Lauterbrunnen is one of the most beautiful places that I visited in Switzerland and I recommend everyone to include a visit to Lauterbrunnen when planning a Switzerland itinerary. There are many interesting things to do in Lauterbrunnen and area around. You can do a day trip to Lauterbrunnen from Interlaken, Lucerne or even Zurich. Or you can choose Lauterbrunnen village as your base location and do day trips to explore the places nearby.
I divided things to do in Lauterbrunnen in two categories: things to do in the Lauterbrunnen valley and day trips from Lauterbrunnen.
Things to do in Lauterbrunnen valley
Explore the Lauterbrunnen village
Lauterbrunnen village is exactly what you expect a Swiss village to look like. There are some hotels, cafes, restaurants, and shops. I feel like most people choose Interlaken as a base to explore the Jungfrau region but Lauterbrunnen can be a good alternative if you are looking for a less touristy spot. It is smaller and quieter, and the views are very different from Interlaken. In term of accessibility, they are almost same. The train from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken is just 20 minutes, so they are both perfect for day trips in the Jungfrau region.
Lauterbrunnen is a paradise for people who love hiking. There are many hiking trails around, so you can choose the one that suits your physical form. Even if you not into hiking, there are some easy walks that you can do to enjoy the views. I walked from Grütschalp to Mürren(about 1 hour) and it didnt really feel like it was a hike at all. But the views are amazing from everywhere.
See Trümmelbachfälle(Trümmelbach Falls) and Staubbachfall
Lauterbrunnen is called a valley of 72 waterfalls and visiting the waterfalls is one of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen. You will see several waterfalls if you walk from one side of the valley to another side. Two of them are especially popular to visit:
Trümmelbach Falls are 10 glacier-waterfalls hidden inside the mountain. They are truly unique and one of the most famous UNESCO world heritage sites in Switzerland. Entrance fee for adults is 11 CHF and the waterfalls are open only in the warmer months.
If you are looking for something free to see, visit Staubbach Falls. It’s a signature waterfall of Lauterbrunnen valley and you will notice it right when you enter the village.
Mürren is a car-free village located 850 meters above Lauterbrunnen. To get there, you can take a cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp and then a train to Mürren. Or you can just walk from Grütschalp to Mürren. It is an easy 1-hour walk and I really enjoyed seeing three famous peaks (Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau) just in front of me.
If you don’t want to walk, there is also a direct cable car from Stechelberg to Mürren.
If you take a cable car up from Mürren, you can go to Schilthorn, where the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed. But even if you are not a James Bond fan, you can go to Schilthorn just for the views, they are spectacular on a clear day. Don’t buy tickets in advance and check the webcam before visiting Schilthorn, because it doesn’t make sense to go there on the cloudy day when you can’t see anything.
Day trips from Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbunnen valley is a beautiful place, but unless you came for hiking, you can easily explore it in 1-2 days. So if you are staying there for more days, you can do some day trips from Lauterbrunnen.
Take a train to the Top of Europe
Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe, located at 3,454 meters above sea level. A trip to Jungfraujoch is one of the most expensive and most popular things to do in Switzerland. I liked it very much and recommend it to everyone. From Lauterbrunnen, you need to take a train to Kleine Schiedegg, and then from there all the way to Jungfraujoch. The whole journey takes around 1 h 30 min. There are plenty of things to do on top, so it is a nice one day trip from Lauterbrunnen.
If the weather on top of Jungfrau is not good or you don’t want to go all the way up, you can explore Schnigge Platte. There is a cute Alpine garden, you can see alphorn players or do a short panorama hike for incredible views.
Train from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald takes 36 minutes with one change in Zweilütschinen. Grindelwald is one of the most popular ski resort in Switzerland and just a pretty village to explore, shop and dine. From Grindelwald, you can reach Grindelwald-First by gondola and there are some really fun activities to do. For hikers, you can walk to Lake Bachalpsee in 50 minutes for a picknick with a view. If you are looking for adrenaline, there is First Flyer and First Glider. But what I really want to try next time is Mountain cart. It is like a summer version of sledging .
Boat trips on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
Lauterbrunnen is only 20 minutes away from Interlaken which is located between two pretty lakes: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. You can take a cruise on one of them and combine it with a visit to Interlaken.
If you take a boat on Lake Thun, you can also see the city of Thun, the town of Spiez and Beatus caves.
If you want to see some pretty Swiss cities, Bern is the closest big city to visit from Lauterbrunnen. Bern is de facto the capital of Switzerland and famous for its beautiful Old Town. It is quite compact and easy to explore in just one day.
This was just a short list of the things to do in Lauterbrunnen that I find the most interesting. I am sure there are more possible things to do there and I hope to explore the Lauterbrunnen valley even better next time.