The Complete Guide to Grindelwald First, Switzerland

The Complete Guide to Grindelwald First,Switzerland Aplins in the Alps Travel Europe

Planning a trip to Grindelwald, Switzerland? While the valley is beautiful, you won’t want to miss the views from Gindelwald First! Alpine scenery, mountain lakes, adventure activities, and more are just one cablecar away! Here’s everything you need to know about Grindelwald First!

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If we haven’t met, we’re Jana and Brett, Aplins in the Alps, and we love helping you maximize your trip to Switzerland while minimizing your budget and planning time.

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Table of Contents

How to Reach Grindelwald First

Most of you will start your journey to First by arriving at the Grindelwald main station (which is one stop past Grindelwald Terminal).

There are 2 ways to reach the Grindelwald First station from the Grindelwald train station:

  1. You can walk 10-12 minutes along Dorfstrasse, the main street in Grindelwald.
  2. Or you can take a bus. If you’re staying in Grindelwald and have the Grindelwald Guest Card, the bus ride is free!

Technically, there are 3 ways to reach Grindelwald First: you can hike, bike, or take the gondola which runs mid-December through mid-October. Unless you’re an avid hiker or mountain biker, we recommend the gondola!


How To Buy Grindelwald First Tickets

You will need to purchase tickets for the lift — unless you have a Swiss train pass that covers the ride for free! Here’s how you can buy your tickets to Grindelwald First:

  1. Purchase from the ticket machines at the Grindelwald First station.
  2. Buy at the ticket counter inside the Grindelwald First station.
  3. Purchase in advance online.
  4. Buy on the SBB mobile app.
  5. Ask your hotel to buy tickets for you.

The line can be pretty long (up to a 30 minute wait) so we definitely recommend buying your tickets in advance.


Cost of Grindelwald First Tickets (Including Discounts)

Standard adult round-trip: 64 CHF

With Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass: 32 CHF

With Berner Oberland Pass, Top of Europe Pass, or Jungfrau Travel Pass: FREE (unlimited rides)

Standard child round trip (6-15 yrs): 20 CHF

Child (6-15) with Swiss Family Card: FREE when traveling with a parent

Child (0-5 yrs): FREE all the time!


Buy A Swiss Rail Pass

We know Swiss train passes can be confusing, so we made an Ultimate Guide to Swiss Train Passes!

Which Swiss Rail Pass

is best for you?

Find out with our free, simple checklist.


    Grindelwald First Gondola

    The ride to the top takes about 25 minutes, and you’ll cross the Bort and Schreckfeld stations along the way. The lift slows down at each one so you can hop on or hop off if you’d like. But stay in the gondola for the entire ride to reach Grindelwald First Top of Adventure.

    Opening dates: December 18, 2021 – October 23, 2022 (Check here for more information); Closed from October 24 – December 16, 2022 due to maintenance work

    Ascending lifts: 8:00am – 5:30pm (through August 21, 2022); 8:30am – 5:00pm (August 22 – October 23, 2022)

    Descending lifts: 8:00am – 6:00pm (through August 21, 2022); 8:30am – 5:30pm (August 22 – October 23, 2022)

    Time from Grindelwald to Grindelwald First (via Bort and Schreckfeld): 25 minutes

    Bort Station: At the Bort station, your kids can enjoy a large playground while you savor the views from lawn chairs, a restaurant, or a self-service food stall.

    Schreckfeld Station: Once you reach Schreckfeld Station, you can hop off the gondola to eat at 2 different restaurants, pose with Swiss Cows, or let your kids play on a small playground.


    What to do at Grindelwald First Top of Adventure

    In case you can’t tell, visiting Grindelwald First is one of the most popular things to do near Grindelwald. And that’s because there are so many fun activities here! Plan at least a few hours, depending on how you choose to spend your time.


    1| Hiking (free)

    As you can tell from the views, Grindelwald First is a hiking paradise!

    Schynige Platte: If you’re up for it, you can actually hike all the way to Schynige Platte from here in about 6 hours. And according to the tourism promo video, this is dubbed as “Switzerland’s most beautiful hike!”

    2-hour Marmot Trail: This is great for kids, families, and hikers of nearly all abilities. It walks you from First to Schilt with informational panels along the way. Enjoy the BBQ spot at the end of the walk! (Note: always check for signs to make sure there is not a fire ban in place.)

    Bike to Grindelwald: If you enjoy mountain biking, then strap on your helmet to descend 1,100 meters from Grindelwald First to Grindelwald!

    Interested in something else? Check the trail signs and trail maps for more ideas, such as hidden mountain lakes, the impressive Faulhorn, and even a trek all the way to Schynige Platte.


    2| Hike to Bachalpsee (free)

    If you’re up for a short hike to a stunning destination, then this is the trail for you! In less than one hour, you can reach Bachalpsee, also known as the Blue Jewel of the Bernese Oberland. And on a clear day, you can even see a perfect reflection of the Shreckhorn on the lake!

    Open: whenever the lift runs, depending on the snow (mid-December to mid-October)


    3| First Cliff Walk by Tissot (free)

    If you dare, walk across a suspension bridge and a 45 meter observation platform at the Grindelwald First Cliff Walk!

    This one-way loop offers a thrilling walk along the west rock face of First, followed by a slightly-swaying suspension bridge with views of the waterfall, and ends with a loop toward the exciting observation platform — complete with a glass floor to stand on while you snap your picture-perfect photos!

    From the observation platform, follow the path back to the restaurant.

    Cost: FREE

    Opening dates: mid-December – mid-October (It follows the railway operating hours. Check here for updated information.)


    4| Berggasthaus First Restaurant

    When you get hungry or thirsty, there are multiple places to eat and drink near Grindelwald First!

    First is the Berggasthaus First Restaurant, with regional and fresh cuisine. They offer seasonal menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, snacks, and of course dessert too. There’s even a self-service buffet with vegetarian options. With more than 120 indoor and 120 outdoor seats, you can truly enjoy the panoramic views in any type of weather.

    And while you’re enjoying your refreshments, you can watch people freak out (or take selfies) on the First Cliff Walk, catch paragliders and hanggliders taking off, and observe the stunning mountain views.

    There are also bathrooms, water fountains, and luggage lockers below the restaurant.

    Besides Berggasthaus First Restaurant, you can also eat at the Skihütte Genepi, Schreckfeld station, and Bort station.


    5| Grindelwald First Mountain Hotel

    We haven’t stayed overnight at Grindelwald First, but it’s on our list to try one day because we can’t even fathom the sunset/sunrise views at Bachalpsee!

    If you want to extend your adventures at Grindelwald First, consider sleeping at the Grindelwald First Mountain Hotel. There are rooms for all types of people:

    • Double rooms
    • Family rooms (4-6 people)
    • Group rooms (6-8 people)
    • Dormitories (up to 40 people)

    We also read online that they have converted a little old chapel into an event space or mini hotel, which looks ultra charming.


    6| Adventure Activities

    Some of the biggest attractions at Grindelwald First Top of Adventure are the adventure activities! There are 4 to choose from:

    1. First Glider: Fly like an eagle at 83 km/hr! You board the eagle at Schreckfeld, are pulled backwards up to Grindelwald First at 72 km/hr, and then fly down 800 meters back to Schreckfeld at 83 km/hr.
      1. Length of time: 15 minutes
      2. Open: When the lifts run (mid-December through mid-October), except for during poor weather
      3. Weight: Must weigh 35-125 kg
      4. Cost: 31 CHF (Adults), 24 CHF (Kids 6-15)
    2. First Flyer: Sit back in your harness and enjoy the 800 meter long ride! You’re flying at 84 km/hr and 50 meters above the alpine field below!
      1. Length of time: 10 minutes
      2. Open: When the lifts run (mid-December through mid-October), except for during poor weather
      3. Minimum age: 10
      4. Minimum height: 130 cm
      5. Maximum weight: 125 kg
      6. Cost: 31 CHF (Adults), 24 CHF (Kids 6-15)
    3. First Mountain Carts: Ride this combination of a go-cart and a sled along 3km of road from Schreckfeld to Bort. The low center of gravity, jumbo wheels, and hydraulic brakes are extra fun.
      1. Length: 3km from Schreckfeld to Bort
      2. Open: Mid-April through mid-October
      3. Minimum height: 135 cm
      4. Helmet required (provided for free)
      5. Cost: 21 CHF (Adults), 17 CHF (Kids 6-15)
    4. First Trottibikes: We’ve never seen such a cool combination of a scooter and a bicycle, but the fact that it propels your forward makes it even more enjoyable!
      1. Length: 5km from Bort to Grindelwald
      2. Length of time: approximately 30 minutes
      3. Open: Mid-April through mid-October
      4. Minimum height: 125 cm
      5. Helmet required (provided for free)
      6. Cost: 21 CHF (Adults), 17 CHF (Kids 6-15)

    If you’re looking for adventure,

    1. Start with the First Flyer at the top of Grindelwald First.
    2. Then ride the First Glider at Schreckfeld.
    3. Next, scooter down from Schreckfeld to Bort on a Mountain Cart.
    4. And finally, fly into Grindelwald from Bort on a Trottibike.

    Cost of the Grindelwald First Adventure Package

    The Adventure Package includes 1+ activities and unlimited rides on the gondola.

    Adventure Package with 1 activity:

    • Adults: 75 CHF
      • Adults with Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass: 50 CHF
    • Kids: 43 CHF

    Adventure Package with 2 activities:

    • Adults: 89 CHF
      • Adults with Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass: 67 CHF
    • Kids: 57 CHF

    Adventure Package with 3 activities:

    • Adults: 106 CHF
      • Adults with Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass: 85 CHF
    • Kids: 71 CHF

    Adventure Package with 4 activities:

    • Adults: 120 CHF
      • Adults with Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Travel Pass: 99 CHF
    • Kids: 84 CHF

    Should I Buy The Adventure Package?

    You can pay for each individual Grindelwald First adventure activity, or purchase an Adventure Package to cover the cost of your activity/activities and unlimited rides on the lift. But is this a good deal for you?

    Well, the Adventure Package seems geared towards visitors with no train pass or half fare card.

    If you’re driving into the valley to visit Grindelwald First for a day trip—and/or have no train pass—then the adventure package is a good deal if you plan to do at least one of these activities.

    However, if you have the Swiss Half Fare Card, the Adventure package is only a good value if you ride the Glider or Flyer or you ride the lift up and down more than one time.

    And if you have one of the regional passes, your lift rides are already free! So in this case, you’ll only save money if you literally do all 4 of the activities. And that will only save you a grand total of 5 CHF.

    So outside of these scenarios, save the most money by just paying for the individual activities you want to enjoy. 

    And by the way, the Adventure Package never makes sense for kids if you have the Swiss Family Card, which we also recommend! 


    Exploring Grindelwald First Top of Adventure — and Beyond!

    While these adventure activities are a fun way to enjoy your time at Grindelwald First, they won’t get you everywhere you want to go in the Swiss Alps!

    Jana

    Jana is an SEO copywriter and content editor plus travel YouTuber. Beyond work, she loves all things gelato, sunshine, and words. Her perfect day? Tossing on sunglasses to read a book and catch some rays, then dinner with her husband and friends. In her free time, Jana disciples teen girls and makes homemade pasta.

    6 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Grindelwald First, Switzerland

    1. You guys provide amazing information that makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Have you ever considered offering for a fee help with planning itineraries for different locations?

      1. Thank you for your compliments, we’re happy to share! And thank you for the idea! We have considered travel planning consultations, so that’s something we may launch in the future. 🙂

    2. Hey y’all! We are heading to Switzerland next month for our 25th wedding anniversary (we’re actually in Nashville too!) We won’t have a ton of time in Grindelwald, but the cliff walk looks really cool. Is it worth the price up if you’re not going to do the adventure activities? We’ll have the Swiss Travel Pass and will only be in the Interlaken region for 2 full days. Thanks!

      1. Hey Nashville neighbor! 🙂 Congrats on 25 years and a fun Swiss trip to celebrate!
        In our opinion, Grindelwald First is great if you want to hike to Bachalpsee or do the adventure activities. But if you’re searching for fantastic views and don’t have a ton of time, we’d recommend Männlichen instead. You can reach Männlichen from the Grindelwald Terminal station, or from Wengen. Hope that helps, and happy travels! 🙂

    3. You guys are amazingly awesome. We have been viewing your YouTube channel for information and I believe many travelers will benefit with the information given. Me and my family will be heading Switzerland first time next week. Our trip will be mainly focused at Interlaken area and have been following your advice on the type of pass required. Hope that everything goes as plan.
      Is it advisable to go to Top of Europe in the morning and then proceed to Grindelwald-First for the activities later in the afternoon?
      Thank you

      1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! We’re so grateful that we have the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with travelers like you!
        You could do both the Top of Europe and Grindelwald-First in one day—but just know that it will be a very long day!!
        And you’ll want to get an early start. The last lift down from First is usually around 18:00. Our main concern would be that we don’t want you to have to rush through either experience. But if you’re willing to take the first train of the day to Jungfraujoch, you could do both and still have a great time!

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