The Bernese Oberland is a region in central Switzerland and consists of many spectacular towns to visit. The most popular area to visit is the Jungfrau region. This is where the trio of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains are found. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you know it is going to be beautiful! Most people come here to hike, but there are a lot of fun excursions you can do without hiking or in addition to hiking. Here are some top things to do in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland.
Interlaken is known as the gateway to the Jungfrau region. Although it is not technically in the Jungfrau, there are still some very cool things to do here. It is the largest town in this area and sits between the two beautiful lakes of Brienz and Thun. Interlaken has many tourist shops, restaurants and is a fun place to watch paragliders flying over the lakes and landing in the park in the center of town. Harder Kulm is a fun mountain excursion that you can go up and look at the views and enjoy a folklore show on a summer afternoon. You may also want to visit the Beatus caves which is Switzerland’s first and only underground cave museum.
Lauterbrunnen is in the Jungfrau region and famous for having 72 waterfalls. I think it’s impossible to see them all in one visit, but you will still see plenty in this region. Trümmelbach falls is the most well-known and unique waterfall in the area. It is a 10-tiered underground waterfall that drains from the Eiger Glacier. After taking a funicular inside of the mountain, you can walk down many stairs (wear shoes with good traction as it will be wet inside) to see all 10 levels of this waterfall. The infrastructure with Trümmelbach is another impressive feat of Swiss ingenuity and engineering. You can reach Trümmelbach falls by taking a bus from Lauterbrunnen or walking up the gorgeous valley in about 45 minutes (a fairly-level walk).
Mürren is a car-free village that sits on a ledge high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You can get to Mürren either from the cable car next to the Lauterbrunnen train station or you can take a bus to Stechelberg and take a cable car up from there. The top excursion from Mürren is the cable car to the top of the Schilthorn (9,744 feet) mountain. From the peak, you can see the Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains. You can also eat in the revolving restaurant, visit the James Bond Museum and take in the views from the observation decks. From Mürren, you can choose to ride the funicular up to Allmendhubel which is a picturesque hamlet above Mürren. You can walk along the flower trail, eat in the restaurant or take in the vistas from one of the wooden lounge chairs looking out to the mountains and overlooking the valley below.
Wengen is a car-free mountain village that is on a sunny plateau above Lauterbrunnen opposite of Mürren. This is a peaceful quiet town which can be a good base to get to so many hikes and tourist attractions nearby. You will travel through this town on your way to the Jungfraujoch coming from Lauterbrunnen. The Jungfraujoch excursion is the most popular (and expensive) mountain excursion in Switzerland. Be sure to go first thing in the morning to beat the tour bus crowds that will arrive mid-morning and afternoon. The Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe (11,371 ft) and is a tourist attraction where you can walk on the Aletsch glacier, see ice sculptures inside an ice cave, sledding on the snow, enjoy stunning views over the Alps, and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte.
Grindelwald is the largest town in the heart of the Jungfrau region and is a great hub for taking several cable cars going up in all directions from the town. Riding cable cars are perfect excursions to enjoy the best panoramic views around.
The Pfingstegg cable car takes you up to many hiking trails just below the Grindelwald Glacier, but you can also enjoy a ride on the alpine toboggan run or the new Fly-Line at the top.
The cable car up to First (30 min) will lead you to the Cliff Walk that may test your fear of heights while walking on metal walkways attached to the side of the mountain. You can also walk from First for about 45 minutes to Lake Bachalpsee for a picnic lunch. From the top of First, you can also choose to be more adventurous by coming down by zipline, mountain cart or trottibike scooter.
The Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cable Car (35 min) will take you up to Männlichen to walk on the PanoramaWeg trail or continue to the town of Wengen.
There is a new Eiger Express Cable car opening at the end of 2020 that will take you to the base of the Eiger Mountain. There, you can start the hike along the Eiger trail or enjoy lunch at the Eigergletscher restaurant.
There are many more amazing things to do in this Jungfrau region of Switzerland. The Jungfrau area is best known for its vast network of hiking trails crisscrossing the whole region. Be sure to read about our 5 Best Day Hikes in the Jungfrau region for some of our hiking recommendations. We also offer many of these great hikes and excursions on our guided tours. Check out our Best of the Swiss Alps tour and Exploring the Jungfrau tour.