Switzerland with Kids: Jungfraujoch review – is it worth the money?

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Visiting the Jungfraujoch Glacier is an incredible experience if you’re exploring Switzerland with the kids. But, having said that, it is a very expensive day out (and there are other cheaper alternatives – keep reading for those) so this review will hopefully help you decide which is the best option for you and whether visiting Jungfraujoch with the kids is worth the money.

We braved temperatures of -7°C for this once in a lifetime experience, which was about 30 minutes drive from where we stayed at Manor Farm Campsite – it really was a great place to stay, within easy distance of some of the best views that Switzerland has to offer! (If you want to read all about our Switzerland road trip, check out my article: Our Eurocamp Interlaken Family Holiday: What we spent, tips & how to visit Switzerland on a budget from the UK.)

 

What is Jungfraujoch?

Jungfraujoch, the highest point in Europe, is one of the most famous destinations in Switzerland. The mountain peak is so high that it’s covered in snow 365 days of the year – so you’ll never be disappointed whatever time of year you’re visiting. We actually found this really strange, as we had days of 17 degrees+ exploring Switzerland, often stripping down to t-shirts, and then we were transported into a winter wonderland!

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Because the peak is 3454m above sea level – you may even get some mild altitude sickness but most people will be fine. Though it’s worth mentioning that we all felt a little light-headed during our visit – so that’s something to think about if you particularly suffer.

This excursion was really expensive – it was definitely the most expensive day out that we’ve ever had but it was something that we were desperate to check off of the bucket list! So, though we try to keep our budget down whenever we travel, this was something that we just had to save up for.

 

Where is Jungfraujoch?

Jungfraujoch is situated in the Swiss Alps between the Jungfrau and Mönch mountains, in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. We drove from Interlaken to begin our journey to the top of Jungfraujoch from Grindelwald Station. If you’re travelling to Switzerland without a car, you can train from Interlaken to Grindelwald easily.

 

What’s there to see and do at Jungfraujoch?

We took the Eiger Express gondola on the way up – they run continuously so we were able to get straight on after purchasing our tickets. It felt very Jurassic Park like as we ventured up the mountain – the views were brilliant and as we climbed nearer to where we’d need to catch the train, over hills and forest, everything began to turn white.

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, frugal mum family with Kids, is it worth the money, cable car, eigel express gondola photo

The journey to get to the peak is definitely part of the magic, we absolutely loved the gondola ride, after which you take the train inside a tunnel to the very top. On the way back, we chose go by train all the way down (as I’ve always wanted to travel a Swiss mountain by train!) so that we had experienced it both ways – the train journey does take longer but the views along the railway journey are lovely.

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, frugal mum family with Kids, is it worth the money, cable car, eigel express gondola view photo

Aside from the areas where you can explore outside on foot, to enjoy the views and feel the crunch of the snow, there are also viewing decks. Even out of peak holiday times there were still lots of visitors around and a buzz about the place, though nowhere was too busy and we didn’t have to queue for the gondola etc.

There’s what they refer to as an ‘ice palace’ – where you explore through tunnels to see some incredible carvings in the ice. The kids enjoyed this, but were slightly disappointed with it being within tunnels – they’d imagined it differently I think with the name ‘palace’.

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, frugal mum family with Kids, is it worth the money, ice palace photo

There’s also a Lindt shop, and the usual facilities like restaurants and loos. Within the building, there are also areas to explore to see the history and construction of the Jungfraujoch buildings and railways, which was actually really interesting – building the railway and the huge building on top of such a high peak was obviously quite the challenge!

There’s also a snow park with a zip-line and snow tubing – which the kids had planned to make the most of – but this was temporarily closed when we visited. They had been wanting to snow tube, but after seeing how cold it was outside I’m not sure they’d have actually done it anyway. 😂 We couldn’t feel our faces by the time we came back inside after just a short walk in the snow!

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, frugal mum family with Kids, is it worth the money, photo of sculpture in ice palace

Some things will be weather permitting so that’s something to be aware of – obviously the wind and bad weather could be a huge issue and a danger so high up. One of the platforms was closed when we visited, and I would imagine that this could be more of an issue in the winter months when extreme weather is more likely.

 

How long does the Jungfraujoch experience take?

The journey up and down the mountain takes quite some time, so you’ll use two hours+ getting there and back – with the train taking slightly longer than the Eiger Express Cable Car. You’ll then want a few hours to see and do everything when you reach the top.

We didn’t, but you can also hike to explore the glacier – which takes around 2 hours for the round trip. For this, you’d need a very good level of fitness and proper walking shoes – it wouldn’t be something recommended to do if you’re visiting with kids but for healthy adults on holiday, it would certainly be an incredible experience.

Even without the hike, you’ll want to allow a whole day for the Jungfraujoch trip as it’ll still easily fill 5 hours or more of your day. It’s probably best to arrive mid-morning at the lastest, and assume you’ll be heading back to your accommodation around tea-time.

 

What should I wear for a visit to Jungfraujoch with the kids?

It’s extremely cold so you’ll want to wear lots of layers and pack bits like scarves, hats and gloves. The kids put pyjama bottoms under their trousers and we wore a few layers each on our top halves too, I doubled up with normal leggings under my thermal ones! As I mentioned before, we visited during a warm September (it was around 17-20 degrees most days), yet it was still -7°C at the top of Jungfraujoch. Even in the summer months you’ll need to wrap up warm!

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, frugal mum family with Kids, is it worth the money, view of glacier photo

And don’t forget your sunglasses too – it’s really bright with the sun bouncing off of the white snow so to really enjoy the view without the glare causing you bother you’ll want some shades. I was so glad to have read that elsewhere before we visited – so hopefully you’ll appreciate the tip too if you decide that a trip to Jungfraujoch is for you!

 

How much does a family trip to Jungfraujoch cost – and is it worth the expense?

The Jungfraujoch excursion was around £370 for our family of four – it was definitely insanely expensive for a single day out but it was something that I was desperate to check off of the bucket list, and I couldn’t have visited Switzerland without doing it. Knowing that the cost was so high, we made sure to plan our trip around it and balance our itinerary with cheap or free excursions for the other days.

Thinking about whether it was good value for money, I feel a bit conflicted. At the top, there wasn’t a huge amount for us to access, and they don’t even provide decent areas to eat if you’re not buying their food in the restaurants – which considering the ticket price isn’t great customer service.

The restaurant and cafe areas are ridiculously expensive, so make sure that you pack a picnic and drinks in order to avoid purchasing anything during the trip. We literally ate our picnic lunch on the floor by a cafe area – which is pretty nuts when you consider the cost of the excursion – though we were by an enormous viewing window so I can’t complain about the breath-taking view that we had with our lunch!

Jungfraujoch, switzerland, glacier, snow, mountain, frugal mum review, view, eurocamp holiday, interlaken, photo

Essentially, Jungfraujoch is a very expensive view, unless you’re able to experience the snow park (at an additional cost) or trek to the glacier to get the full outdoor experience. And, even then, it’s a lot of money to spend for a few hours entertainment.

On the way down, they’ll gift you with some Lindt chocolate on the train, so that was a nice treat and one the kids especially appreciated. And, tickets from Jungfraujoch can be used to gain free entry at Harder Kulm – so if you want to do both, make sure that you visit Jungfraujoch first to save some money there.

But even though I can’t quite say it was good value for money, I absolutely don’t regret what we spent. It was a unique, once in a lifetime experience, and there was something so magical about it. Do I wish it was cheaper? Of course! But, would I do it again? For sure.

 

Which Switzerland mountain experiences are cheaper than Jungfraujoch?

There are few options for cheaper mountain experiences in Switzerland, if you’re travelling on a budget with the kids and want to save some money. If you’ve got a lot on your Swiss to do list – investigate the travel passes too to see if that works well for your plans. For some cheaper alternative Swiss mountain experiences, you might want to look at trips to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Mt Titlis, Mont Blanc or Schilthorn.

 

If you’re visiting Switzerland with kids, check out these articles:

Our Eurocamp Interlaken Family Holiday: What we spent, tips & how to visit Switzerland on a budget from the UK

how to explore switzerland on a budget, interlaken guide, frugal mum review, tips, holiday with kids, eurocamp, manor farm campsite

 

Eurocamp Holiday Review: Manor Farm Campsite, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Manor Farm Campsite, Interlaken, Switzerland, lake, Eurocamp holiday, sunset, frugal mum review photo

 

And for budget family travel, road trip tips and Eurocamp info you’ll want to read:

Family road trip essentials: 13 things to pack on a road trip with kids

things to pack on a family road trip with kids, essential travel guide, frugal mum tips

 

25 tips for travelling abroad on a budget with kids – here’s how to save money on your family summer holiday!

How to travel abroad on a budget, frugal mum title page, save money on family holiday tips

 

The Ultimate Eurocamp Holiday Guide – and money saving tips!

eurocamp review, complete holiday guide, FAQs, frugal mum

 

Eurocamp Holidays: Which accommodation should I choose? What’s included?

Eurocamp accommodation options title image, mobile home, frugal mum review

 

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