The Bernese Oberland is an area around Lake Thun, Brienz, and the valleys of the Bernese Alps. It is a stunning place. I have been to Switzerland three times but already twice to the Bernese Oberland because the sheer grandness and beauty of this area is something you cannot get enough of. If you’re a hiking enthusiast like me, then you will definitely enjoy this area. There are many hiking trails for you to discover and like me you may have to come back a couple times.
GRINDELWALD QUICK FACTS
Great for: Hiking (easy to expert levels), Skiing, Hangliding, Parasailing, Biking, Stunning views
- Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe – highest train station in Europe and the place to see the eternal snow glaciers
- Trümmelbach Falls – Glacier Waterfalls inside the mountain
- Shilthorn – famous James Bond mountain
Mountains: The trio Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau tower over the valley towns nestled below.
Town we stayed in: Grindelwald
Reason for choosing this town: great train access, lots of hotels near train station, restaurants, cheaper, amazing views of surrounding mountains, great starting point for all excursions in the area.
Area pricing: $$$$ (overall Switzerland is very expensive and this is a tourist area)
Currency: CHF – Swiss Franc
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Getting to Grindelwald
Our mode of transportation: train (using global pass from either RailEurope or ACPRail whichever is cheaper)
Route: we take the train as far as Interlaken using our global passes. ***Rail passes do not cover the Jungfrau region but offer discounts.*** Then we take the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald.
Travel time: Train from Interlaken to Grindelwald is about 35 minutes.
Both times we stayed in the small town of Grindelwald. The tourist town is nestled in a valley surrounded by large mountains, mainly the famous trio, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Be prepared, Switzerland is expensive and staying in a tourist town did not help the matter but it is well worth it. We try to travel on a reasonable budget. We don’t like it very cheap but still try to find the best deals possible, even sometimes choosing the cheaper attractions. This way, we still get to see a lot without driving us poor. Our means of travel is always by train. It’s fast, we don’t have to worry about parking, getting lost, or safety on the road. We always get the global pass which gives us the option to travel to any of the participating countries in the EU.
The global rail pass will only get you as far as Interlaken. From there, you need to purchase tickets for the train to Grindelwald. The trains and cable cars in the Jungfraujoch region are not part of the major train systems in the EU, therefore the global rail pass does not cover them although you do get a discount. Travel time from Interlaken to Grindelwald is about 35 minutes with constant picturesque views. The train is slow so it provides ample time to take photos.
If you plan to stay in Grindelwald, it is worth getting a hotel with a view. I always book my hotels through Booking.com. So far, we have not encountered any issues when booking through this website and I found they had the best prices. We chose to stay at a small family owned hotel called Tschuggen.
Tip: when travelling in Europe, always try to find a hotel that includes breakfast in the price. It is hassle free, saves you time and you don’t have to get out on the town to look for a place. You wake up, eat, and you’re off exploring. It is about a 10 minute walk from the train station. The owners were very friendly, the breakfast was fresh and fulfilling, and the view was stunning.
There were four of us so we booked the two bedroom apartment on the top floor. The apartment had it’s own private steps to the top. The main room had an eating area, TV (but who wants to watch TV in such an awesome place, we only watched it to see the weather), small kitchenette, sleeping area and a balcony with a view of the mountains. The second room was on the other side overlooking the street. The bathroom had a somewhat odd setup where the toilet was in its own room and the sink and bathtub in another room next to it. There were no locks on the bathroom doors, which was my only complaint about that apartment, but that was a minor thing for what you get.
Grindelwald has a couple restaurants but we enjoyed the one right across from the hotel the most. It was inexpensive running at just over $100CHF for four persons (really, that is pretty good for Switzerland). I really enjoyed their vegetarian Rosti (Swiss potato pancake) with tomatoes, cheese, and avocado baked in a skillet. Getting hungry just thinking about it.