Jungfraujoch is one of the most famous places to visit in Switzerland. Many people said it is the highlight of Swiss holiday. Well, the view is stunning but I think it is a bit overpriced and too crowded. If you come here, I strongly recommend hiking to Mönchsjoch Hut.
I have to admit how little homework I did for my trip in Europe. I haven’t heard of Jungfraujoch until I met two Shanghai guys on my way to Gimmelwald yesterday. They told me that it is the most popular attraction here and it would be a shame if I didn’t go. They went yesterday and showed me their ticket:
Just in case some people are confused between Jungfrau and Jungfraujoch:
- Jungfrau is a mountain at 4,158 metres. It is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps. You can’t climb up there without special equipment.
- Jungfraujoch at 3,466 metres above sea level, is the train station connecting the two famous mountains Jungfrau and Mönch built in 1912. This Swiss Alps scenic train is extremely popular with the tourists. Jungfraujoch is also the highest train station in Europe, so it is called the ‘Top of Europe’.
The visit to Jungfraujoch is very dependent on the weather. You should not go when the weather is rainy/windy. Please check the weather before buying the train ticket.
Train tickets from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch
This is the most expensive train ticket that I have ever bought in my life! It costs 204 CHF (about € 189) for a return trip from Interlaken. The duration is 2.5 hours one way and will take 5 hours in total. My Eurail Global Pass gives me a 25% discount so I paid 150 CHF for the ticket. If you have Swiss Pass, you will have 50% reduction of the ticket price.
I was hesitating if I should go because it was so expensive and I did not even have a proper pair of shoes to walk in the snow. Luckily I found a pair of boot in the laundry at my hostel that I can borrow for a day. I decided to go in the end, thinking that I might only have one chance to go in my lifetime, so I should go!
At the train station, the staff tried to sell me early bird ticket. The early bird ticket price is about 140 CHF. If you buy the early bird ticket, you must take the earliest train at 6-7am (reach Jungfraujoch at 9 am) and leave Jungfraujoch by 1 pm. So it means you only have about 4 hours up there. I hate time constraint so I did not buy this ticket although it is cheaper. It was a wise decision because I spent 5-6 hours there in the end (as I spent a lot of time hiking there). An early bird ticket is a good option only if you do not plan to hike.
The highest train station in Europe
The view on the train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch is very beautiful. It is a very steep ride. I strongly recommend having the window seat on the right-hand side, so you get a full view of the mountains. The train also stops at Eigerwand (5 minutes) for a toilet break and you can take some photos there.
Jungfraujoch is very very crowded
The view is great. Not a surprise, but still a bit disappointed to see that people are everywhere. It is hard to take a photo, let alone enjoying the view… I can’t imagine how many people will be here during peak season or on the weekend.
Remember the passport!
Not a real passport; it is called Jungfrau Top of Europe passport. You can get it from the tourist information centre or at some spots in Jungfraujoch. Stamp it to prove that you have been here! I think it is just a trick to attract tourists, but if you are here, why not? 🙂
Map of the attractions at Jungfraujoch
Each attraction is labelled with a number. It is good to visit the places by following these numbers in sequence.
Snow Fun is a must-go
You can ski and play snowboard here from May to October. I recommend wearing a pair of boot that is water resistant because some parts are very slippery.
Wrote something in the snow! Am I a narcissist? 😝
Found a snowman!! Wait… is it a snowman or a dog? 😂
Yeah~~!! Saw people taking the photo with the flag so I copied them too 😝
Sinking snow… please be very careful if you walk here.
It was about minus 1-2 degree Celsius out there, but I did not feel cold because I kept walking. Also, the sun was shining brightly. I realised that there was a hiking trail covered by snow, and a few people were walking that way. I followed them and that lead me to the Mönchsjoch Hut (number 6 attraction of the map).
The restaurant at Mönchsjoch Hut
The restaurant at Mönchsjoch Hut was the highlight of my trip in Jungfraujoch. It took me more than an hour (including time to take photos) to reach here. There were only very few people at this restaurant when I arrived (at about 2 pm), is it because most of the people do not like to walk?
The food was average, but you can enjoy the great view. What’s important is the satisfaction. After hiking for more than an hour, I was very tired and happy to have a hot meal at a restaurant.
If you are planning to come, I recommend buying a stamped postcard here! It is a good way to remember you have been here. 🙂 I think this is something very unique. Many people have the Jungfraujoch passport but I am sure not many people have the stamped postcard here. Remember to ask the staff to stamp it for you!
There was a cost for the amazing view. I have to walk downhill at Mönchsjoch Hut which was very steep. I have acrophobia so I was very scared. Luckily I met a nice (and a bit handsome) guy who held my hand to cross that part slowly.
Met a gal who took drug
It was easier to walk from Mönchsjoch Hut back to Jungfraujoch because it was going downhill. On my way back, I met a Chinese gal from the US. She admitted that she took some drug as she was emotionally high. We walked together for the next few hours.
Ice Palace was fascinating. It was impressive! I did not stay long here because my new friend was afraid of the cold.
Please check the train timetable
Couldn’t emphasise this enough:
The last train is at 5.30pm!
This is extremely important. The different season may have different timing, please check with the information centre. I nearly missed the train because I was unaware of it. If you miss the train, you have to walk back to your hotel or you may take a different train at a different station. Either way, it will take 4-6 hours.
I reached Interlaken at about 8 pm and was worried about the friend that I just made because she needed to go to Zermatt on that day. I guess by the time she reached Zermatt it would be midnight. Luckily Switzerland is a very safe country for a female travelling alone.
I left Switzerland on the next day, and the train stopped by at Spiez. It looks like a beautiful place! I would definitely come back to Switzerland again.
Jungfraujoch is impressive – it is hard to imagine that people built such a steep train station in the old times. I think Jungfraujoch is a good place to visit if you are not on a tight budget. There are so many good reviews on this place, but you should not set a high expectation.
My advice is to go as early as possible, as you need 5 hours to get there (for a return journey). Jungfraujoch is very touristy, I hate that it is crowded everywhere. I really enjoy the hiking trail to the Mönchsjoch Hut because it is the least crowded place, in addition, the view is really stunning. If you like to hike in the snow, it is a must go.
Some people like to compare Switzerland and New Zealand, maybe because they are both famous for the green and snow view. I am not in a right position to comment because I have only stayed a few days in Switzerland, but I prefer New Zealand. In my opinion, the Tongariro crossing in winter is a more memorable experience than hiking in Jungfraujoch. But of course, do both if you can! 🙂