Looking for something fun to do in Grindelwald, Switzerland, but not sure where to start? We asked Nicolette at Semi-Budget Travel to cover this topic in full.
Grindelwald, Switzerland, is an idyllic mountain village nestled in the Bernese Alps, renowned for its beautiful alpine scenery, thrilling outdoor activities, and breathtaking views.
There’s so much to see and do in Grindelwald, and you don’t want to miss any exciting activities or attractions. Maybe you’re worried about sticking to your budget while having the most immersive experience possible.
Let me help you out!
I have put together this comprehensive post with all the best things to do and see in Grindelwald, Switzerland. Get ready for adventure, spectacular views, and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
From sliding down the Pfingstegg toboggan run to hiking up majestic mountainsides, there’s something for everyone here!
Read on to discover why Grindelwald should be your next travel destination!
Best Things To Do In Grindelwald
Let’s explore the best attractions and activities that Grindelwald has to offer in the summer season – from unforgettable sightseeing tours through stunning mountain scenery to exciting adventures high in the Swiss Alps.
1. Grindelwald First Cable Car
First, we need to talk about how to say First. It’s pronounced “Feerst.” I have to check myself every time I see the word around Grindelwald!
The Grindelwald First cable car, or gondola, know as the Firstbahn cable car whisks you up to an elevation of 7,111 feet.
On the way from Grindelwald to First, there are four cable car stations:
- Bort (5,131 feet)
- Schreckfeld (6,415 feet)
- First (7,111 feet)
Grindelwald to Bort is about 10 minutes, and Bort to First is about 15 minutes. At the top, you get an amazing view of the snow-capped peaks and valleys.
There’s also plenty to do up there, but we’ll get to those soon enough!
2. Adventure at the Top of Adventure
When you get all the way up to First, there are a variety of adventure activities for you to enjoy.
First is considered the “Top of Adventure” in the Jungfrau region, and these adventurous options fit the bill!
➡️First Flyer – In a sitting position, suspended from a cable, you will fly 800 meters at speeds up to 84 kmh.
➡️First Glider – Flying like Superman (though suspended from a cable), you and 3 others will move at speeds up to 72 kmh backwards to the top of the run. Then, you’ll “fly” back down up to 83 kmh.
➡️Mountain Cart – The First Mountain Carts are like grown up big wheels, a cross between a trike and a sled in an alpine setting.
➡️Trottibike – The Trotti bike is basically a stand-up scooter with bicycle wheels.
These activities can be purchased individually or you can build an Adventure Package which includes unlimited gondola rides.
3. Visit Pfingstegg By Cable Car
Pfingstegg is fantastic and shouldn’t be missed!
You will board a small cable car to get from Grindelwald to Pfingstegg. This is not a continuously running cable car system, it runs like a shuttle back and forth.
These may be the cutest cable car cabins I’ve ever seen! There are live flower boxes right on the sides of the cabin!
The ride up to Pfingstegg only takes about 5 minutes, and it feels like you’re going straight up! There are incredible views the whole way, including the Grindelwald valley, the Eiger, and the Wetterhorn.
💡Pro Tip: In the evenings, you can book a Sky Dinner on the cable car for up to 8 people. A 2-person Candlelight Dinner is also available. Both options include a multi-course dinner and drinks ($).
So, what’s in Pfingstegg once you get there?
- Restaurant Overlooking Grindelwald
- Treasure Hunt for Kids
- Various Hikes
- Fly Line (Suspended from a stainless steel pipe over the forest, this ride magically takes you round trip)
My favorite thing about Pfingstegg is the next item on this list… the alpine slide!
5. Pfingsteggbahn Alpine Slide
Looking for a unique experience in Pfingstegg? Here it is! The Pfingsteggbahn!
Pfingstegg-bahn/Rodelbahn/toboggan/alpine slide! Whatever you call it, this is a thrilling ride down the mountain.
This slide starts at the top of the run. You get on your own sled and take off! There are many curves and hairpin turns as you go down so hold on tight – it’s a wild ride!
You can go down in singles or doubles (tandem), and at the end of the ride, the track pulls you back up to the starting line.
This was a highlight for me and I highly recommend checking out the Pfingsteggbahn when you’re visiting Grindelwald. It is an absolute blast!
6. Take the Gondola Cableway from Grindelwald to Männlichen
Officially called a “gondola cableway,” the cable car cabins from Grindelwald to Männlichen are actually quite fancy. Totally enclosed, with embroidered lettering on the seats, they’re almost like little living rooms.
As you go up, the view just keeps getting better and better!
At the top, you can hop off the cable car and take in 360 degree views of the Swiss Alps. From here, you can also take a short walk up to the summit of Männlichen where you’ll get even better views!
7. Eiger Express
Many people opt for the Eiger Express to shorten their trip to Jungfraujoch from just over an hour to only 15 minutes. The Eiger Express ascends from Grindelwald to Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher) station, which is where direct connections are available to head all the way up to Jungfrau station.
💡 Pro Tip: If you aren’t planning to continue on to Jungfrau, you can still enjoy the view of the Eiger North Face from the modern tricable car cabins.
From Eiger Glacier station you can take a train through Kleine Scheidegg, and down to Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. On this part of your journey, you will be on the longest cog railway in the world!
8. Visit Europe’s Highest Railway Station
Jungfraujoch is known as the “Top of Europe” and Europe’s highest railway station. Saying you’ve been to the Top of Europe is pretty cool, so a visit here is on many travel to-do lists.
Before you go, the Jungfrau railway excursion has a few things to consider:
- It can be expensive
- The weather is unpredictable so visibility is hit and miss
- It takes most of the day to visit
If you’ve got the time and your budget allows, this is a unique experience you can only have here!
9. Explore Glacier Gorge
Glacier Gorge, known locally as Gletscherschlucht, is just that! A deep and narrow gorge where you can walk alongside 300-meter high rock walls, while the Lütschine river rushes past you at the bottom.
There’s even a section with a pedestrian net, allowing visitors to actually walk over the rushing waters.
💡 Pro Tip: Be sure to wear a warm jacket, since it’s usually about 50°F/10°C inside the gorge, and gusts of wind can be frequent.
10. Grindelwald Museum
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, the Grindelwald Museum is a great way to learn about some local history.
This museum is located right in town, and features exhibitions and films about the history of Grindelwald, how people have lived here over the years, its mountain rescue services, and more.
FREE Things To Do In Grindelwald
From exploring picturesque hiking trails to enjoying stunning vistas from lookouts, there are plenty of free things to do in Grindelwald that will make your vacation unforgettable!
11. The Bort Alpine Playground
The cable car from Grindelwald to First has two stations in between: Bort and Schreckfeld.
Travelling from Grindelwald to the Bort station takes about 10 minutes. While you can stay on the cable car all the way up to First, kids will want to make a stop at the Bort Alpine Playground, or Alpenspielplatz, found right at the Bort station.
This fantastic alpine playground is really cool, complete with climbing apparatus, slides, and more. It’s a great place to let the kids run off some energy, while enjoying breathtaking views of the valley below!
12. First Cliff Walk
Amazingly, the First Cliff Walk is FREE!
This spectacular walkway is attached to the cliffs of First and offers unbeatable views. There is also a suspension bridge and a 45-meter viewing platform jutting out over the vast landscape.
13. Hike the Blue Jewel of Lake Bachalpsee
One of the most well-known hikes from First is to Lake Bachalpsee, also known as the “blue jewel.”
Take a leisurely walk through Alpine meadows on your hike to Lake Bachalpsee.
The trail is well-maintained, and round-trip will take about 2 hours. If you’ve got the time, the breathtaking views are well worth it!
14. Spot Marmots on the Marmot Trail
Also called the Marmot Nature Trail, this 7-kilometer trail takes you from First up to Grosse Scheidegg.
The hike takes about 2 hours, but you can take a bus back down, if you’re done walking.
On the way, there are several viewing platforms where you can stop and admire the scenery, as well as a few info boards with information about (guess what?) marmots! You might even see some!
15. Ride the Cow Slide in Männlichen
I’m telling you…Switzerland has some of the most scenic, picturesque playgrounds in the world! Männlichen takes it even more to the next level with their cow slide. 🐮
Officially called the Alpine Herdsman’s Playground, yes, you can climb inside a giant cow and slide out of its mouth! Talk about a popular attraction for our kids!
Swings, a seesaw, in-ground trampolines (and did I mention the cow slide??) will keep the kids occupied while you breathe in the mountain air and the incomparable scenery.
Truth be told, I even tried out the cow slide myself!
16. Hike the Royal Walk
From Männlichen station, hike the Royal Walk to the Männlichen summit, complete with a royal crown lookout. You’ll be able to see the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks!
At just 2 km round-trip, it’s only a 25-minute ascent to the summit and about 15 minutes back down.
17. Spend the Day Exploring the Trails
We can’t talk about the Swiss Alps without talking about hiking! There are seemingly infinite fantastic trails around Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region.
One of the most well-known is the Eiger Trail. This moderate hike provides great views of the Eiger’s North Face and offers some of the most spectacular views of Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region.
(You may have noticed that there are spectacular views everywhere in this region of the world!)
For an easier hike that will get you the most reward for the least effort, the best way is to hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg.
Called the Panorama Trail, or Panoramaweg, this 2.8-mile walk takes about two hours and offers unbelievable views of the valley below, as well as the peaks of the Jungfrau region.
It is an easy hike and is mostly downhill!
Where To Stay In Grindelwald
Switzerland tends to be on the higher end of vacation locations in the world. That said, you can still find great deals on Grindelwald accommodations if you know where to look.
From campsites and hostels, to vacation rentals and luxury hotels, the small town of Grindelwald has them all. Here are our top picks for places to stay in Grindelwald:
📍Budget Option – Eiger Lodge Easy is the more budget-friendly option of the Eiger Lodge offerings. Shared rooms are available with dorm-like accommodations (bed linens included, towels for rent). Community showers and restrooms are in the hallway, but get this… breakfast is included!
📍Mid Range Option –Eiger Lodge Chic is the flip side of the Eiger Lodge offers two or four person private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Breakfast is included, with many products coming from the Alps surrounding the hotel.
📍Luxury Option –Bergwelt Grindelwald (an Alpine Design Resort) offers rooms with Eiger views, a 3-bedroom residence, and luxury for miles. Multiple restaurants and a full-scale spa add to the experience.
How To Get From Interlaken To Grindelwald
If you have a car, it’s a 30-minute drive from Interlaken to Grindelwald. Yes, it’s totally drivable.
But my advice is, take the train! Once you’re in Grindelwald, everything you want to get to for your adventures is walkable.
Even though there are many free activities in the Grindelwald area, you need a way to easily get to many of them (if you don’t want to just hike everywhere). Enter the Berner Oberland Pass.
💡 Pro Tip: Opt for the Berner Oberland Pass over the Swiss Travel Pass or the Jungfrau Travel Pass, as this is the only one that covers most mountain railways in the region including cable cars, gondolas, cog railways, and funiculars.
The Berner Oberland Pass is the best value in the area. For our family of four, one return cable car ride from Grindelwald to First and back was 28% of our Berner Oberland Passes altogether. That’s just one cable car on one day.
We rode trains, cable cars, gondolas, funiculars, boats, and more, for four days, all included in our Berner Oberland Pass!
Visiting Grindelwald: FAQs
Grindelwald is the perfect place for outdoor adventurers, families, and anyone who loves the mountains and nature.
The summer months are the most popular time to visit, but you can also participate in downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and sledging during the winter.
Is Grindelwald, Switzerland Worth Visiting?
YES! With endless day trips in the region, Grindelwald is a must-visit destination in Switzerland.
Here, you can take part in some of the most incredible outdoor activities, from alpine skiing in winter to hiking and mountain biking in summer.
The region also offers breathtaking views of the Alps and quaint Swiss villages with delicious food and friendly locals. Grindelwald is worth visiting for anyone who loves to explore and enjoys outdoor activities!
How Many Days is Enough for Grindelwald?
I recommend at least three days in Grindelwald. That will give you enough time to take a day trip or two and enjoy the many activities this region has to offer.
If you have more time, I recommend spending at least five days exploring Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region. This way, you’ll be able to take part in all of the outdoor activities and fully explore the stunning mountain landscape.
No matter how long your stay is, you can guarantee that Grindelwald will be an unforgettable experience!
Is it Better to Stay in Grindelwald or Interlaken?
My recommendation is to stay in Interlaken. It’s very close to Grindelwald (just 30 minutes by car), and the larger city has more options for accommodation and dining.
Plus, Interlaken has lots of things to do and is a great base for exploring the entire region, including its own two lakes. You can easily take day trips from Interlaken to nearby cities like Lucerne or Zermatt, as well as Jungfrau region attractions like the Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, and the Lauterbrunnen valley.
It’s even possible to visit Schynige Platte, called the “Top of Swiss Tradition!”
No matter where you stay, however, Grindelwald is a must-visit destination in Switzerland! Grindelwald is a magical place with plenty to offer its visitors. From stunning mountain scenery to thrilling outdoor activities, it’s no wonder why so many people come back time and again.
Whether you’re a nature-lover, adrenaline junkie, or just looking for a great adventure, Grindelwald has something special for everyone.
Which is Better Zermatt or Grindelwald?
It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to ski or board, I’d recommend Zermatt; if you’re looking for an outdoor summer adventure, then Grindelwald’s the place for you!
Zermatt is most famous for the iconic Matterhorn, and it’s an excellent destination for skiing and snowboarding in winter. It’s also a great spot to visit some of the region’s most impressive glaciers.
Grindelwald, on the other hand, is known for its incredible mountain views and thrilling outdoor activities. The area around Grindelwald is much more accessible than Zermatt and offers plenty of adventure sports as well.
There are so many built-in day trip options from Grindelwald!
The Wrap-Up: Things To Do In Grindelwald Switzerland
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure or just want to take in the stunning mountain scenery, Grindelwald is an unbeatable destination.
With endless activities and attractions from skiing and snowboarding during winter months to hiking and biking in summertime, there’s something special here for everyone!
Plus, with easy access to nearby cities like Lucerne and Zermatt, and plenty of built-in day trips options available from Grindelwald itself, it’s no wonder why this Swiss village is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags – it’s time to explore all that beautiful Grindelwald has to offer!