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Trip Report - Murten, Murren & Zurich

My family (2 teens) and I just returned from Switzerland last night. We spent a week visiting some new and also familiar places. I wanted to share our report with this group since I’ve gotten great info over the years from this site.

Murten - arrived here by car from Lausanne on Sunday afternoon (took TGV from Paris). Stayed 2 nights at Hotel Murtenhof & Krone (found in RS 10th edition p 141). It was very warm and the 2 lake-facing rooms did not have air conditioning. Fortunately the hotel was able to move us to more premium rooms with AC. It was more expensive but worth it. We really enjoyed Murten. Beautiful, tiny walled town. We ate at the hotel restaurant on the outdoor patio - gorgeous views, great meal, excellent service. Very pricey. Breakfast was in a beautiful room overlooking the lake. On Monday many restaurants are closed so we opted for Ristorante Pizzeria Taverna Italiana and sat outside. The food was fine. Service was very good.

We did a quick visit to Gruyeres on Monday. It was about a 30 minute drive. Pretty, small, walled town on a hill. Very touristy. I wouldn’t put it on my list of must-dos.

Murren - Spent 3 nights at Hotel Alpina. Parked our car in the garage at the train station in Lauterbrunnen. This was our 3rd time to visit Murren and we have stayed at Hotel Alpina each time. Rooms are small (basic) but the views are unforgettable. We stayed in a family room (2 bedrooms with a shared bath). One room faced the city, the other faced the valley. On our first visit we stayed in a corner family room which had both rooms facing the valley. I was hoping we would get that room again but we did not since the hotel was pretty busy. I would recommend the corner rooms. Breakfast is very good and the views are great. The hotel is located closer to the train station side of town.

We had dinner at 3 different restaurants in Murren. Hotel Bellevue Restaurant - we ate indoors due to the wet weather. Food was OK. This was our first time trying this restaurant. Eiger Guesthouse Restaurant - this was a return visit for us. Food was good - not as good as we remembered. Stagerstubli Restaurant - ate indoors (back room). Food was very good. This was our favorite meal on our last trip and we were really looking forward to returning. We found that by coming later in the evening (after 7:30), the restaurants tended to emptier (fewer tourists).

We purchased the Half Fare pass for 3 of us. My 15 year old son got the Swiss Family card for free with ours. We went up to Birg/Shilthorn one afternoon (last minute since the weather cleared) and had lunch at the rotating restaurant. Piz Gloria was not crowded at all. We also went up Allmendhubel funicular and hiked back down to Murren. These were both repeat visits for us.

Zurich - 2 nights here before flying home. We typically have only stayed in Zurich the night before our flight back but, since our son was going to scuba dive in Lake Zurich on Friday, we needed to go a day early. That activity took up most of our Friday afternoon. We had beautiful weather on Saturday and enjoyed walking through the old town and along the water. The city was very busy - some kind of demonstration going on. Lots of shopping and people watching. I definitely want to go back and spend more time exploring. We stayed again at the Zurich Marriott Hotel (we use points from business travel). Each time here our kids have enjoyed jumping off the bridge into the Limmat River directly in front of the hotel like the locals do. The hotel is very convenient but it lacks local charm.

Hope this helps. Happy to answer any questions. Keep on traveling!

Posted by
1460 posts

Thanks for the report. I felt the same way about Gruyeres—definitely not a must see for me. As this was your 3rd time in Murren, perhaps Wengen should be on your list for the next trip. 😊

Posted by
2541 posts

Nice report. I know everyone raves about switzerland but it is low on my list. Maybe, like Norway, i need to bump it up a bit.