Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by the Swiss Alps, this breathtaking town should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
On a recent trip to Europe we wanted to visit a couple of places that weren’t the typical tourist destinations. We reached out to some friends who had lived in Europe for work and asked them for recommendations. One of them said their favorite place in all of Europe was Lauterbrunnen.
After seeing a couple of pictures of the area, I knew we had to go. Fortunately, it was relatively close to where we were already planning to go, so we added it to the itinerary. If you are ever going to be near Switzerland, you have to add Lauterbrunnen to your schedule. It is absolutely incredible!
While most of Western Europe uses the Euro, Switzerland has its own currency called the Swiss Franc. If you have a stash of Euros in your pocket, it’s possible that some stores will take them but I wouldn’t count on it. I would strongly recommend carrying a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. A couple of my favorite cards for international travel are the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you need access to cash while you’re traveling abroad, I would also recommend opening a SoFi Money account. The account is free and it allows you to use ATMs around the globe for a nominal fee. This way you can avoid the high fees and risks of withdrawing a large amount of foreign currency from your local bank before you leave.
How To Get To Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is roughly located in the center of Switzerland, near the city of Interlaken. You can take a train from most major cities to Bern and then transfer to the train to Interlaken. From Interlaken, you’ll have to transfer one more time and take a 15 minute ride to the Lauterbrunnen station.
The last couple of times we’ve been to Europe, we’ve traveled by train extensively. Both times, it was more economical to buy tickets a la carte instead of purchasing a rail pass. This time we were coming from Milan, so it took a little planning but it was easy to figure out. I used Rail Europe to research the train schedules and ticket cost for each of our trips. It’s really easy to use and you can buy both rail passes and individual tickets as well.
Where To Stay
There are several accommodations to choose from when you visit Lauterbrunnen. They have independent hotels, hostels and even a campground. If you’re looking to redeem points for a free night, your options are limited. You’ll need to use a card, like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card, that lets you redeem your points at a fixed rate for travel purchases. While I prefer to redeem them in other ways, you can also use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you book a room through their travel portal.
Murren – I would highly recommend staying at least one night up on the ridge in Murren. It’s a little town that’s only accessible by a cable car. Riding a cable car is a unique experience and the views on the ride up are amazing. Once you get to the top, you’ll take a small train ride over to the town.
We stayed at the Hotel Alpenruh and couldn’t have been happier. No matter where you stay, pay the higher rate for a room facing the mountains. It’s absolutely worth it! There’s also a little convenience store in Murren in case you forgot something or if you need a little snack. For dinner, I would recommend eating at the Hotel Blumental. The dining room is super charming and the steak was one of the best I have ever had!
Things To Do In Lauterbrunnen
Trummelbach Falls – Lauterbrunnen is littered with beautiful waterfalls but the most impressive is Trummelbach Falls. There’s a moderate hike up but you’ll be able to see the falls from different angels and each one is spectacular.
Schilthorn – From Murren, you can continue up to the top of mountain on another cable car to Schilthorn. If you’re a James Bond fan, this is where they filmed some of the movie Her Majesties Secret Service. From the (almost) 10,000 foot summit you can enjoy picture-perfect views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the surrounding area.
Go For A Hike – Lauterbrunnen is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There is so much natural beauty that you should be out of your hotel room the entire day. There are several hikes you can take in the area for all ability levels. Regardless of who you are, get out and enjoy the scenery and the fresh mountain air.
Paragliding – If you’re looking for a more adventurous activity, you should definitely try paragliding. From our hotel in Murren we could see paragliders launch over the edge of the cliff and float weightlessly around. You will fly in tandem with an experienced pilot for around 30 minutes until you reach the valley floor. By all accounts, this is a must-do when visiting.
Lauterbrunnen is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. With gorgeous waterfalls and majestic mountains, there’s no place like it on earth. If you’re even remotely close, you have to find a way to get there. It is more than worth the time and effort it takes to get there. Have you ever been? Leave us a comment below and let us know what did you love most about your visit?