Murren, Switzerland looks like a fairy tale village from a Disney movie. You may want to be on the look out for Heidi, here, too. Yes, it is the essence of Switzerland, that is for sure.
The scenery in this region of Switzerland is stunning in any season, especially in summer. That is the time when you can do a lot of hiking in the Murren region and explore the area to its fullest.
And because there are no public roads to Murren, it is a little corner of paradise you will never forget. So, if you don't have it on your bucket list yet, you will by the end of this post.
Funnily enough, even though it is a small town with 450 residents, it still has over 2000 beds available to tourists. You should have no problem finding a place to stay.
Because there is no road access to Murren, you will probably want to take the train to Lauterbrunnen and connect to the cable car from there. The cable car only goes up to Grütschalp. From there, you get an electric train to Mürren. (Check the times here - type in Lauterbrunnen and Murren)
Another option is to go from Stechelberg at the end of the Lauterbrunnen valley. From there, an aerial tramway then goes up to Murren via Gimmelwald or (you can check the timetable here). There is also the possibility to come down from the Schilthorn itself if you have hiked up there.
Skiing is extremely popular in Mürren and you can certainly see why. Not only is this car-less village a gem to be in, it is also perched on one of the valley's stunning cliffs - giving you a panoramic view of the area.
There are just over 50km of ski runs in the area and some of them are quite the rush. One descending 800m in almost no time.
There are also toboggan and walking trails. So, everyone has a chance to enjoy the winter here. And there are quite a few cable cars and lifts available to whisk you back up the hill if you are not inclined to walk.
In the town itself, the tennis court is turned into a skating rink and the mini-golf course that is turned into a curling rink in winter too. So, there are plenty of options for you to explore.
And of course, you are in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, so you are surrounded by mountains and plenty of snow.
The Inferno is an amateur ski race, perhaps the largest in the world, and has 1800 entrants. It's an almost nine-mile race down the mountain. It goes from the Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen, and the fastest skiers often make it down in 15 minutes!
The Lauberhorn is part of the FSI Ski World Cup and takes place in nearby Wengen. Also a stunning spot worth checking out. Of course, with pros flying down the slopes, you are sure to see some amazing action!
Skyline Viewing Platform - Schilthorn above Murren
An absolute must see while you are in Murren is the Schilthorn. The spectacularly located restaurant at the top, the Piz Gloria was used in the shooting of the James Bond movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in 1969. In fact, it was just being built at the time and the producers helped fund its construction.
Another cool aspect of the restaurant is that it is rotating, so every 45min it does a complete turn. And it has a 360 degree panorama too!
Even if you decide to skip the restaurant, there is a big viewing platform on the top (see the image above), which gives you the same amazing view regardless. You can also see infamous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau from here. On top of that: 40 glaciers and 200 other mountains. It somehow feels like the top of the world.
So, what are you waiting for! Jump on a cable car and relive Bond's experience but without the danger. All you need to do is eat, drink and and enjoy view.
The village of Lauterbrunnen has cliffs that BASE jumpers love. If you have never heard of it, BASE jumping is an almost life and death activity. The jumpers throw themselves off very low altitude places (often man-made, but in this case not) and then open their chutes on the way down, often with seconds to spare!
The more extreme BASE jumpers have taken to wearing wingsuits that make them look like flying squirrels. These adrenalin junkies risk their lives plunging off the cliff above the valley floor and hope to land safely after a parachute ride to the ground.
The Trummelbach Falls are spectacular and should be on your "to do" list while in Murren. Glacier melt sends water pounding down from the Jungfrau to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the results are stunning!
The 5,283 gallons, or 20,000 liters of water can be seen cascading, splashing and pounding down the mountain through tunnels and over waterfalls. The 20,000 tons of boulders and scree that come down with the water make the mountain "shudder." The viewers probably shudder as well. It sounds like thunder.
A local company has provided access via a series of platforms, paths, galleries and lifts. It is well worth the price of entry.
The Eiger is infamous for the large number of climbers who have died while attempting to scale the "Mordwand," or death wall in English. There have been 64 deaths since 1935, which may not seem like a lot, but given how many people climb it...it is.
You can see the Eiger from the Schilthorn, but if you want to get a first-hand view of how insane this climb really is, you have to get to the bottom of it's north face. It's actually quite easy to do. Just take the train up to the Kleine Scheidegg stop and follow the hiking trail down towards Grindelwald. This hike is the so called "Eiger Trail" and runs along the bottom of the mountain and passes the exact spot climbers start their ascent.
Take a moment to look up and see where you would climb if you ever chose the deadly undertaking.
The Jungfraujoch is a glacier "saddle" connecting the other two mountains next to the Eiger - Jungfrau and Mönch. And lucky for us, someone built a train line all the way up to it.
The end of the line is the Jungfraujoch railway station. It sits impressively at 11,371 feet, or 3,466 metres and is the highest railway station in Europe. But that is not where the craziness ends. To get to it, you have to take the train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg. From there, the track bores its way through the Eiger mountain until it arrives at the Jungfraujoch.
Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a jaw-dropping vista of the surrounding mountains and Europe's longest glacier - the Aletsch, stretching 23km. This alone makes it worth the trip.
There is also an amazing ice cave, viewing platform and restaurant there, as well as a glacier for some year round skiing.
If you decide to head down to Grindelwald, it is well worth your time to head up to First, one of the local ski resorts. Above (in the Eiger section of this post) you can see a picture I took of the Eiger north face from a lake at First. And the bonus is, it's only a 15-30 minute walk from the top of the first Gondola. So, if you are not fit, it's doable, if you are, you can continue to Faulhorn for an even better view and break!
Honestly the views from First are amazing. You can also see some of the other local mountain highlights like the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn. However, for the more adventurous at heart, you can also opt to give one of Grindelwald's latest attractions a try - the First Flyer Zip-rider.
The First Flyer, or First Flieger in german, is a zip-line (or zip-rider) located just above the gondola station. You strap yourself in, and literally fly down the mountain at speeds of up to 52 mph, or 84 km/h. It is 2480 feet long (755m) and drops 675 ft (205m) so you get quite a ride. The First Flyer is open April through October, but check with them if the weather looks a bit iffy, as it does not run on bad weather days..
Another recent addition to the top of First cliff walkway from Tissot (pictured above). It runs along the cliff just below the restaurant at the gondola, so even if you don't want to walk far, you can see the views and give yourself a small thrill while imagining a fall from that height!
A great event worth catching, if you are in the area in summer is the Inferno-Triathlon. It has been held in August since 1998, so chances are it will be on when you are here in August too! This race includes swimming in Lake Thun, as well as running and mountain bike riding around the local area.
It is considered one of the most difficult triathlons in the world because of the mountainous terrain - and 5500m ascent. It ends this year at the Schilthorn, right above Murren. So, you can be home in time for dinner even if you stay til the end.
As you can see, there is a lot of stunning things to see, and experience if you come to visit Murren. Not only is it a beautiful and peaceful spot to visit, the location leaves you with more than enough to do for weeks.
All you have to do is take the plunge and make the booking!
Note: If you are tossing up between the Interlaken area and Lucerne then this post will help you make the decision.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!