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Interlaken with 3 kids end of January

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C453y
C453y
1 post
new member
Jan 1, 2020 - 3:46 PM

Hi everyone, I am going to Interlaken in 3 weeks and have not come up with a great itinerary. Can someone please help with advice? Kids are 8, 4 and 2 years old. We will be staying in Interlaken for 4 nights from 24-28 January 2020. I know 😣, hopefully I am not too late to ask for advice.

We will not be skiing as kids are too little. So mainly just enjoying beautiful Mountain View and taking lots of pictures as we love taking family pictures with beautiful backgrounds, and doing some safe sledging or tobogganing. We only have 3 full days to enjoy Switzerland as Interlaken is the only city we visit on this trip. Thinking of 1st day to Jungfraujoch, 2nd day to Schilthorn, 3rd day for sledging/toboganning fun, and last day to Lake Thunz before we fly off.

Any inputs please for:

1. Coming back from Jungfraujoch, should we stop over Grindelwald or somewhere else for beautiful pictures and/or sledging? How long do people normally spend on the top of the mountain, includes lunch up there?

2. Where are the options for easy but fun sledging for smaller kids? I read about Bussalp and Bodmi Arena, also Kleine Scheidegg and Mannlichen area, but not sure which one would be the best for our kids age as I know my kids are not that adventurous unfortunately.

3. Which village would worth visit the most? I heard about Lauterbrunnen, also Grindelwald, and thinking to do it after Jungfraujoch or Schiltorn visit. We are thinking to just do snow play and enjoying the ambience of Switzerland village. So looking for more quieter yet beautiful surrounding houses covered with snow for pictures.

4. Any additional suggestions for our first Switzerland trip with 3 young kids, I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you in advance.

Snowman
Snowman
755 posts
top member
Jan 1, 2020 - 8:08 PM in reply to C453y

Hi C453y, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You are having great plans, congratulations !

1. Going to the Jungfraujoch involves a big change in elevation, the « Joch » is more than 3000 m above sea level, and the air is thin up there. So it is a good idea to stay 2 hours or more up there, relax, and indeed have lunch. Then there are a couple of things worth seeing up there (ice palace, sightseeing, platform etc). With your small kids don’t be overambitious: you might want to do just J’joch and not much else on that day.

2. Bussalp is a long sledge ride, keep it in mind for when your kids are older. Bodmi is fine but for exciting mountain photos you may prefer Kl. Scheidegg or Männlichen.

3. Lauterbrunnen is at the bottom of a valley with not much sunshine in Winter. I’d recommend Wengen or Mürren (can be combined with Schilthorn). But the ambiance will be that of a tourist resort, not of a typical Swiss village. But walk to the edge of the village or to a nearby hamlet for traditional chalets. No one can guess to what extent they will be snow covered...

4. The Ballenberg open air museum.

Have a great time!

Ildiko
Ildiko
861 posts
top member &
moderator
Jan 2, 2020 - 6:56 PM in reply to C453y

Hi C453y,

great that you are coming to Switzerland with your children. No worries, you are not too late. Did you already book your accommodation? If not, have a look at this list of recommended accommodations in Interlaken at www.myswissalps.com/interlaken/hotels and www.myswissalps.com/interlaken/rentals.

With your small child do not stay at the top of Jungfraujoch many hours, if you visit everything 2-3 hours with a fast lunch should be enough. Here is how you can get to the Jungfraujoch: www.myswissalps.com/jungfraujoch/gettingthere. Read this too, especially under "Preparation": www.myswissalps.com/jungfraujoch

You can stop at Grindelwald and visit First, but maybe it will be too much for one day for the children. Learn about Grindelwald at www.myswissalps.com/grindelwald.

You can find sledding opportunities at www.myswissalps.com/activities/snow at the end of the page under "More on other websites". I do not know if you have ever tried it, but sledding needs to learn too, so do not start with the longest slope. :) (Don't be afraid it is not as difficult as skiing or snowboarding.)

Are you going to have a rail pass? You'll find a useful guide with a calculation spreadsheet, which helps you to choose your rail pass in 5 steps at www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass. The downloadable spreadsheet also includes links to the “Where it's valid" page for all available passes, be sure to study it carefully. If the parents own a pass of the Swiss Travel System (like Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card), children above 6 years old can have the Swiss Family Card. (www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard)

Happy New Year!

Ildiko

Also see:

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:19 AM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7254 posts
expert
Jan 3, 2020 - 2:49 PM in reply to C453y

Hi C453Y -

One way to get an idea of which village(s) to visit might be to check out webcams for any town name that you can think of, as well as names of scenic mountains, etc.

There are a lot of them in the Jungfrau Region:

en.swisswebcams.ch/webcam/1010222761

en.swisswebcams.ch/suche/ort/wengen-NegIIcjbcb/

en.swisswebcams.ch/suche/ort/m%C3%BCrren-NegIIDjhub/

You can get view very similar to the attached (+snow) from the courtyard of the Wengen, toward the northwestern end of the village near Wangfura or Ufem Biel,

If you face more toward the south, your image could include some of the chalets on the slope below the village, I think.

map.search.ch/?pos=636933,161862&z=512&poi=bergbahn,haltestelle,kirche,parking,viasuisse,zug

I don't recommend starting with Grindelwald, since it is much more commercial than the other towns in the area. However, you might find a good angle. Be prepared to walk a bit, because the town is strung out over a large area.

In Lauterbrunnen, getting near to and looking up at the Staubach Falls could probably let you include some traditional buildings in the image.

www.world-of-waterfalls.com/waterfalls/europe-staubbach-falls/

Slowpoke

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1960man
1960man
2556 posts
top member
Jan 4, 2020 - 1:53 AM in reply to C453y

I would omit Jungfraujoch. I doubt young children would benefit much.

I'm not a fan of the Jungfraujoch excursion for the following reasons:

* The train fare to Jungfraujoch is very expensive

* many people (especially those who visited it 20 or more years ago) are turned off by the over commercialised atmosphere at the top

* the Jungfrau railway itself is mostly in tunnel inside the mountain

The Jungfrau railways network will take you to lots of villages and simple paths and snowfields

After Interlaken you are on the 'Jungfrau' railways network comprising the Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB), WengernalpBahn (WAB) and Jungfraubahn (JB).

The BOB railway (blue and yellow trains) is a Y shaped line from Interlaken, dividing at Zweilütschinen, to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.

Above Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you are on the Wengernalpbahn (WAB - green and yellow trains). The WAB runs up to Kleine Scheidegg from both sides Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, hence the possibilty of doing the circuit.

The round trip via Grindelwald one way and Wengen the other way is pretty much the standard 'tourist' way to travel the Jungfrau railways

Murren is reached by cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, then a trains along a 'shelf' to Mürren. There is a nice intermediate stop at Winteregg

By the way you will see plenty of young children (yes even as young as 2) racing down the ski slopes...

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7254 posts
expert
Jan 4, 2020 - 4:16 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Correction -

<<"from the courtyard of the Wengen">>

should read

<<"from the courtyard of the church in Wengen">>

Slowpoke

Anna
Anna
720 posts
top member &
moderator
Jan 4, 2020 - 9:47 AM in reply to C453y

Hi C453Y,

For your kids, I would definitely recommend the Bodmi Arena. It is perfect for small kids and beginners to ski and for sledding. There is a magic carpet (basically a travelator) that you can use to go up the slope with less effort. No advance skiers to worry about here so it's pretty safe. There's a also a rental shop nearby to rent sled and ski equipment if you need them

Regards,

Anna

Snowman
Snowman
755 posts
top member
Jan 5, 2020 - 9:53 AM in reply to 1960man

< many people (especially those who visited it 20 or more years ago) are turned off by the over commercialised atmosphere at the top >

I'd second that.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8854 posts
expert
Jan 5, 2020 - 10:05 AM

But then www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/an-incredible-swiss-train-journey-to-jungfraujoch.

Disclaimer: I’ve never been to Jungfraujoch so what would I know.

Last modified on Jan 5, 2020 - 10:06 AM by rockoyster

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