Switzerland is home to some of the most scenic rail journeys in the world including the Jungfraubahn railway which will take you to the highest train station in Europe; Jungfraujoch. Mountain excursions are generally costly in Switzerland but when it comes to Jungfraujoch, it is the costliest day trip in Switzerland. To make the most of your money spend on this trip, you should choose a clear sunny day and plan properly if traveling during peak summer season. Before proceeding to the Jungfraujoch check the webcam at different elevation and at the top. For Jungfraujoch webcam check here.
Is Jungfraujoch Top of Europe?
No Jungfraujoch is not the top of Europe. This is the marketing term used by the Switzerland tourism to attract tourists. In fact, Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in Europe.
Jungfrau and Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe are different?
Yes, Jungfrau (“Maiden or Virgin”) and Jungfraujoch (Jungfrau saddle) both are different. If you see the Jungfrau region mountain map closely, you can see the saddle shape formation between Eiger peak and the Jungfrau. ln between on the ridge is the place Jungfraujoch, which we can access by train. Jungfrau mountain peak is still accessible only to mountaineers.
How to get to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken
Jungfraujoch can be easily reached by Train. Unless you a hiker, this is the only option available to most of the peoples. There are frequent trains from Interlaken Ost station to Klein Scheidegg station via two different routes, i.e Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. During summer or peak times, it is best to get onto the train as early as possible to get a seat. Travelers arriving from other parts of Switzerland can save time queuing in Interlaken-Ost by buying tickets at any other Swiss train station.
Grindelwald or Wengen, from where to go to Jungfraujoch?
Traveling by train from Interlaken-Ost to Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe station is possible through two different routes. One route is from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen, then via Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. Another route is from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald and from there to Kleine Scheidegg. From Kleine Scheidegg there is a single route to Jungfraujoch. Train connection times are well coordinated.
On arrival at Kleine Scheidegg you will again find the next train waiting on the opposite platform. The efficiency of the Swiss transport system is second to none. The Jungfrau cog wheel train and takes you on the last stage of your journey to the amazing height of 3400m.
Inside the train you will hear a commentary explaining how the route came about and the hard labour that was involved as well as the many men that lost their lives an awesome engineering feat. The train continues up the mountain through a 7 km long tunnel which was excavated through the rock of the Eiger and Monch Alpine peaks. The train stops at the half way station for 5 minutes. This gives you enough time for a quick photo session and a peer through a window in the north face of the Eiger.
After this the next stop of the train is Jungfraujoch- Top of Europe station. The whole journey takes approximately 50 minutes. So, in short
- The price for a train ticket to Top of Europe station is the same for both the routes.
- Time taken from Interlaken Ost is 2 hours from both routes.
- The final stretch of the train journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch station is the same.
Is the journey covered by Swiss pass?
The trip to Jungfraujoch is not fully covered by Swiss pass. Swiss pass covering 100 % up to Grindelwald or Wengen. From Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch You will get a 25% discount if you have a Swiss pass. Children under 16 years old will travel free as long as they are traveling with an adult with a valid ticket or pass and the free Swiss family card.
Seat reservation required?
Seat reservations are not mandatory on the Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe line, but without a seat reservation you are not guaranteed a space on the train you might want, even with a valid ticket.
Seat reservations cost 5 CHF each way and round trip is compulsory. So, it will cost 10 CHF per person for round trip. If you plan to buy seat reservations for yourself, you must buy a seat reservation for children’s traveling with you for free with the Swiss Family Card. During peak summer tourist season seat reservation is recommended.
The boarding gate at Klein Scheidegg is clearly marked and color coded. There are three waiting areas; Purple, Green and Yellow. If you are traveling in a group of more than 10 person then there is a purple get for you, for individual and smaller groups if you have made reservation then you should proceed to green gate else for all other people there is a yellow color Gate. If you have a reservation, you will board first on the train from the green gate. After the people with reservation board the train, then yellow gates are opened until the train is full. At times yellow gates are not opened and you have to wait for the next train.
Neither the seat reservation nor the cost of the ticket is refundable in case of bad weather. So, If you think that the weather will be good on next day or on the date you want to travel, reserve only the seat don’t buy the ticket. Always carry the printout of seat reservation for scanning at the boarding gates.
How long you can spend at Jungfraujoch?
It depends on you how much time you want to spend on the top, but for seat reservation you have to provide the time of leaving from Kleine Scheidegg and returning time from Jungfraujoch. While going you can keep the time Since all connections are working properly but while returning if you are late you will not get the benefit of reservation and the staff will send you to board the train from yellow gate. For early departure you can have excuse, but not for late departure. I recommend you spend at least 3 or 4 hours on at Jungfraujoch to allow enough time to see all the exhibitions, ice palace and spend time in recreation area.
Things to do at Jungfraujoch
Take the lift and go up to the Sphinx observatory. You can enjoy a 360° view of the Aletsch Glacier from here from the terrace. If outside is very cold or windy enjoy the views from the inside of the building with panoramic windows.
There is a Snow Fun Park outside where you can go sledging, skiing or snowboarding for a fee.
If you are done with the snow activities go to the Alpine Sensation. The Alpine Sensation is a moving walkway with images, light and music, connecting the hall below the Sphinx observatory to the Ice Palace.
View and admire and Ice Palace where you can see impressive sculptures carved from ice.
Once you are at the Jungfraujoch you can visit everything at no additional charge except at Snow Fun Park. There are many restaurants at Jungfraujoch, including Bollywood restaurant where you will get Indian food. There is a Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, where you buy chocolate as well as you can learn about the history of chocolate and how it’s made.
- Trip to Jungfraujoch is the costliest in Switzerland, so plan your travel on a clear day. Before proceeding check the live webcam feed what the view is like at the observation deck of the Jungfraujoch.
- During peak travel season make reservation for your seat to Jungfraujoch. Please note that seat reservations guarantee you space on the train at a particular time only. Reserve seats are not assigned seats and won’t guarantee you to sit together. You should try to get in line early and find a seat where you can sit together with your group.
- The Jungfrajoch has a “capacity limit” of 5000 people and no more that these peoples are allowed. During peak season on a clear day, irrespective of time you want to go, buy your ticket early in the morning.
- During summer season also Jungfraujoch is very cold. Ice cave is even more chiller than the outside. Dress in layers and take warm clothes, caps, gloves, sunglasses and lip balm.
- Try to make a round trip from Interlaken Ost by Including both the routes. Go from Lauterbrunnen/Wengen side and return from Grindelwald. This way you can enjoy the scenery of both the routes. Do remember at the time of purchasing ticket, you have to inform your route plan.