Lauterbrunnen is a picturesque village located in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Europe that offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys. In this travel guide, we will share an epic Zurich to Lauterbrunnen day trip itinerary to see all the highlights with ease.
This stunning destination has something to offer for everyone, from adventurous hikers to couples looking for a romantic getaway. We have included travel tips as well as accommodation and transportation insights below!
Zurich to Lauterbrunnen Day Trip Itinerary
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Lauterbrunnen is an idyllic village located in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. It lies at an altitude of 2631.23 ft (802 m) in the foothills of the Swiss Alps.
The town is surrounded by awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks, lush green valleys, and of course the breathtaking 72 waterfalls that give it its nickname “The Valley of Waterfalls”.
It is only a few kilometers away from Interlaken, one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Switzerland.
How to get from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
There are many different ways to get to Lauterbrunnen from Zurich from cars, and trains, to guided tours. We will cover all the options below,
The driving distance between the two destinations is 129.2 km (80.28) via A8.
Trains from Zurich HB to Lauterbrunnen | SBB trains from Zurich HB to Lauterbrunnen
One of the common and popular ways to reach Lauterbrunnen from Zurich is by taking the train.
We highly recommend getting the Swiss Travel Pass for the duration of your trip so that you don’t have to pay for each ride.
The Swiss Travel Pass includes unlimited train, tram, and bus rides, plus it also allows access to up to 500 museums across the country. Without the Pass, train ticket prices (fastest route one way) will be around $90+ USD.
SWISS TRAVEL PASS
Get unlimited rides on trains, trams, buses, and boats throughout Switzerland with an all-in-one Swiss Travel Pass!
Buy it online, show your e-ticket on your phone, and start your Swiss Adventure with ease and stay on budget!
The train services are operated by Swiss Railways such as SBB, CFF, FFS, and Berner Oberland-Bahnen.
Trains will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes, one way. The earliest train leaves right after midnight, so you can definitely leave early morning to make the most of your day trip to Lauterbrunnen.
Although there are no direct trains it is one of the most amazing routes to do in Switzerland – the scenery is just so pretty and scenic!
You will start in Zurich Hauptbahn and take the train towards Interlaken and change trains here to get to Lauterbrunnen.
Zurich HB > Interlaken OST > Lauterbrunnen
Depending on the trains available that day you might have to make another change on this way. You can take a train via Bern, which might be cheaper but slightly longer.
Zurich HB > Bern > Interlaken OST > Lauterbrunnen
Don’t forget to get your Swiss Travel Pass to save money on public transportation.
No, there are no direct trains from Zurich HB to Lauterbrunnen. Trains will require a minimum of one change (typically in Interlaken OST) and then continue on to Lauterbrunnen.
The train distance from Zurich HB and Lauterbrunnen is 159.32 km (99 miles). It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the village, one way.
Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg Mountain Railway ride
Here are some extra travel tips when taking the train. Once you reach Lauterbrunnen the main village and its attractions are just a short walk away.
From the Lauterbrunnen railway station, you can travel further up – to Kleine Scheidegg via the Wengernalp Railway service. It takes about 38-40 minutes to get there.
Kleine Scheidegg is a mountain pass located at an elevation of 6761.811 ft (2,061 m), between the Eiger and Lauberhorn peaks.
With your Swiss Travel Pass, you can travel to Wengen which is the next stop from Lauterbrunnen. But stops after that – like Allmend and up to Kleine Scheidegg are at an additional fee.
You do have some discounts with the Swiss Travel Pass, but the train tickets are not completely free.
To get there for free, there is another handy transport pass called the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass – which is valid throughout the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. This is not necessary if your trip ends in Lauterbrunnen and Wengen.
Lauterbrunnen Murren Mountain Railway ride
Mürren is a railway station and a cable car-train combo that connects in Lauterbrunnen. The cable car rides for about 4 minutes, and the railway section takes about 12 minutes (Grütschalp to Mürren).
Zurich to Lauterbrunnen by Bus
You can also travel to Lauterbrunnen from Zurich by bus. Buses use a similar route and require one change in Interlaken. This route is a mix of bus and train rides. So it will be
Zurich / Kloten (bus) > Interlaken (train) > Lauterbrunnen
You will take the bus from Kloten and get down to Interlaken OST.
From here the route to Lauterbrunnen is the same as the train ride. You have to take the train at this station to get to Lauterbrunnen.
The bus journey takes less than 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the train transfer is about 20 minutes.
The Swiss Travel Pass will include this trip (bus and train). Without the Swiss Travel Pass, tickets cost $60+ USD one way.
Zurich to Lauterbrunnen by Car
Traveling from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen by car is an enjoyable experience if you are planning to rent a car or have access to a vehicle.
The route is narrow and has tricky turns but the journey is scenic. You can drive through rolling hills and alongside the breathtaking Aare River via Bern, with plenty of opportunities to stop along the way for picturesque views or a quick break.
Or through the mountains via Lucerne, which is slightly faster.
The journey typically takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, without stopping.
Once you park the vehicle in Lauterbrunnen you will be either walking or biking (or taking the train to Kleine Scheidegg).
After a day spent exploring this exciting destination, hop back in your car for an easy drive back to Zurich.
Private car transfer from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen
The driving distance between the two destinations is 129.2 km (80.28) via A8.
Private transfers exist in the form of taxis and they will cost 420+ euros per vehicle – one way.
Best Lauterbrunnen Tours
There are no guided tours from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen, but you can book some mountain excursions in the area. Such as the Mount Eiger Train Day Trip via Kleine Scheidegg Pass from Zurich.
This excursion takes you to Bernese Oberland by bus and then includes a cogwheel train ride, taking you past three breathtaking peaks – Mt. Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau- as you make your way up to Kleine Scheidegg pass.
The entire tour takes over 11 hours, with sightseeing stops in the village of Grindelwald and Interlaken. Find out more information about this experience
One day in Lauterbrunnen: Day trip itinerary
Here is an overview of how you can make the most of your one day in Lauterbrunnen,
Arrive and explore the village of Lauterbrunnen
As soon as you disembark from the train, take the time to wander through the village of Lauterbrunnen.
Check off the pretty church, and gardens located nearby and take in the views of the mountains in front and around you!
See the Staubbach Falls up close
Walk to the Staubbach Falls viewing area, go on a hike, take photos, and enjoy the gorgeous views.
Go on a hike
Go on a hike or rent a bike at the Imboden Bikes and explore the valley.
You can also hike to various alpine villages such as Wengen (which is the next stop on the railway route).
Stop for lunch at a cage and eat Swiss food or any comfort food
In Wengen (or even in Lauterbrunnen village) you will find cute cafes where you can sit down, grab a bite to eat and pretty much take in the lovely alpine scenery.
Visit Jungfraujoch: Top Of Europe
Continue on to Kleine Schneigg and then to Jungfrau for the remainder of the day. Ride the highest railways in Switzerland and check off the Top of Europe!
Spend 3+ hours here, and then return to Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken to stay overnight. Or continue the train journey to Zurich.
Now, we will share all the epic things that you can do and see in Lauterbrunnen
Things to do in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen is known as “The Valley of Waterfalls”, due to the 72 thundering cascades that fill the air with their majestic beauty.
The unique geography and ideal climate create a paradise for nature lovers who come here to enjoy the best of Alpine life.
But there are more things that you can enjoy here. Let’s take a look,
1) Visit the Staubbach Falls
Staubbach Falls is the showstopper in the village of Lauterbrunnen – this is the waterfall that you see in most Instagrammable photos!
It is the third-highest waterfall in Switzerland and the largest free-falling waterfall in Europe!
The waterfall drops 974 feet (297 metres) from a valley and is surrounded by scenic alpine scenery.
The falls are easily seen as soon as you arrive at the Lauterbrunnen railway station.
From the Lauterbrunnen station, it is merely a 12-minute walk. You will find an informative exhibit and a marked walkway – which you can hike to get up close to the waterfalls.
It is completely free to view and visit the Staubbach Falls.
Read: Switzerland bucket list
2) Visit the Trummelbach Falls
The Trümmelbach Falls are a series of ten waterfalls that are located inside a mountain and is made accessible by a tunnel-funicular.
This makes the falls one of the only accessible underground waterfalls in Europe.
The tunnel lift was built in 1913 and is open seasonally from April to November. There is an entry fee at the Falls, and it is 14 CHF per adult.
There are 10 viewpoints from where you can soak in the views of the waterfalls.
The Trümmelbach Falls are designated a UNESCO world natural heritage.
To get to Trümmelbach Falls, you have to bike or drive 3 km (1.8 miles) after passing through Lauterbrunnen. Or hop on an 8-minute bus ride.
3) Wander the village of Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is a classic postcard view of Switzerland – there are jaw-dropping views of the Swiss Alps, the greenery, charming houses in the mountains, cute cows, and train riding along.
When in Lauterbrunnen take the time to wander, walk around, take photos, and just enjoy the view.
Everything is simply gorgeous and a view to behold!
4) Stop at the Lauterbrunnen Church
Located in the heart of Lauterbrunnen is the Church of Lauterbrunnen. It is beautiful against the backdrop of the Staubbach Falls and the mountains.
Right outside the church is a garden, and viewing area along with a sundial and the surrounding yards and graveyard.
5) Take a cable car ride to Alpine villages
For stunning views, take a ride on one of the cable cars that take you across the Lauterbrunnen valley.
Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the village and surrounding mountains by embarking on day trips to the Jungfrau region from Lauterbrunnen.
From Lauterbrunnen, you can take the bus to get to Stechelberg and then a cable car ride to Schilthorn.
Once in Stechelberg, you can ride a series of cable cars to Schilthorn (the journey time takes about 50 minutes).
The main reasons to visit Schilthorn are to take in panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, dine at Piz Gloria (the restaurant of James Bond fame), and walk the Birg Thrill Walk.
At 2,960 meters of altitude, you have the best views of the ‘Big 3’, which are Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau via cable car ride. Piz Gloria is a revolving restaurant at the summit which is known for the James Bond movie – “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.
Another option is to take the cable ride to Mürren which is also amazing. From Lauterbrunnen, you can take a cable car to Grütschalp/Mürren. You can kickstart a hike at the Grütschalp station.
6) Check off Top Of Europe – Jungfrauroch
When in Lauterbrunnen a visit to the Sphinx Observatory, an astronomical observatory is a must. It was built in 1937.
The observatory is known to be the highest-altitude structure in Europe. It is also the second-highest observation deck in Switzerland.
You can get to the top using an elevator from the Jungfraujoch railway station, which is also the highest railway station in Europe.
You can get to Jungfrau from Lauterbrunnen train station (Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg, get down here for Jungfrau to continue the journey to Top Of Europe).
Although the observatory is closed to the public, you have access to the observation deck for views. There are entry fees to get there (by train) and then to the viewing platform.
7) Explore the village of Wengen
The charming village of Wengen sits at a higher elevation than Lauterbrunnen. It is the next stop on the Lauterbrunnen train route.
To get to Wengen, you can either take the train (included in the Swiss Travel Pass) or hike.
With beautiful views, restaurants, shops, and more, this village is perfect for exploring on foot. In fact, this is a little car-free village that offers some of the best panoramic views of Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Wengen is also a popular place to stay overnight in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
9) Explore the village of Murren
Just like Wengen, Murren is situated high above Lauterbrunnen Valley and offers stunning panoramic views of the Swiss Alps below.
The best way to get to Murren is by train or cableway (and it is a car-free village).
9) Go on a hike
The region surrounding Lauterbrunnen is full of amazing views and trails. Whether you’re an enthusiastic hiker or a casual stroller, the region has you covered!
You can get on the 3.5 km (2.2 miles) scenic trail to Trümmelbach Falls, or embark on the easy Murren Trail soaking in the idyllic alpine village views.
In most hikes to and from villages, you will encounter charming houses/inns, mountain views, happy cows, and brightly colored trains riding on the mountain way up and down.
Truly, these hikes will leave you in awe of how beautiful this part of the world is! A nature’s fairytale of sorts!
10) Enjoy local cuisine
With plenty of restaurants and cafes in town, there’s something for everyone when it comes to food. Try traditional Swiss dishes such as fondue, rösti, and raclette.
Or if you’re looking for something more international, there are plenty of options too.
Where to stay in Lauterbrunnen
There is limited accommodation in the village of Lauterbrunnen, but you will be spoilt for choices in the nearby areas. Keep in mind that during peak seasons hotels and lodges get filled up very quickly.
Make your plans and book your accommodation before it gets expensive! We will share our top recommendations below,
- Hotel Silberhorn: Stay at the stylish Hotel Silberhorn with wonderful mountain view rooms and balconies. They offer free parking, and family rooms and also have a restaurant and bar on-site. Rooms ooze a very cozy vibe with wooden furniture and decor. Check photos with a view of the Staubbach falls from the suite
- Hotel Oberland: Great location, Hotel Oberland also offers free breakfast to its guests. Plus you will find suites for large groups, and couples including many with balconies to soak in those epic alpine views! You can park at the hotel for a fee. Book your stay here
- Alpinebase: Located in the village of Lauterbrunnen, this fuss-free hotel provides free parking and spacious rooms to stay in. You are within walking distance of restaurants, hiking trails, and shops! Check availability and prices here
Looking for better deals, search hotels in the Jungfrau region here
Best time to visit Lauterbrunnen from Zürich
Now that we got you all excited about Lauterbrunnen, here is an additional tip to help you plan!
The best time to visit Lauterbrunnen depends on what you’re looking for in your trip – know that Lauterbrunnen is an all-year-round destination.
If you’re hoping for mild temperatures, the spring and fall months are ideal; March to May and September to November provide pleasant weather as well as fewer crowds than peak summer months.
For those seeking only snow and winter sports, December-February is the prime time to visit.
The ski regions of Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg and Mürren-Schilthorn are accessible from Lauterbrunnen, and in the winter you can enjoy winter hiking trails, toboggan runs, and plenty of cross-country ski trails.
The summer months of June to August are warmer and more crowded, but also provide the best access to outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, as well as water sports on Lake Brienz. Paragliding is also popular in Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Whether you choose winter or summer, Lauterbrunnen promises a beautiful picturesque landscape no matter the season.
With a breathtaking mountain backdrop and serene blue lakes, Lauterbrunnen is home to some of Switzerland’s most spectacular natural features that will leave you impressed, and coming back for more!
Remember to get a rail pass to save money such as the Eurail one-country pass or the Swiss Travel Pass.
Ready to travel to Switzerland? Read our guides
- Switzerland itineraries: 2 days in Switzerland | 5 days in Switzerland | 10 days in Switzerland
- Zurich: 2 days in Zurich itinerary | Zurich in a day | Where to stay in Zurich
- One day in Bern | One day in Basel | 3 days in Basel itinerary