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which town in the Berner Oberland?

Hello,

We are planning a trip in July, with a 7yr old boy, and are unsure as to which town we'd like to use as a home base. We are looking at Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindelwald, and Gimmelwald. Any thoughts? We'd like to make the trip to Jungfrauboch as well. We've heard good things about Murren because it is close to the Children's Adventure Trail playground.

Additionally, any thoughts on stargazing? Are any of these better than the others, in that respect?

Thank you!

Posted by
2526 posts

Lauterbrunnen (good transportation connections, base of the valley), Mürren, Gimmelwald and Wengen are my preferred choices, although I've never spent the night in Mürren to date...just hiked through a number of times and eaten there as well. Grindelwald didn't float my boat during a lunch visit there when compared to the other choices. Have you examined all the great information Rick assembled on the area? Make reservations ASAP.

Posted by
1353 posts

He would enjoy any of them. I believe Gimmelwald has a playground, and although I can't picture it - I'm pretty certain Lauterbrunnen has at least one park / playground. With a 7 year old I would be tempted to stay in Murren or Gimmelwald for the unique experience and not having to worry about cars. When we stayed in Murren my boys played a game of chess with the giant chess set which was a memorable experience!

Posted by
170 posts

I vote for Murren! Took our 6 year old granddaughter and stayed in Murren. The playground is great, can ride a funicular up to it. There is a sports complex in Murren that we were allowed to use. Has beautiful indoor swimming pool. It’s easy to use transportation from Murren to anywhere you would like to go. She loved riding trains, cable cars, etc.

Posted by
219 posts

That extraordinary, creatively designed, and immense playground near Mürren was up the funicular from Mürren to Allmendhubel. It's called "Flower Park."
There's a smaller version of it near Mürren at the Winteregg train stop, behind the cafe.
Gimmelwald has a little playground near the cable car station. It was not unusual.
Wengen has a nice, large playground. But if you take the cable car up from Wengen to Männlichen, there's a wonderful playground up there at Männlichen.
I've seen a mini-golf in Grindelwald, on the way from the train station to the cable car that goes up to First.

Posted by
781 posts

Want to be up in the high Alps? That eliminates Lauterbrunnen (in a deep valley).

Like car-free towns? That eliminates Wengen and Grindelwald.

I know Rick really plumps for Gimmelwald, but it really has very little tourism infrastructure and little (actually nothing) to do at night.

That left us in Murren for four days last summer, and I couldn't have been happier. Its my absolute favourite place in Europe. Your room will look right out at the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. No cars, but compact walkable town and easy gondola connections down to the valley and up to the Schilthorn. Lots of hikes of all challenge levels within two hours. Nice restaurants. Swiss folk festival in the town square many evenings. We just loved it.

If you do decide on Murren, take a look at Chalet Fontana. Best view from a room I've ever seen in Europe.

Posted by
1353 posts

Wengen is car free, but seems to have more small vehicles on the streets than Murren. You see them frequently in Wengen, but rarely in Murren. Granted mostly golf cart like vehicles, but still present.

Posted by
781 posts

I stand corrected. I've never been to Wengen but on the maps there is a road running to it and streets through it. Assumed those were for cars.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks, everyone! I’ve been reading through the RS guide, which is how we eliminated Zermatt (though it still makes my heart hurt. We only have a week). We settled on the Berner Oberland region based on that; I’m liking Murren more based on your feedback. We’d like to finalize bookings this weekend, pending responses from their hotel staff. Thanks.

Posted by
31471 posts

Zee,

Lauterbrunnen is the transportation hub so the most practical location for access to both sides of the valley. I don't find the "valley location" to be a problem, as I'm out touring all day anyway. Mürren is also a great choice, and popular with many here. It's up on the side of the mountain, so has fantastic views.

You may also enjoy a trip to the Schilthorn as well, and that's very easily done from Mürren. It's a bit cheaper than the Jungfraujoch, which might be very crowded in July. The Schilthorn was used in the filming of the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service a number of years ago, and there's a James Bond display at the top. The Schilthorn also has a revolving restaurant, so you could enjoy views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau as you dine.

One point to mention about the Jungfraujoch is that it's at an elevation of about 12,000 feet, so if any of you have "altitude issues", keep that in mind.

Posted by
192 posts

It is wise to make your reservations now, as you plan to do. I will be staying in Murren in Sept., and I was unable to get my first choice. This is with checking on hotel website and Expedia etc. I stayed in Lauterbrunnen a few years ago, but this time I wanted to be up in the mountains.

Posted by
11288 posts

"I was unable to get my first choice. This is with checking on hotel website and Expedia etc."

If you have a specific place in mind, e-mail them directly. For several places in Switzerland, the hotel's own website booking did not show availability, but by e-mailing them, I got the room I wanted.

Posted by
1353 posts

I agree with Harold. Emailing worked twice for me for my upcoming trip when the hotel showed no availability on their website. In both cases - the hotels are used by RS tour groups. This may be what is going on in Murren Diane.

Posted by
3621 posts

Murren without a doubt. The scenery is fantastic, plenty of places to eat, great hotels, and lots to do.

Posted by
1759 posts

Hi Zee, in Murren, try the Hotel Alpenruh or the Hotel Jungfrau. We've stayed at both and highly recommend them. Amazing knock-out views, love Murren!

Posted by
8291 posts

Murren hands down. Our favorite, by far, of them all.

Posted by
192 posts

I actually did e-mail the hotel, and received a personalized e-mail back from the owner. She has 2 apartments which were already booked.

Posted by
2526 posts

Why not just telephone the hotels directly? I use Skype...cheap, effective.