Grindelwald: Hollywood scenery and classic Swiss charm

23 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Surrounded by glacial lakes, rolling alpine meadows, and towering glaciers, the magical town of Grindelwald has been the mecca for mountain explorers for more than a century. The town boasts an enviable proximity to three of Europe’s most iconic peaks: the Jungfrau, the Monch, and the notorious Eiger, and this spectacular location has earned it a reputation as a queen of Swiss adventure. 

Tourists visiting the town for the first time are often left open mouthed by its raw, natural beauty. The surrounding mountains have starred in a multitude of Hollywood blockbusters, including Star Wars, James Bond, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

View near GrindelwaldView near Grindelwald

It is easy to see why. Carved, cragged rock faces tower above neighboring hillsides, icy ridges glinting in the Alpine sunshine. Not one, but two glaciers rise from the earth like gigantic diamond tongues, and takes the color of sapphire meander through lush, flower studded meadows. 

In mountain, air, and water, the area around Grindelwald offers ample opportunity for adventurers to push themselves to their limits. The sheer variety of activities on offer means the region is perfect for snow loving adrenaline-junkies, with kayaking, sledding, abseiling, and paragliding all available within a relatively short distance of the town. 

Grindelwald is around 14 miles from the Swiss mega hub of Interlaken, and offers many of the same amenities. However, many tourists opt to stay in Grindelwald, due to its small town charm and stunning surroundings. 

With a tiny population of just 4,000 people, this scenic town boasts old Swiss charm in bucketloads. Winding streets lined with gingerbread style chalets gaze up at breathtaking snow capped rock faces, and on clear days climbers can be seen scaling the towering crags. The Eiger north face, with its dark, chiseled surface, is a particularly imposing presence, and offers endless inspiration and mystique for climbers. 

On a hike from GrindelwaldOn a hike from Grindelwald

Despite its smaller size, Grindelwald is bursting with things to do, and boasts brilliant transport links. There are two railway stations in the town: Grindelwald and Grund, with trains to Kleine Scheidegg stopping at both stations. 

Visitors have the option to take trains or cable cars to higher ground, with the journeys offering scenery as magical as the final destination. Conveniently, a number of hiking, cycling, and climbing trails also begin in Grindelwald, ensuring more of your visit is spent exploring the great outdoors. 

For those looking for the ultimate Bernese ski holiday, Grindelwald-Wengen, Grindelwald-First and Mürren-Schilthorn, are all a stone’s throw from the village centre, with numerous schools and courses operating nearby.  

For those looking for a new perspective of this stunning region, ski touring provides a unique way to explore the peaks and valleys that makeup its distinctive landscape. There are a number of tour operators based in Grindelwald, and the town makes an ideal starting point. 

The town is also a popular spot for those looking to take on the surrounding peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger, and the Monch, with easy access to most major summit routes. 

Skiing in GrindelwaldSkiing in Grindelwald

Many people also choose to visit the Grindelwald First mountain. Not only does this minor peak provide some of the best views in the Bernese Alps, but its world-famous adventure sports are daring enough to excite even the boldest thrill seeker. Boasting a 45m First Cliff Walk, hang gliding, hiking, and with opportunities to race on scooter bikes, or play explorer in one of the fantastic adventure parks, First is also a fantastic family day trip.

How to reach ?

Most visitors arrive at Grindelwald via a train from Interlaken. The journey takes around 30 minutes, and the fare costs between 8-12 franks. Interlaken has connections with most major cities in Switzerland.

Driving is also a great option, as it gives you the freedom to roam once you arrive.

Where to stay ?

Grindelwald offers a range of accommodation to appeal to every budget. Chalet accommodation is the most popular option, sleeping between two and 10 people. Prices for a family chalet start at around $120 per night.  Expect to pay between $40 a night for a dorm room, to $500 a night for a five star hotel room for two.


Home to more than 60 restaurants and a host of lively nightspots, the Apres Ski in Grindelwald is second to none. Food options range from Mexican, to British Pub, to traditional Swiss.

Most of the shopping in Grindelwald centers on winter sports equipment, with a host of specialist shops stocking the basics through to niche gear. Most of the shops are located on Hauptstrasse, Grindelwald’s main street.


  • Grindelwald First: Minor summit offering fantastic adventure activities and hiking. Also featuring the Grindelwald cliff walk.
  • Lake Bachalpsee: Stunning glacial lake around one hour hike from Grindelwald First.
  • Jungfrau Railway: cog railway offering fantastic views up to the highest railway station in Europe.
  • Männlichen: A 2,343-meter mountain reachable via cable car from Grindelwald.
  • Mannlichen Royal Walk: Walk up to a stunning view point with views of surrounding mountains.
  • Schilthorn: Mountain features in James Bond movie, with great views of Jungfrau trio.

Essential Services

  • Police: 118
  • Ambulance services: 144
  • Fire Brigade: 117
  • Helicopter rescue: 1414 / 1415
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