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Berner Oberland

Has anyone stayed in Grindelwald, and if so where did you stay and how did you like it? We are planning a trip in September and I would also like to know how the weather is that time of year.

Posted by
7395 posts

We have been to the Berber Oberland twice during that time and had beautiful weather both times. If you will be there this year on September 7,the Jungfrau Marathon is a fun activity to observe. We stayed in Wengen and cheered on the runners before heading up to Kleine Scheidegg.

https://www.jungfrau-marathon.ch/en/

I packed a pair of cheap tights and wore those under my pants during one colder day, along with layering with a long sleeve T-shirt. Otherwise, normal clothes were fine.

Posted by
33125 posts

No, I'm afraid I always stay one valley over in the Lauterbrunnen Valley - Wengen, Gimmelwald, Mürren, and Lauterbrunnen.

I've visited Grindelwald - nice view of the North Face of the Eiger, and plenty of buses and cars. It is quite nice but I prefer the car free villages up the cliffs in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and all the waterfalls there.

Posted by
5936 posts

I stayed in Lauterbrunnen but took the train to Grindelwald to check it out. I felt it was lovely, there were restaurants and shops, but I was so happy in Lauterbrunnen. The Lauterbrunnen valley is stunning. Weather in the mountains is always sort of a crap shoot. I have a friend that visited at the beginning of October and had a lovely time with beautiful weather. They stayed in Murren. (which is "above" the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Posted by
11294 posts

No, I'm afraid I always stay one valley over in the Lauterbrunnen Valley - Wengen, Gimmelwald, Mürren, and Lauterbrunnen.

I've visited Grindelwald - nice view of the North Face of the Eiger, and plenty of buses and cars. It is quite nice but I prefer the car free villages up the cliffs in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and all the waterfalls there.

I'm just quoting Nigel's reply, because I agree. I've stayed in Mürren and Lauterbrunnen, and would certainly stay in the other two he mentioned if I found a suitable place. Well, maybe not Gimmelwald, due to its lack of a supermarket or restaurants.

Grindelwald has cars and buses; it's still nice, just not as nice as Mürren (only service vehicles, no cars or buses), and not as central as Lauterbrunnen (has some cars and buses).

As for weather, in September 2014 I had great weather, while in September 2017 I had more rain (also some nice times). The key with mountain weather is that it is both unpredictable and rapidly changeable. So, you have to be prepared to pivot quickly. If it's sunny when you arrive, don't waste time unpacking - get going! If it's raining in the morning, it can be sunny in the afternoon, or vice versa. Just be sure to check webcams before you do any excursion that's expensive or time-consuming. For instance, the day I was going to take a cable car from Grindelwald to First, the webcam showed total white-out conditions, so I passed.

Posted by
32244 posts

susan,

My thoughts are the same as the others mentioned. I find the "character" and scenery in the Lauterbrunnen / Mürren / Gimmelwald areas to be much nicer, so that's where I prefer to stay. Grindelwald was nice but didn't appeal to me in the same way. One other factor to consider is that it's not as convenient for day touring as (for example) Lauterbrunnen, as the transportation connections aren't as good.

Posted by
77 posts

Hi Susan - The weather in early September is usually mild with some nice warm days in the 70's. By late September, the mornings are pretty chilly but temp's rise and most days are very pleasant. We've experienced rain about one day per week in early September and a little more later in the month.

My wife and I stayed in Lauterbrunnen in 2015 and Grindelwald in 2017. We enjoyed both very much, but they are very different (although I don't think you can make a bad choice). We do a lot of hiking and have found that our favorite hikes are divided about 50/50 between the two valleys. IMO, Lauterbrunnen is much quieter and less touristy. Of course, it depends on whether you stay in Gimmelwald, Wengen, Murren, Stechelberg, or the village of Lauterbrunnen (all very different).

The advantages of Grindelwald include more nightlife, more shops and galleries, and substantially more variety and range of quality in restaurants. Also, the village of Grindelwald is busier and has many more tourists.

Rick Steves does an excellent job of describing the character and advantages of all of the villages in the Lauterbrunnen valley. I think of Wengen as a smaller, more quaint (non-auto) version of Grindelwald (and Murren as a smaller version of Wengen). In contrast, Gimmelwald and the village of Lauterbrunnen are not like Grindelwald at all (except for the views and being integral parts of the Berner Oberland).

Rather than staying in hotels, we've rented small apartments in Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald through VRBO (Homeaway) with friends. Like you, we'll be traveling to Berner Oberland in September. I just reserved a 2-bedroom, one bath apartment with kitchen, living room, balcony and views of Eiger for less than $150 per night (for 4 persons or $75 per couple per night, including all fees). It's located about a 15-minute walk from the center of the village.

If you haven't been there before and enjoy hiking, send me a PM if you'd like some recommendations.

Posted by
768 posts

Susan, following up on Bill's suggestion, you can view our favorite dozen hikes in the region (with maps and pics) by clicking on my name and following the link given there.

Posted by
180 posts

I would most definitely agree with those who prefer Murren/Gimmelwald over Grindelwald. I have been to Grindelwald a couple of times, where there are a plethora of shops, many restaurants and hotels along with beautiful views. I have been to the other side of the valley about 10 times and absolutely LOVE it!!! The views are spectacular and while it is touristy, it didn't seem nearly as much so as Grindelwald. We have always stayed in Gimmelwald, most recently at Esther's Guesthouse. It is true that there is really no place to eat in Gimmelwald except the youth hostel, it is not that much of a hike up to Murren where there are several good restaurant choices. You can also take the cable car up or down or both. Or you can buy groceries at the Co-op store in Murren and prepare meals at the small kitchen at Esther's Guesthouse which is for the use of the guests. Lauterbrunnen is very nice, but we could never see a reason to stay there when we could be up on the mountain!

Posted by
9429 posts

It’s a walk, not a hike, up hill, on a paved path from Gimmelwald to Murren.