The train heads off up the Jungfrau

Heading up the Jungfrau...

The mountain train to the Top of Europe

If you find yourself around Interlaken, why not climb the North Face of the Eiger, traverse the Mönch and scale the Jungfrau to an altitude of over 11,000 feet?  By train, of course, on the famous Jungfraubahn, one of Switzerland's most amazing train rides. Completed in 1912, the Jungfrau railway is open all year round and takes you to the most spectacular view of the Alps you can get without being Sir Edmund Hillary.  See an account of the journey in pictures.

The Jungfraubahn

small bullet point  Train times & fares

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  Using a Eurail, Interrail, Swiss Pass  

small bullet point  The journey in pictures


On other pages

small bullet point  Train travel in Switzerland

small bullet point  Train travel UK to Switzerland

small bullet point  Bernina Express

small bullet point  Glacier Express

Practical information

Train times  See route map

How much does it cost?

Is it worth it?

Is altitude a problem?

How to buy tickets

If you have a railpass

The journey in pictures

Step 1, by mainline train to Interlaken Ost, 567m or 1,860 feet above sea level

Frequent Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) trains run from major Swiss cities to Interlaken Ost.  You'll also find direct trains from Germany to Interlaken and one daily train at 18:23 from Paris to Interlaken - although the latter arrives too late for onward travel the same day.  Changing trains at Interlaken Ost is easy and takes just a few minutes, walking from one train to the other.

2nd class seats on an SBB mainline train   Classic SBB InterCity train

2nd class seats on an SBB mainline train.

A classic SBB InterCity train.

Step 2, by local train to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, at 1,034m or 3,393 feet

Every half hour, a blue-and-yellow narrow-gauge train of the Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB) leaves Interlaken Ost with a portion for Grindelwald and another portion for Lauterbrunnen.  You can travel either route.  Journey time Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen 20 minutes, Interlaken to Grindelwald 34 minutes.  If you plan to stay overnight, either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen are the places to stay, pretty villages up in the mountains - I can recommend the Hotel Alte Post in Grindelwald.  As you can see in the photo below right, at Grindelwald the arrival from Interlaken and the onward train to Kleine Scheidegg are on opposite sides of the same platform, so changing trains only takes a few seconds.

The train ride from Interlaken to Grindelwald   Arrived at Grindelwald

Climbing into the mountains from Interlaken to Grindelwald on a snowy winter's day.


Grindelwald.  The arrival from Interlaken is on the right, the connecting train to Kleine Scheidegg on the left.

Step 3, by local train to Kleine Scheidegg, at 2,061m or 6,762 feet

Every half-hour, a green-and-yellow local train of the Wengernalpbahn links Grindelwald with Kleine Scheidegg and also Lauterbrunnen with Kleine Scheidegg.  Journey time 33 minutes from Grindelwald or 43 minutes from Lauterbrunnen.

View from the train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg

View from the train to Kleine Scheidegg as it climbs higher into the mountains.

Taking the train to Kleine Scheidegg   Wengernalpbahn train at Kleine Scheidegg

On the train to Kleine Scheidegg.


Arrived at Kleine Scheidegg.

Step 4, take the Jungfraubahn to the Top of Europe, 3,454m or 11,333 feet above sea level

Every hour from morning until late afternoon, a Jungfraubahn train connects Kleine Scheidegg with Jungfraujoch - the col between the summits of the Mönch and the Jungfrau, known as the Top of Europe.

Jungfraubahn train about to leave   The train to Jungfraujoch...

The Jungfraubahn train about to leave Kleine Scheidegg for the Jungfraujoch.

Up we go!   Looking back at Kleine Scheidegg

Leaving Kleine Scheidegg.  Up we go!


Looking back at Kleine Scheidegg - not a very big place!

On the train to Jungfraujoch

Looking backwards, you can see how high the train is climbing.  At first the train is in the open, but soon it plunges into a steeply-climbing tunnel built inside the infamous North Face of the Eiger.

Jungfraubahn stop at Eigerwand   Eigerwand stop

Until 2016, the train used to stop at Eigerwand (2,865m or 9,400 feet) inside the Eiger's North Face for 5 minutes, allowing you to get out and see the view from the tunnel's viewing window - the tunnel is just visible in the photo above right.  Sadly, the trains now pass through non-stop but you may catch a glimpse of the old station.  Rescue missions for climbers caught on the Eiger famously started from here.  Yes, mountain climbers were rescued by train!

Arrived at Jungfraujoch

The train continues up inside the Eiger and Mönch mountains, with another 5 minute stop at the Eismeer (Ice Sea) viewing point until it reaches Jungfraujoch, 3,454m or 11,333 feet above sea level, the highest railway station in Europe and billed as The Top of Europe.

Plan of the Jungfraujoch complex

The  Jungfraujoch complex nestles below the summit of the Jungfrau and the Mönch - the peak visible in the plan above is the Mönch.  At Jungfraujoch you'll find restaurants, a coffee shop, Europe's highest post office, souvenir shops, the Sphinx observatory & observation deck, an 'ice palace' and an open air 'ice plateau'.

View of Sphinx viewpoint   At the Sphinx viewpoint   Jungfraujoch:  Sphinx viewpoint

Take the lift to the Sphinx viewpoint, 3,571m or 11,782 feet above sea level.

View from the Jungfrau   View of the ice plateau from the Jungfrau

This is the view from the ice plateau viewpoint, looking towards the Sphinx.

The spectacular view from the Jungfraujoch

This is the view looking down the mountain from the Sphinx, 3,571m or 11,782 feet above sea level.  Utterly spectacular.

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