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Mid-May stay in Lauterbrunnen or Murren

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Dec 11th, 2017, 12:10 AM
  #1
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Mid-May stay in Lauterbrunnen or Murren

We plan to go to the Oberland region on mid-May (probably 2nd or 3rd week) but we couldn't decide which is the better base for our 5 days stay. We will be coming straight from Zurich airport since we opted out if staying at the city for a day. Our primary itinerary includes going to Schiltorn, paragliding and a day trip to the Jungfrau mountains. We're still checking the falls but we don't really like to do hiking since this trip will be just part of a long-month vacation. Aside from that, we personally prefer a hotel that could give us an awesome view of the Swiss Alps. We don't have any clue if Murren is really that isolated or if Lauterbrunnen mostly has obstructed views of the mountains since its located on a much lower range of the mountains and even if the cable cars would be available in case we would decide to go to Murren as our base. Cable car and train fees is also something were not sure about since whether we would stay in one of the areas, we'd definitely be going from one place to another. Any relative information about our itinerary would be helpful!
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Dec 11th, 2017, 03:19 AM
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Weather is always unpredictable in the Alps: it may be fine or it may rain all 5 days.
The higher you stay, the better are the views (if there is no fog). Muerren or Wengen is definitely better than Lauterbrunnen although no place will be shadowy in May.
All somewhat popular mountain railways and cableways will run in May.

But if the weather is really bad, you may rather visit dry places like St. Beatus caves, Truemmelbach Falls, Oberhofen castle, Wocher Panorama at Thun, Berne city center (covered medieval sidewalks) and museums, Stockalper castle at Brig, Lake Maggiore (if the weather is fine in the South). All these trips are shorter from Lauterbrunnen than from the other places (and even shorter from Interlaken).
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Dec 11th, 2017, 05:48 AM
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Oh, the unpredictable weather. Thank you for pointing that out neckervd. We'll take note of that. But how bad is the weather in the Alps, especially the fog? We've been into the mountains before, but ony the tropical ones, so it's usually raining and less foggy. We actually intended to see snow (we're originally from the island tropics) but couldn't go earlier than mid-May, so we thought the Jungfrau area could at least give us a feel of that, right?

So, between the two, where would you go - Murren or Wengen if your priority is to have a good view of the Alps and logistically wise if we wanted to go to the Jungfrau and Schiltorn area? Thanks again.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 07:22 AM
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Don't worry, there will be snow on all shadowy places above 2000 metres.
Bad weather in the Alps: strong winds blowing cold rain (temperatures around 4 degrees centigrade/40 degrees Fahrenheit) to your face, fog reducing the view to 50-200 metres, small and steep trails getting wet and slippery.

Muerren is close to Schilthorn, Wengen is closer to all other popular places in the area.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 08:28 AM
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If in area for a week then Wengen would be much better situated for most things - Murren great for Schilthorn but more isolated from other sights. Investigate the Jungfraubahn Pass for conveyances in the area or the Half-Fare Card - this one a no-brainer unless pass is better for your plans -Half-Fare Cards sold at any station for about $130 and gets half-off on anything that moves - just the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch excursions alone will make it pay off.
For lots on area and transports check www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.swisstravelsystem.com.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 12:55 PM
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We've used Lauterbrunnen as our base for visiting the Oberland area and it's worked well for us. It's easy to get to Wengen and Murren, or take the train into Interlaken or Grindenwald.
We stayed at the Hotel Staubbach and had fabulous views of the waterfall and the valley from our balcony.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 12:58 PM
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Lauterbrunnen may be the most utilitarian base for excursions and only about 20 minutes from Interlaken and boat rides on either lake bookending Interlaken.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 05:58 PM
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If you want flexibility in light of the precarious weather, consider Lauterbrunnen. Like marg, I stayed at the Hotel Staubbach and was very well pleased with it.

If you are willing to spend extra time getting in and out of the area if the weather is poor, and want gobsmacking views, I'd recommend Wengen.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 06:14 PM
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OK, I've stayed in both Wengen and Murren in July, and Wengen was definitely the preference for me. Murren felt a bit closed in as compared to WEngen. No cars in either village. However Wengen had gorgeous views of the Jungfrau and Monch. Also had the lift up to the Mannlichen which is amazing. only variable is weather in mid May. However, the little train runs right into the village, so easy to go to other villages. Also the tram is right in the middle of WEngen so easy to go up for hiking or viewing. Really lovely spot of mountains. Check out the Swiss rail pass as there are some discounts on some mtn lifts. Sue
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Dec 12th, 2017, 06:42 AM
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I stayed in Mürren twice and Wengen once. I prefer Mürren because it is smaller, and has less tourists. The views are fantastics in both locations but try to choose a room that faces directly the mountains with a small balcony.

The first time I came to the Swiss Alps was at the end of May and it was my best weather yet. The flowers were out and we had clear skies every day. My best hike was from Mürren also but it might have been because I could not believe how everything was incredibly beautiful.

Although Lauterbrunnen is a pleasant valley, I much prefer to be in the mountains.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 08:01 AM
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Yes key in any Jungfrau town is to get hotel room facing mountains - be sure of that when booking. Views from Murren and Wengen are both awesome but different - who can say which are best?
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Dec 12th, 2017, 01:18 PM
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Grindelwald is another town with marvellous expansive views of glacier-girdled mountains looming high above lush cow-dotted meadows. Equal in its own way IMO to Murren and Wengen but Grindelwald is much busier so not as tranquil and cars and buses can plague parts of town.

For folks on a budget I think Grindelwald has more budget options and may appeal more to younger folk who life more of an apres-ski oir -hike venue -even with live music, etc -also more restaurnts, stores, etc. also only 15 minutes from Interlaken making it easy to bop down by train to that lively commercial town with an orante classic casino to replenish rapidly dwindling trip funds in this expensive country.

Wengen seems to be the hands-down favorite on Fodors - Murren often viewed as too isolated (and some may prefer that!).
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Dec 12th, 2017, 02:07 PM
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In 2015 we stayed at the Hotel Alpina in Murren. It had the best view of any place I've ever stayed - ever. Picture a teeny tiny corner room with a balcony overlooking a sheer Alpine wall. There were actually quite a few paragliders going right by our room BELOW US! We too got off a plane in Zurich and traveled via cable car, train, funicular etc to arrive in Murren. It was like a fairytale! Enjoy!
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Dec 12th, 2017, 04:01 PM
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Yes, Murren's views are unique because the village sits right on edge of the deep gorge-like Lauterbrunnen Valley. The spector of hangl-gliders going by must have been so so awesome! Again room choice is crucial.

Folks who like real isolation can stay in neighboring Gimmelwald, a farming hamlet out in middle of nowhwere but Alpine wonderland - from Murren a nice few-mile downhill walk along cliff's edge or by gondola.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 05:20 PM
  #15
kja
 
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I must admit that I preferred both Wengen and Lauterbrunnen to Murren, but I'm sure the time of year matters. That, and how much time one is willing to spend in transit each day.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 09:03 PM
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I have a feeling that some people may miss the Mannlichen in Wengen. The lift is right in town, and if you don't take it up to the hiking area, and over Wengen, you miss spectacular vistas and trails just below the Jungfrau, Monch and I think part of the Eiger. It is truly awesome and mind blowing. While I also liked Murren, there were walls of mountains around Murren and not the wide open vistas from the village. They really are two different spots in so many ways. If you go to Wengen, try the Schonegg Hotel, up on a little hill, get second/third floor room facing Jungfrau, and with meals. pricey but worth it and just a few steps to the lift to the Mannlichen lift. Sue
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Dec 12th, 2017, 09:09 PM
  #17
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I can't say whether Sue81 is right about Männlichen or not, but I can say that anyone who does even the tiniest bit of research on the area should learn about it.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 10:09 PM
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Mid May? Almost all the hotels in Mürren will be closed. Would be far too quiet for me.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 11:37 PM
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It's all good.

We've visited Switzerland many times in many seasons and I'd certainly not choose my base village on fog that may or may not happen, but I would definitely be flexible. We're currently in Scuol and had a complete crap weather day yesterday, but today is looking quite spectacular.

A note about visiting in May - some hotels will be closed in alpine areas and it might also be a maintenance period for some mountain excursions. Don't let this deter you - the off season is my personal choice - but do your research on opening times so you're not disappointed.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 11:41 PM
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PS - Hotel Alpenruh in Murren is open year round (unless that has changed in recent years). This hotel also offers in-you-face views of the alps.

Lauterbrunnen is a transport hub of sorts - we like it as it offers easy access to just about anywhere in the BO. Wengen is also a great option - it all depends on what you want to do and what is open.

Consider renting an apartment - less expensive that time of year and more flexibility with staying less than a week due to time of year.
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