Things to do in Grindelwald, Switzerland in summer

November 22, 2019 (Last Updated: November 5, 2021)
by Carolyn
Grindelwald, Switzerland

As far as postcard-perfect settings go, Grindelwald comes up trumps. This pretty Swiss town is blessed with stunning surroundings and is the ideal base to enjoy Switzerland’s natural beauty and charm.

As one of Switzerland’s most popular winter ski resorts, Grindelwald is the perfect place to head for world class skiing and snowboarding, but in summer time there are plenty of enjoyable things to do in Grindelwald, too.

With so many activities and mountain excursions available near Grindelwald, purchasing a transport pass to cover the cost of cable cars and funiculars can save you a lot of money.  You can read my detailed articles on the Jungfrau Travel Pass here, the Regional Pass Berner Oberland here and the Swiss Travel Pass here.

Cable car in Grindelwald Cable cars quickly whisk you up from Grindelwald to join the surrounding mountains.

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Things to do in Grindelwald, Switzerland in summer

I’m fortunate to have visited Grindelwald on a number of occasions and have enjoyed many of the activities mentioned below first hand. It’s a town that offers something for everyone no matter what time of year you visit. (Read this article for things to do in Grindelwald in winter.)

Nestled at the head of the Lütschen Valley beneath the towering Wetterhorn, Eiger and Mettenberg, Grindelwald’s setting is picture perfect.

Grindelwald Village

Grindelwald In summer, flower boxes are a big feature of the chalets in Grindelwald.

The main street (Dorfstrasse) is just what you’d expect of a Swiss Alpine village. Wooden chalets with sharply pitched roofs and window-sills adorned with pots of colour line the street.

Hotels, cafes, clothing and adventure stores, souvenir and watch shops are amongst the most popular services on offer.

A large Coop supermarket is located in the Eiger Shopping Centre in the centre of town right above an underground car park. There are also a number of independent specialty stores in Grindelwald including a cheese shop, butchery and bakery.

Mini Golf

Mini golf Grindelwald Mini golf is a fun activity for the whole family. Grindelwald’s course comes with a great view of Oberer Glacier.

Also on the main street is an excellent 18 hole mini golf course which offers not only a challenging round but great views of the mountains and the Oberer Glacier.

Open: April to October

Indoor Rope Centre

At the Grindelwald Sports Centre, you can try out five different rope circuits in Europe’s largest indoor rope course centre.

Open: mid December to mid March – Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays except 30 and 31 December. Daily from March to mid December.

Other things to do in Grindelwald in summer include horse and carriage rides, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and golf.

From July to September (Thursdays only), you can visit the Alpkaserei to learn about cheese making.

Grindelwald-First Mountain

Grindelwald First station First cable car station is the starting point for many adventure activities.

As lovely as Grindelwald town is, it’s on the surrounding mountains that the fun really starts.

For a day packed with full-on excitement, you’ve got to visit First. To reach the mountain summit you take two cable cars – one from Grindelwald to Schreckfeld (via Bort) and another from Schreckfeld to First summit. Click here to buy your tickets.

Once at the summit (1924 metres above sea level), there are plenty of options for adventure activities or getting close to nature.

Grindelwald to First cable car:

Included in Swiss Travel PassNo, but a discount applies

Included in Jungfrau Travel Pass? Yes

Included in Regional Pass Berner Oberland? Yes

The First cable car station is located at the eastern end of town about a 15 minute walk from the railway station, and a ten minute walk from the underground car park.

First Flyer

First Flyer Grindelwald Zip along at speeds of up to 80 km/h on the First Flyer. Photo: swiss-image.ch

One of the mst popular Grindelwald attractions is the First Flyer (First Flieger). It is a flying fox that stretches downhill for 800 metres from First to Schreckfeld.

Strapped in to a secure harness, you can whiz along at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour!

The First Flyer operates daily from early June until late October but is weather dependent and doesn’t operate when it’s too windy or there is poor visibility.

First Bag Jump

Just like jumping on a huge pillow, First Bag Jump is a fun way to get some air without actually jumping out of a plane.

The 15 x 15 metre high inflated pillow (much like a Jumping Castle that you’d find at a fairground) is situated next to the cable car station at Grindelwald-First.

It is open from the end of June to end of September from 11am to 4pm (in good weather only).

All ages are welcome and prices start from CHF3 for one jump to CHF9 for a day ticket.

First Cliff Walk

GrindelwaldFirst First Cliff Walk. Photo: swiss-image.ch

Built into the side of the mountain face, the First Cliff Walk is an elevated walkway that offers exceptional views. The walkway winds its way around the mountain face over sheer drops before finishing at the terrace at Bergrestaurant.

If you’re not quite up for the exhilaration of the Cliff Walk, you can still enjoy the views from the viewing platform next to the Bergrestaurant. Standing at the end of the 45 metre platform you’ll feel like you are floating above the valley below.

The First Cliff Walk is free of charge and is open year round.

First Glider

Opened in 2017, the First Glider gives you the chance to soar like an eagle, making it another of the most popular activities in Grindelwald.

Four passengers are strapped into harnesses which are connected to an eagle ‘frame’. The frame is attached to a wire and the glider is operated by a pulley-like system.

First the glider is pulled backwards at 72 km/h, then as the glider reacts and moves forward, speeds of up to 83 km/h can be reached as you glide along the 800 metre route.

The First Glider is located at Schreckfeld and is open daily until 25 October, 2020 although it only operates in favourable weather conditions. Passengers must be at least 10 years old and at least 130 cm in height.

First Mountain Carts

mountain cart Grindelwald Mountain carts are a fun way to get from Schreckfeld to Bort.

Also located at Schreckfeld is a mountain cart depot. Here you can rent mountain carts – a sort of cross between a go-kart and a toboggan – to ride down to Bort.

The three kilometre long winding downhill path is a mix of bumpy gravel and asphalt. With a low centre of gravity, the carts can pick up quite a bit of speed so you’ll be thankful for the hydraulic brakes.

Mountain carts are suitable for all ages (a height limit applies). They usually operate from late March until late October, subject to track conditions.

Trottibike Scooters

Grindelwald Trottibikes Trottibikes are a favourite activity for our family. The ride from Bort to Grindelwald is exhilarating.

A favourite family activity of ours, trottibikes are a fun way to get from Bort to Grindelwald.

Just like a scooter with a wide footbed, but with the addition of larger tyres, brakes and suspension, you can roll on downhill at your own pace whilst enjoying the surrounding views.

The quiet road used by the trottibikes winds its way from Bort, through fields, past houses and then enters the town of Grindelwald not far from the cable car station.

Trottibikes can be rented from late March until late October, subject to track conditions.

Tip: Both individual and combination ticket packages are available. If you are keen to try a few of the activities on First, consider an “Adventure Card” which includes the cable car ride from Grindelwald to First, one ride on the First Flyer, Mountain Cart hire from Schreckfeld to Bort and Trottibike hire from Bort to Grindelwald. Click here for Adventure Card prices.

Open: Not all activities on First mentioned above are open year round. 

Excursion to Mannlichen

If you’re still wondering what to do in Grindelwald, why not take an excursion to Mannlichen? This mountain peak, situated between Grindelwald and Wengen, offers stunning scenery and breathtaking views.

Mannlichen can be reached by cable car from Grindelwald. At the summit, stroll along one of the many hiking trails, have a picnic, enjoy a typical Swiss meal at the mountain inn or watch the kids as they have fun in the adventure playground.

Cable car included with Swiss Travel Pass? No, but 50% discount offered

Cable car included with Jungfrau Travel Pass? Yes

Cable car included with Regional Pass Berner Oberland? Yes

Summer operation: mid May to mid October.

Grindelwald hiking trails

Hiking trails are in abundance on First with trails suiting every level of fitness and experience. If you plan on doing some hiking when you visit Grindelwald, summer is the time to do it.

Lake Bachalpsee hike

Bachalpsee It’s worth the effort to hike from First summit station to Bachalpsee. On a clear day the surrounding mountain peaks are reflected in the crystal clear lake.

One of the most popular is the 5.9 kilometre round trip walk to Lake Bachalpsee at 2265 metres above sea level. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a sunny day (I wasn’t ), you’ll be rewarded with a reflection of the towering alpine peaks in the lake.

Even if you miss out on the reflection, the lake is still worth a visit and is great spot to enjoy a picnic alongside the tranquil water.

The hike to Lake Bachalpsee takes around 50 minutes in each direction. In summer you’ll meander through pastures blooming with alpine flowers and overlook the lush green valley below dotted with grazing cows and alpine chalets.

From First summit, the path climbs fairly steeply initially but after that is mostly flat or undulating.

Trail open: End of May to mid-October.

Tip: Take your own food and drink as there is nowhere to purchase these at Lake Bachalpsee.

First to Schynige Platte hike

View over Grindelwald From First, the views over Grindelwald are superb.

Another popular, but much longer trail, is the one from First to Schynige Platte (via Bachalpsee). Classified as ‘difficult’, the 15 kilometre hike takes around six hours to complete.

Along the way the path crosses rocky paths, meadows and high alpine terrain, sometimes covered with snow, even in summer. The views are exceptional with an elevation of 2614 metres reached at the highest point of the trail.

It is possible to break the hike by staying overnight in a hotel at the Faulhorn or in a hut at the Manndlenen.

To return to Grindelwald by train, you can take the cogwheel railway from Schynige Platte to Wilderswil (late May to late October only) and then connect with a regular train to Grindelwald. Journey time is around 1 hour 20 minutes.

Schynige Platte bahn fare:

Included in Swiss Travel PassNo, but a discount applies

Included in Jungfrau Travel Pass? Yes

Included in Regional Pass Berner Oberland? Yes

Trail open: Mid-May to mid-October.

Eiger Trail

Hiking in First area There’s no shortage of hiking trails – which are well sign-posted – in the area. Photo: swiss-image.ch

Regarded amongst climbers as one of the most difficult and challenging ascents, the north face of the Eiger (3967 metres) has held a fascination amongst thrill seekers for over one hundred years.

You don’t need to be quite so adventurous to enjoy close up views of the iconic mountain, though.

After taking a train from Grindelwald station to Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier) station, you can enjoy a hike along the six kilometre track known as the Eiger Trail.

Classified by Switzerland Tourism as one of its 32 most enjoyable hikes, the trail leads hikers past the foot of the imposing north face of the Eiger, past lakes and waterfalls and through high alpine pastures.

Open: The trail is open from mid-June to the end of September, weather permitting. Check weather conditions and track information before setting off.

Grindelwald guided day hikes

If you take your hiking a bit more seriously, or would prefer to have an experienced guide accompany you, a number of guided day hikes around Grindelwald are available.

Click here for further details

Pfingstegg Rodelbahn

Grindelwald rodelbahn Kids of all ages love the toboggan rides on Pfingstegg.

Back in Grindelwald, if you continue through town and past the Grindelwald-First cable car station, you’ll see signs pointing to the Pfingstegg.

A one hour scenic walk leads you through lovely pastures and woodland for impressive views of the Oberer Glacier which creeps its way down the Wetterhorn.

For more great views, take the Pfingstegg cable car to the summit (1391 metres) from where you can see across the whole valley.

Kids – both young* and old – can have fun on the Rodelbahn (toboggan/luge) track. Zip along at speeds of up to 45 kilometres per hour on the 736 metre track and then head to the restaurant for a delicious meal and wonderful views.

*Minimum age restrictions apply

Open: early May to late October

Pfingstegg cable car included in Swiss Travel Pass? No, but a discount applies

Pfingstegg cable car included in Jungfrau Travel Pass? No

Pfingstegg cable car included in Regional Pass Berner Oberland? Yes

Grindelwald activities for the adventurous

Thrill seekers will also find plenty to get their adrenaline pumping in Grindelwald. Climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, canyoning and rafting are just some of the outdoor adventure activities available.

Glacier Canyon Walk

The Glacier Canyon offers visitors the chance to enjoy a walk through the canyon’s naturally formed tunnels and rock galleries via purpose-built platforms and a ‘spider web’ net which spans the Lutschine River seven metres below.

Covering a distance of around one kilometre, with interactive experiences along the way, the walk takes around one to two hours.

The Glacier Canyon (Gletscherschlut) is accessible in all weather and is open daily from late May to late October from 9.30am to 6pm (and until 10pm on Fridays).

The reach the Glacier Canyon it’s a 35-minute walk from the Grindelwald village centre, or catch a bus (line 2) from the railway station. 

Click here to pre-purchase your tickets to Grindelwald Glacier Canyon.

Grindelwald Canyon Swing

The Grindelwald Canyon Swing proudly declares itself “the world’s scariest swing” and it’s definitely not for the faint hearted!

After being fitted with a harness and secured to a safety rope, participants must step off a 90-metre high platform before free-falling between the canyon walls towards a glacial river at up to 120 kilometres per hour

If you need an adrenaline shot, this is it!

Prices start from CHF 149 and a video of your jump is available for an additional charge.  You can pre-book a 2.5-hour canyon swing experience with return transfers from Interlaken. Click here for prices and details.

The Grindelwald Canyon Swing will operate from mid April until mid November. It is located at the Grindelwald Glacier Canyon (details above). 

Jungfraujoch excursion from Grindelwald

Jungfraubahn Rail connections from Grindelwald make an excursion to the Jungfraujoch easy.

Whilst you’re in the area, you’ll see and hear lots about the famous Jungfraujoch, one of Switzerland’s major tourist destinations. Whilst Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen are the main starting points for visitors heading to the Jungfrau, it is also easily reached from Grindelwald.

From Grindelwald station, trains depart regularly for Kleine Scheidegg (journey time 35 minutes), where you connect to another train for the half hour trip to Jungfraujoch.

At the summit, known as the ‘Top of Europe’, you’ll find plenty to do including snow tubing and sledging in summer, and the views of the Aletsch Glacier are incredible. 

This article has more information about the Jungfraujoch and things to see and do at the ‘Top of Europe’.  It also explains why it is worth considering purchasing a Jungfrau Travel Pass which covers the majority of the fare as well as other mountain excursions in the region.

Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch:

Included in Swiss Travel PassNo, but a discount applies

Included in Jungfrau Travel PassYes, except for the final leg which costs between CHF 61 and CHF 74 return, depending on the month of travel.

Included in Regional Pass Berner Oberland? Yes, except for the final leg which costs CHF 99 return.

How to get to Grindelwald

Train to Kleine Scheidegg You can easily reach the Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald by train. Photo: swiss-image.ch

By public transport: Grindelwald is situated 21 kilometres from Interlaken and has excellent public transport services. Regular buses and trains connect the two towns in around 35 minutes.

Train travel from Interlaken to Grindelwald is free of charge for holders of the Swiss Travel Pass, Jungfrau Travel Pass and the Regional Pass Berner Oberland.

By car: If you have your own vehicle, it’s an easy drive from Interlaken to Grindelwald, with the journey time around 25 minutes.

By private transfer: You can also book a private transfer from Zurich Airport to Grindelwald. Click here to check prices and details.

By parachute: A spectacular way to arrive in Grindelwald is by parachute!! If you need an adrenaline hit, why not book a helicopter flight over the Eiger with a tandem skydive jump included? Click here to check prices.

Where to stay in Grindelwald

With its popularity as a year-round holiday resort, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit all travellers in Grindelwald including hotels, apartments, hostels and camping grounds.

I’ve listed some of the most popular Grindelwald hotels below but for a more detailed guide you should read this article on the best hotels in Grindelwald.

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof

With a backdrop of the imposing Eiger and a luxurious ambience, the 5-star Schweizerhof is a favourite amongst guests. Located just a three minute walk from the town centre, the hotel features a heated indoor pool, sun terrace, steam bath, saunas and spa treatments.  A range of rooms and apartments are available.

> Click here to check current prices at Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald

Hotel Belvedere

Owned and run by the same family since it opened in 1907, Hotel Belvedere oozes tradition but features modern rooms and facilities. All rooms boast a large balcony with views of either the Eiger or Wetterhorn, and there’s a small spa area with salt water jacuzzi in the garden. The hotel is just a five minute walk from Grindelwald station.

> Click here to check current prices at Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald

Sunstar Hotel and Spa

The 4-star, chalet-style Sunstar Hotel is located just across the road from the Grindelwald-First cable car station. Rooms are beautifully appointed, with many featuring a balcony. The hotel’s wellness centre includes an indoor heated pool and Finnish sauna, and spa treatments are available. 

> Click here to check current prices at Sunstar Hotel and Spa Grindelwald

Like more accommodation options? > Click here to browse more Grindelwald hotels, apartments and hostels. You can also read my detailed guide to Grindelwald hotels here.

Final Thoughts

Grindelwald certainly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re keen to try out the activities mentioned above, prefer to enjoy a gentle stroll amongst pastures dotted with alpine flowers and grazing cattle, or just sit back on a sunny terrace whilst sipping a coffee and admiring the views, you won’t be disappointed.

This article was originally written in conjunction with Switzerland Tourism in 2017 but all words and opinions are my own. It has since been updated and republished.


Grindelwald Switzerland Things to do in summer