Dramatically set, surrounded by stunning scenery including the infamous Eiger. Views from the town and the slopes are spectacular, in fact, they're almost impossible to beat. The centre of town is made up of largely chalet style buildings and the cog railway stations add to the old-world charm, however, the resort is nowhere near as pretty as neighbouring Wengen and Murren.
The mountain trains are certainly a novelty here, you can travel by rail all the way to the ski summit and higher still up to the highest rail station in Europe at a lofty 3,454 metres. Home to the UNESCO heritage site Aletsch Glacier, at 23km it's the longest Alpine glacier there is. You'll travel through a 7km tunnel and see some pretty special views on your way up.
The new the state-of-the-art Grindelwald Terminal is a transport hub with connections from Interlaken via the Bernese Oberland Railway. New for 2022/2023 there are direct trains from Zurich Airport to Interlaken meaning the journey to Grindelwald is quicker and easier than ever.
Skiing in the resort
Staying in Grindelwald puts 170km of skiing right on your doorstep. On one side of town, you have the First ski area with some gentle runs to get your ski legs going. The area is also home to the boardercross and snow parks if you're looking for that sort of thing. The run down from Oberjoch to town is one of the best in the area - we think, anyway.
Over on the other side of town (linked by train), you have a 110km area linked with the picturesque Wengen. This is an intermediates dream with countless long red runs and if you're looking to really test yourself then head over to the Wixi chair from where some of the more challenging runs start including the World Cup circuits Laberhorn piste that's sure to test your metal and get your legs burning.
As well as the railway station the new Grindelwald Terminal boasts a host of modern facilities with shops, restaurants, cafes, parking, ski lockers and is the departure point for the new Eiger Express gondola as well as the recently upgraded Männlichen gondola. The Eiger Express is one of the most advanced lift systems in the world and this tri-cable gondola whisks you up to the Eiger Glacier station in just 15 minutes. This new development means the journey from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch is 47 minutes faster than it used to be. The new Männlichen Gondola Cableway opened in 2019 with doubled capacity and journey time from Grindelwald to Männlichen down to 19 minutes. These new developments will offer a vastly improved experience for visitors to Grindelwald with dramatically reduced queue and journey times.
There's plenty on offer in Grindelwald whether you're looking for beers and dancing or some extreme tobogganing and an ice hockey match.
Up on the mountain, there's plenty of ski huts that get the après going. Tipirama gets in DJs and live bands (not every day) and is popular until the last train back to town departs, or there's a long ski down the mountain. On the way down from here to Grund there are plenty of open roof bars to stop off at including the lively Rancher on run 22. Down in town the espresso bar and Gepsi tend to be the favourites or Challi often has live music later on.
One of the major après activities here is tobogganing, with 60km of trails including one of the longest in Europe. 15km down to town from Faulhorn, that's some fairly extreme tobogganing with some pretty spectacular views to boot. Or there's 80km of winter walking trails if you prefer a romantic stroll or brought your dog with you.
What we like:
- Dramatic scenery with the towering north faces of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau
- Extensive cruisy intermediate terrain
- An atmospheric old town with plenty of non-ski activities and decent après scene
- Extensive tobogganing, including a 15km run (one of the longest in Europe) and 150km of trails in total
- Kids ski free of Saturdays
- The lifts up from the village are slow and can have queues, once up on the mountain the lifts are fast - these are getting upgraded for 2019/20
- Great snow making facilities make up for the sometimes unreliable natural snow cover
- Experts face a trek to get to Murren with it's more challenging slopes
- No link to the dark wizard Grindelwald in Harry Potter