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Base for Berner Oberland

High all. I should probably limit myself to the title and ask only 1 question, but I will assume that ship has sailed. I have rummaged thru many posts here about Switzerland in general and Berner Oberland in particular, but a couple of questions remain. We are planning on 3 or 4 nights in Switzerland in the fall. Will probably fly to Zurich and hit the rails to BO. Any suggestion on which town to use as a base? Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen all seem like possibilities, maybe even Murren.

We would like to get to either Schilthorn or Jungfraujoch, but there’s probably not time for both. Any votes one way or the other?

I would also like to take advantage of some excellent photo opportunities on the valley floor, see the falls, etc. What is the best way to travel up and down the valley? On foot, bicycle, bus?

Posted by
1524 posts

Wengen is a good base Steve as well as Lauterbrunnen. The best way to travel up and down the valley is by cable car or cog rail. For hiking and photo shoot opportunities do KLEINE SCHEIDEGG AND MÄNNLICHEN VIA WENGEN hike or walk. Go to the Schilthorn and see the James Bond museum.

Posted by
8995 posts

One thing to be aware of during the off-season in the BO, is that the mountain villages like Murren, and Wengen are somewhat shutdown until the ski season starts up. Most (but not all) hotels/restaurants will be closed so your choices will be limited. Off-season Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken can better places to base yourself.

Posted by
10116 posts

Do you have Rick Steves' Switzerland guide or can you borrow it from your library? Rick covers the area so well it is impossible to impart all of his advice here. Transportation/getting around is extremely well covered in the book. The only thing I differ with Rick on is making Gimmelwald your base. It is cute but too small and not so convenient for getting around the area.

We like to stay in Lauterbrunnen, making both sides of the valley easier to reach. try hard to make it 4 nights. You won't regret it.

Posted by
231 posts

When you say “up and down the valley”, do you mean along the valley floor eg. Stechelberg, Tumellbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen or from the valley up into the mountains? We took the bus to see the sights along the valley floor.

Posted by
10116 posts

Glenn,
Remove your email or become a target of spam and other undesirable attacks.

If you post this question separately instead of high jacking the original post, answers will come directly to your inbox and the OP won’t be deluged with info intended for you.

Posted by
5 posts

My apologies, Laurel, and good advice re email. Did not intend to hijack the OP's thread....

Posted by
8394 posts

My most favorite town to stay in is Mürren. Wengen was way too touristy for for me. Mürren is more “real” and more charming imo.

Posted by
3 posts

Generally agree with most responses. You don't say when in the fall you will be there. If it is early fall, you may have already made your plans. Unless you wants the lakes, I wouldn't stay in Interlaken. Lauterbrunnen is in the valley and your views are up, plus you have access to both sides (Wengen or Murren). If you stay in Wengen or Murren (Murren is our personal favorite), you are up high and looking down and across. Absolutely gorgeous. Given your short stay, if you choose to stay in the upper towns, you may want to choose Shilthorn or Jungfraujoch and let that guide your choice of town. Shilthorn is convenient from Murren but not so much from Wengen. Exact opposite for Jungfraujoch.

Posted by
11 posts

My choice would be to stay in Lauterbrunnen. I've spent a fair amount of time there in the past, as well as outside of Interlaken on a previous trip. Lauterbrunnen, to me, is the most convenient to either side of the valley - Murren, Schilthorn on one side, Wengen and Jungfraujoch on the other. The post bus makes it easy to get to the cable cars and train station, as well as around the valley. If you were to stay in Interlaken, then you need the extra train trip just to get to Lauterbrunnen and then trains or cable cars from there. If it's a bad weather day for the high mountains, then the train to Interlaken is an option.

We are doing the Alpine Europe tour in September and our Berner Oberland hotel is in Wengen. This is disappointing because it means an extra train ride down to Lauterbrunnen to catch the cable car/train to Murren and then cable cars to Schilthorn. Or, train to Lauterbrunne, bus to Stechleburg and then cable cars up. On the flip side, it does mean a shorter trip to the Jungfraujoch. But, I would rather be in between.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks to all who replied. Sorry I didn't respond on my own thread, but my travel plan has become moot for now. After recent surgery I was forging ahead with bucket list travels, like Switzerland, but I told my Dr. my plan and she said that my high altitude plan was a really bad idea, certainly for now, maybe forever. I guess I'll move on to something a little closer to sea level....

Posted by
7205 posts

BTW - the alpine villages never shutdown...there are actual families do live and work there and shop and dine there.

Posted by
1524 posts

@steve_a - You can do the South of Spain, Andalusia, if the altitude will not be good after your surgery.

Posted by
4136 posts

Parts of Andalusia are surprinsingly high in elevation, some white villages hover around the 1,000m mark and the Alhambra sits at above 800m. This is of course nowhere near the 2,500m+ elevations of the mountains in the B.O., but without more info on your condition it might still be a concern.