Switzerland is an incredibly beautiful country that has plenty to offer. While most travelers have already heard of some of Switzerland’s most popular sites (such as the Matterhorn in Zermatt or the highest railway station in Europe on the Jungfraujoch in Interlaken), there are a few stunning sights that are mostly unknown, but absolutely worth a visit. One of those hidden gems are the Trümmelbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen valley.
What are the Trümmelbach Falls
These glacier falls are a bang-crash spectacle.
The Trümmelbach Falls are a unique set of 10 waterfalls inside a mountain. It’s an extraordinary natural spectacle that you won’t be able to witness anywhere else in Europe!
Draining the meltwater from the three massive glaciers from the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, an unbelievable 20 000 litres gush down these waterfalls every single second (that’s more than 5000 gallons per second)! You’ll not only be able to see the water masses rushing down the mountain but hear its intimidating grumble and feel the entire mountain shiver due to the water’s brute force.
In 1913, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was opened to the public. Through an incredible network of tunnels, stairs and even an incline elevator built inside the mountain, all ten waterfalls can be explored up close.
What you should know before you go
- The Trümmelbach Falls are a great rainy day activity as they grow in intensity the more water rushes down the waterfalls. If it’s absolutely pouring, though, you might want to give them a call first – they might be closed for safety reasons.
- You need cash to pay the entrance fee. They do not take credit or any other cards!
- Even though it’s a fun activity for the entire family, kids under the age of 4 are not allowed to enter!
- It’s also not accessible for wheelchairs or strollers, as there are a lot of stairs.
- Dogs are not allowed to enter the Trümmelbach Falls.
- Do not visit the Trümmelbach Falls from November to March! The falls drain the three glaciers from the mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and turn into a mere trickle once the glaciers stop melting.
- Even though the pathways through the mountain are built in such a way that you can see the waterfalls without getting completely soaked, you will get wet and it will be cold. So, you might want to pack a warm sweater and a rain jacket.
- The floor is wet and might be slippery! Although there are hand rails to keep you safe, do make sure you wear sensible footwear (high heels and flip flops might not be ideal…).
- If you want to take picture, keep in mind that your phone or camera will get wet! So make sure you make the necessary preparations (waterproof casing etc.) or take a waterproof camera (Go Pros are ideal). Even better if you can attach it to your wrist, so you don’t have to hold on to it for dear life…
How to get to Trümmelbach Falls
The Trümmelbach Falls are easily accessible with public transportation.
First, take the train to Interlaken Ost (even better if you’re already staying in Interlaken). From Interlaken Ost, take the train to Lauterbrunnen. IMPORTANT: The train to Lauterbrunnen consists of two parts, which separate in Zweilütschinen. The first few coaches continue to Lauterbrunnen, while the other half goes down the neighboring valley. To be on the safe side, get on the very first coach and you’ll be fine. Lauterbrunnen is the last stop, so you can’t miss it. This train ride will take only about 20 minutes. To check for exact train and bus schedules head to the website of the Swiss Federal Railways, SBB.
From the Lauterbrunnen train station, you can either walk to the falls or take a short bus ride.
The walk should take less than an hour and the path is completely level (so, no hiking experience required). Simply walk through the lovely village of Lauterbrunnen and follow the signs to Trümmelbach.
If you prefer the bus, you need to take bus number 141 to ‘Stechelberg, Hotel’ which leaves right outside the train station. Get off at ‘Trümmelbach Fälle’ after about a 10 minute ride. You can’t miss it, as half the bus exits at that stop. You can also stroll through Lauterbrunnen first and catch the bus at one of the stops along the main road. Just watch out for the yellow signs that say ‘PostAuto’ on it. The bus leaves every half an hour, so don’t worry if you’ve just missed one.
Trümmelbach Falls step-by-step
Finding the Trümmelbach Falls is a piece of cake. When you exit the bus, simply cross the street to the little restaurant. The bus back to Lauterbrunnen will also leave right in front of this restaurant. Just to the right of this building you’ll see the sign pointing you to the falls.
Follow the path for about 5 minutes until you reach the ticket booth. The ticket to enter the falls costs CHF 11 for adults and CHF 4 for children. Make sure you have cash with you as they do not accept credit cards! Access to the incline elevator is included in the ticket price.
Probably the best way to see the falls is to go straight ahead and enter the incline elevator. It will take you about half way up the mountain to waterfall number 6. To see waterfalls 6-10 follow the path further up the mountain. This is a one-way path, so you’ll return the exact same way (more time for pictures 😉 ).
Once you’re back at the elevator, you have the option to take it back down. Be aware that you will miss waterfalls 2-5, though. If you decide to walk down, you will have to descend quite a few rather steep stairs but it’s definitely worth it! On the way down, the path also opens up to a stunning panoramic view of the Lauterbrunnen valley.
When you reach the bottom, do not leave just yet! Walk straight ahead to see waterfall number 1 and get blown away one last time (you can also visit it at the very beginning, before using the elevator).
On the way back to the bus stop, you’ll pass a little souvenir shop. If you still have some time to kill before the next bus arrives or you haven’t had time to shop for Swiss knickknacks yet, this is the place for you. They sell all the essentials from postcards and key chains, to shot glasses and (of course!) chocolate.
Now you can either take the bus and head back to Lauterbrunnen (bus leaves every 30 minutes) or go on discovering the Lauterbrunnen valley.
What else is there to do?
Visiting the Trümmelbach Falls will take you about 1 to 2 hours tops. So, there’s plenty of time left to keep exploring.
Option 1: If you like hiking, simply follow the walking trail towards Stechelberg and enjoy the stunning views. The Lauterbrunnen valley is also called the valley of the 72 waterfalls. Take the challenge and see if you can spot every single one! And if the weather’s good, you might even be able to spot some people in weird bat suits flinging themselves off of the mountains! Don’t worry, though! Due to the extreme steepness of the mountain faces, the Lauterbrunnen valley is an absolute Mekka for base jumpers.
Option 2: Take the bus to Stechelberg where you can hop on the cable car to the Schilthorn. The Schilthorn is most famous for being a film location for the James Bond movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ ‘. Yes, the scene where 007 escapes by skiing down Piz Gloria was filmed on the Schilthorn. Now, there is an interactive museum, Bond World 007, and a 007 Walk of Fame honoring stars from the world of James Bond. A must for every true 007 fan!
Option 3: Travel back to Interlaken, go river rafting or sky diving, or simply relax and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.
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