I am spending 3 nights in this area and was told Wengen was the better place to stay. It'll be in early June and we want to take cablecars around and do some light hiking - any reason why Murren would be better than Wengen? Thanks in advance!
Based on my own experience, Murren had more budget options when it came to places to stay and places to eat and better views of the mountains (it faces the Monk, jungfrau, etc). I personally think Wengen is a more charming village. Both have great hiking. If you want to find a room with stunning views, try Murren. BTW, my favorite place to eat is in Lauterbrunnen-The Oberland Hotel. The owners are friendly (Ursula and Mark) and they have delicious Rosti dishes. Have fun.
Flip a coin. For your intended purposes, they are about equal.
Marsha, Connie made some wonderful comments. I would strongly second the Hotel Oberland for dinner. Charming, good is great, and prices reasonable (not cheap). We visited both villages in September. At first blush, we loved Wengen, however, after walking around a few minutes, there isn't a lot there. Muerren does seem a bit more substantial as far as food/logdging offerings. We stayed in Lauterbrunnen partly because it offered closer access to both sides of the valley. Whatever you do, choose one of these three, not Gimmelwald.
Wengen and Mürren are both beautiful villages, however, the main difference is Wengen is a bit more upscale with more hotels, restaurants and shops. Mürren is more of a quaint little village. My favorite place is definitely Mürren and the Chalet Fontana.
This is a second vote for Murren and Chalet Fontana. Wengen is cute by most standards. Murren feels up one notch on the cute scale. Lamb at the Stagerstubli Restaurant in Murren was amazing.
Another vote for Murren. I have stayed in Murren the last 2 Springs and loved it. The reason we had actually stayed in Murren the first year was the cost of the lodging was less expensive.
Last year we finally made it over to Wengen to explore and then we hiked down. After spending time in Wengen I think the views are better from Murren. The market is bigger in Wengen but the one in Murren is big enough for our needs.
Another vote for Murren and the Chalet Fontana! Say hi to Denise for me!
Thanks everyone - I assume it's just as easy to get everywhere from Murren i.e. to the train to the Jungfrau and cablecars? Thank you!
Marsha, both the gondola and the train is easily accessible from Mürren. They lie on opposite ends of the village, and you can walk leisurely from one to the other in about 15 minutes.
To get to the Jungfrau you will have to descend from Mürren to the valley floor then change trains which will take you through the village of Wengen.
RS aside, the absolute best cable car ride in the world is the one that runs from the eastern edge of Grindelwald (not Gimmelwald) to First. Do this one late in the afternoon with the sun shining on the north face of the Eiger and you'll wake up at night twenty years later still thinking about it.
Watch out for "light hiking" and plan your walks so that they're level or slightly downhill. Hiking at altitude will make you sick as a dog if you're not used to it.
Thanks to everyone - all of your help is invaluable as the research was overwhelming me - thank you!
I'll concur with other posters regarding Chalet Fontana...great lodging and inexpensive.
While I too prefer Murren--it seems like more a "real" town (people still dairy farm in the areas around here, though the town is definitely a tourist town)--if you know you want to take the Jungfraujoch, and you only have 2 full days, it might be better to stay in Wengen. UNLESS you already know you'd like to spend a day on each side of the valley. Wengen is nice, just bigger and more touristy.