The Jungfrau Railway is one of Europe’s most incredible mountain rides. Located in the Jungfrau massif in Bernese Highlands, this railway climbs to a staggering height of 11,330 ft. Its final station, Jungfraujoch, has been aptly dubbed “Top Of Europe,” being the highest train station on the continent.
Let’s try to answer the question, Jungfraujoch is it worth it?
History of the Jungfrau Railway
There is a fascinating history behind the Jungfrau Railway. It leads from Kleine Scheidegg at 2063 meters (6761 ft) through the Eiger mountain to the summit of Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s largest existing glacier. This 19th-century engineering marvel is surely going to leave you speechless. The construction began in 1896, after the visionary project of Adolf Guer-Zeller, a Swiss industrialist. According to his plans, the railway was supposed to be fully electrified. To produce enough electrical power, he obtained rights to two rivers in the Jungfrau region, making them a source of hydroelectric power. After 16 years of construction, the railway opened in 1912 and has been safely transporting passengers ever since on the same route.
A trip to the Jungfraujoch summit offers visitors one of the most spectacular views any railway can provide. There are several ways to reach the summit. The original Jungfrau Bahn departs from Kleine Scheidegg, a plateau at the foot of Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch. To get there, you can take a train from Grindelwald or a train from Lauterbrunnen through Wengen. Alternatively, you can take the newly built super-modern Eiger Express gondola from Grindelwald straight to Eiger Glacier station. Here, you will catch the Jungfraubahn as it climbs from Kleine Scheidegg. From here, the train enters a tunnel drilled in the Eiger mountain, winding up to the Jungfraujoch station at 11,330 ft of elevation.
Experiences at Jungfraujoch
The Jungfraujoch station is full of adventures for adults and children alike. As you leave the tunnel decorated with subtly lit whimsical curtains billowing in gusts of fresh air, you enter a completely new world – one that’s suspended high above the ground like a bird’s nest in a tree. The station prepared a range of multimedia attractions showing you the magnitude of nature at Jungfraujoch and the engineering solutions that conquered the rock, snow, and ice. Starting from Alpine Sensation, you can experience a series of grottos depicting Swiss alpine culture, the history of Jungfrau Bahn, and other fascinating highlights. The grottos lead to the Ice Palace – long corridors carved in ice are full of interesting sculptures commemorating famous persons or events.
Outdoors on Aletsch Glacier
When the weather is good, you can explore the outside of Altesch Glacier. An elevator ride up to the Sphinx observatory provides panoramic 360-degree views. On one side, you will have the snowy Alps and green valleys stretching all the way up to the French Vosges some 300 km (150 miles) away. On the other side, you can admire the great Aletsch glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps, lined with 4000-meter-high peaks.
Families will be interested in a fun snow park on the glacier. Here, you can rent snowtubes, sleds, skis, and even sail down a zipline. Many people prefer to just sit on the sunchairs, sip coffee, and enjoy the amazing scenery.
Hiking on the glacier
For the hearty, there is an hour walk on a hard-packed snow path to Europe’s highest Alpine hut, Mönch Hütte. The trail leads through the alpine glacier world in the midst of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. The hut offers a breathtaking view of Central and Eastern Switzerland as well as the Valais mountains. You might even see mountain climbers ascending or descending which provides an even more exhilarating experience.
Jungfraujoch is it worth it?
Riding a Jungfrau Railway is more than just another railway experience – it’s a trip to a new world that beckons to be discovered. Whether you’re a nature lover eager to experience the top of glaciers first-hand, or an adventurer wishing to conquer sky-high summits, Jungfrau Bahn provides all that and more. Experience one of the most spectacular locations, far above the clouds, with a true Swiss railway engineering marvel that gives a new meaning to the mountain railway adventure.
In our escorted 8-Day Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, we explore the Jungfraujoch with many other scenic train rides. Click below to discover our beautiful itinerary.