Switzerland Guide 2019 by Wander-Lust

Switzerland is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world! We never received so many direct messages on social media as we did on Elke’s last trip to the Swiss Bern region. So here it is, the Switzerland Guide 2019 with all those amazing places you so loved on Instagram.

Getting There

If you live in Europe, Switzerland is perfectly set in the middle and pretty easy to get to. We decided to make it a car roadtrip because of the many places we wanted to visit, plus it’s a better option for the environment too! Tip: get yourself a Swiss vignette for on your car window so you can use the toll roads. It will cost you about €35,- and it will be valid for 1 year. Notably, Diesel in Switzerland is more expensive compared to normal fuel so keep that in mind. Also, speeding tickets are extremely high, so keep your foot off the gas a little and watch out for those speeding camera’s.

Switzerland roads
Stunning roads in Switzerland


Jungfrau Region

I started my trip in Meiringen / Hasliberg, where you will find mountains and cute villages.If you can, try to bring your GoPro camera to film your driving route because it is really amazing. This route is also very popular with motorcyclist because of the many corners and pretty surroundings. I checked in at Hotel Wetterhorn, just 40 minutes from Luzerne. Waking up here is a dream. The hotel used to be a lush holiday home back in 1907 and was recently turned into a modern style Swiss hotel.

Hotel Wetterhorn
Spritze up your life!

The hotel has a large garden area where you can relax on the wooden swing, or enjoy an Apérol Spritze on the terrace which is connected to the Wetterhorn restaurant. The restaurant serves a great buffet breakfast (appreciated by those who love healthy food), and a 4-course set dinner which is ever changing. Nice to know: Underneath the restaurant you will find a club where concerts and performances are held during special occasions. I stayed in a Wetterhorn Suite which has a balcony, equipped kitchen and lounge area. Great for families!

Hotel Wetterhorn Switzerland
Comfy bed at Hotel Wetterhorn

The Gelmerbahn

If you have a fear of heights, I would normally tell you not to even think about doing this, but having experienced this myself, I highly recommend the Gelmerbahn to anyone! So what is it? It’s basically a cable train which takes you all the way up Handegg mountain and Gelmersee lake. With an incline of 106%, it’s the 2nd steepest train ride in Europe! Tickets are 32CHF and you need to book a time as the train only has space for 24 people. At the top you can wander around the Gelmersee (lake) and wait for the train to come up again.

Gelmersee | Switzerland Guide
At the top of the Gelmerbahn you find Gelmersee

Off the Beaten Track

When you drive back, you must stop by the Rosenlaui Glacier. The drive there is impressive enough if you decide not to climb up the 5-km glacier after all. The walk up the glacier takes about 1 hour (back and forth). Nearby the entrance is a nice restaurant that serves soup, salads and decent coffee. Notably, getting here by car is possible but quite narrow. We did it with our Peugeot 508 and it worked fine. (plus you can stop where ever you want to take photo’s!) I was there during high season and it wasn’t busy at all!

Rosenlaui Glacier Switzerland
Coming up to the Glacier, you’ll find this stunning backdrop


Lauterbrunnen

From the Rosenlaui Glacier it’s only an hour drive to your next stop; Lauterbrunnen. Oh yes, this picturesque Swiss town is not to be missed. First of all, you are welcomed by massive mountains as you drive through the valley. Secondly, the waterfalls! fairytales really do exist and you’ll realize it here. Read more here about the fairytale guide to Lauterbrunnen. On the contrary, it is not the cheapest of places. We stayed in a fantastic Airbnb, but you can also opt for a day trip.

Lauterbrunen village


Mänlichen / Junfraujong

From Lauterbrunnen you can go up the mountain by train. This is a must do because the train ride itself is super nice! Buy your tickets at the train station which is located near the COOP supermarket. You can park your car for 24 hours or less which will cost you a maximum of €17,-. The train passes Wengen for nice photo opportunities but we continued all the way up to Kleine Scheidegg. There you can have lunch in one of the café’s on the hill and enjoy the sunshine before heading back down.

Train Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
The train ride takes about 40 minutes

Kleine Scheidegg Switzerland

Kandersteg

Our next stop was Kandersteg. This time I stayed in a traditional Swiss hotel named Hotel Alfa Soleil which is family owned. The hotel has been around for years but a located at a great spot for those that want to hike the next day. Secondly, our room had the best balcony view! The hotel’s restaurant Nico’s, is known for their great set courses and wonderful outside seating area. Most of their veggies and herbs come from the Hotel’s garden and you can taste that! 

Switzerland Guide 2019
The village of Kandersteg

But the main reason people stay in this hotel is because from here you can easily visit the famous and beautiful Oeschinnen lake. Nice to know: The hotel includes a free gondola ride up to Oeschinen valley, together with many discounts around the area. The village of Kandersteg is nice to walk around with a view shops and café’s, plus there is a public pool to cool off during summer.

Switzerland Guide 2019
Hotel Alfa Soleil balcony view

Oeschinen Lake

One of Switzerland’s most famous lakes, yet I needed to see it. From our hotel, it was only a 10 minute walk to the gondola that takes you up in about 7 minutes. Upon arrival you will see a Swiss Rodelnbahn that you must try! For just €4,- you can enjoy a ride overlooking the Swiss Alps. If you do this before 11am, it’s not so busy.

Switzerland Guide 2019
This was fun!

To begin with, the walk to Oeschinen Lake is beautiful. Tip: wear a pair of good walking shoes and bring enough water! If you are traveling with kids, make sure you take the easy route. Not all paths are suitable for strollers. At the lake itself you can relax in the shade and enjoy a picnic. Many people bring their own food and make a controlled fire which is allowed. At the same time, there are about 3 restaurants nearby, but prices are very high due to the popularity of this spot.

Switzerland Guide 2019
Stunning colours at Oeschinen Lake

Another popular lake is Blausee. It is stunning but very touristic which made it less enjoyable for me though. For example, hurdles of people trying to take a good photo and “influencers” that see the lake through their screen instead of enjoying the nature around them. However, if you are near, you could take a peek as the entrance is only 8CHF. There is a restaurant located overlooking the lake and playground for kids. If you do decide to go, walk around the forest area just behind the lake. Not many people go there, so it’s quiet and serene.

Blausee Switzerland
Blausee, stunning but too many people


Adelboden

For the last part of my Switzerland trip, we decided to treat ourselves to some luxury. From Kandersteg we drove to Adelboden, located on the other side of the mountain which is about a 35 minutes drive. The best hotel in Adelboden is definitely The Cambrian. This boutique modern style hotel is high class and offers wonderful rooms with comfortable beds and stunning views. Their pool is so popular on Instagram, that they have restricted photo times so other guests won’t be bothered. Good on them! With this in mind, I also made the cheesy pool shot when I was allowed of course.

Switzerland guide 2019
Cheesy shots at The Cambrian.

The Cambrian bed

The restaurant and breakfast area is wonderful with great service from the staff. I was surprised to see such a diversity of guests at the hotel. From the Chinese tourists to young couples and families. Our little guy enjoyed the large playroom that offers games, toys and Disney movies. From The Cambrian you walk straight into Adelboden’s town center and the gondola that takes you up the mountain. You can buy return tickets for 24CHF at the tourist office which is located across the gondola.

Coffee in Switzerland

Restaurant Tschentenalp

One reason to go up is restaurant Tschentenalp. If you are here on a Sunday, you must check out this restaurant. They offer a special Sunday lunch with unlimited salad, grilled meat and veggies. The views, again, are stunning. We relaxed here for a bit before walking around and checking out the newest edition to Adelboden; The Giant Swing. This brand new summer attraction just opened a few weeks ago and its already such a hit, that travelers take a de-tour just to try it.

Schnentenalp Switzerland
Swiss restaurant with a view

Schnentenalp Switzerland Guide

The Giant Swing Adelboden
The Giant Swing

On the whole, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful week in Switzerland, and I highly recommend that everybody should go. Grab your car in order to be mobile enough, and don’t hesitate to bring your kid(s).

Switzerland is for anyone that loves stunning nature, great food and is willing to trade the beach for some mountains. This beach girl didn’t miss the beach at all this summer.

Happy travels,

Elke

Fairytale guide to Lauterbrunnen

Arriving in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland is rather special to say the least. The landscape changes and massive mountains will pop up around you. Lauterbrunnen is the cherry on the cake.

Lauterbrunnen is situated in the Swiss area of Bern in an area known as the Jungfrau Region. The town finds itself in a lush valley with several waterfalls and is a hit amongst travelers on Instagram. If you have never visited this place, you will soon after seeing these pictures.

Lauterbrunen village
Entering the stunning village of Lauterbrunnen

Where to stay

You have a few options, but we decided to stay in an Airbnb. The reason why I love staying in someones house or apartment, is because it gives my trip a more personal experience. It feels like home away from home. As a result, my eye caught one of the most amazing Airbnb’s I have ever stayed at. Waking up with a waterfall in the backyard was not something I had experienced before.

Lauterbrunnen

The apartment was big enough for 4 people and was equipped with an open kitchen, a spacious bathroom, 2 bedrooms and a living area. And last but not least, the outside terrace was facing the 2 waterfalls. Priceless! My experience was pleasant, the apartment was clean and everything was explained clearly. Book it here!

Lauterbrunnen Airbnb
My Airbnb in Lauterbrunnen

What to do

  • Hiking
    Most people visit Lauterbrunnen because they are going to hike around the area such as Mänlichen, Jungfraujoch or Grindewald. From Lauterbrunnen you take the train that passes Wengen (a must stop for photo’s of the valley!) and it will take you as far as Kleine Scheidegg. From there you can also take the train up to Jungfraujoch and the platform with its magnificent view over the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps!
  • Visit the Trummelbach Waterfalls
    These are the eye catchers of Lauterbrunnen and you can walk straight behind the falls with stairs going up. Tip: If you visit them around 7pm, it won’t be busy at all, even during high season.
  • Go Paragliding
    If you visit the Bern region, you will see a lot of parachutes and paragliders in the air. This is the ultimate activity for thrill seekers because the backdrop is stunning. Would you dare?
  • Explore Lauterbrunnen Village
    Because of its popularity, the town center can be quite busy during high season. However, this is the case in the morning, so get up early if you want to take some good photo’s.

Train Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
Traveling by Swiss train

Where to eat

Because we stayed in an Airbnb we opted for the local COOP supermarket in the village and enjoyed a home cooked meal. Restaurant prices can be extremely high unfortunately but there are a few places in Lauterbrunnen that are worth visiting and won’t leave you with empty pockets.

Café Lauterbrunnen | Wander-Lust

  • Coffee Bar Airtime
    They serve flat whites so I was sold. This cute coffee bar is located in the middle of the main street so you can’t miss it. They serve breakfast, cakes, healthy juices and lunch. They only accept cash so bring some!
  • Flavours
    Sandwiches are made to order, the coffee is actually done well and they serve homemade Focaccias! Burgers and salads are also on the menu.
  • Eiger Guesthouse Restaurant
    This place offers nice take away pizza’s that you can enjoy on a bench looking at the waterfall.

Tip: If you have kid(s); there is a nice playground near the waterfall and just 10 minutes walk from the main street. The best view from a children’s playground I’ve ever seen!

Read more about Switzerland!

Love,

Elke

In and around Bern, Switzerland

Europe has so much to offer and one of my favourite countries has to be Switzerland. Green hills, snowy mountains, waterfalls and wonderful towns. It was time to see if those Instagram images would live up to my expectations. First stop: Bern!

For this roadtrip I needed a car that would have enough power to drive through a landscape full of hills and yet, feel comfortable at the same time. I took the Peugeot 308GT and boy did I make a good decision there! This baby was perfect for the German highway (no lazy speed limits like in the Netherlands) and I felt pretty cool too 😉 Tip » If you want to see more (and save some cash) then try to avoid the Swiss Toll roads where you need to buy a vignette for. This normally cost you around €35,- and it’s valid for one year. We took the small roads and drove through a beautiful landscape. Careful, the navigation will try to get you on the highway again so use your google maps as navigation on the small roads.

Driving around Switzerland in the Peugeot 308GT
Going from A to B in style

Around Bern

My first stop was at a rather special one. A big landhouse called Schloss Hünigen. The property is run by a gentleman with the same family name as me! This was such a coincidence! (we later discovered that we come from the same tree of life) I was warmly welcomed and given a spacious room overlooking the garden. The hotel currently has 49 rooms and the Schloss dates back from 1555. All guests have free entry to the nice spa which features a steam room, 2 sauna’s and a bubble bath. The city Bern is only a 30 min drive and you can also take the train which is only a short walk away from Schloss Hünigen.

Food & More

The food which is served in restaurant, Rosarium, is very very tasty. You can enjoy typical Swiss and international cuisine with good wine. (believe me, I tried) In the restaurant or on the terrace, everything is themed around roses. The outside garden and terras is surrounded by 3500 roses and wedding guests can plant their own rose branch with their names on it. Golf and hiking are popular activities nearby but I enjoyed the garden and my room for as long as I could. It was just what I needed after a few hours in the car. For a peaceful and romantic stopover near Bern, this is the perfect place to stay. Book your stay here.

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The impressive Schloss Hünigen

Schloss Hunigen
My spacious bedroom

Dinner at Schloss Hunigen
Fresh salad from local produce

Bern City

I didn’t know much about Bern, only that the bear is their national symbol and it’s a city surrounded by fresh mountain water. From Schloss Huningen I drove to Bern in about 30 minutes and had a guided tour booked. I did this because I only had one day in Bern so I needed to make the most of it. The tour lasted 1,5 hours which is enough to learn about the history and Bern’s most famous marks. We started the tour with the story how Bern got his name. (well, at least so legend says). Berchtold V, Duke of Zähringen, (names back in the days were so much cooler) the founder of the City of Bern, vowed to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt; as this turned out to be a bear, the city had both its name and its heraldic beast. You will find bears everywhere. On the flags, souvenir shops, cups and it’s the only city that owns 3 real bears in the city center.

Bern

Things to do in Bern

Bern is a quiet city but don’t be fooled! There are lot’s of things to do, especially during summer. Here are a few examples:
» Visit a market. Food Markets are on Tuesday and Saturdays right in front of the Parliaments House
» City tour “Follow your nose in Bern” Let you be seduced by the world of fragrances and the historic centre of Bern. Just literally follow your nose on a guided tour and learn more about the history and the smells of the City. From sandstone to liquorice up to cocoa flavour – Bern can offer many unique scents with a thrilling past. After the tour you will create your own Bern-perfume in the Shop “Art of scent” managed by the perfume specialist Brigitte Witschi.Website
» Urban Swimming If you ever come to visit Bern in summer don’t miss to jump into the refreshingly cold and clean water of the Aare river. It is indeed one of the best experience during hot summer days and typically Bern! An activity which fascinates young and old alike. It’s a local thing so if you want to blend in, take a leap in the refreshing water. During summer, locals walk up the hill and take their rubber boats into the water and let the current take them down the river which takes about 2 hours. There is also a swimming pool which is free for everyone! There’s also a new trend, Urban Surfing coming up. A young and motivated surf teacher gives surf lessons to everyone interested. http://bungeesurfen.ch/
Tip! » Get yourself a Bern ticket. This ticket let’s you use the public transport for free, even the the elevator to the Cathedral Platform, and travels to and from Bern Airport. Every guest automatically receives a “Bern Ticket” when staying overnight in Bern. www.bern.com/en/bernticket

The clock of Bern

Dates not to miss

Buskers Bern Street Festival / 11-13 August / Street musicians all over Bern! www.buskersbern.ch
Gurten Festival Bern / 14-17 July / The program includes more than 60 live acts and 60 DJs representing the pop, rock, punk, elektro, funk, soul, R&B, hip hop, country, singer-songwriter and blues genres. All on top of the mountain overlooking Bern. www.gurtenfestival.ch

Overlooking Bern
Overlooking the River with Restaurant Schwellenmaeatteli across the water

Where to eat?

» Restaurant Lötschberg Original Swissdom does hype. Centrally located in the upper Old Town. With youthful open-mindedness, Lötschberg will treat you to Swiss specialities in their light, urban and trendy restaurant. www.loetschberg-aoc.ch
» Klösterli Weincafé Small yet classy – Bern’s first address for all wine and coffee aficionados. Premium Italian coffee and a carefully selected range of around 100 wines await you in a stylish setting. A small yet delicious selection of dishes are offered. Specialty cheeses and dry-cured meats served on a slate platter. Or a tender piece of “Café de Klösterli” entrecôte. www.kloesterlibern.ch
» Tibits Tibits, derived from the word “titbits,” stands for delicious and fresh food and drink. As speedy as a fast food restaurant, but as comfortable as a top-quality café: tibits in a nutshell. The vegetarian (and partly vegan) buffet offers more than 40 different salads and a selection of warm dishes which changes daily. Alongside fresh juices, tea and coffee, wine, and cocktails, you can also enjoy sandwiches and fine pastries. Everything is also available to take away. www.tibits.ch
» Restaurant Gärtnerei This trendy self-service restaurant offers daily homemade salads and soups as well as other delicacies, some even vegan, sugar- or wheat-free. Healthy, sustainable and tasty! www.gartnerei.ch
» Schwellenmaeatteli by the river. The interplay of architecture and nature makes spending time in the sunny outdoor seating area of the pavilion a real experience. Guests can even watch the movements of the water through an opening in the wooden floor. Great for those summer nights.  www.schwellenmaetteli.ch
» Restaurant Rosengarten, for stunning views of Bern and seasonal dishes. It’s a steep walk up for about 5-10 minutes but it’s worth it. You can also visit the Rose Garden while you’re there www.rosengarten.be

The gartnerei in Bern
The healthy and sustainable Gartnerei. Source

Coffee & More

» Effinger Kaffeebar & Coworking Space Effinger Kaffeebar & Coworking Space opened in March 2016 and is the ideal place for a beer with your friends after work. It also offers coworking spaces for young and creative freelancers. www.effinger.ch
» Kaffee Montag Every day fresh and surprisingly different. At Kaffee Montag you get seasonal and fresh products from the region. It’s a great place to sit and chat with your friends while enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. And why is it called Montag (Monday)? Because Monday is their favourite day of the week! www.kaffeemontag.ch
» Adrianos This bar located just opposite the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) has a Mediterranean feel, offers a good atmosphere and serves excellent coffee, thanks to its in-house roasting plant. www.adrianos.ch
» Volver BarTapasCafé ‘Volver’ is Spanish and means ‘to come back’. To ensure that visitors to Volver do just that willingly and often, they are continually delighted with gastronomic gems from Spain and Switzerland: a morning cappuccino, a pasta lunch, chocolate cake in the afternoon, or beer, wine & tapas in the evening. Volver is small and cosy with a great atmosphere! www.barvolver.ch

Coffee & More in Bern
Kaffee Montag, underground cellars and risotto at the Rosengarten

Where to sleep?

» Hotel Landhaus A young hotel in a more than 100-year-old listed building. Situated at the heart of the Bern Old Town, right on the Aare river and next to the BearPark, the hotel is the perfect location for all lovers of the special and unconventional. The renovated rooms offer globetrotters, families, artists, businesspeople, backpackers, individualists, and even groups and school classes a home away from home. www.landhausbern.ch

One day Bern wasn’t enough to visit all these hotspots but hopefully YOU can.

Love,

Elke