As far as we’re concerned, if you’re just going to get one chance to visit Switzerland, you should definitely visit the Jungfrau area. There are some amazing sights to see (though we recommend you check the weather and go up Jungfraujoch on a clear day, to avoid disappointment), the people are great, and especially if you’re interested in hiking, photography, or just drinking in the beauty of the landscape.
- Going up the Jungfraujoch? In this one case, don’t book the train in advance! It might be cheaper, but it might also be a total waste of money. If visibility is poor, Jungfraujoch is pretty pointless.
- Take your own meals with you! Food is often expensive and, in places where you don’t get much choice, you may find it difficult to find something you want to eat at a reasonable price. Unless you’ve got an immense budget, we definitely recommend packing your lunches and taking them along.
- You can get cheaper train tickets up to Jungfraujoch by setting out from Interlaken, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen in the early morning. You arrive at Jungfraujoch before 9am, and have plenty of time to see the sights, while saving over 50CHF.
- It can get very busy, especially in places that pull in a lot of people like the Jungfraujoch. Try going during school term time or something when there may be fewer people around.
- The national languages of Switzerland are French, German, Italian and Romansch. You can probably get around just fine even if you don’t speak a word of any of these, though – especially in tourist areas, people are used to speaking English and can almost definitely answer simple questions. If you have some French aptitude, that may be even more helpful, but we don’t recommend poring over a French phrasebook if you don’t… having to study up to try and ask directions in a foreign language doesn’t sound like a good holiday to us!
- If you’re going to go hiking, do make sure you know how to keep yourself safe. Dress appropriately, pay attention to the difficulty level of any hikes, and make sure you’re aware of weather warnings on the day. We have another page specifically on hiking safety for you!
There are excellent guides for specific things to see in the Jungfrau area, and we recommend in particular the section on the Bernese Oberland on TripAdvisor.