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Berner Oberland in late May, worth it?

I’m going to Europe in late May and thinking about spending a few nights in Gimmelwald or Murren during my European trip.

I know it’s hard to predict the weather but in general are the Swiss Alps views (Jungfrau/Schlithorn) and light hiking trails worth it during end of May? Or is it too cloudy, snowy etc?

I’ve been considering to save this leg of my trip for July or August.

Posted by
7153 posts

I’ve been in late May and early June for several years now. Wildflowers are blooming, sometimes you might encounter snow, sometimes rain and sometimes sun. We use the meteoblue weather app to check forecast. Gimmelwald is nice to walk down to from Murren and spend an hour looking around, but it’s far too desolate for me to spend nights there. Murren is much more equipped with infrastructure like ATM, supermarket, restaurants and hotels.

Posted by
23253 posts

I agree with everything Tim said just above, and for the same reasons.

I've never not enjoyed being up there in mid to late May. I even enjoyed slogging through the slushy snow last April.

Posted by
477 posts

We went in late June and there was still too much snow at the Schilthorn to hike down from there as we had hoped. Further down the mountain it was lovely. In May, be ready for wet slushy snow.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had gone later in the summer when the trails are free of snow.

Posted by
7153 posts

It’s the Swiss Alps with unpredictable weather. But I’d always rather be in smitten no matter what the weather was like.

Posted by
3117 posts

So far, my only time in the Berner Oberland was in late May 2014 when we were in Lauterbrünnen & Mürren. It was absolutely fantastic. I am returning to the area in mid April this year.

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks everyone.

So I AM going for 3 nights, May 28-30,

It haven’t decided on staying in Gimmelwald or Murren yet. I’m coming from Paris the lyria train vía Basel. I’m guessing I need to book my Paris-Basel ticket NOW and wait to book my Basel to interlaken until The day of, the day I arrive there?

Posted by
111 posts

There are not many options for lodging in Gimmelwald, nor for restaurants. Basically only the hostel, and one other place, which did not look all that clean or inviting. Murren has more of both lodging and restaurants. However, I love Gimmelwald. Used to stay at Hotel Mittaghorn, but I'm not sure it is still open. It was fun when Walter, the elderly owner was cooking dinner. Those were the days!
I just checked the website for Hotel Mittaghorn and learned that dear Walter passed away in 2019. There was no mention of anyone reopening it. I'm sad..

Posted by
1653 posts

For trains, yes book the Lyria ASAP. For Switzerland, depending on rest of route you can buy full fare tickets, buy a half fare card + half price tickets (will work for all your mountain excursions too!), buy a Berner Oberland pass + a ticket to Bern, buy a Swiss Travel Pass if you're travelling more and further afield in Switzerland...
Many options, too many for simplicity, but at least none of them require booking tickets.

Posted by
51 posts

With respect to pre purchasing train or waiting till day of. I’m only doing 3 nights in Switzerland before heading off to Munich, all 3 nights in Gimmelwald .

The lyria will only take me as far as Basel, correct? The rest of the way from Basel to Gimmelwald I can purchase the day of at the station?

Posted by
7153 posts

Save Gimmelwald for one of your light hiking days because the walk from Murren down to Gimmelwald is extremely enjoyable. To actually spend nights in Gimmelwald is definitely not my cup of tea. There’s nothing there except residents and their barns and animals...which is great for strolling through.

Choose Murren for your lodging and restaurants and gift shopping.

Posted by
5235 posts

For three days in Mürren (Schilthorn, travel Lausanne-Mürren-Lausanne, trip Mürren-Lauterbrennen-Mürren plus postbus in Lauterbrennen) we came out about even by buying a Half-Price card in Lausanne on the day we arrived from Paris. Didn't take long, just needed passports for both of us.