Close your eyes. Think of Switzerland. Can you see mountains? Lakes greener than you have ever seen? Cows with brass cowbells around their necks, wildflowers, waterfalls, the scent of chocolate in the air? Yeah, that’s Lauterbrunnen. It’s tiny: one pub, one supermarket, a handful of restaurants and a train station, but this small community in the Lauterbrunnen Valley is everything you have ever wanted from Switzerland, and more. While you could probably stay a month and not run out of things to do, just two days is still plenty to see the very best that this region has to offer.
Everyone thinks Switzerland is extremely expensive, and, well, it is. But nature is completely free my friends! If you’re trying to save some money, why not enjoy a fabulous hike? Hans, Ruth, and the helpful reception staff at our recommended accommodation Camping Jungfrau will provide you with a map and talk you through the well signed trails. The lovely villages of Mürren, Wengen, and Grindelwald are all within your grasp! Look out for local stalls selling homemade cheese and yogurt while you’re out exploring. Back at camp, treat yourself to at least one Swiss dinner at the campsite restaurant, the most affordable dining spot in town, and taste some traditional Rösti (fried potato hash brown), raclette (melted cheese served with meat and potatoes), or Alplermagronen (alpine macaroni of cheese, pasta, ham and applesauce). Don’t forget to wash it down with the iconic Swiss soft drink, Rivella!
Feeling Like… Splashing Some Cash?
Is the highest train station in Europe on your bucket list? If not, it probably should be. Lauterbrunnen gives you easy access via train to the Jungfraujoch, or the ‘Top of Europe’, a train station at the top of the Jungfrau mountain. The train track itself tunnels directly through the mountain, and when you emerge at the top, almost 3,5000m above sea level, you’ll find snow beneath your feet, and a view of the Aletsch glacier before you. It is undoubtedly pricey, but rumour has it taking the early morning train will save you about 50 Swiss francs.
If you want to get the blood pumping, adventure specialist Outdoor Interlaken is there to help you. With a wide range of activities on offer, they should have something to suit every budget and adrenalin level. You can pass some time on their high ropes course, white water raft down the alpine melt water of the Lütschine River, paraglide over the Alps, or jump out of a plane! And the best thing is, most of these activities include pickup and return to Camping Jungfrau, and only take half the day – perfect to fit into your two-day Lauterbrunnen itinerary!
Feeling Like… a Great View?
This one is a bit of a cheat, because almost EVERYWHERE around Lauterbrunnen gives you a great view. But there is one place where you can enjoy a view of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jüngfrau mountains – the three peaks of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. By taking a series of cable cars to the top of the Schilthorn mountain, not only will you see tiny farms, cottages and herds of sheep below you, but you’ll very likely travel directly through some clouds! At the top you will find James Bond World, the Schilthorn was the location of the lair of Bond’s nemesis in 1969’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’ It’s cheesy, but the views are no joke, and arguably better than those from the top of the Jungfrau. The best part? For Switzerland, it’s relatively cheap. Budget about 60 francs for the trip. You can also skip the very last cable car to Lauterbrunnen, and enjoy the walk down.