Lauterburnnen is the very famous place with I think one of the most known waterfalls in Switzerland. This valley, not far away from Interlaken, is also named as the valley of the waterfalls as there are 72 of them in total. To be precise Lauterburnnen means in direct translation „loud waterfall”. On the sides of the valley are enormous cliffs – more than 300 m high and almost vertical. All these makes this place amazing, but this is not the only that! From the high the valley is overlooked by more than 4000 m high mountains with their massive peaks and glaciers. The most known of them is Jungfrau – 4158 m.
Lauterbrunnen valley can be visited all year round for different activities. We made our two trips during summer and I loved it there. However with good weather any other season could be spectacular.
The easiest is to reach it by train – around 2.5 – 3 hrs from Zürich. We made our trip by car, but it was not the best decision as one day of our visit the parking were fully booked and we had to change our plans. In a sunny day parking get full quite quickly so make sure to be there in the morning.
It is possible to make one day trip in the region, what we did first time. However it is also very special to stay overnight. Try to imagine waking up in the morning with the view of 4 k meters high mountains looking though the windows.
Lauterburnnen is not only the name of the valley but also the name of the small village where the most famous waterfall is. Staubach is second highest waterfall in Switzerland and it is really spectacular with not only its height but also the mist which is created downstream. I definitely recommend you to spend a bit of time in the village, walk to the waterfall and stroll around to see it from different perspectives.
During our first visit in the region we went to Wengen – this charming car free village is located on the right side of the valley at the top of the cliff. You can reach it by train and the ride is also part of the experience as from the windows you can see the valley. Wengen has amazing spots to see down to Lauterbunnen, but of course it is a nice village itself. Wooden houses and stylish hotels really make the place like directly from the postcard. From here during summer there are many hiking possibilities – over 500 km of paths; or during winter plenty of ski slopes. Moreover from Wengen you can change to the train going to Jungfraujoch – one of the main attraction in Switzerland. This train goes to 3454 meters above the sea level and from there you can see famous Aletsch Glacier and take a really close look on Jungfrau. This particular attraction is known also as the most expensive in Switzerland as the ride costs around 200 CHF both ways if you do not hold any discount. Is it worth it? I cannot answer you directly as we didn’t decide to make this trip, but I’ve read different opinions… However, what for sure is worth is taking the train or hiking to Wengernalp or even to Kleine Scheidegg. We did hike to the first one and the panorama on the way was really unbelievable – Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger directly in front of us. As we did this trip in spring we were able to see the snow avalanche going down on the wall of the mountains. I think definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Alps.
On the other side of the valley there is another lovely car free village – Murren. You can reach it via cable car and train ride from Lauterbunnen or by cable car from Stechelberg. Again there are plenty of activities to do there, but the one which kind of stayed in my mind was via ferrata. We didn’t do it of course due to my high fear, but from the cable car you can see the path and it looks amazing (super scary too ;)). What we did was booking the hotel in this village and staying there overnight. We chose Hotel Bellevue and it was really good, with upgraded room with the view just in front of the mountains and the balcony on which we spend the whole evening. Restaurant in the hotel was also very nice, so I can recommend this whole experience.
Schilthorn Piz Gloria
From Mürren you can make the trip to famous Schilthorn. First stage of the cable car will take you to Birg – 2684 meters high peak with perfect panorama terrace. From this place you can fully admire the beauty of the mountains. If you wish for more attractions there is also Thrill Walk – the path suspended on the edge of the cliff with partially glass floor and some other activities. It is nice and not so terrifying even for high fear person like me. Taking the cable car further up you will reach exactly Schilthorn – 2970. With a good weather you can see not only whole panorama of the Swiss Alps around but also for example Mont Blanc (we saw it). There is also rotary 360 restaurant – Piz Gloria and this place was also in James Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I am sure you can easily spend some hours there and be constantly overwhelmed with the views. The cost is 108 CHF both ways if you do not have any discount and sadly the cable car itself is not that nice… Often it is also an attraction when you can see the changing views going up, but here it was very crowded (everyone with mask mandatory of course)…
Last but not least is kind of the hidden gem of the valley. I think not that many people know about this waterfalls, but this is definitely a must visit for me. Huge amount of glacier water going inside the mountain, eroding the rocks into amazing shapes and creating caves. You can literally enter this caves and see the different stages of the waterfall inside the mountain. Just keep in mind it is very cold there even when outside was like more than 30 degrees and full sun, inside I was freezing, specially that the cold water sprinkles everywhere around. Entrance cost is 11 CHF and it is definitely worth it as this is a also quite unique nature site.
This is my general guide of the must see places in the region. I think after two visits there it became really one of my favorite and most beautiful region in Switzerland. If you wish to see more pictures and some movies – visit my Instagram profile and see in saved stories.