Lauterbrunnen is undoubtedly one of the most amazing valleys in the Swiss Alps. Renowned for its numerous heavenly waterfalls and majestic cliffs, Lauterbrunnen checks all the boxes to be your next top destination in the heart of Switzerland.
Last summer, I visited Switzerland for yet another hiking and camping trip. My main motivation was to hike to the James Bond fame, Schilthorn mountain top. Although that couldn't happen because of the weather, and I ended up spending the day in the valley, but I can say that it was worth it.Here is a personal account of my rendezvous with the stunning Lauterbrunnen and it has all the information that you must have before planning your trip.
How to Use This Map: Click the Tab on the Upper left corner of the map to view all places of interest marked in the map. You can show or hide the places by check/uncheck marks. By clicking on the Star in the upper corner next to the name of the map, you can add this map into your Google maps to view it on mobile or computer. It will be saved under "Your Places" under the Menu.
Lauterbrunnen can be reached by train from Interlaken only. You have to get the train to Lauterbrunnen at Interlaken Ost train station, which is the main train station in Interlaken. It is a 20-minute journey and a train leaves for Lauterbrunnen every 30 minutes. For further details about the train schedule and tickets, you can visit the Swiss Railways website.
If you are on a day trip, you might want to leave your luggage at the train station and do the sightseeing more freely. The train station, thus, offers lockers as well. However, the size of the locker is 24.8 x 42.0 x 75.0 cm and the number of lockers are also limited which can become an issue during the peak season. For that purpose, there is a Luggage Storage facility where you can leave your luggage for a nominal amount of money.
Lauterbrunnen is approximately 2 hours away from Zurich if you are planning to get there in your own car. From Interlaken, it's just a short drive of fewer than 20 minutes. The drive to Lauterbrunnen is as amazing as it gets because the whole area is blessed with stunning natural beauty.
Lauterbrunnen holds a very central location in the Jungfrau region as it is located between Interlaken, Wengen and Mürren. Therefore, during the summer season, there can be a significant increase in traffic and it's better to be prepared for that.
There is paid parking next to the train station that charges from 16 to 25€ per day, whereas hotels or hostels do offer free parking to their customers.
If you visit Lauterbrunnen on your car, you can certainly save time by avoiding travelling and waiting time of trains, but, as most of the areas around Lauterbrunnen are car-free regions, there's not much that you can do with the car. Therefore, you can make this decision based on your requirements.
Lauterbrunnen is known by many names. Some call it 'the valley of 72 waterfalls'. For others, it's 'the gateway to Jungfrau region'. For me, it's no less than a paradise on Earth. Guarded on both sides by steep rocky mountains that rise up to hundreds of meters, adorned by glacial waterfalls and forest-covered slopes, Lauterbrunnen village is ideally located in the heart of the Jungfrau region, making it very convenient for tourists to explore the surrounding mountain villages of Wengen and Mürren, to enjoy the beauty of stunning hiking trails, to experience the musical charm of waterfalls and much more. The tourist destinations beyond Lauterbrunnen are mostly car-free regions and that makes it a base camp indeed.
I had a pretty amazing time while I was exploring the region, both, in the valley and the surrounding landscape. Here is a list of some of my favourite places and best things to do.
Lauterbrunnen village is the jewel of this valley. If you want to experience the charm of Switzerland in one place, this is where you need to be. The chalet-style houses in the lush green fields, in the backdrop of steep rocky mountains on either side and snow-covered peaks; it makes you fall in love with this place. And if it's not enough, then there is this amazing music of the waterfalls turning the whole scene into a mystic experience.
The village itself is quite amazing with the main street having an ample number of hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops and a supermarket as well which makes the whole place very convenient.
One of the top attractions of Lauterbrunnen is Staubbach Falls which is situated right outside the village. It's one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. There is also a trail from underneath the waterfall that takes you up, leading to a viewing point that lets you have a glance at the valley from behind the waterfall.
Trummelbach, meaning 'a stream that sounds like a drum', is a set of 10 waterfalls that fall inside a mountain. Witnessing them is a rather unique experience because of the sheer volume of water and the thundering sound it makes on impact. They bring down almost up to 20 thousand litres of water each second.
There is an elevator that takes you up the waterfall to a viewing platform but it doesn't make any stops on the way. Therefore, if you want to have a complete experience, you should use the stairs.
Trummelbach Falls is a 30-minute walk from Lauterbrunnen but you can also take a bus from the train station towards Stechelberg. Trummelbaach Falls is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily from the beginning of April to the beginning of November and from 8:30 am to 6 pm in July and August and the entry tickets cost 11/- CHF. For more details, please see the official website of Trummelbach Falls.
Mürren is a small village, just 850 meters above Lauterbrunnen, which seems like it has come to life from a fairy tale. It casts a spell on you with its Alpine scenery and a deep sense of serenity. It's a car-free region and the only sounds that you might hear in Mürren originate either from nature or bell-ringing cows.
It's one of the most popular hiking destinations in Swiss Alps and has a number of awesome hiking trails with great scenic beauty all around you. To find out more, please visit the official Mürren Tourist website.
As there is no road access, the only way to reach Mürren is by cable car. There are two options available which are:
Wengen, just like Mürren, is a small, car-free Alpine village, located in the opposite direction of the Lauterbrunnen valley. It is characterized by its chalet-style houses and bell-ringing cows grazing in the breathtaking green plateau.
Wengen is very famous for its outdoor activities in all seasons. In winter, it is considered one of the best ski resorts in Switzerland, whereas in summer it offers a number of stunning hiking trails.
You can get to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen by taking the iconic yellow train from Lauterbrunnen train station. More details can be found here.
Schilthorn was the main motivation for my visit to Switzerland last summer. I wanted to hike to the iconic mountain but as the weather was harsh, I couldn't complete that plan.
Mount Schilthorn is a renowned ski field and its Skyline Snow Park is a highly desired destination among free-skiers and snowboarders.
At the top of the mountain, lies the famous revolving restaurant of Piz Gloria. It's a very famous viewpoint which offers 360 degrees views from the summit of mount Schilthorn. Besides, it is also famous for another reason. One of the James Bond 007 originals, 'Her Majesty's Secret Service' was shot here in 1969.
Schilthorn can be reached by the Gondola service from Stechelberg Gondola Station. Actual fares and time-table can be found here.
Accommodation is absolutely no problem in Lauterbrunnen. There are a number of options available such as camping, hostels and hotels. You have to decide what suits your budget. If you are on a low budget, I suggest you make your bookings as early as possible while planning your trip, especially during the high season.
During my stay in Lauterbrunnen, I stayed at Camping Jungfrau right next to the iconic Staubbach Waterfall. It is a good budget place to stay with excellent facilities for visitors and different accommodation options.