Grindelwald First Ski Resort

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First gondola makes its way up the mountain from Grindelwald
First gondola makes its way up the mountain from Grindelwald
Fresh powder & few tracks under the First gondola in Grindelwald
Fresh powder & few tracks under the First gondola in Grindelwald
Beginner ski area at Bodmi near Grindelwald
Beginner ski area at Bodmi near Grindelwald
First has fabulous non-ski activities including the cliff walk
First has fabulous non-ski activities including the cliff walk
Grindelwald is a wonderful Swiss Alps town in an amazing location
Grindelwald is a wonderful Swiss Alps town in an amazing location

Grindelwald First Ski Resort

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Grindelwald First

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Grindelwald First Ski Resort Switzerland

One of three ski areas in the incredible Jungfrau Ski Region, First looms over the holiday honeypot town of Grindelwald and provides a huge range of winter activities for all visitors. Best accessed by train direct to the centre of town from Interlaken, Grindelwald First gives only a hint of what this area has to offer the intrepid, or not so intrepid skier & snowboarder. With Grindelwald's longest skiable vertical (1,500m) & highest lifted point (2,500m), First does provide a more than impressive introduction to skiing this region. And with the new integrated train/car/ski lift base at 'Terminal' across town, after skiing First, expanding the adventures up to the slopes of Kleine Scheidegg & Männlichen in Grindelwald Wengen is easier than it has ever been.

Where is Grindelwald Switzerland?

The Grindelwald First ski resort is within the expansive canton of Bern in central Switzerland. Looming above the village of the same name, Grindelwald, & with an incredible backdrop of precipitous peaks draped in glaciers, the nearest major town is Interlaken. From Interlaken, Grindelwald is 20km southwest by road. Interlaken is located between Lake Thun (Thunersee) & Lake Brienz (Brienzersee), on the Aare River which flows to the Rhine. The town is 55km (45min) by road south-east of the de-facto Swiss capital of Bern & only 120km (1½hr) south-west of Zurich.

The main international gateway airport is Zurich (ZRH) with secondary options including Geneva (GVA) (for all international flight origins) or Basel (BSL) (for UK & European flight origins).

The train is the recommended mode of travel to the resort. The resort, via Interlaken, has excellent rail connections to all the major Swiss cities, towns & ski resorts throughout the Alps. Interlaken has two railway stations, West & Ost (East). Access to the First ski resort by train is only available from Interlaken Ost station, making it the more important of the two. Trains to and from Zurich transit via Bern to Interlaken Ost Bahnhof in around 2hr, or via the more scenic route through lovely Lucerne in around 3hr. The journey via Lucerne is recommended if time is not of the essence! Who knows, you may even get a chance to stop and check the Meiringen Hasliberg ski resort on the way!

From Interlaken Ost station, onward trains depart every 30min to Grindelwald (journey time of 40min). All train travel from Interlaken Ost into the Jungfrau Ski Region via Grindelwald (or Lauterbrunnen) is included in the Jungfrau Ski Region lift pass, but not the Grindelwald lift pass. Trains also connect Grindelwald to the Lauterbrunnen valley via the eye-popping high pass at Kleine Scheidegg below the Eiger. See here for the Jungfrau rail network map.

Search & book here for train tickets to Interlaken & the Jungfrau ski region.

To ensure a decent level of visitor confusion, there are three railway stations at Grindelwald: Grindelwald, Grindelwald Grund & the new Grindelwald Terminal. All trains from Interlaken terminate at the main Grindelwald bahnhof in the centre of the village. Grindelwald Terminal is for skiers & snowboarders coming up from Interlaken that wish to ski the Grindelwald-Wengen ski sectors & is fully integrated into the new v-bahn gondola base, where the Eiger & Männlichen gondolas depart. For First though, from Grindelwald station one needs to walk along the main street for around 1km to the gondola base. Buses regularly make the journey from the main bus stop just a little way into town on the right.

If taking public transport offends one’s sensibilities or if you have post-covid concerns, we recommend a private transfer to reach Grindelwald. Private transfers can also be particularly cost effective & time efficient if in a group of 3 or more people.

Search & book all airport transfers to Grindelwald.

For day-trippers with a rental car that wish to drive up to the resort, the best bet is to head to Grindelwald Terminal & park in the major multi-level garage. The parking is integrated within the new gondola complex.

Grindelwald Accommodation

Grindelwald village is a well-developed tourist enclave beautifully situated in a valley below the region’s most impressive peaks. Grindelwald provides superb access to First via the gondola near the centre of town. Grindelwald has lodging options for every taste & budget. A plethora of fabulous hotels, chalets & apartments are clustered near the village centre & train station, and whilst some of them appear dated on the outside (indeed there are several architectural abominations amongst them) the location of the village is such that all cares & quibbles are quickly forgotten. A new (ish) shopping & supermarket complex, set discreetly underground in the centre of town, provides all the requisite services that were previously lacking in the town.

Search & book all Grindelwald ski accommodation.

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Grindelwald First in February 2022 and truly enjoyed the diversity of terrain & activities it has to offer. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read all the reviews.

See how First compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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