After visiting the town of Lauterbrunnen for a day on my topdeck trip 2 years ago, I knew I wanted to come back in the future to spend more time here! The picture perfect post card village is one of the most beautiful places I have been! But as you may or may not be aware, Switzerland can be a very expensive country to visit (especially those who are backing packing or are a money conscious traveller).
So here are the best tips and things I learnt, to keeping your spendings to a minimum:
1 – If you are backing packing then I’m sure you wouldn’t even consider this, but skip the fancy hotel. I personally think they are such a waste of money! I mean, you come to one of the most beautiful places in the world, I guarantee you won’t spend much time inside AT ALL (especially here!). And at the end of the day all you really need is a bed and shower! Also something to remember, hostels do have private rooms, so if you really don’t like the idea of sharing a room with lots of people, then this is a much cheaper option than a hotel and you still get the same privacy. The first picture below was where we stayed during our time in Lauterbrunnen, we rented it through http://www.airbnb.com. We loved it and would highly recommend using airbnb!
2 – Stay in accommodation that has a kitchen. Whether that is a hostel, airbnb apartment or even a cheap hotel, you will thank god you did! Tyler and I calculated that we spent about 65 Swiss Franks (similar conversion to the euro) on food for 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners for the both of us, which works out to be around 2.5 Franks per meal each. And if we ate out at an average of 15 Franks a meal each (which would be considered very cheap in Switzerland) would be 390 Franks for the both of us for 4 days worth of food. That is an INSANE amount of money, that’s more than the amount for us both to go paragliding and I know what I would much rather do! Plus I actually like being able to cooking exactly what I feel like rather than going to a restaurant and having to be picky! It is also handy to make some sandwiches for a packed lunch and take some snacks while you’re on the go, exploring and hiking!
3 – Continuing from tip 2, stock up on as much food as you can before you arrive! We stopped in Germany in transit from Austria and found a LIDL (similar to ALDI) and bought packets of pasta in bulk, pasta sauce, kidney beans, fruit, salads, snacks, cereals, spreads, bread, wraps and whatever else we felt like and it proved to be the BEST THING EVER! There is one small supermarket in Lauterbrunnen but it was far from cheap! We bought pasta sauce in LIDL for 0.50 euro cents and in the Lauterbrunnen supermarket the same thing was 4 eruos, everything was more than double the price! So it’s worth lugging around a food bag for a travelling day, trust me (as annoying as it was)!
4 – The main attraction known for tourists to see in Lauterbrunnen is Jungfrau, which is the highest point in Europe, and on a clear day you can enjoy views over Aletsch Glacier and Concordia mountain ranges. This tourist attraction sees over 2 million visitors a year but we DID NOT take the train to see this for a few reasons… My next tip is to do a bit of research and see where else you can go without paying a horrendous amount of money like Jungfrau that will (in my opinion) give you the same if not better views! If you are still itching for those mountainous views I suggest going to Schilthorn. Far cheaper and you can stop at all of the beautiful towns on the way. We just couldn’t justify 180 euro EACH for a 40 minute train (that’s nearly $300 AUD EACH) to Jungfrau. And the last reason was the fact we prefer a nice view overlooking the town with mountains in the background, than seeing just mountains covered in snow. We unfortunately couldn’t go to Schilthorn because it we were just out of season, which was a bummer, but looking at the points on the map Schilthorn isn’t that much lower than Jungfrau which would still give you a similar feeling at a cheaper price (102 euro or 82 euro for sunrise/sunset tickets).
Even on my topdeck tour 3 years ago, I chose not to pay to go to Jungfrau, I went skiing instead! It was a very foggy day and for the same (I think actually a little less) price I got to ski for the whole day instead! And when my group came down the mountain and showed me photos you couldn’t see a thing! So I was pretty happy with my decision! Haha
5 – Similar to tip 4, but embrace the beautiful FREE outdoor scenery Lauterbrunnen is known for! Although you can skydive, paraglide, base jump, go white water rafting and god only knows what else, there is so much to see without costing you an arm and a leg (literally). There are sooo many hikes/walks for all ages and abilities. If you don’t really like the idea of hiking but want to save money than taking the train/gondola up to the point you want and then walking down is a great option, to still get those amazing views without so much of a struggle. There are also many waterfalls that are free to see and discover (apparently there are 72 in Lauterbrunnen!). But one I would 100% recommend going to is Trummelbach falls, it is 11 euro each but well worth it and it’s easily the best waterfall I’ve ever seen in my life! It was actually closed the day we went (wrong season dam it!) but we snuck in and got to see it! I do not reccommend this as we got into trouble with a scary German man hahaha!
By all means Switzerland certainly isn’t the cheapest country to visit but it is definitely worth it! It is truely such an incredible place and one to definitely see in your life time. Hopefully these tips allow you to be able to make dreaming-about-going-to-Switzerland into a reality!
Thanks for reading! Have any other budget saving tips for Lauterbrunnen? Comment below! (Let’s help out other fellow budget travellers!!)
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