One Day in Lauterbrunnen Itinerary: A Great Swiss Day Trip

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by Neota Langley


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Lauterbrunnen, nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is a picturesque alpine village with enchanting natural beauty. Planning a one day in Lauterbrunnen itinerary is a pleasure, with so many unforgettable experiences on offer.

This fairytale destination, also known as the ‘Valley of 72 Waterfalls’, is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush alpine meadows. Lauterbrunnen village exudes a tranquil charm with its traditional Swiss chalets, winding streets, and stunning mountain vistas.

How Many Days in Lauterbrunnen?

Lauterbrunnen may be small, but there is plenty to see and do in this scenic valley. When planning a trip to Switzerland, you may be wondering how many days to spend in Lauterbrunnen. 

You will be able to visit the highlights in just one day, making Lauterbrunnen the perfect stop on a Switzerland itinerary.

One day will give you the opportunity to see some of the waterfalls this valley is so famous for, hike through the alpine meadows, fill your camera roll and sample some traditional local cuisine.

If you arrive early enough, you will be able to see the main attractions and book a tour or try some of the extreme sports available in the valley.

If you have longer, there are several day trips in the surrounding area and around the Lauterbrunnen Valley, including the picturesque Jungfrau region (including the town of Wengen and the Kleine Scheidegg mountain pass) and the nearby town of Interlaken

Lauterbrunnen Valley
Lauterbrunnen Valley

Getting To & Around Lauterbrunnen

Thanks to its convenient location and well-connected transportation network, reaching Lauterbrunnen is a straightforward and scenic journey. 

The nearest major international airports are Zurich Airport and Geneva Airport. From either airport, you can get to Lauterbrunnen via train. First, you will have to travel to Interlaken. This takes 2 hours from Zurich and from Geneva, it takes just under 3 hours with a change in Bern.

Then, take the train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. Make sure you grab a window seat for this leg of the journey to make the most of the scenic views as you pass through the Swiss countryside. You can view train schedules here.

As a tourist, you can make use of the Swiss Travel Pass, which will give you unlimited travel on public transport, including buses, trains and boats, and discounts on mountain railways.

If you have your own vehicle or a hire car, Lauterbrunnen is easily accessible via the Swiss road network.

You can avoid toll roads on this route, so there is no need to purchase a vignette, but if you want to use the motorways, you will need to purchase an annual sticker for your windscreen from a fuel station. You can browse Rentalcars.com if you need to rent a car for this trip.

If you prefer to visit on an organised tour you can take this full-day tour or this full-day tour from Interlaken that spends most of the time close to the village of Lauterbrunnen and other towns on the valley floor.

Alternatively, there are many options for tours that include both Lauterbrunnen and Jungfraujoch such as this day tour from Lucerne or this day tour from Zurich.

Once in Lauterbrunnen, the village is compact and easy to navigate on foot. You can walk from the train station to the end of the village in no more than 10 minutes. 

Lauterbrunnen Village
Lauterbrunnen Village

1-Day Lauterbrunnen Itinerary

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, Lauterbrunnen offers stunning natural beauty, charming alpine villages, and plenty of outdoor activities. Think of a traditional Swiss village and chances are, it’s Lauterbrunnen that comes to mind.

A day trip to Lauterbrunnen is a must-visit on any trip to Switzerland, whether you are adventuring your way around the Alps or spending a day away as part of a longer city break in Lucerne or Bern.

Explore the village 

As you arrive into the town of Lauterbrunnen, you can’t miss the magnificent Staubbach Falls cascading from the cliffs that tower over the village. Whether you are travelling by train or by car, the views are magnificent from the moment you arrive.

To get the best view over the village, leave the main street on a footpath and walk along to Chalet Pironnet. You’ll find a bench perched on the hill looking southwards towards the Bernese Alps. This is the most iconic view of Lauterbrunnen, so don’t forget your camera.

After soaking in the views, head down to explore the village itself. Wander up through the high street, checking out the traditional Swiss chalets that line the street until you reach the awe-inspiring Staubbach Falls.

Staubbach Falls 

Staubbach Falls is the main waterfall you will see when you arrive in the village and visit them is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Lauterbrunnen. Falling 297m from the gigantic cliff behind the village, this is Switzerland’s highest freefalling waterfall. 

Whilst you can see the waterfall from the centre of the village, it’s worth climbing up on the clearly signposted hiking trail to experience walking behind the falls.

It takes around 10-15 minutes and is accessible to all but make sure to wear appropriate footwear because the first section of the trail is steep. 

Staubbach Falls
Staubbach Falls

Walk up the valley to Stechelberg

After experiencing the cool alpine spray from behind the waterfall, continue up through the valley out of the village towards Stechelberg.

This is a flat, easy walk and gives you access to some of the best views in the valley. As you walk out of the village, take in the quintessential Swiss farms, the sound of cow bells echoing around the valley. 

Just 5-10 minutes away from Lauterbrunnen, don’t miss the wooden honesty box at the end of one of the farm tracks. Here you will find some of the best cheese in the entirety of Switzerland, so make sure to take some cash with you. 

It is an out-and-back walk that takes around 1hr 45 minutes.

Trummelbach Falls

While not as renowned as the Staubbach waterfall, the 10-tiered Trummelbach Falls, hidden within the mountain, are arguably the best falls to visit on a Lauterbrunnen day trip. 

Head out of the village on the road through the two main car parks until you reach the Trummelbach River. Then, take the lift up into the glacial rock formations before walking down the walkways with the flow of the river. 

The force of these waterfalls will take your breath away. The rumble through the caverns gives you a real sense of the powerful force of nature. This is a unique experience, as the only glacial waterfall of its kind in the whole of Europe. 

The flow is at its height during the summer months so to experience the falls at their best, visit between May – September. 

Trummelbach Falls
Trummelbach Falls

Mürren

Lauterbrunnen is a gateway to explore the Bernese Oberland region with several mountain villages, alpine peaks, and hiking and climbing routes to explore on your doorstep. If you are seeing Lauterbrunnen in one day, the best way to spend your afternoon is to take the mountain railway or hike to Mürren.

Mürren is a charming alpine village perched on a cliff, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Swiss Alps. With its car-free streets, traditional chalets, and access to thrilling outdoor activities, Mürren is a haven for hikers, skiers, and nature lovers.

To reach Mürren, first, you will need to take the train from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp. The journey is relatively short, lasting around 4 minutes. Then, transfer to the cable car that will take you to Mürren. The cable car ride provides stunning panoramic views and takes approximately 10 minutes. Stand on the right-hand side for the best views on the ascent. 

There is plenty to do once you have arrived in Mürren. From exhilarating Via Ferrata climbing routes to relaxing in the Alpine Spa. If you have time, you could even continue further into the mountains to reach the summit of Schilthorn.

Here you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. Visit the revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, made famous by a James Bond film, and explore the interactive Bond World exhibition. 

If you are visiting Lauterbrunnen during the ski season, you will find plenty of perfectly groomed pistes on this side of the valley to enjoy. 

Murren
Mürren

Shopping & Dinner

As the day comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to wander through the village and pick up some souvenirs to remember your adventure. The streets are lined with small shops selling postcards, magnets, clothing and even authentic cowbells. 

After a busy day exploring this scenic valley, tuck into some traditional Swiss cuisine in one of Lauterbrunnen’s charming restaurants. Try Restaurant Oberland in the heart of the village for traditional Swiss dishes, including fondue and raclette.

Enjoy the warm and rustic ambience while savouring delicious Swiss cuisine. 

Have 2 or 3 Days in Lauterbrunnen?

If you are lucky enough to have 2 days in Lauterbrunnen or even 3, you have plenty of options available to you. 

Day 2 – Jungfrau or Interlaken

If you want to visit the ‘Top of Europe’ and immerse yourself in the jaw-dropping scenery, spend your second day exploring the Jungfrau region from the neighbouring village Grindelwald.

You can reach Grindlewald in just 40 minutes by train, including a change at Zweilütschinen. Or, if you have a car, the journey takes around 25 minutes.

Grindelwald, nestled in the Swiss Alps, is a captivating alpine village renowned for its breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures. Surrounded by majestic peaks, it is the gateway to the Jungfrau region.

From Grindelwald, you can embark on an unforgettable journey to the “Top of Europe,” also known as Jungfraujoch. This renowned mountain destination offers an extraordinary experience at an elevation of 3,454m.

Travel by express cable car and cogwheel train through scenic landscapes to reach the summit, Europe’s highest railway station. Marvel at panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, vast glaciers, and deep valleys.

Train from Jungfraujoch
Train from Jungfraujoch

From the summit, you can explore the Ice Palace, venture onto the Sphinx Observation Terrace for breathtaking vistas, and learn about the region’s history at the Jungfrau-Aletsch Exhibition. Due to the elevation, this peak is covered in snow and ice 365 days a year, so don’t forget to pack a coat and sturdy footwear.

If you don’t have a head for heights, you could spend your second day exploring the nearby town of Interlaken and Lake Thun. 

Nestled between two pristine lakes, Interlaken is a charming Swiss town renowned for its stunning natural beauty and adventure sports.

Explore the picturesque streets, indulge in Swiss cuisine, and take in the breathtaking alpine scenery. Interlaken is a small town so in just a few hours, you will be able to visit the hotspots on foot. 

Spend the afternoon on one of the boat tours along Lake Thun. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and backdrop of majestic mountains, the lake offers stunning views. Explore charming lakeside towns, and glacial caves, enjoy water activities, or simply relax on its shores, immersing yourself in the serene beauty.

Interlaken town
Interlaken town

Day 3 – Lucerne or Hiking

With 3 days, you will have plenty of time to explore the mountains on a full-day hike or even head a bit further afield. 

Lauterbrunnen is world-renowned for its alpine views – snowcapped mountains, rolling meadows full of wildflowers and fairytale wooden chalets.

If you are a keen hiker, this region is one of the best places to lace up your boots, pack a picnic and head out onto the trails. Here are some options for full-day hikes from Lauterbrunnen with varying difficulty. 

The most rewarding hike, accessible to all ages, is the Gimmelwald to Mürren hike via The North Face. This 7km circular route starts and ends in Mürren, and although ‘The North Face’ may sound intimidating, the trail is well made, easy to follow and is relatively flat. This route proves you don’t always need to walk uphill to access the best views.

Schnige Platte to First is a more strenuous hike but is a favourite amongst hikers and it’s not hard to see why. The trail is 16km long with an elevation of 940m as you summit the Faulhorn peak. It takes around 5-6 hours, depending on your fitness level.

The last day hike on this list is the 19km loop starting from Mürren to the Sefinenfurgge Pass. This route covers 974m of elevation but is worth the extra effort for the incredible vistas across the valleys as you hike alongside the big three, the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.

Around halfway, you will reach the Rotstock hut, an alpine refuge where you can grab a bite to eat before tackling the Sefinenfurgge Pass.

If you would rather use your third day to take visit a nearby city, head out to Lucerne. The journey takes 1.5 hours by car or 2.5 hours by train with a change in Interlaken. Lucerne, situated on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, is a captivating city renowned for its scenic beauty and well-preserved medieval architecture.

Explore the iconic Chapel Bridge, wander through the charming Old Town, take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Lucerne waterfront
Lucerne waterfront

Where to Stay in Lauterbrunnen

Hotel Oberland – This hotel is an excellent option for mid-range visitors to Lauterbrunnen. They have a number of comfortable rooms available, a great location for exploring the town and breakfast available for guests in the morning.

Hotel Silberhorn – This plush hotel located on Lauterbrunnen’s main drag is a great place to base yourself in this Swiss town. They have a number of beautiful rooms to choose from along with an on-site restaurant/bar and plenty of other great amenities.

Hornerpub Apartments – These apartments are a great choice for those after a self-catering option while visiting Lauterbrunnen. They have a number of flats to choose from, a great location, and an on-site bar for guests to enjoy.

Valley Hostel – Budget and solo travellers will love this highly-rated hostel located in the centre of Lauterbrunnen. They have dorm beds and private rooms available, good common areas and self-catering facilities for guests.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Lauterbrunnen hotels!

Lauterbrunnen is a fairy-tale destination. With cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, snowcapped mountains and endless alpine meadows, it is Switzerland at its best. Spend a magical time in Lauterbrunnen for an experience you will never forget.

Are you planning to visit Lauterbrunnen? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Neota Langley

Neota is a writer for The World Was Here First. Born and bred in Cornwall, she can usually be found with hiking boots on, ready to embark on an adventure. For the last 6 years, she has travelled throughout Europe in her self-built campervan with her trusty canine companion, Ivy. She loves exploring France, the Nordics and spending time in Alpine destinations.

Comments

  1. Hi There,
    Thanks you for the information you have shared. I enjoyed reading your travel tips and iteneraries. I have had great pleasure in finding it easy and helped me a lot to plan my journey since it’s my first time in Switzerland. Again Many Thanks

    Reply

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