Three Days in the Swiss Alps {Part 2}

DAY 3

On our third and final day, I wanted to explore the other side of the valley. Our itinerary for the day was: Wengen-Lauterbrunnen-Murren-Gimmewald-Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen. 

Here's a map to give a visual:

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Our first real "stop" of the day was Murren. To get to Murren, we took a train to Lauterbrunnen then cable car to Gutteschlaub then train to Murren. The total trip time was about 45 minutes. It sounds complicated but it was all very straightforward and the Swiss Travel Pass covered the entire route. 

Murren had several of the same characteristics as Wengen. It's a beautiful, quaint, remote Swiss village. When I was researching for the trip, I saw in several forums people debating whether to stay in Wengen or Murren. I recommend Wengen because it's more central and easier to reach both sides of the valley. BUT, Murren was really cute and we enjoyed walking through the town. While walking through the village, we saw maybe 20 other people. In May, we got really lucky with limited crowds and great weather but the options for dining and hotels are quite limited that time of year. 

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After walking through Murren, we reached the next cable car station which took us to Gimmewald. I was interested to see this village since Rick Steves writes so highly of it. Gimmewald is TINY! We walked through the town in less than 30 minutes. :) It's much more "rustic" than the other villages we visited. I wasn't quite as enamored by it as I was by Wengen or Murren but it is an interesting contrast and easy to reach if you're already in Murren. It appeared less touched by tourism and maybe where the locals actually live? 

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After about 30 minutes in Gimmewald, we took the cable car to Stechelberg at the base of the valley. There is a popular walking trail from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen. It's an easy walk that took us about an hour. After spending the majority of the time up in the mountains, it was nice to change perspective. There are several waterfalls along the walk that you can get closer to but we decided to just stay on the path. 

The view from the cable car going down to the valley.

The view from the cable car going down to the valley.

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Once we got back to Lauterbrunnen, it was early afternoon. I expected everything to take longer so we unexpectedly had a few extra hours. We saw an advertisement in one of the trains about Harder Kulm in Interlaken and decided since we had extra time we would try it. So thanks to our Swiss Travel Passes, we hopped on a train from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken (about 20 minutes). In Interlaken there's a grocery store next to the train station so we grabbed sandwiches and ate in the grocery parking lot. The food in Switzerland is so expensive and not worth it! I highly recommend grabbing food to go from the grocery store. After eating, we walked 10 minutes to the entrance of Harder Kulm...a funicular that transports you to an amazing view point of Interlaken. The Swiss Travel passes gave us 50% off the tickets (around $10). Out of all the modes of transportation we used, the funicular was the most nerve wracking to me. But, it was worth it! Once you reach the top, there's a restaurant but the main thing to do is take photos of the views. 

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After Harder Kulm, we took the train back to Wengen. Honestly, the train rides were some of the best moments. The views did not get old! For dinner in Wengen, we went to Restaurant Eiger near the train station. The food was decent but overall I liked the pizza place better because it was higher up in the village and had better views. 

The three days in the Swiss Alps were perfect! We covered a lot of ground but didn't feel rushed at all. I wouldn't change anything about our itinerary and will definitely be returning some day. This schedule would be perfect to combine with another city in Europe for a week long (total) trip. Prior to Switzerland, we were in Paris for three days.

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Emily KenneyComment