Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland is the most adorable little ski town.
It’s about 30 minutes up the Alps from Interlaken and is literally one strip. A few ski shops, several hotels, an ice cream shop, one bar and one cafe and that’s about it. In the summer months, Interlaken is crowded with adventure seekers and Lauterbrunnen is a quiet spot to escape the crowds.
I stayed in Lauterbrunnen for three nights after two nights in Interlaken. Days in Lauterbrunnen are spent hiking and exploring the town’s 72 waterfalls. But in my opinion, three nights was a little too long for a town this tiny.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Valley Hostel which was beautiful. It felt like a log cabin or camp. It didn’t have any lock boxes for our stuff which is a major downside for backpackers but the view was amazing. We had a little balcony off our six bed, mixed dorm that we loved sitting out on, drinking wine or just hanging out.
What to Do
We spent our first day checking out some of the waterfalls.
First Stop: Staubbach Falls
Staubbach Falls is by far the most famous in Lauterbrunnen because it is, I believe, the largest. We did a short 10 minute hike up to about halfway (the furthest you can go) to the point where we were almost under the falls. It was an easy hike with great views.
Second Stop: Check Out the BASE Jumpers
Lauterbrunnen is one of the BASE jumping capitals of the world. One of the chefs at the ice cream shop in town asked us to go hiking with him and his friend and watch them jump but we didn’t wake up in time so we weren’t able to see him. But we did see someone floating to the ground after their jump. Sadly, several people have died in the area from BASE jumping.
Third Stop: Trummelbach Falls
Trummelbach Falls is inside of a mountain. They have the bluest water I’ve ever seen. It was crisp, glacier water and absolutely beautiful and so powerful.
Fourth Stop: Coop
Switzerland is incredibly expensive. The cheapest meal you can get at a restaurant is probably $12/person for lunch. Minimum wage in Switzerland is $28/hour so in reality, that’s not expensive for the Swiss. Valley Hostel has a full kitchen so we bought tons of groceries at Coop and ate all of our meals there. Cooking your meals while you travel really helps save money. I spent about $20 on more than enough food for every breakfast, lunch and dinner for our three nights. We also found bottles of wine for about $4.50. And cheap wine is a MUST, amirite?
Fifth Stop: Wengen
Wengen is a small farming village higher up in the Alps about halfway between Lauterbrunnen and Jungfrau, the tallest point in Europe. Unfortunately due to the rain, we didn’t really get to enjoy it as much as we wanted. It was completely fogged over. Also the cable car to the top was closed. But at least we can say we went there! And the sun tried to peak out for a second – enough time to take some photos.
Story time! Chelsea had a minor breakdown in Wengen. She met a cat on the train tracks that she fell absolutely in love with. It had a small bed all the way at the end of the tracks (where the trains would NEVER actually reach) and she was convinced it was going to get hit.
Turned into this:
We were exhausted. A tiny bit drunk. And the weather was really getting to us. I tried not to laugh but look at that face!!
The rest of our time in Lauterbrunnen, it rained nonstop. And not just rain. Torrential downpours, lightning and hail.
The only downside to Switzerland for backpackers is that it’s expensive. But it is nice to be in small towns, with clean, fresh air, where you don’t get lost every five seconds. The Swiss are all incredibly nice, too. Everyone invited us into their home or on an excursion with them and really tried to talk to us. Even with the rain, we sat on our balcony enjoying the freedom of being outside a city. If it weren’t so expensive, I think we would have stayed longer.