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Murren or Grindlewald with kids ages 9 and 12

Hi,

I am looking to spend 5-7 nights in the Bernese Oberland with my family this August. Kids are ages 9 and 12. Recommendations as to whether to stay in Murren or Grindlewald? Any specific accommodations you would recommend?

Thanks!

Lauren

Posted by
4663 posts

They are close together, similar in scenery, so I would just search accommodations and see what looks best for your family. With prices as they are and a limited supply, it is never too early.

Posted by
11487 posts

We like the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which includes Mürren, perched on a cliff above the valley. It is car free and much more charming than Grindelwald. Great easy hikes without going far, a lovely playground at Allmendhubel just above Mürren.

You'll want to secure lodging ASAP as August will be busy. If you cannot find what you want in Mürren, Wengen is perched on the other side of the valley and Lauterbrunnen is very convenient as well so don't overlook it as a possibility for lodgings.

Are you looking for an apartment or hotel?

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks Laurel. Probably an apartment would work best for our group if you have a suggestion.

Posted by
16897 posts

We spent six nights in an apartment in Mürren with our grandchildren (11-yr-old twins) and their parents last September. They enjoyed the Allmendhubel playground and the cheese dairy visit, and the North Face trail hike. But the highlight of their time in the BOI was the day we traveled down to Lauterbrunnen and up Männlichen, stopping at the playground there before continuing down to Grindelwald for the activities at the First gondola.

https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/grindelwaldfirst/

They chose the Trotti-bikes, but there are two zip line things on offer as well. We planned to include the Pfingstegg lift with the Rodelbahn, but we ran out of time.

https://www.pfingstegg.ch/index.php/en/activities/toboggan

We had planned to return to Mürren using the Eigergletscher gondola and hike down to Kleine Scheidegg, but we ran out of time for that too.

So they kind of wished we had stayed in Grindelwald part of the time so they could do more of that, as well as return to the Männlichen playground, which has more interesting activities for older kids. Just a thought.

If you do decide on Mürren, I suggest either Chalet Oberberg A or Chalet Oberdorf B on this website:

https://www.topapartments.ch/en/4-persons

We were actually in the 3-bedroom apartment Oberdorf C, rented from a different owner, but I am recommending the smaller less expensive ones in the same building for you. The location is excellent, in the upper village a short walk from the Coop grocery via a little shortcut. The views are great, and you can watch the little Allmendhubel funicular go up and down.

Posted by
6097 posts

We loved the Lauterbrunnen valley side over Grindelwald. We used AirBnB. There is a "campground" on the outskirts of Lauterbrunnen. Looked more like glamping to me. In addition to regular campsites, there were little cabins.

I would think your kids would love Gimmelwald and you can walk down from Murren. My kids loved Gimmelwald, we were there 3 times. And they were 20 at the time!

Posted by
396 posts

Murren gets more sunshine that than either valley, Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald. For me that's important. So Murren or Gimmelwald which is also up on the alp and not in a valley. J

Posted by
3203 posts

Well, what kids of 20 like is very different to what 9 and 12’s like. Just sayin’. I think the young ones would like some activities, not just scenery.

For every person who says they love Mürren, or Gimmelwald, or xxx, you will find another who prefers Lauterbrunnen, or Wengen, or Grindelwald.

Basically, everyone loves where they stayed and thinks it is best. But everyone is looking for different things, so you need to consider your own needs when reading.

People who want easy access to transportation elsewhere vote for lauterbrunnen. This town is in a valley that looks like Yosemite but is full of hotels and traffic. Not a great place for children to run around. Some people say LB dark with all the shade from the cliffs.

People who like charming car-free alpine villages like Mürren or Wengen or tiny Gimmelwald. Wengen has the most fancy hotels and more shops and restaurants. I think it started as an upscale resort town for Brits. Múrren has more of a mountain feel with lots of wooden chalets. Gimmelwald is a tiny farm community with a couple of creaky lodging options which RS seems to love. We had trouble finding a place for lunch there.

Grindelwald is kind of a compromise iof all of the others. It is a valley, but much more open than Lauterbrunnen, and sunny not dark. The views of the peaks and the Eiger are stunning. There are lots of shops and restaurants ( more than Wengen) and also traffic and (gasp) tour buses. There are also lots of fun activities for kids.

So take your pick. We have stayed in all but Lauterbrunnen (which does not appeal to me) and Gimmelwald (too small). Of the other 3 we have no favorite, snd can find reasons to stay in any of them.

I guess that is no help. But maybe people who say “stay in xxx we loved it there” will tell you why. And then you might have some useful information.

Posted by
6097 posts

I would say Gimmelwald is very appealing to younger kids was my point. The scenery was gorgeous, but what my daughters enjoyed was seeing the farm animals, friendly horses, cows, sheep, goats. My girls enjoyed them even though they were 20 at the time. There is a little playgound by the gondola in Gimmelwald and much bigger playgrounds in Murren. I don't think I'd ever stay in Gimmelwald, but Murren is very appealing including the access to Gimmelwald.

When we were in Grindelwald, all the shops were unappealing, and it was so crowded it wasn't fun. We took the train over and didn't spend more than an hour.

Posted by
1503 posts

My 11 y/o at the time really enjoyed staying in Murren. Grindelwald is very touristy, Gimmelwald is very small. I think all of these towns have a playground. Murren also has a giant chess set on the lower road in town. We've stayed in Wengen, Murren and Lauterbrunnen and enjoyed them all. Lauterbrunnen is actually my favorite for a long stay as it's so central.

Posted by
1912 posts

For every person who says they love Mürren, or Gimmelwald, or xxx, you
will find another who prefers Lauterbrunnen, or Wengen, or
Grindelwald.

Basically, everyone loves where they stayed and thinks it is best. But
everyone is looking for different things, so you need to consider your
own needs when reading.

Isn't this the truth! Our two 11 year olds loved Wengen. LOVED. Similarly traffic free compared to Murren, similarly located up on the plateau above the valley. Unquestionably more central/convenient to the things to do in the area (look on a map - it's obvious, and probably the most central village in the whole regional lift network). More of a traditional village and more traditional villagers as opposed to a ski resort village. More working agriculture right there. Great views of Jungfrau and stunning view down the Lauterbrunnen valley. More community-feeling kid amenities - public pool, mini golf, small local trails with troll dioramas, wooden ball Rube Goldberg contraptions all over town, etc. If I return to the area I'll for sure stay again in Wengen.

But if you go to Murren you'll love it, and that's where you'll faithfully and with completely justified enthusiasm return. It's all shades of great in the BO, so don't sweat it too much.

Do know that Grindelwald is bigger, busier, lower elevation and tour buses visit. Also a bit less central to everywhere you want to go. But it is still an absolutely killer place to stay as a tourist, an 9.5 again the equal 10's in the area.

Posted by
1808 posts

I would stay in Wengen. More things to do for kids 9 and 12 after sightseeing during the day. Perhaps I might be wrong, but generally kids that age only care about scenery for about 5 minutes, especially if they carry phones!!! They may be interested in Trummelbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen. Waterfalls inside a mountain that really are fast moving with a lot of twists and turns.

I would skip Gimmelwald because even though it does have scenery and some falls, it doesn't have much stimulus for kids. Take the cable car to Mannlichen and hike to Kleine Scheidegg. That would be adventurous for them and you would enjoy the magnificent scenery. Take a picnic lunch. Take the train back to Wengen.

You can also find a simple hike from Lauterbrunnen/Grutschalp to Murren and along the way there was a cheese shop where cheese is homemade. Not sure if it is still there. Others may comment. In Murren, visit the Staubbach Falls for sure.

Wengen would be my choice, but you should book quickly. Enjoy.

Posted by
396 posts

Mentioned earlier, but Wengen has a nice outdoor public swimming pool with spectacular mountain views. It can be hot and muggy in August and the pool is great for cooling off. I believe kids under 16 get in free too, unlike the other public pools in the area. There’s also a little mini golf course in the middle of town. Each village has different pros and cons and this can also depend a little on which activities you are planning on. I prefer not to stay in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen due to the road traffic, but have other friends who love them for proximity to different activities or hikes. Many here love Mürren, but I always stay in Wengen and just ‘day trip’ to the other side when I want a change of scenery. You can’t go too wrong wherever you end up though, all are beautiful and family friendly places. As some others have written, decision may also be driven by accommodation availability/price.

Posted by
16897 posts

Excellent points above about Wengen, especially hopper’s note about the nice outdoor swimming pool. I will add the wonderful playground up at Männlichen, easily reached by the cablecar. My 11-year-old grandsons (and their parents) loved this playground when we were there last September. It offers more activities for older kid than simple swings and teeter-totters. Their Dad was a rockstar on the slack line!

https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/experiences/alpine-herdsmans-playground.html

Wenger also offers easy access to the Grindelwald activities at First and the Rodelbahn at Pfingstegg whic I may have already mentioned in my first post here.

Posted by
1912 posts

Yeah that Mannlichen playground is pretty awesome, the giant cow slide is next level.

To be fair, there are swimming pools in Murren too. The one in Wengen though has a more municipal feel to it. It's gotten more of that Germanic community pool vibe in the way it looks and how it is run. So in a mild sense it's a bit more of a cultural experience maybe.

But standard disclaimer that Murren is a tremendous little paradise of its own. Nothing not to love about the place

Posted by
1912 posts

Also will add that the playground in Murren up by the flower trail is also really good, and the view from there is truly a face melter. Fantastic spot for a picnic while the kids play

Posted by
1 posts

We are traveling in June/July with our 2 boys ages 13 & 8. I see a lot of comments about just "sitting and taking" in the sites of Alps. I am guessing these clueless key board warriors have never traveled with children, or if they did, I imagine there children were board to death.

We are coming from Paris to Bern (staying in Bern for two nights to enjoy sites, parks, & AquaBern)
Then we are staying in Wengen for Three nights. We debated doing more, but decided there was more that we wanted to do than just hike. (hiking is awesome, but we are from NYC so we like to keep it moving, and my kids are used to a fast pace of taking things in)

Our list of things to hit around Wengen is: (also would work from Murren I believe)
Schilthorn, Allmendhubel & The Children's adventure trail, as well as Lauterbrunnen waterfalls and just hanging in Wengen.
We have reserved a Brunch time at Schilthorn and the rest of the activities we are going to go with the flow on what day feels best for the kids.

From Wengen, we are heading to a new hotel for one night, attached to the small toy museum Trauffer. For this part of our trip, we are picking up a rental car in Interlaken so we can do Trauffer, Aare Gorge, and the kid friendly Marble run hike in Hasliberg. Then we are returning the rental car back to where we picked it up and heading to Zurich via train (rental car was too pricy to drop in Zurich) before our trip carries on in Germany. In Zurich we are doing Lindt, not much else formally planned. Some people say Trauffer is just a small museum, and the hotel is a bit pricy, but we wanted to catch a few things in this area, so for us, it was worth moving hotels for a one nighter, rather than another hike day in the alps, or doing long train rides + buses back and forth.

For train passes we've bought the half fare card, and are planning on picking up the Berner Overland Pass for some of our alps heavy days. Hope that offers a little help in your planning. Happy Travels.

Posted by
3203 posts

Somewhere I read that the Children’s Adventure Trail no longer exists, so best not get the kids’ hopes up on that.