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Where to stay - Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Wengen, Engelberg, Gimmelwald?

Hello Travelers!

My husband and I are going to spend 2 weeks in Switzerland - half of the time in Lucerne, and the other half in the Interlaken or Bern-Oberland area. We are wondering where we should choose to stay - Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Wengen, Engelberg, Gimmelwald...? We are hoping for a relaxing time, nice walks, scenery, and hikes.

Your advice is appreciated!

Posted by
1820 posts

I like Murren too. I prefer the view from being up in the mountains. Some people like the view from the bottom of the valley, so Lauterbrunnen would probably appeal to them.

Posted by
1077 posts

I have only stayed in Murren, but I really liked it - stayed at the Hotel Alpenblick, highly recommend. I would not stay down in Lauterbrunnen, simply because I like being up in the mountains more, but others do like it down in the L. valley if you are planning to hit multiple areas nearby.

Posted by
5769 posts

Really, it's personal preference. Do a some research and see what appeals. I loved all the villages. We stayed in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It was pretty spectacular and was convenient to the other villages. Some like to be up in the mountains, I can totally can see that. Gimmelwald was like another world. It is just wonderful, I could see staying there, but maybe for just 2-3 days. I think you'd find yourself going up to Murren a lot for restaurants/groceries, etc. A good compromise might be staying in Murren which has amazing views and very easy/quick access to Gimmelwald. That way if you find yourself absolutely loving Gimmelwald (we sure did) you could spend a lot of your time there.

Posted by
877 posts

We stayed in Lauterbrunnen and a few years later Wengen. We thought Wengen was charming.....and we stayed at a wonderful hotel..... Hotel Alpenrose....BUT.......enjoyed staying down in Lauterbrunnen more. We loved the restaurants along the Main Street in Lauterbrunnen and found ourselves going back there a lot to eat and walk down the valley.....also we loved the convenience of hopping on the train and going to Interlaken and other cities whenever we wanted to. We found the stores and restaurants in Wengen closed very early and it seemed to us to be a lot harder to find places to eat in Wengen. I think we enjoyed the convenience of Lauterbrunnen more than having to go up and down the mountain train so much when we stayed in Wengen. We did hike and realized that you can get anywhere you want from the Lauterbrunnen hotel, Hotel Silberhorn, that we used there. Also our room at the Silberhorn was a lot larger than the room at Alpenrose.

Posted by
1820 posts

I stayed at Hotel Alpenruh on. RS tour. It’s right next to the gondola station for the Schilthorn and the opposite side or Murren from the train. Probably about 10 minutes or so to walk it.

Everyone on the tour got one of their balcony rooms. Rooms are small but the view was fantastic!

https://alpenruh-muerren.ch/en/Offer/Willkommen

Tried the restaurant one evening when it was raining heavily. Risotto was slightly undercooked so maybe dine elsewhere.

Posted by
2141 posts

Another vote to Hotel Alpenruh, we've stayed there twice (first with a RS tour in 2016 then the following year on our own). Nice rooms, great breakfast, convenient location. We stayed at the Hotel Jungfrau on a RS tour in 2010 and liked it very much. It's under different management now but I'd stay there again. Love Murren, have fun!

Posted by
16459 posts

We have been to Muerren a number of times but have not stayed in any of the hotels mentioned; we stay either in an apartment or at Chalet Fontana (Bed and Breakfast; very friendly but no views and no private bath unless you book the ground floor apartment.)

However, I do have an opinion about location: between the Alpenruh and Hotel Jungfrau, I would prefer the latter for location. It is higher up in the village, much better for views (I know the Mountain View’s are great from here as our last apartment was right across a little open space from it). The Alpenruh is lower down and does not get the same views or as much light. Also, as it is adjacent to the cablecar station, there are always people coming and going. Jungfrau location is quieter.

However, Hotel Jungfrau seems a bit old and dreary to me. Friends who stayed there one night last August said it was “OK” but not great. I suggest you look at the nearby Hotel Bellevue, which is also high up and offers great views. They are highly rated on Tripadvisor (yes, I am aware of the problems with Tripadvisor reviews, but I am good at filtering and I believe the reviews of this hotel, as well as most in Muerren, are genuine). I do know their restaurant is good, as we dine there when we want a restaurant meal in Muerren. We always get a friendly welcome and I have noticed their attention to detail. It would be my personal choice in Muerren.

If you want something closer to the train station, and are not as concerned with the view, then try Hotel Eiger or Alpina. The latter is right on the edge of the cliff so does have dramatic views down into the valley, but I do not find the alpine views from there as appealing as they are farther into the village and higher up.

Posted by
7349 posts

We stayed in Lauterbrunnen during our RS GAS tour. When we returned a few years later, we stayed in Wengen. We both preferred Wengen. There's something wonderful about waking up and seeing that amazing mountain-to-valley view from the hotel bed & our balcony! We also enjoyed the small town in that area more than Lauterbrunnen. At the end of the afternoon, when we were exhausted, we could still take a short walk on the edge of the village or into the forest and enjoy a bench with amazing views.

We haven't stayed in Murren, but from our traveling friends, it sounds equally perfect.

Posted by
1292 posts

I have stayed in both Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. The one thing you might consider is the cost and effort of getting to other parts of the area if you stay up in Murren. You are there for a whole week and will want to see more than just what Murren has to offer. We like Lauterbrunnen because it has good access to the area. We could pick each day where we were headed. We had a car, so we purchased a local ticket that allowed us access to almost all the lifts and trains. (Stechelberg was excluded). You can purchase it for the number of days you want.

Walks:
We love the walk up the Lauterbrunnen valley. Also, there is a nice walk from the Grutschalp to Murren (or the reverse if you stay in Murren) It is fairly level with beautiful veiws.

Hikes:
I love the Obersteinberg hike (more difficult) and the Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First and the riding the lift down to Grindelwald. (Once again, more difficult)

Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (moderate)

These are all in the RS book. There are many other (and easier) hikes as well. The one hike I would never do again is walking down from Murren to Lauterbrunnen. Way too long and boring and is on a dirt road. I also don't like the hike from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen. (boring, not great views, etc)

Posted by
768 posts

If you want nice walks, click on my name and you'll find a link to our dozen favorite trails in the area, with maps and pics.

Posted by
7209 posts

I used to recommend Murren 100%, but I just returned from time in Murren a couple of weeks ago and I was shocked by the number of tourists and the rude behavior of some of them. The Jungfrau draws hordes of tourists now so much so that I doubt we'll be visiting there again. The Schilthorn being offered at 100% coverage with the STP has also obviously brought some of those hordes into Murren. I've never seen so many people queued up at the Stechelberg Schilthornbahn to ascend. It was just unbelievable.

Posted by
174 posts

You may want to consider splitting time between Muerren and Lauterbrunnen. We stayed at the Hotel Alpina in Muerren and later at the Hotel Staubbach in Lauterbrunnen. Both hotels have incredible views, can't wait to go back!

Tim, you mention hordes of tourists in Muerren - were they transit tourists on the way to Schilthorn, or do you think they had hotel rooms in Muerren?

Posted by
285 posts

I stayed in Lauterbrunnen and I'm glad I did, Murren is quite nice for sure but LB gives you easier access to move around. Depends a great deal on what you like, LB is small with only a couple restos and such. Murren is quite small also but lovely. Views incredible. The best walk I've ever done in my life was Murren to Gimmelwald.

You can't go wrong, it's all spectacular. I'd only suggest not staying in Interlaken, it's got beautiful surrounds but is none of thing things on your list. Def visit though, and hike Harder Kulm.