Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the most scenic destinations in the Swiss Alps, characterised by its beautiful waterfalls and dramatic mountainous terrain. The snow-capped peaks, caves and picturesque villages have inspired authors including J.R.R. Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Spend a week in this gorgeous valley, and you’ll never run out of things to see and do. If you only have a couple of days, make sure you don’t miss these sights and activities.
1 Day in Lauterbrunnen | The must-do’s
With its alpine houses, mountainous terrain and surrounding waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen boasts everything you’d expect from a village in the Swiss Alps. It’s renowned for its welcoming people, unique boutique shops and frequent excursions to nearby trails and activities ranging from paragliding and skydiving to cable car rides.
Your first mission has to be to visit some of the areas 70 waterfalls. Some glacial falls have carved valleys through mountains as high as 50 metres. The most famous falls in Lauterbrunnen, however, are the Staubbach Falls.
The Staubbach Falls cascade from a height of nearly 300 metres, making them visible from almost anywhere within the village of Lauterbrunnen. Most of the water turns to mist before reaching ground level, adding to the mysterious allure of this natural attraction. The falls are illuminated when the sun goes down, making for a romantic view in the evening.
From Staubbach you can take the chance to meander over 300 ground-level and mountain top trails. Most trails take between two and four hours to complete. Though you can trek as far as Interlaken if your energy levels are as high as the mountains.
Usually, the more challenging the hike, the more rewarding the view. But you can expect to be mesmerised by picturesque villages, wildlife and some of the most scenic natural sights in Europe regardless of which trail you choose.
If you have only one day to spend in Lauterbrunnen, make it a hiking day. You won’t regret it.
If you have more time | Local experiences
Even when you’ve walked ‘til your heart’s content, there’s still loads to do in Lauterbrunnen. Fans of James Bond shouldn’t miss the opportunity to dine in Piz Gloria, which featured in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'. It’s a rotating restaurant situated at the top of the Schilthorn summit, offering panoramic views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding Alps. You’ll need to ride four gondolas to reach this famous restaurant, but the unobstructed views along the way are truly breath-taking. It’s a must-see for day two.
After lunch at Piz Gloria, make your way over to St. Beatus Caves. These incredible natural wonders appear as if they came straight from a fantasy novel, especially given that they’re largely hidden by thundering waterfalls. Take a free guided tour around the caves, and you’ll see why they inspired JRR Tolkien’s Rivendell. The caves are relatively small, making them an excellent place to visit if you have just a couple of days in Lauterbrunnen. Try the local coffee with Swiss pastries to re-energise after touring this natural labyrinth of beauty.
Adventure sports are a huge draw for visitors to Lauterbrunnen. Do you prefer to climb mountains or carve down them? Or, would you rather glide over and around them? Some of the more popular activities paragliding and skydiving. If you’re short for time, take a 40-minute paragliding tour from the village of Lauterbrunnen. Have several hours to spare? Half and full-day excursions depart from Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken.
If you haven’t yet planned your trip to the Swiss Alps, make sure you take a look at our online Adventure Planner to customise your ultimate Europe trip. It’s the easiest way to plan and book a trip and visit some of Europe’s best locations.