Glaciers like rivers of ice, close-up views of high Alpine peaks and a chance to play in the mountain snow — spend a full day exploring Jungfraujoch, known as the Top of Europe. Take the cogwheel railway through a mountain tunnel to Europe’s highest train station, which combines an observatory, an interactive exhibit and a snow adventure park.
At the Sphinx Observation Station, which sits in the saddle between the Jungfrau and the Mönch, you can see the pristine snow on their peaks, each seeming close enough to touch. The Aletsch Glacier runs between the peaks, the longest glacier in Europe.
Soak in the views, then venture through the Alpine Sensation moving walkway exhibit to the Ice Palace, where ice-carved animals wait deep inside the glacier itself. Finish your high adventure with sledding or snowtubing in the Snow Fun Park.
Once you reach either Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, you’ll begin the train-only journey to the highest railway station in Europe. Start on the Wengernalp rack-and-pinion railway to Kleine Scheidegg, halfway up the mountain. From there, you’ll take the Jungfrau cogwheel train up through a tunnel carved into the Eiger and Mönch mountains.
Along the way, make a brief stop at Eismeer — German for Sea of Ice — for a view of the Ischmeer glacier, whose name has the same meaning in Swiss German. Once part of the larger Lower Grindelwald Glacier, it’s now its own glacier after extensive melting separated the two. The sight from the Eismeer platform is still impressive, a smooth sweep of thick ice running down the slope.
The journey continues at last to the Jungfraujoch, also known as the Top of Europe. Located 3,454 m (11,333 ft) above sea level, Europe’s highest railway station is also a destination for viewing and learning about the Jungfrau mountain range and the Alps.
Declared the first UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in the Alps in 2001, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch is a protected area whose expanse you can see from the Sphinx observation deck. This observatory, with its stone-brick walls, shining metal dome and glassy sides, is both an astronomical research station and a sky-high viewing platform for the public.
Nestled in the saddle between the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, the Sphinx provides panoramic views of both, as well as long-range looks at the mountains that stretch out in all directions, sometimes seeming to hug the clouds in the bowl of the valley below. The Aletsch Glacier, the longest in Europe at 23 km (14 miles), is also evident, running like an icy track through the landscape.
The Jungfraujoch also offers educational and entertaining attractions to complement your experience, such as the Alpine Sensation. This moving walkway illustrates the history of the development of tourism in the Alps and carries you from the Sphinx Hall to the Ice Palace. This cave of tunnels deep inside the glacier is filled with wildlife sculptures hewn from ice. Adults and children alike can also enjoy sledding or snowtubing on the glacier in the Snow Fun Park.
Lunch is available at any of three restaurants on-site, including an Indian buffet at Restaurant Bollywood and Swiss culinary fare at the Restaurants Aletsch and Crystal.
Please note that this activity is not recommended for anyone that is prone to altitude sickness.