I've been on the Maennlichenbahn twice: once when I was 14, and once just recently at the age of 32. The fact that it made such a huge impression on me almost 20 years ago that I would go out of my way to bring my family back to this spot should hint at how great this place is.
Quick facts about how we travel so you know where we're coming from: Family of four (Dad, Mom, 2 x boys 12 and 8). Originally from Colorado, now living in Germany, love being outdoors, particularly in the mountains.
Catching the Maennlichenbahn from Grindelwald is easy. Most, if not all, of the city buses in Grindelwald take you right to the base of the cable car. Get over the sticker shock for going up the cable car: EVERYTHING in Switzerland comes with a pretty steep price tag. Enjoy the ride up to the top as you soak up amazing views of the Grindelwald Valley below you and the Eiger looming to your left. Once you arrive at the top, the real reward is waiting. From the point where you unload, you have two valleys to look down into: the Grindelwald Valley, as well as the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Lauterbrunnen is flanked on both sides with steep cliffs, and over a dozen waterfalls cascade 100's of feet down in the valley. Take your time at the top and enjoy the natural splendor that is all around you.
There are a multitude of hiking trails available from the top of the Maennlichenbahn, but my favorite (and good choice for people with kiddos) is the mostly downhill trek to Kliene Scheidigg. There you can get some ice cream to reward the little legs for finishing the hike, soak up the views of the Jungfraujoch glaciers, and possibly enjoy a cool adult beverage of your choice before catching the train back down into Grindelwald. The more adventurous can hike all the way back into town, but plan on a 3-4 hour hike depending on your legs & stamina.
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