I'm planning a trip to the Lauterbrunnen valley in mid September. I'll be staying 5 nights which will give me 4 days to tour all the different mountains. My question is...which place is best for transportation on the different trains/gondolas? Which place is better for lodging and restaurants? I've been on the GAS tour and loved Murren and the lodging is a little less expensive there than in Wengen. Will I be spending more on trips up the mountain that will make up the difference in lodging? I haven't figured out my travel itinerary other than I want to see as many of the tops of the mountains as I can. I will probably hike a little depending on the weather. Any suggestions on hotels or restaurants?
We like to stay in Lauterbrunnen so we have access to both sides of the valley equally, as well as easier access into and out of Interlaken if we want o go beyond the Lauterbrunnen Valley, i.e,, the lakes, Thun, and so on. Lauterbrunnen is really the transportation hub. On you tour you might not have needed it, but the Berner Oberland Regional Pass might be very helpful given the trains and lifts you will take.
I agree with Laurel. We stayed in Interlaken the first trip, Lauterbrunnen the second and Wengen the third.....and next time we will go back to Lauterbrunnen. We found Interlaken to be way too commercial.....very touristy and busy, though we did enjoy sitting out on the big field in front of the hotels and watching the hang-gliders come in. We LOVED Lauterbrunnen and its proximity to the eating places in town, where we found one in particular we loved and frequented many times while there. Wengen was charming.....but the town closes down early at night, the facilitites (washer, dryer services) are difficult to find and very busy. While we are in our 60’s and certainly NOT party people we still felt like Wengen shut down way too early every night. We think staying in Lauterbrunnen still puts you in a great central spot to catching any train/gondola/trail todo anything you want to do.
We have stayed in Lauterbrunnen with the RS GAS tour and Wengen when we returned on our own for several days. We definitely liked Wengen better - the breathtaking views from our balcony in the morning and evening after a hike. Wengen has a co-op grocery store, some restaurants and fun atmosphere. And we took some nice evening strolls with that gorgeous scenery at every step. But, we have friends who absolutely love Murren. You can’t go wrong with either of those.
It’s a stunning area. I much prefer Murren which has all the amenities listed in the previous conversation about loving Wengen. But we’ve been visiting Murren for so many years we’ve made friends with some of the residents so we choose Murren for lots of reasons.
I’ve been to that area twice and stayed in Murren (Hotel Eiger) both times. I loved it. The views are jaw-dropping; you feel you could practically touch the peaks that are just across the narrow valley. It’s very quiet, especially at night, which we love. I’m too tired at night from hiking to have any interest in night life. There are several casual restaurants to choose from for dinner. It’s got great access to the top of Schilthorn and lots of hiking. However, it’s a fairly long haul to Jungfrau and places on that side of the valley.
Lauterbrunen is more convenient for transportation, and it’s a nice town, but the views aren’t as good, and you’re not IN the mountains.
Although I think the views from Murren are slightly better than Wengen, I think Wengen would be an excellent place to stay, especially if you want more choices of lodging and food.
You might want to figure out where where you want to go and what transportation you will be taking, then work out the times and expense. Keep in mind though that the weather might not cooperate, so you may not get to do everything you want.
When we were there the first time, it was part of a two-week trip in Switzerland, and the Swiss Pass was a great deal for us. Also super convenient. The second time, we spent most of the trip in Italy, and neither the Swiss Pass or B O Pass made sense. We got the half price card instead. You’ve got to plan and do the math to figure out what makes sense for you.
As you can see, Wengen, Muerren, Lauterbrunnen, and Gimmelwald all have their fans. You really can't go wrong with any of these four. If the price for the kind of lodging you seek is better in Muerren, let that be the tie-breaker, and stay in Muerren.
As for transportation, Lauterbrunnen is central, so it's easiest from there to get to either side. If you stay in Muerren, it's faster to see things on that side (Allmendhubel, Schilthorn), and will take longer to get to places on the other side (Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfraujoch). Wengen will be the reverse for transportation. But Lauterbrunnen has the disadvantage of not being car-free, and of being in the valley rather than elevated in the mountains. As I said, there are pluses and minuses for any of them, but they're all great.
Thanks for your responses. I’ve had a couple of votes for each of the 3 towns. They are all beautiful. Right now I’m leaning towards Wengen. I’ve stayed in Murren 3 days and have visited the Schilthorn and hiked the North Face. I’m looking forward to seeing Jungfraujoch and Kleine Ssheidegg. Hopefully I’ll have a room that I can watch sunrises or sunsets on the face of the mountains. I’ll also have to make a spread sheet to figure out which travel pass will work best... Swiss travel pass or the Berner Oberland regional pass. We’re also visiting the Zermatt area and riding the trains (Bernina Express). It can be very complicated to figure out the best ways to economically see Switzerland.