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Luzern, Murren or Lauterbrunnen

Hello All,

My girlfriend and I are traveling to Zurich in August to visit a family member and will have 3 nights leftover to spend elsewhere in Switzerland. We have narrowed our search to Luzern, Murren and Lauterbrunnen. We are looking to experience the Swiss outdoors and get plenty of time in the Alps. What are the arguments for or against these three options and what would you most recommend?

Posted by
10344 posts

Murren and Lauterbrunnen are very close to each other, both in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Lauterbrunnen is in the valley, Murren perches high on a ledge overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
That's where you want to go, either one, one in the valley, one perched on a ledge.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is like Yosemite Valley on Steroids.

Posted by
3551 posts

Since you mentioned swiss outdoors wish i think staying the full 3 days in lauterbrunnen valley area is perfect. Of course if the weather forecast is rainy or poor have another option. The area is gorgeous the views incredible , the area is in my top 5. Cannot go wrong whether younstat in valley or beautifully swiss murren.

Posted by
31471 posts


If you want to "experience the Swiss outdoors and get plenty of time in the Alps", the Berner Oberland would be perfect. Whether to stay in Mürren or Lauterbrunnen will depend to some extent on what you want to see in that area. If you plan on visiting both sides of the valley, Lauterbrunnen would be a better choice as it's the central transportation hub for the valley. If you want to spend your time in a quintessential Swiss town high above the valley with gorgeous views of the Alps, then Mürren is a good choice.

There's more than enough to keep you busy in Mürren for 2.5 days. For example......

  • Take the Cable Car to the Schilthorn for a fine hot meal in the revolving restaurant and the "James Bond experience".
  • Take the Allmend-Hubel Funicular up the hill and hike back down through the alpine meadows, past grazing cows with their bells clinking. There are a couple of small hotels / bars along the way so you can stop for a cool one if desired.
  • Walk down the small paved path to Gimmelwald and explore the small farming community that's featured in so many of Rick's Switzerland TV shows. Stop for a cool one at the Pensione, Walter's Hotel Mittaghorn or perhaps even at the Mountain Hostel.
  • Take one of the many hikes in the area.
  • Travel down to the valley and take a walk through Trummelbach Falls (a rain poncho might be a good idea).
Posted by
16883 posts

If you stay in Muerren, travel time back down to the valley hub in Lauterbrunnen is 20 minutes via the fastest route (via Grutschalp) or 45 minutes via the gondola/bus combo (via Stechelberg).

Posted by
23 posts

Stay in Lauterbrunnen, take day trips up to the Jungfrau, and Murren. And don't miss the Trommelbach!
Skip Luzern.

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks to everyone for your advice. We have decided on Murren for our 3 night stay in the alps which naturally leads to the next question...Where to stay? We have contacted many of the hotels in Murren directly, and all have good offers available. It would be great to get some information on hotel preferences directly from those who have stayed in Murren or know the area well.
Which are the best hotels in Murren? Is there anywhere we should avoid? Also, are there any features of a room worth the additional cost (ie: balcony private wc, ect.) ?

Posted by
438 posts

We stayed at the Edelweiss, and would stay there again if we returned. We had a room on the "back side" with a huge balcony/deck. The views were surreal. We did their half-board, which I probably wouldn't repeat as the dinner was nothing special. It was an easy walk from the train stop, and convenient to everything. You will be happy you chose Murren. Much better views looking down than looking up IMO. If you get the local travel pass you can easily transport over to Wengen for different views/food experiences. The combination of transport (train, gondola,train) seems confusing, but it is timed perfectly. Step off one mode and onto another.
If the weather is bad there is a great little community center with an indoor swimming pool. We also were lucky enough to hear a local concert there.

Posted by
7205 posts

We've stayed in the Alpina, the Alpenruh and Chalet Fontana. The latter of which is a chalet with private rooms and 3 shared bathrooms run by a wonderful British lady who moved there many years ago. Denise is hugely interesting if you're looking for that kind of place to stay.

Denise also rents a private apartment: Geisstiliboden which is totally wonderful in every way:

For a very nice hotel I would probably recommend Hotel Blumenthal which is just a stone's throw from Chalet Fontana.

Murren is small and cozy and surreal! You'll have a great time.

Posted by
2580 posts

yet as small as it is, there's a supermarket there! Very handy

Posted by
10 posts

Make sure you try Rosti. In Murren last year we tried the Berner version (that region's version). So good.