Want to see the Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen? This detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about Switzerland’s most spectacular waterfall!
No need to miss anything when you visit this lovely Swiss mountain town, let me show you
- when to go
- how to get there
- how much time you need
And a whole lot of detailed insider tips from my recent visit to Lauterbrunnen – the valley of endless waterfalls.
Table of Contents
|Beim Staubbach, 3822 Lauterbrunnen (Google Maps)
|View point below falls: All year round
Hike behind falls: April – October, 24 hours a day
|View point below falls: Accessible with wheelchair and pram
Hike behind falls: Not accessible
Hiking Behind The Staubbach Waterfalls
- Hiking Time: 30 minutes one-way
- Altitude gain: 117 meters (383 ft)
- Open: Usually May/June til the first snow in Oct/Nov
- Trail Head: Find it here on Google Maps.
The Staubbach Falls hike takes around 30 minutes, depending on how fast you walk and how fit you are. It is a relatively easy hike, but just keep in mind it is steept uphill for the first part.
Eventually, you get to a 50m long tunnel that leads to the more rocky part of the hike. When I went thought early in the morning there was no light. A sign said it only turns on at about 8am. So, make sure you have a light with you if you go early or late.
Once you come through the tunnel there is a combination of metal stairs and railings along with slippery, uneven rocks to get to the end. It is a short walk, but you need to be a bit careful because of the water.
I recommend wearing shoes with grip, but 90% of the people I saw were just here in sandals or tennis shoes. So, I guess anything is possible (even if it is not smart).
When you get to the waterfall directly, you can walk behind it – and get wet. So, don’t forget to bring a rain jacket, especially if it is windy. I was there in July, so the Staubbach falls were not in full flow. So, getting wet was not really an issue. There is some spray, but nothing major.
If you go earlier in the year when the snow melt is larger, or if the wind is blowing the water towards you, then I imagine you could get very wet indeed.
How to get to Staubbach Waterfall?
No matter where you come from, you need to get to Lauterbrunnen. The falls are located right above the town itself.
All you really need to do is get to the Lauterbrunnen town or train station, and you are just minutes away from the Staubbach Falls.
Walking to The Staubbach Falls
It is definitely worth the walk to the start of Staubbach Falls to admire them from below. The path to the falls is completely accessible and can be done with a stroller too. After all, the best views of the falls are from far away.
You can also follow the so-called “wanderweg” signs which are everywhere in Switzerland. They are bright yellow signs on posts around town and at train stations. They will lead the way too.
But after my visit, I can also tell you that all you really need to do is walk along the main road through town (along with everyone else) and keep walking straight ahead when the road bends left. The Staubbach Falls are right there in front of you.
There is a big gravel area below the falls where you can relax and enjoy the falls. I noticed it gets busy after about 10am in summer. I found it most peaceful either early in the morning or late at night.
The most popular spot for a photo is next to the hut just before the falls and gravel area. You will see lots of people posing there as you approach the falls.
Although it is great to admire them from afara, the best up-close and personal experience is from behind them!
Below are some personal tips and details about the short hike up to path behind the Staubbach Falls.. You don’t really need a map to walk as it is very obvious and clear.
Getting to Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is in valley in the Jungfrau Region above Interlaken. It is about an hour from Bern and at least a few hours away from other major cities in Switzerland.
If you are coming by train, here are the approximate travel times to Lauterbrunnen:
- Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen: 20 minutes
- Bern to Lauterbrunnen: 1.5 hours
- Zurich to Lauterbrunnen: 2.5 hours
- Geneva to Lauterbrunnen: 3.5 hours
All train journeys go via Bern and then Interlaken Ost and there are often a variety of connections to get you there. The journey times above are the shortest possible connections.
If you are driving to Lauterbrunnen, here are the approximate times to get there:
- Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen: 20 minutes
- Bern to Lauterbrunnen: 1 hour
- Zurich to Lauterbrunnen: 2 hours
- Geneva to Lauterbrunnen: 2 hours 45 minutes
Parking in Lauterbrunnen
There are a number of car parks in Lauterbrunnen. The easy place to park is just before you come into town on the left at Parkhaus Lauterbrunnen.
If you are early enough, there will be space right at the bottom of the Staubbach Falls to park. It is just a little further up the road from the train station as the main road turns left and downhill to cross the river. This is called Parkplatz Lauterbrunnen.
There are signs around the town showing which parking areas have space and how many spaces. There is one as you drive in, and one at the Parkplatz too.
Closer to Lauterbrunnen
In case you’re staying in one of the towns close to Lauterbrunnen, like Mürren or Wengen or Stechelberg you can easily get to the village by train and bus. The Lauterbrunnen train station is also connected to Interlaken by train, which makes it easy to get there from anywhere really.
Best Time to Visit the Staubbach Falls
The absolute best time to visit Staubbach Falls is either May or June. This is when there is usually plenty of water in the cascade, so you can admire the fabulous waterfall in its full glory.
Can you visit the waterfall any time of the year? You absolutely can. Will it be just as impressive every time you visit? It most definitely will not be. The Staubbach waterfall looks the best when there’s a lot of rain, and that’s either May or June. It tends to dry up a little during the other months.
However, I was there in mid-summer after some very dry months and it was still very impressive.
Other Falls Worth Seeing Around Lauterbrunnen
Keep in mind that this is also one of just a few big waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen. So, even if you visit during a bad time and you witness a trickle in the place of what’s supposed to be a majestic waterfall, it’s not the end of the world because there are loads of equally impressive cascades in the area!
Most of them you can see on a walk from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, which you can read about in my Hiking in Lauterbrunnen post.
Although the Trümmelbach falls are hidden inside a canyon and you have to pay to enter, I can tell you after a recent visit that they are definitely worth your time.
There is the Spissbachfall just a little further down which I found to be equally impressive, even if you can’t walk behind it.
Then there is the Mürrenbachfall which is right behind the payment booth for the trip up to the Schilthorn. So, if you are going to go up to that, then you can visit those at the bottom.
How long does it take to visit Staubbach Waterfall?
Two hours is enough to see the Staubbach Falls if you don’t want to hike to the viewpoints because the waterfall is pretty much above the center of the village. You can just walk up to the waterfall (just wear a rain jacket!), snap a few photos, and head to a nearby cafe/restaurant where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while admiring the waterfall from afar. On the other hand, if you want to see the majestic waterfall in Lauterbrunnen on a day trip, plan to spend anywhere between 2 and 8 hours in the village.
But the exact length of your visit depends on what your idea of a visit to Staubbach Waterfall looks like. You could spend hours exploring the Lauterbrunnen Valley, hiking to different viewpoints in the Swiss Alps to get the absolute best view of the famous waterfall or you could just show up at Lauterbrunnen village, see the waterfall, snap a few photos, and head somewhere else.
If you want to explore more of the area, plan to stay in the Lauterbrunnen valley for a couple of days. A two-night stay will allow you to spend as much time as you want to explore the Staubbach waterfall viewpoints, but you’ll also have plenty of time to explore other cascades and landmarks in the area.
Staying in the village longer allows you to ride the funicular to Wengen, from where you can hike to Staubbachbänkli – a spectacular mountaintop viewpoint that offers a breathtaking view of the waterfall in Lauterbrunnen.
Where to Stay to See Staubbach Falls?
Ideally, you should stay in Lauterbrunnen for a few days. The beautiful village has a lot to offer to its visitors, including museums, panoramic train rides, numerous hiking trails, spectacular viewpoints on the nearby mountain peaks, and numerous shops and restaurants along the main road. The waterfall is just a short walk away from the center of the village and it is even possible to hike behind the falls, for even prettier views.Booking.com
However, Lauterbrunnen works only for shorter stays since there aren’t that many things to do in the area to keep you entertained for an entire week. If you’re planning a longer stay in Switzerland and want to visit the Staubbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen on a day trip, consider staying in Interlaken instead.
The lovely town is nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and it offers a plethora of attractions to all its guests. Whether you want to go on lake cruises, hike to other waterfalls, go bungee jumping, or just tour museums, you will have plenty of things to do in Interlaken.
The bigger town is also connected to many other towns and villages in the area, and you can travel by train, bus, and boat.
Best Things To Do Near Stabbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen
There are some 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley – why stop at the Staubbach waterfall? With so many other stunning cascades and a variety of other landmarks and attractions, it makes sense to explore as much of the valley as you can manage in the time you’re there!
Trümmelbach Falls is a 30-minute walk away from the Staubbach Waterfall, and a marvelous natural landmark worth seeing. This is a system of glacier waterfalls that rush down the inside of a mountain, and it is truly a remarkable sight.
The footpath around the waterfall is narrow and slippery at times, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. There are barriers that protect the visitors from falling into the caves, but you could still hurt yourself if you slip and fall on the stone steps.
Thrill Walk, Birg, Schilthorn Gondola
If you’re an outdoor adventurer who relishes an adrenaline rush, don’t miss out on the Thrill Walk in Birg. You can reach the town in less than an hour from Lauterbrunnen – first, take a bus to Stechelberg, then ride the gondola to Gimmelwald, Mürren, and finally the mid-station, Birg, of the Schilthorn gondola.
The Thrill Walk is a sightseeing path about a minute away from the gondola lift station atop Birg. It’s free of charge, so when you get out of the gondola just head down the metal stairs. The walk is perfectly safe and it offers mesmerizing views of the Jungfrau and Eiger peaks.
It’s worth noting that you have to return via the same path, so once you reach the end of the Thrill Walk, you’ll need to climb all the way back to the beginning.
Piz Gloria is the next station after Birg on the gondola ride, so once you’re done taking in the great views just get back in the cable car. Head to the restaurant atop Schilthorn that was made famous by a James Bond movie – it was named Piz Gloria in the film, and that name stuck!
The revolving restaurant is heaven on Earth for all James Bond lovers, with several movie exhibits and Bond-themed drinks/food. There’s also an observation deck in front of the restaurant, where you can enjoy spectacular 360° views of the surrounding mountains. It’s truly a surreal experience and only an hour away from Lauterbrunnen!
Jungfraujoch is a saddle that connects two mountains in the Bernese Alps – Jungfrau and Monch. It is easily accessible from Lauterbrunnen via a cog railway, and it’s home to quite a few interesting attractions. This is the highest train station in Europe, situated at an altitude of 3,454 meters above sea level.
The Top of Europe building is situated atop Jungfraujoch, and it’s a must-see attraction. The building is home to a restaurant, a fabulous ice palace, and an observation deck that offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the Aletsch Glacier. It is the longest glacier in the Alps and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Head to the charming village of Mürren to see another spectacular waterfall. Mürrenbachfall is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Switzerland with a total height of 250 meters. The waterfall is fed by melted snow from the nearby summits, so the best time to visit it is in early summer.
Mürren is easily accessible from Lauterbrunnen by bus. The ride is only around 10 minutes long and you can see the waterfall as soon as you reach the station.