Lake Lungern Guide: What To Do When You Visit

lake lungern from brunig pass

The beautiful Lake Lungern, also known as Lungerersee or Lungernsee, is a beautiful lake sitting high up in the Swiss Alps just north of Interlaken in the central Swiss canton of Obwalden.

Lake Lungern, Switzerland is actually nestled in the Sarneraa Valley, just up the valley from Lake Sarnen, which you could call its bigger brother.

Sitting on the shores of Lake Lungern, is Lungern village, the highest village in the valley. It is a charming old village and most of what happens at the lake revolves around this lovely village, as you would expect.

Lake Lungern was once a natural lake but is now considered a reservoir. The lake has a maximum depth of 68 meters (223 feet) with a water temperature of up to 23 degrees in the summer, however, in the winter, it is significantly cooler, of course!

Lake Lungern is considered to be one of the 5 most beautiful and romantic places in Switzerland. It was used as a filming location in the South Korean television series “Crash Landing On You” so if you have watched this series, you will have seen some of the stunning views of the area.

If you are looking to spend some time exploring alpine lakes, then visit Lake Lungern, Switzerland as not only is it stunning but there are also some great things to do along its shores.

Join me as I run through everything you need to know about visiting beautiful Lake Lungern, from how to get there, great things to do, and lots more.

​​How to Get There

By Car

A great way to get to Lake Lungern is by driving through the stunning Swiss landscapes from one of the major Swiss cities. Not only is the drive beautiful but having a car also gives you the freedom to explore places in the Lake Lungern area which are hard to reach by public transport.

Here are the drive times to Lake Lungern:

  • From Lucerne – 31 minutes
  • From Interlaken – 48 minutes
  • From Zurich – 1 hour

Parking around Lake Lungern

  • There are two large parking areas available on Hintersee Strasse, near the Obsee camping in Lungern for around CHF 5 per day
  • You can also park at the Parkplatz Seilbahn cable car station for CHF 7 per day
  • Parking is also free but quite limited on the side of the road and close to the lake

By Train

train to lake lungern
Train in Lake Lungern
  • From Lucerne – 1 hr 8 mins – direct to Kaiserstuhl OW
  • From Interlaken – 1 hr 5 mins – direct to Kaiserstuhl OW
  • From Zurich – 1 hr 33 mins – to Luzern, change to Kaiserstuhl OW
  • From Geneva – 3 hrs 40 mins – to Luzern, change to Kaiserstuhl OW
  • From Bern – 1 hr 43 mins – to Luzern, change to Kaiserstuhl OW

Things to Do at Lake Lungern

SUP Lake Lungern
SUP on Lake Lungern

Stand Up Paddling

I went stand-up paddling on Lake Lungern about 8 years ago and I will never forget it. We paddled on the lake from the campsite end of the lake and spent a few hours going up along the shores of the lake all alone save for one small fishing boat.

Of course, it pays to start early in the morning like we did, as it tends to get busier on the lake later on a summer’s day or weekend. Alternatively, you can also do stand up paddling down the valley on Lake Sarnen.

The views from the lake are spectacular because you are standing on this amazing aqua-blue lake with the Alps in the background. And, we got to jump into the lake whenever we felt like it, swim around our paddle boards and then just jump on again to dry out!


Sitting at 668 meters (2,257 feet) above sea level, you wouldn’t expect the waters of Lake Lungern to reach the balmy temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. When combined with crystal clear water that is so clean you can drink it, it is the perfect place for a relaxing swim!

If you have never swum in a lake surrounded by views of the Swiss Alps, you are in for a treat. Find a spot at one of the many lakeside beaches, sunbathe, take a dip, jump off the diving tower, and most importantly, enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains.

You can also find designated swimming areas which are great for families as they have more safety precautions in these areas.


fishing in lake lungern
Fishing in Lake Lungern

If you love fishing then both Lake Sarnen and Lake Lungern are great places to whip out your gear and try your luck at catching some trout or arctic char. You can fish in the lake all year round except for between 1-25 December.

The fishing is easily accessible from the shore or you can hire a boat to access more remote parts of the lake. I would suggest going to the northern part of the lake as it will see a lot less traffic and the fish will be a lot more willing to eat a fly or bait there.

I am rather obsessed with fishing, and there is nothing quite like casting a line with a mountain view around you.

You will need a license to fish in the lake. These cost CHF 35 per day per angler and you can take 5 fish home for dinner. You can also fish catch and release, as there is a payment for fish returned. For full information about licenses and hiring a boat, see here.


As you would expect, there are some beautiful hiking trails around the Lake Lunger area and it would be a shame to miss out on them during your visit. The tourism bureau in the area actually has a great map and pdf you should check out here.

Lake Round Trip

An easy hike to do with the family is to hike around the lake on the loop trail. It is only 9 km (6 miles) long, relatively flat, and takes between 2-3 hours. You can also stop for a picnic and swim along the way as this lake is one of the most stunning in the Alps.

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Breinzer Rothorn Trail (Höhenweg)

If you want to get the best views possible and you are in good condition then head all the way up to the Brienzer Rothorn and get some of the most stunning views in the region. Below you will be Lake Brienz and in front of you all the famous Alps of the Bernese Oberland – Eiger, Jungfrau, Monch, Wetterhorn etc.

You can take the steam train back down the Brienzer Rothorn too, which would make for an epic end to the day.

Panorama Round Trip

Another option from Turren is to hike up to Schönbüel and back in a loop which takes 3.5 – 4 hours. It is a challenging enough hike, but not as tough as going all the way to Brienzer Rothorn. It rises around 500 meters in altitude, but you have to do it all downhill again too! I did this over 10 years ago and it was a stunning hike and a great day out in the mountains.

Butterfly Trail

For those of you looking for a challenge, the Lungern-Turren Butterfly Trail is for you. It is a steep hike of 7.6 miles with 4265 ft of elevation gain which takes you to the summit of Turren. It is worth it for the epic views of the lake, surrounding mountains, and valleys from Sädel. But on top of this, you get a chance to see the 17 different butterflies that can be seen in one of the richest butterfly areas of Switzerland.

If you want a more relaxed version, you can also do this trail in reverse by taking the cable car up to Turren and hiking back down, or even take a ride back down if you are feeling lazy after just heading to the ridge.

Booking a place on this famous butterfly trail, which includes an aerial cableway trip and breakfast is also a lovely thing to do. You will walk with an experienced guide who tells you as much as you want to know about the different butterflies you see along the way. For more information and pricing see here.


view of lake lungern
View of Lake Lungern

The area around Lake Lunger is also great for cycling and you can rent bikes from the train station if you are not traveling with one.

There are quite a few trails to choose from, the most obvious and family-friendly being the 9 km loop around Lake Lungern itself.

You can also find other routes that are more challenging, for example, if you follow route 9, it will take you to Interlaken where you can get a train back to Lungern.

For mountain bikers, hop on the cable car up to Turren and you will find some epic trails to follow back down. For more information about the routes and regulations, see here.


Lake Lungern’s calm waters are perfect for sailing which makes it the perfect place to learn to sail or to challenge yourself with its reliable winds.

You will find quite a few marinas around the lake and if you want to learn or hire a boat, I recommend you go to Terraqua Segelschule Lungernsee, the local sailing school.


Obsee campsite
© Obsee Campsite

If you want to experience living in an alpine environment, camping at Lake Lungern is an excellent choice and it will cost you a lot less than a double room at a local hotel.

You can pitch your tent or park a caravan in several camping areas, such as the Obsee campsite.

Waking up each morning to the sunrise over the lake, hearing the morning songs of the birds in the fresh mountain air, and taking a dip in the lake are hard to beat.

Wildlife Observation

The environment around Lake Lungern is home to some interesting wildlife. You may be very lucky and get to see a red deer, and a beautiful golden eagle, as well as owls, hawks, foxes, martens, and rabbits. It is well worth keeping your eyes peeled as you hike/bike/swim and enjoy the area.

Take a quiet stroll along the shores of the lake or go into the nearby forests, and look out for signs of wildlife. Remember to keep your distance while you are looking for or watching these incredible creatures in their natural environment.

Tips for A Memorable Visit

Immerse Yourself In The Beautiful Surroundings

lake lungern and the mountains
View of Lake Lungern

The best advice I have for you is to explore the lake, the village, and the surrounding area as much as you can, and in every way that you might enjoy.

The scenery is so spectacular that it kind of does the work for you. However, it is the little things like hiking through the scenery, seeing the views from the viewing point Schoenbuehel, learning to sail, seeing the Dundelbach Waterfall, and having a swim at sunset that will make your trip more memorable.

Picnics & Cameras

It is always nice to take home some lasting memories in the form of great photos when you travel to beautiful places like Lake Lungern, so always have your camera with you.

There is also no better way of getting off the beaten track than being independent, and taking a picnic along for the ride is the best way to do this.

Be Prepared

The last thing anyone wants is to get caught being unprepared in the wilderness. Make sure you check the weather, pack some extra layers and waterproof, and carry all the things you might need like water, snacks, and a map.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim in Lake Lungern?

You can swim in Lake Lungern, especially in summer when the water is a balmy 23 degrees celsius. Of course, you can swim in the spring and autumn too, just be aware that it gets a lot colder.

Is Lake Lungern Worth Visiting?

Lake Lungern is definitely worth visiting in my eyes. Between the great things to do and the wonderful landscapes, it is a bit of an alpine lake paradise.

I would highly recommend visiting in the months of June and September as this is when you will have excellent weather but much fewer crowds compared to the busy summer months of July and August.

How deep is Lake Lungern?

Lake Lungern measures 68 meters or 223 feet deep at it’s lowest point.

How warm is Lake Lungern?

Lake Lungern can get to 23 degrees celsius at its peak in summer.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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