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Jungfrau top of europe tour

We want to take this tour at the end of September 2013: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfraujoch/index.html Here's what's included:
Round trip travel to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe from Interlaken, Grindelwald or Wengen. Scenic trip to Eiger Glacier Station and through the Eiger tunnel to the Eigerwand and Eismeer stations. Sightseeing at the Great Aletsch Glacier, Ice Palace, Ice Gateway, Sphinx observation terrace, high alpine research exhibitions and more. But why is it so expensive? $502 for two? Is there a less expensive way to do this and why doesn't it include the Schtilthorn?

Posted by
3934 posts

This is a price from Raileurope ,a travel agent - reseller of these tickets . The price for this trip at the ticket office in Lauterbrunnen is about $190 USD or $380 USD for two . In addition , you don't want to purchase tickets ahead of time due to the fact that the weather there is extremely fickle . Better to buy in the early AM the day of travel to get the best possible weather . Going to the top on a day when it's socked in with bad weather isn't very appealing . In addition ,the Schilthorn excursion is , in fact , a wholly separate trip . In any event both of these trips are worth every penny !!

Posted by
501 posts

Wow, has it really gone up that much? I'm one of a few that think its overrated for the price. I did enjoy the ice Palace. I think if I had to compare it to the lift up Chamonix/Mt. Blanc for the money I would choose the latter. We used the Swiss half-fare card which pays for itself if you have a number of train trips and want to do more pricier excursions throughout Switzerland, such as Mt. Pilatus in Luzern and Schilthorn above Murren.

Posted by
14502 posts

The price does not include the Schilthorn because it is on a completely different mountain, run by a different company. I agree with Jim that the the Jungfraujoch trip is overpriced and overrated. There are a number of mountaintops in the Alps that are as scenic, and much more pleasant and fun to reach. What they don't tell you about the Jungfrau trip is that 40 minutes of it in each direction is in a dark tunnel. You are actually inside the Eiger, and they do stop once so you can look out windows carved in the rock. That part is interesting.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank-you Steven, Jim and Lola. Your responses were just what I was looking for!

Posted by
31819 posts

Jeanie, If you're looking for a fully guided tour of the sites you mentioned, that may explain why the price is so high. You can easily buy the tickets and just visit the Jungfraujoch on your own. They have Good Morning / Good Afternoon tickets listed for CHF 135 PP (return). Having a Jungfrau Rail Pass can sometimes be a good deal, but I haven't checked them recently. The Junfraujoch is an unusual and unique site and well worth a visit. It's especially impressive given that construction started in 1896 using only the rudimentary tools of the day. As the others mentioned, it's a really good idea to check the weather before taking that trip, as you could find a raging blizzard with hurricane force winds at the top, which was the case when I was there last September. The day following my trip, train service from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg was suspended due to high winds. If you do decide to visit there, note that the top of the Sphinx is at about 12,000 feet, so if you have any "altitude related issues", keep that in mind. I found that I was moving considerably more slowly there. Again as mentioned, the Schilthorn is on the opposite side of the valley, and transportation is via Cable Car rather than trains. It's also well worth a visit. Having a fine hot meal in the revolving restaurant while watching the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau pass by the windows is great! You could also have a "Martini Shaken Not Stirred" in the James Bond Bar (one floor below the restaurant). The movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was partially filmed there many years ago. Switzerland is generally expensive at the best of times, but "it is what it is". The Berner Oberland is incredibly beautiful (IMO) and well worth the cost. Happy travels!

Posted by
7205 posts

Absolutely no need for a guided tour. Be very wary of booking/buying ANYTHING through RailEurope. Totally overpriced. They take tickets (that you can easily purchase yourself) and then resell them to you at a greatly marked up profit. Switzerland is SOOOO well layed out for tourists you don't need a guided tour anywhere here.

Posted by
14502 posts

Most people who take the trip have a pass or Halk Fare card tht reduces the cost of the trip. 80 CHF is much more reasonable than the full price. If you want to do the trip, and you will be in Switzerland for several dys, you should look into the Half Fare Card for 120 CHF. Each person needs their own.

Posted by
6 posts

I found this very detailed account of a September trip to the Bernese Oberland. In it, Chris mentions that there was a movie playing on the train... (maybe during the 40 minutes in the tunnel?) Perhaps this is what the Raileurope tour adds to account for the extra expense. If you're going in the fall, you should check it out. Her photography is incredible. http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/trip-report-and-photos-10-days-in-switzerland-september-2010.cfm

Posted by
3934 posts

Jeanie , The higher price you are seeing is solely the additional profit tacked on to the ticket by RAILEUROPE . It does NOT include any guided tour as was previously suggested nor does the video on the train ( on continuous display in each carriage ) account for it . If you go to the Jungfrau Railways website and search out the details for this trip , you will find the lower price along with the IDENTICAL description of the package as it shows on the raileurope site . All you are paying for on raileurope is a middleman fee ,plain and simple .Of course , I will gladly stand corrected if I have provided incorrect information ( with a smile ) ;-) However , Lola brings up a valid consideration ; the use of a half fare card or swiss pass ( based on the length of your stay in the area and other plans for your time ) would make sense . When we visited last fall , we used Swiss passes for eight days , because after doing the math based on our activities , that worked out for us to a tee . You would have to do the calculations to see whether the card or pass would work for you .....www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/travel-information/tickets-fares/lauterbrunnen/prices-for-individual-travellers/
EDIT : go to the RAILPASSES section of this website for a chart comparing the different swiss discount provisions

Posted by
6 posts

All your comments have been really helpful.. We'll be in Switzerland on 9/27 for only 7 days, with 2 nights in Basel on either end and 3 nights each in Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen. We also want to do the following Mt. Pilatus tour from Lucerne, which looks quite reasonable, but maybe a half price Swiss pass would work for it too??? This tour is from Baseltours.net: The Golden Roundtrip & Mount Pilatus Tour from Lucerne Switzerland Image Duration: 5.5 hours Location: Lucerne The Golden Roundtrip & Mount Pilatus Tour from Lucerne Switzerland From USD
$134.55 Experience the stunning sights of Mount Pilatus on this tour! Your journey starts with a short bus ride to Kriens where you will take a ride on the panoramic gondolas and aerial cableway to the summit of Mount Pilatus. Next, you will descend on the world's steepest cogwheel railway (48% gradient) to Alpnachstad before taking an unforgettable boat ride on Lake Lucerne. Please Note: October 22 through November 9, the aerial cable car will not be included. This is due to the annual aerial cable car revisions. The tour will run from Alpnachstad by cogwheel train up to Mt. Pilatus and down to Alpnachstad. The return to Lucerne will be by public train. The lunch on top of Mt. Pilatus will be included. The rest of the tour remains the same. 48 HOURS MINIMUM ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED

Posted by
30291 posts

Hi Jeannie, Again, you may not want to get suckered in by "tours". You can walk up to the train ticket window and buy a "Golden Roundtrip" ticket, or any parts of it you wish and pop straight on. No 48 hour notice required. You go to the dock on the lake and buy however much of a trip on Vierwalstaettersee (Lake Luzern, Lake Lucern, Lac Lucerne) on a steamer or diesel ship and can do it all by yourself and have a scrummy time. The third parties need to make profits to stay in business. Doing it yourself on transportation in Switzerland is not hard. Not cheap, but not hard. That "included" meal gets pretty expensive. And about that 48 hour minimum notice? What if you get up in the morning and the weather is awful at the summit. Do you still want to go, or will you rearrange the days and do something at ground level like the Swiss Transport Museum which is a very well put together museum. More fun than it sounds.

Posted by
7205 posts

Listen carefully to everyone's advice "You don't need tours" to these places. The "added movie" on the Jungfrau Train plays continually in about 5 different languages - it's like a mini documentary. I've seen it WAY TOO MANY times. Believe me it's not an "added value" ;-) These tours you talk about are just to various mountain tops. I guarantee that you can walk into any train station/SBB Ticket Counter and tell them what you want and you'll get exactly that. All you have to say is PILATUS. They'll ask you the route and you say "Golden Roundtrip". Period, that's it, you've just saved 20%-30% AND you're dealing with somebody who actually knows what they're talking about. Yes your Half Fare Card will work for Pilatus and EVERY OTHER cog, bus, train, boat, gondola EVERYWHERE in Switzerland.

Posted by
501 posts

Jeanie, listen to Tim and others,why would they stir you in the wrong direction. This board is like having your favorite Aunt/Uncle giving you sound advice! With the money saved by doing this and possibly getting a half-fare card you can afford Switzerland or splurge on something else; for example, go up Jungfrau.

Posted by
518 posts

Hi Jeanie,
We have been up on the Schilthorn and the Jungfrau. Both are very enjoyable, but I cannot imagine why you would need or want a tour. The best part of the Schilthorn is the ride up and the view. The restaurant named Piz Gloria revolves. We especially enjoy their breakfast buffet. The last time we were staying in Murren, we went up the Schilthorn very early, had about a 2 hour breakfast, and spent time hiking around and enjoying the day. We then came back down to Murren and on down to Lauterbrunen. We decided to go for the Jungfrau too. We made it up to the Jungfrau in plenty of time to look and enjoy all we wanted. The ice palace is really something to see. We spent several hours up there and saw a lot, including playing in the snow. We managed both in a day, even though it would be be better to use 2 days I guess. We had fun. I just can't think of a single reason for a tour though.