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Bernese Oberland is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations. The famous trio of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau along with waterfalls, mountains, lakes, castles, and other scenic landmarks are just some of the reasons this area is so loved.
You might find it advantageous to base yourself in the mountains if you are into hiking in summer or skiing in winter. Staying in Wengen and Mürren, both car-free towns, may be the ideal solution for you. Both are excellent options, so choosing between them may be difficult.
Let us consider this question: Wengen or Mürren – which is better for a base in Bernese Oberland? Is it better to stay in Mürren or Wengen?
Villages: Wengen or Mürren
Both Wengen and Mürren are small mountain villages, especially when compared with places like Interlaken and Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland region. Concrete and wood are the primary building materials for houses and hotels. Red flowers adorn their windowsills.
With their breathtaking views of waterfalls and towering mountains, these two car-free villages make for an unforgettable getaway.
Lauterbrunnen Valley‘s largest village is Wengen. The car-free mountain village itself has more shops to peruse, restaurants to dine in, and hotels to choose from compared to others in the valley.
Wengen is 1,274 meters above sea level. On a terrace with a spectacular panorama, Wengen offers views of both Lauterbrunnen village below and the surrounding high mountains above.
Wengen is larger than Mürren and will have more hotels, shops, and restaurants. Wengen hosts the world-famous ski competition Lauberhorn, so the tourism infrastructure and information are excellent. I also think that the buildings and hotels in Wengen are more beautiful.
Although some of the hotels were built in the Belle Epoque style, the village still retains its mountain charm. The atmosphere is similar to Zermatt but on a smaller scale. Furthermore, it is situated on a sunny terrace as opposed to Zermatt, which is at the bottom of the valley.
On the other hand, Mürren is positioned a bit higher than Wengen, at 1,645 meters above sea level. There are also spectacular views of the bottom of the valley, and the town is quiet and car-free. It is smaller than Wengen.
Mürren, on the other hand, also has its own charm. Those who choose it over Wengen prefer something more quiet and understated.
Mürren also has well-known tourist spots near it, though probably not as well-known as Jungfraujoch. From Mürren, you have easier access to Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) as well as quieter villages such as Gimmelwald, Allmendhubel, and Stechelberg.
Key Differences: Wengen or Mürren
The key differences are as follows:
|Population: approx. 1,300||Population: approx. 450|
|Elevation: 1,274 m||Elevation: 1,638 m|
|Total Area: 36.4 km²||Total Area: 10.5 km²|
|Total Ski Slopes: 160 km||Total Ski Slopes: 51 km|
|largest town in Lauterbrunnen Valley||small Walser village|
|bigger and more vibrant compared to Mürren||more laid back|
|closer to Jungfraujoch, Eiger Glacier, |
Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald
|closer to Schilthorn (Piz Gloria),|
Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, Allmendhubel
Views: Wengen or Mürren
Both views are stunning. Both are located between 1,274 and 1,645 meters above sea level and overlook the Lauterbrunnen valley with its waterfalls. There is no clear winner between them in terms of beauty. You can’t go wrong choosing either one.
Although the views are similar, they are not exactly the same.
Wengen is a bit wider with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains such as Eiger and Jungfrau and Staubbach Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen. Wengen is a mix of softer and rocky mountains. Walking around Wengen, you can see the surrounding houses and hotels.
From Wengen, you are close to Kleine Scheidegg – a place with fantastic views.
Comparing Mürren to Wengen, it appears to be a bit narrower. From the other side, you can see steeper rocky cliffs and waterfalls.
Accessibility: Wengen or Mürren
Since both Wengen and Mürren are car-free villages, you will have to park your car at the Lauterbrunnen Valley Car Park (or alternatively Schilthorn Car Park) if you come with one.
Wengen is easier to reach since you can ride the train directly from the car park and walk to your hotel, assuming it’s near the train station. By contrast, Mürren requires another change, making it harder to get there.
Traveling to Wengen
Visitors to Wengen can simply hop on the next train going in the direction of Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen. The train departs every 30 minutes.
Traveling to Mürren
Visitors to Mürren need to take the cable car leading to Grütschalp in Lauterbrunnen. When visitors arrive in Grütschalp, they must change to the train that will take them to Mürren.
Another option is to go via Gimmelwald and Stechelberg. In Stechelberg, visitors can park their cars in the valley station of Schilthorn. After this, they will have to ride the cable car to Gimmelwald, then the cable car to Mürren.
Ski Area: Wengen or Mürren
Skiing Wengen and Mürren on the same day is generally not recommended. If you wish to ski in both resorts, you will normally reserve one day in Wengen-Grindelwald and another in Mürren. Because to get from one to the other requires going down the Lauterbrunnen valley, and changing there to reach the other side. There is no direct connection between the two ski resorts at the moment.
That being said, both resorts have great views and slopes. Although Mürren is generally higher in altitude, Wengen is the larger of the two.
Skiing in Wengen
Known for the Lauberhorn ski race, the Jungfrau Ski Region Grindelwald – Wengen is a world-class ski resort. Wengen has the bigger ski resort compared to Mürren with 160 kilometers of slopes spread across Wengen and Grindelwald. The slopes are as follows:
- Easy (blue) – 64 km
- Medium (red) – 73 km
- Difficult (black) – 23 km
Skiing in Mürren
In comparison to Wengen, Mürren features fewer slopes at only 51 kilometers. Even so, it offers amazing views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Also, they have a ski cross area that is ideal for fans.
- Easy (blue) – 19 km
- Medium (red) – 23 km
- Difficult (black) – 9 km
Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region attracts many tourists. For mountain-lovers, there are two car-free mountain villages that I recommend for accommodations: Wengen and Mürren. Both options are good, so choosing between them might be difficult.
Both Wengen and Mürren are car-free mountain villages that are located in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Both have pros and cons if you decide to stay there for a while.
In a choice between Wengen and Mürren, I would definitely choose Wengen. It is more practical for several reasons outlined above. It also offers more dining and shopping options. Despite that, it’s not so crowded that it is a hassle. I highly recommend it.
Wengen is more accessible, for one thing. It’s easier to reach Wengen from Lauterbrunnen than Mürren. Especially for families with small children, this is an important point. Its proximity to popular tourist attractions such as Jungfraujoch, Kleine Scheidegg, and Eiger Glacier are also plus points. You can also go up to Männlichen from Wengen and reach Grindelwald on the other side of the valley. Last but not least, Wengen has many more restaurants, shops, and hotels compared to Mürren.
Even though I prefer Wengen to Mürren, I do see the appeal of Mürren. It is a quiet area that will serve as a good place of refuge for those who seek peace and quiet. Moreover, if you have already explored much of the Jungfrau region near Wengen and want to visit other places such as Schilthorn, Birg, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, and Allmendhubel, Mürren is also a great place to base yourself.
TIP: For a couple of days in the Jungfrau Region, consider buying an unlimited transportation ticket so you can travel by train, boat, bus, gondola, and gondola on all the valid routes. You can get your ticket from GetYourGuide here – Jungfrau Travel Pass: Unlimited Transportation Ticket. The ticket covers Interlaken Ost, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg, Grütschalp, Winteregg, and Mürren. Jungfraujoch tickets aren’t included, but you can get them at a special price.
- Wengen, Switzerland: 8 Reasons To Love It
- Zurich to Wengen Train: All You Need To Know
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- Top 10 Car-Free Ski Resorts in the Swiss Alps
- 12 Charming Car-Free Villages in Switzerland
- 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland
- Jungfraujoch – When is the Best Time to Visit?
- Mountains Close to Interlaken Worth Visiting