Nestled between mountains and towering rock faces, the valley of Lauterbrunnen is one of the most attractive in the Swiss Alps.
A pristine natural area featuring no less than 72 waterfalls, pretty valleys, and lush alpine meadows, Lauterbrunnen has plenty to offer even the most discerning traveller.
The weather in Lauterbrunnen is ideal for all types of activities.
Summer visitors can explore the surrounding area, joining excursions from Lauterbrunnen valley to visit the many towns and villages in the Jungfrau region.
There’s a railway connecting Lauterbrunnen with Wengen, where you can take it easy and rest on the sunny terraces. Alternatively, visitors can sample the delights of Mürren or visit the tranquil hamlet of Isenfluh.
And for those who like to get active, there are more than 75 different hiking trails in the region with varying degrees of difficulty.
Winter brings with it a flurry of snowy fun, with ample opportunities to toboggan, hike and ski. Lauterbrunnen visitors can make use of the mountain railway to reach the resorts of Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg and Mürren-Schilthorn.
Toboggan runs, downhill skiing and cross-country trails provide entertainment for thrill-seekers or those who prefer a gentler run.
Whatever the season, you’ll never be puzzling over what to do in Lauterbrunnen. Grab a Lauterbrunnen map from your hotel or the tourist office and explore this amazing area and all it has to offer.
This guide has plenty of ideas to get you started.
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Before you travel to the Jungfrau Region
All visitors to Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region who don’t have a Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Half Fare Card should consider purchasing a Jungfrau Travel Pass or a Regional Pass Berner Oberland.
These two passes offer free and discounted transport on trains, buses, boats, cable cars and funiculars in the region. The Regional Pass Berner Oberland also offers free and discounted admission to a number of other attractions.
Read more about the passes and what they cover on the links below:
Top things to do in Lauterbrunnen
Connecting the two peaks of Mönch and Jungfrau, the Jungfraujoch mountain pass sits in the Bernese Alps, at an 3,464 metres above sea level. You’ll need a head for heights on this excursion, however, if you’re after spectacular alpine views, you won’t be disappointed.
The excursion starts at Lauterbrunnen station when you board the train for Wengen. It’s then on to Kleine Scheidegg where you’ll board the Jungfraubahn (a cogwheel train) for the final ascent to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe.
If the train ride to Jungfraujoch wasn’t spectacular enough, once you reach Europe’s highest railway station, your journey through a magical land of ice and snow begins. Gaze in awe at the 22-kilometre-long Aletsch Glacier and view the towering peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch.
You can visit the outdoor terrace of the Sphinx Observatory for incredible views, stroll through the Ice Cave, shop at Europe’s highest Lindt chocolate shop, or have some fun at the Snow Park (summer only) where you can try snow tubing and sledding and ride on a zipline.
The train journey from Lauterbrunnen to Jungfraujoch takes one hour and 35 minutes each way and you should allow at least two hours at the summit.
Due to the popularity of the Jungfraujoch excursion it is highly recommended that you pre-book your trip. > Click here to check prices and book your ticket.
If spectacular views and mountainous landscapes appeal, you should not pass up the chance to visit the Schilthorn. The summit, at 2,970 metres, provides an exquisite vista of what is referred to as the Swiss Skyline.
Getting to the summit involves riding a succession of cable cars, or a combination of train and cable car, and this provides ample opportunity to get a close-up view of cascading waterfalls and steep rock faces.
The Schilthorn provides the perfect opportunity to see the entire Jungfrau area in all its glory as you view the mountainous peaks of Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch, among others (there are more than 200 peaks to see here).
On a clear day you can also see as far as Mont Blanc in France and the Black Forest in Germany!
This spectacular location also boasts the honour of being featured in the blockbuster 1969 Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Bond fans might be interested to learn that arch-villain Blofeld’s “allergy laboratory” now serves as a revolving restaurant called Piz Gloria!
There are numerous Bond-themed attractions on the summit, as well as a thrill walk and glass-floored viewing platform at the Birg intermediate station, making a visit to the Schilthorn a fantastic excursion. > Click here to check prices and buy your Schilthorn Piz Gloria tickets.
Whether you’re visiting Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland in winter or summer, don’t miss exploring the village itself during your visit. It’s an authentic Swiss village with a magical air, situated among lush Alpine meadows that are abundant in flora when the Lauterbrunnen weather is kind.
Lauterbrunnen has a charming main street that’s lined with traditional chalets. Tucked inside these you’ll find cosy cafes, souvenir shops, hotels and other retailers.
One of the most popular things to do in Lauterbrunnen in summer in particular is to take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool. This has a magnificent setting, backed by magnificent peaks and fertile pastures. The water is heated to a comfortable 23 degrees.
Lauterbrunnen is also home to one of the finest mini golf courses in the Jungfrau region. Housed at the Eyelti sports complex, it’s open to players of all ages during summer afternoons. The Sportenlage Eyelti also boasts two open tennis courts, also in a spectacular setting. They are also open between mid May and mid October.
There is also a sweet little museum in the village telling the tale of the Lauterbrunnen valley’s history. Highlights include some intriguing exhibits and local photographs to peruse during your visit, as well as skis used for the Lauberhorn races and an authentic recreation of a hotel room from around 1900.
Staub translates to the word ‘dust’ and this goes some way to explaining the name of this awe-inspiring waterfall. The spray from Staubbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen is carried in all directions, and the warm summer breeze pushes the water droplets further, dusting the surrounding area with a fine mist.
One of 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and described by many as the signature waterfall of the region, Staubbach has impressive credentials. At an imposing 300 metres, the waterfall is the third-highest in Switzerland and among the highest free-falling waterfalls in all of Europe.
The backdrop is arguably as impressive as the waterfall itself: you can’t fail to notice the sheer, glaciated valley walls.
Visitors can get up close to the falls thanks to a viewing platform that has been built into the rockface. After a steep, 15-minute walk, you can stand behind the falls and feel the spray of the water. The viewing gallery is open from June to October.
Each night during high season, Staubbach Falls are illuminated, creating a magical effect.
Another outstanding natural wonder of the ‘Valley of the 72 waterfalls’ (which Lauterbrunnen Valley is often called), Trümmelbach Falls is the largest subterranean waterfall in Europe. These glacial waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen are also a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.
Trümmelbach is both powerful and stirring, gushing from the rock face and carrying with it tons of boulders and scree. Its ten glacial waterfalls inside the mountain carry up to 20,000 litres of water per second. In fact, Trümmelbach is so mighty that it often causes the mountain to tremble, producing a rumble reminiscent of thunder.
Trummelbach Falls actually comprises 10 smaller rapids that originate in the Jungfrau Glacier. Over time, they have sculpted their own route though the peaks, where the water gushes by at an astonishing pace.
With 10 viewpoints to stop and stare from en route, Trummelbach Falls are accessible via a network of underground tunnels, walkways, elevators and platforms, allowing to you to see the illuminated glacier waterfalls up close. An entry fee applies.
Trümmelbach Falls are located on the Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg road. They can be reached on foot, by car or by bus.
It’s best to pack a waterproof jacket for your visit, as getting wet is all part of the experience!
Paragliding and skydiving in Lauterbrunnen
This activity is not for the faint-hearted, but for a true birds-eye view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and surrounding areas, you can take to the skies for a spot of paragliding or skydiving. Admire the impressive mountainous scenery as you fly high above the alpine landscapes.
If you fancy trying your hand at paragliding, Lauterbrunnen is the perfect place. Paragliding involves flying tandem with a skilled pilot at the helm (so you don’t need to have any experience). You can simply strap yourself in and enjoy the ride of a lifetime as you soar above Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding mountains.
Alternatively, you can opt for an adrenaline-charged skydive. Lauterbrunnen provides a stunning setting for this type of experience. Skydiving involves climbing on board a helicopter which will take you high above the Bernese Oberland.
At a height of around 4,000 metres, you will leap (securely strapped to a professional and experienced instructor, of course) from the helicopter and float back down to base in Lauterbrunnen.
Hiking in Lauterbrunnen
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a leisurely (or not so leisurely, depending on your hiking style) Lauterbrunnen hike. Lauterbrunnen boasts over 500 kilometres of hiking trails and paths, perfect for seasoned walkers and beginners alike.
Below you’ll find some of the top, easy hikes in Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding region:
> Alpweg – a 45-minute walk that crosses under the Grütschalp cable car line twice and passes by Gryffenbach Falls before returning to Lauterbrunnen
> Panoramaweg – this 1-hour walk meanders through the village and beside the Weisse Lütschine on the Lütschine Promenade
> Wasserweg – a 2-hour round trip hike from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg past magnificent waterfalls
> Mürren to Allmendhubel Flower Trail (1-hour) – a relatively easy route through the Blumental (flower valley) where you will see more than 150 species of flower
> Murren to Grütschalp – a pleasant trail meandering through alpine pastures
More experienced hikers are also spoilt for choice with the iconic Eiger Trail one of the most popular. It connects the Eiger Glacier Railway station to Grindelwald, passing the renowned Eiger Nordwand en-route.
Towns and villages to visit near Lauterbrunnen
There are plenty of towns and villages in and around the Lauterbrunnen Valley, so why not do a spot of exploring?
Now almost more famous for a Harry Potter character bearing its name, the village of Grindelwald is the place to go if you’d like to visit an authentic Swiss alpine resort town.
Grindelwald is a renowned ski-resort and is surrounded by spectacular scenery, ensuring it is a popular destination for those seeking a well-earned break and stunning vistas.
The town is bordered by the north face of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn and sits below Mt. First which offers a wide range of fun activities to enjoy. These include a zip line (First Flyer), the Tissot Cliff Walk, and mountain cart and Trotti scooter rides.
Grindelwald is situated around 15 kilometres from Lauterbrunnen and can be reached by either car or train.
If you prefer somewhere off the beaten track, head to Gimmelwald. This charming, traffic-free village sits high above Lauterbrunnen on the edge of a cliff.
There are a few places to stay, including a hostel that provides a haven for those seeking evening entertainment. However, on the whole, this is a sleepy village – perfect for a day’s escape to soak up the alpine air.
Gimmelwald can be reached either by cable car from Stechelberg (bus service available from Lauterbrunnen), or on foot from Mürren should you prefer to travel to Mürren by cable car and train directly from Lauterbrunnen.
A traditional Bernese Oberland town, it is approximately 11 kilometres from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. The town sits between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and features pretty timber-clad houses and lush parkland.
The River Aare also flows through Interlaken, and during summer the flower-filled town promenade is a glorious sight to behold. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most popular things to do here is to board a paddle steamer for a trip on the water. This also allows you to visit other villages dotted along the shores of the two lakes.
Interlaken is also the starting point for the many adrenaline sports on offer in the region including paragliding, sky diving, canyoning, white water rafting and bungy jumping.
Half-hourly train services connect Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken.
An authentic Swiss village located at the base of Schilthorn mountain, Mürren can be reached via cable car and train from Lauterbrunnen.
A visit to Murren gives visitors the chance to drink in sublime views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Marvel at majestic mountain peaks as you stare, transfixed, at the glaciers and lush pastures spread out beneath you.
Murren is a great destination for nature lovers and families and is a popular ski resort during the winter months.
Another Swiss alpine village which is car-free, Wengen has cute timber chalets and traditional hotels.
The only way to get from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen is by train with frequent services covering the 12-minute journey. As this involves trundling along by cogwheel, the trip is as much fun as the village itself – and is an incredibly scenic way to travel.
Winter sports lovers will adore the skiing on offer, and in the summer, the village is a mecca for hikers of all abilities.
Occupying an even higher position than Lauterbrunnen village, the views from Wengen must be seen to be believed. For the active, it’s also possible to hike the steep route between the two villages.
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Lauterbrunnen: Things to Do in Winter
Lauterbrunnen is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year. In this Swiss village you can savour the most spectacular scenery of the Swiss alps while taking time out as you enjoy freshening lungfuls of crisp mountain air as the sound of tinkling cow bells lulls you into an incredibly relaxed state.
Specific things to do in Lauterbrunnen when it rains or the weather is cold include exploring the local museum dedicated to the region’s past. As well as vintage skis and a 1900’s hotel room set, the museum teaches visitors old and young about what life was like for the valley’s residents during olden times, including immigrants, settlers and mountain farming families.
For the active, Lauterbrunnen hikes along the trails that criss-cross this magnificent landscape can be one of the highlights of a visit to the area during the colder months. Of course you can also sled, snowboard and ski in the Lauterbrunnen area during the winter sports season too.
For adrenaline junkies, options include paragliding in Lauterbrunnen, taking a skydive in Lauterbrunnen and base jumping in Lauterbrunnen. Where possible, such activities are operated throughout the year.
Lauterbrunnen comes alive in winter, with sledding runs, Lauterbrunnen ski tours, and winter hikes for hardy walkers. Options for skiing in Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding region are plentiful as the valley forms part of the Jungfrau Region ski area.
This provides access to plenty of downhill ski runs (591 kilometres, to be exact) and there are over 130 marked pistes and more than 60 ski lifts. You can buy a pass that provides access to the nearby Jungfrau ski resorts too – including Murren, Wengen and Grindelwald.
Suggested Lauterbrunnen itineraries
As you can see from the numerous things to do in Lauterbrunnen that we’ve mentioned above, the biggest dilemma you have when visiting Lauterbrunnen is how to fit everything in!
To help you make the most of your time, we’ve put together the following suggested itineraries for two-, three-, and five-day visits to Lauterbrunnen.
We recommend you check the weather forecast for the coming days on arrival in Lauterbrunnen as you may need to change the order of the daily activities to suit the weather conditions.
2 days in Lauterbrunnen
Day 1: Excursion to Jungfraujoch with a visit to Wengen and/or Grindelwald en route
Day 2: Visit Staubbach Falls and Trummelbach Falls, wander around the village, take an excursion to Schilthorn
3 days in Lauterbrunnen
Day 1 & 2: as above
Day 3: Visit Lake Brienz and Giessbach Falls OR visit Lake Thun and Spiez; then make a late afternoon/evening visit to Harder Kulm – why not stay for dinner and watch the sun set over the Bernese Alps?
5 days in Lauterbrunnen
Days 1, 2 & 3: as above
Day 4: Excursion to Schynige Platte, then visit Interlaken
Day 5: Visit Wengen and Mannlichen with an easy hike OR visit Murren and Gimmelwald with an easy hike OR try an adrenaline activity (paragliding, skydiving, canyoning, rafting, etc.)
Purchasing a regional transport pass such as the Jungfrau Travel Pass or Regional Pass Berner Oberland is a great option when visiting Lauterbrunnen for two days or more. These passes include free travel on public transport in the region. Some of the mountain excursions mentioned in this itinerary are also included, and substantial discounts are available for other excursions.
Where is Lauterbrunnen?
Lauterbrunnen lies within the valley of the same name, forming part of the Jungfrau region in the heart of Switzerland. The moniker actually translates as ‘multiple springs’, and this abundance of water explains why the land is so green and fertile.
The dramatic Swiss Alps form a most picturesque backdrop to this pretty area, which is fed by the pure, clean waters of the Weisse Lütschine river. This is in turn filled by the melting snow that trickles down the sides of the peaks as the weather warms up.
The village itself is small but perfectly formed – a postcard-worthy Swiss scene set in a stunning valley with the mighty mountain peaks acting as the ideal picture frame.
How to get to Lauterbrunnen
Arriving in Lauterbrunnen by train
Passengers arriving in Lauterbrunnen by train should first travel to Interlaken Ost where they can connect with a regional train to Lauterbrunnen. Services operate every 30 minutes between Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken Ost, and the journey time is 20 minutes.
Travel times from further afield are:
- 1h:37 by train from Bern to Lauterbrunnen via Interlaken
- 2h:21 by train from Lucerne to Lauterbrunnen via Interlaken
- 2h:44 by train from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen via Bern and Interlaken
- 3h:49 by train from Geneva to Lauterbrunnen via Bern and Interlaken
Arriving in Lauterbrunnen by car
To reach Lauterbrunnen by car, you’ll need to drive towards Interlaken on the A8. Near Wilderswil, you leave the motorway and travel for 11 kilometres until you reach Lauterbrunnen.
Parking spaces on the street are very limited in Lauterbrunnen so most visitors will need to use the multi-deck undercover parking garage that is located next to the Lauterbrunnen train station.
Parking charges apply – rates range from CHF 3 for up to two hours to a maximum fee of CHF 17 per day. Reductions apply for each additional day.
Best time to visit Lauterbrunnen
Each season offers its own array of Lauterbrunnen things to do. During summer there is low rainfall and more sunshine, and although you cannot ski, hiking is incredibly popular at this time.
Spring often has mild weather and can be considerably quieter than summer, and the glorious meadows are awash with colourful Alpine flowers at this time of year.
In Autumn (Fall), the region’s trees create a spectacular scene as their leaves turn from green to gold and orange. As temperatures drop, you may even see the first snow falls of the season.
During winter, snow sports dominate the local landscape. Whether you’re into downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding or sledding, the only problem will be finding enough time to fit everything in.
Where to stay in Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen accommodation options include a good selection of hotels and apartments, as well as two camping grounds and a hostel.
Best restaurants in Lauterbrunnen
Hotel Oberland restaurant
The restaurant at Hotel Oberland is widely regarded as one of the area’s best eateries. Serving up the classic Swiss fondue alongside a range of international dishes, it’s a must for many visiting the Jungfrau region.
Hotel Silberhorn restaurant
Hotel Silberhorn’s restaurant closely rivals the Oberland’s when it comes to sampling cheese fondue. It’s also a great place to try other Swiss specialities, all in a cosy setting with breathtaking mountain views.
Weidstubli Restaurant at Camping Jungfrau
Whether you’re camping in Lauterbrunnen or not, it’s worth a detour to Camping Jungfrau to dine at the Weidstubli restaurant. Past visitors adore the affordable prices, generous portions, friendly service and authentic Swiss cooking.
For a truly memorable break, whatever the season, a visit to Lauterbrunnen will create lasting memories. It’s a village we adore and return to again and again.
Grab a map of Lauterbrunnen and start exploring this truly spectacular village and its surrounds.
To read our full guide to Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region, > click here.
Podcast: Visiting the Jungfrau Region
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