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Bernese Oberland homebase

We have 3-4 nights in the Berner Oberland area at the beginning of June. In Rick's book he doesn't mention Grindelwald at all but I know it is a popular place for people to use as their home base. We are traveling with two kids- 7 and 9, we want to make sure our location is an enjoyable spot for them. We have stayed in Murren before and thought it was nice but maybe not enough going on for two kids during our down time. I will admit, it was 15 + yrs ago that we stayed in Murren and we had no kids at the time so my eye wasn't to what kids would do in the area. I think Gimmewald looks too sleepy for our family. Ideally we would like something fairly authentically Swiss while having some good kids activities being entertaining for kids. Thoughts on a good home base?


Posted by
11368 posts

We loved staying in Grindelwald. It has more options for hotels, restaurants than the small towns. And it has incredible views of the Eiger.

Posted by
211 posts

We stayed in Grindelwald years ago. What has been added to the area serviced by the First lift will be exciting for your children, and you as well!
The nearby Gletscherschluct if open is accessible by bus.
If you go to the top of the Jungraujoch, they might enjoy this:
I think your idea to make Grindelwald your base will work for your family.

Posted by
67 posts

Lauterbrunnen might also be worth looking at! It's a great homebase for all of the surrounding areas with easy access to lifts and the train.

Posted by
1007 posts

I usually go to Grindelwald in May for a few days, it's about two hours down the railway tracks from home, so not a big deal.

Last year I discovered the Grindelwald bus pass, which I found to be excellent value at 62 Francs for three days. It will get you up to most of the passes in the area and even if you don't want to do hikes, there are opportunities to see some great views there, have a picnic, let the kids play in the meadows and so on.

Posted by
30 posts

I asked a forum I was on the same question. Rick Steves mentioned Gimmelwald a lot but never Grindelwald and that’s where there are a lot more restaurants and hotels. I wondered if he posted the wrong town in his book. I spoke to a friend who stayed in Grindelwald and said the location was perfect. The train station is right there and close to many great places.

Posted by
32273 posts

I usually stay in Lauterbrunnen and find that's a very convenient location. It's the rail hub for that area so very convenient and easy to get to either side of the valley from there. There are some good hotels and restaurants there. Some travellers say that there's not as much light in Lauterbrunnen during the day as it's in the valley but I like scenery anyway. I don't find "light" to be a problem as I'm out touring in the day anyway, and when I get back to the hotel I'm usually resting or getting ready for the next day.

Grindelwald is more "touristy" with larger hotels and the rail line there is on somewhat of a "spur line" so not as convenient to get to the more popular spots.