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Where to stay in the alps?

Me and my wife are going to Switzerland and Italy this coming June and we are spending 2 days in Luzern then 2 days in the alps before leaving to go for a week in the Lake Como area. But I’m having trouble deciding we’re to stay in the alps(murren, gimmelwald, Wenger,or lauterbrunnen) especially since we will be using the train systems the entire time?

Posted by
768 posts

Well, the 4 towns you mention in parentheses are all connected to good transportation. If by saying "using the train systems", you mean you will be spending most of your time on and off trains, then Lauterbrunnen is the most centrally located of those. It has transportation in 3 different directions. If there is more that goes into your decision, then just get more specific.

Posted by
69 posts

What I meant about using the train systems is we are taking the train from Luzern to where ever we decide to stay for those two days then we will get on whatever the main train that takes us to Lake Como. I will admit I don’t really understand which cities in the alps we will have to visit by cable car or train? I’m renting a car in Italy like I have done before but I’m not fully understanding the train-cable car thing in the alps?

Posted by
2914 posts

The entire Berner Oberland (Muerren, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, etc.) is so easy to get around by train and lift. Simple. A car would not be a good idea, as most of these places are "car free". So it's set up for train and cable car transportation. My opinion, take a day off of Luzern and add it to Wengen or Muerren. It gives you a better chance of clear weather during your short stay IN the Alps. I'd go with Wengen, but do stay up in the alps, Wengen or Muerren. The views are... INCREDIBLE. You're not going to want to leave.


Posted by
69 posts

Thank you for all the help! I’m trying to find a good and not over priced hotel in the city center of Luzern or Lucerne, I’m not sure which way is the proper one.

Posted by
8540 posts

emtycrystal44, I dont know what the right way is, but here's what I do to look for hotels. I use TripAdvisor to get an idea of what hotels are in the city, read some reviews, and then use their map feature to see locations and all nearby hotels. I'll check out a few by going directly to hotel website to check availability and price.

Of course you could pick up a guidebook from a source you trust, and look at recommendations there. If you just ask for anonymous recommendations here, you'll get a bunch, but not necessarily a comprehensive view.

Posted by
11294 posts

I'm not sure what your price range is (as you've not doubt heard, Switzerland is expensive), but I had a nice stay in Luzern at the Hotel des Alpes:

Note that their website did not show the room I needed; I got the room by e-mailing the hotel directly.

For the Berner Oberland, all the places you mention (Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Muerren, or Wengen) work, as they're all interconnected. I realize it's very hard to visualize or comprehend until you've been there, but here goes my attempt: The Berner Oberland is a U-shaped valley. Lauterbrunnen is at the bottom of the "U." Gimmelwald is up one side, Muerren is further up that side, and the Schilthorn is much further up that side (they zig-zag, so they are not directly above each other). Wengen is up the other side, Kleine Scheidegg and Maennlichen are further up that side, and the Jungfraujoch is much further up that side.

So, Lauterbrunnen is most convenient, in that you can go up either side without having to go down first. But it only takes 15-20 minutes to go from Wengen or Muerren to Lauterbrunnen. In 2014, I stayed in Muerren at the Hotel Edelweiss: and in 2017, I stayed in Lauterbrunnen at the Hotel Silberhorn:

Both were fine. I preferred the convenience of Lauterbrunnen, but the ambiance and views and restaurants of Muerren - so I'm no help deciding. But the main thing to realize is, you can't make a "wrong" decision - it's all good. I wouldn't stay in Gimmelwald - too small, with very few eateries and not even a supermarket or ATM (the other towns have these).

Posted by
32994 posts

The question about the name... Luzern is in the German speaking part of Switzerland (where 4 languages are spoken in different areas - German, French, Italian and Romansh) and Luzern is how it is spelled locally, on signs, trains stations, addresses, etc. Lucerne is the French (and English) spelling even though because the French section is about 2 hours away you won't see it that way and English is not one of the local languages (but many Swiss know it anyway).

Posted by
7 posts

We are planning a similar route and heading to Venice in May. So far everyone has suggested to head to Chur for a night and hop on the Bernina Express to Lake Como. The views look amazing!

Posted by
2141 posts

Hi emty, we've visited Switzerland 3 times over the past few years and recommend that you spend 1 night in Lucerne and add the other night to the Berner Oberland. In Lucerne we stayed at the Hotel des Alpes, great location, great breakfast.

The train system is terrific, it's very efficient and easy to navigate. Suggest that you stay in Murren for 3 nights. We can recommend the Hotel Alpena and the Hotel Jungfrau. Both are great hotels, helpful staff, knock-out views. There is a lot to do in the area. It's a dream destination, absolutely beautiful! It's very easy to get to the Schilthorn or Jungfrau and there are many opportunities for hiking. Check with the front desk at your hotel or stop by the Recreation Center for maps, events, etc.

Posted by
267 posts

Hotel Alpha is a very reasonable choice and short walk from the train station.