Getting There And Getting Around Switzerland

The Jungfrau Railway (pictured here in front of the north face of the Eiger) takes visitors to Jungfraujoch. Credit:  ©Jungfrau Railways, www.swiss-image.ch The Jungfrau Railway (pictured here in front of the north face of the Eiger) takes visitors to Jungfraujoch. Credit: ©Jungfrau Railways, www.swiss-image.ch

Jungfrau and other peaks in the Bernese Alps are easily accessible by train or bus from Geneva or Zürich. The Swiss train system is excellent, and generally on time. Buses are reliable as well, run by Swiss Post (post office, bank and bus system, all in one, and all three are available from mountaintops to lakeshores, in all kinds of weather). 

The train trip to Jungfraujoch, on the cog wheel train route known as the Jungfraubahn, begins to tooth its way up at Kleine Scheidegg, a village below the Eiger (also the site of the finish line for the Jungfrau Marathon every September). The ride is not cheap; check the Jungfrau Railways website for the latest prices and information: www.jungfrau.ch.

For your trip to Jungfrau, consider staying in Interlaken. This formerly aristocratic resort town harbors some vintage elegance; you can wander the paths through town and take boat rides on the lake, ringed by mountains. Or head straight for the mountains and stay in Grindelwald or around Kleine Scheidegg. Check www.ebookers.com or www.venere.com for hotel, chalet and apartment deals from the European side of things. Don’t be surprised that hotels in Europe charge a small fee for each additional person in a room.

Small family-run hotels in the mountains are good jumping-off points for hikes, and generally have restaurants attached. The Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, the chalet where the movie “North Face” (originally “Nordwand” in German) was filmed recently, sits at the foot of the Eiger in Kleine Scheidegg and costs about $180 a night: www.scheidegg-hotels.ch.

Naomi Lubick

Lubick (www.naomilubick.com) is a freelance science writer based in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Friday, November 12, 2010 - 06:00