Apres Ski in Grindelwald

Grindelwald is a classic Swiss mountain town, surrounded by authentic-looking Alpine farms and chalets. The village centre hotels, shopping and restaurants line the main road while smaller traditional chalets and hotels spread up the hill to the north of town.

The Village of Grindelwald

Grindelwald is a small town with skiing on both sides of the valley. In winter, the centre of Grindelwald, whilst being undeniably atmospheric, can be a bit dark and cold because the majestic peaks towering above it block out the sun for large periods of the day. The main lifts to Mannlichen at Grund on the south west edge of town are about 1.5km (1 mile) from the main lifts serving the First slopes on the north eastern edge, so you can’t stay next door to both of them, although fortunately the buses and trains linking everything together are very efficient. An obvious compromise is to stay in the attractive centre of town, near the railway station which not only has trains running into and out of the resort, but also a cog railway winding its way up to the slopes at Kleine Scheidegg. The centre of Grindelwald has a lot of charm and is where most of the restaurants are, but the disadvantages of staying in here is that you won’t be able to ski back to your accommodation and parking is difficult.

The free ski bus is essential to get to accommodation up the hill or from the lift stations. In the absence of a humming night-time centre, and with a short daily transfer to the lifts almost wherever you start from, the best way to enjoy Grindelwald is in atmospheric lodgings slightly out of town that maximize your experience of the charming valley. In keeping with Grindelwald’s popularity as a winter destination for non-skiers, the village has a walkable mix of shopping, tea rooms and restaurants, easy access to extensive winter-hiking and of course, exceptional views from every part of town.

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Apres Ski Bars & Restaurants in Grindelwald

Of the three main Jungfrau region villages, Grindelwald has the most bars, restaurants and nightlife ski by a long shot. This should be your base if apres ski and nightlife are important to you. There are seven bars in Grindelwald, many of them in hotels.

The bars at Kleine Scheidegg, including a teepee tent, and the Lauberhorn bar by the start of the downhill are the main on-mountain spots, with the prospect of the long descent, either to Grindelwald or Wengen at the end of play.

The tiny Espresso Bar in the Hotel Spinne is always crowded. Loud music and a lot of beer, with a friendly atmosphere – the ideal meeting place after boarding or skiing. Nearby is a large plastic tent that thumps out apres-ski music. More sedate is the Gepsi Bar in the Hotel Eiger – cosy, with comfortable sofas and live music in high season.

The C&M is a cafe and restaurant in a wooden chalet towards the First end of town, ideal on your way home after skiing on this side of the resort. The Hotel Central Wolter has a cafe-bar with outside tables and chairs from which you can watch the world go by. Later into the evening, two of the best nightclubs are the Mescalero (at the Hotel Spinne) and the Plaza (Hotel Sunstar).

Other Activities in Grindelwald

Grindelwald also has a good range of other activities, including the facilities at the big sports hall in the centre of town.

However keen you are on skiing, don’t miss the essential day out (any blue-sky day will do) for the day trip by train to the Jungfraujoch. The train climbs through a tunnel in the Eiger to the highest station in Europe, on the Jungfraujoch at 3454m. There’s a restaurant and café at the top, but it’s the fantastic views over Europe’s biggest glacier, the Aletsch that you go for, and the views from the windows of the the station halts en route through the Eiger. 

Additionally, the Jungfrau region’s dedicated walking-and-sledging lift pass should be a hint: Grindelwald has the longest sledge run in Europe: a 15km route from the Falhorn above First which involves a 2 – 2.5-hour walk uphill. There’s also an eight kilometre lift-served run and a total of eight toboggan runs giving over 50km of slopes of different grades. There can be as many as 1,200 sledgers a day. You can hire sledges at departure points and also get evening passes. Over 80km of walking paths put the resort in a league of its own for non-skiers. Some 50km are on First where you can also find some good out of-the-way mountain restaurants.


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