A trip to Interlaken isn’t complete without venturing up the magnificent Schilthorn mountain for close-up views of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau. Along the way, explore the charming mountainside villages of Murren, Gimmelwald, and Lauterbrunnen. This epic day trip from Interlaken is logistically complicated, and includes a mixture of hiking and different forms of transportation. It may seem complicated at first glance, but we’ve outlined everything you need to know for a perfect day filled with adventure.
Day Trip from Interlaken: Schilthorn, Murren, Gimmelwald & Lauterbrunnen
- Total time | 5 – 8 hours
- Total Cost | $48 – $120
- Hiking distance | 8 miles (with the option to hike more or less)
- Transportation included | train, gondola, hiking
- Epic-ness rating | 9
- Hiking difficulty | easy
This epic day trip from Interlaken culminates in a gondola ride up to Schilthorn, a peak rising to an elevation of 2,970 meters (9,744 feet) with unparalleled panoramic views of Switzerland’s big three: the Monch, the Eiger and Jungfrau.
The roundtrip journey to Schilthorn will take you through three charming Swiss villages: Murren, Gimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen, and through the stunning Lauterbrunnen Valley, home to 72 waterfalls.
If you are looking to escape the crowds and explore an authentically Swiss region with unbeatable alpine views, this is the adventure for you!
Day Trip Details
- Lauterbrunnen | Take a train from Interlaken (30 mins)
- Grutschalp | Take gondola from Lauterbrunnen (5 minutes)
- Murren | Hike from Grutschalp (1 hour)
- Birg | Gondola from Murren (15 minutes)
- Schilthorn | Gondola from Birg (5 min)
- Gimmelwald | Backtrack to Murren, then hike (30 minutes)
- Stechelberg |Gondola from Gimmelwald (5 min)
- Hike to Trummelbach Falls (30 minutes)
- Hike back to Lauterbrunnen (30 minutes)
Day Trip from Interlaken | Detailed Itinerary
In the following section, we’ll provide details for the 11 steps (yes, 11 steps!) for the day trip from Interlaken to Schilthorn, Murren, Gimmewald, and Lauterbunnen. Please don’t let the number of steps discourage you – we promise it’s easier than it seems and totally worth it.
Step One | Train to Lauterbrunnen
- Travel time | 30 minutes
- Ticket cost | 8 CHF ($9) OR free with Swiss Pass
If you are staying in Interlaken, take the train from the Interlaken Ost station to Lauterbrunnen. If you are staying in Unterseen, take the train from the Interlaken West station.
The trip to Lauterbrunnen takes about 30 minutes, and trains depart every 30 minutes. If you have a Swiss Pass, the train tickets will be covered. Otherwise, tickets cost around $10
Step Two | Gondola to Grutschalp
- Travel time | 5 minutes
- Ticket cost | 9 CHF ($10) OR free with Swiss Pass
From the Lauterbrunnen train station, walk up the hill to the cable car station. Cable cars depart to Grutschalp every 30 minutes and the trip takes only 5 minutes.
You’ll return to Lauterbrunnen at the end of the day, so you have the option to explore the little town now, or when you come back. We chose to hop right on the gondola to Grutschalp to make sure we had enough time to complete the journey.
Step Three | Hike to Mürren
- Total time | 1 – 1.5 hours
- Distance | 2.8 miles
- Elevation Gain: 695 feet
- Difficulty | easy
Find this hike on AllTrails: Grutschalp to Mürren
To get to Mürren from Grutschalp, take a flat, easy 2.8 mile hike through rolling green farmland with stunning alpine views.
Along this hike, you’ll pass by happily-grazing cows and vibrant wildflowers while enjoying fresh mountain air and peaceful solitude that is disrupted only by the faint sound of cowbells ringing in the distance, all with the stunning backdrop of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
To reach the trailhead, take a left out of the station when you arrive in Grutschalp and follow the gravel path.
If you prefer not to hike or are short on time, you can also take a tram from Grutschalp to Mürren. However, we would strongly recommend against skipping this hike. It was one of our favorite parts of the day and rewards you with an experience you just can’t get from a tram.
Picture in your mind an image of a quintessential Swiss village. Do you see dark brown chalets with shutters on the windows and colorful flowers perched on overhanging balconies, quiet streets with red Swiss flags hanging proudly, a glimpse of snow-capped mountains peeking out from behind the buildings?
If yes, you’re envisioning Mürren, a quaint, car-less Swiss town with a population of 450 permanent residents, situated at the base of Schilthorn Mountain and accessible only by cable car.
Step Four | Gondola to Birg
- Ticket cost (Round trip Mürren to Schilfhorn)
- Regular | 85.6 CHF ($96)
- With Swiss Pass | 42.80 CHF ($48)
- Travel time | 15 minutes
After you’ve explored Mürren, head to the gondola station located at the far end of town to begin your journey up to Schilthorn. You can purchase tickets in person at the station or in advance online.
The roundtrip ticket from Mürren to Schilthorn, stopping in Birg, costs $96 or $48 with a Swiss Pass. Gondolas depart every 30 minutes and the trip to Birg takes less than 15 minutes.
You can find Schilthorn cost details and timetables and book your tickets here. Note that the round trip ticket includes the gondolas from Mürren to Birg and Birg to Schilthorn
If you’re afraid of heights or claustrophobic, the gondola rides to Birg and Schilthorn may be unpleasant for you. People are packed like sardines into the gondola with standing room only, before being hoisted high into the air above the Schilthorn valley.
If you are not phased by tight crowds or heights, this will be a thrilling experience offering incredible views. Personally, I am a bit claustrophobic and started having a bit of a panic attack on one of these rides.
The only advice I can offer is to close your eyes, try to find a spot on the edge, and remember that it’ll be over in a few minutes – the views are worth it!
Birg Thrill Walk
Before continuing to Schilthorn, hop off the gondola in Birg, which is not much more than a gondola station, a small restaurant, viewing platform, and the Birg Thrill Walk.
Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? Take a walk on the Birg Thrill walk, a platform built right into the side of the mountain that has sections of glass floor, mesh tunnels to crawl through, and a wire net to climb across, that look hundreds of feet feet straight down.
It’s definitely worth the 20-30 minute detour!
Step Five | Gondola to Schilthorn
- Ticket Cost | already purchased
- Travel Time | 5 minutes
After exploring the Birg Thrill Walk, hop back on the gondola to continue your journey to Schilthorn. The trip is included in the tickets you bought in Mürren. This gondola ride is even shorter, taking only about 5 minutes to reach your final destination: Schilthorn.
Rising to an elevation of 2,970 meters (9,744 feet) above sea level, Schilthorn is one of the tallest peaks in the area and offers stunning 360 degree views of the Swiss Alps, most notably the Monch, the Eiger, and the Jungfrau.
Schilthorn is also famous for being the filming location for the 1969 James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
At the top of Schilthorn, there is a panoramic rotating restaurant, a viewing platform, and a Bond World 007 exhibit showing scenes from the movie and providing details about how the film was made.
This is also a popular spot for paragliding, so be on the look out for paragliders flying overhead.
Tip: Skip the restaurant and pack a lunch instead. As with most restaurants high on a mountain, the food is lackluster and overpriced. While the idea of a rotating restaurant may be cool, you can get all the same views by simply walking around the platform outside.
Step Six | Backtrack to Murren
Once you’ve had time to appreciate Schilthorn (you’ll probably want at least an hour), backtrack to Mürren by taking the gondola through Birg.
Step Seven | Hike from Mürren to Gimmelwald
- Distance | 1.7 miles
- Elevation Gain | 16 feet
- Total time | 1 hour
- Difficulty | easy
Find this hike on AllTrails: Mürren to Gimmelwald
When you arrive back in Mürren, take an easy 1.7 mile hike to Gimmelwald, another charming small Swiss village. This hike features striking views of the steep mountainside and glacial waterfalls flowing down towards the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Similar to Mürren in many ways, Gimmelwald is a small, car-free village perched just above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Be sure to stop into the Honesty Shop, where there is no clerk and you’re expected to simply leave cash for the items you purchase – be honest!
Step Eight | Gondola to Stechelberg
- Travel time | 5 minutes
- Ticket cost | 6 CHF ($7) OR free with Swiss Pass
After exploring Gimmelwald, take one last gondola down to Stechelberg. Stechelberg is located on the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. From here its an easy walk back to Lauterbrunnen, with a brief stop at Trummelbach Falls – ten glacial waterfalls inside a cave on the side of the mountain.
Step Nine | Hike to Trummelbach Falls
- Ticket cost: 14 CHF for adults, 6 CHF for children
- Operating Hours | daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM from April to November, daily 8:30 AM to 6:00 July, and August
- Hiking Distance | 1.8 miles
The walk from Stechelberg to Trummelbach falls is 1.8 miles, and adds less than half a mile to the entire walk back to Lauterbrunnen. The walk is flat and should take around 30 minutes. Tickets to Trummelbach Falls costs 14 CHF, and the falls close at 5:00 PM so be sure to leave enough time at the end of the day if you wish to visit.
Also be on the lookout for base jumpers taking off from the cliffs surrounding the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This is a popular area for thrill-seekers to hone their skills, sometimes resulting in tragic consequences (our Airbnb host warned us of the perils of base jumping!).
Step Ten | Hike to Lauterbrunnen
- Hiking Distance | 1.7 miles
From Trummelbach Falls to Lauterbrunnen is another flat and easy 1.7 mile walk. If you choose to skip Trummelbach Falls, the entire walk from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen is 3.2 miles. While there is a bus that runs between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen, we recommend walking, as the entire journey through the Lauterbrunnen Valley is beautiful with huge cliffs and waterfalls on all sides.
Step Eleven | Train back to Interlaken
When you arrive back in Lauterbrunnen, spend some time exploring the town if you haven’t already. Then hop back on a train to return to Interlaken.
Planning Your Interlaken Day Trip
In the section below, we’ll cover all the logistics to help you plan your trip to Schiltorn, Murren, Gimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen from Interlaken.
How Much Time Do I Need?
This trip can easily be done as a day trip from Interlaken. Depending how much you hike versus take public transportation and how long you spend at each location, expect the entire trip to take between 5 and 8 hours.
We completed the entire trip as described in this article in about 6 hours.
When To Go
The gondolas to Schilthorn run year round, so its possible to do this trip at any time. However, temperatures at Schilthorn were chilly even in the middle of June so the trip wouldn’t be quite as enjoyable in the winter.
Even in May, there is likely to still be snow covering the hiking trails. For best weather and hiking conditions, we recommend going between June and September.
Modifications to the Trip
If you aren’t interested in hiking, you can take a train from Grutschalp to Murren, a gondola from Murren to Gimmelwald and a bus from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen.
If you would like to hike more, you can hike from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp and Gimmelwald to Stechelberg.
Skip Trummelbach Falls if you are pressed for time.
Tips for a Great Trip
- Lines for the Schilthorn gondola can be very long. To save time, you can start early in the morning or schedule a boarding time for an additional 5 CHF.
- Pack lunch to enjoy on Schilthorn. This will help save money by avoiding eating at the Schilthorn restaurant.
- Get a Swiss Pass. If you are traveling in Switzerland for at least a few days, its probably worthwhile. On this trip, the gondolas to Schilthorn are 50% off with a Swiss Pass and the rest of the transportation is completely covered.
- Pack layers. It may be warm and sunny in Interlaken, but plan for cooler temperatures and strong winds on Schilthorn.
P.S. Looking for a complete list of what to pack for a day hike in Switzerland? We’ve compiled our complete list of essentials here:
Schilthorn or Jungfraujoch
Another popular day trip from Interlaken is to take a train up to Jungfraujoch, the top of the famous Jungfrau and the highest train station in Europe. While Jungrfraujoch offers great views, we recommend skipping it in favor of Schilthorn for a couple reasons:
- Visiting Schilthorn is significantly cheaper. Most of the journey is covered by the Swiss Pass. The entire round trip from Interlaken to Schilthorn, including all intermediate stops, will cost only 42.80 CHF ($48) with a Swiss Pass or 108.6 CHF ($120) if you don’t have a Swiss Pass. While this may seem costly, the round trip from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch will set you back 159 CHF ($179) even with a Swiss Pass or 210 CHF ($237) without a Swiss Pass.
- Schilthorn offers the best views of the Monch, Eiger, and Jungfrau. Even better than being on top of Jungfrau is seeing it towering over the Monch and Eiger in the distance.
- The hikes through the countryside alone are worth the trip. The tiny villages of Murren and Gimmelwald are so perfectly Swiss. The waterfalls of the Lauterbrunnen Valley are simply breathtaking. Schilthorn aside, this day trip is still incredible.
For more ideas on how to spend your time in Interlaken, we’ve put together a complete 2-day itinerary packed full of adventure:
For all things Switzerland: Switzerland Travel Guide
Have questions about this day trip from Interlaken? We know there are a lot of steps that can confusing. We’re happy to help! Comment below.
Thanks for this wonderful and informative post. I, my wife and 10-years old daughter are visiting Interlaken in June and will definitely likely to try this tour. I have some questions and need your guidance:
1. The tour involves 4 hikes (1 hike for 1 hour and rest three for 30 mins each). We may not be able to take all hikes and may opt for train/ bus for some of these. Can you please suggest which hike we should prefer and which one we can skip.
2. If we take a bus from Stechelberg, will the bus stop at Trummelbach Falls so that we can disembark there and take another bus after visiting Trummelbach Falls.
3. How to schedule a boarding time for Schilthorn gondola and in case we are not able to reach there at the scheduled time, what will be the consequences.
4. Also, can you suggest some our place around Interlaken which can be done in 5-6 hours through train (not hiking).
5. If we are taking the tour suggested by you, does it make sense to go to Grindelwald. Not interested in Harder Kulm.
6. I found this article on internet, but could not select one.
Hi Gaurav, thanks for reaching out! Sounds like a fun trip. Here are my thoughts:
1. I definitely recommend the hike from Grutshap to Murren. It’s beautiful with the grassy meadows and snowy peaks! If I had to pick one more, I’d probably say Trummelbach to Lauterbrunnen.
2. Yes, there is a bus that runs from Stechelberg to Trummelbach Falls. It departs every 30 minutes. You can see the timetable here: https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml
3. We did not book tickets to Schilthorn in advance and didn’t have any trouble. If you want to be sure, you can book them online at this link, and it doesn’t seem like you have to pick a specific time (just a date): https://schilthorn.ch/en/Tickets
4. If Lucerne isn’t already on your itinerary, it’d be a great option, especially if you don’t want to like! It’s about 1 hour by train from Interlaken. It’s a really pretty little town. We have another article about things to do in Lucerne: https://twooutliers.com/best-things-to-do-in-lucerne-budget/
You could also take a quick bus ride to Lake Brienz. There you can rent kayaks and it’s really fun to explore the lake by water.
5. We haven’t been to Grindelwald so I can’t say for sure. From our research and advice from our local Airbnb host, we thought Murren and Gimmelwald seemed more impressive, so that’s how we chose to take this trip.
Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!
Thanks for such a easy and detailed explanation of all the trips! It just made my work a lot easier..I’m sure with all the tips u have provided, I will have a great Swiss experience. Will I have to show the Swiss pass at every station for discounted rides?
Hi Nilesh, we’re so jealous you’re headed to Switzerland! Our all time favorite place. It’s amazing. I’m pretty sure you’ll need to show your Swiss pass at every station but I can’t 100% remember. The Swiss are usually very organized so I’d expect you will and it easy enough to carry around in your wallet or pocket anyways. Definitely better to be safe than sorry. I’d definitely recommend bringing it with you.
😀😀 indeed it’s a trip that’s been on my mind for past so many years. It’s a beautiful place and just going through your blog I felt I was already there..