Lauterbrunnen is magical: green fields, cliffs dotted with waterfalls and snow capped mountains rising in the distance. We arrived in Lauterbrunnen on a rainy Easter Sunday night, but by the next day the weather had cleared enough for us to enjoy a trip up into the mountains.
Lauterbrunnen is a small, picturesque town easily accessible by train. Many people only pass through Lauterbrunnen. However, after seeing pictures the town with its backdrop of Staubbach Falls, I knew I wanted to stay here. The falls are beautiful backdrop both day and night.
Journey to Schilthorn
With limited time, We chose to go to Schilthorn because it can be visited in half a day. This worked out perfectly. The morning was clear, but by the time we were ready to leave in the early afternoon, clouds had already rolled in. In addition, it gave us time to spend the second half of the day in Lauterbrunnen valley.
From Lauterbrunnen, Schilthorn can be reached by one of two routes. We took the cable car directly across from Lauterbrunnen train station up to Grutschalp, followed by a small train over to the mountain village of Murren. We walked through Murren to get to the final cable car station. In April, snow still covered the village.
Once on Schilthorn, we were literally above the clouds with views of three famous alpine peaks: the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau. Besides its views, Schilthorn has a place in movie history. The James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” featured Schilthorn as the fictional mountain peak Piz Gloria. The building that sits at its top houses a revolving restaurant and James Bond exhibit. If you want to laugh, the exhibit has an interactive feature that lets you put your face into a still of one of the movie’s scenes.
Lauterbrunnen Valley and Trummelbach Falls
From Schilthorn we took a cable car down to Stechelberg at the far end of the valley and walked to Trummelbach Falls. Trummelbach Falls is a series of waterfalls flowing through a series of caves inside a mountain. They are accessible through a series of stairs and walkways.
This map shows you the various cable cars, cogwheel trains and bus routes that go through Lauterbrunnen valley and up to the mountains above. We had a Swiss Pass which includes free transportation up to the cable car at Murren. From there, the fare to Schilthorn is half-price. Mountain of the mountain peaks have live cams that allow you to check the weather conditions before you go.
We only spent one night there, but we enjoyed our stay at Valley Hostel. We stayed in a private room, but they also offered dorms. Unlike at some other hostels, they provide bed linens and towels. Plus there was a nice view of Staubach Falls from the small patio attached to our room.
When we arrived in Lauterbrunnen, Hotel Hornerpub, was one of the few places still open. Our food was decent, but they also had tasty local beers and a warm, cozy atmosphere on a cool, rainy night.
Restaurant Piz Gloria is a rotating restaurant atop the Schilthorn summit. We opted to splurge for their brunch menu. It is a little pricey at CHF 33 per person, but they offer a big selection and they didn’t rush us. We slowly rotated around, until clouds eventually rolled in obscuring the view.