Jungfraujoch: Travel Information and Pictures

 

When you step out of the train at Jungfraujoch station, a sign proclaims “the Top of Europe”; it is only partly tourist hype, for at 3,454 metres, this really is the highest railway station in Europe. From Kleine Scheidegg, meaning ‘watershed’, itself at 2,061 metres, the rack railway has climbed mainly in a tunnel inside the Eiger and Mönch mountains. It makes two five minute stops on the way for visitors to get out and admire the stunning view through huge “windows” cut in the wall of the tunnel at 2,864 metres and 3,158 metres.

Constructed in 16 years from 1886, the tunnel is 7 km long and was built at the cost of numerous lives due to accidents. Now the journey from Kleine Scheidegg takes 50 minutes including the stops on the way, and costs around 116 Swiss Francs return (children up to the age of 16 travel free with a Junior card; you can book online and print out your own ticket).

From the top you can see as far as the Vosges Mountains in France and the Black Forest in Germany, if the day is clear enough. But the truly exciting views are nearer at hand: from the window at Eigerwand station you look directly across at the majestic Eiger North Face, and from Eismeer station the enormous sea of ice on the south eastern slope of the Eiger appears in the window.

For those who want to get as high as possible, an elevator takes you up to a small viewing platform outside the Sphinx Observatory on the summit of Jungfrau, 117 metres above the station. Other attractions include an ice palace and sculptures.

There are four cafés (including one serving Indian food), a museum and shops near the top, but not surprisingly everything is mega-expensive and not all are recommended. However since you are out all day to take a trip to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken (190.20 Swiss Francs return), Grindelwald (170 Swiss Francs), Lauterbrunnen (169.80 Swiss francs) or Wengen (157 Swiss Francs), you are probably going to need to eat, so bring your own lunch with you! Another good tip is to look at the webcams of the summit before you set off – if it is poor weather, wait for a better day. This trip is going to cost you a packet, and if it is a glorious day, it’s a truly memorable experience. If not ....
Finally, this is well above 3,000 metres, so the air is thin and altitude sickness is a possibility. Some people get headaches, feel lethargic or nauseous, or dizzy. Symptoms usually start after 6 hours and last only one or two days. It is not advisable to take young children and babies on this trip, and pregnant women and those with heart disease will not want to take the risk.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

Kleine Scheidegg Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland Jungfraubahn tracks Kleine Scheidegg
Jungfraubahn Hiking, Eigergletscher Jungfrau railway Eigergletscher station
Junhfrau railway, Eigergletscher Station Eismeer Top of Europe travel Switzerland, Jungfraujoch
Switzerland, Jungfraujoch Jungfraujoch, Switzerland Jungfraufirn glacier
swiss Alps Plateau, Jungfraujoch Jungfraujoch, ice Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
glacier alps plateau Sphinx, Jungfraujoch Sphinx
Sphinx, Jungfraujoch view from Sphinx, Jungfraujoch Eispalast ice palace