Lauterbrunnen is just a small village with 900 inhabitants, about 10 hotels and hostels and 2 camping-sites. Hotels and everything else is a lot cheaper there than in Interlaken or Grindelwald !
Fondest memory: Lauterbrunnen is about 20km south of Interlaken and makes a perfect place to stay, when you intend to explore places like Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch or Mürren and Schilthorn.
train-connections are also perfect to Interlaken with 2 trains per hour and a ride of just 20 minutes to Interlaken Ost.
At the edge of town (what I considered the side of town away from the train depot), was a very peaceful little walk along the gently flowing river created by all those wonderful waterfalls falling from the cliffs into the valley below.
In addition the town's church and very scenic cemetary are located here. If you happen to be around the church at the top of the hour stay and listen to the chiming of the bells.
This picture will also give you a look at some of the homes in Lauterbrunnen. It would be interesting to be able to visit with a local resident, see the inside of their homes and swap stories.
The category here says what is the single most importance activity or site you would take someone who had never been here before. . . WOW I don't think that it is possible to just go with a single activity or thought so I will create several pages each with one thought per tip.
Fondest memory: On our first full day in Lauterbrunnen we spent the morning going to the top of Schilthorn for the views and the James Bond breakfast. We then took a leisurely walk through the Village of Murren on our way back down to Lauterbrunnen. Stopping off at our hotel for a little breather we then took a bus to Trummelbach Falls at the other end of the valley. Since it was still light enough and the trip really wasn't all that far back to Lauterbrunnen we hiked back into town and as these photos show ITS NOT JUST ANOTHER WALK IN THE PARK!!
This tip is about the town of Lauterbrunnen. In town you will find a variety of small hotels, a youth hostel, several small food stores and of course places to buy all types of hiking equipment. At the edge of town is the Church and the camping ground.
Fondest memory: From the Lauterbrunnen our fondest memories were the pictures we took sitting on our balcony with our socks and shoes kicked off and watching time go by in a beautiful setting. While we were sitting taking some funny pictures of our feet and socks with the views in the background a small hummingbird started taking nector from one of the flowers on our balcony. Unfortunately, it was too fast for me to capture on film.
Take the verincular railway from the Hauptbahnhof in Lauterbrunnen. Get there before 8:15 so you have time to buy your tickets for the first train ride up. You will have fewer people and you won't want to waste your time standing in lines while you are here.
The vernicular climbs from the town which is at 1000 m up to around 1600 where there is a plateau. From here you change trains for the train direction Murren (there is only one as this is the end station), but your luggage and skiis will be switched automatically, as the luggage car detaches and then if lifted by crane onto the waiting railcar. This is alone is witness to legendary Swiss efficiency.
Once on the train, get your camera ready for breathtaking views across the valley and of the Jungfraujoch across on the otherside. It is so large, that it is best viewed from the Murren side of the valley.
Stay on the train at Winteregg if you are headed to Piz Gloria, as you will need to get off in Murren and then transfer to the gondola that takes you up from Murren to the top of the Shilthorn. Piz Gloria and the Schilthorn were where The Spy Who Loved Me was shot. The view from up above is magnificient.
Fondest memory: However, I usually get off at the Winteregg for breakfast. I can reccommend the bacon, eggs and roesti potatoes. It is a great way to start the day.
From Murren or Wnteregg you will have ample opportunities for mainly intermediate skiing. The hills is not fantastic, but there is enough terrain to keep you from getting bored.
The Shilthorn has the best skiing opportunities, especially if you are a proficient off-piste skier. However, this is avalanche country, so don't go off-piste unless you know it is absolutely allowed and safe to do so.
Each year there is a race called the Inferno for experts and amateurs a like. I believe the course is about 7 km long and used to go all the way from the top of the Shilthorn down into the town of Lauterbrunnen. Snow conditions do not allow this any longer (I have only skied the whole way this past winter, normally there is very little snow below 1600m).
In any case, you will enjoy wonderful mountain panoramas and have enough skiing to tire you out.
When I was a kid, we used to have this VW bus that my dad camperised, and we used to drive all over Western Canada in it and go camping.
Then when I was a little older, I read Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck, and a little later, The Drifters by James Michener.
It has always been kind of a dream of mine to pack all my stuff - bike, skis, kayak, hiking boots, etc. - in a VW bus and spend at least 6-months discovering Europe without any fixed agenda. Just travelling around to places, hanging out, being able to sleep in the van, and then get up in the morning and go hiking or biking or whatever.
I might go to Toulouse and learn some French while exploring the Pyrennes or I might just kick around the Alps for a while. Unfortunately, it is getting the six months off. This could come between jobs and/or on my way back to Canada someday.
My other problem is finding someone who wants to come with me. Adventures are more fun when you have someone to share them with. But, in a VW van, it has to be someone that doesn't complain or get on your nerves too much.
Lauterbrunnen lies at 796 meters above sea level, and is the entrance city into the valley of the same name. Its famous calling card is the 300 meter high cascading Staubbach Waterfall.
Lauterbrunnen, the town, has 930 inhabitants, with 9 hotels, 53 apartments, 5 hostels for group accommodation and 2 camping sites. This allows for all budgets to stay in the beauty of this, most spectacular Swiss valley!
If you decide to stay in Lauterbrunnen, please be sure to ask for a hotel room which overlooks the valley. Most hotels do have them as they are all located along the main street. I was so pleased to have this wonderful view from my bedroom window and I don't think I paid any extra for it because I didn't request it.
I can certainly vouch for the fabulous feeling to get up in the morning and look out over this lovely panorama. It is the essence of Lauterbrunnen and what makes it such a special little town.
People were fascinated by the Staubbach Falls as early as the Middle Ages. The milky-white waters thundering down over dark green rocks have inspired painters, poets and travel writers over the centuries. The Staubach Falls (280m), inspired Goethe’s poem Gesang der Geister über den Wassern” “Song of the Spirit over the Waterfall”, music by Franz Schubert. Felix Mendelssohn composed “Songs without Words’ here; Tchaikovski, Lord Byron and many other celebrities visited it.
Fondest memory: R.R. Tolkien, my favorite writer, remarked
that “The hobbit’s journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains is based on my adventures in 1911”. In that year Tolkien, aged 19, took a hiking vacation in the Swiss Alps visiting Interlaken, Lauterbrunnental and Mürren. Tolkien’s experiences here gave life to his descriptions not just of Rivendell but also of the Mountains of Moria (he explicitly likened the mountain of Zirak-zigil, the peak on which Gandalf fights the Balrog, to the immaculate pyramid of the Silberhorn.
The inhabitants of the west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley came from the Lotschen Valley. The first settlements were in Mürren, Gimmelwald, Trachsellauenen and Sichellauenen. Lauterbrunnen village itself, due to the unpredictable flooding of the untamed Lutschine river, was settled later than the higher slopes. Although Lauterbrunnen and Mürren have been known since they first appeared in official records in 1257, and Wengen in 1268, first mention of these emigrants from the Lotschental was found in a document dated in 1331. In 1349 there was a secret alliance between the people of Gimmelwald, Ammerten and Lauterbrunnen with Obwalden in an uprising against the monastery at Interlaken.
Around 1350 monks from the monastery in Interlaken succeeded in extending their sphere of influence as far as Wengen and Wengernalp and eventually the whole Lauterbrunnen valley fell into their hands. In 1487 a church was established in Lauterbrunnen and adorned with a bell that was ordered from their old home of Gsteig, which can still be seen in front of the newer church here today.
The year of 1811 saw the start of mountaineering in Lauterbrunnen and the 1st ascent of the Jungfrau. The last decade of the 19th century witnessed the opening of a number of railways in the Jungfrau region including the BOB - Bernese Oberland Railway - from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, and the Wengernalp, Schynige Platte and Mürren Railways.
In 1965 the first three sections of the Schilthorn cableway, from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and then to Mürren, were opened. The last stretch to the peak of the Schilthorn was completed in 1967.
Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Sheidegg via Wengen and then on up to Jungfraujoch on a clear day if you have never been before. This is a trip that you must take on a clear day. If you are there for a few days then wait for a clear day or even half a day. The Early Morning special (discounted travel) is worth taking if it is a clear day first thing in the morning and good if you are on a tight budget.
Also from Lauterbrunnen village, take the gentle hike along the valley to Stechelberg (and back) on the route which follows the river, this is completely flat and very enjoyable (particularly on a sunny day). If you are tired when you reach Stechelberg, then catch the bus back - it is all so well organised here you see!
Fondest memory: Friendliness, cleanliness, clean air, good pastries and coffee (and tea)
There is a great little shop almost at the top of the hill on your right which is a laundry, internet and coffee shop all rolled into one. This was a real find for me as I was at that stage where I was sick of washing my clothes under the shower and would have given heaven and earth for a washing machine. What's more, it was located right next door to my hotel.
The first day I arrived, I stopped in for lunch and enjoyed a great bowl of soup with the proverbial crusty bread, which I followed up with a great coffee and home-made cookie. The next morning I took in my laundry and the very pleasant girl on duty asked me if I would like to leave it and she would do it for me for 25CHF. I know it sounds a lot, but I jumped at the chance to have my laundry done in real washing machine whilst I went out for the day. I returned at 6pm and it was all washed, dried and neatly folded. Well worth the money. I would have taken advantage of the Internet facility as well, only my hotel had free internet for guests.
Oh and by the way, you can book your hang gliding and related activities here as well.
Fondest memory: I didn't have the presence of mind to take a photo of the shop but I have found this photo which shows the building. It is the one with the red flag and is located one door on the lower side of the Hotel Restaurant Schuetzen.
My husband and I are in the Cable Car at last, and heading quite fast up the Mountain side.
Now, the view is amazing, mind boggling, beautiful, and any other adjective that describe's tremendous beauty. Be prepared!
The Valley views are something I will never forget, thankgoodness I had the Camera in action.
Now, something important................
Taking photo's, and I know the Cable Car windows are all scratched from Ski's leaning against them, but the view is one of the best, and isn't a photo, better than none at all.
What I did, was found a spot without a scratch, a put my Camera lens hard against the glass and took photo's this way. They came out pretty good!
Take the photo's going up, as the weather changes so quickly you may be disappointed on the way back as it could be foggy or raining!
Of course, you take more on the way back down, delete the awful photo's and keep only the best!
Have a good time, we did in one of the prettiest parts in Switzerland.
Lauterbrunnen is one of the most scenic valleys I have encounterd in Switzerland.
I really appreciate its beauty though when I viewed it from the balcony of Wegen - the mountain village above Lauterbrunnen.
Fondest memory: Having seen Lauterbrunnen in both winter and summer I'd be hard pressed to have a favourite between them. In summer the hiking options are more plentiful ands in winter the mountain peaks are clearer in the cold air. Any time the views are stupendous, I love both seasons!