Backpacking in the Swiss Alps: Wengen and Lauterbrunnen

Backpacking in the Swiss Alps: Wengen and Lauterbrunnen

After three days of hiking through the Swiss Alps along the Via Alpina Stage 10, up to Engelhornhütte and Glecksteinhütte and along the Eiger Trail to Kleine Scheidegg, we arrived in Wengen, Lauterbrunnen for two nights and a rest day. It was the perfect spot to stay and the perfect time for a rest from hiking.

Lauterbrunnen

This beautiful area was truly stunning to explore. After three days of hiking, I was sore as I’ve ever been, so this was the perfect time and place to take it easy for a day. We loved our stay in Wengen and the chance to explore the absolutely gorgeous Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Wengen

We chose to stay in Wengen, perched up above the valley floor, because of its amenities and easy accessibility to other parts of the area. This beautiful town sits in the shadow of the Jungfrau, a grand reminder of your position in the majestic Swiss Alps.

It is very much a tourist town, and as such it is an excellent base for exploring the area. The trains come regularly and there are far more options for dining than Lauterbrunnen proper, which is a short train journey away. It’s more scenic and in the midst of the mountain action than Interlaken, according to Andrew who has been there before, ha. The city is pedestrianized, with very few cars allowed on its streets, which makes exploring easy and gives this little town a somewhat sleepy but very relaxing and nostalgic vibe.

Wengen, Lauterbrunnen

When we were there, Switzerland was playing in the World Cup during our stay and the many people who headed out to the bar eager to watch alongside the Swiss found themselves in the company of many other native English-speakers. Definitely a tourist town, but a beautiful one!

I’ll also point out – Wengen, like all the areas we explored on our epic Swiss backpacking trip, is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, so the proper pronunciation is more like “Vengen” for my Anglo peeps!

Lauterbrunnen

The highlight of our rest days was exploring the Lauterbrunnen valley. This absolutely beautiful valley inspired Tolkien’s Rivendell and it is not difficult to see why.

Lauterbrunnen

We took the train down to Lauterbrunnen to see the valley from its floor. It is a quaint and beautiful little town.

Lauterbrunnen

The valley has something to the tune of 72 waterfalls flowing into it. Everywhere you look, there is some gorgeous mountain vignette.

Lauterbrunnen

We walked through town on our way to see Trümmelbach Falls.

Lauterbrunnen Lauterbrunnen

Trümmelbach Falls

You can get to Trümmelbach Falls by either bus or foot from the train station. Though my legs were quite sore, we opted to get there on foot for the opportunity to see more of the valley on our way.

Lauterbrunnen

After about twenty minutes or so, we arrived at the base of Trümmelbach Falls, after getting to watch paragliders cliff jumping around us on the walk! I was confused upon arrival because I couldn’t see the waterfall. It was lunch time when we arrived so we stopped for a quick lunch at the cafe there, which was lovely and my soup was tasty.

Lunch at Trummelbach Falls

After fueling up, we walked to the falls. There I understood why I couldn’t see the waterfall – it had bored its way into the rock cliff over thousands of years. Unbelievable.

Trummelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen

Looking up from the waterfall

We opted to take the stairs up to the many fantastic and awe-inspiring view points that have been built into this incredible natural wonder.

Trümmelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen

It is loud and slightly terrifying to watch water rushing so incredibly forcefully through the craggy, dark rock face. But wow, it is worth seeing. It is a beautiful reminder of nature’s power.

Trummelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen Trummelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen

Navigating the dark passage-ways dampened by the drizzle coming off the water that flows by at 20,000 liters a second is thrilling.

Trummelbach Falls

The sun came out at one point, creating a rainbow in the waterfall. So cool.

Trummelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen 

Climbing up to the falls also offers gorgeous views over the valley. Trümmelbach Falls is a must-visit attraction!

Trummelbach Falls

Where to Stay in Wengen, Lauterbrunnen

Our home base was the lovely Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn, which felt old school and glamourous.

Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn, Wengen

Our room was in the newer wing of the building, with a crazy view of the mountains that was particularly lovely at sunset, and a strange scent of cured meats, which luckily went away after keeping the windows open.

Sunset in the Swiss Alps

They also have a pool which we only got to enjoy once, but it was awesome (and necessary for sore legs!).

Eating in Wengen, Lauterbrunnen

There are several restaurants in Wengen, and though it is a town of tourists, we found we didn’t need to book ahead to get a table when we visited at the beginning of July. Our first night, we chose the Taverne restaurant at the Bernerhof for a traditional Swiss meal.

Dinner in Wengen

I got a very classic Swiss dish, Buure rosti with sausage! Andrew ordered the Älpler Hörnli, which was kind of like a pimped out mac and cheese dish. They were tasty and on a drizzly, colder evening, we appreciated some heavier, hearty dishes.

Swiss Dinner in Wengen

After hearty Swiss food, however, the next night we opted for some Indian food! We ate outside at the delicious Golden Indian Wengen. Though I didn’t get a photo of our food, I did get this snap of Andrew modeling with the view.

Dinner in Wengen

It was a lovely couple nights spent in truly beautiful and serene surroundings. It is no wonder Tolkien and Mendelssohn were so inspired by the beauty of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen!

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Jenn

Jenn is an American expat living in London, spending her time freelancing, traveling and writing on this here blog. Thank you for reading. Are you planning a trip here? Tell me your plans in the comments!

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