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.
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 what to expect on a visit to Jungfraujoch, 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.
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 Get to Jungfraujoch
The only way to get to Jungfraujoch is by train. And you will take a series of trains to get here. This can take several hours, depending upon your starting point.
Train and trail map of the Jungfrau region.
First, you will have to get to Kleine Scheidegg. Most people start in Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Interlaken, or one of the small towns in the Bernese Oberland (Mürren, Gimmelwald, Wengen, etc.). To get to Kleine Scheidegg, you may have to take more than one train and/or cable car from your starting point.
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.
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 Do Tickets to Jungfraujoch Cost?
Tickets to Jungfraujoch are expensive.
Round trip tickets from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch cost CHF 152 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.
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.
If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, your travel is included up to Wengen. Past Wengen, you get a 25% discount on the train fare.
Kids under 6 travel free.
Children aged 6 to 15 travel free with a Junior Travel Card or pay half fare.
The Jungfrau Travel Pass offers discounted tickets to Jungfraujoch.
If you don’t mind getting up early, you can take advantage of the Good Morning Ticket.
Good Morning Ticket
The Good Morning Ticket is a discount ticket to Jungfraujoch. It is only valid on the first two trains of the day from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch (8 am and 8:30 am). You also must leave Jungfraujoch by 1:13 pm.
The Good Morning Ticket is available from May 1 to October 31.
The ticket costs 145 CHF for a round trip journey starting in Interlaken. It’s slightly cheaper if you start the day closer to Kleine Scheidegg (Wengen, for example).
If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you do not get a discount on the Good Morning Ticket. It’s either one discount or the other.
Not only does the Good Morning Ticket save you money if you don’t have a Swiss Travel Pass, but the early morning hours are the best time of the day to visit Jungfraujoch. Crowds are low and the weather is generally clearer first thing in the morning than in the afternoon.
To check prices and schedules, learn more about the Good Morning Ticket, and book your tickets, visit the official Jungfraujoch website.
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.
Things to do on Jungfraujoch
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.
The first thing you come to is the Jungfrau Panorama, a 4-minute 360° cinematic experience.
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.
The Aletsch Glacier.
View of Jungfrau.
View of the trail to Mönchsjochhütte.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This area is kept at a very chilly -3°C, so you will need those hats and gloves in here.
Step back outside one more time for another amazing view of Jungfrau and the Alps. Have your photo taken with the Swiss flag.
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?
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 and you can read about it here.
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 can’t afford it.
- 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.
If you also have plans to visit Zermatt, the train ride up to Gornergrat is wonderful, the views are awesome, and trip is cheaper than going to Jungfraujoch.
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.
Tips to Have the Best Experience
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. And don’t forget your sunglasses!
Have you been to Jungfraujoch? Do you think it’s worth it? Comment below!
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