If you ever happen to go to the Bernese Oberland area in the Alps near the towns of Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Interlaken, a trip to the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe is in order.
Jungfraujoch Top of Europe
Our vacation trip to Switzerland included a visit to this remarkable mountain. One advantage of staying in Wengen is the ease to reach the Top of Europe, especially if you are an early bird like we are. From here you will be in the best position to get there before the crowd and pay the least expensive rate. We stayed at a chalet in Wengen which gave us a good home base. The cost for two to go to the Top of Europe with the early morning discount and the Swiss Pass card was 264 CHF. A very expensive trip, but well worth it.
TIP: Only take the trip to the Top of Europe if the weather is good that day.
As we left Wengen on the cogwheel railway, the views of the valley below were amazing.
TIP: Sit on the right hand side to go up the mountain.
The train stopped at Allmend, Wengernalp, and Kleine Scheidegg. We got off the train at Kleine Scheidegg and boarded another train to the Jungfraujoch. This train would take us up to the top with two stop along the way. The two stops are scheduled at Eigerwand and Eismeer stations.
During our first stop we departed the train in the tunnel to see the exhibits and large viewing windows of the mountain and glaciers. We got some nice pictures and returned to the train.
Our next stop at Eismeer Station, we knew we were getting close to the top as we saw the snow outside the window.
Top of Europe
An announcement comes on the speakers for everyone to return to the train for our final destination, Jungfraujoch.
Arriving at the Top of Europe, we went to the viewing area, and waited for everyone to leave in order to get some good pictures. This turned out to be a great idea, as the crowd was now ahead of us and we had the place to ourselves.
Starting our tour
The Top of Europe consisted of a large complex of tunnels and buildings which has been constructed at the Jungfraujoch, mostly into the south side of the Mönch. There are two restaurants, an observatory, a research station, a small cinema, a ski school, and the Ice Palace, which is a collection of elaborate ice sculptures. Another tunnel leads outside to a flat, snow-covered area, where one can walk around and look down to the Konkordiaplatz and the Aletsch Glacier, as well as the surrounding mountains. A map was displayed showing where all the exhibits were.
Making our way through the Ice Palace there were many sculptures to admire. It was very cold and slippery walking through this tunnel. By allowing the people to go ahead of us we got some great pictures.
There was an array of tunnels connecting the exhibits. In the tunnels there was a wall recognizing the workers who were killed while building this place.
We finally went outside, to the view that brought us to the Top of Europe. It was just breathtaking. We were glad we had worn our winter coats, gloves and hat as it was cold. We saw people in sandals and no coats. They did not stay outside very long.
TIP: Dress warm, as it was very cold outside.
I did not linger outside as it was too cold for me. I told J I would meet him at the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Store. I got the free chocolate sample while I waited for J to come inside.
When we left, it was becoming very crowded. The crowd was elbow to elbow and we were glad we made the effort to be on the first train up the mountain.
TIP: The longer you wait to go up the mountain, the more crowded it became.
Heading back down
Back on the train we enjoyed the ride back down the mountain. The trains that passed going up the mountain were packed and I cannot imagine having to fight the crowd while trying to enjoy the exhibits.
We got off at Kleine Scheidegg and had lunch. J had the hash browns and egg and I had a salad. Both were delicious.
The view of the mountains from the picnic tables were gorgeous.
We could not pass up the dessert, which we shared.
After lunch we walked around to see why they had a band and all the people were congregating on the hill. We found out they were having a marathon. What a perfect day they had.
Looking back down the mountain where we had lunch at Kleine Scheidegg.
Going back to Wengen
After taking pictures, we decided to catch the train back to Wengen instead of walking since we paid for our ticket. It looked like a nice hike and we saw plenty of people along the trail.
It was a gorgeous day on the mountain and it ended up being the best weather we had during our week stay in Wengen. Most days we did not see the sun until late afternoon forcing us to leave and look for sunshine in other places.
It was a perfect day to hike the mountains, so we went back to the chalet to drop off our coats and pick up more water for our next hike, Wengen to Lauterbrunnen.