Grindelwald, Switzerland in Winter
A Ski Resort with plenty of activities for non-skiers as well!
Grindelwald is a lovely town in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland. We have been to Grindelwald in summer, and we decided to come back in Winter on our annual ski break. The region offers a multitude of activities for both skiers and non-skiers, and you can easily access other ski resorts like Wengen, or Kleine Scheidegg just below the Jungfrau Top of Europe. Grindelwald is definitely a family friendly ski resort and in this post you can read all about skiing, sledging, adrenaline activities, and winter hiking in Grindelwald!
Things to do in Grindelwald in Winter
Skiing in Grindelwald
Staying in Grindelwald for a ski break is an excellent choice because of the wide variety of slopes and activities. There are plenty of ski slopes for beginners, as well as lots of slopes for experienced skiers, and a fun snow park on Grindelwald First.
You can either buy a ski pass for Grindelwald and Wengen combined, or for the whole Jungfrau region which would also cover Mürren and Schilthorn if you would like to go a bit further as well.
Grindelwald’s own mountain is the First mountain which is accessible by cable car from the center of town. The First cable car has 3 stops: Bort station, Schreckenfeld station and First, all the way on top. The whole ascension to the top takes 25 minutes. The snow park is located not far from the Schreckenfeld station.
While you ski on the Grindelwald First mountain, you can combine some other activities in your day, like walking on the Grindelwald First Cliff Walk, or, flying like a bird on the First Glider, which is included in your ski pass, so no excuses.
There are mountain restaurants at each of the intermediate stations, as well as at the snow park.
Skiing in Wengen
From the Grindelwald Terminal you can take the cable car up to Wengen Männlichen which really is a great ski area that covers lots of slopes for all levels. On Männlichen you will find plenty of blue slopes for beginners, but also slopes like the famous Lauberhorn Ski Race slope, which is used for World Cup skiing.
The brand new and very modern cable car, the Eiger Express, also takes you up from Grindelwald Terminal to the foot of the Eiger mountain in about 15 minutes. This big cable car has convenient holes in the floor to put your skis in. From the Eigergletscher, you have the possibility to ski to Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen, or back to Grindelwald.
Skiing on Kleine Scheidegg
There’s a big beginners area at Kleine Scheidegg taking you back down to Grindelwald on a long blue slope.
Grindelwald for non-skiers
Grindelwald also has a lot to offer for non-skiers, or for those who just don’t want to ski all day. We think this is important when choosing a ski resort since like most families, we don’t always all have the same interests, and it is great to have some alternatives. Grindelwald has winter hiking paths, sledging slopes, snowshoeing paths and some adrenaline activities like the First Glider which has you fly over that gorgeous landscape like an eagle.
Winter Hiking in Grindelwald
A beautiful winter hiking path can take you down from Grindelwald First back to Grindelwald town. Depending on how long you would like to hike, you could also break this up and partly hike down and hop back on the cable car at one of the intermediate stations. On top of Grindelwald First, you would also have the possibility to hike higher up towards Bachalpsee.
We did the hike from Bort to Grindelwald town, which took about 1h30 and was lovely because this hike passes by a lot of beautiful snowed in mountain huts. We also hiked from First to Schreckenfeld, which was beautiful as well, but more to see the ski slopes. We preferred the part from Bort to Grindelwald.
First Cliff Walk by Tissot
A must-do in Grindelwald is of course the First Cliff Walk. You will find the start of the Cliff Walk right at the top station of the Grindelwald First cable car. The path goes along the cliff, and takes you to a viewing platform with wonderful views on the surrounding peaks.
Check out below video on Instagram to get an idea of what the First Cliff Walk is like in Winter.
First Glider, fly like an eagle over the mountain
More adrenaline activities on Grindelwald First include the First Flyer, and the First Glider. The Flyer is a zipline that takes you down to Schreckenfeld from just below the First top.
The First Glider has you attached to a giant eagle and takes you back and forth to Schreckenfeld station. This means you first fly backwards, and then forwards. The flyer seems to go faster than the glider, but the going backwards part was what made only part of our family dare to do this.
Sledging in the Jungfrau region
Sledging on Grindelwald First
A sledging run also goes from Grindelwald First down to the village. It is the same path as the winter hiking path, and at some parts a multi-user slope with slow skiing as well. Some parts seemed a bit steeper than the Wengen Männlichen sledging slope. You can rent sledges anywhere in Grindelwald. In all the sports shops in the village, but also in the one sports shop on Grindelwald First. To be sure they are not all rented out it is of course smart to secure your sledge in the village and just take it up in the cable car with you.
Sledging in Wengen
We went for a cool sledging adventure in Wengen on top of Männlichen and totally loved that run! We took the cable car to Männlichen from the Grindelwald Terminal and first admired the view up there. From Männlichen you can see as far as Lake Thun, and of course the view on the mountains is gorgeous. We went to Männlichen in Summer as well and it then has one of the most beautiful alpine playgrounds. In Winter, only the cow-shaped-slide is accessible, but still nice for the kids to play while you are ordering something at the restaurant on top.
From Wengen Männlichen to Holenstein
From Männlichen you can sledge down to Holenstein middle station, and go back up with the cable car to do this run over and over again. If you have a day pass of couse, and not a single ride pass. If you have a single ride pass, you can sledge all the way down to the Grindelwald Terminal which will get you about 2 hours of sledging fun!
We totally loved this sledging slope and went back up to do the run from Männlichen to Holenstein twice. This slope is definitely family friendly! There are 3 parts where you do cross the ski slope, so just be careful there, or tell your children to stay behind you on those parts, but it really is ok. The slope towards Holenstein is mostly in the sun, and has both slower parts as partly steeper parts and fun turns. There is no restaurant at the Holenstein middle station, so bring your snacks or go back up to Männlichen.
From Wengen Holenstein to Grindelwald Terminal
When you decide to sledge all the way down to the Grindelwald Terminal, this part adds about 40 minutes of fun to your sledging adventure and changes the views a bit, as here, the sledging run goes partly through a forest which is really nice as well. Check out the snow conditions all towards Grindelwald Terminal of course to see in whether there is still enough snow for this part of the sledging run.
Once you are down at Grindelwald Terminal, you can just hop on a bus back to the center of Grindelwald to take your sledge back to the rental shop.
From Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, and Jungfrau Top of Europe
Another alternative activity to skiing is the beautiful train ride from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg. Trains run directly from Grindelwald train station to Kleine Scheidegg and it takes about a half an hour of gentle curves through winter wonderland to get there. While going up to Kleine Scheidegg you can observe the sledging slopes from your train window.
Kleine Scheidegg is where the trains to Jungfrau Top of Europe leave from, but is a beautiful place itself to go to, because of the impressive views. Kleine Scheidegg has a beautiful historic hotel on top, some restaurants, and a small café-restaurant called Chalet Bar that we liked in Summer and went back to this winter.
From Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen
Another nice excursion from Grindelwald is a short trip to Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is famous for its waterfall, the Staubachfall. Of course, there is more water in this waterfall in spring and summer than in Winter, but still beautiful to see.
From Lauterbrunnen, you can also take the cable car and train up to chocolate box village Mürren and walk around there, or even go up to Mürren directly with the Stechelberg cable car, and then onwards to Schilthorn Piz Gloria for a 007 James Bond adventure.
Since we had already done this in Summer, we did not do it again this Winter. You can read all about Mürren and Schilthorn Piz Gloria here.
How to get from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen:
By car: it is really close by, it took us about 20 minutes by car only
By train: from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen takes about 40 minutes. First take the train in direction of Interlaken Ost, and change once at the station Zweilütschinen.
Where to stay in Grindelwald:
When we go on a ski break, we always try to stay as close to the cable car as possible. Especially with kids and all the ski equipment you would want to avoid walking too far in the morning. We found a small but affordable apartment close to the Grindelwald First lift.
For a short stay, we would recommend this hotel, which is very close to the First cable car as well, and has an outdoor heated pool!
If you liked this article on winter holidays in Switzerland, then you may also like our articles on other ski resorts! Check out our article on Bettmeralp, near the Aletsch Glacier, and on Saas-Fee in the Valais.