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Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch: Which One Is Better?

Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by Admin

Seeing Switzerland from above with the best views of all of the major mountain peaks is undoubtedly one of the experiences you want when you consider Switzerland. Among the most popular choices are Gornergrat in Zermatt and Jungfraujoch in Bernese Oberland. Choosing the right one, however, can be tricky, especially if you are limited by time or money. They both offer breathtaking views and a variety of fun activities both in the summer and winter. So you might be wondering – which mountain is better to visit: is it Gornergrat or Jungfraujoch?

Unparalleled Views of the Swiss Alps make Gornergrat Worth Visiting
Image of the panoramic view from Gornergrat by TouringSwitzerland.com

A trip to Jungfraujoch is a must for anyone who visits Switzerland since you can see the country’s largest glacier and many high peaks, as well as ride Europe’s highest mountain railway. Nevertheless, I rank Gornergrat very high on my list too because Matterhorn is my favorite mountain in the country. As you read on, we provide more insight into both choices so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Overview: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

The key differences between Gornergrat and Jungfraujoch are as follows:

GornergratJungfraujoch
Ridge overlooking the Gorner Glacier and MatterhornThe saddle between Jungfrau and Mönch
Elevation:  3,135 m (10,285 ft)Elevation: 3,463 m (11,362 ft)
Highlights: Matterhorn, Gorner Glacier, 28 other mountains over 4,000 meters high, Zooom the MatterhornHighlights: Sphinx Observation Deck, Alpine Sensation, Ice Palace, Jungfrau Panorama, Snow Fun Park
Canton: ValaisCanton: Obwalden and Bern

The Views: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

The Views from Gornergrat

Unparalleled Views of Matterhorn make Gornergrat Worth Visiting
Image of Matterhorn from Gornergrat by TouringSwitzerland.com

Gornergrat is a rocky ridge overlooking the Gorner Glacier near Zermatt, Switzerland. It is located between the Gorner Glacier and the Findel Glacier and offers fantastic views of the surrounding Pennine Alps.

Here are some of the high mountains that you can view from Gornergrat:

  • Matterhorn – Cervino – 4,478 meters
  • Dufourspitze – 4,634 meters
  • Nordendspitze – 4,609 meters
  • Liskamm (Ostgipfel and Westgipfel) – 4,527 meters and 4,479 meters respectively
  • Castor – 4,228 meters
  • Pollux – 4,092 meters
  • Klein Matterhorn – 3,883 meters
  • Dent Blanche – 4,358 meters
  • Zinalrothorn – 4,221 meters
  • Weisshorn – 4,505 meters
  • Allalinhorn – 4,027 meters

Besides seeing all these high mountains, you’ll also get to see the third-largest glacier in the Alps – the Gorner Glacier.

The Views from Jungfraujoch

Image from Jungfraujoch by aranha from Pixabay

Jungfraujoch, at 3,463 above sea level, is located in Canton Bern. Unlike Titlis, which is a mountain per se, Jungfraujoch is a saddle between Jungfrau (at 4,158 m above sea level) and Mönch (at 4,110 m above sea level).

Its slogan “Top of Europe” is not entirely 100% accurate. Going up to Jungfraujoch does not mean going to the highest point in Europe. For mountains, the highest point in Europe (i.e. the real “Top of Europe”) is Mount Elbrus in Russia at 5,642 meters above sea level. What it does give you is the chance to visit the highest mountain railway in Europe at 3,454 meters above sea level.

The journey to Jungfraujoch begins in Interlaken Ost. From there, visitors transfer to the cable car in Grindelwald or the railway in Lauterbrunnen.

From Jungfraujoch, the views of the Bernese Alps (Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Männlichen, Schynige Platte, Harder Kulm, Grindelwald – First) and the Aletsch glacier are gorgeous. The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Alps.

The 23-kilometer-long Aletsch Glacier, also known as the Great Aletsch Glacier, is not only the largest in the Alps. It is also a protected site as part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area. This whole region is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. The lower part of this glacier is located in Canton Valais, whereas the upper part of the glacier is what one sees in Canton Bern.


The Price: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

Swiss Franc from moritz320 at Pixabay

The price is another factor to consider when deciding which one to choose.

The round-trip tickets going up to Jungfraujoch via Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald – Kleine Scheidegg cost CHF 210.80 per adult. Although the price is steep, some promotions run every now and then to get it at a discount. However, it is not clear who and when this will be. In the past, the following have run promotions on Jungfraujoch tickets: Coop (supermarket), PostAuto (bus), and Ochsner Sport.

Round-trip tickets from Zermatt to Gornergrat with the Gornergrat Railway, on the other hand, can cost up to CHF 110 per person.


Things To Do: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

Things to Do Gornergrat

Image of Zooom the Matterhorn by TouringSwitzerland.com
  • Zooom the Matterhorn – Through periscopes, a 3D cinema, and paraglider flights, it shows the Matterhorn and the surrounding alpine world
  • Hiking (summer) – Gornergrat 360° Loop, Gornergrat to Riffelberg, and Gornergrat to Riffelalp
  • Skiing, snowshoeing, and toboggan rides (winter)
  • Igloo Village (winter)

Things to Do Jungfraujoch

Image of Sphinx Observatory by Susanne Stöckli from Pixabay

Standing on Jungfraujoch Mountain, at the height of 3,454 m above sea level, will surely give you an otherworldly feeling.

Some of the things to do in Jungfrau are the following:

  • Sphinx Observation Deck – observatory accessed via the lift which goes up 108-meter high in 25 seconds
  • Alpine Sensation – a corridor between the Sphinx Hall and the Ice Palace providing insights as to how Jungfraujoch came about
  • Eismeer – 5-minute stopover at the train station
  • Ice Palace – filled with sculptures made of ice
  • Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven – learn how chocolate is made and shop in the store
  • Jungfrau Panorama – visuals as to how it looks like in Jungfrau, especially useful when the weather isn’t perfect
  • Snow Fun Park – a snow park with a Zipline open from June to October if weather permits

Restaurants: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

There is only one restaurant in Gornergrat, located at 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat. It is an incredibly special one, offering Dining with the stars with an astronomical guide. You can also find other restaurants in Riffelberg and Riffelalp, including the Historic Hotel Riffelhaus 1853 and Hotel Riffelalp Resort.

The list of restaurants at Jungfraujoch includes Aletsch self-serve restaurant, Restaurant Crystal, Sphinx Bar, and Coffee Bar.


Accessibility: Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch

Both locations can only be reached by train. Where you are located will determine which of these is faster for you.

LocationTravel Time to Gornergrat (Fastest)Travel Time to Jungfraujoch (Fastest)
Zurich3 hours 55 minutes3 hours 39 minutes
Geneva4 hours 23 minutes4 hours 42 minutes
Lucerne3 hours 57 minutes3 hours 35 minutes
Interlaken Ost2 hours 57 minutes1 hour 36 minutes

Gornergrat vs. Jungfraujoch: Which One Is Better?

  • Physically active travelers will enjoy Gornergrat’s hiking trails and ski slopes. On the other hand, Jungfraujoch is better for those who want to take it easy, enjoy the views, or visit the tourist activities such as Ice Palace and Alpine Sensation.
  • Jungfraujoch is approximately twice as expensive as Gornergrat. For some visitors, this steep price tag might not be worth it. In this case, Gornergrat is the better choice.
  • If you want to see the largest glacier in Switzerland, visit Jungfraujoch.
  • If you want to see the highest and second-highest mountains in Switzerland, visit Gornergrat.

As both offer awe-inspiring natural landscapes, spectacular railway engineering, and the finest of Switzerland, I find it extremely difficult to choose between them. A trip to Jungfraujoch is a must for anyone who visits Switzerland since you can see the country’s largest glacier and many high peaks, as well as ride Europe’s highest mountain railway. And because Matterhorn is my favorite mountain in the country, and the country’s tallest peaks are visible from Gornergrat, it features quite high on my personal favorite list too.

In summary, I think whichever mountain you choose – you won’t be disappointed. Both Gornergrat and Jungfraujoch offer amazing views of the alpine world.

Using GetYourGuide.com, you can book tickets to Gornergrat and Jungfraujoch.

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GetYourGuide.com is a renowned travel platform in Europe that gives you the flexibility to book either travel guides or tickets, depending on your preference. Additionally, it offers the convenience of reserving your spot now and settling the payment at a later time.

Note: In case you want to buy your tickets for Gornergrat in advance, you can do so from GetYourGuide here: Zermatt: Gornergrat Bahn Cogwheel Train Ticket.

Happy travels!

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Darla is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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