BEST DAY TRIPS FROM GRINDELWALD, SWITZERLAND

MOST EPIC DAY TOURS FROM GRINDELWALD  –  PLACES TO VISIT FROM THE EIGER VILLAGE

Are you planning a trip to Switzerland and want to make beautiful Grindelwald your base so you can explore some of the surroundings? Then this post is for you as I am sharing the best day trips from Grindelwald.

I have visited Grindelwald about 8 or 9 times so far, often just for a day but I also stayed in Grindelwald twice and made it my base and went on some fantastic day tours from there.

Nestled in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, the stunning village of Grindelwald is one the best places to visit in Switzerland.  Another brilliant thing about Grindelwald is its proximity to several beautiful lakes in Switzerland, and iconic Swiss destinations.

This post is all about Grindelwald day tours, so keep reading to find out more. In addition to the best day excursions – in winter or summer – I also have a few more tips that help you plan your trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here

TIPS FOR GRINDELWALD EXCURSIONS

Grindelwald is located in the canton (state) of Bernese Oberland, in the region of Jungfrau, just north of the Alps, at 1,034 meters above sea level.

You can get to Grindelwald easily by train or car. There are paid parking spots (which might fill up quickly in the summer) and the train station is just conveniently located at the beginning of the village center. If you book a hotel, make sure they have parking.

It is approximately 70 km southeast of Bern (1 hour) and just 20 km southeast of Interlaken (20 minutes). Less than 4000 people live in Grindelwald, but there are hundreds of hotel rooms and apartments. It gets crowded in the high season – which is in July, August, and December and at the end of February!

Grindelwald is close to the peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, also known as the Swiss Skyline. To be precise, Grindelwald is at the feet of the north face of the Eiger mountain: this is why Grindelwald is also known as the Eiger village.

Planning a winter wonderland trip to this pristine ski destination? Check out these brilliant things to do in Grindelwald in winter.

Eiger North Face in the Grindelwald village
Shares

WHERE TO STAY FOR GRINDELWALD DAY TOURS

I stayed at these two hotels when I made Grindelwald my base. 

Though Grindelwald is a top destination in Switzerland, there is only one 5-star hotel – this is the beautiful Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof. It is located behind the train station. Despite its location, I did not hear any trains in my room and I loved the spa area and the great breakfast. Check out rates here.

Hotel Caprice is a family-run 3-star hotel that also has a spa area and is centrally located. I enjoyed the room views the most when I stayed there during my first Grindelwald trip. Find out more about the hotel and the rates.

SWISS TRAVEL PASS

I almost always get a Swiss Travel Pass when I am in Switzerland. Even when I do my 6-week-long Switzerland road trip, I book a Swiss Travel Pass online. Why? Because I love the perks it brings.

I can use (99,9% of) trains and buses without any extra costs. I also enjoy boat cruises without additional costs, including cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz which are close to Grindelwald.

A pass also gives me a 50% discount on most mountain rides (which means, I can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price, and if you follow my tips, you will need it twice) and will also get a 25% discount on the Jungfraujoch ride.

The initial price for a Swiss Travel Pass is quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days.

So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

  • The Swiss Travel Pass is only for non-Swiss residents.
  • Check out my review of the Swiss Travel Pass.

BEST GRINDELWALD DAY TOURS

Without further ado, here are the top excursions from Grindelwald.

Männlichen Mountain

My first tip for a day tour is Männlichen Mountain. 

Männlichen Mountain is popular amongst hikers due to the incredible 360-degree views at the summit. In winter, it is one of the most popular places to ski in the region, and in summer, it offers great hiking opportunities.

Swiss Skyline and Lauberhorn at Mannlichen Mountain
Shares
Mannlichen Mountain in winter

One easy hike to do all year round on Männlichen Mountain is The Royal Walk – it starts at the Männlichen Gondola Station at 7,200 feet (2,200 meters) until the peak at around 7,700 feet (2,350 meters). It’s also not a challenging route to climb and will take around one hour to complete. At the top, you have stunning views of Grindelwald, Wengen, the Alps, and more.

To get to Männlichen Mountain, ride up a gondola from Grindelwald Terminal station. This is a terrific way to get some of the best mountain views in Switzerland as you sit back and relax on the ride. In summer and early fall, you can also hike up.

I did the winter hike and absolutely loved it. It was quite busy with all the winter sports enthusiasts but once I started the hike and left the gondola station, it got quieter. The Royal Walk is easy for anyone semi-fit and I was rewarded with great views. 

  • The gondola operates from mid-December until mid-April and then from late May until late October. So, there are just a few weeks, the gondola does not operate.

Lauterbrunnen + Muerren + Schilthorn

After only a 25-minute drive (one hour by public transportation) from Grindelwald, is the Lauterbrunnen Valley, home to exquisite landscapes and the villages of Lauterbrunnen, Mürren (or Muerren), and Stechelberg.

Lauterbrunnen gets its name from the natural beauty that surrounds it. It means “Many Fountains” as the town has 72 waterfalls near it, some of which are the best waterfalls in Switzerland. These include the Trümmelbach Waterfalls and Staubbach Falls. 

Staubbach Waterfall in Lauterbrunnen
Shares

Lauterbrunnen is one of my favorite places to visit for a day. I just love visiting and it is so easy from Grindelwald.

But I suggest getting up Mürren first which is a quaint little village located above Lauterbrunnen and at the foot of Schilthorn Mountain.

Grütschalp to Mürren, most scenic train ride
Shares

Mürren (or Muerren/Murren) has some cozy cafés and terraced restaurants. However, the views are one of the things I appreciate the most when strolling Murren but I also just love the traditional Swiss chalets and the laid-back vibe. It is a beauty in the winter as well as in the summer (but also during the other seasons).

Getting up there from Lauterbrunnen includes one of the most scenic gondola and train rides in Switzerland. I am actually always sad when the train ride ends as it is such a gorgeous but way too short 20-minute train ride). 

HOW TO GET TO LAUTERBRUNNEN / MURREN:

Take the train to Lauterbrunnen, then hop on a big gondola from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschap. In the gondola, I always try to stand on the left side in the direction of travel, because I figured out that I have the best views there.

In Grütschalp, change to a train and enjoy a scenic train ride to Muerren (a total travel time of less than two hours, but it is so worth it). For the train ride, I always try to get a seat on the left side of travel. The window views are the best on this side. 

This is all included in the Swiss Travel Pass. I

From Mürren, you can continue your trip to Schilthorn. 

A must-do activity is going up the cable car to Schilthorn Mountain – especially for movie lovers who might be familiar with the scenery. This is because a James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – was filmed here in parts in 1969. At the top, I was blown away by the incredible Swiss alpine views, which include views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains (Swiss Skyline).

Swiss Panorama in Schilthorn
Shares

Head back to Mürren and then take the gondola to Stechelberg and then take the bus to Lauterbrunnen explore the rest of Lauterbrunnen Valley and Lauterbrunnen by walking the water trail to Lauterbrunnen.

While I absolutely love getting up Schilthorn (I have visited once in the summer and once in the winter), this mountain excursion is quite expensive. If you are on a budget, then the day trip to Lauterbrunnen and Muerren is great enough.

Lauterbrunnen and Mürren (as well as Schilthorn) make one of the best day trips from Grindelwald in summer or winter – or anytime between as the gondola/train operates year-round. Check out my Lauterbrunnen or Murren guides for more info on what to do there, and my Schilthorn post for more details on the James Bond mountain.

HOW TO GET TO SCHILTHORN:

From Mürren to Schilthorn, you will need an extra ticket. This ticket is not cheap – but you get 50% off with your Swiss Travel Pass. So, without a Swiss Travel Pass, the trip from Lauterbrunnen to Schilthorn is about 110 CH, with a Swiss Travel Pass it is about 44 CHF. You can buy tickets in advance here (just make sure to buy the right ticket – whether you have a Swiss Travel Pass or not).

  • These activities are available almost all year round, with just very few days when the gondola does not operate.

Interlaken + Harder Kulm

It only takes a 30-minute drive or a 50-minute scenic train ride to get to Interlaken from Grindelwald. This makes it another excellent day trip from Grindelwald. There are also many things to do in Interlaken, from paragliding above the Alps to getting up Harder Kulm.

Harder Kulm in Interlaken and things to do
Shares

There is a lot to do in Interlaken, but one of the most popular things to do is to get up Harder Kulm. I have been on Harder Kulm twice and especially love it around sunset time (at least on a clear day).  The viewpoint is really popular and it gets busy, especially in the summer months, so be prepared for the crowds.

I took the funicular to get up to Harder Kulm, but you can also hike up. Though it is a bit steep, it shouldn’t take you longer than two hours to get to the viewpoint. 

At the top a breathtaking panorama, including Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, with Interlaken in between, greeted me. Interestingly that’s how Interlaken got its name, as it means “between lakes.” 

  • Harder Kulm funicular does not operate in the winter season – it is closed from the end of November until mid-April.

HOW TO GET TO INTERLAKEN / HARDER KULM:

There is a direct train connection from Grindelwald to Interlaken. This short (about 40 minutes) train ride is scenic, so perfect to enjoy some nice window views. The Harder Kulm funicular station is located at Interlaken Ost station.

Schynige Platte

Schynige Platte is home to some of the best views in the Jungfrau Region. The views blew my mind and left me speechless. And only 40 minutes from Grindelwald, this is one of the best ways to see the area’s famed natural attractions, from Lake Thun and Lake Brienz to the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch Mountains. 

Visit the Schynige Platte with your Swiss Travel Pass
Shares

There are multiple ways to get here: hiking from Grindelwald to Grindelwald First and then to Schynige Platte is the first way. This hike takes around five to six hours, 800 meters of ascent, and 600 meters of descent.

So, I recommend it only to people who enjoy hiking. It’s a brilliant hike to experience the true beauty of Swiss nature, such as green meadows, wildflowers, and overhead views of various opal-colored lakes.

If you want an easier route, get to Wilderswil station and then get a funicular up to Schynige Platte.

  • It’s worth mentioning that the funicular is only open from 15th June 24 to 20th October 24.

HOW TO GET TO SCHYNIGE PLATTE:

There is a direct train connection from Grindelwald to Wilderswil (about 40 minutes). A funicular to Schynige Platte is waiting for you (which takes another 50 minutes, but it is absolutely scenic).

Bern 

No Switzerland road trip is complete without a visit to Bern, the beautiful Swiss capital. The trip might be longer (almost 2 hours by public transportation, or 75 minutes by car) but it is still worth it.

Bern old town main street
Shares

The city dates back to the 12th century, and a unique way to see how it originated is by visiting the Altstadt (Old Town). I recommend exploring this area on a 90-minute guided stroll through the Old Town, a UNESCO heritage site.

See attractions, such as the Gothic Cathedral, Zytglogge (a 13-century clock tower), and the Parliament Building. 

For a more in-depth look at the Zytglogge, I recommend a tour through the Clock Tower, to see how the clock operates and admire a view of the city and the Alps from the top of the tower.

While Zurich feels like home to me, I think Bern is the most Swiss beautiful city with a stunning old town. Check out this post for more brilliant things to do in Bern.

HOW TO GET TO BERN:

Get to Interlaken Ost station first, then change trains and take a direct train to Bern (it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes).

Thun and Lake Thun Boat Cruise

Visiting Thun is another great a day trip from Grindelwald, as it’s only an hour’s drive away. What’s more, there are many great things to do in Thun and I always have a blast when I visit this pretty small town.

Thun, most beautiful town in Interlaken
Shares
@View from Thun Castle, free with a Swiss Travel Pass

Many castles are in and around the town, including Thun Castle, Schadau Castle, and Oberhofen Castle. It’s a brilliant spot to visit in summer – I have not done that yet, but you can swim, kayak, and even surf on Lake Thun.

Another terrific way to explore the lake is aboard a boat cruise – boats on Lake Thun operate all year long – thus Tun and a Lake Thun boat cruise are some of the most fantastic day trips to take in summer and winter. I admit, I can never get enough and enjoy the boat trip the most when I am tired of all the walking and hiking.

Best things to see at Lake Thun, boat tour Lake Thun
Shares

I recommend using this boat day pass (if you do not have a Swiss Travel Pass) as a fun way to explore the surrounding regions and towns, including Interlaken and Spiez. 

Many attractions surround Lake Thun, including the St. Beatus Caves. It is full of stalactites and stalagmites and is a limestone cave system. This cave is also great for lovers of myths and fantasy.  The myth is that around 100 AD, a dragon lived in the cave. This was until St. Beatus arrived at the cave and defeated the dragon. 

  • The caves are not open daily during the shoulder season.

Check out my Thun guide and also my Lake Thun guide.

HOW TO GET TO THUN/INTERLAKEN WEST:

You could either get to Thun directly (about 90 minutes) or to Interlaken West station (about 50 minutes). At Interlaken West station you can catch the boat to Thun. 

Brienz and Lake Brienz Boat Tour 

Not far from Grindelwald is the village of Brienz which sits on the northeastern shore of the splendid Lake Brienz. It’s a 45-minute drive away (or 90 minutes by train) and is close to Interlaken and Thun, so it’s perfect for a day trip. 

Brunnengasse in Brienz is a must see
Shares

This lake, also known as Brienzersee, has a vivid turquoise color caused by the sediment of glacial waters. These particles come from the Aare and Lütschine. It is one of my favorite lakes in Switzerland (I am an expert when it comes to Swiss lakes) and I have never seen a lake of this size so pretty.

This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Switzerland – especially on a sunny day when the lake shows its best colors – it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world!

I always enjoy a Lake Brienz boat cruise (not in the winter months) and love the sights like the Giessbach Waterfalls along the way.

Best things to do around Lake Brienz, Interlaken Giessbach Waterfalls
Shares

A fantastic way to experience the beauty of the area is by taking a jet boat ride on Lake Brienz. You can also take a kayak tour if you want to be more active way – this is also possible in the winter months. 

Besides the lake, there are a lot of things to do in Brienz, such as the Ballenberg Museum. I was impressed by the size of this open-air museum, where I  walked through time, seeing over 100 traditional buildings from the 16th to the 19th century. It’s undoubtedly a unique way to see the progress of Swiss architecture and design. 

HOW TO GET TO BRIENZ/INTERLAKEN OST:

If you do this trip, you can also start your boat trip in Interlaken Ost (40 minutes) and get to Brienz by boat. This will save you some time. Or, take public transportation from Grindelwald to Brienz (about 70 minutes) via Interlaken Ost.

Grosse Scheidegg and Hike to Rosenlaui Gorge

Amongst the Schwarzhorn and Wetterhorn mountains is the twisty Grosse Scheidegg Mountain Pass. At an elevation of around 6,400 feet (1,950 meters), it offers unparalleled views of the Eiger’s infamous north face, as well as various glaciers.

Grosse Scheidegg hike down to Rosenlaui Valley
Shares

You are not allowed to drive on this pass, so hop on board one of the area’s yellow PostBuses. If you’re an enthusiastic cyclist, this should definitely be on your to-ride list, as it has a 4800-foot ascent and a zippy descent that’s not for the faint-hearted.

This bus trip has become one of my favorites of all time, and thus I have done it twice already and hope I can get there many more times.

From Grindelwald, I took the Postauto (there is a surcharge – around 14 CHF – for this mountain bus tour and it is not completely covered by the Swiss Travel Pass) and got out at the Grosse Scheidegg Pass. Then I continued to walk toward Rosenlaui Valley.

I then hiked down to Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge  (you can also take the Postauto to get to this beautiful valley). This hike is relatively easy, as it is downhill and not steep.

Rosenlaui Gorge impressed me by being incredibly picturesque it is and how powerful the water was.

Rosenau Glacier Gorge close to Interlaken
Shares
@shutterstock

The gorge is only open from May to October, and tickets are 10 CHF for adults and 5 CHF for children (6-16), even with a Swiss Travel Pass this fee is still applicable.

  • The Grosse Scheidegg pass is not open all year round – it normally closes at the end of October (depending on the weather conditions) and reopens somewhere in May/June.

HOW TO GET TO THE GROSSE SCHEIDEGG:

In spring, summer, and early fall, take the yellow bus (Postauto) from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg, If you hike down to Rosenlaui, take the yellow bus to Meiringen and then take trains to Interlaken Ost, before changing to the train to Grindelwald.

Jungfraujoch

Of course, one of the most famous and popular day trips in all of Switzerland is the trip to Jungfraujoch. And it is also easily accessible from Grindelwald village.

Arzo Travels at Jungfraujoch
Shares

The Jungfraujoch is a pass in the Bernese Alps, connecting the two mountain peaks of Jungfrau Mountain and Mönch Mountain.  The highest train station in Europe lies in the heart of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

On the one side, I loved the view of the Swiss Mittelland towards the Vosges, and on the other, the Aletsch Glacier (the longest glacier in the Alps), lined with 4000-meter peaks. Standing on the Jungfraujoch at 11332,02 feet above sea level (3,454 meters), allowed me to enjoy some of the most impressive panoramas.

On top of that, this is the place to come if you want to spend time in the snow. Yes, even in the summer months, there is snow on the “Top of Europe”.

Ice tunnel at Jungfraujoch
Shares

In addition to the great views, I loved the Ice Palace, the Alpine Sensation Museum, and more. This all makes the Jungfraujoch one of the best day trips from Grindelwald. Even despite the prices which are quite high. Check out my detailed Jungfraujoch guide and find all the info you need.

HOW TO GET TO JUNGFRAUJOCH FROM GRINDELWALD

I went to Grindelwald Terminal Station. It is just 2 minutes by train from Grindelwald station. Then I took the Eiger Express Gondola which took me all the way up to Eigergletscher station. From there, I took a cogwheel to get up.

The Eiger Express just opened in 2021, before that – and even now – there is another route via Grindelwald – Kleine Scheidegg – Eigergletscher and then Jungfraujoch. The second option takes a bit longer but is more scenic in my opinion. You can check out tickets here. If you get a ticket, choose whether you have a Swiss Travel Pass (there is a discount) and the right starting destination

Discover Grindelwald-First

Of course, THE best Grindelwald day trip is from Grindelwald to Grindelwald First. That is a must-see!

It is just a few minute’s walk from the village center/train station to the Gondola station that will get you on top of First Mountain.

First Cliff Walk in Grindewald
Shares

Grindelwald First is a summit located 2,184 meters above sea level – nicknamed “Top of Adventure”, as you’ll find so many exciting things to do here.

In winter, Grindelwald First is the best area for skiing and snowboarding. There are 56 km of pistes in what is probably the sunniest resort in the whole region. Though I am not a winter sports enthusiast, I still loved my winter trip as much as my summer trip 

In the summer, there are lots of thrilling activities – like the First Cliff Walk or the First Flyer – as well as hikes for all levels of fitness. The easy hike to the Bachalpsee is another reason to make Grindelwald First a top priority when planning day tours from Grindelwald. It is a slightly uphill walk but I still consider it a rather easy walk.

Bachalpsee near Grindelwald one of the most photogenic spost in Interlaken
Shares

Most of all, the views from First Mountain are just incredible. It’s a great place to visit in Grindelwald even to have just a snack outside or a meal at the restaurant while admiring the panorama. Check out my Grindelwald post for more information.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST DAY TOURS FROM GRINDELWALD

Grindelwald´s location makes it a perfect place to explore the stunning scenery – mostly the Bernese Oberland. There is so much to do and see near Grindelwald, that I love it as a base to discover the towns, villages, lakes, and mountain peaks close by.

Hopefully, this list of the best day trips from Grindewald has helped you plan your Switzerland itinerary.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares