IS THE JUNGFRAU PASS WORTH IT? REVIEW + TIPS
The Jungfrau Region is one of the most spectacular regions in Switzerland. I do not say it lightly – as a Switzerland addict, I have spent many, many months in the country – so take my word for granted if I say, the region is a must-see in Switzerland :).
Located in the canton (state) of Bern in the Bernese Oberland, this region is one of the most visited destinations in Switzerland – it is littered with different railways to help explore its enchanting beauty.
The Jungfrau Region is named after the Jungfrau peak summit – which stands at 4,158 meters above sea level! It is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps – but it’s also home to other splendid mountain peaks & passes, lakes, mountain villages, and more. The list of activities is nearly endless, so you are spoilt for choice in this magical landscape. This unique area is a winter wonderland for skiers but equally a hiker’s paradise in the summer months. It actually is an amazing place to visit all year round.
Unless you know some handy tips and tricks, it can be hard to explore Switzerland on a budget. That’s where this Jungfrau Pass review comes in. Here you will find everything you need to know about the travel card that will take you through the majestic Jungfrau Region at a reasonable fee.
WHAT IS THE JUNGFRAU PASS?
- The Jungfrau Pass is a travel pass you can purchase online or on the spot.
- It allows you to use the trains, cable cars/funiculars, and services of the Jungfrau Bahn (Jungfrau Railways) without any extra costs.
- Some of the top excursions in Switzerland are included in the Jungfrau Pass. There are a few exceptions which I will talk about later on.
- You can choose between a 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7- or 8-day pass.
- If you opt for the 5 to 8-day pass, you can also do boat cruises on the main lakes in the Bernese Oberland.
- Check out prices here – and continue reading to find out for what exactly the Jungfrau Pass can be used.
- P.S. I normally book my tickets via GetYourGuide – they offer a better cancellation policy compared to the
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN JUNGFRAU PASS AND SWISS TRAVEL PASS
If you rely on public transportation in Switzerland, you might have read about the Swiss Travel Pass already. It is a travel pass for people living outside of Switzerland and Liechtenstein only.
It allows you to use all kinds of public transportation once you buy the pass without any extra costs. This is for all of Switzerland and is not limited to a region. There are just very few exceptions where you need to buy an extra ticket/pay a reservation fee (e.g. in panorama trains like Glacier Express or Bernina Express). It also includes boat cruises on most lakes and even has some mountain excursions included. For the Jungfrau Region, the Swiss Travel Pass allows you to use public transportation – buses and trains from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindelwald, Mürren, and more. This is similar to the Jungfrau Pass.
However, if you want to get up to mountain summits, like Grindelwald First or Harder Kulm, you “only” get a 50% discount. Check out the Swiss Travel Pass and see if it is something that is perfect for you.
WHEN IS THE JUNGFRAU PASS VALID?
There is a Jungfrau Pass for summer and one for winter. They slightly differ – in summer, all cable cars/funiculars/trains and boats operate. In the winter season, not all funiculars/cable cars run. You cannot visit Schynige Platte after mid-October e.g.
Thus, when you buy your Jungfrau Pass it depends on when you will need it:
- SUMMER PASS: 15.04.22 – 23.10.22
- WINTER PASS: 01.12.22 – 30.04.23
For each activity, included in the Jungfrau Pass, I will let you know whether it is included in the winter or summer pass (or even both).
JUNGFRAU PASS – 5 DAYS *
You have to decide on the duration of your Jungfrau Pass. The shortetst duration of a pass is 3 days. However, if you buy a ticket for at least 5 days, then it will also have free boat cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz included.
WHERE CAN I BUY A JUNGFRAU PASS?
You can buy the ticket online at the official website, via GetYourGuide (my favorite website for booking tours and services because of their amazing support and generous cancellation policy which the official website does not have), or on spot in the Jungfrau Region. There are different places where you can buy it – either in one of their ticket sales or even at a machine.
PLACES TO VISIT WITH YOUR SWISS TRAVEL PASS
Here are the places you can visit without any extra costs with your Swiss Travel Pass.
Trains from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen
The Jungfrau Pass will allow you to use the Jungfrau Bahnen which includes the trains from Interlaken Ost station to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. Both of these villages are a) gorgeous in themselves and b) starting points for mountain excursions – so, having these trips included in the Jungfrau Pass is important to avoid more costs.
Trains between Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald and Interlaken Ost normally run 1-2 times an hour and take about 20 minutes to Lauterbrunnen and 35 minutes to Grindelwald.
- Ticket prices (return) to Lauterbrunnen are around 16 CHF without any discounts. A return ticket – Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald – is about 22 CHF.
- You can ride these particular trains without any extra costs if you have a Jungfrau Pass.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you can also enjoy these free train rides.
- Trains operate all year round.
Interlaken – Harder Kulm – Top of Adventure
One of the main attractions in Interlaken is the Harder Kulm summit at 1,322 meters above sea level. It is easily accessible from Interlaken and also offers some impressive views.
Waiting for you at the summit is the Two Lakes Bridge, one of the best viewpoints within the Jungfrau Region. Here you will be treated to views of both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, the town of Interlaken, and the nearby mountain peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – also known as the Swiss Skyline.
To stretch your legs a little, take to the Harder Wanderweg, a circular hiking path that will only take an hour to complete. Then head back down for some other things to do in Interlaken.
You will need to take the Harderbahn, a funicular also run by the Jungfrau Bahn. This funicular takes you on a short 10-minute trip to the top while offering incredible views of the city of Interlaken below, thanks to its glass roof and windows.
- Ticket prices – without any discounts – are about 40 CHF for a return ticket.
- This is one of the most iconic views in the region and there are no extra costs for holders of the Jungfrau Pass.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you will get a 50% discount on the funicular ride.
- The Harder Kulm funicular does not operate in the winter months – it only operates from 15.04.22 – 27.11.22.
The Kleine Scheidegg – at 2,061 meters above sea level – is one of the many mountain passes in the Bernese Oberland. It sits between Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen and serves as the lower terminal for the Jungfrau Railway line.
Think of this as the mountain’s base camp where you can then take the Jungfraubahn cog train up the famous steep railway to the highest railway station in Europe, Jungfraujoch.
The views that await from the window of the train are incredible. Stopping at two different locations embedded within the mountain, you’ll experience glass windows with views of the glorious glaciers.
The train up to the top of the mountain only departs once an hour.
- This trip is included in your Jungfrau Pass.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. The train ride to Wengen is included in your Swiss Travel Pass.
The historical Schynige Platte railway spans the Breitlauenen Alp to the namesake Schynige Platte and is one of the most beautiful areas in Switzerland. Take a seat in one of the open carriages and relax while chugging along on this cog railway. The train will snake its way up the mountain, with the views only getting better as you get higher.
The vintage carriages even still have wooden seats. An Alpine garden with around 650 different plant species and panoramic views of the valley below awaits you at the top of the Schynige Platte.
In summer, make sure you bring your hiking boots as the trails on offer here are spectacular. There is even an old steam train trip that you can take, but it only operates four times a year.
- The train to Schynige Platte only operates in the summer months, from 26th May to 23rd October 2022.
- The full price for a trip to Schynige Platte – from Wilderwil Station – is 64 CHF.
- Make sure to have your Jungfrau pass for the entire journey because it is included. You can get to Wilderswil for free from Interlaken Ost /Grindelwald//Lauterbrunnen.
- You can get to Wilderswil without any extra cost with a Swiss Travel Pass and then get a 50% discount with it.
For some of the best adventures in Switzerland, Grindelwald First offers plenty of outdoor activities to get your adrenaline pumping. Take in some stunning views of Eiger Mountain before starting your hike to the famous Bachalpsee. Walk the Cliff Walk – a high walkway suspended from a rocky mountainside for some extra thrill.
The mountain carts and Trottibike scooters are a more relaxed way to explore and go down the mountain. For the more adventurous, fly down on the 800-meter-long First Flyer zipline or put your nerves to the test on the cliff walk.
In winter, this is a spectacular place to visit as well – perfect for any kind of winter sports incl. skiing, or snowshoe hiking.
You will need to take the train from Interlaken to Grindelwald train station. After a 10-minute walk From there, take the cableway up Mt. First, where all the attractions are.
- Without any discounts, a ticket up Grindelwald First is about 64 CHF from Grindelwald village.
- The cable car ride and the Cliff Walk are included in the Jungfrau Pass. Other activities, like the First Flyer or the Trottibike, do cost extra. From Interlaken Ost, you can take the train without any extra cost to Grindelwald.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount. You can get to Grindelwald by train/bus from any place in Switzerland without any extra cost.
- The gondola operates almost all year round – however, there it is closed for about almost two months – 18.12.21 – 23.10.22
- Check out my Grindelwald in summer or Grindelwald in winter post for more tips.
Grütschalp and Mürren
Connecting the different villages of Mürren and Lauterbrunnen, the Grütschalp railway station is an interchange for the cable car and a high-level railway that comes from Mürren. This station sits high in the mountains, offering incredible panoramic views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley below.
Once you reach the Grütschalp station and have taken in the views, you can then jump on the train to visit and enjoy plenty of things to do in Mürren. This car-free village, at 1650 meters above sea level, in the Alps features rustic wooden homes scattered along the countryside.
Mürren is a gorgeous village that offers some of the most gorgeous views of the Swiss Skyline – which includes the mountains of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Though the train ride is included in the Jungfrau Pass, you can also hike from Grütschalp to Mürren. It’s only for a duration of 90 minutes and is one of the most scenic and yet easiest hikes you can take.
- Without any discounts, a return ticket up to Mürren – from Lauterbrunnen via Grütschalp – is about 12 CHF.
- The gondola and then train rides are included in the Jungfrau Pass. From Interlaken Ost, you can take the train without any extra cost to Lauterbrunnen.
- It is also free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
From Mürren you can and should also continue your trip to Schilthorn Mountain – though, the gondola ride is neither covered with your Jungfrau Pass nor a Swiss Travel Pass (you get a 50% discount here though), it is a perfect place for perfect views. Check out my guide on Schilthorn Mountain for more tips.
This is the absolute heart of the entire Jungfrau Region, which you can reach by gondola via Grindelwald or cable car via Wengen. At the top, the panoramic vistas of Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch mountains await, with the Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen valleys below. You can even see some of the stunning Lake Thun.
For an even better vantage point, you can do the ‘Royal Walk’, a short 25-minute hike to the mountain’s summit. Make sure that you go up on a clear day, as clouds can interfere with your views while at the top.
- Without any discounts, a return ticket up to Männlichen from Grindelwald Terminal is about 64 CHF.
- The cable car ride is included in the Jungfrau Pass (from Wengen or Grindelwald Terminal). From Interlaken Ost, you can take the train without any extra cost to Grindelwald or Wengen.
- With a Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount.
Wengen is another small, car-free, family-friendly resort, which is known for its pure mountain air and sunny location amongst the alpine pastures and forests at the foot of the Jungfrau.
Views from here include the spectacular Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Jungfrau mountain range’s snow-capped peaks. In winter, Wengen is one of the top ski destinations in Switzerland, and in summer (and spring and fall) it is a great starting point for many beautiful hikes.
You can get up to Wengen via train (about 20 minutes) and enjoy some fantastic views of the stunning village of Lauterbrunnen.
- Without any discounts, a ticket up to Wengen is about 7 CHF from Lauterbrunnen.
- The train ride to Wengen is included in the Jungfrau Pass. From Interlaken Ost, you can take the train without any extra cost to Wengen.
- It is also included in your Swiss Travel Pass.
- The train up to Wengen runs daily, with exceptions: 07.11.22 – 02.12.22
Lake Brienz Boat Tour
Interlaken is located between two lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. And both lakes are absolutely stunning. Until the 10th century, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz were one lake. After the separation, each became its beauty! While I wonder what it once looked like, I appreciate having two jaw-dropping lakes.
If you get a Jungfrau Pass for 5 days or longer, boat cruises on both lakes are included in your Jungfrau Pass.
Lake Brienz lake is primarily fed by the Aare River, the Lütschine River, and the Giessbach Waterfalls. The water is so low in nutrition that there isn’t much sea life – the lake color is beyond stunning.
While enjoying a scenic boat cruise, you can see the unique Giessbach Waterfalls, and gorgeous villages like Brienz – or just enjoy the snow-capped Alps in the background.
- Boat cruises on Lake Brienz (from Interlaken Ost station) are included in your Jungfrau Pass – but only if you get a ticket for 5 days +.
- You can also enjoy boat cruises for free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Lake Thun Boat Tour
Another gorgeous lake next to Interlaken is the pretty, pretty Lake Thun. While its color might not be as mesmerizing (it is still gorgeous) as Lake Brienz, the scenery and villages at the shores make a Lake Thun boat cruise a must.
There are many stops worth getting out – like Spiez, Thun, St. Beatus Caves, or or or. Cruising Lake Thun and exploring the area could take days.
- Boat cruises on Lake Thun (from Interlaken West station) are included in your Jungfrau Pass – but only if you get a ticket for 5 days +.
- You can also enjoy boat cruises for free with a Swiss Travel Pass.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHETHER A JUNGFRAU PASS IS WORTH IT
I loved my Jungfrau Pass and will most likely get another one on my next trip to the Jungfrau Region. If you are an active person and want to really explore some of the top sights in the region, a Jungfrau Pass is worth it.
- CHECK OUT THE PRICES FOR A SWISS TRAVEL PASS
- CHECK OUT PRICES FOR THE JUNGFRAU PASS (I normally book my tickets via GetYourGuide because they have a better cancellation policy, and the price is the same).