A Small Dog’s Guide to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Part II

by Gigi Griffis

After nearly two months spent in the Swiss Alps this year, I’ve got an even better understanding of dog-friendly options in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. And just in case you’re planning a Swiss Alps vacation with your fuzzy friend, here are our findings:

Pet-friendly Accommodations

Camping Jungfrau Holiday Park allows dogs to camp with you (though sadly does not allow dogs in the cabins or dorms). Tent pitches start at 30 Swiss Francs per night including the 3 Franc dog fee.

The Horner Hotel—a handful of simple, clean rooms with shared hall bathrooms above the Horner Pub—also tends to be dog-friendly (though they don’t publicize it and you should always ask before booking). Rooms start at 35 Swiss Francs per night.

If you’re looking for something a little nicer (or just want your own bathroom), Hotel Schutzen is pet-friendly. Prices start at about 100 Swiss Francs per night, plus a 15 Franc dog fee. And they only have a limited number of dog-friendly rooms, so book early.

Luna on a mountaintop

Dogs on Trains

Dogs travel free on Swiss trains as long as they’re inside a dog carrier. Walking on their own, they travel at half fare.

I also found that traveling within the valley for hiking (which isn’t conducive to carrying a carrier), they let me take Luna for free as long as she rode on my lap. So if you have a small dog and are just heading from Lauterbrunnen to Murren or Wengen or one of the other nearby towns, ask if it’s okay to just carry the dog for free.

Luna in Switzerland

An English-Speaking Vet

Luna had several minor vet visits during our time in the Alps. The vet office we used (we saw both vets in the office) was located in Interlaken at General Guisanstrasse 39. Their phone number is 033 822 21 41. And the practice is called Kleintierpraxis und Tierklinik.

From the Interlaken West train station, walk out of the station and make a right. Walk past the Migros and make your first left. The office is on the right side of the street and isn’t well marked, so go slowly and pay close attention. If you go more than a block, you’ve gone too far.

Luna rolling around

Restaurants + Bars

As usual (for Europe), Luna was allowed in pretty much every restaurant and bar. We spent a lot of time at the Horner Pub and Airtime Coffee Shop and saw a number of dogs come through. We also had meals at a variety of mountaintop restaurants and no one blinked an eye when Luna and I waltzed in (even though we’d been hiking all day and were both gross and muddy).

Luna and Gigi at the top of a mountain


The trails are well marked and, of course, dog-friendly. Keep an eye out for leash signs. Some trails are very specific about making sure your dog is on a lead (either because the trail tends to be more crowded or because there are lots of cows and a dog approaching a cow is a recipe for disaster; those cows are not nice).

Luna hiking

Have you been to the Lauterbrunnen Valley with your dog? Any tips for us?

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Ali November 14, 2013 - 7:08 am

I’m seriously never going to do this, but any excuse to see a bunch of adorable pictures of Luna! I just want to hug her!

gigigriffis November 14, 2013 - 7:10 am

Hahaha. Yeah. I figured putting in a lot of cute photos would help this be a fun blog post for the non-dog-owners as well. :)

H Webster November 16, 2013 - 12:24 pm

When I was growing up in New Zealand, I always felt like such a freak, like I would never really meet anyone who truly got me. Thankfully the internet has proven me wrong. The world is absolutely full of people just like you, who love what you love. And, as Brittany said to me yesterday, when you put yourself out there, and when you are unabashedly yourself, you begin to attract those people to you.

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MelD November 25, 2013 - 4:01 pm

It may be useful to specify what kind of dogs are considered “small” or “medium”. A Yorkie like Luna is always going to be in the “small” category, I guess, but then come the dogs that are in-between and it can swing either way. It’s not really even breed-related (my own English Cocker Spaniel is quite a dainty female, but I know considerably larger – double size- male Cockers, even American Cockers, from other lines!). So even my small Cocker pays half-fare here, even if she has to squeeze under the seat if the train is busy, but I just try to be considerate.
And yes, it is quite unusual for dogs not to be allowed in restaurants in Switzerland, though a few places have had bad experiences. A dog that lies quietly, possibly on its own blanket, will mostly only gain positive comment! And will be allowed in any outdoor eating place for sure.
We have also taken much larger dogs (incl. Great Dane) on cable cars in order to hike trails across or down mountains (also on sledging runs!), no problem with a well-trained animal, though a larger or older dog might find a downhill trail hard on the joints.
We’re lucky to live in a mostly very dog-friendly country :)

gigigriffis November 25, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Hi MelD! Glad to see you again! It’s my understanding (and correct me if I’m wrong) that all dogs pay half fare, regardless of size, and that dogs in carriers (even, presumably, a mid-sized dog in a crate?) would travel as luggage. I don’t travel with large dog, so I’m not 100% sure, but the icons when you buy the half-fare ticket show a much larger dog and I’ve seen a bunch of them on leashes on the trains. I guess I just assumed they paid the half-fare ticket?

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