For anyone prone to thrill seeking and adrenalin rushes, the First Cliff Walk by Tissot in the Swiss Alps at Grindelwald might just be ‘the ticket’. Suspended 2000 metres (6,500 ft) above sea level, this terrifying cliff walk in Switzerland offers some breathtaking views. But it’s not for the fainthearted. So if you’re one of those people blessed with nerves of steel and a heart for adventure, then you might want to include this heart palpitating bridge walk in your planning.
As an aside, the name “First” in the title comes from the name of the famous first summit of the Jungfrau mountain range in Bernese Oberland. The “Tissot” part, is the name of the sponsoring Swiss luxury watch company.
The First Cliff Walk has proven to be the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend excursion. Located in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland and opened in 2015, the Cliff Walk has certainly proven to be a tourist draw card – and here’s a bonus – it’s free to enter (but not free to get to).
It is a metal walkway suspended from the cliff side that hugs the cliff face as it winds around. As you walk along it, you’ll be amazed and impressed by the views over Grindlewald, the Eiger and other glaciated valleys. You’ll hear the musical bell sounds from cows in the distance as you survey the vibrantly green valleys and waterfalls.
As soon as you enter the walkway, you’ll “just know” whether it’s going to be too much for you. So if you’re not prone to vertigo and don’t mind heights – and your rational mind can overcome potentially paralyzing fear because you ‘know that it is safe’ then let’s get going!
How to Get to the First Cliff Walk
If you fly into the Swiss capital Zurich, the journey to Grindelwald is another 3 hours by train, or about 2.5 hours by car.
If you’re already in Switzerland, there are two ways to get to Grindelwald. You can either catching a 30 minute train from Interlaken OST or a one hour more scenic train ride from Wengen. If you have the Swiss Half Fare Card then you can purchase your tickets at … you guessed it .. half price.
An alternative is taking a gondola to Grindelwald. The train is faster but the gondola is more scenic.
From the Grindelwald railway station, you take a very pleasant 15 minute walk, mostly in a straight line, through this lovely town, to the cable car. If you’re feeling lazy and don’t feel like walking ‘just yet’ there are also busses to the cable car – about a 5 minute journey.
The cable car runs every minute and there is a cost to embark – but again, if you have the Swiss Half Fare Card, you can cut the cost in half. You can also purchase a cable car “package” that gives you unlimited rides plus one “activity” such as the glider.
Once you’ve arrived at the top, you can navigate your way to the First Cliff Walk, either by turning left and walking through a tunnel to the restaurant and then through it, or by turning right and walking along the metal pathway – about a 15 minute walk. By either route, you’ll arrive at the start of this terrifying First Cliff Walk in Switzerland.
The First Cliff Walk in Switzerland Itself
The First Cliff Walk in Grindelwald features a narrow metal walkway which follows the cliff side of the mountains, right by the jagged rocks. At dizzying heights, you’re now on a scenic stroll above the void while the adrenalin starts pumping. The views of the mountains, valleys and cute Swiss towns is incredible.
If you’re feeling especially brave, there is a part of the walk which juts out 45 metres (148 feet) like a suspended pathway over “nothing”. During the warmer months, the views from his observation platform are spectacular – and very Instagrammable!
What You’ll Need Before Going There
Sunglasses are highly recommend when you visit, as the sun can be very intense during the summer and reflects from the snow beneath your feet, too. The only other things you’ll need are good climbing shoes and a stomach for heights!
Once you’re done, you might like to make your way back to the restaurant for a celebratory meal of local dishes and drinks.
Here’s a video preview of what you can expect.
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