Jungfraojoch - The Top of Europe


Jungfrao or Jungfrau (the virgin) at 13,642 feet, is one of the three well-known peaks (the other two are the Eiger (the ogre) and the Monch (the monk))in the Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland. This photo was taken from our room balcony in Wengen.


From the Sphinx Observation Tower, you can view Jungfrao close up. It is advisable to start your day early to get the best possible view. We got lucky, the weather was perfect that day. There were no clouds to block the beautiful vistas. Read full post for more photos.

One has to take the Jungfrao railway to reach the so-called 'Top of Europe'. Jungfraujoch is the most popular railway trip in Switzerland. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to reach the top from Wengen with a train change in Kleine-Scheidegg. It was built by Adolf Guyer-Zelller, a Swiss railway pioneer. It took 16 years to complete this railway. They had to dig a tunnel through the Eiger and Monch.


The underground tunnel leading to the elevator that took us up 360 feet in just 25 seconds to the Sphinx Observation Tower at 11,723 ft. It is the highest vantage point in Europe.

The Sphinx Observation Tower and Terrace. It has a 360-degree view where you can see the alps from France to Germany.

Jungfrao, up close and personal from the Sphinx Observation deck. It is COLD even in the summertime.


There is also a plateau on the glacier where one can enjoy ski sports. My son, shown here, enjoyed going down the hill with the snow disk (free rental.) They also offer skiing, zip line, dog sled rides and glacier hikes.


The Aletsch glacier as seen from the restaurant. It is the largest in Europe. It is 14 miles long and is about 2,300 ft. thick. It moves at about 20 inches a year.


The Ice Palace, 100 ft. under the glacier. It wasn't very slippery but it was FREEZING. It's a 3,280-square-foot museum of ice sculptures.

I highly recommend going up to the Jungfraojoch. It is well-worth the trip and the expense. The train tickets are expensive, it costs 90Euro roundtrip from Wengen or 118Euro from Interlaken Ost. If going with children, purchase the Swiss Kids Pass (20Euro), they can ride free with an adult in the Jungfraojoch raliway. If you can, stay in Wengen or Murren and head up early in the day. The air up the top is thin so if you have high-blood pressure or heart problems, consult your doctor first. It is advisable to take your time and not exert too much effort while on top. Dh and I felt light-headed after 2 hours so we headed down. The kids meanwhile felt fine. For clothing, bring your winter jackets, it is cold even in summer. I had on a couple of layers of long-sleeved shirts, a fleece sweater and a jacket. The kids meanwhile wore their winter jackets.

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