As we started planning this long-awaited trip to Switzerland, Grindelwald appeared over and over again in in our research. Since we were going to be visiting in late October between the summer and winter seasons, we knew that Grindelwald would be quieter than at other times but we still wanted to visit this town that so many fellow travelers have loved!
It was easy to reach Grindelwald from Lauterbrunnen and the visit could be turned into a day trip rather than an overnight stay depending on your schedule and preferences. We opted for an overnight stay and caught an afternoon train, making a quick transfer at Zweilutschinen before completing the ride from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald.
As was the case with our hotel in Lauterbrunnen, the Derby Hotel in Grindelwald was incredibly welcoming and helpful when we checked in. Our room was clean, spacious, and comfortable with a beautiful view and balcony.
The hotel is literally steps away from the train station but we didn’t hear any noise from the station at all! While our balcony looked out over the train station, a shared sitting room and terrace on our floor offered views of the Eiger and the valley below.
We decided to go for a walk up and down Dorfstrasse, the main street in the tourist-area of Grindelwald. There are restaurants, hotels, and shops lining the street and we can only imagine how beautiful it must look covered in snow at the end of a long day of skiing. We stopped at the Coop Supermarket and bought some cheese and wine to take back to our hotel to enjoy while we watched the sunset from the terrace.
After our picnic-style cheese and wine happy hour we were somehow still hungry and walked to the Hotel Restaurant Bellevue-Pinte for what else: more cheese, this time in the form of cheese fondue! We also tried the schnitzel–both dishes were delicious and the restaurant was warm and welcoming! There were quite a few dining options along Dorfstrasse even during the late-October off-season when we were visiting!
Of course there are negatives to visiting during the off-season and for Grindelwald, one of those is the closure of the Grindelwald-First adventure area. While we loved our quick overnight visit to this beautiful location, being able to take full advantage of summer hikes and activities like the first flyer zipline and zooming down hills on trottibike scooters would be a dream come true! You can check out the operating schedule and other information about Grindelwald-First here. The seasonal operation realities are definitely something you should take into consideration as you plan your trip. You can read about some of our other itinerary planning tips here.
To end our stay in Grindelwald, we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and took a short walk through the valley with the Eiger looming above! Our walk ended when the path we were following was blocked off by a few sleeping cows.
We took it as a [very Swiss] sign and opted to turn around and make our way back to the train station where we’d catch the train to our final destination in the Berner Oberland: Brienz!