Discovering Lauterbrunnen Guide: Why It is Worth Visiting

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Lauterbrunnen is a part of Switzerland that you would want to visit for its exceptional natural beauty. If J.R.R. Tolkien, my favorite fantasy novel writer, were still alive, he would likely agree. After all, Lauterbrunnen served as his inspiration for Rivendell, the home of the elves, in his book, The Lord of the Rings.

The thing is, Lauterbrunnen is more than just its breathtaking scenery. The graceful waterfalls and charming villages perched on top, overlooking a picturesque valley, make Lauterbrunnen a place that offers unforgettable travel moments.

Lauterbrunnen is also home to experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Imagine taking scenic train rides, dining in a rotating restaurant at the mountain top, or visiting Jungfraujoch. These are just a few of the many reasons why Lauterbrunnen is a must-visit.

Good to know: If you’re planning to visit Lauterbrunnen, this post can serve as your guide. It will help you explore different parts of Lauterbrunnen. You can refer to my guide for information on how to reach Lauterbrunnen and navigate around Lauterbrunnen. Also, you can use my itinerary as a reference for spending 1 to 3 days in Lauterbrunnen. The best hotel deals in Lauterbrunnen can be found in this link.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, View from the hiking trail west of Lauterbrunnen town
View from the hiking trail west of Lauterbrunnen town

Located 67 kilometers south of Bern, Lauterbrunnen is one of the beautiful destinations in the Bernese Oberland, along with Interlaken, Grindelwald, and Kandersteg.

Lauterbrunnen is also within the Jungfrau Region, where you can find the ultimate tourist attraction in the Bernese Oberland: Jungfraujoch. In this region, Lauterbrunnen sits as a picturesque village, a valley, and a commune composed of more quaint villages. It is surrounded by three-to-four-thousand-meter peaks that form a trough-shaped valley, serving as the unique characteristic of this destination.

72 waterfalls plummet down this valley — the natural characteristic of this place that gave Lauterbrunnen its name. Lauterbrunnen, in direct translation, means ‘many springs’.

Why You Should Visit Lauterbrunnen

As a mountain lover, my first glimpse of Lauterbrunnen filled me with awe. It’s a place unlike any other, so extraordinary that it’s hard to believe it’s real. When you explore Lauterbrunnen, you’ll surely get this feeling that you are a wanderer in your own fantasy novel.

Beyond bringing your fantasies to life, there are ten specific reasons Lauterbrunnen is must-see.

1. Because of Lauterbrunnen’s Picturesque Landscape.

A trip to the Jungfrau Region wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Lauterbrunnen. While beauty can be subjective, it’s widely agreed that Lauterbrunnen is one of the most visually stunning places in Switzerland. It feels as close to heaven as you can get on earth.

With its awe-inspiring, almost angelic appearance, it’s hard to believe that Lauterbrunnen was formed naturally. A glimpse of Lauterbrunnen can make you feel as though there’s a greater force at work in the design and creation of the world.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Most picturesque view of Lauterbrunnen town
View of Lauterbrunnen from Chalet Pironnet

There are several viewpoints in the valley where you can appreciate the picturesque landscape of Lauterbrunnen.

One of them is located in the heart of the village, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. It’s the bench along Fuhren Street, which is also in front of Chalet Pirronet. From there, you can take in an incredible view of Lauterbrunnen, including its iconic church with Staubbach Waterfall, Breithorn, and Grosshorn in the background.

To reach the bench viewpoint on Fuhren Street, start at the Tourism Office. Then follow these steps:

  • From outside the Lauterbrunnen Tourism Office, walk towards the Staubbach Waterfall along Auf der Fuhren.
  • After about a 3-minute walk, you’ll see spherical stone sculptures in front of the Hotelschützen hotel.
  • Next to the sculptures, there’s a street named Fuhren. Follow this street. Within a few steps, you’ll see a red chair and a small hiking trail nearby. This is where you’ll find the viewpoint.

A tip for your visit: try to catch the early morning view of the town. Although it can sometimes be misty, the scene can be truly spectacular when the first light of the day hits the top of Staubbach Waterfall, causing it to shine and glow.

2. Because Lauterbrunnen Has Graceful Waterfalls.

As you hike the valley floor from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, one sound becomes a constant companion: the thundering waterfalls. This soothing sound feels like nature’s way of embracing you, helping you rejuvenate from within.

There’s no doubt that you’ll hear it, as Lauterbrunnen boasts waterfalls on both sides of its valley. From the hiking trail, these waterfalls appear like silk ribbons swaying in the wind. Some resemble white threads as they tumble down from the mountain, creating a divide in the distant forest.

Interestingly, not all waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen cascade down the mountainsides. Some are hidden within the mountains, where they roar like a dragon, eternally carving the rocks within. It’s a sight and sound to remember.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg
View from the hiking trail between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg

If there are waterfalls you must see in Lauterbrunnen, they would be Staubbach, Trümmelbach, and Mürrenbach Waterfalls.

Staubbach Waterfall
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Close-up view of Staubbach waterfalls
Close-up view of Staubbach waterfall

Staubbach Falls, located southwest of the town of Lauterbrunnen, is a sight that’s easily spotted by visitors. The waterfall graces the town with a stunning view as it cascades from a cliff that’s 297 meters high, or 974 feet.

The full beauty of Staubbach Falls is best appreciated during late spring and summer. This is when the waterfall is fed by a large amount of water from the melting ice in the mountains. As the water descends, it barely touches the numerous rocks on the cliff, breaking into smaller particles.

This process creates a cloud of liquid dust that dances with the breeze. When hit by sunlight, it glows spectacularly, adding to the charm of the scene.

Visiting Staubbach Falls is quite straightforward. When you’re in Lauterbrunnen, head to the tourism office and follow the road south. After a 10-minute walk, you’ll find yourself at the foot of Staubbach Falls.

Trümmelbach Waterfall
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Trummelbach falls, crashing into the rocks
Trummelbach Waterfall

Trümmelbach, an underground waterfall located 2.8 kilometers south of the town, is a spectacle waiting to be discovered. It holds the title of Europe’s largest subterranean waterfall, making it a compelling reason to visit Lauterbrunnen.

To reach Trümmelbach Falls, you have two options. You can either enjoy a 40-minute hike from the town, or take bus #141, which will get you to the entrance of the falls in just 10 minutes. It’s advisable to bring a rain jacket, as the viewing platforms can be cold and wet.

Once at Trümmelbach Falls, you’ll witness an impressive sight. Approximately 20,000 liters of water cascade per second, sourced directly from the melting glaciers in Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The sheer volume of water crashing onto the rocks creates a thunderous sound, a testament to the power of nature.

Trümmelbach waterfall features 10 viewing platforms, each connected by tunnels, stairs, and lifts. Each platform offers a unique view, showcasing the artistic side of nature through the eroded rocks. Some parts of the waterfall are open, providing a scenic lookout over the valley.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Inside the Trummelbach waterfalls
Inside the Trummelbach waterfalls
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Valley's viewpoint from Trummelbach waterfalls
Valley’s viewpoint from Trummelbach waterfalls

Please check the official website of Trümmelbach Waterfall to see the latest visiting information.

Mürrenbach Waterfall
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, View of Murrenbachfalls from Stechelberg
View of Murrenbachfalls from Stechelberg

Traveling 5 kilometers south of Lauterbrunnen brings us to the quaint village of Stechelberg. Here, you can witness Mürrenbachfall, the tallest waterfall in Switzerland. This waterfall, standing at a height of 417 meters, features five cascades. Each cascade widens the falling water more than its mouth above, creating a fine, thin, curtain-like flow. This spectacle is particularly visible after a rainfall or during early spring.

To reach Stechelberg from Lauterbrunnen and see Mürrenbachfall, you have two options. You can choose to hike for an hour and 15 minutes, or you can take bus #141, which will get you to the village in just 15 minutes.

If you’re coming from Trümmelbach Falls, the hike to Stechelberg will take about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take bus #141 from Trümmelbach to reach Stechelberg in a swift 6 minutes.

3. Because of the Rustic Villages of Lauterbrunnen.

Another aspect to love about Lauterbrunnen is its villages and hamlets. If you’re someone who enjoys exploration, discovering hidden gems, and taking in breathtaking scenery, these villages won’t disappoint. Here, you’ll find an abundance of charming Swiss chalets and houses adorned with flowers and traditional architecture.

In some parts, the setting is so idyllic that all you can hear are the cowbells and the sounds of chickens and birds!

The village of Lauterbrunnen, located at the valley floor, is just the start of these tranquil experiences. From there, you can visit the villages of Wengen, Mürren, and Gimmelwald, as well as the hamlets of Isenfluh and Stechelberg.

For a mix of rustic charm and stunning views, prioritize visiting Wengen, Mürren, Gimmelwald, and Isenfluh. These four villages are situated on a sunny balcony of the valley, offering panoramic views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From these vantage points, you can take in different perspectives of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau — the three most famous peaks in the Bernese Oberland.

However, if you’re traveling by car, it’s important to note that Wengen, Mürren, and Gimmelwald are all car-free. The only way to reach them is by cable car or funicular trains.

Details: Wengen
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Traditional houses in Wengen
Traditional houses in Wengen

Wengen, a car-free village, boasts a population twice the size of Murren and Gimmelwald combined. Situated on a natural balcony 400 meters above the valley’s entrance, Wengen offers an unparalleled vantage point for capturing the entire Lauterbrunnen valley.

The stunning view of Lauterbrunnen’s landscape from Wengen is enhanced by the quaint alpine timber houses and chalets scattered across the valley’s viewpoints. Wengen also takes pride in its charming hotels that hail from the belle époque period.

During winter, Wengen transforms into a gateway to a skiing paradise, with pistes stretching over 100 kilometers. Come summer, Wengen opens up 500 kilometers of hiking trails to everyone. These trails lead visitors to some of the most epic views in the Jungfrau region, particularly Kleine Scheidegg.

For those seeking a higher and more scenic elevation, Mannlichen is the place to be. From here, you can see the legendary north face of Eiger, side-by-side with Monch and Jungfrau. You can also take in a panoramic view of the entire Lauterbrunnen valley. To reach Mannlichen, simply hop on a cable car from a station in the heart of Wengen.

The fantastic view that you see above is what awaits you in Mannlichen. For a more immersive experience, try moving the 360-degree image from side to side. This will allow you to take in even more of the stunning scenery.

Here’s the official website of Mannlichen and official website of Wengen for more information.

Details: Mürren
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Beautiful houses in Murren
Beautiful houses in Murren

Situated on a clifftop at an elevation of 1638 meters, Murren is a small community of 500 residents. This village holds the distinction of being the highest one that you can visit in the entire Lauterbrunnen valley.

Murren serves as a stunning balcony overlooking the whole valley. It offers a sweeping view that extends from north to south. From this vantage point, you can gaze upon the Weisse Lütschine river below and the majestic peaks of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau above. It’s a sight that truly captures the essence of the valley’s beauty.

If you have a fear of heights, it’s time to face it head-on in Murren. Head to the eastern part of the village, at these coordinates (46.5620, 7.8972). Here, you’ll find Hotel Alpina, perched on an almost-90-degree cliff wall. It’s a sight that’s sure to take your breath away.

But why stop there? You can push your boundaries even further with Thrill Walk Birg, located above Murren. At Thrill Walk Birg, you’ll walk over a mesh bridge, with a clear view of the dizzying elevation beneath your feet. Once you’ve made it across, you’ll find your fear of heights is a thing of the past!

Birg, incidentally, is an observation deck that’s directly connected to Murren by a cable car. It offers a fantastic viewpoint for the trio of Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger on the opposite side of the valley. Below is the view you can see in Birg:

Stechelberg and Murren are connected by a cable car service. This service includes a stop in Gimmelwald, which is a neighboring village of Murren.

Discover more from Mürren’s official website and Schilthorn’s official website.

Details: Gimmelwald
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Traditional houses in Gimmelwald
Traditional houses in Gimmelwald

Gimmelwald is a small, peaceful village located south of Murren. It’s a home to a hundred people and stands as one of the most preserved mountain farming villages in the Alps. Among the settlements in the Lauterbrunnen valley, Gimmelwald is considered the most idyllic.

A walk in Gimmelwald offers a welcome distraction from life’s anxieties. The only sounds you’ll hear are the cascading waterfalls, the chirping birds, and occasionally, the chimes of a cattle’s bell.

To complete the rural experience, indulge in local delicacies such as alpine cheese and alpine yogurt. You can find these at the local cheese shack and Esther’s Guesthouse. These delights are fresh from local farms, promising some of the best tastes you can find.

If you’re the reflective type or simply looking for a place to introspect, Gimmelwald is the ideal spot. With fewer tourists and a stunning view below, it provides the perfect setting for a productive retreat.

Pinpointing the exact location of this viewpoint in Gimmelwald can be a bit tricky. However, you can always rely on Google Maps for accuracy. Just input these coordinates: 46.54486, 7.8885, and you’ll be guided to the right spot.

Here’s the official website of Gimmelwald if you want to learn more about the activities and attractions in the village.

Details: Isenfluh
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Peaceful countryside view in Isenfluh
Peaceful countryside view in Isenfluh

Isenfluh, located in the northern Lauterbrunnen Valley, serves as a counterpart to the village of Gimmelwald. Like the previously mentioned villages, it’s perched on a sunny terrace with a sweeping view of the valley below. The unique aspect of Isenfluh is that it’s accessible by car.

If you’re want a great view of Wengen, Isenfluh is the ideal destination. However, to fully appreciate the view, you’ll need to take a cable car ride to Sulwald from Isenfluh.

During the summer, Sulwald transforms into a picturesque alpine pasture dotted with flowers. To explore the hamlet and discover various viewpoints in it, you can rent monster scooters in Isenfluh. This unique experience, exclusive to Isenfluh within the Lauterbrunnen valley, is sure to be a hit with kids.

Have a look at what views you can enjoy while riding on a monster scooter in Isenfluh:

Learn more about Isenfluh from its official website.

4. Because You’ll Love Lauterbrunnen’s Idyllic Countryside Vibes.

If city life has left you yearning for a change, Lauterbrunnen, with its idyllic countryside vibes, could be your sanctuary. The rustic landscapes serve as an antidote to the weariness of urban living. The authentic mountain life offers a fresh perspective on the beauty of simplicity.

Enhance your Swiss countryside experience by hiking through the alpine meadows. You might even encounter farmers going about their daily routines, allowing you to immerse yourself in the slow-paced countryside life.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, A local moving the cows in Lauterbrunnen.
A local moving the cows in Lauterbrunnen.

For a genuine countryside experience, consider a visit to Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen’s least touristy village. Here, you can savor the unique charm of the Swiss countryside. The village is home to a few restaurants where you can sample Schwarz Monch Schwarzbier, an award-winning beer that adds to the uniqueness of your visit.

Shopping in Gimmelwald offers a distinctive experience. The village has an honesty shop where you can purchase souvenirs. There’s no cashier; you simply pay on your own into the shop’s payment box. This gives you a glimpse of how life in the mountains can be refreshingly different.

If you’re seeking adventure in Gimmelwald, consider hiking the Tanzbödeli Loop. One of the highlights of this trail is Berghotel Obersteinberg, arguably the most rustic accommodation in all of Lauterbrunnen. This mountain hut exemplifies Swiss countryside lodging.

Here, you can enjoy local specialties made from ingredients sourced directly from the working dairy farm. These goods are transported by mules, adding to the authenticity of the experience. Dining by candlelight and gas lamps inside the hotel makes the experience even more memorable.

5. Because of The Scenic Hikes in Lauterbrunnen.

While I’m sure that the trails in Lauterbrunnen may not be the ideal fit for everyone, they hold a unique appeal enough to be a reason to visit Lauterbrunnen. The distinct landscape of Lauterbrunnen, coupled with its location on the west of the Jungfrau massif, lends a unique character to these trails. These also give visitors of Lauterbrunnen an undoubtedly breathtaking and unique hiking experiences.

Cattle in Lauterbrunnen valley
Sceneries from the hikes in Lauterbrunnen

In my view, there are four hiking trails in Lauterbrunnen that provide a unique and memorable hiking experience.

The first trail offers a view that is unmatched in Switzerland. The second trail presents the best view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The third trail includes a picturesque lake that is a hidden gem. The fourth trail allows you to enjoy a 360-degree view of the entire Jungfrau Region.

We will discuss these trails in more detail in the sections below.

Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg Hike
1 hour and 45 minutes | 6.5 km or 4 mi
Meadows of Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland
Meadows in between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen

The Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg route offers the most relaxed hiking experience in Lauterbrunnen. As you journey along this route, you’ll encounter lush meadows adorned with flowers, a minimum of 10 stunning waterfalls, and captivating views of the Swiss countryside.

The hiking trail from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg features a variety of path surfaces, including sections that are unpaved, paved, and covered in gravel. A significant portion of this route runs alongside the Weisse Lutschine river, providing a calming soundtrack of flowing water. The nice thing about this trail is its gentle terrain, with almost no noticeable incline, ensuring a relaxing hike.

To give you a better idea of what to expect, I’ve used Komoot to create a summary of the specifications for the Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg hike.

Lake Grauseewli Loop from Murren
1 hour and 15 minutes | 3.16 kilometers or 2 mi
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, View of Grauseewli, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau
Reflection of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau in Grauseewli

Situated between Birg and Schilthorn, Lake Grauseewli is renowned for its reflective surface that mirrors the Jungfrau massif. This scenic and enchanting spot is one of the many reasons to visit Lauterbrunnen.

There are several ways to reach Lake Grauseewli and enjoy its captivating view alongside the ice-capped Jungfrau. One option is to embark on a long, challenging hike from Murren, which will take approximately three hours to complete. Alternatively, there is a lengthier route from Gimmelwald.

For a more relaxed journey, consider taking a cable car from Murren to Birg. From Birg, you can commence the short loop hike to Lake Grauseewli. This hike should last about an hour and a half, assuming you take some time to unwind near the lake.

The Lake Grauseewli Loop trail primarily consists of gravel and alpine surfaces. While there isn’t much change in elevation along this trail, the path does become steep when descending to the lake. The map and specifications for the Lake Grauseewli Loop trail are as follows:

Lake Grauseewli is frozen during the winter and early spring.

Gimmelwald to Stechelberg via Tanzbödeli
6 hours | 14.3 kilometers or 9 miles

Tanzbödeli, located at the southern end of the Lauterbrunnen valley, offers a unique vantage point. From here, you can see almost all the villages of Lauterbrunnen in one view, including Gimmelwald, Murren, Stechelberg, Lauterbrunnen, and even Wengen.

The view becomes even more impressive with the expansive scenery that extends from Schilthorn to Birg and the Jungfrau massif. If you’re looking for a comprehensive view of the entire Lauterbrunnen valley, Tanzbödeli is the place to be. The sights you’ll encounter here are priceless and unlike any other.

However, only those who are dedicated and willing to hike for extended periods on steeper routes will be able to fully appreciate it. Most people who want to enjoy this view typically start their hike from Gimmelwald. From there, hikers descend to the Sefinen valley and then ascend to a high grassy plateau known as Tanzbödeli.

After taking in the epic view at Tanzbödeli, they descend back to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, ending their journey in Stechelberg. The hiking trails in Tanzbödeli are scenic, serene, and rustic. You’ll pass several waterfalls, quaint mountain cabins, and a dense pine forest.

One of the most notable landmarks along the Tanzbödeli hiking trail is Obersteinberg, a hotel dating back to 1880. It offers views of the 300-meter Schmadribachfall and several nearby glacial cirques. Inside Obersteinberg, you can enjoy alpine cuisine in a dining hall lit by kerosene lamps and candles.

The map and a summary of the specifications for the Gimmelwald to Stechelberg via Tanzbödeli trail are as follows:

Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg via Mannlichen + Fallbodensee
5 hours | 12 kilometers or 7.6 miles
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, View from Mannlichen
View in Mannlichen

Lauterbrunnen draws people from all over the world, and one of the main attractions is the legendary north face of Eiger. Known for its challenging climbs, Eiger’s spectacular triangular wall-like face is a magnet for mountaineering enthusiasts and those seeking awe-inspiring experiences.

If Eiger is on your bucket list, you can take a cable car ride to Wengen and then another ride to Kleine Scheidegg. Once you reach Kleine Scheidegg, you’ll be greeted by the impressive rock wall of Eiger right in front of you.

For those not in a hurry and looking to save money, hiking is a great alternative. Hiking not only offers health benefits, but it also allows you to discover hidden gems along the trails between Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg. These gems are the unforgettable views you’ll encounter along the hike.

There are several hiking trails you can use to reach Kleine Scheidegg from Wengen. Be sure to include Mannlichen as one of your stops along the way.

Mannlichen is a highlight of the hike from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. This spot offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Bernese Oberland. On a sunny day in Mannlichen, you can see as far as Lake Thun and Interlaken to the northwest, Grindelwald to the east, and the entire Lauterbrunnen to the southwest.

However, the hike between Mannlichen and Wengen can be quite challenging. It involves a continuous uphill climb, with some sections having a steep 37% incline. This might not be suitable for everyone. To bypass this, you can simply take a cable car from Wengen to Mannlichen. The route from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is relatively flat, with inclines no greater than 12%.

Starting from Mannlichen, anyone can reach the face of Eiger in Kleine Scheidegg without exerting too much effort.

Learn more from the official website of Mannlichen.

6. Because Lauterbrunnen Offers One of Switzerland’s Best Train Rides.

Switzerland is home to a variety of picturesque train routes. Yet, the one originating from Lauterbrunnen stands out as truly exceptional — the Jungfrau Railway. Its valley station is located in Klein Scheidegg (that’s still within the commune of Lauterbrunnen), and it is there that your journey on one of Switzerland’s most remarkable train rides begins.

To me, the Jungfrau Railway is a marvel of engineering. It’s a mountain rack railway that takes you from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, making it the highest railway line in all of Europe!

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Jungfraujoch train

Imagine this: you’re traveling 9 kilometers from Kleine Scheidegg, which is already 2,061 meters above sea level, to the Jungfraujoch which is another attraction in Lauterbrunnen situated at a staggering 3,454 meters above sea level.

As you embark on your journey in the Jungfrau Railway, you’ll witness the transformation of the mountain landscape. You’ll start amidst lush green meadows, dotted with cows and crisscrossed by winding hiking trails. As you ascend, the scenery undergoes a dramatic change. You’ll cross the snow line and enter a world of ice, snow, and rock.

I can’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of the Swiss engineers who constructed this railway. The feat of digging tunnels at such high elevations is nothing short of incredible. It’s a testament to their skill and determination.

Discover: How much does a roundtrip train ride on the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch cost

7. Because Jungfraujoch is in Lauterbrunnen.

Lauterbrunnen is a remarkable destination, with another equally impressive tourist attraction nestled within it: Jungfraujoch.

Jungfraujoch is considered the crown jewel of the Jungfrau Region. Here, you’ll find the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch Glacier. It is an unforgettable sight that you can spot from Sphinx Observatory, which, impressively, is one of the highest observatories in Europe.

For those of us who don’t often encounter ice and snow, Jungfraujoch offers a truly unique experience. The opportunity to walk inside a glacier sets it apart. This isn’t an adventure you’ll come across just anywhere.

Sphinx Observatory
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Sphinx Observatory

Perched high above the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, the Sphinx Observatory stands as a testament to human curiosity and ingenuity. It’s the second highest observatory in the country; a hub of scientific activity. It houses a 76 cm telescope and laboratories dedicated to the study of astronomical and meteorological phenomena. 

At an elevation of 3,571 meters, or 11,716 feet, it’s among the highest observatories in the world. While the inner workings of the observatory are reserved for scientists, visitors are welcome to experience the viewing deck. From here, you can take in the impressive panorama of the snowy landscape of the Jungfraujoch. 

Aletsch Glacier
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Aletsch Glacier view from Jungfraujoch
View of Aletsch Glacier from Sphinx Observatory

The Jungfraujoch offers a unique vantage point (Sphinx Observatory) over the Aletsch Glacier, the highlight of the Jungfrau Region. This glacier, the largest in the Alps, extends over an impressive 23 kilometers. It forms one of the most important parts of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Protected Area, a UNESCO World Heritage status.

Note: the view from the Sphinx Observatory only captures the glacier’s highest point.

For a different perspective, consider a trip to Bettmeralp. This charming village, nestled in the Swiss Alps above the Rhone Valley, offers a different view of the Aletsch Glacier. From the village, cable cars ascend to a viewpoint where you can appreciate the glacier’s full, winding path through the mountains.

Ice Palace
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Jungfraujoch Ice Palace
Ice sculptures in Ice Palace in Jungfraujoch

There are only a few places in the world where you can step inside a glacier and admire the ancient ice up close. Zermatt, home to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, is one such place. Another is Chamonix, where you can explore the Mer de Glace. Lauterbrunnen, with its Ice Palace in Jungfraujoch, is yet another.

When you enter the Ice Palace, you find yourself 30 meters beneath Europe’s longest glacier. As you navigate the icy corridors, you encounter beautiful ice sculptures created by skilled artists. These sculptures, ranging from eagles to penguins to bears, appear as if they have been suspended in time.

The collection of ice sculptures in the gallery undergoes changes with each season or annually.

8. Because Lauterbrunnen is Straight Out of a Movie.

Lauterbrunnen, with its breathtaking sights and experiences, has long been a favorite among filmmakers. This was especially true during the 1960s and 1970s, before the advent of computer-generated graphics. One notable film that showcased Lauterbrunnen is the 1969 James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Now, you might be wondering which part of Lauterbrunnen was featured in this movie. It wasn’t Jungfraujoch, but Piz Gloria!

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, Piz Gloria
Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau and Schilthorn (Piz Gloria)

Piz Gloria is a revolving panoramic restaurant situated atop Schilthorn. This unique restaurant, perched on the mountain’s peak, rotates a full 360 degrees within 45 minutes, offering diners stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

An engineering marvel in its own right, Piz Gloria could alone be the reason to visit Lauterbrunnen. The restaurant, located on a mountain that stands 2,970 meters high, lets you enjoy an unmatched view of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.

On certain days, clouds gather just below the restaurant, transforming the mountain peaks into islands amidst a sea of clouds. It’s an incredible spectacle that can only be experienced in the mountains.

Visiting Piz Gloria is straightforward. Simply head to Murren and take a cable car to Schilthorn. However, it’s always a good idea to check the live camera broadcast before you go. This way, you can ensure clear skies and a worthwhile trip to the revolving restaurant.

Here’s how you can visit Schilthorn/Piz Gloria:

9. Because Outdoor Fun Never Ends in Lauterbrunnen.

It may take two or three days to fully explore the highlights of Lauterbrunnen, but the area offers just much more. A visit to Lauterbrunnen is always rewarding, thanks to a variety of outdoor activities that can make your trip memorable.

These activities range from Monster-Trottibike exploration and family-friendly hiking trails to adrenaline-filled adventures like Via-Ferrata. Some experiences, like the Brig Thrill Walk, are free. Others may be more costly but are sure to fulfill an item on your bucket list.

If you’re committed to making your trip to Lauterbrunnen unforgettable, consider flying over the region. Tandem-paragliding, sky diving, or a helicopter ride offer unique perspectives of Lauterbrunnen and the Jungfrau Region. These experiences provide views that few have the opportunity to see.

After participating in these activities, you’ll undoubtedly have a wealth of travel stories to share with your friends and family!

10. Because of Lauterbrunnen’s Heaven on Earth Scenery.

While traveling and fully experiencing Lauterbrunnen (or Switzerland in general) can require a significant budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll empty your wallet when you visit Lauterbrunnen. In fact, I believe Lauterbrunnen is one of the most affordable places to explore in the Jungfrau Region.

The key is to visit its viewpoints. The breathtaking, heaven-on-earth scenery you can take in from these locations can make your trip feel fulfilling.

Wengwald, a stunning viewpoint of Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
Wengwald — a stunning viewpoint of Lauterbrunnen Valley

There’s no need for expensive entry tickets or reservations. All you need to do is hop on a train or ride a cable car. A short hike might be required, but once you reach your destination, the views will be worth it.

If you’re seeking the most awe-inspiring views of Lauterbrunnen, look no further than Wengen and its surroundings. Wengen, situated atop a cliff, offers an unobstructed panorama of the Lauterbrunnen valley. For an even better perspective, including a view of Wengen’s quaint houses and chalets, head to the Evangelical Church of Wengen.

For a different perspective that highlights the unique trough shape of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, make your way to Wengwald. This small settlement, located north of Lauterbrunnen, is the starting point for a hike to a viewpoint known as Mönchsblick. Here, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views of Lauterbrunnen.

Reaching Wengwald from Lauterbrunnen is straightforward, thanks to its own train station on the funicular railway between Lauterbrunnen and Wengen.

Sunrise view of Lauterbrunnen from Mönchsblick, Switzerland
Sunrise view of Lauterbrunnen from Mönchsblick

Aside From Lauterbrunnen, Also Visit These…

Lauterbrunnen is undoubtedly a destination worth visiting. A single glance at its pictures is enough to ignite your wanderlust. Yet, Lauterbrunnen is not the only place in Switzerland, or the Alps for that matter, that offers heavenly scenery.

If you’re interested in exploring stunning locations outside the Jungfrau Region, consider Zermatt and Lucerne (one of the cities nestled near the Alps). They are not only home to some of the country’s most beautiful and iconic mountains, but also boast historical attractions that add an element of excitement to your travels.

Beyond Switzerland, the Bavarian Alps in Germany are a sight to behold. Here, you’ll find Neuschwanstein Castle, a structure that looks as if it’s been plucked straight from a fairy tale. In Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a must-visit, especially for landscape photographers. This town, surrounded by spectacular dolomite peaks, offers views that are nothing short of breathtaking.

Anyway, if you want to explore Lauterbrunnen and its neighboring attractions, you can kickstart your planning with my Jungfrau Region itinerary. It’s ideal for a 1 to 7-day trip in the area.

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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

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  1. Extremely detailed with map coordinates and photos. Thanks a lot and it helped me a lot in the planning.

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