The Train to the Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps
The Swiss tame their mighty mountains with trains cutting through the rock and restaurants capping peaks. This ultimate alpine day trip in the Berner Oberland takes you up to the Jungfraujoch's "Top of Europe," the highest train station in Europe.
Complete Video Script
From towns on the valley floor, a train takes tourists and adventurers alike to the region's ultimate perch — the Jungfraujoch. This breathtaking station sits like a fairy castle at 11,000 feet, between two of the region's highest peaks. The weather is usually better in the early morning — we're on the first train.
Towering high above are the Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger peaks — named for the legend of the young maiden (Jungfrau) being protected by the monk (or Mönch) from the mean ogre (or Eiger).
Continuing on, we change trains at Kleine Scheidegg, a rail junction at the base of these peaks. It has shops, rustic beds, and hearty food for hikers. This is the jumping-off point for rock climbers attempting to scale the foreboding north face of the Eiger.
This train incredibly tunnels through the inside of the Eiger on its slow yet exhilarating climb to the literal high point of any trip to the Swiss Alps — the Jungfraujoch. Swiss engineers dug this tunnel and built this railway over 100 years ago. Why? Because they could… and for the viewing pleasure of those 19th-century Romantic Age visitors.
Halfway up the Eiger, the train stops at panorama windows. Rock climbers can exit here into an unforgiving world of ice and air.
After another short tunnel ride, you emerge at 11,000 feet — the top of Europe. Spectacular views of majestic peaks stretch as far as you can see. Cradled among these giants, you understand the timeless allure of the Swiss Alps.
An elevator carries you to the highest viewing point. From there, you can see Aletsch Glacier — Europe's longest — stretching 11 miles south towards Italy. The air is thin… people are in giddy moods. It's cold even on a sunny day. While the Jungfraujoch station calls itself the top of Europe, it's possible to venture even higher.