What is Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe?
Let’s start from the beginning… What is the difference between Jungfraujoch and Jungfrau? Sometimes people get confused with these two terms. Below I’ll explain what each place is.
Jungfrau is the mountain which has a height of 4,158 m.a.s.l. located in this place. It is also used to refer to this region of Switzerland. The second, Jungfraujoch, refers to the extension between the summits of Jungfrau and Mönch, where the highest train station in Europe is located. In this article, I’ll explain how to go up to this second place, also known as Top of Europe.
This station is located in the Jungfrau–Aletsch Swiss Alps region, declared a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, thanks to its imposing beauty. It is possible to access this point through the rack railway that goes through a cave which was excavated inside the mountain between 1896 and 1912. This tunnel measures a total of 7 km.
Once you arrive at the highest train station in Europe, located 3,454 meters above sea level, you can enjoy a landscape full of snow, ice and rock.
Visiting this place is one of the best things you can do in Switzerland. For this reason, I included it in my Switzerland 7-day itinerary, focused on towns and nature.
Go up to Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
The fastest and easiest way to visit Jungfraujoch is through Grindelwad, although you can also do so from Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen.
On the following map I have marked several towns in Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, as well as Top of Europe train station, the end point of the journey, and the different cable cars and trains to reach this place. I hope it will be useful for you to get a an idea on how to get there.
How to get to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken
If you are currently in Interlaken, you’ll have to first head to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen to visit Jungfraujoch. I recommend going to Grindelwald as the to Jungfraujoch is shorter.
To go to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, you will have to take the train at Interlaken Ost station. The train ride is 20 minutes long to Lauterbrunnen and 30 minutes long to Grindelwald.
Be careful as the train that goes to both towns is the same but it splits at Zweilütschinen. On the platform you will see marked on the ground which part of the train goes to Grindewald and which part of the train goes to Lauterbrunnen.
To go up to Jungfrau from one of these locations, continue reading the corresponding section.
Go up to Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen
If you are in Lauterbrunnen, an essential place to visit in the Jungfrau Region, is the highest train station in Europe.
Here’s how to get to Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen:
1. First, go to the Lauterbrunnen train station.
2. There you will have to take the train that goes to Kleine Scheidegg via Wengen. Get on the right side for better views. The journey takes about 42 minutes.
3. Get off at Kleine Scheidegg to change trains.
4. Take the cogwheel train that goes directly to Top of Europe. This one only takes 30 minutes.
Total journey time: about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to get to Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald
One of the best things to do in Grindelwald is going up to Top of Europe. In addition, the journey from Grindelwald is the fastest. Thanks to the construction of the Eiger Express, a cable car inaugurated in 2019, you’ll be able to visit Top of Europe hassle-free.
Here are all the details to get from Grindelwald to Top of Europe:
1. First of all, you will have to go to Grindelwald Terminal.
2. Here you will find the Eiger Express cable car, which connects Grindelwald Terminal with the Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier) station. This journey takes 20 minutes.
3. Once you arrive at the Eigergletscher station with the cable car, go down and go to the platform located in the same station.
4. Take the rack railway to Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe). The journey takes 25 minutes.
Total journey time: around 55 minutes.
From Grindelwald, it is also possible to take the train to Kleine Scheidegg to go to your destination. However, it is not recommended as it takes an extra 45 minutes and it isn’t more affordable.
If you want to forget about preparing your visit, buying tickets, etc. You can book an organized tour, in which you will be accompanied by a guide. Tours are somewhat more expensive but you will save time and energy in planning the visit. You just have to focus on enjoying the experience!
There is the possibility to book an organized tour from different cities in Switzerland:
– Jungfraujoch Glacier Trip from Interlaken. This tour starts at 10:45 a.m. in Interlaken and lasts 7 hours. It costs €257.60 per person and includes all transfers, a guide and visits to most tourist attractions.
– Jungfraujoch Day Trip from Zurich. This tour starts at 8:00 a.m. in Zurich and lasts 12 hours. It costs €272.30 per person and includes all transfers, a guide and visits to most attractions.
– Jungfraujoch Day Trip from Lucerne. This tour starts at 9:00 a.m. in Lucerne and lasts 10 hours. It costs €261.80 per person and includes all transfers, a guide and visits to most of the attractions.
How much does it cost to visit Jungfraujoch
The price will depend on the route you choose to do, the season (the price changes depending on the time of year) and if you have a travel pass or decide to do it on your own or with an organized tour. I will tell you all the options below.
Standard ticket price for Top of Europe
The original price (without any special discount) of the tickets are the following:
– Interlaken Ost: 210,80 CHF roundtrip.
– Lauterbrunnen: 195,6 CHF roundtrip.
– Grindelwald: 195 CHF roundtrip.
– Grindelwald Terminal: 190 CHF roundtrip.
– Interlaken Ost: 184,80 CHF roundtrip.
– Lauterbrunnen: 169,6 CHF roundtrip.
– Grindelwald: 169 CHF roundtrip.
– Grindelwald Terminal: 164 CHF roundtrip.
Where to purchase tickets to Jungfraujoch
You can buy tickets from several places:
1. Through the official Jungfrau website. First you will have to choose the departure point, the date, the time, the amount of time you wish to spend at the place and the number of people. Then it will give you the possibility to apply a discount, to reserve seats or to travel in first class.
2. Through GetYourGuide. It is a little more expensive but you have the option to return the tickets up to a day before for a full refund, which is great if you see that the weather is going to be very bad. It will let you choose the date, the number of people and the type of tickets (possibility of applying discounts).
3. In person, once you have arrived at the destination, by going to Interlaken, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen stations. The downside of opting for this option is that you run the risk of arriving at the place and entrance to Jungfraujoch being sold out, especially if you go during high season.
Below I will tell you in which cases you can buy tickets to Jungfraujoch at a more affordable price.
Discount with the Jungfrau Travel Pass
The Jungfrau Travel Pass is a ticket that allows you to access local trains and buses, mountain railways and cable cars in the Jungfrau Region as many times as you want. This pass can be purchased for visits from 3 to 8 days.
Before continuing, it is important to note that this travel pass is only available from April 15 to October 23 (dates for 2022).
The journey from Eigergletscher to Top of Europe is not included in the Jungfrau Travel Pass. However, having this pass allows you to buy the ticket to Jungfraujoch at a special price.
When you buy the Jungfrau Travel Pass, you can indicate that you want to buy it with the supplement to visit Top of Europe. Then your travel pass will include this visit.
If it works out for you financially, you can buy the Jungfrau Travel Pass in advance here. Once you arrive at the destination, you can go to a station and exchange the reservation voucher for the travel pass.
If you have more questions about this pass, do not miss my guide on the Jungfrau Travel Pass. In it I’ll tell you if it is worth buying or not.
Some of the attractions that this pass also gives you free access to are the Schynige Platte cog railway, the cable car to Harder Kulm and the cable car to Mount First, which will take you to places like Lake Bachalpsee.
Discount with the Swiss Travel Pass
If you have the Swiss Travel Pass, you can also get to Jungfraujoch at a special price (about 25% discount).
The Swiss Travel Pass is a ticket that gives you access to the public transportation system in Switzerland. You will have unlimited journeys on trains, buses, boats and public transport in the cities. In addition, you will be able to access more than 500 museums for free and you will have up to 50% on mountain excursions.
If you are going to travel in Switzerland using public transportation, it is very likely that you will purchase the Swiss Travel Pass, since your trip will be cheaper. It can be purchased for 3, 4, 8 or 15 days.
Discount with the Swiss Half Fare Card
On the other hand, with the Swiss Half Fare Card, you will have 50% on trains, buses, boats and public transportation in cities. It is valid for a whole month.
In addition, this travel pass also gives you a 50% discount on mountain excursions, including the Top of Europe. Therefore, if you have this card, you can get your ticket at half price.
What to do in Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe), Switzerland
Once you arrive at Top of Europe, you will find several viewpoints and attractions that you can enjoy. These are the essential places to visit in Jungfraujoch:
1. Sphinx Observatory
The Sphinx Observatory is usually the first stop during the visit to Jungfraujoch, or at least, it is the first place I recommend you go since it is not very big and later, it gets crowded. To get there, you will have to take an elevator that goes up 108 meters in about 25 seconds.
From this observatory, one of the highest on the planet, you can enjoy amazing views of the Jungfrau, the Mönch, the Eiger and, of course, the Aletsch glacier. It is especially the views of this last place that will blow your mind.
2. Ice Palace, how to get to Jungfraujoch
The Ice Palace is a place that impressed me a lot and that you will surely love. Can you imagine what it must be like to walk inside a glacier? Hard to believe, right? If you visit the Ice Palace you will be able to enter inside a glacier and know what it feels like.
The visit consists of walking through different corridors and tunnels made entirely of ice. There are also different sculptures. It takes about 15 minutes to visit this very interesting place.
3. Snow Fun Park
You will love Snow Fun Park if you are looking to have fun in the snow. It is open all year. This area is located outside and has activities such as zip lining and snow tubing. I jumped down the zip line and it was a very fun experience.
These activities are not included with the Jungfraujoch pass, so you will have to pay an extra fee. Even so, you can access the Snow Fun Park to enjoy the incredible scenery, sit in one of the chairs to have a coffee or walk on the snow.
4. Alpine Sensation
This is a 250-meter long corridor that serves as a tribute to the miners who worked digging the tunnel that gives access to this incredible place. Here you will find photos and information about this development of the place.
At the beginning of the corridor there are huge glass balls that reflect some of the most traditional moments of everyday life in Switzerland.
5. Glacier Plateau
In the Glacier Plateau, you will find another outdoor area where you can enjoy beautiful views starring snow, ice and rock. You will be able to observe, on one hand, the Swiss Plateau, and on the other, the Aletsch Glacier bordered by peaks of 4,000 meters of altitude. Here you will find a Swiss flag, the ideal place to take a photo as a souvenir.
6. Eat in Top of Europe
If your visit happens to be right before lunch time, don’t worry. Here you will find several restaurants where you can replenish your energy. There is a menu and a buffet-style lunch. You can eat at the Aletsch or Bollywood restaurants (buffet) or at the Crystal restaurant (à la carte). You will also find a cafeteria where you can buy sandwiches or instant noodles.
Tips before visiting Jungfraujoch
Before visiting this incredible place in Switzerland, don’t miss these last tips to make your visit to Jungfraujoch the best it can possibly be:
– Wear comfortable boots. You are going to walk on snow and ice, therefore, I recommend you wear good hiking boots that are waterproof, grip well and protect you from the cold. Also take good warm clothing, especially if you plan on visiting during the colder months.
– Before purchasing your ticket, check the weather conditions well. Visiting Jungfraujoch on a day when the clouds do not allow you to see much is not as enjoyable as visiting on a clear day. I don’t want you to stress over it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit anyway.
– If you want to save some money on your tour to this place, I recommend you calculate the cost of all the activities you want to do during your trip in Switzerland and see if it is worth buying the Jungfrau Travel Pass or the Swiss Travel Pass.
– If you don’t have much time, go via Grindelwald, where you can take the cable car to Eigergletscher and then the train to Top of Europe. It is the fastest route.
– My recommendation is that you stay at Jungfraujoch for a minimum of 3 hours. Although it may not seem like it, there are quite a few things to do at Top of Europe, apart from enjoying the views. Time will fly by!
– To visit this place with peace of mind, I recommend that you spend at least one night in Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. If you need to read recommendations on accommodation in this area, you can read my guide on where to stay in the Interlaken.
If you have more questions about this country, I recommend you take a look at my Switzerland travel guide.
I hope that my article on how to get to Jungfraujoch (Switzerland) has helped you plan your trip to this place. If you have any contribution or question, feel free to leave a comment or write me an email. Enjoy your trip to Switzerland!