Can Lauterbrunnen be a base ?

Apr 18th, 2005, 06:07 PM
  #1  
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Can Lauterbrunnen be a base ?

We are planning a trip to the BO region and are a little undecided about what town to use as a base. This will be in September and we will *not* have a car - and we are planning to stay for about 5 days.

Here are some of the activities we are considering - will Lauterbrunnen be a good base for these or do the folks here have a better suggestion ?

*Jungfraujoch
*Schilthorn
*Montreux
*Thun
*Truemmelbach Falls
*Some adventure sports like paragliding, ice climbing, etc.

Suggestions on a town to use a base for these will be greatly appreciated ! ;-)
carlposter05 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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Lauterbrunnen is perfectly located. Unfortunately, it is not very appealing. I suggest Wengen unless your budget mitigates against it. From Wengen it is only about 20 minutes to/from Lauterbrunnen.
vedette is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Thanks vedette - can you expand a little on what you mean by "not very appealing" ? The reason I prefer Lauterbrunnen over Wengen is because Lauterbrunnen seemed more convinient - its only one connection away from Interlaken (only 20mins away) - so if we want to make a lot of day trips, it only adds 20mins to my travel time.

Wengen seemed a little further away - would add an extra connection and some more time to our travel. Am I missing something ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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We based ourselves in Lauterbrunnen last June and it was a very convienent location since you can drive there but not to Wengen. Butr I think what vedette means is that Wengen is located at a much prettier setting but since Lauterbrunnen is not as high, so the view from there is not as pretty. We stayed around the train station so there was no view at all. But if I have to do it again, I will still base in Lauterbrunnen since it is a very good location to explore the area.
baby108 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Count me as a Lauterbrunnen fan. I've noticed many bash it as not attractive and always figure they didn't get a great hotel location. We stayed at Hotel Staubbach which is very reasonable, accessible and we had a fabulous balcony with views up the valley. We couldn't have been happier-took trains, trams, lifts and roads all over the BO. We dined in Murren, hiked below the Eiger, explored Wengen, First, Grindelwald and enjoyed the scenery everywhere. Have a great time! Paul
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Apr 18th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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I will be returning to Lauterbrunnen for the 7th time in June. I think that tells the story right there.

I suggest you look into an apartment. It is much less expensive than a hotel.
I have stayed in a hotel in Lauterbrunnen exactly 1 night; the rest of the time in an apartment. The problem is that most apartments insist on weekly rentals.

There are several good choices in the town. The web site will put you on to some, if interested.

If not, the Crystal Hotel is a little cheaper as is the Staubbach. The youth hostel is an unknown to me because I never stayed there.

I like it because it IS central to Wengen and Mürren.
Montreaux is ways away. Thun is just up the rail line with frequent service.

Grindelwald is an easy connection during the day, but not at night.

Interlaken is 20 minutes down the rail line with frequent trains until midnight.

Higher places like Kleine Scheidegg are a rail ride away. We like the Eiger trail and you can do a lot from Grindelwald as well.

I know people argue for Mürren and Wengen. I would too for a short stay of 3 or fewer days. But for 8 to 9 days at a stretch, I like the fact that I can go anywhere in the region from Lauterbrunnen.

We also have fun shopping the markets for food and other products like we lived there. I think it gives us a taste of pricing and life in those mountain towns.

I think you will enjoy it because Lauterbrunnen is on the door step of higher adventures all around.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 09:19 PM
  #7  
euroenvy
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I think Lauterbrunnen is one of the most delightful places... we stsyed in May ..It is a lovely valley with a stream runnig thru it.The tiny town is cute with hotels and a few shops.In May the flowers were amazing..up the east end are the falls. we walked past a beautiful cemetary and cows crossed the road..It was warmer there than above just as it will be in September.It costs to go up and down and takes time .... when it rained we could easily hit the road out to go shopping.I don't think I would stay above unless it was in July or August and only in good weather..Your first instincts were right...around the station is is narrow and not that appealing but one must venture farther in to appreciate this valley..the Staubbach was not that appealing but the views were great..there is a campground with some rentals there...we wanted to check it out ..you could find it online
 
Apr 19th, 2005, 04:10 AM
  #8  
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Ok so looks like Lauterbrunnen is where we will be staying !

bob_brown - any idea where I can find information on apartment rentals ?

We may end up staying there for a week. Currently we are thinking of spending 2 days in Lucerne and 5 days in Lauterbrunnen - but I am considering spending all 7 days in Lauterbrunnen and just making a day trip to Lucerne. What do you all think about this (spending 7 nights in Lauterbrunnen with just a day trip to Lucerne) ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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carl,

It sounds like you've the makings for a wonderful trip. However, do re-consider taking daytrips to Lucerne. A two-day stay in Lucerne is preferable, as the city itself (including a cruise on the lake) is worthy of a full day's sightseeing. Your other day would be well spent making an excursion to Mount Pilatus, Mt. Titlis, or Mt. Rigi. A couple evenings strolling Lucerne's covered bridges and lovely lakefront setting is a real delight. Also, should the weather gods turn against you, spend a few hours at Lucerne's marvelous transportation museum.

Best of luck.
DavidD is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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I don't think there's a bad place to stay in the whole area. I liked Grindelwald more than Lauterbrunnen...just as convenient and maybe a little "nicer" overall. But some folks insist on staying higher up in the car-less villages of Wengen, Murren and Gimmelwald.

Whatever. You won't be sorry, no matter where you stay. The BO is fabulous. Go, enjoy, take pictures, and send us a good trip report!

(And, to whet your appetite, here are some views from the L Valley, Schilthorn, T Falls, First, etc....
http://www.onelittleworld.com/switzerland_ltaly_3.html )
mr_go is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:02 AM
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DavidD - Given that we will be visiting Jungfrau, Schilthorn and Matterhorn - would you still recommend a visit to Mount Pilatus, Mt. Titlis, or Mt. Rigi around Lucerne ?

I realize that a day trip to Lucerne may be a little rushed - but if we were to only do the local sights and not have any excursions, would you still recommend spending 2 days at Lucerne ?

Thoughts ? Thanks !
carlposter05 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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Hi carlposter05,

Have you checked your travel times on the rail website (www.rail.ch)? The trip from Lauterbrunnen to Montreux will take 3h21, much too long for a daytrip! You'll spend seven hours on the train!! My personal cut-off time for excursions is two hours each way. I think you should drop Montreux from your itinerary and save it for another time when you can enjoy it.

The trip from Lauterbrunnen to Luzern is also far too long, imo, for a daytrip; it'll take 3h04 to 3h14 depending on the connection you choose. Again, travelling for seven hours will really diminish your delight and your memories of the destination. So, really, consider staying overnight in Luzern. A ferry ride will take 2-4 hours, and it'll be fascinating. You can get off the ferry in one of the towns like Weggis or Vitznau, hunt around, have lunch, then hop on another ferry back. There are also ferries with themed dining. There's really lots to do even if you don't do the peaks.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:21 AM
  #13  
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Thanks swandav2000 - I agree with you about Lucerne. I will plan on spending 1 or 2 nights in Lucerne depending on our train connections.

Any tips on what some of the must-do\must-see activities are in Lucerne for a 1.5-2 day visit (in addition to the ferry cruise) ?
carlposter05 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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Hi Again,

Well you can easily spend an afternoon exploring Luzern's old town -- the fountains & squares & old administrative buildings; then go on to the Lion's Monument and the Musegg Walls (check out the Fodors pages on Luzern or do a text search here). Great shopping in the old town too! The transport museum in Luzern is very popular too. One of my favortite activities is just to find a neat trail -- there are lots & lots of trails around Luzern, both right at the lake and higher up in the hills above the lake.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 19th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Sorry --

Fodors doesn't have its Luzern pages online. Here's one from a competetor:

http://www.frommers.com/destinations...162010008.html

Or go here

http://www.luzern.org/sightseeing-001-0201-en.htm

for a wealth of ideas. The Luzern website has some walks laid out for you to see online. There's also a video about Luzern if you go to their "First Visit" webpages.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 19th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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carlposter05:
For a list of accomodations (most with color pictures/descriptions/prices and e-mails) go to www.wengen-muerren.ch
Clicck on 'Lauterbrunnen' in the top center, then on the red 'e' top left for english, then of course, on 'accomodations' top left. You can enter your travel dates and find what's free.
Good luck and happy travels!
rachd is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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http://www.lauterbrunnen-tourismus.ch/seite332.htm
Is a page for apartments.
The top line of the next page is in German, nach oben
That means go back up, or I think we would call it simply back, to the previous page.

Again, many apartment owners, particularly in peak season, insist on weekly rentals. You may find that the savings on food is good, and that the nightly rate of an apartment for a week is cheaper than 6 nights in a hotel.

Most of the people speak some English in that area. Not everyone of course, but many do.

Trudy Pearson who runs Trudy's Bazaar is very fluent. She is native to the valley, but married an itenerant English fellow who settled there for good. If you walk into Trudy's, don't hesitate to ask her questions in English. She can handle it.

Best of all, the town physician, Dr. Durrer, a specialist in high altitude medicine, speaks good English. He is highly and well trained. I did not anticipate using his services, but two years ago a sinus infection had me feeling rotten.

I kid you not when I say that if you are there only 5 days, and they are sunny, you will not leave the valley except to go up on the sides. There are miles of exploring to do.

I do recommend one excursion: The gondola from Grindelwald to First, and a hike to the top of the Faulhorn. It is a good hike up there, but rewarding as can be.

I probably cannot do it again. Age.

PS the Schilthornbahn originates in Stechelberg. The Post Bus connects directly to it. First, Gimmelwald. Change cabins. Second, Mürren. Change cabins. Next, Schilthorn. Get out and admire the view.

My suggestion however is to take the elevator on wheels up the side of the valley to Grutschalp. Then walk the path to Mürren. The views will knock you over. The Breithorn is right in front and the Jungfrau is just to your left.

If you walk the trail in the other direction, you are in danger -- of twisting your neck turning around to look at the views.

I made that mistake the first time, but not again. We walked it last year, and thought it looked even better than in previous years.

It gets better with age.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 02:50 PM
  #18  
euroenvy
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you could spend a couple of nights in Lauterbrunnen and from there go up the Junfraujoch and that side.....and then you could go to say Gimmelwald for another couple of days and explore that area more fully...We actually stayed up there for two nights also and it was great to sit on the porch and soak in the view...it's an easy walk/lift ride to Murren..it has the worlds best" view tennis court" and a great way to lose a ball!
 
Apr 19th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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carl,

A couple overnights in Lucerne would be a wise move. You've already received much helpful and spot-on information about sights within the city, so I won't venture there. As regards mountain-top excursions, do try to spend a half-day visiting Mt. Pilatus. This holds true even with your visits to the Jungfraujoch and the like in mind.

Here's a possible Pilatus itinerary: With clear skies in the forecast, catch a short bus ride from Lucerne to the base of the mountain. Take a gondola ride to the mountain summit. Have lunch atop the mountain, and then hike around a spell. The views are fabulous. Take a funnicular down from the summit. Finally, take a scenic trip on a steamer that'll return you to Lucerne. What an enjoyable way to spend a day in Switzerland!
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