Schilthorn Observation Deck & Thrill Walk

The Schilthorn (2970m) is a mountain peak on the opposite side of the Lauterbrunnen valley as the Jungfrau. From here, you can see the three famous peaks: Jungfrau, Eiger, Monch as well as a 360 panoramic view of the entire area. This location is famous for appearing in the 007 movie: “From Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

With kids, I prefer this to the Jungfrau because the ride up was more interesting, in a cable car with views instead of a dark tunnel. You take a series of four gondolas, starting at Stetchelberg in the valley and passing through Murren. With the scenery and distraction of changing gondolas every 15 mins or so, our toddler was fully occupied. At the top, there’s a nice big deck to soak in the view and plenty of room for a toddler to safely run around while you take some pics. On the way back down, you can stop in Murren for some hiking.

Location:   Berner Oberland
Address: Stechelberg, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
GPS: 46°33’20.3″N 7°54’04.4″E
Car: 2hr from Zurich
Train: 2hr45 from Zurich
Trail: various, see recommendations below
Condition: alpine trails
Skill: difficult from top, easy family options in Murren
Open: mid June through October
More info: www.schilthorn.ch

Overview

The Schilthorn is reached by taking a series four gondolas, starting at Stetchelberg in the valley and passing through Gimmelwald, Mürren and Birg up to the Schilthorn, about a 40 minute journey one way. At the top you’ll find an outdoor panorama deck, a restaurant, gift shop, James Bond “museum”, etc. Plan to spend at least an hour at the top.

One stop down at Birg, you’ll find another panorama deck and a “Thrill Walk,” a fun elevated walkway built onto the side of a cliff. This is definitely worth a visit on your way down. There is a more casual cafe here for snacks and lunch. Plan to spend about an hour at this stop.
Image from Schilthorn.ch
On your way back down, stop in Murren and consider visiting the Allmendhubel Flower Park, which is a big playground for kids. This is accessed from a short funicular ride in Murren.

There are many hiking options in the region. All hikes from Schilthorn and Birg station are steep alpine trails, suitable for older children with hiking experience. We did a wonderful hike from Birg to Gimmelwald (10.7 km) with our kids, but it was difficult and long.

An assortment of family friendly hikes are accessed from Murren, particularly the Allmendhubel Flower Trail.

Getting There

By car: Drive to Lauterbrunnen and continue driving up the valley to Stechelberg. Park in the metered lot next to the gondola station. We paid 8 CHF for about 8 hours.

By transit: Take the train to Lauterbrunnen, then a bus to Stechelberg, Schilthornbahn. The bus drops right at the cable car station.

Tickets

Buy return tickets to Schilthorn. You take a series of four gondolas, starting at Stetchelberg in the valley and passing through Gimmelwald, Mürren and Birg up to the Schilthorn, about a 40 minute journey one way.

In 2016, an adult return fare from Stechelberg to Schilthorn cost 102 CHF. They accept SBB Half Fare and Junior cards. As far as I can tell, Schilthorn is run separately from the main Jungfrau Region and therefore is not covered by the Jungfrau Travel Pass.

In 2016, Schilthorn is part of the 10 CHF UBS Mountain Offer, so take advantage now before this offer runs out at the end of October.

The gondola runs to the Schilthorn about every 30 mins from 7:25 to 16:25, last descent 18:03. The cable cars from Murren to Stechberg run much later, so you can explore the towns later.

The Schilthorn complex and viewing area is open year round, except for brief maintenance periods in April, late November and early December.

See current prices and timetable on the Schilthorn website.

What to bring

Bring a jacket and sturdy shoes. Even in summer, it can be chilly up top and weather can change quickly. In winter, the viewing platform will be covered in snow so wear appropriate footwear. You won’t need a stroller but if you bring it, you can get around as the Schilthorn complex is wheelchair accessible.

Where to eat

There is a rotating restaurant at the top, typical Swiss prices, reservations available, as well as take away shops with snacks. There is also plenty of room to lounge outside and enjoy a picnic with a view. Birg has a more casual self-service cafe for snacks and lunch. Murren has lots of restaurant options and a grocery.

Check the weather

Before buying your ticket, check the Schilthorn webcams. There is no reason to go up unless you have a clear view. We were advised to go early in the day, as clouds often move it after noon. But check the weather forecast, particularly the cloud and precipitation weather animations on Search.ch as weather can change quickly in the mountains.

Schilhorn Piz Gloria – What to See and Do

The main attraction is the large outdoor viewing platform with a 360 panoramic view of the Jungfrau region. The viewing platform is surrounding by a metal fence, so no worries about little kids running around.

The observation deck at the top. There lots of telescopes so you can check out the various mountain peaks.

If you leave the observation deck, you can walk over to another enclosed desk and take a picture looking back, like I did.

Here’s a picture (not my own) from a sunny day.


By Schilthornbahn [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)] via Wikimedia Commons

The newly renovated observation desk has these “Kids View” stations, where it asks a question and you look through the peephole to get a clue to the answer.

New in 2015 is the 007 Walk of Fame, which is a short walk with information boards honoring the stars in front of and behind the cameras during the filming of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” My kids liked comparing their handprints to each person.

The below pictures were from our trip in early July 2006, around 9am at the top. I recommend getting up there early to beat crowd and afternoon clouds.

This helpful diagram on their website shows the whole complex. Besides the little movie, showing scenes from the 007 film, there’s not much to do up top besides enjoy the view and buy some mementos. We spent only about 30 minutes up top before heading back to Mürren for some hiking.


Image from Schilthorn.ch

There are trails that start from the top (below), but they are challenging, steep, alpine trails, not for little kids. If you want to do some hiking or extend your visit, instead stop in Mürren on your way back. There are many hikes in this area. For kids, I can recommend the Allmendhubel Flower Park and Children’s Adventure Trail. After your hike, your return ticket will still be good for the trip back from Mürren to Stechelberg.

Birg “Thrill Walk” – Don’t Miss!

Ride one stop down to Birg and follow signs to the “Thrill Walk.” The thrill walk descends metal stairs below the restaurant onto a walkway built into the side of the cliff. It’s totally awesome! One part of the walkway has a glass floor. If this is too scary, visit the more tame Skyline Walk, the observation deck outside the restaurant.

Another part has a suspension wire to walk across, with a safety net.

Another part has a cage you can crawl through.

From Birg looking back up to Schilthorn.

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One comment

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I have been reading about all of these places, but was a little unclear how to link them together in a way that made sense. We are coming to Switzerland in August with a 2 and 4 year old, and will be spending time in/around Interlaken and in/around Zurich. Your website has been one of the primary websites that I have been using to plan our trip.

    So much travel information on the internet lacks depth and details, so I really appreciate all of the specific details and diagrams/maps that you put into your posts.

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