A DAY TRIP TO SCHILTHORN MOUNTAIN, SWITZERLAND

VISITING SCHILTHORN, SWITZERLAND + TRAVEL TIPS

Here I am, talking again about my favorite region in the world – the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. I have visited and seen quite a lot in Switzerland, but visiting Schilthorn Mountain has been one of the most special experiences.

If you plan to visit Schilthorn then this post is for you. In this post, I will share tips on how to get up Schilthorn, what to do and see, how and where to buy tickets, and more.

I have visited Schilthorn twice. Once on a bit foggy day in summer and once on a beautiful, clear day in winter. What is the best time to visit Schilthorn? Well, that is also what you will find out in this post.

Mountain views at Schilthorn
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WHAT IS SCHILTHORN?

Schilthorn is the highest mountain in the range lying north of the Sefinenfurgge Pass. It is 2,970 meters above sea level and lies above the village of Mürren, from where a cable car leads to its summit.

Besides an amazing, amazing view you will also find several attractions. You might already know that Schilthorn was the filming location of the 007 movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Services“ in 1969. So, James Bond fans will also appreciate this fantastic mountain excursion.

This is coming from someone who is not a James Bond fan at all so I am still happy I enjoyed two gorgeous days at Schilthorn. It is all about James Bond (even for non-fans interesting), great views and beautiful sceneries (just saying the Swiss Skyline) and also a bit of adventure.

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HOW TO GET TO SCHILTHORN?

Schilthorn is the accessible from Lauterbrunnen located in the Bernese Oberland.

GET TO LAUTERBRUNNEN BY CAR OR TRAIN

Lauterbrunnen is a small village, at almost 800 meters above sea level, and close to the famous resort town of Interlaken. It takes about 20 minutes by train or car from Interlaken.

Once in Lauterbrunnen, you have several options to get up Schilthorn. 

If you get to Schilthorn by car, you can park your vehicle just in a big (paid) car park and walk to the cable car station just next to the big car park. If you get to Lauterbrunnen by train, you can just walk 3 minutes to the cables car station.

CABLE CAR FROM LAUTERBRUNNEN TO GRÜTSCHALP

The cable car station will take you to Grütschalp. It takes less than 10 minutes and you have some nice views from the cable car of Lauterbrunnen valley.

Cable cars run several times a day.

Grütschalp is a railway station at almost 1500 meters above sea level. 

If you are in a rush, take the train to Mürren. The short train will just wait for you once you get out of the cable car. If you have time, get out of the cable car and enjoy the views from the platform behind the train station before embarking on the next train to Murren.

Grütschalp in Lauterbrunnen
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The view from there is just splendid but you will have more chances to enjoy that panorama. The Swiss Skyline, which describes the view of the three mountains, Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau are just phenomenal on a clear day.

FROM GRÜTSCHALP TO MURREN 

The next step is to get to the mountain village of Murren (Mürren) and there are two options. Mürren, 1638 meters above sea level, is one of the prettiest Swiss mountain villages. This car-free village sits above Lauterbrunnen and is a tourist magnet all over the year. You need to get there to take another gondola to Birg and then Schilthorn.

VIA TRAIN TO MURREN

In Grütschalp hop on the train towards Murren. Try to sneak a seat on the left side (in direction of travel) as you have the best views of the Swiss Skyline from there. You can also open the windows so ideally you have clear views.

View from train to Mürren
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The train ride is scenic! In winter, you can expect some beautiful winter wonderland and in summer you will see the 50 shades of green. 

HIKE FROM GRÜTSCHALP TO MÜRREN

Alternatively, you can start a beautiful hike from Grütschalp to Mürren. It takes about an hour/an hour and a half and though there is a slight uphill, it is a doable hike for almost all people of all ages. The path is wide, the incline not a lot, and the view: priceless. 

Hiking from Grütschalp to Murren
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TIP: You can do this hike at any time of the year – also in winter. BUT the path might be closed if the snow gets icy and thus it is too slippery and dangerous.

MÜRREN

Mürren, 1638 meters above sea level, is one of the prettiest Swiss mountain villages. This car-free village sits above Lauterbrunnen and is a tourist magnet all over the year.

This is probably how you imagine a cute, traditional Swiss village in the Alps. Whether you get here by train or hike up here – to get to the cable car station, you have to walk through the little village which will take about 10-15 minutes.

Mürren - station stop @shutterstock
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Mürren – station stop @shutterstock

If you have time, I suggest walking slowly. There is not that much to do and see but the scenery, the cute houses, and everything is just very pretty so I would enjoy my time up here if I were you.

After this, you will have to get another gondola which will bring you to Birg. The gondola station is quite big and well signed, so this will be your next stop.

BIRG

Before arriving at Schilthorn summit, you can (and should) stop at Birg which is a summit at almost 2,700 meters.

You will find a couple of attractions here. So, when you get out of the gondola do not head straight to Schilthorn but get out here first.

Views from cable car from Mürren to Birg
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You have the Skyline Walk which is a great platform offering panoramic views.

Swiss Alps in Lauterbrunnen
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Swiss Skyline with Arzo Travels
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Skyline views from Birg
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I also did Thrill Walk which just opened in July 2016. It is more than 1,000 meters above Mürren and a cliffed path leads to vertical drops of the rock massif – do not skip this one when visiting Schilthorn (there is no extra fee/entrance for all activities). 

Region of Jungfrau
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Region of Jungfrau @shutterstock
On the Trails of James Bond: Visiting Schilthorn
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On the Trails of James Bond: Visiting Schilthorn

Cable car to and from Birg Mountain in Lauterbrunnen
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You will also find a restaurant here but there is also one at Schilthorn (a very famous actually).

I would plan in about an hour or so, before getting up Schilthorn at last.

SCHILTHORN

After Birg, you will get to Piz Gloria/Schilthorn by hopping on another gondola. The ride just takes a few minutes but you will be spoiled with some more fantastic views during the ride.

Views from cable car near Birg
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As mentioned, Schilthorn is the highest mountain in the range lying north of the Sefinenfurgge Pass at 2,970 meters above sea level.

The Swiss Skyline in Lauterbrunnen
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Swiss Panorama in Schilthorn
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View from Schilthorn, Piz Gloria
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At Schilthorn, you will also find the famous Piz Gloria.

Piz Gloria is the revolving restaurant many people know from the James Bond 007 movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

Schilthorn and Piz Gloria from cable car
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Schilthorn @shutterstock
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Schilthorn @shutterstock

Piz Gloria is all about James Bond, even the burgers (in my case I opted of course for the vegetarian option) have the 007 logo! Good news. the food did not only look interesting, but it was also tasty.

It is Switzerland and you cannot expect bargains at the restaurant. However, I would not say it was overpriced. As a ballpark: I paid around 30CHF for my vegan burger + fries and a soft drink.

In case you want to have lunch here, I recommend not being there between 1 or 2 pm as it was quite busy at the time I arrived. The staff was overwhelmed and I had to wait a while until I got seated. So, better come here around 12 pm or after 2 pm.

Piz Gloria famous staircase from James Bond movie
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On the Trails of James Bond: Visiting Schilthorn
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On the Trails of James Bond: Visiting Schilthorn

Basically, 90% of my knowledge about James Bond 007 now comes from my visit of the interactive James Bond exhibition here.

Flying a helicopter, taking a call on the red phone with instructions for the next case, hunting the bad guy with a sled (well, at least I assumed I was doing it) – I had the chance to re-live all that thanks to the exhibition (oh well, I also kissed James Bond but this picture is not meant for the public).

Piz Gloria James Bond museum
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Well, if you are there you must check out the restrooms as well! Even that is fun.

Not to miss is the 007 Fame of Walk which is situated outside and gave more information about James Bond, the crew, and the movie itself.

James Bond trail on Schilthorn mountain
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GETTING FROM SCHILTHORN TO LAUTERBRUNNEN

Now, it is time to get back to Lauterbrunnen and there are several ways. 

VIA MÜRREN – GRÜTSCHALP – LAUTERBRUNNEN

First, you need to get back to Birg and then Mürren. There you can walk to the train station, take the train to Grütschalp and then take the gondola to Lauterbrunnen.

VIA MÜRREN – STECHELBERG – LAUTERBRUNNEN

Another option is to get to Mürren and then take the gondola (which is just next to the gondola from Birg/Schilthorn) to Stechelberg.

Stechelberg is a tiny village close to Lauterbrunnen. If you get out of the gondola, you can then either do a nice, scenic walk to Lauterbrunnen (about 90 minutes) or take a bus that brings you back to Lauterbrunnen.

It is also about a 40-minute walk to the famous Trümmelbach Waterfalls, which is located between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg.

P.S. This could also be a way to get up to Mürren and then to Schilthorn.

VIA MÜRREN – GIMMELWALD – STECHELBERG – LAUTERBRUNNEN

If you want to be more active and include (some more) hiking, you can also get to Murren (1,650 meters above sea level) by gondola. Then you can start a beautiful and quite easy hike to the small mountain village of Gimmelwald (1367 meters above sea level). From there, you can then hike down to Stechelberg (796 meters above sea level). It is a downhill hike but especially the hike towards Gimmelwald is very scenic – especially on a clear, sunny day.

Gimmelwald near Lauterbrunnen
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In Stechelberg you can then either walk to Lauterbrunnen (about 90 minutes) or just take a bus.

BUYING TICKETS / PRICES FOR SCHILTHORN

Okay, getting up Schilthorn is a great idea. Unfortunately, getting up via cable car/train is not the cheapest activity. However, if you have a Swiss Travel Pass or are a hiker, you can save quite some money. If you have to pay the full price, it is still worth it.

SCHILTHORN PRICES WITH A SWISS TRAVEL PASS

If you are a holder of a Swiss Travel Pass, you will save a lot of money. A Swiss Travel Pass is available for non-Swiss visitors (who do not reside in Switzerland or Liechtenstein) and allows you to use trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland without any extra charge (very few exceptions).

You can also use the cable car to Grütschalp and the train to Mürren for free. For the gondola ride to Birg and then Schilthorn you will get a 50% discount. 

The Swiss Travel Pass seems expensive at first, but I almost always get one when I am in the country because it helps me to save money. You can choose between a 3, 4, 6, 8, or 15-day pass (which comes either as tickets that you have to use on consecutive days or you can use flexible within 30 days).

With a Swiss Travel Pass, a return ticket to Schilthorn will then cost you around 41CHF.

  • You can buy tickets here. (I normally use GetYourGuide whenever I buy tickets/tours because of the generous cancellation policy and they are my first choice).

There are no other costs for the James Bond museum or the Thrill Walk.

SCHILTHORN PRICES WITHOUT A DISCOUNT

If you do not have a Swiss Travel Pass or any other discount card, you have to pay for tickets from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp, then to Mürren, Birg, and Schilthorn + return.

A return ticket is about 105CHF (you can also use the route via Stechelberg). 

In this case, I would buy the ticket just at the ticket station.

SERVICES

  • At the cable car stations, you will find toilets, and also restaurants. 
  • You also have free wifi. 

CONCLUSION: A DAY TRIP TO SCHILTHORN MOUNTAIN

Visiting Schilthorn is an activity that takes a full day (minimum of 5-6 hours from Lauterbrunnen) if you want to explore a bit more and don´t want to rush. 

If you want to do some hiking, whether from Grütschalp to Mürren or from Mürren back to Lauterbrunnen, you will need more time.

I enjoyed my ride up with a cable car to Schilthorn – it is actually one of my favorite mountain excursions in Switzerland. I had a great time there and if you are interested in the beautiful scenery and want to find out more about James Bond in Schilthorn, this is definitely a great activity. 

More Information:

What else to do around Lake Thun? Click here to find out more

Best places to stay around Lake Thun and Interlaken: Here are my top tips

Click here if you are looking for more great things to do in Interlaken

Here are tips for the best places to visit in Switzerland and the best places to stay

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