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Is Murren a Good Place to Base Oneself in the Berner Oberland?

Is Murren a Good Place to Base Oneself in the Berner Oberland?

Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:36 PM
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Is Murren a Good Place to Base Oneself in the Berner Oberland?

Be going in July or August most likely.

Have only been to Interlaken and up to Lauterbrunnen and seen the Trummelbackfalle previously.

The purpose is to take just about every possible cable car, rack railway trip, etc. in the area for the views.

Not really hikers in the classic sense...more like walkers and are mainly going for the spctacular scenery.

So, is this village a good place to base and as convenient as any to get here and there by rail, cable car etc., or would another village be better?

We are tentatively looking at the Hotel Eiger as a place to stay and will plan on being in the area for at least several days.

Any alternative basing places (with rationale!!!!!) would be VERY much appreciated.

Thanks all.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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I suppose if your purpose is ride cable cars and trains Murren is as good as any village in the Berner Oberland; Village being the operative word. It will certainly be a quieter option but if that's what your looking for I don't think you can pick a more beautiful place to spend some time. Wengen would be another option but it is more expensive. Good luck with the weather!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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We stopped off in Murren on the way down from Schilthorn in May 2006. The views from there are really awesome. We stayed in Lauterbrunnen, however, but Murren is quite small.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:41 PM
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We spent 4 nights in Murren about 10 years ago and loved it. When we visited Wengen & especially Grindelwald we were very glad we chose Murren. We took cable cars, rack railways, gondolas, & trains everywhere.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:56 PM
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Hello Dukey

The views from the rooms in the cliffside hotels are spectacular. You are perched on the edge of the cliff, looking straight down to the Lauterbrunnen valley. From here, you can take the tram up to the Schilthorn, where on a clear day you are given a spectacular 360 view of the glaciers and peaks. Have a meal or ice cream in the revolving restaurant and watch the scenery go by. Ahhhh.....

I usually prefer to stay in the Grindelwald area, although I have stayed in Murren and Wengen. There's just something about Grindelwald that draws me back. The mountain transportation is so very convenient. There are walks for every level.

Taking the buckets up to Mannlichen from Grund, you are met with a spectacular view of the Lauterbrunnen valley, with Murren perched on the far cliff. Then you walk (pretty flat) to Kleine Scheidegg, have lunch or a snack, while gazing at the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. You might even be lucky and hear a glacier falling. Quite a roar from across the valley.

If you're not tired, then try continuing the walk from Kleine Scheidegg over to Wengen. You could then take the train back to Grindelwald to complete the circle. Or you could take the tram up (we prefer this way) to Mannlichen, then hop back on the buckets down to Grund to Grindelwald.

Another day you could go to the First region of Grindelwald. Lots of good walks in this area. Not too strenuous, but the views...oh my the views!

And the list goes on. This is just the beginning. You can't go wrong with Hotel Eiger. I just find that my time is better spent in the Grindelwald area. Not so much backtracking.

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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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Meant to add that we'll be in the area the last week of July.

I think it'd be a hoot to have a GTG in the Berner Oberland!

And also, August 1st is Swiss National Day. You will find most of the villages and towns have some sort of celebration, from street fairs to fireworks at night. Lots of fun!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Don't you dare have a Berner Oberland GTG without me!!!!

Swisshiker gave you a good picture of the area.

Just to complicate things, I'll say that we generally stay in both Wengen and Mürren, and would choose either one over Grindelwald, because we prefer the car-free mountain villages.

We love to stay in Mürren for the variety of hikes there. But for taking all the possible cablecars, cogwheel trains, etc., Wengen would be a little more centrally located---you could get to Grindelwald by going up and over the Mannlichen ridge by cablecar, and get to other places by going down to Lauterbrunnen on the train.

Mürren is a smaller and quieter village than Wengen, but Wengen is still car-free with lots of Swiss ambiance. The views from there are different from the Mürren views, but just as nice in their own way.

To leave Mürren and go anywhere else, you have a 2-stage journey: either train to Grutschalp and cablecar to Lauterbrunnen, or cablecar to Stechelberg and Postbus to Lauterbrunnen.

From Wengen, by contrast, you have a one-hop journey by train to Lauterbrunnen and the rest of Switzerland, plus the option of going up and over the ridge to Grindelwald.

What are your criteria for choosing the Eiger in Mürren? We might be able to suggest a similar alternative in Wengen for you t compare.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Dukey,
We’ll be in Switzerland end of July, beginning of August with a similar purpose “to take just about every possible cable car, rack railway trip, etc. in the area for the views”. We’re also mostly walkers than hikers, and decided to stay in Wengen.

It’s our first trip to Switzerland, and I read than Murren is even smaller than Wengen so we decided to stay in Wengen, with more dining options. I’m sure both are great options, have a great trip.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 11:10 PM
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Thanks to each and every one of you for your thoughtful replies and all that RATIONALE...LOVE IT!

So now I'm beginning to think that Wengen might be better due to the "ease" of transport to elsewhere in the area.

Enzian, I picked the Eiger due to its location (as if any place in that village would really be "inconvenient"...NOT) and the great reviews on TA and the fact that it seems to be more of a hotel than a B+B (not against B+B's but generally enjoy staying in places a bit larger).

If you have any specific recommendations please re-post. As to the "budget" that is pretty much open ended. I don't mind spending so-called "big bucks" to stay in a place but if I do it has to seem worth it for the views, ambience, availability of transportation. As an example, I am just as happy in a smaller hotel with a view of the Matterhorn in a place like Zermatt as I am in one of the higher-priced Seiler properties so I welcome any suggestions.

This is hard because I am sure everyone has GOOD reasons for recommending their particular places and yes, Swisshiker, I understand perfectly the whole thing about being "drawn" to a particular spot.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:57 AM
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Hi Dukey,

If you are considering staying in Wengen, you could consider the Hotel Alpenrose (www.alpenrose.ch), where I've stayed two times. I like it for its decor (warm pine and printed fabric), its location (by a cliff overlooking the valley and looking over to the mountains), and its services (looove sitting in the lounge for a before-dinner drink).

I SO agree with enzian that a car-free village is a really lovely way to go.

s
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:03 AM
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Thanks, Swan for the rec...I'll check that out....now as to the place being "car-free"...is it car-free like Zermatt with its electric carts..I assume there must be some sort of vehicles for moving heavy stuff around.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:48 AM
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we were very happy with the Alpenrose, too, and if you stay there, there's a wonderful "wanderweg" (walking path) that leads out of the town behind the inn. It heads out to Staubbauch bench (I think that's the name). I highly recommend taking at least part of it after dinner, to the woods, and the whole walk to the bench at another time if you'd like an easy, but wonderful and convenient walk.

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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Wengen does have electric vehicles moving heavy stuff about, but to a much smaller degree than Zermatt.

Same with Murren, but even less so.

We like the Hotel Belleview in Wengen. It's a bit of a walk from the train station, but the owners will collect you and your luggage upon arrival/departure if needed. It's perched up on a hill and some rooms have fantastic views of the Jungfrau.

I've stayed in Murren and Wengen several times and in Grindelwald once.

Murren and Wengen are my personal favorites and either would make a good base. However, Lauterbrunnen would make a particularly good base if your main interest is riding every train/cable car you can. You can easily get to just about anywhere from Lauterbrunnen, whereas if you're based in Wengen or Murren, you'll need to do some backtracking to reach different cable cars, etc. Not that this is a bad thing mind you, just more time consuming.

We've stayed at the Hotel Alpenruh in Murren several times - it's the furthest hotel from the train station, yet the closest to the cable car up to the Schilthorn and down to Gimmelwald. Fantastic views from the room balconies.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 04:00 AM
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Hi again,

Yes, as others above have said, there are electric carts, cars, and vans to move stuff. Like luggage! The Hotel Alpenrose has an electric van and will meet you at the train station!

But I can't recall seeing these vehicles more than maybe twice on the streets of the village. It's just lovely to stroll down a street in the middle of the day and not have a care in the world about getting hit! Kinda careless of me, but I like it!

s
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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Good morning Dukey

You will really love Wengen. It is charming and quiet, and the views are fabulous. The train and tram are at your fingertips.

The Alpenrose is a good choice. If you call them from Lauterbrunnen with your expected arrival, they will be there waiting for you to help with your luggage.

Happy travels!
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Once again, thanks for all these additional comments and answers to questions... including the possibility of staying in Lauterbrunnen...you folks are the best.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 08:40 AM
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This is what I get for living on the west coast. While I am sleeping or taking the dog to the park for her morning romp, the rest of you are solving Dukey's dilemma. But I'll add some comments.

I looked at the Mürren Hotel Eiger website last night---I can see why you like it, Dukey. Great location, nice rooms, and that pool with a view! It is on the upper road in Mürren, which is why I wasn't familiar with it. I'll check it out next time if we aren't taking our usual apartment for some reason.

In Wengen, there are so many nice hotels it is hard to choose. Here are some comments about places that have been recommended, based on some additional criteria I apply. I give bonus points for location, views and baconies, non-smoking rooms, and dogs (meaning the hotel allows dogs, which I like to see, not that we take our dog along).

Alpenrose---a lovely hotel; my husband felt it was a bit too fancy (actually thought it might be stuffy, but Swandav assured me it is not). The location is great for views and quiet, but it is a long-ish walk downhill from the train. They don't mention non-smoking rooms, but do allow dogs. Their prices were a bit high for our family of 5, mainly because they didn't have a triple room available for our visit, so we didn't stay there.

Hotel Bellevue---this is one we almost chose for our last visit, but one room would have lacked a balcony. The owners seem warm and friendly, with a great sense of humor (see Andi's model railway). The hotel is 70% non-smoking rooms, and they do allow dogs. The location is also great for views, in the opposite direction from the Alpenrose at the far end of the village, and again a long-ish walk from the train.


Hotel Eiger (the Wengen one) hasn't been mentioned, but I have seen it recommended many times on Tripadvisor. The location is central---right by the train station. All rooms are non-smoking, although smoking is allowed on the balconies. According to the information sheet, dogs are allowed.

And there are others----the Beau-Site if you want a pool, for example.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. The main trouble with Wengen, for me, is there are too many choices---after reading about them, I want to try them all.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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Dukey,
When you mentioned Hotel Eiger, I knew it sounded familiar, but now with enzian's comment about it being at the end of the village, I remembered.

We were there at the end of August, just after their unbelievable triathlon (if you hvae a chance to see this, I'd recommend it!). They swim in the lake, bike to Grindelwald, and run UP to the Schilthorn from Lauterbrunnen!

Anyway, a couple days after the race, the town was practically deserted (end of season?). The only restaurant we found open was at the Hotel Eiger. I remember we shared fondue and then each had an entree (me fish, DH schnitzel). It was very good!

The location is directly across from the place where the train lets off (after taking the new lift up the hill, you board the train which goes about a mile or so to the town).

The town is really quite small, so I don't think being "at the end" is anything of a problem. We stayed at the Edelweiss Hotel, which is not far from the Eiger. (Edelweiss has a wonderful outside patio - get a table next to the cliff, have an ice cream, and you're in heaven!)
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Thanks very much, Enzian and Swisshiker for these additional comments.

I have now looked at hotels in both Wengen and Murren and I agree with that idea of "trying them all" since many seem to have views, balconies, are described as providing a great breakfast (one of my big issues) and I never mind seeing doggies in a hotel as long as I get to fool with them!

This could end up being a much more difficult decision than I had thought although I am sure none of them are "bad."

Running UP to the Schilthorn????? Sounds like that race that goes up Pike's Peak..and, of course, they are all in such annoyingly great shape that they go whizzing by as you watch...groan.

I will honestly try to remember to let everyone know the final decision.

The next issue will be about rail passes which we usually use and I know that will bring lots of responses.

Cheers to you both for your detailed responses and thoughts...they are much appreciated.
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