As we started to plan our trip to Lauterbrunnen, we began comparing two of the most famous peaks within reach of the Lauterbrunnen Valley: the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn. If you are staying in the Lauterbrunnen region for more than a few days, you could easily visit both peaks!
Accessing the Jungfraujoch will have you traveling up through the village of Wengen while a visit to the Schilthorn will have you traveling through Murren.
Here are a few of the factors we took into consideration when trying to decide between the two:
1. Cost: Since you’re already here in the Swiss Alps, the cost of these once in a lifetime activities shouldn’t be your main concern but it is more expensive to make a visit to the Jungfraujoch than the Schilthorn. There are ways of cutting costs, for example if you’ve invested in a Swiss Travel Pass, you may want to consider a visit to the Schilthorn rather than the Jungfraujoch as it will be covered by your Pass!
2. Weather: Clouds often move in over the peaks, obscuring your views and making the trip to the top a bit of a waste when there are such beautiful sights to see below the peaks! Luckily, you can check monitors at each lift stop to see what the view is like at the top before committing. Your hotel may also be able to offer a weather report and recommendations on whether or not you will get clear views at the top.
3. Experience: How much time do you have to dedicate to your mountain-climbing expedition? We had just a few hours of our last morning in the region to devote to reaching either the Jungfraujoch or the Schilthorn before we left Lauterbrunnen for our next destination. We knew that we wanted to hike Murren to Gimmelwald before leaving the area so the Schilthorn made more sense for us. Perhaps you’d like to fit a trip to Kleine Sheidegg in to your Lauterbrunnen visit? Then a trip to Jungfraujoch would work better for your schedule!
The rides to the top of the peaks are different and one may call out to you and your fellow travelers more! To get to the Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen you take a series of lifts–all of which offer their own incredible views for the entire journey to the top! If you’re afraid of heights, we’re warning you now! To reach the Jungfraujoch you will travel by train, connecting at Kleine Sheidegg where you will travel through a tunnel for the majority of the remaining portion. Again, if you’re choosing between the two peaks, you may want to consider which journey would be more interesting for you: death-defying lift rides through the Alps or tunneling your way through some of the world’s most famous mountains?
James Bond fans may also want to consider a visit to the Schilthorn as “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) was filmed here and there are many opportunities to indulge in all things 007! Families may find that a day spent at the Jungfraujoch better fits their varied needs with the ice palace, snow fun park, and souvenir shopping opportunities.
You really can’t go wrong when traveling through the Alps and reaching either one of these peaks will be an unforgettable experience!