Grindelwald is easily one of the best places to visit in Switzerland and well worth a visit. While many visit for skiing in the winter, there are plenty of things to do in Grindelwald in the summer.
The Grindelwald village itself is like a movie set that looks too good to be true, like something you see in movies. When combined with the two valleys and surrounding villages such as Wengen and Lauterbrunnen, it makes for one of the best vacations you can have in Europe.
Looking up at the famed North Face of the Eiger and other colossal peaks will never get old, and there are plenty of hiking opportunities, and beautiful attractions to enjoy. Let’s dig in to the best things to do in Grindelwald!
Where is Grindelwald?
Grindelwald is a small Swiss village in the Bernese Alps. It’s about a 25 minute drive away from Interlaken, one hour away from Bern, and 1.5 hours away from Lucern. It’s a popular resort destination for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. Many climbers use Grindelwald as a base for climbing the north face of Eiger Mountain.
How to Get to Grindelwald
Grindelwald village has a long main road and plenty of accommodation options to handle a large number of tourists that make the journey up the valley from Interlaken.
We found that Grindelwald lacks the charm that the surrounding villages have such a Gimmelwald, Murren, or Wengen, but it does provide amazing access to the mountains. That being said, coming from North America, Grindelwald will still surely steal your heart. Just because it’s not as charming, doesn’t mean it’s not charming at all because it certainly is. You can get to Grindelwald by car or train.
Getting to Grindelwald By Car
If you’re renting a car in Switzerland, you can easily drive to Grindelwald. First you’ll have to go to Interlaken. The drive up via Grindelwaldstrasse will take you about 25-30 minutes, but you likely won’t notice as the drive is so breathtaking. Keep in mind that there aren’t many places to park in Grindelwald, and nearly everywhere charges a pretty penny to park, including hotels.
Getting to Grindelwald By Train
Any train to Grindelwald will have to be connected to Interlaken, and Interlaken is well connected to major cities in Switzerland. Trains run to the train station Grindelwald Terminal often. It’s centrally located in town close to many accommodation options.
How to Get Around Grindelwald
There are two train stations in Grindelwald – Grindelwald and Grund. The Grindelwald station is in the center of town near the bus depot. Grund is on the valley floor. The two stations are located about 1 km and 100 meters of elevation from each other. They are connected by bus. For getting around the town of Grindelwald it’s best to use the local bus
The gondola lifts to Mannlichen and Grindelwald First are all within walking distance to the train stations.
Best Things to do in Grindelwald in Summer
Gondola Up Grindelwald First
The best way to get to the top of First Mountain is via the gondola. This gondola, which has six-seater cable cars, climbs to 2,168 meters above sea level and is one of the best things to do in Grindelwald in the summer. The ride takes about 25 minutes so you have plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery all around.
If hunger strikes during your trip up the mountain, you’ll be happy to know that a great restaurant with amazing views is ready to serve you a delicious hot meal, before you head out to explore the mountain’s attractions, including the Cliff Walk. The gondola ride costs starts at CHF 32 per person.
You can also opt for the “Adventure Package” which grants access to the First Glider, First Flyer, Mountain Carts or Trotti Bike (we highly recommend splurging for this and spending the day at Grindelwald First!)
First Cliff Walk
If you want to brave your fear of heights, you have to walk the First Cliff Walk. It’s a death-defying structure that allows visitors to walk out on a cliff with nothing below. You won’t know whether to look down or up as the views will take your breath away.
First Cliff Walk is open year-round, and is free! At the end of the cliff walk is a mountain hut where you can enjoy a beer and rosti.
First Mountain Karts
Who says you need snow to go sledging? (That’s for visiting Grindelwald in the winter). At First Mountain, sledging is one of the most popular activities except it’s done on a mechanical device with wheels that’s part go-kart and part sled.
An adventure on one of these carts at First Mountain will take down the mountain from on a three-kilometre-long natural road from Schreckfeld to Bort at top speeds. Be careful though, the mountain karts go faster than you think and it’s can be easy to crash if you go to fast! The price for this exciting ride is CHF 21.
First Flyer (First Flieger)
I’ve seen many cool things on top of a mountain, but a zipline is a rarity. The First Flieger allows adults and children to strap into a harness and fly down a 800-meter zip line for CHF 31.
The First Glider is right next to the First Flyer and offers a simarar experence to it. Except instead of a zipline you can feel as free as a eagle and soar between First and Schreckfeld at a whopping 70 km an hour!
The Glider can accommodate up to four people at once so it’s perfect for families with children.
Ride A First Trottibike
If you don’t know what a Trottibike is, in simple terms, it’s a scooter-bicycle hybrid. If you’ve never ridden one before, you’re in for the thrill of a lifetime if you use this method of transportation to come back down to the bottom of First Mountain.
From 2,000 meters, you’ll soar down the mountain on a paved path. It takes about 40 minutes to get to the bottom unless you stop to take in the incredible views. If safety is a concern, rest assured that helmets are provided and the Trottibikes have excellent brake systems.
Hike To Bachalpsee
Bachalpsee is a large lake located high above Grindelwald that’s said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Just picture a deep-blue lake surrounded by towering peaks and pretty wildflowers. Heading here is one of the best things to do in Grindelwald.
To reach the trailhead to the lake, you need to first take the cable car to First. From the station, it’s a 6km hike to the lake, out and back. This hike in Switzerland is one of the easiest in the region with very little incline. You can swim in this lake in summer, but be aware that the water is very cold!
Hike The Eiger Trail
There are many hiking trails around the Grindelwald region but if you can only do one, The Eiger Trail is a must. The 6km trail leads you on an unforgettable alpine journey and gets you up close and personal with the remarkable Eiger North Face.
You’ll hike for about an hour along the North Face while surrounded by views of Wetterhorn, Grindelwald Valley and the Grosse Scheidegg.
Along the way, you’ll also pass fields, streams and waterfalls. While the trail is considered moderate, the more difficult areas are secured with ropes for your safety. If you wish to extend your hiking adventure, combine this hike with the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Trail to make it a total of 13.5km.
Head To Grosse Scheidegg
At an elevation of 1,962 meters, the Gross Scheidegg Mountain Pass is located between the two mountains of Schwarzhorn and Wetterhorn. Although it’s closed to cars, a bus service can take you from Grindelwald or Meiringen to the summit where you’ll enjoy views of valleys, meadows, waterfalls, steep mountain peaks and the town below.
Some of the other sites along the way include The Alpine Aviary, an old sawmill and Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge. At the summit, there’s a great restaurant with an outdoor terrace where you can dine on delicious food while admiring the fabulous views of the High Alps.
Stroll Through Murren
When it comes to classic mountain villages in the Swiss Alps, Murren is one of the prettiest of them all! Situated below the Schilthorn Peak, the best thing about this village is the lack of traffic.
Yes, that’s right, there are no cars in this village so you can kick back and relax without the sound of cars whizzing by. The village is also home to the highest ski resort in the region.
You can easily spend a week in Murren and never be bored because there’s so much to do including hiking, alpine and cross-country skiing and biking. The Murren Cable travels to the top of Mount Schilthorn and this is where you’ll find Piz Gloria which is a revolving restaurant with stunning views and a James Bond exhibit.
Another exciting activity to do on First Mountain is paragliding. During one of these thrilling adventures, you’ll launch from the summit and climb to the right altitude for gliding through the air with the golden eagles that are often spotted up there.
Don’t forget to check out the views of the surrounding peaks and the town below. You’ll spend about 15-to-20 minutes in the air with Paragliding Jungfrau and this activity costs 190 CHF incl. Insurance (cable car ticket is not included).
Tackle A Via Ferrata
If you’re looking for a heart-pounding adventure while in Grindelwald, tackling a Via Ferrata should be high on your list. So, what is a Via Ferrata? It’s a hiking trail that combines the elements of hiking and climbing along a path with safety features that allow hikers to get around otherwise inaccessible sections with the help of secured ladders, ramps and cables.
How it works is you’re secured to a steel cable via your harness so you can move safely on the trail that is more likened to an obstacle course. The Rotstock Via Ferrata is a popular choice that’ll take you on an impressive climb along the north face of Eiger.
This trail is three miles up and back and along the way, you’ll be able to stop and admire the incredible views. Other Via Ferretas in the area include Via Ferrata Schwarzhorn, Klettersteig Mürren-Gimmelwald, and Klettersteig First.
There’s no shortage of mountain resort towns near Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, and the village of Interlaken is easily accessible at only 12 miles away.
This traditional alpine village is located between the two sparkling lakes of Thun and Brienz surrounded by towering mountains, forest and meadows.
The seemingly quiet, laid back town is anything but for adventure seekers who come to this place that has earned the nickname of Switzerland’s Adventure Capital. Visitors in search of adrenaline-pumping thrills enjoy white water rafting, climbing, paragliding, canyoning, hiking, biking, skiing, bungee jumping and skydiving.
These are just some of the adventures you can embark on in Interlaken. There are numerous restaurants, hotels and shops in the town and Jungfrau Amusement Park is only a mile away.
Gletscherschlucht, also known as Glacier Canyon, is another must-see in the region. Fun Swiss fact – the extraordinary natural wonder you see today was formed over 250 million years and features 300-meter high cliffs and a river. The hike to the glacier is less than a mile and begins beyond the Gletscherschlucht hotel in Grindelwald.
Inside the gorge, a walk across an elevated walkway provides better views and, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, climb around on the Spiderweb suspended over the river or freefall 90 meters at 75 miles per hour on the Canyon Swing. Admission to the canyon is CHF 19/adult.
Relax In A Spa
Switzerland is known for its luxurious spas set in pretty alpine villages and Grindelwald has a number of public and private spas to choose from. At the village sports center, there are spa facilities such as a steam bath, sauna, solarium and massage service.
Many of the village’s hotels, including Hotel Belvedere, Hotel Eiger, Parkhotel Schönegg, Hotel Sunstar, The Grand Hotel Regina and Bergwelt Grindelwald, and The Aspen have spas.
Some hotels only allow guests to use services while some invite visitors to use their facilities. Every spa is different but you’ll find many relaxing experiences, including herbal baths, saltwater pools and facials.
Take The Eiger Express
The Eiger Express, which runs from Grindelwald Terminal to Eigergletscher, is a unique type of Gondola known as a tricable gondola. With the ability to carry 26 passengers in each cable car and take passengers to Eiger Glacier in only 15 minutes, this gondola is about as modern as it gets!
On the way up, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the mountains and countryside. Upon arrival at Eigergletscher, you can hike one of the nearby trails or take the train up to Jungfraujoch.
Admire The Aletsch Glacier
No trip to the Swiss Alps is complete without visiting the region’s biggest glacier and at 14 miles long and carrying 11 billion tons of ice, Aletsch Glacier is huge! There are various ways to experience this spectacular natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From the Aletsch region, which includes Belalp, Riederalp and Bettmeralp, you can access the lower section of the glacier. Bettmerhorn and Eggishorn are higher up and are accessible via a cable car.
As you explore the glacier, you’ll see Villa Cassel, which was once a prominent summer property for some of the world’s most well-known politicians. You’ll also be able to cross a suspension bridge that’ll take you from one part of the glacier to another and go hiking on several trails in the area.
Hike Schynige Platte To First
The hiking trail from Schynige Platte to First is an epic journey that’ll take you across 16.2 km of stunning landscape with incredible mountain views. It’s one of the best hikes in the country and despite its length, it’s not as difficult as some of the other long hikes in the region.
Along the way, you’ll encounter an Alpine garden, Faulhorn Peak and Bachalpsee Lake. At Faulhorn, be sure to take a break and enjoy some coffee and snacks at the little cafe.
Harder Kulm Lookout
If you’re seeking an easy-to-reach spot to get some incredible shots of the area’s landscape, Harder Kulm, which is located 1322 meters above sea level, is easily accessed via a ten-minute ride on the funicular cable from Interlaken.
At the top, you’ll enjoy views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks on the viewing platform before heading over to the Panorama Restaurant to enjoy traditional Swiss cuisine on the outdoor terrace.
Mountain biking is a popular activity in Grindelwald and the surrounding area. There are many trails of various lengths and difficulties. Some have steep inclines and declines while others are more relaxed.
Blick auf die Berge is a 26-mile loop trail, Aufstieg Grosse Scheidegg is a steep 23-mile trail, Staubbachfall is a 28-mile loop and Gross Scheidegg Panorama is a shorter trail at 16 miles. See the different tours here!
Stroll Through Grindelwald Village
Grindelwald Village is the ultimate base for exploring the Bernese Alps and Jungfrau region. In summer, it’s a popular launching place for hiking expeditions and in winter, visitors come for the fantastic skiing.
This mountain resort village also has many shops and restaurants and you can learn about the village’s culture and history at the Grindelwald Museum.
Situated at the Pfingstegg gondola mountain station, Pfingstegg Rodelbahn is a summer toboggan run and it’s not just kids who enjoy the 725-meter dash to the bottom at 25 miles per hour
. As you speed down the mountain, you’ll see views of grasslands and nearby peaks. To get to the run, you need to take the Grindelwald – Pfingstegg cable car leading from the valley station to Pfingstegg and the toboggan trip costs CHF 6. See more details here.
Visit Staubbach Falls
At 300 meters high, The Staubbach Falls are quite the sight! This incredible waterfall, which is one of the highest in Europe, drops into the Lutschine River and is best experienced after a heavy rainfall.
Although it’s always awe-inspiring especially when you have the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks setting the backdrop. You can find this waterfall just outside of the town of Lauterbrunnen about a half-hour from Grindelwald. Seeing this sight is one of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen.
Kleine Scheidegg is a mountain pass in Switzerland. It’s a great jumping-off point for those wanting to go to Jungfraujoch, but even if this isn’t your intention visiting Kleine Scheidegg is still one of the best things to do in Grindelwald.
Kleine Scheidegg is the meeting point of two railways. Getting here is half the fun! Once at Kleine Scheidegg station you have endless hiking opportunities, can venture up to Jungfraujoch, hike the Eiger Trail or conquer the Lauberhorn.
Alternatively, you can do nothing at all besides sit at an outdoor cafe soaking up the views of the Bernese Oberland.
Take a cogwheel train up to the highest station in Europe on a day trip out to Jungfraujoch. A tour leaves from Lauterbrunnen Railway Station to start the alpine ascent.
From the summit, the sweeping scenes of surrounding wilderness are awe-inspiring. There are also several attractions to explore, such as the Ice Palace, Sphinx Vantage Terrace and more. If the altitude works up an appetite, grab some authentic eats at the Crystal Restaurant and save room for something sweet from the Lindt Chocolate Heaven.
Often referred to as the Top of Europe, the peak is a staggering 11,000 feet high. The journey itself is half the fun as the slow and steady climb over about 90 minutes allows you to really take in the tremendous beauty.
How to Put this into a Grindelwald Itinerary
Reading this list of things to do in Grindelwald may have you feeling overwhelmed. We get it! You only have a short time and there are so many Grindelwald attractions. We also only had a few days. Here is how we suggest making the most out of them.
- Day 1: Spend the day at Grindelwald First
- First Gondola
- Hike To Bachalpsee
- First Cliff Walk
- First Flyer/First Glider/Mountain Carts/Trotti Bike
- Enjoy Grindelwald Village
- Dinner in Grindelwald
- Day 2: Jungfraujoch Top of Europe
- Eiger Express
- Jungfrau Railway to top of Europe
- Aletsch Glacier
- Hike the Eiger Trail
- Via Ferrata Rotstock
- Coffee at Kleine Scheidegg
- Back down to Grindewald for dinner
- Day 3: Gross Scheidegg Mountain Pass
- Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge
- Lunch at Schwarzwaldalp
- Sawmill Schwarzwaldalp
- Stroll Through Meiregen
- Enjoy an Evening in Interlaken
- Harder Kulm Lookout in Interlaken
- Day 4: Lauterbrunnen Valley
- Staubbach Falls
- Stroll Through Lauterbrunnen
- Pfingstegg Rodelbahn
- Murren Via Ferrata
- Stop in Gimmelwald
Where to Stay in Grindelwald
Plan For Your Trip
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