|Jungfraujoch - The Top Of Europe
|Laura Radford, Travel Writer
Chances are you’ve never heard of Jungfraujoch, but its worth getting acquainted with, as its one of the most popular spots to visit in Switzerland and becoming a must-see on any trip to Switzerland.
But what is it? And how do you get there?
IT’S PART OF THE BERNESE ALPS
Jungfraujoch is a saddle (its German name translates in English to ‘Maiden Saddle’), which connects two major peaks of the Bernese Alps: the Jungfrau and the Mönch, and lies over 3,400m above sea level. It is essentially a glacier saddle and is the lowest point between the Jungfrau and Mönch, which make up some of the highest mountains in the Bernese Alps.
Up here you will find the Jungfraujoch railway station, the Sphinx observatory (which is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world by the way!) and offers panoramic views of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger summits and the top of Europe building, which is where you’ll find lots of amenities including restaurants, shops, and a post office!
HOW DO YOU REACH JUNGFRAUJOCH?
Jungfraujoch is one of the highest places you can visit by train in the whole of Europe, and it is higher than Machu Picchu! And by train is the only way you will reach it.
There are a couple of options in how you can reach Jungfraujoch, with a few gondolas getting you towards the Jungfrau Railway. You can take the Wengernalp Railway via Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, and then changeover to the Jungfrau Railway, or you can take the aerial cableway or the ‘Eiger Express’ from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher station, and from here you take the Jungfrau railway to Jungfraujoch.
Although both options may seem like a convoluted way of travelling, it is highly wort the trip, and not many people will be able to say they have been on the highest railway in Europe, least of all been to the highest post office!
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE/DO HERE?
The railway here operates year-round, and it is nice to see the snowy landscapes set amongst bright blue skies, so bear that in mind when planning your trip.
On arrival at Jungfraujoch, take in the incredible scenery – visit the Sphinx viewing platform for a perfect opportunity to view these truly breathtaking high-alpine views. You can have walks in the ‘eternal snow’, as well visit the Ice Palace and Ice Gateway.
There are also several eateries, and Switzerland’s highest chocolate museum, the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven experience shop.
On your journey up there is also plenty to see. The tunnel which leads from Eigergletscher station is around 7km long and offers stunning views onto the glacier. This is truly like no other place on earth, true alpine beauty in the heart of Europe.
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