Basel To Jungfraujoch Train: All You Need To Know

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In the Bernese Oberland, Jungfraujoch – also known as the Top of Europe – is one of the most popular destinations. Jungfraujoch, which sits at 3,463 meters above sea level, is actually a saddle between Jungfrau (4,158 meters above sea level) and Mönch (4,110 meters above sea level).

Image from Jungfraujoch by aranha from Pixabay

It is possible to go from Basel to Jungfraujoch in one day, but it will be a very long day. Based on the travel time we have already experienced, I estimate at least 4.5 hours each way. Unless you are short on time or have a tight budget, I recommend you stay in Interlaken for one night. From there, it is easier to reach Jungfraujoch.

Nevertheless, you can reach Jungfraujoch from Basel if you wish to do so within a day.

On this page, you can find all the information you need regarding the train journey from Basel to Jungfraujoch.

Overview: Navigating Swiss Trains

You can start by visiting the SBB website: www.sbb.ch. Using the website, you can type in your departure and arrival destinations. It will then guide you to where and when you need to be. An app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

If you wish to pay half the fare for all your train rides in Switzerland, a Half Fare Discount Card is available on www.sbb.ch. This allows you to travel for half the price on all SBB routes and most other railways during the duration of your discount card.

Getting tickets from RailEurope is definitely a convenient option if you’re traveling within Europe and/or visiting multiple countries. A global leader in train tickets and passes, RailEurope is headquartered in Paris, France. A Swiss Pass and a Half Fare Discount Card can also be obtained from RailEurope.

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Using the Swiss Pass, you can travel on Swiss trains, buses, boats, and more. Over 500 museums are also free or discounted, and there are free or discounted excursions to mountain summits.


How to Get From Basel to Jungfraujoch

Image of the Basel Train Station by TouringSwitzerland.com

There are several ways to go from Basel to Jungfraujoch. The best way to reach it is by first traveling from Basel to Interlaken Ost. Then from Interlaken Ost, there are two options:

  1. Classic Train Route via Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg
  2. Modern Train Route via Grindelwald and the Eiger Express. 

Let’s go over both options below.

Option 1: Basel to Jungfraujoch via Lauterbrunnen – Kleine Scheidegg

Image of the train to Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg by Techno Ed from Pixabay

Your first option to Jungfraujoch is the classic train route. It is a slower scenic train ride through Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg on the way to the Eiger Glacier and Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen.

Here is the route that you will have to take from Basel to Jungfraujoch via Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg:

  1. Basel to Interlaken Ost – Take the next Intercity train from Basel to Interlaken Ost. A fast train leaves Basel for Interlaken Ost every 30 minutes.
  2. Interlaken Ost – From Interlaken Ost, you will have to take the train to Lauterbrunnen Village.
  3. Lauterbrunnen – As soon as you arrive at Lauterbrunnen train station, you will take the Wengernalpbahn (WAB). Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, and Grindelwald are connected to the Kleine Scheidegg by the Wengernalpbahn. The railway is also the world’s longest continuous rack railway with a length of 19,114 meters.
  4. Wengen – As you ascend the mountain from Lauterbrunnen, you will be able to see almost the entire Lauterbrunnen Valley before you arrive in the car-free village of Wengen. No need to change your train. The train will continue its journey all the way up to Kleine Scheidegg.
  5. Kleine Scheidegg – Following the stop in Wengen, it will ascend to Kleine Scheidegg. Located 2,061 meters above sea level, Kleine Scheidegg offers spectacular views of the famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. 
  6. Eiger Glacier – You will need to change trains in Kleine Scheidegg to reach Eiger Gletscher. From there you will board the train ascending to Jungfraujoch.
Route from Basel to Jungfraujoch via LauterbrunnenDuration
Basel – Interlaken Ost 2 hours and 3 minutes
Interlaken Ost – Lauterbrunnen20 minutes
Lauterbrunnen – Kleine Scheidegg via Wengen38 minutes
Kleine Scheidegg – Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher)5 minutes
Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher) – Jungfraujoch26 minutes

The total travel time from Basel to Jungfraujoch via Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg is 4 hours and 16 minutes.

Option 2: Basel to Jungfraujoch via Grindelwald

Image of Grindelwald and Eiger Express by TouringSwitzerland.com

Alternatively, you can travel from Basel to Jungfraujoch via the Grindelwald Terminal. At the terminal, you can take the Eiger Express gondola to the Eiger Glacier and finally to Jungfraujoch.

Here is the route that you will have to take from Basel to Jungfraujoch via Grindelwald:

  1. Basel to Interlaken Ost – Take the next Intercity train from Basel to Interlaken Ost. A fast train leaves Basel for Interlaken Ost every 30 minutes.
  2. Interlaken Ost – From Interlaken Ost, you will have to take the train to Grindelwald.
  3. Grindelwald / Grindelwald Terminal – From Interlaken, you will take the train to Grindelwald. Simply go into the Grindelwald Terminal. This Terminal is a new terminal that connects passengers to either Männlichen or Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher).
  4. Eiger Glacier via Eiger Express – From Grindelwald Terminal, you will take the Eiger Express cable car to Eiger Glacier. From there you will board the train ascending to Jungfraujoch.

Eiger Express

The Eiger Express opened on December 5, 2020. As its name suggests, the Eiger Express is a state-of-the-art tricable gondola lift. It is also called the 3S gondola. It is one of the world’s most modern 3S gondolas. 

3S gondola lifts can support great lengths and weights without having to erect many support towers. Along the 6.5 km length from Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier, there are only 7 support towers. Isn’t it amazing? The carrier cable facilitates this process using 3S technology. Thus, the Eiger Express has been designed with minimal impact on nature and blends in more with the environment.

Route from Basel to Jungfraujoch via GrindelwaldDuration
Basel – Interlaken Ost2 hours and 3 minutes
Interlaken Ost – Grindelwald Terminal29 minutes
Grindelwald Terminal – Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher)20 minutes
Eiger Glacier (Eigergletscher) – Jungfraujoch26 minutes

The total travel time from Basel to Jungfraujoch via Grindelwald is 3 hours and 46 minutes.


Are There Direct Trains From Basel to Jungfraujoch?

As of the time of writing (July 2022), there are no direct trains from Basel to Jungfraujoch.

Jungfraujoch can be reached via Bern and Interlaken from Basel. Most tourists, however, choose Interlaken as their base and then travel to Jungfraujoch from there.


How Long Is the Train Ride From Basel to Jungfraujoch?

The following table shows the train ride duration from Basel to Jungfraujoch:

RouteDuration
Basel – Interlaken Ost – Lauterbrunnen – Kleine Scheidegg – Jungfraujoch4 hours and 16 minutes
Basel – Interlaken Ost – Grindelwald Terminal – Jungfraujoch3 hours and 46 minutes

Is the Train Route From Basel to Jungfraujoch Scenic?

Intercity trains from Basel to Interlaken Ost are not scenic trains. There are fast trains that travel from one big city to another, whose main purpose is to transport passengers as quickly as possible. These trains can reach high speeds.  During the ride, you can still see the scenery, but it won’t be slow and steady like other scenic trains.

However, things start becoming more scenic as soon as you reach Interlaken. It gets even better after you leave Interlaken for either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. The entire Jungfrau region is incredibly picturesque and one of my favorites in the entire country.


How Much Will the Train Ticket From Basel to Jungfraujoch Cost?

As of the time of writing (July 2022), here are the train ticket prices from Basel to Jungfraujoch:

RouteFull Fare (CHF)Half Fare (CHF)
Basel – Interlaken Ost – Lauterbrunnen – Kleine Scheidegg – Jungfraujoch178.6089.30
Basel – Interlaken Ost – Grindelwald Terminal – Jungfraujoch178.6089.30

As you can see, if you avail of the Half Fare Travel Card, you can definitely save on your fare for long train journeys. So this is definitely something to consider during your travel to Switzerland. You can do simple calculations and decide from there if it will be worth it for you.

Additionally, the cost of going via Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen to Jungfraujoch is the same right now. Therefore, it will come down to personal preference.  I am not going to suggest one route is better than the other, because they are both beautiful. Why not do both if you don’t know which route to choose? You can take the Eiger Express up and the Wengeralpbahn down via Lauterbrunnen. Or do it the other way around.

Have fun whichever way you go. It will be an unforgettable experience.


Do You Need a Seat Reservation on the Train?

No, there is no need to reserve a spot on the train. But you can always add this option if that is your wish.