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crowds in August?

My fiance and I are planning to spend 2 nights in the Berner Oberland area on our honeymoon this August. We will be coming from Milan by train and plan to do a lot of day hiking in the area.

The entire area looks incredibly beautiful, but we are a bit worried that massive crowds will take away from the beauty! How are the crowds in late August? Are there any towns that have less crowds but are still accessible by train/bus?

Some towns we are looking at: Spiez, Kiental, Lauterbrunnen, Murren. Any lodging suggestions? <$150/night for the two of us.

Thank you!!

Posted by
12040 posts

Take the idea of "crowds" in context. You're not in a limited-access amusement park, you're in the vast expanses of the Alps. You won't be alone, but it's not like elbow-to-elbow mobs of people on a busy day at Six Flags or Disney World. Also keep in mind that the busiest time of the year in the Alps is not the summer, but the winter ski season. The infrastructure is built to accomodate the huge numbers of people who flood the pistes from late December until March. The Alps are popular in the summer, but the numbers are much lower than the height of the winter season. In the summer, at worst, you may have to make reservations at your restaurant of choice for dinner. You may also need to wait in line for a cable car ride, but once again, probably not as long as in the winter.

Posted by
3336 posts

The only town in Switzerland that I have ever seen to be crowded in summer is Zermatt - elbow to elbow in town and the trails crawling with people. The rest of the country is so spread out, and the mountains and trails so extensive, that you will never feel crowded or that you are not getting the experience you are hoping for. Don't give it a second thought!

Posted by
27759 posts

A couple of things -

Spiez is a long way from the mountains. If you are going to the Berner Oberland you want mountains, right?

I don't know anything about Kiental, but as a side valley off Kandertal it is probably good fun, very rural. If Lola's around she might have some knowledge of it because of her time in the Kandertal, but I think she's not around at the moment. I'm absolutely sure that you won't get big crowds there, if you even get small ones (groups of 1 or 2!!).

Switzerland is not renowned for being the least expensive country in Europe, and your budget of less than $150 for hotel nights will be very very hard to meet. That's only CHF133 today. Are you up (on your honeymoon) for sleeping in a hostel or on straw in a barn, or in a very simple guesthouse?

My choice would be Muerren, because I love it lots. You might be able to find a small room at Denise's Chalet Fontana - no private bathrooms but a lovely hostess, comfortable and towards the low end of cost.

Good luck, whatever you decide...

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you so much for all your replies! It sounds like we won't have any problems :-)

We decided on staying at the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. Only 66 francs per night for the two of us, and comes highly reviewed.

Posted by
31471 posts


Congratulations! I agree with Chris, good choice on the Mountain Hostel. Hopefully you've already booked there. If you haven't booked yet, be sure to tell them it's your honeymoon. As I recall, they have a "honeymoon loft" that might offer a bit more privacy.

Happy travels!

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the heads up - will definitely have to let them know it's our honeymoon!!