Julie Switzerland 71 Comments

The Bernese Oberland, this is where mighty, snow-capped mountains tumble down into lush, green valleys. Waterfalls spill over the cliffs, cows and their musical bells wander the fields, charming villages dot the hillsides, and hiking trails connect small hamlets and towns.

Located in central Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland is home to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in all of Europe. For many visitors (ourselves included), this region is the highlight of a trip to Switzerland. The alpine views, the cozy, charming villages, and the soaring cable cars create a magical destination.

On a map, the Bernese Oberland can look confusing to a first-time visitor. With its geography, complex public transportation network, long list of things to do, and multiple options on where to stay, it can feel like a daunting task to plan a trip here. We felt the same way.

In this Bernese Oberland guide, I hope to clear up this confusion and hopefully answer some questions that you didn’t even know you had. And of course, if we missed something, feel free to ask us in the comment section at the end of this article.

Overview of the Bernese Oberland

The Bernese Oberland, also called the Bernese Highlands or the Bernese Alps, is a region in central Switzerland. It is part of the canton of Bern and it encompasses a portion of the Swiss Alps, including the Jungfrau massif, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Interlaken, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, and extends west to Adelboden and Gstaad.

The Jungfrau region is a smaller portion of the Bernese Oberland. This region includes the Jungfrau massif, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Schilthorn, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, and Interlaken. The Jungfrau region is the touristy heart of the Bernese Oberland and this is where most visitors spend their time.

This article focuses on the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland.

Lauterbrunnen Valley

Drone photo of the Lauterbrunnen Valley

Bernese Oberland Geography Lesson

The Bernese Alps is where you will find some of the most iconic mountains in the Alps. The mighty Jungfrau massif, made up of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, dominates the region.

Within the Jungfrau region sits two valleys, the Lauterbrunnen valley and Lütschental valley. The mountains of the Swiss Alps tower over these valleys. Small towns cling to the cliffs and are tucked away in these valleys.

It’s a lot easier to understand the geography of the Jungfrau region if you look at a map.

Below is a map of the Jungfrau region. Interlaken is at the bottom of the map and Lauterbrunnen Valley and Lütschental Valley run through the heart of the region. On this map I highlighted the main towns. 

Jungfrau Map for Bernese Oberland Guide

The Lauterbrunnen Valley splits the Jungfrau regions into two parts. In the east is the Jungfrau Massif: Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau. This is where you will find:

  • Jungfraujoch
  • Kleine Scheidegg
  • Wengen
  • The Eiger Trail
  • The Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg hike

In the west is another mountain range. This is where you will find:

  • Schilthorn and Birg
  • Mürren
  • Gimmelwald
  • Grütschalp

In the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you will see:

  • Lauterbrunnen
  • Stechelberg
  • Trummelbach Falls
  • Staubbach Falls

A second valley runs through the region. Called the Lütschental Valley, it starts near Lauterbrunnen and ends at Grindelwald. To the south of this valley is the Jungfrau massif. To the north is another mountain range. This is where you will find:

  • First
  • First Cliff Walk
  • Bachalpsee
  • Schynige Platte

Murren and Mountains


Main Towns in the Jungfrau Region


Interlaken is a large town that is sandwiched between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. It is located just outside of Lauterbrunnen Valley. This is the main transportation hub for the area.

To get the Jungfrau region, you will first travel to Interlaken, either by car or by train. From Interlaken, you will take the train to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, and continue into the mountains from there.


A view of Interlaken from Schynige Platte


This is one of the most famous and the most picturesque towns in the Jungfrau region. Rustic houses, Swiss chalets, hotels, and restaurants are all clustered together, while Staubbach Falls cascades down the sheer cliff next to the town.


Lauterbrunnen sits in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. With a train station and a cable car station, it is relatively easy to get around the Jungfrau region from here, so this is one of the best towns to stay in if you are looking for convenience. However, since you are in the valley, don’t expect to get alpine views from your hotel room.


Grindelwald is a large town that sits in the Lütschental Valley. This also makes a handy place to stay for visitors, with its train station, cable cars, and convenient location near First. However, it lacks the charm that you find in the other towns on this list.


Wengen sits on the cliffs overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It sits at the base of Männlichen and because of its location, it’s easy to get to Kleine Scheidegg from here. Within this large town are numerous hotels and restaurants, so this is a popular place to stay.



Kleine Scheidegg

The main reason to visit Kleine Scheidegg is to take the train to Jungfraujoch. However, there are several great hiking trails that start and end at this high-alpine town, such as the Panorama Trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg.

Kleine Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg


Mürren is a very charming town that clings to the cliff high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From Mürren, you get jaw-dropping views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, so if you want to book a hotel room in the Jungfrau with an unforgettable view, this is the place to do it.

Murren Switzerland

Drone photo of Mürren

This is where we stayed and we highly recommend it. From our room at the Alpenblick Hotel, we had a spectacular view of the Swiss Alps, and it was a wonderful way to start and end our days here.

Since Mürren is located up in the mountains, it does take longer to get around. You are conveniently close to Schilthorn and Birg, but when you want to visit Jungfraujoch, First, or Schynige Platte, you will have a longer journey than if you stayed in Lauterbrunnen.


Gimmelwald is a tiny, postcard perfect town located on the cliffs that tower over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This town is smaller, less touristy version of Mürren.

It also takes longer to get to, which for some, is why it is so charming. If you want to stay in a quieter, less touristy town, Gimmelwald is our top pick.




Stechelberg is located at the far end of Lauterbrunnen Valley. It’s main claim to fame is the enormous public parking lot (if you arrive to the Jungfrau region by car, most likely this is where you will park) and the cable car that runs to Gimmelwald and Mürren.


Wilderswil is a small town that is located between Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. There are several accommodation options here, but the real reason for visiting Wilderswil is to catch the train to Schynige Platte.

Switzerland Travel Guide

How to Get to the Bernese Oberland

Interlaken is the gateway into the Jungfrau region. All roads and trains travel through Interlaken before heading up the Lauterbrunnen Valley into the Jungfrau region.

By Train

If you are traveling through Switzerland by train, you will first go to Interlaken and then transfer to a train to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, depending on where you are staying.

Travel Times to Interlaken by Train:

  • Zürich: 2.5 hours
  • Lucerne: 1.75 hours
  • Bern: 45 minutes
  • Geneva: 2.75 hours
  • Lausanne: 2.5 hours
  • Zermatt: 2.5 hours

By Airplane

The closest airport is in Bern but there are also airports in Geneva and Zürich. From the airport, you can take the train to Interlaken.

By Car

There is no real need for a car when visiting the Jungfrau area of the Bernese Oberland. Mürren, Gimmelwald, and Wengen are car-free towns. You can get to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald by car but once here, you will be using the trains and cable cars to get around.

For the duration of your stay in the Bernese Oberland, your car will sit in the parking lot. There is a daily fee for parking, plus what you are paying in rental fees. So, if you are planning a visit of several days or longer, it is best to return your rental car before this part of your trip.

Parking in Lauterbrunnen

There is a parking garage in Lauterbrunnen. You can reserve your parking space in advance (highly recommended!). For parking rates and to make your reservation click here. 

Parking in Grindelwald

There is a public parking area at the Grindelwald Grund train station that has 300 spaces. At Parkhouse Eiger there are 252 spaces and at Parkhaus Sportzentrum there are 160 spaces.

Parking in Stechelberg

At the Schilthornbahn in Stechelberg, there are 1500 spaces. For the price list, click here. 


View from Männlichen

Getting Around the Bernese Oberland

This is one of the most confusing aspects of planning a visit to the Bernese Oberland.

Trains, cable cars, and buses connect all of the towns and the main attractions of the Jungfrau region. Depending on where you are staying and where you are going, there is a very good chance that you will use a combination of these transportation modes to get around.

Below we list the trains and cable cars in the region. You can see the timetables for these on the Jungfrau website. And here is the link for the price list.

Train from Interlaken to the Jungfrau Region

From Interlaken, you will take the train to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, continue your journey into the mountains by cable car or a different train.

Grütschalp Cable Car

This cable car links Lauterbrunnen with Grütschalp. The cable runs every 30 minutes and the travel time is 4 minutes.

Train Grutschalp to Mürren

The train connects Mürren to Winteregg and Grütschalp. The train leaves every 30 minutes and travel time is 13 minutes.

NOTE: The timetable is planned so you do not have to wait for the next train or cable car. For example, if you ride the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, you will immediately board the train to Mürren and it will depart within just a few minutes. And if you ride the train from Mürren to Grütschalp, you will immediately board the cable car and depart for Lauterbrunnen.


The Schilthornbahn is a series of cable cars that start in Stechelberg and continues to Gimmelwald, Mürren, Birg, and Schilthorn. You can get on and off the cable car at any of these stations. The Schilthornbahn has a separate timetable than the other trains and cable cars on this list, which you can see here.

IMPORTANT:  A new cable car system is currently being constructed from Stechelberg to Mürren to Schilthorn. It will be replacing the original cable car route. The original cable cars are still in operation, so you can still visit Schilthorn, but readers are reporting that the Birg Thrill Walk is closed and that the construction materials are taking away from the view at Schilthorn. This construction project is planned through 2026. Learn more here.

Schilthorn Cable Car


Wengernalpbahn: Lauterbrunnen to Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg

This train starts in Lauterbrunnen and travels through Wengen and several smaller villages before arriving at Kleine Scheidegg. If you are traveling to Jungfraujoch from Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, or Gimmelwald, this is the train you will take.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Sit on the right side of the train for the best views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Jungfraubahn (Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch)

The Jungfraubahn is the final leg of the journey to Jungfraujoch. Most of this ride is in a dark tunnel, so it is not the most scenic train ride. It takes 35 minutes to travel from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch.

Train to Jungfraujoch Bernese Oberland


Train Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg

You can also get to Kleine Scheidegg by taking the train from Grindelwald Grund. The train passes through the small town of Alpiglen.

Wengen-Männlichen Aerial Cableway

This cable car connects the town of Wengen with Männlichen.

The Eiger Express

This is a gondola cableway links Grindelwald to Männlichen and the Eigergletscher railway station and opened in December 2020.

Grindelwald Cable Car

From Grindelwald, ride the series of cable cars to First.

Bernese Oberland


Putting This All Together

I know that is an overwhelming list of trains and cable cars for such a small geographical area. Here are some of the most popular routes in the Jungfrau region:

Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen: The train runs every 30 minutes and the travel time is 30 minutes.

Interlaken to Grindelwald: The train runs every 30 minutes and the travel time is 42 minutes.

Interlaken to Mürren: Option #1: train to Lauterbrunnen, cable car to Grütschalp, train to Mürren. Option #2: train to Lauterbrunnen, bus to Stechelberg, cable car to Mürren.

Interlaken to Gimmelwald: Train to Lauterbrunnen, bus to Stechelberg, cable car to Gimmelwald

Interlaken to Wengen: Train to Lauterbrunnen, Wengernalpbahn to Wengen.

Interlaken to Jungfraujoch: Train to Grindelwald, Eiger Express to Eigergletscher, Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch

Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch:  Eiger Express to Eigergletscher, Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch

Mürren to Jungfraujoch: Train to Grütschalp, cable car to Lauterbrunnen, Wengernalpbahn to Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch.

Gimmelwald to Jungfraujoch: Cable car to Stechelberg, bus to Lauterbrunnen, Wengernalpbahn to Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch

Lauterbrunnen to First: Train to Grindelwald, cable car to First.

Grindelwald to Mürren: Train to Lauterbrunnen, cable car to Grütschalp, train to Mürren

Bernese Oberland Hike

Eiger Trail

Travel Passes for the Jungfrau Region

If you thought figuring out how to get around was complicated, just wait until you hear about the overwhelming number of travel passes for the Jungfrau region.

Riding the trains and cable cars is a big expense. Fortunately, there are a number of passes that can save you some money. Here is a brief overview of each pass.

The Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass is a pass that covers your transportation (trains, buses, cable cars, boats) as well as gives you discounts or covers your admission into some museums and attractions in Switzerland. This is the most popular rail ticket in Switzerland.

There are several versions of this pass. The standard Swiss Travel Pass gives you unlimited travel for consecutive days and can be purchased for 3, 4, 6, 8, and 15 days of travel.

The Swiss Travel Pass Flex gives you unlimited travel on nonconsecutive days over the course of one month. You can purchase this pass for 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15 days. This pass is slightly more expensive than the standard pass, since it offers more flexibility.

The Swiss Half Fare Card gives you unlimited half price tickets on trains, buses, and boats.

The Swiss Travel Pass, the Flex Pass, and the Half Fare Card will give you a 50% reduction on mountain excursions.

In the Jungfrau region, these passes cover your transportation up to Wengen. It also covers your transportation to Mürren and Gimmelwald. So, the trains to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald are free, as is the train to Wengen, the cable car to Gimmelwald, the cable car to Grutschalp, and the train between Grutschalp and Mürren. If you go any higher than this (Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, etc) you pay 50%. The MySwissAlps website has a great page of what is covered in the Swiss Travel Pass.

Jungfrau Travel Pass

This travel pass gives you unlimited travel for three to eight days in the Jungfrau region, on the east side of Lauterbrunnen Valley. It covers Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald, First, Grosse Scheidegg, Männlichen, Kleine Scheidegg, Wengen, and Schynige Platte. It also includes Grutschalp and Mürren but not Gimmelwald or Schilthorn.

For more information on the Jungfrau pass, including updated pricing, click here. 

Berner Oberland Travel Pass

This travel pass covers all transportation within the Bernese Oberland (Bern, Interlaken, Jungfrau) as well as Lucerne. It is available for 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 days and is only available during the summer season.

Pricing is very similar to the Swiss Travel Pass and it only gives a 50% discount to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn, so the Swiss Travel Pass is usually a better option for most people, especially if you plan to travel to more places on your visit to Switzerland.

Click here for more information. 

Which Pass is Right for You?

Which pass is right for you is determined by how long you will be in the Bernese Oberland, where you are staying, and how often you will ride the trains and cable cars. The length of time you spend in Switzerland is also a big factor.

If you plan to visit the Bernese Oberland as well as other regions of Switzerland, the Swiss Travel Pass will most likely be your best option.

If you only have plans to visit the Jungfrau region, the Jungfrau Pass might be all that you need.

It’s time consuming, but I recommend adding up your days of travel, what you plan to do on these days (including prices for cable cars, trains, etc…we have train and cable car costs and links to pricing in our more detailed Switzerland articles), and comparing that to the price of the travel passes.

Since rules and prices are always changing, and everyone’s itinerary will be slightly different, we do not have enough experience and knowledge to answer questions specifically related to which pass to purchase. Here are several articles where you can get a lot more information.

For more information, here are several helpful websites:

  • For the official website for the Swiss Travel Pass, click here.
  • MySwissAlps.com has a lot of great information about the Swiss Travel Pass.
  • Seat61.com has a great guide to the Swiss passes.

Jungfrau Region Bernese Oberland

Best Things to Do in the Jungfrau Region of the Bernese Oberland

Jungfraujoch. A visit to Jungfraujoch is one of the best things to do in the Jungfrau region. Stand on one of the highest points in the Swiss Alps, walk through an ice cave, play in the snow, get panoramic views over the Alps, and hike out to Mönchsjochhütte.

Jungfraujoch Bernese Oberland


Schilthorn and Piz Gloria. Schilthorn is one of the highest peaks in the Jungfrau region and it is one of the best places to go for panoramic views of the Swiss Alps. In 1969, Schilthorn was feature in the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While you are here, visit Bond World, tour the James Bond exhibits, and dine in the same restaurant featured in the movie (Piz Gloria).

IMPORTANT:  A new cable car system is currently being constructed from Stechelberg to Mürren to Schilthorn. It will be replacing the original cable car route. The original cable cars are still in operation, so you can still visit Schilthorn, but readers are reporting that the Birg Thrill Walk is closed and that the construction materials are taking away from the view at Schilthorn. This construction project is planned through 2026. Learn more here.

Schilthorn Bernese Oberland

Go Hiking. One of the best ways to experience the Bernese Oberland is on a hiking trail. Take your pick from short, easy strolls to full day hikes. Our top recommendations are the Eiger Trail, the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, the Northface Trail, and if you want a spectacular full day hike, tackle the hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First. See the full list in our Bernese Oberland Hiking Guide.

Cliff Walks. There are two cliff walks in the Jungfrau region. The Birg Thrill Walk is located near Schilthorn. From here, you get a spectacular view of the Jungfrau massif. The First Cliff Walk is a similar experience, with views over Grindelwald. If you only have time for one, the Birg Thrill Walk is the winner (but be aware of the construction of the new cable car route, so the Birg Thrill Walk could periodically be closed).

Snow-capped mountains around the Birg Thrill Walk in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.

Birg Thrill Walk

Mürren Via Ferrata. For a big thrill, dangle over the Lauterbrunnen Valley on the Mürren via ferrata. On this 2.2 km journey, you will climb down steep ladders, walk on tightropes, cling to the cliffs holding onto iron bars, walk across a swaying suspension bridge, and (with a guide) zip line across a ravine.

Go Paragliding. Paragliding is one of the most thrilling things you can do in the Bernese Oberland. There are numerous companies that offer tandem paragliding, leaving from Interlaken or Mürren. It’s a bit pricey, coming in at around CHF 250, but what a view you will have!

Trummelbach Falls. Glacier melt from Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau drains down into this cavern, forming a series of waterfalls located entirely within a mountain. If it is a rainy day, this is one of the best things to do in the Jungfrau region.

Harder Kulm. Harder Kulm is a mountain that looms over Interlaken. From the top of Harder Kulm, you get an amazing view of the Bernese Alps, so this is a great way to start your tour of the Bernese Oberland. A 10-minute ride on a funicular zips you up to the top of Harder Kulm for a stunning view of the Swiss Alps. Stretched out in front of you are the mountains Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau as well as views over Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.

Harder Kulm Bernese Oberland

Harder Kulm

For the full list of things to do in the Bernese Oberland, read our article 20 Amazing Things to do in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland.

How Many Days Should You Spend in the Bernese Oberland?

As many as possible. 😉

The Bernese Oberland is an extraordinary place. The alpine views, the thrilling rides on the cable cars, the scenic strolls through the small towns, the hiking trails…it would be very easy to spend a full week here and never run out of things to do.

We spent six days here and wished we had more time.

One or two days gives you just a taste of this region. Take the expensive but bucket list worthy trip up Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn, go hiking, and explore one or two of the charming towns. If you only have one day in the Jungfrau region, you could visit Jungfraujoch in the morning and hike the Eiger Trail and visit Kleine Scheidegg in the afternoon.

Three to five days gives you more time for hiking and to visit both the east and west sides of the valleys. It also gives you a little bit of contingency time if there is bad weather. When it gets cloudy and rainy, those spectacular mountain views disappear behind a blanket of clouds. Having an extra day or two ensures that you will get to see those views that you dream of.

With a full week, you can explore the nooks and crannies of the Jungfrau region, hike the longer trails, and have lots of leisurely time to sit back and enjoy the view.

To help you plan your visit, take a look at our Jungfrau Itinerary, which has suggestions on how to plan your time, from one day to one week.

Best Time to Visit the Bernese Oberland

You can visit the Bernese Oberland all year.

The best time to visit, in my opinion, is during the summer months, especially if you want to go hiking. Many of the hiking trails do not open until the end of May or early June, and then close in October, when the snow begins to fall. So, if you are a hiker, the best time to visit the Bernese Oberland is during the summer months.

Summer is peak season in the Bernese Oberland. It will be more crowded and expensive to visit at this time, so you will need to make your hotel reservations far in advance (ideally 4 to 6 months before your visit). But the weather is warm, the flowers are blooming, and the days are long.

If you want to hike the trails and have lower crowds, plan your visit for the end of September to early October.

We visited Switzerland in July. We saw the biggest crowds on Jungfraujoch, at First, and in Lauterbrunnen. Cable cars and trains are very crowded from 10 am through mid-afternoon, so it is best to plan your visits to Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, and Schynige Platte first thing in the morning.

Spring and autumn can be a nice time to visit, with lower crowds and the chance to see area covered in snow. Many hiking trails will be closed but the ski slopes will be open, depending on your timing.

During winter months, the Bernese Oberland is a snow-covered wonderland. Ride the cable cars to Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch for spectacular views, go skiing, and spend the evenings in a cozy hotel with views of the snow-capped mountains.

Many of the trains and cable cars operate year round, although some will close for a short period of time for maintenance, either during the winter, spring, or fall months.

Mannlichen Hike Bernese Oberland

Where to Stay in the Jungfrau Region

Interlaken. Interlaken is the gateway into the Jungfrau region. This is a good place to stay if you only have one or two days to spend in the Jungfrau region and you are traveling through Switzerland.

Lauterbrunnen. Tucked away in the Lauterbrunnen Valley is the picturesque town of Lauterbrunnen. This is a handy home base, since you have easy access to the main trains and cable cars in the Jungfrau region. However, since it is located in the valley, this town lacks the high alpine views that you get in several other villages.

Grindelwald. Like Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald is tucked away in a valley. It is a handy hub for getting around the region. Grindelwald lacks a lot of the charm that places like Mürren, Wengen, and Lauterbrunnen have, so it’s not our top pick as a place to stay.

Wengen. Wengen is located on the east side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, just beneath Männlichen and Jungfraujoch. It is filled with lots of hotels and restaurants so it is one of the best places to stay in the Jungfrau region.

Mürren. Mürren clings to the cliffs on the west side of Lauterbrunnen Valley. This is a small town with lots of charm. If that’s not enough, throw in the spectacular view you have of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfraujoch, making this an amazing place to stay in the Jungfrau region, especially if you want a hotel with view. We stayed in Mürren at the Alpenblick Hotel and loved it here. Without a doubt, we will stay in Mürren on our next visit to Switzerland.

Gimmelwald. Gimmelwald sits right next to Mürren so the views are very similar. This is a smaller town and a bit harder to get to, so it is also less touristy. Gimmelwald is a nice option for those with a long stay in the Jungfrau region who want to escape the crowds.

For more recommendations on where to stay, read our guide to Where to Stay in the Jungfrau Region. Learn where to stay for great views of the Swiss Alps and get recommendations whether you are looking for a budget hotel, luxury hotel, or if you are traveling as a family.

Murren Street Bernese Oberland


If you have any questions about what to do in the Bernese Oberland and how to plan your visit, let us know in the comment section below.

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to the Bernese Oberland is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary, which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.

LUCERNE: Learn how to spend one perfect day in Lucerne with a trip to Mt. Pilatus.

ZÜRICH: For things to do on a quick visit, check out our article One Day in Zürich. 

ZERMATT: In Zermatt, don’t miss the hike from Gornergrat to Riffelberg. For more ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Zermatt. For more alpine views, learn how to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (and find out if it is worth it) and how to climb to the summit of Breithorn.

LAUSANNE: Lausanne is another beautiful Swiss city with lots of great things to do and it also is a great home base for day trips in the area, such as Gruyères and Chateau de Chillon.

LUGANO: Lugano is located in southern Switzerland. From here, you can visit the fairytale bridge Ponte dei Salti and you can easily day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio.

We have TONS more information about Switzerland in our Switzerland Travel Guide, including Zürich, Lucerne, the Bernese Oberland, Zermatt, Lugano, and Lausanne.


Switzerland Travel Guide Bernese Oberland

Bernese Oberland Switzerland Travel Guide


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Comments 71

  1. Avatar for Fay


    Thank you for your wonderful blog, we gain a lot of insights after reading it..
    My husband and me are planning our anniversary trip to Swiss in the first 2 weeks of June next year. We would like to take your advice to hike some of the trails like Eigle trail, Panarama trail & Schynige Platte trail. However, i read from your post that these few trails are usually open after mid June. May i know if it is still possible to hike these trails, with some risks taken on our end, or they will totally close it off and do not allow any access for hiking in these trails? This will determine if we shld go there in early part of June next year..

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Fay. I’m not sure if they totally prevent access to the hiking trails. But the other thing to keep in mind is that transportation may also not be running that early, particularly to Schynige Platte and maybe even Mannlichen. Also, this spring there was a late snowfall which made many trails open late, not only in Switzerland but also in Italy. For those reasons, if your intention is to hike these trails, you are better off planning your trip in the second half of June. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Fay

        Dear Julie,

        Thank you! Do you know how’s the weather usually after mid June? Would it be very rainy or cloudy? And would it be very crowded like in July peak summer holidays?


        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          Mid June will be busy but not quite as bad as July and August. Our visit was in July and even then it wasn’t crazy busy (this was 2019). The weather is warm and mostly sunny. Some afternoon rainshowers are definitely possible, and maybe a day of rain, but that time of year sunny skies are a lot more prevalent than rain. It’s good to have an extra day just in case you get some rain (we had 1 day of rain in the 6 days we were there). Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Lisa Werth
    Lisa Werth

    Hello! I’ve followed your blog for many years and found great information. We traveled to Ireland last year and had been debating about landing on Skellig Michael but decided to do it after reading about your experience. It was the highlight of our trip! I should have thanked you – so here it is: Thank you!

    Now we’re planning a trip to Switzerland next year with a week devoted to the Jungfrau region (basing in Wengen). This post about managing the transportation, complete with a map, is SO HELPFUL! It really helps me put things into perspective. So once again, thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you had a great experience at Skellig Michael and I hope you have a wonderful time in Switzerland! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Sarah

    I love your blog! We have been to several national parks using your suggestions. We are now in Switzerland for Spring break and I just realized you have written about that too. Super helpful.
    Question— it is too cold and cloudy to go to Jungfroujoch. We want to do a loop at lower elevation—starting at Interlaken to Lauterbrunen. Do you know how to get from Lauterbrunen to Grindelwald?
    Any other advice about the area for the Spring (April)? Looks like we can’t hike much. We can walk around and take in views. Are there many restaurants and shops to visit? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Sarah. To get from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald you can take the train. You can go for a walk on the valley floor from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, visiting Trummelbach Falls on the walk. It would be a very long walk from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. It would also be very worthwhile to visit Murren while you are there. Keep you fingers crossed that the clouds clear, but even so, sometimes the clouds are high enough that from Murren you can get a nice view across the valley to the mountain peaks. Walking from Murren to Gimmelwald is nice too. And from Grindelwald, you could look into riding the cable car up to First (if it is open) and doing the First Cliff Walk (if it is open). There are some shops in Murren, Wengen, and Grindelwald. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at our article Things to Do in the Jungfrau Region for more ideas. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Jade


    What an amazing and helpful blog this is! My husband and I have visited Europe twice, but quite a while ago. We are bringing our young adult sons for 12 days of touring. I don’t want our trip to be exhausting, but we want them to see many sites. I’m apprehensive about all the train transfers, but we can manage. We want historical, scenic, comfortable, and easy. I will list my tentative itinerary, and I greatly appreciate your input. I would love to see Jungfrau and the Matterhorn, but I don’t think we have enough time.
    Day 1 arrive Rome, explore and rest
    Day 2 Rome
    Day 3 Rome
    Day 4 Travel to Florence/Tuscany (Bullet train)
    Day 5 Florence/Tuscany
    Day 6 Travel from Tuscany to La Spezia. Sunset cruise of Cinque Terre
    Day 7 Pisa? Travel to Milan
    Day 8 Milan
    Day 9 Milan to Zermatt/Matterhorn
    Day 10 Matterhorn
    Day 11 Zermatt to Paris
    Day 12 Paris
    Day 13 Paris
    Day 14 depart for U.S.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Jade. Here are a few things to think about with your itinerary. Days 1 through 5 are great and then I think you have to eliminate a place or 2. Day 6 is fine but I think it is worth spending more time in the Cinque Terre. You could spend day 7 in the Cinque Terre and that evening or the morning of day 8 travel to Milan. Spend day 8 in Milan. I looked up trains to Zermatt and it’s relatively quick journey from Milan, however it’s not worth doing all of that for one day in Zermatt. It can be done and I get the appeal of wanting to add it in, but I think it is best that you save Zermatt for future trip, pairing it with the Jungfrau region. That gives you 3 days to work with. If you are set on Switzerland, then travel to Lucerne on day 9 and on day 10 visit Lucerne and Mount Pilatus. On day 11, it should take about a half of a day to get to Paris, giving you less travel time that day than your original itinerary. Another option would be to stay in Italy, visiting Verona, the Dolomites (if your visit is in the summer) or Venice. Then fly from Milan or Venice on day 11.
      Just to be clear, your itinerary does work but you will have very little time in the Cinque Terre and Zermatt which is why I made those suggestions. If you have any other questions please let me know. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Adeel

    Hi Julie,
    First, thank you very much for such a detailed itinerary on Switzerland. My wife and I are planning to spend a week in Bernese Oberland region starting July 20th until July 27th, 2024. We have booked our hotel in Murren already per your suggestions. We will be staying in Murren for 7 days and traveling the area with hikes and activities you suggested. I am assuming the Jungfrau travel pass will be best for us since we do not plan to visit other places in Switzerland.

    Our itinerary is the following: From USA to Stolkholm, Sweden and then to Switzerland. Do you suggest we pick Bern as the airport (since it is closest) and take a train to Interlaken and then to Murren? Is the train ride worth it from Zurich to Interlaken? I mean is it scenic enough for the trip from Zurich? I am guessing we should just buy one way ticket for the train instead of Swiss travel pass since we do not plan to go to other places?

    I am looking forward to our trip!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Adeel. Seven days in the Bernese Oberland sounds wonderful! If you haven’t seen it yet, the MySwissAlps website has some great info about the Jungfrau Travel Pass, and other passes in Switzerland. Most of your travel will be free in the Jungfrau region, you will get a discount to go to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn, so those will have an additional fee. A one way train ticket to get to the Jungfrau region sounds like a good idea to me and the Swiss Travel Pass is probably more than you need. I don’t recall the train ride between Zurich and Lucerne to Interlaken being particularly scenic. Bern is closer so you would have less travel time and a cheaper fare. Just double check this with flight options because there could be more options to Zurich. I’d base my decision on convenience and cost versus scenery for that train journey. I hope you have a wonderful time in Switzerland! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Rahul

    Hi Junie,

    I am planning to visit Wengen, Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen only next year ( Only these 3 places ) . Which pass should I get ?
    I will stay for 3 days only
    Can you pls advice .

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      If you are only visiting those three places, then the Jungfrau Pass should be the best. I still recommend checking prices to confirm this. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Sarah

    We are planning on staying in Wengen for 6 nights. I am confused about when the train station from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen stops for the night. I’ve seen multiple different times from the Jungfrau site vs. the SBB site vs. Google. Do you know when it stops operating for the evening? And if so, are there ways to still get back to lodging without the train?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Sarah. That’s a great question. I would trust the Jungfrau website first, since that is the main website for that part of the Jungfrau region. It appears that trains run throughout the night, based on the Jungfrau website. When we stayed in Murren, trains started very early in the day and ran late at night. But with all of the information on the internet, it is kind of crazy that we can’t find a set timetable for that train. I know you can get one once in the area but I’m struggling to find one online, other than what is on the Jungfrau website. SBB.com is also a website that is very reliable and we have used it for other places in Europe. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Lindsey

    Hello! Thanks for your wonderful blog. It provides so much helpful information that I’ve used to help plan our upcoming trip. A logistics question that I couldn’t find the answer to on your posts is – did you find it necessary to carry Swiss francs or did most places accept card? If so, how much would you recommend per person? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Most places accept credit cards. We carry about 150 to 200 francs when we travel, for the occasional times we need to use cash. Whatever is left over, we use to pay the final hotel bill, and then cover the difference with our credit card. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for David

    Hi Julie,

    Really enjoy reading your blogs & the wonderful pictures. My family of 3 adults plan to tour Europe from 19 May 2024 to 16 June 2024 (about 27 days). We are from Singapore & is our first time touring Europe. My route is England (19-25 May) – Amsterdam (26-28 May) – Brussel (28-30 May) – Paris (30 May-2 June) – Switzerland (2 – 12 June) – Milan – Venice – Florence – Rome (12-16 June). Is this a tight & rush schedules or should I reduce some destinations? If yes, which destination? I am very much appreciate if you can give your suggested itineraries for our trips. Look forward to hear from you.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello David. That’s exciting that you are planning your first trip to Europe! I think your itinerary looks great through Switzerland, and then in gets hectic. Four Italian cities in 4 days is a lot to do (you’ll mostly be on the trains). I recommend picking 1 or 2 of those cities. You will probably travel through Milan to get into Italy from Switzerland, so you could spend one day in Milan and then end your trip in Florence, Venice, or Rome. They are all great for different reasons. We have tons of info about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, so you could use this to help make your decision. Let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for David

        Hi Julie,
        Thank you for your reply. I was thinking to reduce a day each from Amsterdam, Brussel & Paris so to add 3 more days in Italy. Does it make sense?

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          1. Avatar for David

            Hi Julie,

            What is the best way to get from Paris to Interlaken? Is this place Chalet Anemone 2, Murren 3825 good as a base for my time in Jungfrau region?

          2. Avatar for Julie Post

            The best way to get from Paris to Interlaken is to take the train. You’ll have a connection at some point, probably in Zurich or Lucerne. You could fly from Paris to Switzerland but this will take more time and is less eco friendly. I found this information which should be helpful. That property gets very good reviews on Booking.com so I think it is a good find. We loved staying in Murren and the views are amazing from this town. Cheers, Julie

  10. Avatar for Siow It Loong
    Siow It Loong

    Hi Julie,

    I applaud and thank you for sharing your knowledge, covering so many areas, and in such great detail. Thanks!

    Our party of 4, afraid of increasing accommodation prices, has booked a 6-night stay (12-18 Aug) in Interlaken (near the Interlaken Ost station) without any real planning of what to do.
    Coming in from Geneva, we are likely to arrive late in Interlaken, so the plan is to purchase the Swiss half-fare card + the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass (to use from 14-17, leaving very early for Geneva on 18), and use the Interlaken Guest card to move around Interlaken on 13/8.
    What itinerary suggestions will you have for the 4 days with the BO pass and how can we spend a day just within Interlaken?
    The idea is to cover the touristy(or not-so) parts of the BO region that you mentioned.
    Thank you so much if you can share some thoughts ?


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You’re timing for this question is great! I plan to publish an itinerary for the Jungfrau region in the next 24 hours and this should answer your questions, if you don’t mind waiting one more day. It lays out daily itineraries for Interlaken, Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfraujoch, etc, so you can pick out your 4 favorite days and follow those itineraries. I’ll do my best to get it out as quickly as possible! As far as spending one day in Interlaken, ride the funicular to Harder Kulm and consider doing some sort of boat ride on Lake Brienz. If you have any other questions once you read the itinerary, please let me know. Cheers, Julie

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