Traditional Swiss chalet style mountain resort with stunning views of the Eiger Mountain
Grindelwald resort guide - a general overview
This is a charming resort situated under the majestic peaks of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Monch mountains which are famous for their dramatic scenery. Grindelwald is steeped in mountain history and oozes alpine charm and character. There is lots to do for the non-skier and the nightlife is also pretty plentiful (although certainly there is no lager lout element here). There are over 200km of pisted skiing which is mainly suited to beginners and intermediates although there is enough challenging piste skiing and plenty of off piste to keep any expert happy for a week. Mountain restaurants as you might imagine are charming and the general pace of life much slower and more relaxing compared to the big French resorts. In short Grindelwald is something of an alpine treat.
Getting skiing used to be a rather slow and lengthy process using the old train from Grund station which sits below the main resort at 944m altitude up to Kleine Scheidegg which sits at 2,061 metres. However, there are two brand new gondolas that leave the base station in Grindelwald and these take just 15 minutes to reach two separate high altitude ski areas. The cost of the V-cableway was not far off £400 million but the results make a spectacular improvement to the ski holiday experience when staying in Grindelwald. The newer of the two lifts, The Eiger Express, which opened in 2020 rises to almost 2,400 metres altitude and is truly state of the art. However, devotees of Grindelwald still say the leisurely mountain ascent using the old mountain train is one of the charms of Grindelwald. Sit back and relax, enjoy the amazing scenery (as good as anywhere) and let the train take the strain.
The resort offers several key Instagram worthy locations that take in the most of the fabulous and unique mountain scenery. The First Cliff Walk by Tissot is suitable for all the family and is located at the summit of the First Gondola. The circular walk leads along the vertical cliff face taking in views of the Eiger Mountain on the opposite side of the valley. The walk ends with a 45m long footbridge that extends over the abyss. You'll need a good head for heights but the views are truly amazing.
Although not a place for partying till dawn (try Verbier, St Anton, Val d'Isere, Zermatt etc for that) there is quite a bit of life to Grindelwald, with live music in several bars and lots of in-town entertainment like the ice carving festival in January.
1,035m - 2,970m
Level of skiing
- Snow sure
- Ski area
- Charm factor
- Resort layout
- Fine dining
- Short transfer
- Resort value
- 1hr 30mins
Pros and Cons
- Set beneath the North face of the Eiger the setting is amazing and the scennery beautiful
- Lots of long intermediate runs suitable for families and those looking to build confidence
- Pleasant, traditional village with lots of mountaineering history
- Great village for non skiers with some lovely walking
- Charming mountain trains
- There are few challenging runs for experts (although the off-piste terrain is very good)
- Murren although covered on the lift pass is difficult to reach
- Snow cover can be a little suspect at the end of the season (best to avoid April)
Grindelwald Resort Restaurants
Most of the better restaurants are found in the various resort hotels. The more traditional places include: Bistro Bar Memory in the Eiger; Schmitte in the Schweizerhof; Challi-Stuberli in the Kreuz; and the Alte Post. The Swiss Bistro at the very comfortable Fiescherblick is very good but also quite expensive. For fondue and raclette try the Bahnhof in the Derby Hotel and the Hotel Spinne has several dining options including a romantic candelit Rotisserie. For the ubiquitous pizza go to Onkle Tom's Hutte and for Italian the Latino is good.
Grindelwald Mountain Restaurants
There is a good selection of traditional and fun eateries on the mountain here. It's not quite a Zermatt but on-mountain eating is one of Grindelwald's features. Brandegg is especially known for its Apple Fritters and sunny terrace. Berghaus Bort does great rosti but not as good as that found at the Jagerstubli just off the Rennstrecke piste. There are great views from Mannlichen and the Spycher there has a cosy, traditional bar, ice bar and deckchairs. On the First Mountain good Italian is served at Cafe Genepi at the bottom of the Oberjoch chair.
Grindelwald Apres Ski
For a traditional, largely family style resort Grindelwald is actually pretty lively and getting livelier. Immediately off the slopes the Tipirama at Kleine Scheidegg is fun with live music and DJ's when the weather gets good. On the First Mountain Pumuckl's offers a similar experience. In town the Down Town teepee has live music and DJ's and those more interested in cakes head for the C&M Cafe. There is also an excellent sports centre with pool; ice hockey matches; excellent tobogganning and some evenings the 'Sledge Express' train takes people up the mountain for a fondue.
There are quite a few bars and several discos that keep the night swinging along. The most lively bar being the Espresso in the Spinne Hotel.