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Wengen or Grindewald

I know this topic has been addressed before and I have read so much and learned a lot. But - we are 2 couples 75+ who will be doing our whole Switzerland trip by train And it is our first trip to Switzerland, so this is all new to us. We have 4 days to spend in BO and I read in a one of these posts that Grindenwald was a really good location to stay because of convenience of accessing trains, trams, hiking trails etc. to move around the area.

We will be coming from Lausaunne to BO and then traveling on to Lucerne. So, considering our age and schlepping luggage, would Grindenwald be an easier trip for us? I am doing most of the planning and I don;t want to surprise anyone with difficult access or complicated transfers.

Or am I overthinking this? I would really appreciate any thoughts - you all are so helpful! Thanks

Posted by
8594 posts

Just note that you need to make sure you get the spelling correct - GrindeLwald. It makes a difference when looking up trains and schedules. Sounds like a good choice for you. There's another town on the other side of the valley named Gimmelwald that also gets mixed up with Grindelwald

Posted by
11354 posts

We really enjoyed our week in a chalet Grindelwald as there are more choices of restaurants and excellent transportation options throughout the whole area. We felt it would be easier to stay there instead of up in Wengen or Murren. After visiting those towns, we knew that we had made the correct decision! Your hunches are right!
The views of the Eiger are breathtaking!

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for the all the input. I really appreciate the thoughts.

Posted by
526 posts

Here are some resources that also might help you in your decision making.


This map can be of help to visualize the area and where Grindelwald and Wengen are in relation to one another. On it you will see that Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Mürren are all in one valley while Grindelwald is in the neighbouring valley. You can also see that the mountains are like surrounding each village.

Here are some of the walking routes in each area. You can use the drop-down menu to change to a different village. They tell you the amount of time needed and the amount of elevation gain or loss. Be aware that ‘easy’ for a Swiss might not seem so easy for other people.

If you find a hotel in Wengen that is close to the train station and tourist information office; that area is relatively flat and easy to access. Catching the train up there is an easy transfer, just across the platform from where you arrive in Lauterbrunnen.

Grindelwald of course has busses and taxi service and is very easy to access by train.

Posted by
38 posts

Thank you for the maps and hike info. I had not seen that one before. I am thinking that I will look in Grindelwald first for a place to stay but Wengen does look like a possible second choice. Thank you so much!

Posted by
5019 posts

My Swiss life, thanks for that map. It is clear, easy to read, and covers the whole area. Many online maps are illegible once I print them. I've been to the area a few times, and getting my hands on a readable map before the trip has always been a challenge. Once I'm in there area, good, free maps are everywhere.
Thanks for you your input- you are a valuable source here on the Forum.

Posted by
16709 posts

I can explain some of the differences and that may help with your decision-making.

Wengen is car-free and Grindelwald is not (although it does have a small pedestrian-only zone in the center). That makes Wengen a more pleasant place for strolling, to my mind. Grindelwald has lots of tour buses and other traffic.

Wengen is perched on a bench high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, while Grindelwald lies in the bottom of the broad next valley over. Mountain views from both are lovely, although to see the full panorama of peaks from Grindelwald one needs to choose one of the hotels along the Panoramaweg, above the Main Street. Or hike or ride a lift up. Ut the Eiger North Face looms above the town and can be seen from almost anywhere that there is not a building blocking the view.

Grindelwald has more shops and restaurants. In Wengen, most of the restaurants are within the hotels, but non-guests are welcome to dine there. Guests can choose half-board (breakfast and dinner) at most of the hotels in either village, and if offered it is usually a great deal—some hotels pride themselves on the quality of their 4-course dinners, and justifiably so. Hotel Bären in Wengen is an example of such a hotel—-a comfortable, unfussy 3-star hotel with an excellent restaurant. Many of the hotels in both villages will be pricier 4-star hotels with spa facilities and other amenities.

Access: to reach either, you will take the train to Interlaken Öst. To reach Grindelwald, you board a train that will take you to the main Grindelwald station (make sure you get in the right car, as the train may split, with the other section going to Lauterbrunnen.) no further train changes required. To reach Wengen, you board the train at Interlaken Öst that is going to Lauterbrunnen (again, make sure you get in the correct section of the train). At Lauterbrunnen, you will change to a small cogwheel train that takes you up the mountainside to Wengen. Thus for Wengen, there is one additional train change, requiring carrying your luggage for the transfer.

However, when you arrive at the Wengen station, most of the hotels will offer a little electro-car or other transport means to meet you and take you and your bags, or maybe just your luggage, to the hotel. I don’t know if any Grindelwald hotels offer this service—-we have always walked through the village to our lodging there. But maybe others can advise you on this.

You may find a hotel you really like in one village or the other, and that can drive your decision.

Posted by
38 posts

Lola
Thanks for this additional information and description. It has all been very helpful!

Posted by
497 posts

Lola gives a good summary. Also if you have any health issues that could cause an emergency you will be better off not on any of the higher mountain locations (Wengen or Gimmelwald) but Grindlewald would be safer. There was a thread on this here awhile ago.

On the other hand we love Wengen the best of anywhere in the area and have been there 5 times. We would go back 50 more if we could. We did it again last year, we’re 60s-70s.

Posted by
32244 posts

Of the two choices you listed, I would recommend Wengen as it's a bit easier to get to. However if you're concerned about ease-of-access and schlepping luggage, you might also consider staying in Lauterbrunnen. It's the rail hub for the area, so the most efficient location to get to both sides of the valley. There are some nice hotels within walking distance from the station (I like Hotel Oberland).

Posted by
203 posts

We chose Wengen over Grindelwald for next September. 25 years ago. DH and I stayed in Grindelwald and when planning this trip, I was leaning to stay there again. However, our hiking/excursion choices of the Schilthorn, Schynigge Platte, and the Lauterbrunnen Valley made Wengen the more logical choice. Many Wengen accommodations will transfer you and your bags from the station. Or perhaps rent an apartment- the one we've booked also offers luggage and people schlepping. Do pack manageably! BTW Judy, our group of 10 ranges in age from 66 to 81!

Posted by
38 posts

I so appreciate all the advice. And I am happy to hear I have a few years of traveling left in me! We all considered and decided to stay in Lauterbrennen. And take all the cogwheels and gondolas and trains to see as much as we can. We are really looking forward to this. So much to see and do.

Thanks again for your help!!

Posted by
38 posts

Carrie

this is a great video. Thank you so much for the link. I think we are on the right track and all is going to be great.
This forum is so terrific and fun. I thank you all for your input.