One of the most riveting highlights of the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland is the Birg Thrill Walk on Schilthorn mountain.
On this 650 foot / 200 meter walk, you will be able to walk along the vertical face of the mountain as you walk on a tightrope, head over a glass floor and crawl through a metal tunnel. Not only that but you also get to take in some of the most beautiful views that Switzerland has to offer along the way.
This guide will talk through how to visit the Birg Thrill Walk and what to expect during a visit.
1) How to Reach the Thrill Walk of Birg
Getting to Birg can involve a bit of logistics depending on where you are coming from in Switzerland. Trains, busses, and multiple cable cars will be involved so I will try and break down each part of the process so you can easily be on your way.
There are two route options to choose from that I will walk through below, and you can decide between the two based on travel preference.
To make logistics as easy as can be, you can download the SBB mobile app that will give you up to date schedules and show you all the connections needed during the trip.
Nearly all routes up to Birg will go through the valley town of Lauterbrunnen. So if you are coming from Interlaken, Wengen, Grindelwald, or any other place. you will need to first make your way to Lauterbrunnen.
Option 1 via Grutschalp will take you up alongside the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Option 2 via Stechelberg will take you through the valley itself. The below goes into more detail about each one.
As a base I will start out in Interlaken but that can easily be tailored to wherever you may be staying…
Option 1 – via Grutschalp
Step 1: Interlaken Ost Station to Lauterbrunnen (Train / 30 minutes)
The first part of the trip will consist of a 30 minute train ride from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. These trains run pretty consistently (every half hour or so) and will bring you to the base of the valley, where you will continue your trip.
Note that if you aren’t staying directly near the main town of Interlaken, it might be easier and faster to first hop on a bus to Wilderswil and take the train from Winderswil to Lauterbrunnen.
Step 2: Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp (Cable Car / 5 minutes)
The first option for step 2 is to take a 5 minute cable car up from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp. The cable car station is right outside of the train station and can’t be missed.
Step 3: Grutschalp to Murren (Mountain Railway / 15 minutes)
Once off of the quick cable car up above the valley, you can hop on the mountain train from Grutschalp to Murren. This mountain train will be timed up pretty nicely with the cable car and will take about 15 minutes to get to the lovely car free town of Murren.
Once in Murren you will need to walk through the town to get to the cable car station.
Step 4: Murren to Birg (Cable Car / 15 minutes)
Now that you are in Murren, it is time to make your way all the way up to Birg. To do so you will simply head to the cable car station, where you will hop into the cable car to Birg.
Option 2 – via Stechelberg
Step 1: Same as above
Step 2: Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg (Bus / 15 minutes)
Instead of opting for the cable car and train to get to Murren, you can also take the 141 bus down the valley from Lauterbrunnen all the way to Stechelberg.
This 15 minute bus ride will be incredible as you drive through the valley with waterfalls coming off the side of the mountains and the Alps out ahead in front of you.
Step 3: Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and onto Murren (2 Cable Cars / 10 minutes)
Once you reach Stechelberg you will have to take a series of 2 cable cars to reach Murren. First you will head up to Gimmelwald and after a short ride you will switch into a cable car that will take you up to Murren.
Step 4: Murren to Birg (Cable Car / 15 minutes) – Same as above
After getting off the the second cable car from Gimmelwald, you will then head up another cable car from Murren to Birg.
Note that nearly everyone who visits Birg is also doing so as part of their trip to the top of Schilthorn mountain (one additional cable car ride up). So, the above is essentially the same directions to get yourself to Schilthorn as well. All it requires is one more cable car ride up from Birg.
Head to the end of this guide to learn more about Schilthorn and what an experience on top is like.
2) Map of Birg Transportation
Here is a visual look at the map of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the journey up to Birg (and Schilthorn) via the two different options to get you better oriented.
Lauterbrunnen is on the bottom right hand side of the image, and from there you will either go up (Option 1) or across to the left (Option 2).
3) Birg Cable Car Costs
Next, we can talk about the cost to go up to Birg. This will depend on a few things – first where you are staying, secondly if you have any sort of Switzerland travel pass, and lastly which route/s you would like to take up and down.
» To learn more about transportation in Switzerland and the various travel passes, check out the Switzerland Train Travel Guide.
Below is the latest price list to Schilthorn. As you can see the round trip (letter D) starting in Interlaken going up with Option 1 above, and down with Option 2 costs 130.40 CHF (65.20 CHF with half fare card).
You can also check out a few other prices they have up there such as letter A for 108 CHF, which is simply the round trip price of the cable car from Stechelberg to Schilthorn (does not include roundtrip to get from Interlaken to Stechelberg).
Note: **If you are ONLY looking to go to Birg and not all the way up to Schilthorn, then expect to pay around 40 CHF less round trip.**
» Swiss Travel Pass: While this chart doesn’t have every itinerary/combination available, it does give you a good idea about prices. With that said if you have the Swiss Travel Pass everything mentioned up to Murren is free. This is a big change from previous years when everything up to Schilthorn was free.
So the trains, busses, cable cars from Interlaken all the way to Murren are all free. Once in Murren the Swiss Travel Pass will give you a 50% discount and you will need to pay the 42.80 CHF for the round trip from Murren to Schilthorn (second line, letter B)
» Schilthorn Boarding Pass: Recently the Schilthorn boarding pass was introduced. For an extra 5 CHF (must be purchased a day ahead of time online or at a ticket booth), you can have a guaranteed cable car departure time.
Instead of waiting in line for the cable cars, you can go through a separate entrance and be guaranteed a spot for the time of your choosing.
4) Birg Thrill Walk Details
Below are some helpful details to know about the Birg Thrill Walk at Schilthorn. In the next section I will be diving into more details about the walk itself.
Birg Elevation: 8,783 feet / 2,677 meters – while Birg is located at 8,783 feet, Schilthorn (the larger mountain that Birg is part of) sits at a peak of 9,744 feet / 2,970 meters.
How Long is the Birg Thrill Walk: the Thrill Walk itself is only 650 feet / 200 meters long. So, the entire thing should not take more than 10-20 minutes to take part of. However, there are many photo opportunity spots here and you can easily spend longer if you wanted to soak it all in.
Birg Thrill Walk Price: while you may need to pay to use the cable car to get to Birg, the price of the Birg Thrill Walk is $0 (yes it’s free!). So, all you need to do once off the cable car is head towards the entrance point of the walk and be on your way.
Birg Thrill Walk Sections: 1) Tightrope 2) Glass Floor 3) Metal Fence Tunnel
While throughout the entirety of the Thrill Walk you will have a steel platform to walk on, there are a few additional sections you can enjoy too. These sections can be circumvented by just heading on the steel platform instead.
5) The Birg Thrill Walk
Once you have made it off the cable car at Birg (either before or after a visit to Schilthorn, if you choose to go), you can head to the entrance of the Birg Thrill Walk.
You will see signs pointing you towards the Skyline Walk (more on that soon) and Thrill Walk, and can be on your way from there. Head onto the steel staircase that will lead down to the walkway alongside the vertical rock face.
As you are making your way down, and along the entirety of the walk, you will get some unobstructed views (on a clear day) of the main three mountains in the area – the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. You will also be able to see the Murren to Birg cable car come into and out of view depending on your timing.
A few minutes into the walk on the steel platform, you will be welcomed to the first of the “thrilling” experiences, the metal tightrope. Don’t get scared thinking of just a tightrope.
There is a metal fencing right underneath the wire just in case you happen to slip off. There are also two metal ropes to hold onto on either side of you to better balance.
Just a minute or so after finishing the tightrope, you will have the second thrilling section right ahead of you. This time half of the walkway is the metal platform, but the other half of the walkway is made of glass. So, right below your feet you will just see the sheer drop off of the mountain down into the valley below.
And finally after getting over the glass and a few more minutes of walking the metal platform, you will reach the grand finale. The metal cage tunnel is last up here, as you head on your hands and knees and crawl through the cage.
It is quite the unique perspective to take in, with sheer beauty of the mountains out in the background.
Once you are through the cage, the metal platform will come to an end. Instead of heading back up immediately, you can hang out around the area to take in some photos and enjoy the surrounding Alps. You can then hike up the short trail back up to the Birg cable car station and be on your way.
6) Other Birg Attractions & Activities
Beyond the Birg Thrill Walk, the area also includes a few other attractions to visit if you have the time and are interested.
On the main terrace at Birg, you will find an observation deck extension that heads out past the mountain itself. It is a great viewpoint area to enjoy those Alps and the mountain range in front of you. Some of this extension is made up of steel while other portions are glass (similar to the section of the Thrill Walk). So, looking down at the glass you will get a view straight down to the bottom of the mountain.
Also at this main terrace area is the Bistro Birg. During a day of exploring Birg and Schilthorn, having a seat on the terrace and grabbing some food and drinks will be a nice break to have. Not only will you still have those views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau on the terrace, you will also have food options such as burgers, hot dogs, desserts, snacks and drinks.
While there are so many hiking trails to choose from in the area in general, there is an easy hike down to the Grauseeli lake from Birg. You can decide to just head on the trail and take in the lake views from above, or if you have a little more time and effort in you, then why not head down to the lake itself too. This would be in the same direction of the hiking trail that takes you all the way up to Schilthorn itself.
Lastly, I just have to bring up Schilthorn. Remember, if you want to visit Birg, all you need to do to also visit Schilthorn is head up on one additional cable car ride. While it does cost a bit more money to do so, I would highly recommend a visit up to the top.
The best part of Schilthorn in my opinion are the views! As you make your way around the area you will come across the main viewing platform, the 007 Walk of Fame, and the Piz Gloria Viewpoint (a short walk below the viewing platform). In every direction you will have the Swiss Alps surrounding you.
Once done with the views from the outside, you can head inside to warm up a bit and have a drink or even lunch. The restaurant inside (which was featured in the James Bond film) has a rotating floor so you will slowly get different views by sitting in the same spot.
Now that you have taken in all the views from the inside and outside, it is time to make your way downstairs to the James Bond museum – Bond World. Here you will get to play a bunch of interactive games and read up on James Bond and On Her Majesty‘s Secret Service.
» To learn more about all of this and more, check out the Schilthorn Switzerland guide I have up on the site.
8) Where to Stay in the Jungfrau
As mentioned earlier there are a lot of different options to where to stay when visiting the Jungfrau Region. The easiest spot will be Murren, the tourist hub would be Interlaken, or you could stay in nearby towns such as Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Grindelwald.
» I put together a guide to Where to Stay in the Jungfrau – Murren, Wengen or Grindelwald, if you want to go more in depth about each one.
Browse through Booking.com below to find the spot that is best for you. Some of my recommendations would be:
That about does it for the Birg Thrill Walk of Schilthorn Switzerland. If you have any questions or comments feel free to add them in below. Also don’t forget to check out the other Switzerland itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!