12 tips for your first trip to Jungfraujoch

We’re sharing our 12 best tips for your first trip to Jungfraujoch with you. As you visit the Top of Europe for the first time, there are certain things you should keep in mind. If you take them to heart, you will be ready to explore one of the most popular spots in the Swiss Alps.

The Jungfraujoch is nicknamed “The Top of Europe” for good reason.

Its associated Railway Station is indeed the highest in all of Europe, situated over 3400 m above sea level. As a saddle connecting two significant mountains of the Bernese Alps (Jungfrau and Mönch), it enjoys some of the most picturesque views Switzerland has to offer.

Combined with a modern infrastructure and additional sights below its observatory, the summit is the perfect destination for an exciting day trip. Below are our 12 best tips for your first trip to Jungfraujoch.

Eiger Express Station (Photo: Mathias Graf)Eiger Express Station (Photo: Mathias Graf)
Jungfraujoch viewing platform (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Jungfraujoch viewing platform (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

Stay hydrated

While staying hydrated should be one of your daily priorities anyway, it becomes even more important when in high altitude. Lower oxygen concentration means that you will be breathing more frequently and thus increasing your heart rate.

On top of that, air in high altitudes holds less moisture than on the ground, which can be a contributing factor to dehydration. We have found it is easier to prevent a hydration-related headache than to cure it, so make sure to drink plenty of water.

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WCs are available in large quantity

If you are worried about where to get rid of all the water you drank, we have good news. There are more than enough toilets. When nature calls, you'll be well taken care of on the way to and on the Jungfraujoch.

Toilets are everywhere, except in the trains. Since the route is partly very steep, the installation of a toilet in the train would not be without problems. But all stations, terminals, restaurants and even the middle station at the Eismeer offer enough possibilities for a short stopover.

Wear sun protection

The sun is very strong in high altitudes and can leave you with an unexpectedly red face. So make sure you come prepared with sunscreen and sunglasses.

Besides potentially complementing your chic mountain outfit, sunglasses are an essential part of any trip to the snow. The (over)exposure of UV rays reflecting from the white surface of the snow can result in a temporarily burned cornea.

Trust us when we say that looking into the snow while the sun is shining isn’t fun. So make sure you bring the strongest pair of sunglasses you can find. Your retina will thank you.

Sun protection is a must on the JungfraujochSun protection is a must on the Jungfraujoch
The Swiss Activities Team on the JungfraujochThe Swiss Activities Team on the Jungfraujoch

Dress warmly

Don't let the temperatures in Interlaken and the surrounding area fool you. Even if you decide to visit the Jungfraujoch in spring or later. After all, you are on a mountain top surrounded by snow and glaciers. So the temperatures can drop below zero all year round.

Also, be sure to wear sturdy shoes with a good sole. Especially if you decide to hike to the Mönchsjochhütte. Good footwear will not only keep you warm, but also prevent you from slipping on the icy ground.

Hike to the Mönchsjoch hut

From March to October you have the possibility to hike the beautiful trail from Jungfraujoch to Mönchsjochhütte. We recommend you take this hike to experience the snow and glaciers up close. However, make sure you don't leave the trail. You are surrounded by glaciers all the time, which can be potentially dangerous if you step on unsecured ice.

The hike from Jungfraujoch to Mönchsjochhütte takes about an hour - including breaks. If you're planning this tour, the other tips in this article will also help you. They are also helpful for the ascent to this higher hut.

On this great hike is just the right time to unpack your camera or cell phone and take pictures. The vast mountain landscape between the two mountains is the perfect backdrop for stunning photos.

If you want to grab a bite to eat at the Mönchsjochhütte, be sure to check the opening hours. Lunch is not served until 11:30 am. But you can also stop in before and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. At the hut you can pay with cash, credit card or Twint.

Hike to the Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Mathias Graf)Hike to the Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Mathias Graf)
Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

Take time for other activities

There is plenty to see and do once you are at the Sphinx Observatory. So factor in enough time to experience all Jungfraujoch has to offer.

The publicly accessible viewpoint on top of the observatory provides you with stunning 360 degree views of the mountains and its surrounding towns. Need a break? Enjoy one of the typical Swiss meals in the restaurant, while being surrounded by the lush views.

Still got some energy left in the tank? Head down to learn more about the history of the Jungfraujoch and how it was built or visit the Eispalast, a cave-like structure made entirely out of ice. The latter features ice sculptures made by various artists.

We recommend at least 4 hours if you plan on hiking to Mönchsjoch Hut and having lunch at Jungfraujoch. If it's a busy day, try and make it even more to ensure you’re not in a rush.

Jungfraujoch World of ExperienceJungfraujoch World of Experience
In the ice palace (Photo: Leon Amrein)In the ice palace (Photo: Leon Amrein)

Bring your best camera

As you might have guessed, the trip to the Jungfraujoch is made for capturing beautiful memories with your phone or camera. The vegetation and surroundings vary greatly between Interlaken and the top of the mountain. So you have more than enough opportunities for breathtaking shots.

If you take the cable car on the way back to Grindelwald, we recommend you to sit in the direction of travel. Here you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the valley.

Hiking trail to the Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Hiking trail to the Mönchsjochhütte (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Snow and mountains as far as the eye can see...Snow and mountains as far as the eye can see...

Take advantage of the stopovers

On the way to and from Jungfraujoch you will change trains several times. This moment is every time a fantastic opportunity to take more beautiful photos.

We especially liked the Kleine Scheidegg, the Eiger Glacier and the Sea of Ice. The latter is a short stopover between Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch, where you have the opportunity to get off the train for a few minutes.

Don't miss this stop and experience the glacier up close through the large panoramic windows. The Jungfrau Railways staff will make sure that no one gets left behind during this short stop.

Stopover Eiger Glacier (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Stopover Eiger Glacier (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)
Stopover in the Arctic Ocean (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Stopover in the Arctic Ocean (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

Pick the right food to bring up

The difference in air pressure can also affect other parts of your trip besides your ability to breathe. As such, we don’t recommend bringing any liquid, sealed food items like yogurts with you. Higher air pressure might result in an unwanted explosion in your bag, potentially ruining the adventure before it has even begun.

We’ve seen it all…

Bring variety into your trip

From Interlaken you have two options to get to the Jungfraujoch. One route is via Grindelwald, the other via Lauterbrunnen. To enjoy all the views this spectacular journey has to offer, we recommend going up one way and down the other.

If you travel via Grindelwald, you'll see the mighty Eiger North Face up close. Via Lauterbrunnen, on the other hand, you will pass by Wengen and can see the world famous downhill of the Lauberhorn ski race.

Eiger Express (Photo: Dennis Josek)Eiger Express (Photo: Dennis Josek)
Kleine Scheidegg (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)Kleine Scheidegg (Photo: Seraina Zellweger)

Get on the right train from Interlaken

The train from Interlaken is split in Zweilütschinen. One half goes to Lauterbrunnen, while the other goes to Grindelwald. If you accidentally end up on the wrong part of the train, you will have a short time to change trains in Zweilütschinen.

However, to save yourself the additional stress, it is best to check in Interlaken that you are on the right train. If in doubt, ask the train staff at the station. They will be happy to confirm where you need to board.

Reserve your seat

This is probably the most important tip of all during high season. It gets ridiculously busy at times. You’d hate to waste your precious time waiting in line instead of enjoying the view at the Top of Europe. So make sure you have your seat reservation ready and feel like a royal while you pass all the people queuing up in hope of a free seat.

Jungfrau Railway (Photo: Mathias Graf)Jungfrau Railway (Photo: Mathias Graf)
Intermediate terminal Eiger Express (Photo: Mathias Graf)Intermediate terminal Eiger Express (Photo: Mathias Graf)

Those were our 12 tips for your first visit of Jungfraujoch. Without any further ado, we wish you a fantastic trip to the Top of Europe. The Alps are waiting for you.

Video of the Swiss Activities Team Week on the Jungfraujoch

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