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Wengen or Lauterbrunnen: Where to stay?

Greetings everyone -

Our family with couple of kids is trying to reserve an apartment to stay in the Interlaken area between June 20-25.

We have narrowed it to apartment in Wengen or Lauterbrunnen. The price is similar, the apartment in Wengen has an Internet connection.

Where should we stay? Is it easier to move around from Lauterbrunnen? Does Wengen have more restaurant selection?
How long does it take to reach Wengen by train/cog rail from Interlaken?

Thanks for any tips.

Posted by
4125 posts

I'd rather stay on a mountain than in the valley: better access to hikes, better views, more sunshine.

Laterbrunnen is a little more centrally located--Wengen is closer the part of the alps it is in, but more distant from the Murren side and from Interlaken.

Posted by
13503 posts

Now you have a dilemma---it looks like you got exactly the opposite advice on Fodors travel board. But with small children--I'd vote for Wengen. Such a pleasure to be in a car-free village. It's only 14 minutes by train down to Lauterbrunnen. And you can ride a cablecar up from Wengen to Mannlichen for a very easy hike to Kleine Scheidegg if your children like to hike. Or ride the gondola down the other side to Grindelwald, walk through town, and take the First lift up and walk to the Bachalpsee, a lovely lake. The kids will love hiking along and seeing the cows everywhere.

Posted by
9022 posts

I would choose Wengen. It's a little higher up in the valley and the views are much better. Lauterbrunnen is more central for transportation connections but Wengen does have more restaurants. According to the Swiss Rail website, Interlaken Ost to Wengen is about a 40 minute journey via rail.

Posted by
7205 posts

You really can't go wrong anywhere in Wengen, Lauterbrunnen or Muerren. Personally I like Muerren the best. I've stayed in both Wengen and Muerren - Wengen is more upscale, more restaurants, more hotels, more shopping. Muerren is quieter and more Alpine...I particulary like the Chalet Fontana.

Posted by
3 posts

Michael and Tim:

Since Wengen is at a higher altitude, could it get more cloudy or rainy there ?

Is Wengen more snobbish? With kids and all I am looking for a less uptight town.

Posted by
138 posts

Dorris,
Quite the opposite is true in the mountains: the higher you are, the sunnier it will be. The clouds and fog will be below you in the valley.

Posted by
9022 posts

The distance in elevation between Laut. and Wengen isn't that much that it would make a difference in the climate. I don't find Wengen to be that "snobbish" its perfectly fine with children. I don't entirely agree with what Natasha says about the fog. It can get very foggy in the mornings at the lower elevations, BUT by the afternoon, the higher elevations get just as foggy and cloudy; its a trade-off. Speaking of fog, if you visiting the peaks at Jungfrau and the Schiltorn do so early in the mornings, by the afternoon the clouds will roll in making a trip to the top a waste.

Posted by
2742 posts

Hi Dorris,
We stayed in Wengen at the Hotel Eiger and absolutely loved it there. I'd go with Wengen!

Paul

Posted by
7205 posts

I think with all the talk of clouds, rain and fog a person who has never been there could get an incorrect impression that it's cloudy and foggy MORE than sunny. On my 3 trips to the area in which are always in May and June I've only encountered rain on one evening and it was totally clear by the next morning.

I do remember having a late dinner on the patio of Hotel Alpenruh in Muerren and watching a thick cloud of fog rolling into the valley getting closer and closer to us...you could actually see it moving.

I don't think Wengen is snobbish, but it also doesn't have that "homey" village feel that you will find in Muerren and Gimmelwald. We had fun watching the local children in Muerren interact (play) with some tourist kids. We were there for several days and they would always be outside playing till dark.

Wengen will be closer to the Jungfrau while Muerren is closer to the Schilthorn. Lauterbrunnen is in the middle.

Posted by
3 posts

You are right Lola, its a toss up. I am getting inclined toward Wengen based on all the reviews here. Steve is favoring Lauterbrunnen. We may just have to flip the coin ...Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

Posted by
13503 posts

Well, you can't go wrong with either one. Lauterbrunnen is situated in a valley that looks alot like Yosemite, with cliffs and waterfalls. Wengen is perched up above the valley, in a position equivalent to the top of El Capitan if this were Yosemite (but not such a vertical cliff below). We always stay in Mürren, but I assume Wengen is similar---full of sporty folks there to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. I'll just put in one last pitch for Wengen, based on the car-free aspect. It's really a nice experience, and you'll enjoy the safety aspect with the children.

Posted by
13503 posts

One more thought---most of these places have webcams so you can see exactly what they look like right now. Oooops--I just remembered it's dark over there now, so that won't help. But it may help you decide to just Google for photos of the two villages.

Posted by
47 posts

Lauterbrunnen is perfectly situated but not much goes on in the evening. The co-op groceery store is closed, all you have are hotel restaurants. A waitress who served me dinner at one of the Lauterbrunnen hotels said she lived in Wengen because there was more going on there. She was a 20-something Brit. I didn't make it there so this is second hand info, but I bet her take is accurate...Don't miss the Jungfrau; take the hike to the hut up there; bring a liter of water per person, it's expensive up there.