Switzerland

TOP Things to Do in Grindelwald Switzerland in Summer

November 22, 2019 (Last Updated: February 8, 2022)
by Carolyn
Grindelwald, Switzerland

Are you ready to learn about all of the exciting things to do in Grindelwald Switzerland in summer? From hiking and mini golf to scooters and cliff walks, it’s easy to enjoy a day of adventure amidst spectacular views in this idyllic Swiss town.

When visiting the Jungfrau region, you’ll find Grindelwald is a postcard-perfect setting. Nestled at the head of the Lütschen Valley beneath the towering Wetterhorn, Eiger and Mettenberg, Grindelwald is blessed with stunning surroundings and is the perfect base to enjoy Switzerland’s natural beauty and charm.

Cable car high above the Swiss town of Grindelwald.
Cable cars quickly whisk you up from Grindelwald to join the surrounding mountains.

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17 Adventurous Things to Do in Grindelwald in Summer

As one of Switzerland’s most popular winter ski resorts, Grindelwald is the perfect place to head for world class skiing and snowboarding. But there are plenty of outdoor activities in the summer months, too.

It’s a town that offers something for everyone no matter what time of year you visit. 

I’m fortunate to have visited Grindelwald on a number of occasions and have personally enjoyed many of the popular attractions listed below.

Tip: 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. Read my detailed articles on the Jungfrau Travel Pass, the Regional Pass Berner Oberland, and the Swiss Travel Pass.

Grindelwald Village

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, and souvenir and watch shops are amongst the most popular services on offer.

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

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

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.

Mini Golf

A popular attraction on the main street is the excellent 18-hole mini golf course. Open April to October, the course offers a challenging round of mini golf with awe-inspiring views of the mountains and the Oberer Glacier.

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

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 daily from March to mid-December. From mid-December to mid-March the Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays except 30 and 31 December. 

Grindelwald-First Mountain

As lovely as Grindelwald village is, the surrounding mountain attractions are where the fun really begins.

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.

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

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.

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:

First Flyer

One of the most popular Grindelwald attractions is the First Flyer (First Flieger). This 800-meter zip line, or flying fox, stretches downhill from First to Schreckfeld.

Two people zip-lining over snow-capped mountains.
Zip along at speeds of up to 80 km/h on the First Flyer. Photo: swiss-image.ch

Strapped into a secure harness, you’ll whiz along at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour! This popular attraction has been called one of the best zip-line adventures for thrill seekers. 

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

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 the 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

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

Tourists on walkway high above snow-covered Swiss Alps.
First Cliff Walk. Photo: swiss-image.ch

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 long 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 mid-October 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

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 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.

Smiling woman riding mountain cart.
Mountain carts are a fun way to get from Schreckfeld to Bort.

Trottibike Scooters

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

A trottibike is 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.

Family on Trottibikes at Grindelwald First, Switzerland.
Trottibikes are a favourite activity for our family. The ride from Bort to Grindelwald is exhilarating.

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.

Not all activities on First are open year round. Check the web for current status before you go.

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.

Summer operation: mid-May to mid-October.

Grindelwald hiking trails

If you are looking for beautiful hikes in the Grindelwald area, you’ll find plenty. Hiking trails are abundant in First. There are trails suiting every level of fitness and experience, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy them.

Bachalpsee Lake hike

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.

Small hut next to a lake with fog rolling in.
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.

Even if you miss out on the reflection, the lake is still worth a visit and is a 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

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

Grindelwald town amidst green grassy pasture surrounded by mountains.
From First, the views over Grindelwald are superb.

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:

The trail is open Mid-May to mid-October.

Eiger Trail

Regarded amongst climbers as one of the most difficult and challenging ascents, the Eiger north face (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.

Two people looking at a map on a hiking trail with beautiful mountains behind them.
There’s no shortage of hiking trails – which are well sign-posted – in the area. Photo: swiss-image.ch

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

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

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.

Learn more about guided day hikes in Grindelwald.

Pfingstegg Rodelbahn

Back in Grindelwald, if you continue through town and past the Grindelwald-First cable car station, you’ll see signs pointing to the Pfingstegg. This mountain area offers spectacular views and lots of amusements for families.

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

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

Person riding the rodelbahn down a grassy hill.
Kids of all ages love the toboggan rides on Pfingstegg.

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

The Pfingstegg toboggan run is open early May to late October. 

*Minimum age restrictions apply

Grindelwald activities for thrill-seekers

Thrill-seekers will 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 Grindelwald 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).

To 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.

Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets to Grindelwald Glacier Canyon.

View of glacier from Grindelwald.
View of glacier from Grindelwald

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.

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

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.

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

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 sledding in summer. And the views of the Aletsch Glacier are incredible.

Read more about the Jungfraujoch and why you should consider purchasing a Jungfrau Travel Pass. The pass covers the majority of the fare as well as other mountain excursions in the region.

Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch:

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.

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?

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, please check out my 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.

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 a salt water jacuzzi in the garden. The hotel is just a five minute walk from Grindelwald station.

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.

Check current prices at Sunstar Hotel and Spa Grindelwald.

Browse more Grindelwald hotels, apartments and hostels or read my detailed guide to Grindelwald hotels.

Grindelwald Switzerland in Summer: Something for Everyone

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.

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Things to do in Grindelwald Switzerland in summer.