One Day in Lauterbrunnen: Mini Itinerary to Maximize a Quick Trip

Nestled within one of the most spectacular valleys of the Bernese Alps, Lauterbrunnen is a must-see destination on any trip to Switzerland.

The towering rock faces that surround the town of Lauterbrunnen hug the valley, making visitors feel like they have entered a hidden oasis. 

Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lauterbrunnen is everything you’d hope a Swiss village would be.

Rustic chalets line the streets, the smell of traditional Swiss food fills the air, and the impressive Staubbach Falls stands tall above it all. 

close up of a flower box in lauterbrunnen town
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something after clicking. Thank you for supporting the free content on this independent site! For more information on affiliate links and cookies, see my disclosure page for more details.

But that’s not the only eye-catching waterfall you’ll see. Far from it, in fact!

The name Lauterbrunnen translates to “many fountains” and once you get there, you’ll see why.

Throughout the valley, 72 waterfalls make their way down from nearly 1,000 foot cliffs, and the snow-covered mountains of the Bernese Alps tower even higher than that. 

Lauterbrunnen is truly a place that you’d think could only ever exist on a postcard. 

With so much beauty to take in, it can be hard to decide what to do first. Luckily, I’m here to help! 

What to Know Before Visiting Lauterbrunnen

The village is small.

the charming town of lauterbrunnen with a wooden house with red window shutters and white ground level

One thing that caught me by surprise is just how small Lauterbrunnen is.

With most of the pictures online focused on its famous falls, you don’t get a good feel for the village itself.

So let me be the first to tell you that it’s smaller than you think it is. You can easily explore the ins and outs of Lauterbrunnen in a day!

It’s a great hub location.

gimmelwalds honesty shop in the swiss jungfrau region

Even though there isn’t a whole lot to fuel a long trip in Lauterbrunnen, it is an incredible hub location.

With so many nearby towns and villages (ex: Murren, Wengen, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald) accessible by cable car and train, you can spend at least a week exploring the region, using Lauterbrunnen as a hub.

Plus, you get to see the epic Staubbach Falls every day!

It’s expensive.

swiss flag on building with mountains in distance

This is true for all of Switzerland but it was still a bit of a shock when I first got there.

Prepare to spend a lot of money on food, drinks, and activities (and I mean a lot).

The average cost of a “cheap” meal is 20 CHF (if you’re lucky) — that’s about $22 USD.

If you’re on a tight budget, put the dreams of buying an extravagant souvenir to bed before you even get there!

Where to Stay in Lauterbrunnen

green grass in front of a little shed full of logs cut up for firewood with flower boxes

With a village as small as Lauterbrunnen, there aren’t many options when it comes to lodging.

But what Lauterbrunnen lacks in abundance, it makes up for in variety. 

So regardless of whether your idea of vacation revolves around luxury or you’re really just looking for a place to rest your head, there’s an option that’s perfect for you. 

Hotel Steinbock: Mid-Range to Budget-Friendly

hotel leading to a balcony with a stunning mountain view capped in snow in lauterbrunnen

This is where I stayed during my visit and it was more than comfortable. In fact, it was probably the comfiest bed I slept on during my month-long trip in Europe and I had stayed at some pretty nice hotels, so that’s a major win. 

Aside from that, you can save even more money by opting for the room with a communal bathroom. Don’t worry, I never saw anyone on my trips to the bathroom. 

Last, but certainly not least, their free breakfast is incredible. Just be sure to get there when it first starts for the fresh, warm bread! 

the town of lauterbrunnen with road and buildings

Hotel Silberhorn: Luxury Option

This is a great option if you don’t mind spending an extra few bucks for an epic view.

The rooms here aren’t cheap, with an average cost of about $500 a night, but the views from your window will have you wondering if you even need to leave the hotel to experience Lauterbrunnen. 

Plus, all of the food here is made to order including breakfast. Unlike other hotels that offer continental breakfast (bread, meats, cheeses), Hotel Silberhorn will serve you up a hot breakfast on command. 

Your One Day in Lauterbrunnen Itinerary

Enjoy breakfast at Flavours Cafe. 

a coffee to go with latte art

This post assumes that you arrive in Lauterbrunnen in the morning, so you don’t have access to your hotel’s free breakfast.

If you checked in yesterday, though, and have breakfast already taken care of, you can skip this section and move onto the next part.

Although there isn’t a large variety of breakfast options in Lauterbrunnen, the few choices that you have are top notch. 

Take Flavours for example. This awesome cafe has everything from a classic sit down breakfast to a grab-and-go pastry selection. 

pastries in switzerland

But regardless of what you’re craving, you’re guaranteed a fresh meal, even if you decide that you simply must have ice cream for breakfast. (Don’t worry. I get it.) 

To make things even better, you won’t pay an arm and leg for it! At least not by Switzerland’s standards. 

It can be a bit shock trying to adjust to the extremely high prices, so you can rest easy knowing that Flavours won’t break the bank.

And don’t even get me started on the coffee!

I can’t tell you how many cappuccinos I’ve had here (sometimes more than once in the same day) and I can assure you that I will be back for more. 

Toss everything you think you know about cappuccinos out the window because the Swiss version is about to put the rest to shame!

P.S. The breakfast burger is incredible, so don’t even think twice about it — get it! 

Get a close-up view of Staubbach Falls.

view of staubbuch falls in lauterbrunnen in the morning beautiful light

One of the first things that you’ll see when you get to Lauterbrunnen is Staubbach Falls. There’s literally no way you can miss it. 

In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably spend a solid five minutes staring in amazement before you even leave the train platform. 

Staubbach Falls is one of the largest free falling waterfalls in Europe and if you couldn’t tell already, it’s the heart of Lauterbrunnen…

… which is saying something because there are more than 70 other waterfalls in this valley!

In most other places you have to put in an effort to see the waterfall, but in Lauterbrunnen, that’s very much not the case.

close up view of the staubbach falls as you approach them

Stunning views of Staubbach Falls will follow you everywhere you go, and I can honestly say that these falls simply don’t have a single bad angle.

However, there’s one angle in particular that I think is the coolest, and that’s the one from behind the falls!

A short 30-minute walk with a bit of elevation gain (380 feet) will take you through a tunnel and to an incredible view of the falls and the valley beyond it. 

Just don’t forget your raincoat because it’s practically guaranteed that you’ll get wet!

And fear not, there is a tourist information “hut” by the falls to help guide you!

Explore the interior of a mountain — yes, really!

interior of trummelbach falls with waterfall churning through the mountain as it pours down

Okay, so, I stumbled upon Trümmelbach Falls by accident but it immediately became my favorite thing to do in Lauterbrunnen.

I was a bit hesitant at first since I was nearing the end of my trip and feeling a bit stingy, but I can assure you that it is worth the money (14 CHF per person to be exact). 

You know how I was saying that Lauterbrunnen is home to more than 70 waterfalls? Well, Trümmelbach Falls is home to no fewer than 10 of them!

As if the sheer quantity wasn’t enough to convince you, I’d be letting you down if I didn’t mention the fact that they are glacial waterfalls that are literally carved inside of a mountain (the only one of its kind in Europe).

Plus, the way that the water has carved its way through the mountain is unreal, and pictures don’t even begin to do it justice. 

This is really a place that you need to see in order to believe. 

view of trummelbach falls with gorgeous water rushing down

The good news is that viewing the falls is relatively easy and a lot of fun!

Take the funicular elevator, which was built into the mountain back in 1913, up to the 7th major waterfall.

This helps to minimize the amount of walking you need to do uphill (3 upper falls) and then take a leisurely hike back down through the mountain to see the rest! 

I can’t emphasize enough how awesome this experience is. You feel like you are in a cave as you walk through tunnels and into open galleries to admire the many falls. 

It’s truly a one of a kind experience!

Take a hike (or catch the cable-car and train) to Mürren. 

the beautiful town of murren in switzerland

Okay, so today might just be a long day of hiking, but who wouldn’t want to spend the day outside when you have nonstop views of the Swiss Alps?

Just remember that as you encounter 2,800 feet of elevation gain in about four miles! 

I can practically see you cringing at the thought of all that climbing, but just hear me out! This trail is amazing. 

Is it torture gaining that much elevation that quickly? Absolutely. 

But the views rising out of the valley are unmatched and you can stop as many times as like on the way up.

There’s no such thing as a bad place to stop, catch your breath, and take in the views, so plan some extra time and you’ll make it to the top! 

Not sold on it? You can opt to take the cable car-train duo for a quicker, more relaxing journey to Mürren. 

You can also choose to take the cable car-train duo up to Mürren and then hike down after lunch to get the best of both worlds. 

Eat lunch in Mürren. 

a potato rosti on a plate in switzerland

You made it to Murren! Now it’s time to celebrate with lunch.

This car-free mountain village is as picturesque as it gets, so the wealth of incredible dining options is just icing on the cake. 

You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants here but my personal favorite is Stägerstübli.

Stägerstübli is located smack dab in the middle of Murren’s main street so you can do a bit of window shopping before (and after) lunch, and everything about it screams traditional Swiss experience. What’s not to love? 

Even better, the Swiss couple who runs the place grew up here! It doesn’t get more authentic than that! 

As an added bonus, when the weather is nice you can sit out on the patio and admire the view of mountains in every direction!

But wherever you sit, make sure you try the Rosti!

It is one of my favorite dishes in Switzerland and Stägerstübli is one of my favorite places to have it. 

Channel your inner adrenaline junkie.

paraglider in the lauterbrunnen valley in front of a waterfall

When you are out and about admiring the beauty of the mountains that surround you, you will notice something: paragliders!

Flying high above the falls and adding some dimension to the millionth photo you’ve taken of the mountains, paragliding is a popular activity in Lauterbrunnen. 

So instead of just staring in amazement, wondering what the views are like from up there, go ahead and join them!

Reserve your tickets ahead of time at Airtime Paragliding back in Lauterbrunnen because you take off right from Mürren.

No experience is needed! Your adventure will be with a tandem pilot so you can just sit back and relax while they do all of the leg work. 

The experience costs 180 CHF per person but for a longer experience you can opt for the 250 CHF package. 

Prepare to check something off your bucket list… Switzerland style! You’ll be talking about this experience for years to come. 

Not an adrenaline junkie? Head back to Lauterbrunnen where you can rent bikes and spend the afternoon cycling through the valley. 

Wander around Lauterbrunnen village. 

flowerbox in lauterbrunnen

Like I was saying earlier, the Lauterbrunnen village is pretty small but there are just enough shops to walk around for an hour or so, and each one has its own unique individual charm. 

You won’t find a line of souvenir shops but rather a collection of Swiss classics like a chocolate shop, an outdoor gear shop, and a shop that sells cuckoo clocks (yes, really!) 

As you make your way to the end of the main street you’ll be hit with a smell of the delicious goodness coming from the donut truck and if you continue on past that you’ll find yourself on pasture land.

Keep walking for a peek at a farm-fresh vending machine! 

farm fresh vending machine in lauterbrunnen

Besides that, there’s also a church with a gorgeous view of Staubbach Falls and the mountains of the Bernese Alps on all sides.

Head to the Kirche Lauterbrunnen on the map in order to see this quaint church!

Kirche Lauterbrunnen in the distance

Have dinner in Lauterbrunnen’s only pub. 

While part of me is making this suggestion because it really is the only pub in Lauterbrunnen, the other part of me is recommending it because it’s awesome. Good enough for ya?

Horner Pub is open every day of the year and they don’t stop serving food until midnight. 

Sit out on the terrace to enjoy a view of Staubbach Falls as you sip a beer and pig out on Älplermagronen (mac & cheese with applesauce).

Alternately, hang by the bar to make some new friends while you munch on some nachos!

Leave a Comment