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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Farmhouse in Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

ABOVE:A farmhouse in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with a waterfall in the background.

Wengen and Mürren are more famous, Grindelwald hosts more tourists, Gimmelwald attracts more disciples of guidebook guru Rick Steves, and Interlaken offers grander hotels. But for hikers, skiers, and alpine sightseers with limited budgets, Lauterbrunnen has much to offer--including a valley location that makes it a convenient touring base for the Jungfrau Region, especially when traveling by car.

Mountain walls and waterfalls

Lauterbrunnen is tucked into a deep, long valley of rocky cliffs and green pastures. The valley has 72 waterfalls, including the Staubbach Falls and the equally famous Trümmelbach Falls, a series of 10 falls inside a mountain gorge that require a descent by undeground funicular. In Lauterbrunnen itself, the Talmuseum has exhibits on iron mining and other aspects of the valley's history.

Park and ride

Overlooking the valley are two famous alpine resorts: Wengen and Mürren. Both towns are car-free, and motorists are required to park their cars in the valley before ascending to the resorts by cogwheel train or cablecar. (If you're one of those motorists, follow the signs and park in an outdoor lot or garage.)

Once you've parked your car (or, better yet, arrived by train), you can enjoy any number of local excursions--among them, the Schilthorn cable car, which departs from nearby Stechelberg and pauses in Mürren on its way to the mountaintop restaurant that was disguised as a villain's headquarters in the James Bond movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Getting to Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen is south of Interlaken, past Wilderswil and the turnoff for Grindelwald. If you're traveling by train, you can enjoy a circular tour of Interlaken-Grindelwald-Kleine Scheidegg-Wengen-Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken or vice versa. For train connections from any point in Switzerland, see the journey planner on the Swiss Federal Railways Web site.

Web links

Tourist Information:

Lauterbrunnen
The village's official tourist site has information in several languages, including English.

Stechelberg
Head for Stechelberg (just up the valley) to catch the Schilthorn cable car, see the local sights, or stay at the year-round campground.

Hotels:

Hornerpub
The Hotel Hornerpub has 10 inexpensive rooms, all with shared bathrooms.

Jungfrau
An indoor swimming pool in summer, a children's playroom, free coffee and tea, free Wi-Fi, and free parking are among this three-star hotel's amenities.

More Booking.com listings for Lauterbrunnen
Our hotel partner offers guaranteed lowest available rates at two dozen properties in and around the village.

Hostel:

Valley Hostel
Bed and breakfast are cheap by Swiss standards at this chalet-style hostel. Amenities include a shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and a garden.

Transportation:

BLM
A trip on the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Mürren railway starts with a climb to Grütschalp by funicular. You then transfer to the cogwheel railway for the 4.3-km ride to Mürren. See timetable page..

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