A Swiss friend once told us that when God made the Earth, he made Switzerland last and dumped everything remaining into it – all the leftover mountains, lakes, and glaciers – to create a portrait of pure perfection. Lauterbrunnen Valley, often referred to as the Valley of 72 Waterfalls, is a place so beautiful in person that it’s like a creation from someone’s imagination. Hidden away in this surreal valley is one of the best waterfalls in Switzerland: Trummelbach Falls.
Of all the waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley, Staubbach Falls is undoubtedly the most famous. Visible almost as soon as you enter the valley, it’s the one everyone visits. But those who venture just a bit further into the valley are rewarded with the far more spectacular Trümmelbach Falls. Fueled with glacial run-off from the surrounding Swiss Alps, this beast is the largest underground waterfall in Europe. Actually made up of 10 separate waterfalls, it’s absolutely one of the most stunning natural wonders in Europe.
Part of what makes Trummelbach Falls so special is that it’s not just one waterfall. It’s a series of ten waterfalls inside one of the cliff faces that frames the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Not only is it unique in that it’s the largest underground waterfall in Europe, but it’s also the only subterranean glacial waterfall in the world that’s accessible to the general public because of industriously designed lifts, stairs, and walkways.
So typical of the Swiss to take an incredible natural phenomenon and share it with the world!
The falls are also part of a larger UNESCO World Heritage natural area. They drain the surrounding Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau Glaciers with upwards of 20,000 liters of water per second raging through its rocky path.
It’s an incredible amount of water. On average, these waters flush around 20,000 tons of natural debris down through the falls every year.
Keep this in mind while you’re visiting so you can really appreciate the scope of work involved in creating and maintaining such an attraction. Thanks to a lot of hard work and ingenuity, visitors have easy access to the raw power of nature on an unprecedented scale!
How to Visit Trummelbach Falls
Trummelbach Falls is a privately owned attraction that doesn’t offer ticket sales online in advance. You’ll need to buy them once you arrive unless you’re traveling with a tour group that handles that for you.
If you visit in the summer, you might have to wait in line for tickets. If you visit in the off-season, you should be able to walk straight through with no wait. That’s what we did during our May visit!
How much do Trummelbach Falls tickets cost?
The price of an adult ticket is 12 CHF. Children up to age 15 years are 5 CHF. Group rates are available for more than 10 people.
Prices are current as of October 2021.
When you arrive at Trummelbach, you’ll buy your tickets at the ticket booth and pass through a metal turn-style. Then you’ll hike a short distance on a wide paved trail through the fields.
This short walk to the base of the cliff is one of the few sections that’s really outside. The rest will be on a trail inside the cliffs, in tunnels, or under covered overhangs.
As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
Travel Tip: Because of safety issues, children under the age of 4 are not allowed at the falls.
In what order should you visit the falls?
When the trail reaches the base of the cliff, you’ll arrive at the tunnel lift, or elevator.
Here you have the option of taking the lift straight up into the mountain, or you can hike up to all ten falls, passing them from lowest to highest.
The exit to the lift is about 2/3 of the way up all ten of the falls. It’s roughly between waterfalls #6 and #7.
From the “Y” at the lift exit, you can choose one of the three branches when facing the valley.
Take a hard left and head uphill to see waterfalls 7-10.
Take a soft left and head downhill to see waterfall 6.
Take the only right and head downhill to see waterfalls 1-5. If you do this, you’ll miss the upper falls!
Travel Tip: We recommend visiting the upper falls first. If you arrive early, you’ll likely have the falls to yourself and then you can work your way down to see all ten of the falls.
Regardless of which order you decide to visit them though, it’s definitely worth visiting all 10!
Travel Tip: Wear good walking shoes! The trail has lots of stairs that are at times slippery. A light jacket’s a good idea too since it’s fairly chilly inside the tunnels, especially in the waterfall spray.
One of the neatest stretches is a set of curving steps built into the cliff face.
It’s like something straight out of Harry Potter, with its mysterious Grand Staircase.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to prepare them for the crash of the water, particularly with the upper falls.
It’s not a bad idea to bring ear plugs for them or for anyone with hearing problems. The water can cause uncomfortable reverberations.
Photography Tip: If you don’t have a tri-pod, try to balance your camera against a railing or the rock wall for less blur. Videos are also a good option, and if your camera allows the option to take photos on video mode, these are sometimes more clear in low light environments.
My absolute favorite out of all 10 falls was definitely Corkscrew Falls.
The channel is narrow and deep where the water has worn an incredibly twisted path through the rock, never slowing its urgent descent.
The last waterfall we visited was the lowest, waterfall #1.
From the cliff, it cascades vertically into the lush green Lauterbrunnen Valley floor before flowing into the Weisse Lütschine and eventually into the Lake of Brienz near Interlaken.
And with that, you’ve seen all ten of Trummelbach’s beautiful waterfalls!
Before you leave Trummelbach, you can grab a coffee and slice of cake at the small combo cafe/gift shop near the trail head if you’re feeling hungry. You can lounge outside on the covered patio surrounded by flowering plants and views of the Alps.
We packed our own lunch so we didn’t personally visit the cafe or buy anything, but we did linger there in the nearby fields enjoying our homemade lunch with unbeatable views. The setting is so beautiful that it’s a shame to rush through a visit.
By the time we finished hiking inside the cliff, I’d grown cold from the spray from the falls and was actually grateful for the warmth of the sunshine. As always, we’d ended up poking around longer than we expected, and we were starving.
Not wanting to leave yet, we wandered back to our car in search of food.
Since we were planning to hike up into the Alps after visiting Truemmelbach, we had lunch at the falls. We’d lucked out with a nice cool day, so we were able to leave our dog, Touille, sleeping in our car while we visited the falls. Retrieving her and our homemade lunches from the car, we lounged in a corner of the nearly deserted gravel parking area and threw her ball into a beautiful field of wildflowers while we ate.
With the exception of hiking, playing fetch is pretty much her favorite past-time.
Unfortunately, I was distracted by the wildflowers and failed to take note of where I threw her ball in the tall grass. After about an hour, she ended up losing it. Sad because the balls are hard to find in Europe and expensive to buy online.
After dividing the field into quadrants and sniffing her way through all of it in an oddly methodical fashion, she still hadn’t found it by the time we were ready to leave. We called her in, laughing when we saw that she was dyed yellow like a dandelion with funky black and white spots.
We’re offering a $1 reward to anyone who visits Trummelbach Falls and finds her mini orange Chuck-It tennis ball.
Where is Trummelbach Falls located?
The waterfalls are located in Lauterbrunnen Valley, the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland, the high mountain region of the canton of Bern.
The parking area, restaurant, and entrance to the falls are all right off the main road that runs north/south through the valley.
How do you get to Trummelbach Falls?
To some extent this depends on where you’re coming from.
Most folks will be arriving in Lauterbrunnen Valley from the north and will pass through the town of Interlaken first. From there, it’s only about 15 km to the valley. The road from Interlaken is the one main route in.
Arrive in Interlaken via the N6 or N8 freeway. Take the Wilderswil exit near Interlaken onto Obereigasse, then follow Hwy 221/222 to the valley. Drive through the village of Lauterbrunnen. Continue for 3 km on Aschmad road until you reach the turn off for Trummelbach Falls. It’ll be on your left.
Free parking is available in a gravel lot near the entrance to the trail to Trummelbach Falls.
Take the train via Interlaken SBB/BLS/Zentralbahn to Lauterbrunnen BOB. From there, you can take a bus the last few kilometers to the “Trümmelbachfälle” bus stop. The bus ticket only costs a couple of CHF (dollars/euros) and takes a few minutes.
Bikes are available for rent in town, or you can walk. From the main train station, signs point the way to Trummelbach Falls. If you walk, you’ll likely want to pass by Staubbach Falls, which is only about 1 km from the train station/Lauterbrunnen Tourismus.
The road through Lauterbrunnen Valley is only about 6 km long. If you continue for 3 km south past Trummelbach Falls, the public road dead ends in the village of Stechelberg.
Where to Camp Near Trummelbach Falls
We actually arrived at the falls before a single tour bus arrived because we stayed in the valley the night before, which we highly recommend!
There are lots of options in the area for hotels, home-stays, and Airbnbs, but to really appreciate the beauty of the valley, nothing beats camping. Waking up in a tent in Lauterbrunnen Valley to such stunning scenery is surreal.
Waking with the first light, we watched the sun as it slowly slid from the grassy meadows atop the cliffs, down the sheer granite faces with their thundering cascades, finally coming to rest on the valley floor after a long descent. After heating some breakfast on our camp stove, we drove the few kilometers to the ticket office at Trummelbach Falls and were the first ones to start the hike.
Whether you’re tent camping like we were or have an RV, we highly recommend staying in Lauterbrunnen Valley at Camping Ruetti.
Trummelbach Falls FAQ
What are the Trummelbach Falls opening hours?
Trummelbach Falls is open from early April until early November from 9 am – 5 pm and in July and August from 8:30 am – 6 pm.
When is the best time to visit Trummelbach Falls?
Spring and early summer are the best times to visit when the falls are running high. It’s a good option for a rainy day as well because a large part of the waterfall hike is protected in the caves.
Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Because of the nature of the attraction, high water run-off and landslides, which are typical in the Alps, can cause temporary closures. Check directly with the attraction before visiting.
Is Truemmelbach Falls wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, no. The trail has a lot of stairs which are often steep and wet. It’s also not ideal for those with mobility issues.
Are children allowed at Trummelbach?
Due to safety reasons, strollers and kids under the age of 4 years old are not allowed. If you plan to visit with older kids, plan to keep a close eye on them. The sound of the water inside the cliff is thunderous. This might not be suitable for sensitive children.
Are dogs allowed at Trummelbach Falls?
Dogs are allowed at the cafe, in the parking area, and in the surrounding fields and trails. However, once you reach the ticket booth to officially enter the trail to the falls, dogs are not allowed.
How much time do you need to see the falls?
Allow at least 1 1/2 hours to see all 10 of the falls. This includes taking the elevator up and hiking down. We recommend leaving at least two hours to take photos and just enjoy the falls so you’re not rushed. If you’re short on time, it’s possible to visit in an hour.
How do you contact the attraction?
Trümmelbachfälle is privately owned. You can call the business directly at +41.33 855 3232 or email them at email@example.com for more information.