We travelled to Switzerland with a 7 month old baby George in June, as part of our month long European Road trip. The Jungfrau region is a mountain range in south-central Switzerland. Picture clear lakes surrounded by steep rock faces and towering, snow-capped peaks – it is everything you expect to see when visiting this beautiful part of the world.
There are more than a dozen picturesque towns, villages, and hamlets dotted across the area’s mountainsides, valleys, and lake shores. Many of these places are worthy of a few hours of exploration. Despite Switzerland’s famously expensive reputation, it’s possible to visit and explore on a modest travel budget if you plan properly.
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BOOKING YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT JUNGFRAU REGION?
The best time to visit the Jungfrau Region depends on what you intend to do in the area. Famous for its winter sports you’ll find cheap flights to Switzerland harder to find around December to March. Spring, Summer and Autumn are very popular times for those who would rather enjoy pleasant weather and beautiful scenery. We visited in June and it felt like the calm before the storm. Families and tourists but not overwhelming busy, that it had an effect on our trip.
August 1st is Swiss National Day and the country celebrates with parades and fireworks at Rütli meadow on Lake Lucerne. The day itself can be magical and full of fireworks, partying and fun so if you are in Switzerland at the time you’re set for a brilliant day.
BEST TIME TO BOOK FLIGHTS TO SWITZERLAND?
There are multiple factors that influence the price of a flight so comparing airlines, departure airports and times can help keep costs down. January is the cheapest month to book,with flights ranging from £65 to £70pp. July is the most expensive month, with flights costing on average £150. We recommend using Skyscanner as a starting place and then searching other providers to see if you can beat their price.
Tuesday is the most economical day to take a flight to Switzerland and Saturday is the most expensive. To get the best value, try booking a flight in the morning . Generally the prices will increase for flights in the evening as these tend to have higher demand. If you’re visiting during a festival, make sure to book as early as you possibly can to avoid paying over the odds.
HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT?
Average Flights from London to Switzerland: 1 hour 35 minutes.
The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. You can pay for things using a credit card or visa card but you will be charged additional fees. Exchange rates vary, so be sure to check prior to your trip.The Bank of England has an extensive list that is updated every day. If you intend on using your credit charge or debit card, you may incur charges for payments and cash withdrawals. We often use the Post Office for our exchange or use ATM’s in our destinations.
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If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Switzerland. If you’re planning to stay longer than 3 months, see our Living in Switzerland guide and contact the Swiss Embassy if you have further questions. The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
We drove our own converted camper van from the UK to Switzerland and found the roads in excellent condition, well sign posted and easy to understand. There are specific rules that you must abide by when driving through Europe, it is up to you to find out what applies to your vehicle as you move across borders. Your drivers license must be valid and up to date, along with your car insurance.
If driving your own car from the UK you must have GB stickers displayed on the vehicle. You could be fined if you are found to be driving without the following items, a reflective jacket or vest; warning triangle and correct tyres. You will also need to adjusting your headlights for continental driving.
Depending on where you’re planning to drive in Europe, you may need to display an emissions sticker or badge on your windscreen. And you may be required to purchase a Vignette and display it on your windscreen also.
In Switzerland you must purchase and display the sticker costs 40 francs (36.50 euros) and is valid from December 2019 to the end of January 2021.
SHOP OUR RECOMMENDED TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
THINGS TO DO
Interlaken is the base for the majority of visitors to the Jungfrau region. It is exactly what you imagine an old, quiet town in the mountains in Switzerland to be and look like. The turquoise water is something to behold. The valley is linked by two lakes, Brienz and Thul.
It is also home to the Austrian air force. When we were there, aircrafts were flying over and with a clear sky we had an excellent view. In Interlaken you will find hotels, restaurants and bars. There is parking and many tours will start or collect from here.
£130 | Giant Canyon Swing
With a population of 2,500, the village of Lauterbrunnen occupies a deep, dramatic valley in the shadow of the Jungfrau region’s high peaks. Rumored to be the inspiration for the mythical realm of Rivendell in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” universe.
The Lauterbrunnen valley contains more than 70 waterfalls. The most popular and impressive is Staubbach Falls, which drops nearly 1,000 feet in a deafening mist. Trümmelbach Falls, which gushes more than 600 feet behind a rock face curtain, is nearly as impressive, though it’s only accessible in summer. We camped at the base of Lauterbrunnen and spent a weekend exploring the surrounding area with 7 month old baby George.
£150 | Paragliding Experience
SCHILTHORN (JAMES BOND WORLD)
The Schilthorn is a nearly 10,000-foot mountain that towers over the hamlets of Murren and Gimmelwald on the eastern edge of the Jungfrau region. It’s accessible via train and cable car from lower-elevation towns, with adult round-trip ticket prices ranging from 40 CHF to 130 CHF. Early-bird and late-arrival (sunrise and sunset) tickets are cheaper – typically less than 85 CHF.
The interactive Bond World 007 exhibition at Schilthorn, where several scenes from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service were shot, gives you the chance to pose for photos secret-agent style and relive movie moments in a helicopter and bobsled.
Due to its height, it is not recommended for children under the age of 1 for fears they may struggle with the lack of oxygen.
£45 | Piz Gloria (James Bond)
Grindelwald First displays magnificent views of the Eiger North Face. A playground high in the sky packed full of activities for adrenaline junkies. You will see plenty of families on scooters, walking or cycling the established mountain paths. There is even a playground at Borte station for kids.
A leisurely hike to Lake Bachalp is a must in the First area. From the mountain station, visitors arrive at the world-famous, beautiful picture postcard view of lake and mountains within an hour.
There are a couple of different ways to get to Grindlewald. If you have a car, you can drive there. The drive to Grindelwald takes about 30 minutes from Interlaken and about 20 minutes from Lauterbrunnen.
Several of the mountain towns in the area can only be accessed by cable cars or trains. Getting around the Jungfrau area is easy by train, board from from Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen. Easy and convenient with frequent trains running hourly.
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.
£170 | My First Top Adventure Package
The Trümmelbach Falls are the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. They alone carry the meltwater of the glaciers from the Jungfrau down to the valley. The water carries with it over 20,000 tons of boulders and scree per year and causes the entire mountain to shudder and make a thundering noise.
The Trümmelbach Falls are part of the Lauterbrunnen Valley’s 72 waterfalls, among them also the imposing Staubbach Falls. There is a recommended hiking tour – on mainly flat ground – leading from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, past water gushing from vertical rock faces that are several hundred meters high.
£170 | Guided Tour and Picnic
FIRST CLIFF WALK BY TISSOT
Free of charge (my favourite kind of price) and both terrifying and thrilling at the same time. The elevated walkway is lodged on the side of a mountain at 2,000m! Take the gondola from Grindelwald-First station, to reach First. It’s a short 10 – 15 mins walk from First gondola station.
A spectacular view, arrived early or late to avoid the crowds. It can get crowded and if you are not the best with heights, having a lot of people around you may not be your thing. Plan to arrive first thing to beat the crowds and take in this wonder of the world.
GLAZIER CANYON GRINDALWALD
Explore the Glacier Canyon Grindelwald at Gletscherschlucht. It is a sensory walk through the canyon’s naturally formed tunnels and rock galleries. Great for lovers of nature! The walk takes 1-2 hours to complete and covers a distance of roughly 0.6 miles. Along the way are education and information boards. And they are all interactive
Take food and water with you so you can take a break whenever you like. Enjoy a family picnic whilst enjoying views of the waterfalls, abseiling cliff climbers. And, of course, the roaring glacial river itself.
£15 | General Admission Ticket
A car-free resort halfway up the Eiger and overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Wengen can only be reached on foot or on the Wengernalpbahn, a rack railway from Lauterbrunnen that was built in 1893. The town is beautifully set at the foot of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau and is an ideal base for walks and climbs in the mountains and alpine meadows of the Bernese Oberland.
You can climb to the Wengernalp, either directly in less than two hours or by way of the Mettlealp, immediately opposite the Jungfrau, in three hours. You can also take the railway to the Wengernalp, where you’ll find splendid views of the Trümleten valley and the Jungfrau. Each January, the Lauberhorn Downhill Ski Race, one of the most spectacular in the World Cup circuit, is held in Wengen.
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