5 Activities Your Family Will Love!
We recently returned from a month long trip through Europe and the time we spent in Switzerland stands out as a highlight. In particular, the day we spent adventuring around Grindelwald rises to the top of “best day ever” kind of accolades. Our family loves the wide open spaces of nature, majestic mountains and activities that call for adventure. We found all that and more in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
We spent a total of four days in the area with our home base being a little Swiss Chalet that seriously looked like a gingerbread house. It was in Lauterbrunnen and we found it on Airbnb. Each day we picked a different part of the valley or surrounding mountains to explore, like Murren, Wengen, or Schynige Platte, but our absolute favorite was Grindelwald.
Our little gingerbread home for 4 days. Sigh...
There are a couple of different ways to get to Grindlewald. If you have a car, you can drive there. That may seem like a rather obvious statement, but actually it's not. A number of the little mountain towns in the area can only be accessed by cable cars or trains. The drive to Grindelwald takes about 30 minutes from Interlaken and about 20 minutes from Lauterbrunnen. If you aren’t planning to have a car, never fear! The Swiss have the whole public transportation thing down and getting there by train from Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen is easy and convenient with frequent trains running hourly.
The scenery from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald by train.
Read on to find out what 5 activities our family loved and what made our visit to Grindelwald so special!
1. Take a Scenic Ride
Once you get to Grindelwald, start your fun by taking a scenic gondola ride all the way up to First, the top station. We loved passing over grassy pastures with cows and goats with a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains. As you continue to climb, Grindelwald will become smaller and smaller. The 25 minute ride passes through Bort and then Schreckfeld and then finally arrives at First with an elevation of 2168 meters.
Heading up the mountain in a gondola
The view from the gondola - amazing!
2. First Cliff Walk
If you’re feeling brave enough head over to the Cliff Walk by Tissot. This cliff walk is a one-way trek that begins around to the right of the gondola station. The metal catwalk gives a spectacular vantage point toward the Eiger and if you’re brave enough to look down, a daunting vantage point below to the abyss! This wasn’t for me, so I happily snapped pictures of my family as they made their way around the edge. If you’re hungry, First has a restaurant and a beautiful outdoor patio where you can enjoy your meal and watch the para - gliders take off.
If you dare - First Cliff Walk!
So delighted that some members of my family have no problems with heights!
3. First Flyer – Zipline
Then it was time for our zipline adventure – First Flyer! Our family loves to zipline and we’ve had the privilege of doing it in many places around the world. This felt like a completely new experience with the snowy mountain caps surrounding us and the incredible view to the Schreckfeld station. We were there in May and so there was plenty of snow still on the ground. Unlike other ziplines we’ve ridden, this one includes an actual seat that feels comfortable and secure. Gravity did it’s job and we completed the flight in approximately two minutes landing at the Schreckfeld station. There are four seats, so it's especially fun to ride together as a family.
The starting point for First Flyer.
Knees on the gate, waiting for the 3 - 2 - 1
Almost the end, looking back up where we started!
4. Mountain Cart
Sort of like a giant tricycle, the mountain carts are a fun next segment to the downhill journey. They sort of remind me of those “Big Wheels” we used to ride as kids. Beginning at the Schreckfeld station and ending at the Bort station, the mountain trail is a combination of rough, gravel sections and smoother grassy sections with cement grids. It’s not easy keeping your eye on the road when the whole area is so picturesque. My eleven year old felt a little out of control at times so he took it especially slow. It took us about 30 minutes to ride down to Bort where we returned our carts and had time to relax at the playground. There is another restaurant at the Bort station if you’re ready for a drink or meal.
Getting ready to climb on a mountain cart and head out...
And away we go...
The playground at Bort.
5. Scooter Bike (Trotti Bike)
The scooter bikes were our final stretch in making our way down the mountain and the most adventurous, if you can believe that! Also called trotti bikes, they are basically a stand-up scooter with a pair of hand-brakes. They simply operate by gravity. There is no motor and no pedaling. And it’s a good thing the hand-breaks work well because it’s easy to pick up a lot of speed. My teenager still says this was the most fun he had on our entire trip! To be honest, I thought he was going way too fast. I realized within the first few minutes I would not be able to keep up with him so I just took my time and enjoyed the scenery. I think this was the prettiest part of the downhill journey as the paved path took us through farms with cows, mountain huts and green pastures filled with yellow wildflowers. I must have stopped 100 times to snap pictures!
Getting ready to take off on scooters (trotti bikes)
The amazing paved path we rode the scooters on...This map shows the Grindelwald, First, Schreckfeld, Bort and the routes that the various activities take:
Additional Activities: Hikes from First
We didn’t have time to get to these hikes, but as they both start from the First station and come highly recommended, I think they’re worth mentioning. If you decide to take one of these hikes, be sure a pack water and snacks for your journey. Also check their availability. If you are traveling early or late in the season, they may not be open due to snow.
Bachalpsee - Hike to this beautiful lake to see turquoise blue water and the surrounding peaks of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
The Marmot Educational Trail - Especially popular with families, your children will learn lots of interesting information about these alpine rodents on this interactive trail. In addition, the store located at the First station has children's books about marmots and stuffed animals for purchase.
Playground in GrindelwaldOnce we returned back to Grindelwald we spent some time browsing the shops (Swiss Army Knives of course!), enjoying a meal and relaxing at a playground. Our day in Grindelwald exceeded our expectations. Someday we hope we can return.
For more information about visiting Grindelwald, First, or any other areas in the Jungfrau region, visit the Grindelwald-First Plan and Book website. Here you'll find information on adventure cards, multiple day passes, ticket prices and combo cards.
If you are looking for children's books about your trip to Switzerland, check out our suggested book list at this link:
Switzerland Travel - Books for Kids
We would like to thank the Interlaken Board of Tourism for hosting our day in Grindelwald. Although we received partial transportation and activity passes, all opinions expressed are our own.
PIN FOR LATER...