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Two days in Bernese Oberland. Suggestions for second day needed.

Family of 5 adults. Moderate walking/hiking. We are staying in Murren. Coming by train from 1/2 day and overnight Bern. First day I have us walking Lauterbrunnen (Trummelbach Falls included), then going up to Murren, exploring the village, walking to Gimmelwald, and taking the funicular up to Allmendhubel.

Second day, taking the cable car up to Schilthorn and dine at the Piz Gloria. What next?

Third day, train to Lucerne for two days then to Zurich to fly home. It seems the Bernese Oberland pass does not include Lucerne. Correct? Which pass(es) should we get?

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531 posts

If you’re into moderate hiking I’d prioritize a hike up around Murren before one down in Lauterbrunnen Valley. The views are much more dramatic up on the mountain.

Day 1 - From Murren, Ride Allmendhubel and starting from up there do North Face hike counter clockwise ending in Murren. Option to continue walking down to Gimmelwald or cable car down. This is a full day if you take your time to enjoy, stop at mountain huts for lunch, wander the farms in Gimmelwald, etc.

Day 2 - Schilthorn in the morning if views are good (look at Webcams). I personally wouldn’t waste time eating at the restaurant. If you’re set on sitting at the revolving restaurant order a hot chocolate and then move on with your day. From there, cable car all the way down to Stechelberg and take the bus to Trummelbach Falls. Then continue on bus to Lauterbrunnen. If you still have time you can rent e-bikes at Imboden to bike some of the Valley at your own pace. Return to Murren via Grutschalp.

Berner Oberland pass gets you to Luzern.

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531 posts

I just realized maybe you’re saying you actually only have 1.5 days in Murren based on your travel day. In that instance if you want to see Lauterbrunnen Valley store your luggage at the train station in Lauterbrunnen on your arrival day, bike or bus to Trummelbach Falls if that’s important to you or if it were me, just bike a bit in The Valley to get a feel for it, bike by the waterfalls and then go up to Murren via Grutschalp, check into your hotel, walk around Murren and walk down to Gimmelwald. On Day 2 go up to Schilthorn early in the morning if views are ok via webcam (don’t eat there, it’s just a touristy thing, get the great views from outside and then move on), return down to Murren, ride the funicular up to Allmendhubel and do the North Face hike ending in Murren which is easy/moderate or if you need an even easier hike, the Flower Trail from Allmendhubel. The hike from Murren will most likely be the highlight of your time there so prioritize it over everything else.

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2853 posts

We loved our breakfast buffet up at the Schilthorn. I still think about those mini waffles!! It’s a nice way to get out of the cold and enjoy the views. We don’t mind doing touristy things, because, well, we’re tourists. 😊

Another option to consider: After our morning at the Schilthorn, we went over to the Wengen side and took the cable car to and from männlichen.

There’s no wrong options, but be flexible in case the weather does not cooperate.

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531 posts

I don’t mean to say don’t do touristy things or that eating up there isn’t a fine idea. I’m going off of only having 1.5 days in Mürren. It just wouldn’t make my top priority list with such little time :) With more time I’d for sure say go to Männlichen, take your time up at Piz Gloria, etc.

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10 posts

Wanderweg: You say the Berner Oberland pass gets us to Lucerne, but does it get us around Lucerne? This is our schedule. What pass do you suggest?
Day 1: We're riding from Salzburg to Bern
Day 2: Riding to Murren
Day 3: Murren
Day 4: On to Lucern
Day 5: Lucern
Day 6: On to Zurich
Day 8: Fly home.

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531 posts

I should have been more specific. Are your hotels set for the whole trip? If not, I’d highly recommend some adjustments. Switzerland is famous for it’s mountain experiences. Zurich is a decent city but I wouldn’t spend 1/3 of your short trip there. There is so much to do in the mountains that’s worth your time and with such short stays you have no contingency for weather. If you only stay in the mountains for 1 day and it happens to not be ideal weather you never really get to experience what you’re there for. Something like this:

Day 1: Salzburg to Bern
Day 2: Bern to Murren
Day 3: Murren
Day 4: Murren
Day 5: Murren to Luzern
Day 6: Luzern
Day 7: Luzern
Day 8: Fly home (you can get to the airport from Luzern in the morning)

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33313 posts

I'd do as above but even take out Bern unless there is something there that you really want to do or see. I like Bern a lot but didn't spend any significant time there until or 4th or 5th visit to Switzerland, and I made the right decision for me.

If you really want the Gurten or the violin shop or need to get to the rose garden or the bears, fine, but if not I would suggest that the more time in the mountains the better. My visits are usually 5 nights, about right for me.

The weather is so critical and so variable. I always leave time for weather.

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10 posts

Bern seemed a nice stop after an 8 hr train ride to walk the city a bit and see a few sites. I don't like one night hotel stays though! And going to Zurich the day before our flight seemed prudent, but we can spend the bulk of the day in Lucerne. I may change that, though, if you feel we could easily make the airport by 8 am from Lucerne.

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531 posts

The train from Luzern to Zurich Flughafen (Airport) is only 1 hour 5 minutes and they start at 5:35 in the morning so you can easily be to the airport by 8 am or even 7 am if you want to be there 2-3 hours before your flight.

I’d skip Zurich as I stated and just enjoy Mürren and Luzern with more buffer for unpredictable weather.

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10 posts

I hear you! What do you do when the weather does not cooperate for outdoor experiences?

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531 posts

Just have a list of ideal weather priorities and rain back ups. For example, the North Face hike from Murren and Schilthorn are best to do in good weather, while Trummelbach Falls is something you can do in rain. Having at least 2 full days gives you a better chance of having 1 good day for your priority activity.

Weather in the Alps is all over the place. It would just be a bummer to go somewhere so beautiful and not get a chance to see the view because the one full day you’re there happens to be clouds and rain.

We spend our summers living in Murren, so I can pretty confidently say that if you kept just one day in Murren, on that day you’re in Zurich you’d be wishing you were back in Murren. Our first trip to Murren back in 2010 was 5 Nights and we quickly realized it was nowhere near enough.

Bern is a fine stopover and does make sense after a long train ride, but in some ways it can be better to just “rip the bandaid off” and get where you’re going. Less checking in/out of places gains you a lot of time in enjoying where you’re at. Being able to wake up the next morning and just enjoy instead of checking in/out again gains you a whole day.

If it were me I’d train from Salzburg all the way to Murren and do 4 nights in Murren and 3 nights in Luzern. Take a train around 6:30 am your last morning and you’ll easily be to the airport by 7:30 and you will have had that whole previous day to enjoy as vacation instead of logistics of moving once again.

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8634 posts

When we were last in Luzern, visitors were given passes for public transport good for the duration of our stay, from the hotel. I dont know but assume that is still true.

You can take a train to the Zurich airport from Luzern in about 1.25 hours. I too would skip Zurich and Bern.

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2387 posts

Second day: depending on how early you get back from Schilthorn. I recommend going early and only if the weather is clear. From Murren, train to Grutschalp and cable car down to Lauterbrunnen. Then train to Wengen. Then cable car to Mannheim. Panorama trail to Kleine Scheidigg. Then train back down to Lauterbrunnen. The views from the opposite side of the valley are completely different, and stunning.