High in the Swiss Alps, the mountain village of Wengen is both a charming agricultural community and a world-class centre for winter sports. The resort was a popular Alpine retreat for historical figures such as Byron, Shelley and Mendelssohn, while also embracing its status as a unique year-round destination.
Things to do in Wengen
Wengen bursts into life with the first snowfall of the year. The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and the Lauberhorn ski races both attract more than 30,000 spectators. In the sky above, a team from the Swiss Air Force often performs aerobatic demonstrations. If you prefer to ski yourself rather than to watch the professionals, then Wengen has superb runs for downhill skiing and slalom, and the ski clubs based here are amongst the oldest in the world.
Year-round you can use the Wengen–Männlichen aerial cableway to reach the top of the mountain. The gondola is packed with skiers and snowboarders in the winter months, but come summer they are replaced with hikers. The mountains around Jungfrau are magnificent, especially when the ice melts and the meadows are filled with wildflowers. Hike across the fields or to a waterfall, enjoy a picnic or climb a peak if you’re feeling particularly energetic.
Long distance runners should consider competing in the Jungfrau Marathon, which passes through Wengen in its final stages. The 42-kilometre race includes a gruelling two-kilometre ascent from Interlaken to the Eiger mountain’s northern face, zigzagging through rugged Alps terrain and reaching a peak altitude of 2,205 metres.
Getting around Wengen
Riding the railway up the mountain is both practical and pleasurable, with the route between Lauterbrunnen to Wengen taking around 15 minutes. To ascend further, you’ll need to take the cable car or go up on your own. No cars are allowed in Wengen, though there are a small number of electric vehicles.