Grindelwald is mainly known for its picturesque mountain landscape and not for its sparkling waters, so don't expect to be relaxing on lake shores throughout your stay. However, if you're planning to venture out of the pretty Swiss town and up into the mountains, you will find some hidden lakes amidst the peaks.
Head up the First gondola and take an hour's walk to the idyllic Bachalpsee. This small mountain lake is surrounded by green marshland and backed by stunning mountains. There are two sections of the lake, with one smaller pond located slightly below the larger part.
While there aren't any designated beaches or lidos around the shores of Bachalpsee, feel free to throw down your towel on any of the grassy banks and paddle your feet. It's relatively quiet, too, so you don't have to worry about not finding somewhere to sit.
For an evening with ambience, grab a table on the outdoor terrace at the interestingly named Avocado Bar. Despite its name, though, the fashionable green fruit isn't what this bar is famous for - it's simply a relaxing environment with good, soothing music and a low-key atmosphere.
Upbeat evenings are also on the cards in Grindelwald. The Espresso Bar, next to the Hotel Spinne, is usually lively and has an outdoor terrace facing the north face of the Eiger. Another option, The Juke Box, is designed like a large living room, stuffed with sofas, and even has a terrace with views towards the Eiger too.
Grindelwald is known for its mountain cheeses, so you'll find lots of fondue restaurants for when you’re craving a melted pot of gooey goodness with fresh bread and potatoes. There are plenty of mountain restaurants to take lunch at if you’ve taken a cable car up for the day, all with excellent views, as well as a variety of eateries on the Dorfstrasse in the centre of town.
The modern chalet restaurant C&M has great views of the Eiger and surrounding mountains from its outdoor terrace. The menu - offering slightly different dishes to what you'd traditionally find here - is a little limited, but this means everything is prepared and cooked with extra love and care.
The large, down-to-earth café on the Dorfstrasse, Backerei-Konditorei-Café Ringgenberg, is great for breakfast or lunch. It serves up a large selection of reasonably priced breads, sandwiches, quiches, cakes, ice creams and pastries (which you can also get to take away) as well as larger meals.
The slightly hilly resort of Grindelwald has a lot of walking to keep you busy. The town's main road, the Dorfstrasse, is a great place to take a stroll as it's full of shops and restaurants - you'll surely find the perfect place to stop for lunch.
Grindelwald station has services that can take you to Interlaken every half an hour. From Interlaken you can access the rest of the Swiss Transport System - so places like Zurich, Lucerne and Montreux are back on the cards. And take advantage of your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday for up to 50% off Swiss train journeys during your stay.
The main bus station in Grindelwald is opposite the train station, and the main routes are free with the Visitor’s Card. Mountain buses are an extra charge and go to Grosse Scheidegg, Bussalp and Waldspitz, departing roughly once an hour. And your Swiss Half Fare Card that you get as part of your holiday gives you up to 50% off bus journeys during your stay.
From Grindelwald you can catch a variety of mountain railways and cable cars. The Firstbahn, Pfingsteggbahn and the Bernese Oberland railway are just a few available. All of them run daily between 8am and 6pm in high season, taking you up to incredible heights for panoramic views of the Jungfrau region.
Grindelwald is a real walker’s paradise, with everything from gentle strolls to full-day hikes. The valley floor is a lovely place to just wander, looking out for bright alpine flowers, and the range of summer lifts means you can explore higher up too. Use the First gondola to access a range of routes, like the Marmot Trail or the walk to the picture-postcard Bachalpsee lake. And the Jungfrau Railway is a unique way to travel to the Top of Europe.
Catch the First gondola from Grindelwald all the way to the top – and sit backwards for great views of the glaciers. Walk along the yellow footpath, following signs for Bachalpsee. There’s a short zig-zag climb at the start but after that the path is more even. At the end, you’ll come to the two lakes where you can stop for a picnic, paddle in the water, or just sit back and take in the views.
This popular walk starts with a leisurely ascent on the Mannlichen gondola. When you reach the top, take a minute to look over the ridge at the beautiful views of Wengen and the Lauterbrunnen valley. Then follow signs for Kleine Scheidegg, an almost flat walk that winds around the side of the mountain and provides the best views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Later, you can catch the train from Kleine Scheidegg back to Grindelwald.
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