This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
Nestled in the mountains of Switzerland is the famous Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest train station at 11,332 ft (3,454 m). Known as the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch is located in the canton of Bern, a nature lover’s dream with towering mountains, vast glaciers, scenic walking trails, and storybook villages. The area is so unique that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site, meaning it is protected for its significance. At the heart of the Jungfrau region is the Aletsch Glacier, which has been the subject of exploration since 1841 and is one of the world’s most researched and visited glaciers today with over 1,000,000 visitors per year.
Jungfraujoch got its start from Swiss entrepreneur, Adolf Guyer-Zeller, when he proposed building a railway line to Sphinx, now the observation deck. Construction started in 1896 and lasted 16 years before it was completed. The station is only the beginning of this unique experience, as the railway ends inside the mountain, stopping just feet away from an unforgiving stone wall. Jungfraujoch calls adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.
There is a wide array of activities when visiting Jungfraujoch:
Scenic Train Ride
Traveling to Jungfraujoch is a journey in itself. Visitors are captivated by awe-inspiring mountains and picturesque valleys as a cogwheel train winds through the mountains with glimpses of steep cliffs and surging waterfalls.
Sphinx Observation Deck and Aletsch Glacier
The Sphinx Observatory is an international research station and one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world at 11,716 ft (3,571 m). Although the research center is not available to the public, guests can visit the observation deck for a 360-degree view of the neighboring mountain peaks and Aletsch Glacier on a clear day. The glacier is over 13.5 miles (22 km) long and is surrounded by panoramic mountain peaks including Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger.
In the 1930s, mountain guides created walkways through Aletsch Glacier using pickaxes. These hallways have morphed into works of art today, with animals and other figures carved entirely out of ice.
The Alpine Sensation is located between the Ice Palace and Sphinx Hall and takes a look at the history of Jungfraujoch through images. Along the corridor is 40 plaques that take a look at the workers that dedicated 16 years of their lives to the construction of Jungfraujoch, including 30 that lost their lives.
The Jungfrau Panorama gives a 360-degree experience of Jungfrau so even if the weather is cloudier than expected, you can still experience the views of Jungfrau.
The Glacier Plateau at Jungfraujoch is an extensive, picturesque area of snow and ice. It is part of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. The Glacier Plateau offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness the stunning beauty of the alpine landscape.
Depending on the weather, this area can also prove just how unrelenting the landscape is, too. When I stepped out onto the Plateau, the wind was so strong that I could only spend a few minutes in the area.
If you want to add some more adventure to your Jungfraujoch experience, a hike to Mönchsjoch Hut will do it. Mönchsjoch Hut is the highest-altitude serviced hut in Switzerland and is only accessible via a 2.5-mile round-trip hike at 11,970 feet (3,650 meters).
The newest addition to Jungfraujoch is the tri-cable gondola, Eiger Express. This gondola is the fastest route to Eigergletscher Station from Grindelwald Station, with a total travel time of 15 minutes rather than the usual 60 minutes by train. Pictured is the Eismeer Train Station inside Eiger Mountain.
Lindt Swiss Chocolate Shop
Jungfraujoch has its very own Lindt Swiss Chocolate store where visitors can shop a wide variety of specialty chocolates. Do note that the chocolates are extremely expensive at this location but you may be able to score a small free sample.
Snow Fun Park
The Snow Fun Park at Jungfraujoch is open from mid-May through mid-October and includes the tyrolienne (zipline), snow tubing, sledding, and skiing/snowboarding. This is a separate ticket from Jungfraujoch, and as of 2023, the day ticket that includes all activities costs CHF 45( USD) for adults and CHF 30 ( USD) for children. Rental equipment is not included in this price. For the most up-to-date information regarding the Snow Fun Park, visit skiwengen.ch.
How To Get To Jungfraujoch
While it is true that Jungfraujoch can be pricey, there are ways to reach this destination on a budget. The first, and probably most popular, is the Swiss Travel Pass which gives pass holders unlimited access to the Swiss Travel network, free entry to over 500 museums and exhibits across Switzerland, and discounts to major destinations such as Jungfraujoch.
Most visitors start their journey in Interlaken, pictured above, which is the adventure capital of Switzerland. The Swiss Travel Pass includes travel to either Wengen or Grindelwald if taking the cogwheel train, or Eiger Express if taking the Fast Track route, then a 25% discount for the remaining journey to Jungfraujoch. Visitors have the option to take the Fast Track Eiger Express (gondola) or the Traditional Route via the rack railway (Grindelwald Terminal WAB). The Eiger Express is the most cost-friendly option since the various travel passes include the gondola ride and you can start your Joungfraujoch journey at Eiger Glacier rather than Grindelwald.
The regular cost of the Eiger Glacier-Jungfraujoch route is CHF 150 (165 USD) round-trip. With the Swiss Travel Pass, this route is reduced to CHF 112.60 (124 USD). However, if you start in Grindelwald you can experience both the Eiger Express and cogwheel train by taking the railway on the way up and the gondola back down, or vice versa. The regular price from Grindelwald is CHF 222 or about 245 USD, whereas the Swiss Travel Pass knocks the price to CHF 164.40 or 180 USD.
Jungfraujoch is also discounted if you have the Eurail/Interrail Pass or the HalfFare Travelcard. For example, the Eiger Glacier-Jungfraujoch route is CHF 112.60 with the Eurail/Interrail Pass and CHF 75 with the Half-Faire Travelcard. Personally, I found the Swiss Travel Pass to be the best option, expense-wise, with how I traveled through Switzerland. Below is a comparison of the different passes and here is an Excel workbook where you can calculate what pass makes the most sense depending on the routes you plan to take, thanks to MySwissAlps.com.
The Swiss Travel Pass is offered in 3-15 day increments and ranges in price from CHF 232 to CHF 675 (255 USD to 741 USD) for adults, with first or second-class options. This pass allows for free transportation on trains, buses, boats, and mountain railways. There is also a Flex Pass option that allows you to flex the days within a month. If you are under 25, Swiss Travel Youth Passes are discounted by 30%.
If you visit Jungfraujoch in the shoulder season, before June 1 and after August 31, tickets are reduced slightly. If visiting in the shoulder season, a seat reservation is not necessary.
If you are only visiting this one area of Switzerland, consider the Jungfrau Travel Pass which ranges from CHF 190 for 3 days to CHF 310 for 8 days of validity for adults (208 USD – 340 USD). Children 6-15 years old are charged a flat rate of CHF 30 (33 USD) no matter the length of validity. With this pass, Jungfraujoch is discounted to CHF 63-75 (69-82 USD) depending on the time of year.
One last option is the Berner Oberland Pass, which includes travel for the entire Bernese Oberland and a discounted price of CHF 99 for Jungfraujoch. This pass ranges from CHF 230 to CHF 504 (253 USD to 553 USD) for 3 to 10 days of validity for adults, with first or second-class options. Children are again charged a flat rate of CHF 30 (33 USD) no matter the length of validity.
Here is a look at the costs of a 3-days with a visit to Jungfraujoch using the Swiss Travel Pass, Jungfrau Travel Pass, and Berner Oberland Pass:
Swiss Travel Pass (3-Days, Second-Class) CHF 232 (255 USD)
Jungfraujoch Journey from Eiger Glacier with Swiss Travel Pass Discount CHF 112.60 (124 USD)
Total: CHF 344.60 (379 USD)
Jungfrau Travel Pass (3-Days, Second-Class) CHF 190 (209 USD)
Jungfraujoch Journey from Eiger Glacier wtih Jungfrau Travel Pass CHF 75 (82 USD) from June 1 – August 31 and CHF 63 (69 USD) the remainder of the year
Total: CHF 265 (291 USD)
Berner Oberland Pass (3-Days, Second-Class) CHF 230 (253 USD)
Jungfraujoch Journey from Eiger Glacier with Berner Oberland Pass CHF 99 (109 USD)
Total: CHF 329 (362 USD)
The pass that makes sense for you will depend on how long you are staying in Switzerland and if you are traveling extensively through the country or sticking to this area. I recommend finding all the routes you plan to take, then referencing the Rail Pass Calculation spreadsheet available here.
Jungfraujoch is open year-round and offers visitors an unforgettable experience of the Swiss Alps, from the breathtaking cogwheel train ride to the inspiring alpine views, this destination will not disappoint. To book your Jungfraujoch tickets, visit here.
Where To Stay?
Interlaken is a great base point for exploring this region of Switzerland. I absolutely loved my stay at Walters Hostel which has rooms starting from CHF 76 (84 USD) for a two-person room.
Note: On the day of my visit to Jungfraujoch, the weather was very windy and snowy. To help give readers a better picture of what a visit to Jungfraujoch is like, along with photos I took, I’ve included photos from Patrick Robert Doyle, Julien Ridel, Erol Ahmed, and Felipe Giacometti.
Explore the mesmerizing beauty of Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, a hidden gem in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland, where ice and rock intertwine in a captivating dance for an unforgettable visit from May to October.
Embark on a journey to explore the enchanting allure of Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, immersing yourself in mesmerizing landscapes. Unravel the mystery of Sherlock Holmes’ iconic battleground and discover valuable tips for an affordable yet unforgettable Alpine adventure.
Discover the hidden wonders of Switzerland with my comprehensive guide to Aare Gorge – A mesmerizing geological masterpiece that unveils the beauty of the Bernese Oberland region. Immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes and unique historical treasures, ensuring an unforgettable Swiss adventure beyond the tourist hotspots.