Follow me to the Swiss Alps!
In March, Nick and I took to the Swiss Alps. We flew from Copenhagen, Denmark to Basel, Switzerland with EasyJet. Once we arrived in Basel, we immediately went to Basel Bahnhof SBB (the train station) and started the two-hour journey to Grindelwald. We wanted to see as much of Switzerland as possible, so we charted a course for a large loop from Basel to Grindelwald and back. On the way there, we rode through Bern (Switzerland’s capital), saw Lake Thun, and passed Interlaken. We then transferred trains to Grindelwald Bahnhof. On the way back, we stopped again in Interlaken and in Lucerne before spending the rest of our trip in Basel.
This was a really fun way to see much of the central-north parts of Switzerland and, as long as you are traveling during the same date, you can buy a ticket to your final destination and get off at any stop along the way. This proved to be a simple and inexpensive way for us to see so many other cities besides just our final destinations, if only just for a short walk to a nearby coffee shop. But the train tickets are expensive (we paid $72 per person each way from Basel to Grindelwald), so if you are going to be in Switzerland for a while, explore the SwissPass.
We found Grindelwald to be an über cute mountain village nestled in the Bernese Alps. It is part of the Jungfrau Region and easily accessible from big cities. Nick and I were back and forth between Grindelwald and Wengen, but ultimately decided on Grindelwald as it has more winter hiking.
We arrived in Grindelwald to find an outdoor concert in the town’s amphitheater. This immediately set a great tone for our trip. Beer was flowing. music was playing, and it immediately reminded us of our time living in Bend, OR, USA. The busses were easy to navigate and offer free rides to hotel tourists.
We had only one day in Grindelwald and spent it hiking in the Alps. After breakfast at the delicious Ringgenberg Bakery, we walked to the Grindelwald gondola and bought a ticket to the top of the mountain, First. The cost was $11 per person each way. The gondola ride itself was stunning, but you cannot believe the views from the top. At the top, there is an equipment store where you can rent skis, snowboards, trekking poles, sleds, snowshoes, etc. to make your way back down the mountain if you don’t want to take the gondola (and you can return your equipment at the bottom too!). There is also a cat walk at First Station for those that aren’t afraid of heights.
Nick and I spent $12 on two sets of trekking poles and spent three hours descending the mountain. There are four stations on the mountain, First at the top and Grindelwald at the bottom. You can use any of the stations to go up or down for a fee.
Although there are restaurants along the way, Nick and I definitely enjoyed packing a picnic lunch ahead of time!
But you have to stop for a Swiss beer along the trail! We had a delicious one at Waldspiz.
Overall, we hiked about 20 km downhill in the snow at a starting elevation of 11,000 feet. It was such an amazing experience and the best way Nick and I could have imagined spending time in Switzerland. We cannot wait to come back!
What are your thoughts on Grindelwald? Let us know below.