Trip to Switzerland: Part 3 – Jungfrau: Top of Europe

After the fairly long journey getting to Jungfrau (3 separate trains is no joke), you reach the underground train station (in fact, a large portion of the infrastructure at Jungfrau, is underground – or more accurately, built into the side of the mountain under ice and rock). You get out of the train station, and into the multi-level structure. This multi-level structure has different establishments at different levels – you have the restrooms, sovenier shops, restaurants (Indian, European, Chinese cafe (with a variety of soups, noodles, sandwiches, and other quick eat stuff)), exit to the Ice Palace, exit to a balcony type structure that leads to a great view of the long 14 mile long Aletsch Glacier, an exit to the Sphinx Tunnel (that leads to an elevator that rises more than 100 m to the Observation Deck).
So, let us take it step by step. The first thing we did on reaching the place was to take our breath (and that too deeply); it is not unknown to feel some discomfort because of the height. Once having rested and having had some soup noodles from the Chinese open cafe, we were ready to explore. The first thing we did was to head to the glass revolving door that leads to a balcony / corridor sort of structure which provides a great view of the Aletsch Glacier. It was a great view from there, and se spent some time just admiring the view. There were also some black birds perched on the railing, and I was trying to get a good photo of the birds without scaring them away. They let humans come close without flying away. We had gone in July, and even though there was a glacier all around, the temperature was certainly not at freezing level.

The 14-mile Aletsch glacier as seen from Jungfrau, shining white
The 14-mile Aletsch glacier as seen from Jungfrau

Blackbird balancing on one leg at Jungfrau
Blackbird balancing on one leg at Jungfrau

After spending some time over there, we decided to enjoy the other major attraction of the place, the ‘Ice Palace’. This is a cross-work of tunnels built inside the slower moving portion of the glacier, and has figurines inside made in the shape of animals and birds. The place has a slightly green color, and you have that feeling of being surrounded on all sides by ice; in fact, sometimes you need to hang on since the floor can be a bit slippery (after all, you are walking on ice with a tinge of water). It feels great, although there is that paranoid feeling about what would happen if the glacier suddenly moved ?

Tunnel leading inside the Ice Palace (with ice on all sides) in Jungfrau
Tunnel leading inside the Ice Palace (with ice on all sides) in Jungfrau

Greenish tinge from the sculptures inside the Ice Palace in Jung frau
Greenish tinge from the sculptures inside the Ice Palace in Jung frau

Next on the visiting area is an exit to another glacier. This is a place where you can actually walk on a glacier (cordoned off at the sides) where you can gather snow, watch water forming small channels, and get some great views of the surrounding vistas. We had lots of fun at this location, what with a mock snow fight, lots of posing, and the feeling of walking slowly at some of the points where the ice was either slippery or slush had formed due to water and snow. At the same time, there were kids running wildly on the same snow – the feeling of being young !

Tourists enjoying on the glacier next to Jungfrau
Tourists enjoying on the glacier next to Jungfrau

Tearing ourselves away from this location, we proceeded to the next destination, the Observation Tower. This is a platform built higher up on the mountain, and is reachable from the main Jungfrau complex through a tunnel called the Sphinx tunnel and then a lift that climbs 100 meters. It remains crowded, but the platform offers a great view. It is a metal platform, supported on the mountain slope, although you can see below that there is infact a sheer drop right below the metal grid that makes the platform. As can be expected, you get a great view.

Weather display at the observation tower in Jungfrau
Weather display at the observation tower in Jungfrau

The bottom of the observation terrace at Jungfrau actually hangs over thin air
The bottom of the observation terrace at Jungfrau actually hangs over thin air

Observatory and metal platform at the observation tower at Jungfrau
Observatory and metal platform at the observation tower at Jungfrau

There are more things you can do at Jungfrau such as the glacier talk, and even a dogsled pulled by huskies, but it was over for us now. Time to head down after having spent many a hours at the location (was a great memory, and the photographs will refresh these memories). We headed back down, although it took time since the train back had a long queue and was a long wait.

More photos of Jungfrau (and the trip) at this location (you can view a slideshow through the option in the menu at the left).

Website of Jungfrau Railways where you can book tickets as well (link)


  • Ram Dhall says:

    I have enjoyed the trilogy thoroughly. Beautiful description, all through.

    I have seen the slide show at “this location” – simply mesmerizing. Your eye for photography needs a well worth adulation.

    Did you come back to Interlaken via Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald !!

  • Ashish says:

    Hi Ram. Thanks for the compliments, I am not yet done. There are a couple more posts in this. Mount Pilatus also needs to be covered, and some views of Luzern.
    Came back Via Grindelwald, but too tired to step down and enjoy. Just kept on going till we reached Interlaken.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    More detailed then the earlier ones. Great aid for anyone who hasn’t been there. Probably if they ever get a chance to visit, it would greatly help to place and plan things.

    Let the next part come out sooner.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Quite detailed post on Jungfrau, I couldn’t have written like this. :-)
    Photos are equally good. We went towards winter so wherever we saw, it was eye blinding white snow and very strong wind.

    It is fun when they stop the train inside the tunnel and let you view outside from those small ‘windows’. No ? :-)

    Are you sure Jungfrau is correct spelling ? I think it is “Jungfraujoch”.

  • Ashish says:

    Thanks Cuckoo.

    It is fun, the view is incredible from those small windows.

    About the name, I was confused initially, but both names work; the ticket actually said Jungfrau. Refer:

  • PS says:

    Thanks for the lovely pictures and writeup. I’m going to Lucerne later this week, and with 1 day to spare. I was wondering if I should do a day-trip to Jungfraujoch (to the peak), or Mt Pilatus. I read on a forum that it may not be worth 8h in a coach transit to get to Jungfrau, and was advised to spend more time at Mt Pilatus instead.
    What do you think?

  • Ashish says:

    Hi PS,

    If you are going to Lucerne, then going to Mt. Pilatus would be better. Pilatus does not have too much on the top, but the entire trip is worth it.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Hi Ashish,

    Its such a wonderful feeling to start the day with the images of Switzerland lingering in your mind. I agree with Ram uncle that you have a keen eyes for photography.

    Looking forward to read the next in series soon … ( I know you have already posted it) :)

  • Ashish says:

    Hi Manish,

    Thanks for the compliment. I am finally done, it took 6 posts, but now fully done.

  • Liv says:


    May I know, did you buy a swiss pass for the train ride from Interlaken to Jungfrau?

    I’ll be coming from London. Will be taking eurostar to Paris, TGV from Paris to Basel. When I reach Basel, can I use the swiss pass to travel from point to point?

  • Was ich hier lese ist absoluter Unsinn ? ich kann die Seite echt nicht weiterempfehlen!

  • With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • manik says:

    Hi Ashish

    your pots are really nice & informative. I am in Stockholm and have around 4 days free when i was planning to go to Jungfrau after seeing the pictures. Could you please tell me how to plan my trip and which all places to visit nearby.


  • christine says:

    I am heading there in 2 weeks. thank you so much for the info, this is exactly what I needed… how much time did you spend in total? i will have my kids with me though. And do you have details on the dog sledding?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *