The Best Things to Do in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland is one of the most picturesque and idyllic villages located below searing mountain cliffs between the Swiss Alps. There are many things to do in Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfrau region, Switzerland where Lauterbunnen is located.
Known as the Valley of the 72 waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen’s central location to some of the best hiking and excursions in central Switzerland makes the city the perfect base for some of Switzerland’s most exciting activities.
Lauterbrunnen is among the best locations in the Jungfrau region and a great central location to catch some of the most famous and well known railways in the Swiss Alps.
What to do in Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen hiking can be divided into two main parts: 1) hiking at ground level in and around the valley and 2) hiking in the mountains.
For easier, less strenuous and budget friendly hikes, ground level hikes will provide you with ample opportunity to enjoy the mountains peaks, the village, the people and the numerous waterfalls, and amazing scenery.
Hiking in the mountains, is available for everyone and should be experienced by visitors coming to Lauterbrunnen. Most of the mountain hikes are accessible by cable car, gondola or funicular and are made even more affordable by purchasing the Swiss Travel Pass, if you plan on staying at least 3 days and experiencing multiple locations on the mountains.
Hike Lauterbrunnen valley
There are many hiking trails available in the valley that will take you all around the region and into Interlaken if you choose to go that far. The hiking and biking trails are easily accessible and marked with signposts. Hiking in Lauterbrunnen can vary from 2 hours-4 hours.
See our in-depth guide on hiking in and around Lauterbrunnen.
Lauterbrunnen has 72 waterfalls, many of which are easily seen falling down the mountain into the valley below. Their existence adds to the picturesque beauty of the valley and a few are easily accessible to the public.
Just a few minutes walk past the main part of the village and a 3 minute walk from Camping Jungfrau are the beautiful Staubbach Falls.
For every picture you see of Lauterbrunnen with falls in the background, it is the majestic Staubbach Waterfall that hovers in the background. The falls start at the top of one of the mountains and almost vaporize into wisps halfway down before tumbling into a stream below.
The falls are accessible by foot, with a steep hike up a hill, which has inlaid stone brick made for easier walking. Once on the hill, visitors pass through a tunnel to get to a steep staircase with roughly 30 slippery steps.
After the staircase there is a secondary part of the climb, which is wet stone, almost what one would experience inside a cave or cavern, as a passageway has been carved alongside the mountain.
There are rails along the side and a thick rope on alongside the mountain that visitors can hold onto to climb. This climb is uneven and one must take precautions. Kids younger than 4 should be taken up in a carrier due to the uneven pathway.
Once you reach the end of the pathway, there is a metal railing about 3.5 feet high that separates you from the steep drop down. Note: the entire area beginning at the stairs is always wet.
The falls move throughout the day depending on the wind. One hour they may be far from the railing where you can just barely make them out on the side, and a few minutes later the direction of the wind may change and the falls can be right in front of you making you and everyone else quite wet.
The views from the falls across the valley are spectacular as well and it’s a great spot to take a few photographs. Note: Since it is wet, be sure to have protective camera gear or a waterproof camera.
Visiting: until 8 pm. Mid June to October.
Trummelbach Falls are majestic waterfalls to visit, totaling ten falls within a cave like mountain environment. Accessible by a tunnel funicular and stairs, the falls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must see when visiting Lauterbrunnen.
Climbing the wet stairs is a bit difficult and it can be quite slippery, so visitors must take caution. Numerous opportunities to view the falls from different angles make it possible to experience the wildly churning waterfall and its various chutes.
Visiting the Trummelbach Waterfall is one of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland as it shows visitors the power of one of Lauterbrunnen’s most well known waterfalls.
Currently, children under the age of 3 are not allowed to enter the falls due to the deafening roar of the waterfalls. It is advised to wear kiddos on your back or ensure they have sturdy non slip shoes.
Lauterbrunnen as a central base is perfect for beginning one of many excursions or hiking trails in the region. It is where several railways, funiculars and cable cars begin and connect to other areas along the mountaintops. It is also a location that is popular for paragliding excursions.
Schilthorn, Murren, Birg, Grutschalp, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, Allmendhubel Flower Park and Winteregg are all reachable from Lauterbrunnen through various connections via cable cars, railways, gondolas and funiculars.
The region also sees skydiving, helicopter tours and a host of other excursions.
Paragliding in between the mountains of lauterbrunnen and around Interlaken is one of the best experiences you can have in Switzerland. Diving off a mountain and gliding across the valleys, weightless with the crisp mountain air flying past is an adrenaline filled experience. No experience is necessary as each jump is with an experienced para glider in a tandem jump.
There are a variety of companies providing paragliding in the valley:
Paragliding Interlaken: This company does paragliding over the lakes in Interlaken. With stunning views of the lake and mountains in one tandem flight, this company gives you the best of both worlds.
Airtime Paragliding: Located in Lauterbrunnen valley, professionally trained pilots take you up with views of Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald and the Jungfrau regions. Flying packages vary with flying time at 15-20 minutes or 30-40 minutes with the entire excursion totaling several hours.
Paragliding Jungfrau: There are two main experiences for Lauterbrunnen: paragliding from Murren or the ultimate winter paragliding experience. This company also has paragliding experiences in Grindelwald.
Here are additional tours we recommend for paragliding around the region:
If you are looking for an extra adrenaline rushed experience, you can skydive from a helicopter that takes you up around the Interlaken region.
You jump with a tandem skydiver and get a video recording. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to experience the Swiss Alps and the surrounding region from such a great height.
Cable Car and Rail to Murren
The car free town of Murren is located high up on the mountain not far from Staubbach Falls. To get to Murren, you have a few options.
You can take the cable car from Stechelberg up to Gimmelwald where you change over to the next cable car up to Murren. The first cable car ride is incredibly steep and has some sweeping views of the valley as it glides alongside a jagged mountain.
The second option is to take the cable car from Lauterbunnen to Murren. The cable car is located across from the main train station in Lauterbrunnen. Here, the cable car takes you on a 5 minute journey up to Grutschalp where you can switch to a railway to Murren, or you have the option of enjoying a 1.5 hour hike across the mountain with spectacular views of the valley and mountain ranges.
Tickets can be purchased at every rail and cable car location for the entire roundtrip or only for one way. If you decide to just purchase one cable car for example, you can always purchase tickets at the next station for the next leg of your journey.
Hike from Grutschalp to Murren
You must take the cable car up from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschelp in order to hike this trail across the mountains. Fortunately, this hike is stroller friendly! Though be warned, there are some uphill climbs throughout the hike that will definitely take some deep breathing to get through.
The views are amazing during the roughly 1.5 hour hike. The first half of the hike, you walk through the forest, past small waterfalls, across vast meadows all with constant views of the Swiss Alps.
The hallway point of the hike is Winteregg, which has a few buildings including a fabulous restaurant with an outdoor eating area and a great playground for kids.
The second half of the hike is mostly next to the railways, and is much easier and flatter. It has a lot of shade as you are walking along a pathway in the woods for the majority of the hike.
Cable Car to Schilthorn
Schilthorn is a summit in the Bernese Alps that overlooks the Lauterbrunnen valley. It is among the highest peaks reachable in the Alps and has panoramic views viewing some of the most famous peaks including Eiger, Monch, Titlis and Jungfrau.
The Piz Gloria is a revolving restaurant at the top of the summit which is also famously known for filming scenes from the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The restaurant takes about an hour to revolve the full 360 degrees. There is also an entire floor dedicated to the movie called James Bond World.
Schilthorn by hiking: If you are up for a hike, you can hike from Gimmelwald to Schilthorn, a hike which is quite grueling and takes approximately 5 hours.
Schilthorn by cable car: Visitors must take a cable car from Murren to Birg, with a final changeover to Schilthorn. Murren can be reached by cable car from Stechelberg or by railway from Grutschalp which is reachable by cable car from Lauterbrunnen station.
Visit Allmendhubel Flower Park
This beautiful park is among the nicest playgrounds and parks with fantastic views of the surrounding peaks. It is one of the ultimate ways for kids to enjoy their time.
There is a funicular that runs from Murren to the flower park every 20 minutes. You will also need to do a round trip to Murren, either from Stechelberg (2 cable cars) or from Lauterbrunnen (cable car and rail).
How to get to Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is very easy to reach by car in the summer. If you arriving from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen by car, it is a nearly a 2 hour drive from Zurich. For car booking we trust Car Rentals and Skyscanner for car bookings. Click here to search Skyscanner or click here to use Car Rentals for booking.
Lauterbrunnen has a direct railway that leads into the center of the village. There are connecting trains from all major cities, with changeovers in various cities in Switzerland.
If coming from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen, there will be a changeover in Bern. Lauterbrunnen train station is located in the heart of the village and walkable to nearly all restaurants and hotels.
If you are using Interrail to get to Zurich, you can also use your Interrail pass to get to Geneva and Basel and get additional discounts in the Jungrafrau region when you show your pass. You can also successfully use your Interrail pass to connect out of Zurich to many other countries in Europe. Be sure you read up on the best tips on using Interrail.
You can easily fly into Zurich or Milan, or into smaller airports such as Bern , Basel-Mulhouse-Friberg. We trust Skyscanner when we look for the best deals on airfare. Tip: Use skyscanner in an incognito window to ensure you get the best deals.
Accommodation in Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is a small village and can easily be walked in 20 minutes on foot. It has one main road running through the village and side roads leading to other locations.
As a result, Lauterbrunnen accommodation is limited, particularly during high season in the summer. But there are options on where to stay in Lauterbrunnen including camping in Lauterbrunnen, or staying at the hotel on Murren, atop the Swiss Alps looking over the valley.
Here are some Lauterbrunnen hotels including a hostel in Lauterbrunnen, as well as hotels that are located in and around Lauterbrunnen:
Pop Up Lodge Murren
Hotel Jungfrau Murren
Hotel Alpenblick Murren
Eiger Murren Swiss Quality Hotel
Weather in Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is in a valley between the Bernese Alps, and weather varies throughout the year. In the summer, it can be a bit more unpredictable.
One day it can hit the high 80’s and suddenly start thunderstorming within a 20 minute period, while on another day, it’s cool in the 60’s with few clouds in sight.
In the summer however, you can expect the temperature to mostly be cool to warm, and definitely wet. During a Lauterbrunnen winter, heavy snowfall blankets the regions and roads can become impassable.
The average daily temperature in the summer is 54 degrees, with lows down to 42 and highs at 61 degrees while the average daily temperature in the winter is below 30 degrees, with lows of 12 and highs of 22 degrees.
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