Last weekend on Mount Titlis was one non-stop mountain adventure.
In just two days, we hiked, ziplined, rowed a boat, went up to the top to see snow and ice, went down to enjoy blooming meadows and sunny strolls, saw the sunrise and the sunset over Trübsee lake, and experienced winter.. in July (glaciers are so cool!). There is so much to do up there and all this fun is just a 1h40min train ride from Zürich.
So if you’re looking for a memorable summer weekend in the Alps, with beautiful views and unique experiences, here are my Top 7 things to do at Titlis.
1. WALK ACROSS THE HIGHEST SUSPENSION BRIDGE IN EUROPE – THE TITLIS CLIFF WALK
3,043m above sea level, 150m off the ground, this walk is a thrill. You have to do a short stroll on the snow to get here and that already sets the scene for how high in the mountains you are.
Once on it, you’ll have a magnificent view of a horizon full of sharp snowcapped peaks, including the tallest mountain in Switzerland, the Dufourspitze (also known as Monta Rosa).
Access to the Titlis Cliff Walk is free once you are up at Klein Titlis, just follow the signs.
Make sure you wear good shoes and bring a warm jacket. We were there on a warm July day, and it was +8C at the top so it probably doesn’t get much warmer than that, and since snow stays up there all year round, waterproof shoes are a must.
And definitely don’t forget your sunglasses – even on a cloudy day reflection from the snow is very bright.
2. EXPLORE A NATURAL ICE CAVE
How often can you say that you walked through a glacier cave? Especially in the middle of summer? This was so much fun to do. The contrast to the outside makes you feel like you step into another world for a while.
The cave is 20m below the glacier and 150m long. Along the way, there are some fun frozen items (like my favorite character from Ice Age) and the lighting creates a cool atmosphere.
Similar to the Titlis Cliff Walk, the Glacier ice cave is free to enter. The temperature here stays a cool -1.5C all year round so make sure you bring a jacket and wear warm shoes.
3. ENJOY THE SNOW.. in the summer!
Besides the Cliff Walk, the Glacier Ice cave, and the lunch with a view you can have at Titlis Panorama restaurant, you can also do a bit of hiking in the snow in the surrounding area. It makes for cool photos, but it’s also a fun experience – the air is fresh like in winter, the sun is strong like in summer, the weather temperature is in between, and you’re walking on snow. A different kind of exercise and very memorable.
This is the panoramic terrace of the restaurant with 360-degree views across the Alps. There is also indoor seating for colder days. It’s self-serve with traditional Swiss food and snacks.
These pictures look like a slice of winter, don’t they? But actually, it’s a very special and cool (literally ;)) summer experience you can have at Titlis.
For a bit of fun, check out the pictures hanging in the stairways of the Klein Titlis building. It may look like random people dresses in traditional Swiss costumes but these are actually celebrities and athletes from Switzerland and all over the world (including the Miss Switzerland contestants from previous years).
4. RENT A BOAT ON TRÜBSEE
Trübsee doesn’t have the crystal clear color of a typical mountain lakes (hence the name, in translation from German “cloudy lake”), but what it lacks in turquoise it makes up for in charm. On a bright early morning, the lake calmly reflects the majestic peaks around it, and on a beautiful evening, it mirrors a dramatic sunset (see photos below).
You can do a pleasant walk around it any time of the day, but I would also recommend taking out the boat. Rental is based on an honor system: suggested price per hour is CHF 10 and there is a little box where you can deposit the money.
We went out in the morning just after 8am and had the whole lake to ourselves. Imagine cowbells, early rays of sun, and the calming splash of paddle through the water.
This was actually my first time ziplining ever. Normally, I am neither afraid of heights, nor a fan of them. I get dizzy and giggly on Ferris wheels from a bit of vertigo, but I can ride all the open chairlifts very calmly. The Cliff Walk also does not phase me one bit. So I decided, why not?
As you walk alone Trübsee, you can see people ziplining along and it looked like a ton of fun, so we decided to do it. If you can handle all the chairlifts on the mountain, then this zipline is no problem for you, because it’s not very high but it is scenic!
There is no reservation necessary, you just walk up and take your turn. Price is CHF 12.00 per adult/child. It’s 500m long and takes less than a minute to go across so you don’t need much time for the whole procedure. But the feeling of flying through the beautiful mountain views with your arms outstreched – soooo cool!
6. HIKE AROUND ENGSTLENSEE
This is the kind of beautiful mountain lake you see in postcards and the descent here is worth the trip alone. You can hike or take the chairlift down depending on how much time you have. Either way, you’ll be accompanied by mountain bikers enjoying the curvy slopes.
If you take the chairlift prepare yourself for one scenic ride as you get closer and closer to the sparkling lake below.
The path around the lake makes for a nice stroll and you can either stay up above it or hike down to the water. I loved that everything around it was in bloom – the colorful alpine flowers contrasted with the bright blue of the water make for beautiful photos.
We got sandwiches from our hotel and had a little picnic by the water. Perfect!
Tip: if you’re planning on using the chairlifts, make sure to check when the last ascent/descent is so you don’t miss it. On the day we were there, the last lift left at 4:30pm.
7. STAY AT BERGHOTEL TRÜBSEE
This is the kind of hotel you imagine in the mountains – cozy-alpine style, with friendly service, tasty, hearty food, and postcard surrounding views. It’s perfectly located above Trübsee lake, right at the gondola station, making it a convenient overnight to do all the activities this mountain has to offer.
I loved that every detail here was carefully thought through, from the room signs to the lampshades. It’s the kind of place, where from the minute you enter, you feel the alpine atmosphere and your mind relaxes = vacation.
We had dinner here and it was a mix of buffet (2nd and 3rd course) and a la carte (1st, 4th and 5th course). Tasty and filling, exactly the fuel you need after a day of hiking and fresh air.
While having dinner we were looking outside and noticed that it was a beautiful sunset, so somewhere between course 4 and 5, I ran out, camera in hand, to capture it. And I’m so glad I did – how stunning is this shot of Trübsee playing mirror to the sky?
The next day we had a very nice buffet breakfast (with a cheese selection I returned to more than once), and you can choose to have it outside with this beautiful view.
HOW TO GET THERE AND OTHER TIPS
If you’re Zurich or Lucerne based, Mt Titlis is just around the corner. From Lucerne, it’s a direct 40-minute train to Engelberg (the village in the valley below Titlis) and then a short walk (7 min) to the gondola station.
You can buy your tickets there and the price varies depending on how high you want to go (see prices here). I would definitely recommend going all the way to the top, especially if it’s your first time.
Below is a screenshot of the Engelberg Titlis hiking map, of the part that covers all the activities I mention in this post. I recommend downloading the full map (here) or picking one up at the tourist/ticket office because it’s very helpful.
First, we took the cable car from the valley station Engelberg (very left bottom of the map) to Trübsee (middle, where our hotel was).
You can then see Klein Titlis at the very top of the map (this is where the Cliff Walk, the Glacier cave, and snow walks are). To get there from Trübsee a gondola will take you up to Stand, and then a Rotair (a big rotating gondola) takes you to the top to Klein Titlis. It’s a very scenic ride all the way through so have your camera ready!
And then on the middle right there is Engstlensee. To get there from Trübsee you first have to take the chairlift up to Jochpass, then a separate one down to Engstlenalp.
The best way to do the itinerary if you want to pack a lot of fun in one day, is to go up all the way to the top to Klein Titlis, enjoy all the snow, ice, and views, then come back down to Trübsee, explore the area, and after that take a different chairlift for the Engstlensee hike. But it’s a lot of beauty and activities in just one day, so if you don’t want to be rushed, and instead enjoy this beautiful area to the fullest, do a weekend getaway like we did.
NOTE: This trip was done in paid partnership with Engelberg Titlis Tourism, for more ideas and tips on what to do in the region, visit their website https://www.titlis.ch/en.