My wife and I will be traveling to Switzerland later this month. We are in our late 20's and this is our first time to Switzerland. We have two and a half days to spend in the Bernese Oberland. We are trying to decide between staying in Gimmelwald (Hotel Mittaghorn w/mountain view) or Murren (Eiger guesthouse no mountain view). We are looking to do some hiking/possibly mountain biking/seeing the Schilthorn/waterfalls. Any suggestions? Want to choose a good base.
I'm partial to Mountain views when I stay in the area. I think it depends, if you lean towards old school philosophies you might like Murren. I'm thinking you'll run into more young people your age in Gimmelwald. Of course you are close enough that you can hike or take Gondola to M from G. You may have more eating choices in Murren. Either way, it's a win-win situation. Have you two considered doing the via Ferreta?
Thank you for your input. We will look into the Via Ferreta. Any hikes/routes that you suggest?
I would choose Gimmelwald and the mountain view. We've stayed in Murren twice and loved it, but we had a balcony with view and that is super important to us. As Jim said, you can't go wrong with either place. Gimmelwald is less of a town than Murren, it's more Swiss Alpine homes on a mountain side with meadows. Murren is only minutes away with more amenities.. restaurants, grocery store, bike rental, post office, etc. Both have incredible views.
Mario, Either town would be good, as both have advantages and disadvantages. Where did you obtain information on the hotels you mentioned? Mürren will probably be slightly more expensive for accommodations, but it offers a greater number of restaurants, stores, etc. There's a Co-Op store there for buying grocery items before going on hikes. I believe Hotel Alpina has views across the valley, depending on which room you're assigned to. Gimmelwald is also a great place to stay, and the views of the glacier across the valley are incredible, especially sitting on the patio of the Pension with a "cool one" in the late afternoon sun. Given your ages, you might find it interesting to stop by the famous Mountain Hostel for a visit as you'll likely find lots of people in the same age range. For stays in Gimmelwald, you could also consider the Pension Gimmelwald or Esther's Guesthouse. Hotel Mittaghorn is a bit further from the Cable Car terminal, so you'll have a bit of a walk when you want to travel to other locations. However, it's on the trail that leads up to Mürren, so that will be easier if you decide to hike up the hill. Happy travels!
Gimmelwald is nice to see for about 30 minutes. Murren is larger with more hotels, restaurants, shopping, grocery store and atm. I would choose to stay in Murren and visit Gimmelwald from there. It's only about a 20-30 minute very nice walk down from Murren to Gimmelwald. Then you can ride the gondola back up if you'd like. Gimmelwald is just too small to stay any length of time for me...and I'm a HUGE fan of this area.
If you stay n Gimmelwald you can sleep in the sraw and have a great experience. My husband and kids and I loved Gimmelwald and would stay there again. We like off the beaten path type adventures. We took food with us to Gimmelwald and had the local homemade cheese. Awesome!!
We were in Mürren in June, part of a RS tour. We stayed at Hotel Jungfrau, second floor room at the front of the hotel with spectacular mountain views, accommodating staff, clean and comfortable rooms, nice restaurant, and outdoor deck for drinks, lounging after a day of hiking. Mürren offers nice dining options, has a sports center with a pool, access to paragliding, easy connections to Schilthorn, accessibility to good hiking. Be sure to go down to the valley to see Trümmelbach Falls.
If the weather is nice, hike the Schilthorn! Unforgettable! See my post in "Berner Oberland itinery".
I have stayed 3 times at the Hotel Alpina in Murren and highly recommend it. It is close to the train station in Murren coming up the gondola from Lauterbrunnen. My opinion is Murren is a better base for activities you might want to do in the time you have. Also, I would think there are bike rentals in Murren but I am not sure (maybe have to rent in Interlaken?). Someone else may know.
We recently returned from BO, staying 3 nights at the Hotel Alpenblick (near the train station) in Murren, and stayed 2 nights at the Hotel Falken in Wengen. I would suggest using Murren as a base. We rented bikes in Murren, going down to Lauterbrunnen via Wintersegg, biked in the valley to Trummelbach Falls, and returned by cable car in Stechelberg - we did this in a half day. A great hike/walk is to take the cable car in Wengen to the Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg trail.
We stayed in Murren and I have to say the Eiger Guesthouse is right next to the train station which is a super location. and of all my meals in Murren, I must say Eiger Guesthouse was by far the best. I just cant say enough about it. The pork schnitzel and rosti potatoes were the BOMB. No view but I usually had lunch at one of the restaurants with a view.
Why not use Lauterbrunnen as a base? Check out the below link: http://bbqboy.net/lauterbrunnen-and-the-berner-oberland-switzerland/ The problem we had with Murren/Gimmelwald is that won't see anything on an overcast day because of the higher altitude. Lauterbrunnen is a nice little town with farms and waterfalls and also has easy access to the other side of the valley. Hope the above helps!
Frank, thank you for your post about staying in Lauterbrunnen. That is what we plan to do. Debbie
The reason we like staying in Murren vs Lauterbrunnen is because we've traveled so far to be in the Alps that we want to stay in the Alps.. surrounded and enveloped by them. We don't want to stay at the base of them and look up at them. We think getting to Murren from Lauterbrunnen is easy, enjoyable and well worth it.