How To Visit Grindelwald First And Hike To Bachalpsee Lake

Grindelwald First

Grindelwald First (also called First Cliff Walk) is one of the most popular attractions in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region.

Originally, we had planned to visit the famous Jungfraujoch, but the tickets for Jungfraujoch were very expensive (190 CHF per person) which was a bit steep for our budget. We ended up spending the day at Grindelwald First which was half the price and was such a fun and adventurous experience!

At Grindelwald First, you can enjoy many different activities including a cliff walk built into the side of a rocky mountain, hike to an alpine lake, hop on a thrilling zip line, ride a mountain cart, and pedal a Trottibike scooter down the mountain.

In this post, we cover all you need to know about visiting Grindelwald First including opening hours, ticket prices, and how to best experience the First Cliff Walk.


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Views of Bachalpsee Lake from the trail.

Grindelwald First Ticket Prices

Grindelwald First costs much cheaper than visiting Jungfraujoch. But we still ended up spending quite a bit at this location because we wanted to do… well everything that we could!

To reach the First Cliff Walk you will need to take a cable car (firstbahn) from Grindelwald to the summit of the mountain. It’s about a 25-minute cable car ride to the top and the gondola makes a few stops along the way at stations where visitors can enjoy different outdoor activities.

Grindelwald cable car that you can take to the summit.

The gondola ride operates from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The last descent is at 5:30 pm so time your visit accordingly!

You can buy cable car tickets at the gondola station in Grindelwald. You can also purchase them online on the Grindelwald First website or Get Your Guide here.

We bought one-way tickets up since there are other fun ways to get down the mountain including:

If you’re just interested in doing the First Cliff Walk and nothing else, it costs 32 CHF per person for a one-way ticket or 64 CHF for a round-trip ticket to take the gondola to the summit and back.

All in all, we ended up spending the following:

  • Cable car ticket– 64 CHF (Swiss franc) for two
  • First Flier zip line – 62 CHF for two
  • Cable car ticket from Schreckfeld to Bort – 24 CHF for two
  • Trottibike Scooter rentals – 42 CHF for two

Our total cost: 192 CHF for two people

If you’re planning to spend a few days in the Jungfrau region, we recommend getting the Jungfrau Travel Pass which offers unlimited public transportation covering boats, buses, gondolas, and railways. This travel pass includes Grindelwald First, Harder Kulm, and many other popular attractions in the area. Get the travel pass here! 

Grindelwald First Location

Grindelwald is a small mountain village, but it does allow cars. We drove to Grindelwald from our hotel in Interlaken which took us about 30 minutes.

There are several public parking lots in Grindelwald a short walk from the gondola where you can leave your car for the visit. We had to prepay at the parking lot which is a strange system since we had no idea how much time we needed for visiting First Cliff Walk.  

Grindelwald is one of the most beautiful mountain towns in Switzerland!

We ended up spending nearly 6 hours at the Grindelwald First attraction. If you need to prepay for parking, be sure to add extra time to avoid getting a ticket.  

On the map, you can find the location of the Grindelwald gondola station listed as Firstbahn AG.

Travel Tip: For traveling around Switzerland, we recommend getting a rental car because of how spread out everything is. While public transportation is reliable, you will be more limited in time and how much you can see, especially if you’re looking at going to some of the best hikes, waterfalls, and mountain destinations which tend to be far apart from each other. Browse the best rental car deals here!

Our Experience Visiting The First Cliff Walk

First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald.

After exiting the gondola, most people go directly to the First Cliff Walk. It is the most popular summit attraction after all!

The First Cliff Walk presented by Tissot is a metal walkway built into the side of the mountain at a dizzying height. The walkway is held up by bolts and has see-through metal flooring so you can feel like you’re walking into nothingness.

Warning: If you’re someone who has a fear of heights, this narrow metal pathway might be challenging to do. If you’re not used to heights, you might experience vertigo and dizziness as part of your brain telling you “Hey this is not normal!”.

The First Cliff Walk is a must-do activity in Switzerland!

The First Cliff Walk is free for visitors to enter. You can also do the walkway as many times as you wish (if you didn’t experience enough thrill the first time around).

The walkway is very safe and there are rails added for assistance. It’s an odd sensation walking on this pathway at first, but you get used to it pretty fast. Nevertheless, we saw about a third of the people get to the start of the First Cliff Walk and turn around saying “nope”.

Walking across a suspension bridge.

The path itself is very short and only takes about 15 minutes to complete. There is a suspension bridge which to me was the most intimidating section.

The walkway ends at the Berggasthaus First hotel & restaurant that’s located at approximately 2200 meters (7100 feet) in elevation. At this mountain restaurant, you can grab food and enjoy views of the surrounding scenery from the comfort (and safety) of the outdoor patio.

People waiting in line to take a photo at the end of the walkway.

Next to Berggasthaus First you can also walk on a glass lookout platform that marks the end of the walkway. This is a very popular photo opportunity but be ready to stand in a line and wait about 30 minutes for your turn.

From this viewing platform, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Swiss Alps and the surrounding landscapes.

Glass viewpoint at the end of the First Cliff Walk.

Looking for more thrilling adventures to do in the area? Be sure to check out the Swiss Alps Canyon Swing in Grindelwald where you get to jump off from a 90-meter tall platform and experience a freefall into a glacier canyon below. Book the canyon swing tour here!


Hiking To Lake Bachalpsee

The trail to Bachalpsee Lake starts at the First gondola station.

After going on the First Cliff Walk, I highly recommend visiting Lake Bachalpsee (also known as Bachsee). It takes about an hour to hike to Bachalpsee and 30 minutes back, but it’s so worth it!

The trail from First Cliff Walk to Bachalpsee Lake is about 3.8 miles long round trip and gains around 730 feet of elevation. We followed the First – Bachalpsee route on AllTrails which is very straightforward. If you’re not sure which way to go, just follow the crowds!

Bachalpsee Lake Trail at Grindelwald First.

From the cable car station, you can take a wide road that goes uphill with a slight elevation gain for the entire time. This is a very busy hiking route but there is plenty of space to share the trail with other visitors. Along this hike, you’ll get to enjoy amazing views of the peaky mountains and lush valleys all around.

Once you reach Bachalpsee, you can walk around the shore for different vantage points of the lake. We came on a sunny afternoon and the water looked so saturated and green from the sun reflecting off the surface.

It is best to visit Bachsee Lake on a sunny day when the water looks extra colorful!

PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: For landscape photography, I recommend using a wide lens and a polarizing filter to enhance the colors and take out glare from the water.

Our favorite viewpoint of Bachalpsee was located up on a hill on the far side of the lake. There were very few people here which made it a great spot to eat a snack and relax before heading back to the starting point.

Some of the best views can be found on the opposite side of the lake.
Pssst! I use the Sony a7c camera for my travel photos. This is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera available on the market – perfect for traveling, hiking, and outdoor trips – while still maintaining the same incredible image quality as Sony’s full-frame cameras!

First Flyer Zip Line

After hiking back from Bachalpsee, we wanted to try out some of the outdoor activities offered here.

If you enjoy thrilling attractions, we highly recommend taking the First Flier zip line (also called Flieger or Flyer) from the summit. First Flyer costs 31 CHF for adults and 24 CHF for kids, but will take you on a zip line run that you will remember for a lifetime!

First Flyer starts at the First gondola station and goes to Schreckfeld station along an 800-meter long cable (about half a mile). The zip line goes at a speed up to 84 km/hr (52 miles/hr). You’re going very fast which means the ride only lasts a few minutes.

Photo by Jungfrau Railways / Get Your Guide

We waited in a 30-minute line for our turn, filled out liability waiver forms, and paid for the zip line right there on the spot. Before taking off, you will be secured into a cloth seat with safety straps.

There are metal gates blocking the view so you’re just waiting in suspense. Once they release you from the platform, you are pushed out into the open air going at a fast pace.

For me, the take-off was the scariest part! At the highest point, the zip line is about 50 meters off the ground (165 feet) so you’re pretty high up there. The zip line ride itself was very enjoyable and the scenery is just surreal!

The First Flier Zip Line is open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (but they start cutting people off from the line at around 4:00 pm).


First Glider

First Glider ride at Grindelwald First.

We didn’t try the First Glider ourselves, but it looked like another fun activity! The First Glider is similar to the zip line, but you’re strapped in laying horizontally below a giant eagle. Yep, you read that right!

First Glider starts at the Schreckfeld gondola lift station (one station down from the summit). You can get there by taking the gondola or the zip line down.

The First Glider gets pulled back up to the top and then is released going down at a speed of 84 km/hr. This looked like such a fun ride during which people were shrieking with joy.

First Glider costs 31 CHF for adults and 24 CHF for kids. This activity is also open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.


First Mountain Cart

After taking the zip line, it’s time to hop on a mountain cart for a thrilling drive down!

The First Mountain Cart starts at the Schreckfeld station and goes to Bort along a 3 km long road (1.9 miles).

We had rented a similar mountain cart in Zermatt a few days before and had such a fun time! We really wanted to do this one as well, but the lines to ride the mountain cart were over an hour long and the staff started cutting people off.

The starting point of the First Mountain Cart.

Unfortunately, we did not make the cut, so we decided to hop on the gondola and rent Trottibike Scooters at the next station in Bort. In reality, if you spend a few hours hiking to Lake Bachalpsee, you just won’t have enough time to do it all.

First Mountain Cart costs 21 CHF for adults and 17 CHF for kids. It is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.


Trottibike Scooter

Riding Trottibike Scooter down from Grindelwald First.

The Trottibike Scooter is the last activity that you can do at Grindelwald First. You can ride the Trottibike from Bort all the way into Grindelwald village at the bottom of the mountain.

The Trottibike looks like a combination of a bike and a scooter, but with no seat. There is a small footboard where you can stand as the bike rolls down the mountain. These bikes go at high speeds, have tiny tires and very sensitive brakes which makes them a bit sketchy to ride.

Trottibike Scooter is a fun activity but do keep in mind that these bikes can be dangerous. 5 minutes into our ride, we saw a guy fall off the bike and need medical attention pretty badly.

If you start going fast, be sure to use the right brake first to slow down before using the left brake so you don’t flip yourself over the handlebars. People get injured on the Trottibikes all the time due to a lack of instructions and understanding of how these bikes operate.

You should feel comfortable on a mountain bike before renting a Trottibike Scooter. We saw many abandoned Trottibikes along the path down from people who started the ride, couldn’t do it, and ditched the bikes.

While these bikes are difficult to handle, we did enjoy the route and the amazing scenery along the way. We saw so many charming alpine houses, gorgeous mountains, rolling green hills, and lots of cows with loud bells so you can hear them coming down.

We stopped a few times along the route to take in the scenery.

Once you get into the city, you will need to navigate the Trottibike through car and people traffic so be extra cautious. The route ends at the gondola station where you can drop off the bikes.

The Trottibike Scooter costs 21 CHF for adults and 17 CHF for kids. The bikes are available for rental from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about visiting Grindelwald First in Switzerland:

Is The First Cliff Walk Worth It?

If you’re thinking of visiting First Cliff Walk, it is so worth it! Grindelwald First is much cheaper than Jungfraujoch and you end up doing a lot of fun outdoor activities that are not offered anywhere else in the region.

From alpine lakes to jaw-dropping walkways, viewpoints, zip lines, and mountain carts – there is just so much to see and do at this attraction! Visiting Grindelwald First was one of my favorite activities from our Switzerland trip.


Grindewald First Weather

It’s best to visit the First Cliff Walk on a clear day so you can enjoy the mountain views. If you’re unsure of the weather, check the Grindewald First Webcam ahead of time. This will show you what the weather looks like out there, and whether it’s sunny, foggy, or overcast.

We traveled to Switzerland in September and the weather was a hit or miss. During our visit to the First Cliff Walk, we got lucky with sunny, warm weather but it wasn’t like that every day. The shoulder season is a bit unpredictable so be ready for anything.

In the fall season bring lots of layers and a rain jacket as it can start raining suddenly without notice. It can be warm in the valley and cold up at the top of the mountain.


How Much Time Do You Need At Grindelwald First?

Visiting Grindelwald First is a full-day activity. We got to the gondola at 11 am and finished the last activity close to 5 pm.

There is just so much to see & do so at this location so be sure to come early in the morning and set aside plenty of time for your visit. Keep in mind that some activities start cutting people off before the posted times so you may not be able to do them all.

I recommend planning which activities you want to do ahead of time. This will save you time and money by purchasing packaged or discounted tickets.

If you’re short on time, you can take the gondola to the summit, go on the First Cliff Walk and take the gondola down within 1.5-2 hours. But the gondola is quite expensive so you might as well enjoy a few other activities while you’re up there.


Where To Stay

Grindelwald is a small mountain town and a great home base for those exploring nearby hikes and attractions such as Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) and Grindelwald First.

The village of Grindelwald is very small but has plenty of hotels, stores, and restaurants to make your stay comfortable.

Here are some of the best places to stay in the area:

Berggasthaus First

Berggasthaus First hotel & restaurant at the summit.

While most people visit Grindewald First as a day trip, there is a hotel at the top of the mountain where you can spend the night. Staying at Berggasthaus First will allow you to experience the First Cliff Walk all to yourself before the crowds arrive for the day.

Berggasthaus First offers dormitory-style rooms with simple, wooden accents and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel also has a restaurant, an outdoor terrace, a ski bar, and a lounge where guests can relax after enjoying the fun outdoor activities.


Bergwelt Grindelwald – Alpine Design Resort

Photo by Bergwelt Grindelwald

Bergwelt Grindelwald is one of the highest-rated hotels in the area and for a good reason! This 4-star hotel offers a luxurious place to stay in Grindelwald and top-end amenities including a spa, indoor & outdoor pools, a hot tub, and a sauna.

The rooms at Bergwelt Grindelwald come furnished with beautiful pieces and feature a coffee machine, tea pot, fridge, and minibar for the ultimate convenience. In the mornings, guests can enjoy a buffet or American breakfast before heading out on adventures.

The hotel offers bike rentals for those who wish to further explore the town. Grindelwald First is just a couple-minute walk from the hotel.


Annex Alpine Inn – Jungfrau Hotel

Jungfrau-Hotel-Interlaken
Photo by Jungfrau Hotel

During our time in this region, we stayed in Interlaken at Annex Alpine Inn that’s part of the Jungfrau Hotel. This Inn is budget-friendly, recently renovated on the inside, and offers complimentary breakfast along with free parking. Plus, the views from the room were just phenomenal!

Interlaken is a good size city with great hotels and tons of restaurant options to choose from. Interlaken is just a 30-minute drive from Grindelwald and easy to access via wide, paved roads.

Read Next: 12 Best Places To Stay In Interlaken For a Memorable Vacation

What To Bring

The weather in Switzerland can change drastically without much notice, especially in the shoulder season. Here are a few things that we recommend bringing for outdoor adventures in Switzerland:

  • Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. I always bring an insulated puff jacket in my backpack in case it starts raining or the temperatures start dropping. With a windproof and moisture-repelling shell, the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket will keep you warm by trapping your body heat and blocking the cold.
  • Danner Trail 2650 Hiking Shoes. A good pair of hiking shoes can make all the difference in outdoor adventures! I recommend getting a pair that are tough and have lots of traction so you don’t slip and fall. The Danner 2650 shoes are lightweight, durable, and made with Vibram 460 outsoles for traction on wet surfaces.
  • We visited Grindelwald First on a chilly afternoon so I also wore a beanie and gloves to stay warm.  
  • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles. If you plan to do any hiking, trekking poles can come in handy as parts of the Bachalpsee Lake Trail are very steep and travel across loose rocks and gravel. The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are light, easy to use, and are made with an ergonomic design that offers stability and comfort on longer day hikes.
  • REI Co-op Nalgene Water Bottle. Bring plenty of water for day trips as there are limited amenities once you head into any of the trails. I love my reusable REI Co-op Nalgene bottle which is leakproof and so easy to clean.
  • Anker Portable phone charger. I always bring a battery pack when going on international trips. A portable phone charger can come in handy in case your phone runs out of battery and you need to use it to look up directions, pull up the AllTrails hiking app, or Google Translate.
  • Gregory NanoDay Pack. I have a small lightweight day pack that fits all my essentials, water, and camera gear. The Gregory Nano pack comes with a padded mesh back, several adjustable straps, and plenty of pockets where you can put small things like hand sanitizersunscreen, a headlamp, and a small medical kit.

We hope this post has helped you prepare for a wonderful visit to Grindelwald First Cliff Walk in Switzerland! Here are a few other popular travel posts that you may enjoy:


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