A Lauterbrunnen Valley Guide | Lauterbrunnen Hiking & Waterfalls
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is without a doubt one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. Nestled between the two mountain towns of Murren and Wengen, the Lauterbrunnen Valley offers vast greenery, plenty of waterfalls, and the Swiss Alps up above. There is also the chance to take part of some Lauterbrunnen hiking opportunities as you explore the valley by foot. This guide will go over everything you need to know about Lauterbrunnen – from logistics to maps to attractions and much more.
1) How to Get to Lauterbrunnen
To clarify, Lauterbrunnen is both the name of the valley AND the name of the town that sits within the valley itself. On either side of the valley walls you will find two mountain towns – Murren and Wengen. When exploring the area, odds are you will be making your way through the town of Lauterbrunnen at one point or another – whether that be by train or by car.
The best way to reach Lauterbrunnen is by the very efficient train system that Switzerland offers and you can travel to it from many of the nearby cities:
From Interlaken: The most popular option would be coming in from Interlaken. There are direct trains that leave from Interlaken Ost that go right into the valley to Lauterbrunnen.
From Grindelwald: Train to Zweilutschinen; Transfer to Lauterbrunnen
From Wengen: Direct train to Lauterbrunnen
From Murren: Cable Cars (2) to Stechelberg; Bus to Lauterbrunnen OR Mountain Railway to Grutschalp; Cable Car to Lauterbrunnen
» To learn more about the trains, I would recommend reading the Train Travel in Switzerland Guide.
» Note that all the transportation options mentioned above (and the remainder of this guide) are included in the Swiss Travel Pass besides for the cable cars from Murren to Schilthorn (50% discount).
The nice thing about Lauterbrunnen is that you can drive your car right to the town, find a parking spot and head off on your day around the area. If you are thinking about heading to the mountain towns of Murren or Wengen though, then you will need to utilize the public transportation network as cars are not able to make it to those towns.
A car can be a great option if you do not want to rely on the public transport of Switzerland and you can save some money by doing so depending on your group size and car rental cost.
Once you reach Lauterbrunnen, you can then decide exactly what type of attractions you would like to see and what activities you would like to do. Based on those choices, you can then take some additional transportation offerings around the valley.
2) Where to Stay in the Jungfrau Region
Although many people visit the Lauterbrunnen Valley, that doesn’t mean they actually stay in the town of Lauterbrunnen itself. There are several towns to choose from including Murren, Wengen, Grindelwald, and Interlaken.
I put together a Murren, Wengen, Grindewald Guide that goes into more detail on how to choose the town best for you. Below are some recommendations for each town:
3) Lauterbrunnen Valley Map
To give you a sense of the layout of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, I thought it would be helpful to share a great map courtesy of Schilthorn.ch. I have pointed out the transportation options, waterfalls, hiking trails, and other points of interest.
Feel free to refer back to this map throughout the guide.
4) Lauterbrunnen Valley Transportation
As you see in the map above, there are quite a few transportation options to choose from (highlighted in pink). So to clarify, I will list out below everything you have to choose from when exploring the valley itself as well as the towns above the valley.
Lauterbrunnen Train Station – From the train station you can catch direct trains to Interlaken and Wengen. You can also get to Grindelwald with a transfer at Zweilutschinen.
Lauterbrunnen Grutschalp Cable Car – If you are looking to get to Murren, you can take the Grutschalp cable car, located directly behind the train station. This 5 minute ride will end in Grutschalp, where you can then take the mountain railway to Murren.
Grutshalp to Murren Mountain Railway – From Grutschalp there is a 20 minute mountain railway that goes to Murren with a stop at Winteregg. The cable car and railway are pretty much matched up timing wise, so you won’t need to wait long up there. It is a very scenic route along the mountainside and you can also choose to hike the path from Grutschalp to Murren if that is something of interest to you.
Stechelberg – Gimmelwald – Murren – Birg – Schilthorn Cable Cars – In the town of Stechelberg, towards the end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you will come across a set of 4 cable cars that take you from the valley all the way up to Schilthorn at 9,744 feet in elevation. These are 4 separate cable cars so you can hop into one at any of the 5 places.
Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg Bus – The easiest way to get down the valley from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg would be by the 20 minute #141 bus. These busses run constantly up and down the valley floor and you can choose to hop on/off of them as you would like.
Now that you know everything about Lauterbrunnen transportation options, lets dive into all the different things you can do and see around the area.
5) Lauterbrunnen Waterfalls
Highlighted in blue on the map above are all of the Lauterbrunnen waterfalls that are pouring over the side of the valley walls. I will speak about some of the main ones you shouldn’t miss out on.
A) Staubbach Falls
The main waterfall that overlooks the town of Lauterbrunnen is Staubbach Falls. This is definitely the most famous out of the bunch and one that is just impossible to miss when visiting the area.
Some of my favorite shots of the waterfall were taken on the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp (photo below) as well as from the train right up to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen (photo above).
B) Trummelbach Falls
One waterfall that can’t be seen from the valley is Trummelbach Falls. That is because it is a waterfall within the mountainside. To see it, you must pay a a 11 CHF fee, and then zig zag your way up the path to see the rushing water making its way through the mountain walls.
C) Murrenbach, Buchenbach & Spissbach Falls
Beyond the main two waterfalls, you are sure to pass by several others throughout the valley. These include Murrenbach, Buchenbach & Spissbach, all of which are on the Murren side of the valley.
There are also several other smaller waterfalls / streams coming off of both sides of the valley making the landscape even that more impressive. You can see all of these waterfalls if you take part of the Lauterbrunnen hiking option, which I will speak about more next.
6) Lauterbrunnen Hiking
If you are looking for the perfect Lauterbrunnen hiking opportunity, you can walk the entire way down the valley from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg or vice versa. This is a great trail for anyone to take part of since the trail is relatively flat and is on a maintained pathway.
The hike is 3.5 miles (5.7 km) and it should take you around 75 minutes or so to complete. While you could technically just walk the main road, there is a path on the other side of the river (Murren side of the valley) that will take you all the way through.
During your Lauterbrunnen hike you can also choose to stop on over at Trummelbach Falls along the way, and if you aren’t feeling like completing the entire trail, you can also just hop right onto a bus at several points on the main road.
Beyond the hike down the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you can also take part of some trails above the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
One of my favorite easy walks is the 45 minute trail from Murren to Gimmelwald. Throughout the trail you will enjoy the green valley views with the snow capped Alps out in the distance.
If you are looking for a bit more of a thrilling experience, you can opt for the Murren to Gimmelwald Via Ferrata, which is one of the more adrenaline inducing activities you can enjoy.
7) Schilthorn & Birg
One of the highlights near the Lauterbrunnen Valley is the viewing platform on top of Schilthorn. From up top you will be able to enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding Swiss Alps, with the main three mountains – Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau out in the distance.
On top of Schilthorn you will also have the chance to have some lunch or drinks at the rotating Piz Gloria Restaurant and check out the Bond World museum (yes, a Bond film was filmed there!).
After enjoying Schilthorn, you can take the cable car one stop down to Birg. Here you will find the famous Birg Thrill Walk, which consists of a few exhilarating activities to enjoy.
» To learn much more about Schilthorn and Birg, take a look at the Schilthorn Switzerland Guide
8) Lauterbrunnen Paragliding
Another popular activity I wanted to touch upon is paragliding over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Usually these flights take off from the Murren area, and you will then fly all throughout the valley before landing down below.
While I did not take part for myself, I did see plenty of paragliders when walking around Murren and having some lunch overlooking the valley.
» Book your Lauterbrunnen Valley Paragliding Experience before you go!
9) Murren & Wengen
Beyond the activities and attractions, you can also spend some time enjoying the towns located above the Lauterbrunnen Valley – Murren and Wengen, both of which are easily accessible from the valley below.
Both Murren and Wengen are lovely car free mountain villages located on opposite sides of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From these villages you will get some beautiful views of the surrounding Swiss Alps and the Lauterbrunnen Valley itself.
If you have the time during your trip, you can spend a few days around the area exploring them. Just walking the towns and having lunch at a restaurant overlooking the valley is a great activity to take part of.
10) A Lauterbrunnen Valley One Day Itinerary
I will end off this guide with a potential one day Lauterbrunnen Valley itinerary, so you can get the most of your time in the area.
↔ You can begin the day by getting to the Lauterbrunnen train station and taking the cable car to Grutschalp and then the mountain train to Murren. From Murren, head up to Schilthorn and Birg to enjoy the views from one of the highest vantage points in the region.
↔ You can then make your way back down to Murren, have lunch overlooking the valley and walk around town. After lunch take the trail from Murren to Gimmelwald, where you can then catch the cable car down to the valley floor at Stechelberg.
↔ Once you reach Stechelberg, you can then begin your Lauterbrunnen hiking through the valley, passing all the waterfalls along the way. Make the stop at Trummelbach Falls, before continuing on to the town of Lauterbrunnen to end your day.
I hope this Lauterbrunnen Valley guide has given you a better idea of what the area is all about and how to better plan a trip there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.
Also don’t forget to check out the other Switzerland itineraries and guides up on the site. Have fun out there and safe travels!