This is part of our 2017 TalesOnRail Artist in Residence series, where we took two writers — one American and one Australian — through Germany and Switzerland by train. Follow along with our web series on Facebook or YouTube — new episodes air every week.
When your goal is to find the most epic mountain peaks in Switzerland, you’d be remiss to skip Jungfraujoch, home to the highest-elevated train station in Europe. Thanks to this cogwheel railway, the peak is easy for travelers to reach in most types of weather. We went up in late September and though there wasn’t any snow on the ground in Interlaken, there was a ton of it once we hopped off the train at the top!
How to Get to Jungfraujoch
We used our Swiss Travel Passes to get a discount on the cogwheel train from the station in Interlaken all the way up to the top. There are two sightseeing stops along the way — first in Kleine Scheidegg, 6762 feet up, and then in Eiger Glacier Station, with a restaurant and polar dog kennels. Then it’s off to the top, all the way up to 11,000 feet elevation. For anyone with asthma — you’ll have to decide if this level of elevation is OK for you. (I don’t have asthma but was still very light-headed once I got up there… this could have also been because I didn’t eat enough breakfast. Always eat breakfast!)
Our trip from Interlaken up to the top took a little over 2 hours in total.
Pro tip: when you hop on the cogwheel train, try to sit on the right side for ideal Instagramming conditions.
What to Do at Jungfraujoch
So once you get up to the top, what is there to do? We popped outside for a few very cold minutes to play in the snow and admire the absolutely unreal view of the mountain peaks surrounding us. Jungfraujoch is a UNESCO heritage site and it’s easy to see why — the views from the top are truly like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
There are a few indoor attractions at the top as well. Wander around the “Alpine Sensation” walkway to view a history of the railway and of the scientific station on top of the mountain, and if you get hungry, you have a few little restaurants to choose from. Don’t forget to check out “Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven” — our videographer bought a chocolate bar that is literally larger than his daughter — and if you want to embrace your inner child, go try out the ice tunnels in the Ice Palace! We slipped and slid our way through the tunnels and thankfully did not break our very expensive camera. The tunnels are also decorated with very cute ice sculptures of penguins and other snowy wildlife.
For more tips and to see us slipping and sliding through the tunnels, check out episode 6 of our TalesOnRail web series.