The Jungfrau Joch and its impressive Top of Europe are arguably Interlaken’s most famous sight and a must-see.
The Jungfrau Top of Europe railway has an enormous history going back more than 100 years ago. When it opened in the late 19th century it was an enormous feat of engineering never before seen in the world and it instantly became a tourist attraction. Bearing this in mind makes today’s amazing train ride to the Top of Europe even more impressive: starting from Interlaken-Ost (East) at 500m elevation the train brings you in about 2.5 hours all the way to Europe’s highest railway station at 3500m above sea level. There are multiple options gettting there and this guide explains how to do it in the best and most scenic way.
Buying tickets for the Jungfrau Top of Europe
Tickets for the Jungfrau top of Europe train can be bought at both the Interlaken East, Interlaken West and Wilderswil train stations. There is also an info centre and ticket office in the middle of town (Tourist & Rail information centre, Höheweg 35) where you can purchase tickets.
Alternatively you can buy tickets online on jungfrau.ch where you can often find good deals if you buy the tickets in advance.
If you don’t mind getting up really early you can opt for the discounted ‘good morning tickets’ which require you to take the 06:35am or 07:05am train from Interlaken East in order for you to take the journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch at 8:00am or 8:30am. With this discounted ticket you have some hours to spent at the Top of Europe but bear in mind that the latest descent from Jungfraujoch is at 13.13h/1:13pm
Kids under 16 years traveling with their parents should get a ‘junior’ card for 30CHF which entitles them to travel for free with their parents all through Switzerland, and including the Top of Europe, for a one-year period of time. This is probably the best transport deal you will ever get!
Jungfrau Top of Europe train: Interlaken-East or Wilderswil start
The Jungfrau top of Europe train starting point is the Interlaken-Ost (East in German) railway station where the train departs every half an hour (e.g. 08:05am,08:35am, 09:05am, 09:35am,….). From the Adventure hostel the train station can be reached by bus number 21 from the bus stop ‘Fussweg Spital’ (in front of the hospital).
There is another easier option however....
After 5 minutes the Jungfraujoch bound train from Interlaken-East reaches its first stop in the village of Wilderswil. This is an easier starting point when staying at the Adventure hostel as there is bus number 105 leaving from right in front of the hostel that brings you there directly and for free (with the visitor card you get from us at check-in). Bus number 105 leaves from the bus stop called ‘Seestrasse’ every half an hour at 16min and 46min past every hour e.g. 08:16am, 08:46am,….
Get off at ‘Wilderswil bahnhof’ (train station), buy a ticket from the office there if you don’t have one yet, and hop onto the train…...The most scenic journey of your life is about to begin…..
Two ways up: going through Grindelwald or Lauterbrunne/Wengen?
When you get onto the Jungfrau Top of Europe train you have to be careful as the train has two halfs, each of which takes a different route to the Top of Europe. The front half of the train passes Lauterbrunnen/Wengen and the back half goes through Grindelwald.
The trains separate in Zweilütschinen and from there they each go their own separate way before regrouping together at ‘Kleine Scheidegg’ at an altitude of 2100m above sea-level.
So which one should you take?
Actually it does not matter as long as you make sure to go up one way and come down the other way exposing you to the two scenic ways.
The Lauterbrunnen/Wengen route is more spectacular at first as it involves waterfall vistas and steep turns, while the Grindelwald route gets more spectacular towards the end when it rides right underneath the mighty towering North face of the Eiger.
From the Kleine Scheidegg, where the two trains meet again, you will have to change trains one last time for the last part of the journey. Enjoy the views for the first 15 minutes before you enter the impressive tunnel that goes straight through the Eiger North face all the way up to the Top of Europe.
Jungfrau Top of Europe things-to-do & highlights
There are plenty of things to do on the Top of Europe ranging from gazing at Europe’s biggest glacier, sliding and playing in the snow, visiting the ice cave, checking out the chocolate factory or just lazing around taking in all those gorgeous vistas. We recommend you read our extensive guide about the ‘Jungfrau Top of Europe things-to-do & highlights’ here for more info on what not to miss up there.
Coming down from the Jungfrau Top of Europe
After you have spend some hours at the top it is time to go down. The train down leaves at 13min and 43min past every hour e.g. 12:13pm, 12:43pm, 01:13pm, 01:43pm,….etc.
Make sure you don't miss the last train which is at 06:43pm in the summer months but earlier in the off-season months.
Time permitting we recommend you to explore Grindelwald and/or Lauterbrunnen (read our guide to Lauterbrunnen and its’ 72 waterfalls here) on the way down too as both are cute mountain towns worth checking out.
The Adventure Hostel Interlaken wishes you an amazing adventurous day up on the Jungfraujoch Top Of Europe!