scheidegg which we mentioned above to change trains, and had some food. We all settled for a bratwurst roll with ketchup, mustard and sparkling apple juice – delicious! We embarked back on the train and continued the rest of our trip to one of the highest peaks in Europe.
Everybody disembarks the cog train to take some pictures of the Eismeer and the Eigerwand. An amazing view opens up through windows in the mountain, yes in the mountain!!
Many people complain of ear aches due to the change in air pressure, however, I can’t really say that I noticed it. Once you do get up the top you will notice the lack of oxygen! Pierre had a bit of a headache and it didn’t help that he was running around like a crazed lunatic.
Once we arrived at the top we made our way outside to look at the panoramic view in utter amazement. We had such a beautiful clear day and we were really able to appreciate the beauty of Jungfraujoch. As we were there with 4 other friends the photo opportunities lasted quite a while, in amongst snow fights, snow angels, tobogganing and diving into soft, fluffy snow.
The guys we were travelling with decided to strip off their shirts and take a photo in the freezing cold that drew quite a crowd and many other tourists stopping to take their picture. It’s one of the funniest pictures I’ve ever had to take.
We continued on exploring and ventured into the ice cave which is just amazing! I was loving it so much that I had to share my love by lying on the floor – well slipping! It was quite a graceful stack that had myself and our friends in stitches.
We sat and enjoyed lunch in the sun with our friends and promised to come back again and enjoy some activities that are on offer in summer and spring.
For next time
On our wish list for our next visit in summer/spring will be to do the such as the 800m flying fox, scooter, mountain carting and the First Cliff Walk.
If we are feeling a little adventurous – perhaps an overnight stay in a tent off one of the train stops and taking some astro shots would be amazing. No light pollution, just quiet, millions upon millions of stars and Switzerland. That sounds like a great idea!
Information on how to get there, ticketing and timetables available here direct with Jungfrau’s official site.