One of the things that come to mind when thinking about Switzerland are serene places and snowy mountain tops. There’s so much to do and see in the country that people don’t know where to begin. To narrow down the choices, we’re taking a look at one of Switzerland’s serene villages – Grindelwald.
Grindelwald is a village and municipality located in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative of the canton of Berne in Switzerland. The village is located 1,034 meters or 3,392 feet above sea level in the Bernese Alps. As one would expect, this quaint little village keeps a cool temperature all throughout the year.
If you set foot in this darling of a village, you can easily move around it via the Grindelwald railway station at the heart of the village. Aside from inter-village travel, the Grindelwald railway station also runs to Interlaken, Wengernalpbahn, and more. Basically, it’s easy to get in and out of this city.
Though small, there’s a surprising amount of things to do in the village but we’re only going to talk about the most unique experiences there is to find.
- 1 Unique Things to Do in Grindelwald Switzerland
- 2 Where to Stay in Grindelwald Switzerland
- 3 The Best Time to Go to Grindelwald Switzerland
Unique Things to Do in Grindelwald Switzerland
1Start at Grindelwald First
One of the first places to visit for some snowy adventures is Grindelwald First. This place has a lot of activities to offer that will make your visit to Switzerland all the more adventurous.
But if you’re looking for an activity to conquer your fear of heights, we suggest that you prioritize the First Cliff Walk on your itinerary. For starters, it’s a metal walkway jutting out of a cliff and projects more than 45 meters of a sheer drop. Looking down will surely make your heart race, especially if you’re afraid of heights. But it’s not all scary. Once you get the hang of it and try to focus on what’s above and beyond the valley, you’ll be treated with breathtaking views that you won’t get to see anywhere else in the world. From here, you can get to see unparalleled views of alpine peaks and pastures, rocky slopes, and distant lakes.
We also suggest that you try out the First Flyer. It’s an 800-meter zip line that will fly you above the valley up to speeds of 84 kph. On top of the adrenaline, you’ll also be gifted with stunning views of nature below you.
To get to its summit, you may ride a cable car. But it is also one of the prime locations in Switzerland for hiking.
2Take in the Flavors
When in Rome, do what the Romans do. When in other places, eat what the locals eat. A part of the travel experience is getting to taste the local cuisine among other things. In Grindelwald, Switzerland, there are a lot of local restaurants that offer an amazing menu of dishes you aren’t likely to forget.
One of the top restaurants in Grindelwald is Restaurant Belvedere. It’s located in Dorfstrasse, Grindelwald. It offers authentic Swiss and European cuisine so if you are looking for a taste of Switzerland, there’s no better place than this. You may want to try out the fondue in this restaurant as they offer both a chocolate and a cheese dip. Partner these with fresh fruits, cold cuts, and other treats, and it’s a lip-smacking experience.
Restaurant Belvedere is on the high-end of Grindelwald’s restaurant scene but if you are looking for a simpler dining experience, we highly suggest going to Barry’s instead. It’s located in Dorstrasse as well.
From the interior to its menu, it’s apparent that Barry’s offers a simpler and more homey dining experience. The restaurant offers an all-you-can eat buffet featuring authentic Swiss and European dishes to it’s a great restaurant to be at if you want to enjoy as many local dishes as possible.
3Slide Down a Mountain
In many parts of the globe where there is snow, sledding is one of the common activities that locals and tourists enjoy. And it’s also one of the things you shouldn’t miss in Switzerland. But it’s a bit different, though as they call it tobogganing here. For starters, tobogganing is an activity that resembles sledding wherein you’ll ride a sled. However, what makes it different is the size of the sled used. To make it easier to picture in your head, a toboggan is much taller; imagine a sled but with a higher seat.
And if the adrenaline is not enough, you can also try out velogemel, a ride that you will only see at Grindelwald. Velogemel is actually a wooden snow bike. However, what makes it more exciting is that it has no brakes and has no wheels, unlike the traditional bike. But don’t worry, it’s no more than regular toboganning. Back in the early 1900s, it was even made a mode of transport to get around town. But today, it’s an activity that caters more to tourists. Just don’t forget to wear a helmet and take it gently at first. And remember, the only way to slow it down is to put your feet down.
If you’re not ready yet for this activity, you can just watch the experts instead. Every January, local velogemel riders show locals and tourists alike how it’s done in Velogemel World Championships to celebrate the anniversary of the town. It’s a fun activity and a unique event to witness in Grindelwald.
4Watch a Concert
Watching a concert is also a must when you’re in Switzerland. Sure, you can watch a concert anywhere else in the world. But what makes watching a concert in Grindelwald Switzerland unique is its location. Apparently, Grindelwald has Kleine Scheidegg, a place in Switzerland where open-air concerts are often held. Here, you can get to experience a concert unlike anywhere else in the world as Kleine Scheidegg is at 2,061 m (6,760 ft.) above sea level, making it one of the highest-altitude open-air concert in the snow. As you enjoy the concert on this site, you can also get to fill your eyes with stunning views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains. With these, you’ll definitely have a unique concert experience. However, the concert tickets often sold out fast so be sure to keep an eye out on the concert schedules and ticket sale details so you won’t miss out.
5See What Jungfraujoch Offers
Locals and tourists alike will tell you that a visit to Grindelwald Switzerland won’t be complete without a visit to Jungfraujoch. This place also has a lot to offer. Even getting there is already an adventure that you shouldn’t miss.
To begin your adventure at Jungfraujoch, you’ll need to hop on one of Jungfrau Railway’s trains where you will be taken through tunnels and be treated with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. The train ride also makes short stops at Eigerwant and Eismeer. From here, you can get a closer look at the Eiger through observation windows before you reach Jungfraujoch.
In Jungfraujoch, you can visit many attractions that will make your Switzerland visit all the more memorable. One of the top sites we recommend is the Ice Palace. It’s like America’s Ice Castles with ice caves and beautifully carved out sculptures. But what makes it unique is that, well, it’s in Switzerland where you can also get to fill your eyes with picturesque views.
Aside from that, Jungfraujoch also has Jungfrau Panorama Film. But don’t be fooled by its name, though, as there’s no actual film here. Instead, this site lets you watch the beauty of the region in 360 degrees.
You can also get to have a closer look at the sky. In Sphinx Observatory, also in Jungfraujoch, you can observe the stars and appreciate the night sky all the more.
In Jungfraujoch, you can also see how Switzerland’s famous Lindt chocolate is made and even get to hear stories of how it was discovered. There are more attractions for you at Jungfraujoch too if you’re looking for some outdoor fun.
6See Underground Waterfalls
It’s not every day that you can get to see a waterfall underground. But if you’re in Grindelwald Switzerland, you can enjoy such sight as much as you want. This is because, apparently, Grindelwald Switzerland has subterranean falls called Trummelbach Falls and it’s the only underground falls in Europe, which makes it even more worth visiting. And the best part of it is that you won’t get to see one or two waterfalls. It’s actually a series of ten waterfalls hidden inside the mountain.
Its waters come from meltwater from the Monch, Eiger, and Jungfrau. It’s been ranging through for thousands of years and resulted in beautiful formations carved out of the solid rock.
The raging water is blaring and sometimes freezing. The trek is also quite difficult, especially the last part as the steps are steep and slippery. Even so, the experience is rewarding. The sight of the raging water that comes from above and below is unparalleled. In addition to that, the views of Lauterbrunnen at the end of the creek is gorgeous. It’s a strange yet stunning sight to see and it rightly deserves its recognition as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So don’t forget including this on your travel itinerary too.
7Try BASE Jumping
There’s actually a lot of places in the world where you can try out BASE jumping. But it’s also a popular sport around Lauterbrunnen. In case you don’t know yet, BASE jumping is an extreme outdoor activity that will make your heart pumping as you jump off a cliff and glide through the air before you pull open a parachute to land safely (imagine a sugar glider). Now what makes this a must-try in Grindelwald Switzerland is because of the surrounding cliffs of Lauterbrunnen that make it an ideal location for such extreme sport. And, needless to say, the view from above makes it worth the adrenaline rush.
If you’re not too much of a daredevil, visiting Lauterbrunnen is still highly suggested as you can just watch the experts fly through the air. Since this site is famous for the activity, you will surely find experts gliding through the air. Plan your visit on a sunny day or in the summer season so you can catch more BASE jumpers take a leap of faith over the valley. They will surely inspire you and make your jaw drop with their BASE jumping skills.
Like BASE jumping, paragliding can also be tried in other countries. But it’s still a different experience when you’re in Switzerland. You see, paragliding is a popular activity in Switzerland as its mountainous views and Alpine climate make it great for catching the wind. One of the well-known places in town to do it is in Interlaken.
Interlaken is one of the places that provide a perfect altitude for take-off. You can also get to enjoy paragliding in this place as it has many unobstructed spots. Hence, you can enjoy the activity more as you can also get to take in the stunning views of that Switzerland has to offer.
The sport is so popular among locals and tourists that you can find several operators in the area. But if you want to avoid the crowd, you might want to avoid the Beatenberg-Interlaken Route as it is the most flown route. But it is also one of the best routes if you want to treat your eyes with panoramic views of the Bernese Oberland.
9Visit a Castle
There are already hundreds of castles and mansions in the US. Hence, it’s so easy to overlook the castles in Switzerland. But we say you must not. Because of the fictional movies that made up our childhood, castles have always had this enchanting vibe. And with the stunning views that Switzerland has to offer that looks straight out of a fairytale, you will surely be able to say that Switzerland’s castles are unparalleled. One of the castles we highly recommend is Oberhofen Castle.
What makes this castle all the more scenic is its location as it stands at the edge of Lake Thun. The clear turquoise waters make it even more like a castle from a fairytale. And the best part of it is that it’s not just a place that will fill your eyes with picturesque views but you will also be filled with knowledge about the site’s past, thanks to its history museum. Yes, inside, you can find an exhibit of life in the region between the 16th and 19th centuries. In addition to that, you can stroll an English-style garden along the riverbank, an extensive park, as well as a lakeside turret.
This place is also one of the popular places for the locals for baptisms. On top of that, the castle’s doors are also open for couples who want to tie the knot in the castle’s enchanting setting.
With all these activities, it would probably be hard to try all of them in just one day. You might want to stay for a little while in Switzerland to be able to experience more of what the country has to offer. Don’t worry about the accommodation, though, we already listed some of the best places to stay in Grindelwald.
Where to Stay in Grindelwald Switzerland
Grindelwald has numerous hotels where you can stay. Depending on your budget and on the style of accommodation you’re looking for, you’ll surely find something at Grindelwald. There’s actually plenty of accommodations in town but in case you’re looking for the best of the best, you might want to take a look at some of the hotels that we can suggest.
For the Alpine chic hotels, you can expect a combination of rustic elements of the great outdoors with designer furnishings hip, and high-end luxurious décor. This eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary décor blends comfortably together with a rustic setting giving you a vibe that will make you feel as if you’re a local. Here are some hotels that has such style that we recommend.
- Berghaus Bort – a hotel with simple pinewood rooms with an on-site restaurant. This will give you a snug and warm stay.
- Hotel Spinne – a hotel with more spacious rooms and suites with views right from the heart of the village. This one, on the other hand, is more ideal for large families.
- Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel – a chalet-style hotel that also spacious. But what makes it different is that it has its own spa.
- Hotel Eiger – a stylish and warm hotel adorned with large windows so you can get to take in the stunning views of the surrounding. It also has in-house restaurants and a wellness center.
If the budget is not a problem, we suggest that you go all in and stay at Grindelwald’s luxury hotels. With these accommodations, you’ll definitely feel relaxed and pampered during your trip. Here are our recommended hotels.
- Hotel Belvedere – this hotel will also treat you with good views of the surrounding massif. But unlike other hotels, Hotel Belvedere lets you choose between rustic and contemporary style rooms. On top of that, it has an in-site spoiling spa, a fantastic gourmet restaurant, plus a piano bar. This hotel speaks class.
- Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald – this hotel also gives you a choice of modern or traditional chalets. Aside from that, it has a heated pool and a spa where you can unwind and relax more during your stay. On top of that, you have three in-site gourmet restaurants to choose from. You won’t have to go anywhere for some pampering and food.
The Best Time to Go to Grindelwald Switzerland
Timing is important when traveling, especially if you’re trying to go to a place with popular seasonal activities to offer. As for Grindelwald, we suggest that you check out the town’s calendar of events if you’re looking to witness a specific celebration. If you want to visit when the town’s weather is at its best, we suggest that you schedule your visit between April and June.
Grindelwald is also frequented by many tourists because of the activities and attractions that it has. Thus, expect crowds often. But if you want to avoid them, we suggest that you plan your visit between the months of September and October. In these months, you can still experience good weather with a lesser crowd.
But, actually, when you’re in Grindelwald, there’s no specific day or time of visit required. This is because the town always has a lot to offer no matter what time of the year it is. Thus, if you’re not targeting a specific event to witness or if you’re okay with crowds, there’s no need to fret much over your schedule.
There are, indeed, a lot of places in the world to see and activities to experience. Switzerland is one of them that you need to consider adding to your travel bucket list. Aside from the activities, food, and adrenaline, this place also has a lot of picturesque sites waiting to be seen. Grindelwald alone has plenty of them so be sure not to miss this out too when you’re visiting Switzerland.