Saturday, February 28, 2009

Switzerland - Jungfraujoch

Jungfrau (pron. yoo-ng-frou) is the third highest mountain of Bernese Alps, but at 3454 mt is the highest train station in Europe. The entire journey from either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen through Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch is fantastic and an experience in itself. You have to change trains at Grindelwald and then at Kleine Scheidegg. All the three trains timings are connected with one another and these stations are very small, hence do not worry about missing the trains.

In the last leg of the journey from Kleine Scheideg, the train runs inside the mountain, stopping at Eigerwand. There is a large window at this station inside the mountains for a breathtaking view of the snow covered valley.Here are some of the pictures taken from the train:

After reaching the Jungfraujoch station, you have to take a lift to the top. There is a hotel, two restaurants, the Sphinx observatory research station, and the glistening "Ice Palace" at Jungfraujoch. The Ice palace has a collection of ice sculptures. Here are a few pictures of the Ice Palace:

There is a flat, snow-covered area on the plateau, where one can walk around and play in the snow. There is also a 'Top of Europe' Glacier Restaurant, where you can sip hot coffee overlooking the magnificient glacier. Here are the pictures for the same:

The trip to Jungfraujoch was an exciting trip with the train journey being the highlight of this trip. In the evening we returned to Interlaken to the cosy interiors of our hostel. Later in the night, post dinner we made bonfire in the hostel and slept satisfied with our visit to Jungfrau and looking forward to our next day trip to Mt. Titlis.
Some Tips:
  • If you are staying in Interlaken, take the first train (6.35 am but please check the correct time in Interlaken) to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen
  • The holders of Eurail Pass, Swiss Pass, Swiss Card get a special discount almost amounting to 25 to 50% of the actual fare from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg and then onwards to Jungfraujoch
  • If you have Swiss Pass or Eurail, the journey from Interlaken to Grindelwald is free, included in the Swiss/ Eurail Pass
  • If you have Swiss/Eurail Pass, you get a discount of 50% from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg thus a 2nd class return ticket will cost you only Euro 16.6 (please check current ticket price)
  • If you have Swiss/Eurail Pass, you get a discount of 25% from Kleine Scheidegg to Interlaken Ost, thus a 2nd class return ticket will cost you only Euro 34.1(please check current ticket price)
  • If you don't have any passes and are planning to buy a ticket, try getting the 'Good Morning Ticket' which is priced at CHF 157.80 (Please check for the latest fare) and is for the first train leaving Interlaken. This discounted ticket is only for Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg. Thereafter you have to pay for the actual ticket price.
  • Check the weather before your journey. If its cloudy, you may be wasting your time.
  • Take warm clothes. They will be required in Jungfrau even if its summer
  • During summers you can do skiing. So be prepared and take extra cash to rent the equipment and skiing gear
  • There is a ski training school as well at Jungfrau for those new to skiing
Mt Titlis's coming up in the next post...


Sumo said...

Hi...really nice travelogue. Clears up quite a few doubts about a Swiss trip. I will be going to Europe next month for an exchange programme and will be travelling around using a Eurail Global Pass. Is this pass valid for free/discounted travel on Swiss trains, esp. the Jungfraubahn? Also, I can only spare 4 days for the Swiss trip and that includes travel to and from Paris. Given that the time will be October/November, which places do you suggest I visit?
Thanks for the advice.

Neil Porter said...

Very useful post.

We're planning on going up to Jungfraujoch in a day or two, and this has cleared up a few questions we had - especially regarding Eurail.

Neil Porter said...

Just back from Jungfraujoch yesterday - splendid indeed!

I'd just like to correct a comment about fares and Eurail passes. Once you reach Interlaken, the Eurail pass doesn't give you free travel - you have to pay a (reduced) fare between Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg in each direction.

Another point that I discovered is that it is cheaper to buy your Interlaken to Jungfraujoch fares at the Jungfraujoch Rail Centre in Interlaken than at a SBB/CFF station.

WE found this blog really useful for our trip though (even if it did mean getting hit for extra Swiss Francs by a conductor between Grindelwald and Interlaken. :)

Thanks again,

louisawasjerry said...

Hi I am travelling to Europe on next month, could you mind to tell me more detail about travelling from Interlaken and Jungfraujoch.
How many extra tickets i need to buy? which stop i need to buy a ticket? How find the cheaper ticket?
thank and looking forward to hear from you