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Question about the Berner Oberland

We leave in approximately a month. We will have about 4.5 days in the Berner Oberland area. We are getting the half fare card and the Berner Oberland card. We want to do First, Schlithorn, and the Top of Europe.

With only 4.5 days, do you think we are taking on too much? One day would be just Lucerne, the panoramic train back to Interlaken. With our mountain days we wanted maybe do a boat ride on Lake Thun and visit Bern. Or course want to visit the diifferenr areas, such as Murren and so forth. Getting down to really planning and don’t want to plan to much and not get it all in. I’m figuring 3-5 hours for each mountain top.

What do you all think? Should we cut on of the mountains out? If so which one?

Posted by
11119 posts

Skip Bern and add that day to the Berner Oberland. You mention Interlaken? don't stay there ranter stay inthemountain towns. in the BO.

Posted by
4668 posts

The mountain weather will dictate which summits will welcome you. Have a great trip,

Posted by
9420 posts

I like Schilthorn better than Jungfrau (Top of Europe?). We’ve stayed in Murren twice because we absolutely fell in love with this charming, car free, village 5,000’ up and enveloped by the majestic Alps. You’re going all that way, I agree with Suki not to stay in Interlakken. I recommend staying in Murren for an amazing experience.

Posted by
32660 posts

Did you have a particular reason to choose the boat trip on lake Thun instead of lake Brienz? Personally I far prefer the latter.

Posted by
87 posts

We have hotel reservations in Grindelwald. We are early risers, mountains would be the first thing in the day. As far as the lakes, I was only thinking Lake Thun because we wanted visit Bern.

I want to do a lot with out feeling rushed. I’m not sure if that is possible, lol. Yes, weather will determine the mountain tops and we are totally ready for that.

Posted by
1024 posts

I wouldn't skip Bern; its one of my favourite small cities in Europe. Never touched by war or fire so the entire central area is original architecture. In any case, its the gateway to the Berner Oberland (hence the name) so you'll probably travel through there anyway.

The drive (or train) along Lake Thun is beautiful. Too bad you're doing it by train as there are lots of beautiful pullouts along the road that you can use for picnics.

With such short time, if I had to skip anything it would be Luzern. I like Luzern, its just a bit further from the rest of the places you are staying. You'll spend 4 hours in trains (2 each way), as opposed to half that enroute to Bern.

Posted by
8416 posts

Just a note that the Jungfraujoch takes about three hours roundtrip to get up there and back, so thats a real time consumer. If you're in Mürren, Schilthorn is pretty convenient. As mentioned, the weather makes a difference, and the weather up top can be very different than down in the valley. Don't waste a sunny day. I would skip Bern too. Nice city, but its not in the mountains.

Posted by
16131 posts

I suggest you omit the Jungfraujoch; it is overpriced, over-hyped, and overcrowded. Maybe it is because I am a skier (or I was until about 5 years ago when sanity set in), but I feel that a snowy expanse on a mountain and a building with restaurants and viewing spots are are not particularly unique, and not worth the cost nor the unpleasant ride on a crowded train, mostly in a tunnel.

Your Berner Oberland Pass only covers 50% of the cost of the train above Eigergletscher, so you will pay 75 CHF per adult for the round trip. The train enters the tunnel through the Eiger shortly after leaving Eigergletscher, and you are in that tunnel for the rest of the way—-almost 40 minutes. You do stop once for a view out the “windows” carved in the rock, but it is hard to get close enough to see anything ( at least it was for me).

Your pass does fully cover the lift up to Eigergletscher from Grindelwald, as well as the gondola up to Männlichen and train back down from Kleine Scheidegg. So you could do the ridge walk from Männlichen to KS and get some really nice views. Or you could ride up to Eigergletscher and hike the Eiger Northface trail down to Alpiglen and ride the train down to Grindelwald from there. Either would be, in my view, a much nicer experience than that train up the Jungfraujoch.

Posted by
9420 posts

“omit the Jungfraujoch; it is overpriced, over-hyped, and overcrowded.”

Exactly right Lola, you said it perfectly.

Posted by
2655 posts

Another vote to skip the Jungfraujoch. I much prefer the Schilthorn.

I enjoyed the boat ride on Lake Thun to see the castles. But the boat ride on Lake Brienz blew me away. You have to see the color of that water in person. It’s really unbelievable!!!

Lola mentioned Männlichen. That so far in 2 trips is my favorite thing in Switzerland. And the walk to Kleine Scheidegg is as wonderful as everyone says it is.

Posted by
2655 posts

Oh, and the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald is another must see. The views are incredible!!!

Posted by
174 posts

Don't miss the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald. I choose to stay in Gimmelwald, although the lodging options are few. And the dinner options are even fewer. I have thought that maybe next time I will try to stay in Murren. We usually ended up there for dinner anyway. Loved it when Hotel Mittaghorn was up and running and Walter was cooking dinner. So many great memories there!