Western Europe: Switzerland - Gimmelwald, Mürren and Lauterbrunnen

By Cubie - October 01, 2017

Gimmelwald was my base in Bernese Oberland area. This little village is so small that the nearest Coop shop is in Mürren. It sounded pretty glamorous to say that I needed to take a cable car to do my grocery shopping but that was how it was. There is a little shop that sell cheese, dried sausages, beef jerky, eggs, etc but a proper grocery shopping is in Mürren.

I stayed in Gimmelwald Mountain Hostel for 2 nights. Initially I planned to stay for 3 nights but I wanted to shave an hour off my commuting time to make it possible to get to Liechtenstein though it didn't happen and I ended up spending my last day in Zurich. Anyway, instead of the 3 nights, I moved 1 night to Interlaken due to convenience of transportation. Even though I am ok staying in hostel room I tried to pick the ones with lesser people in one room. The girls only dorm fits 16 person in a room, so I picked the family room which has 3 bunks beds, accommodating 6 pax. The location is great but I personally find it a little too intimate especially in the peak of summer when the hostel is full. There really isn't any quiet nook in the hostel because of the spaces vs human ratio. Err but of course, I admit my "anti-social" streak is quite strong.

I wandered around the village and attempted to do a walk to see a waterfall, Chilchbalm (Talkessel mit Wasserfällen). I said attempt because I didn't manage to get there, I wonder if I have missed a turn or completely off the grid but despite indication of less than 1 hour on the walking map, I didn't reach the destination. I did however made it to the Schiltbach (Schlucht mit Wasserfällen) and parts of the stream.

Gimmelwald is only one cable car station away from Mürren so I was in Mürren pretty often.

The vibes in Mürren is similar to Gimmelwald, serene and beautiful but slightly larger village. There were quite a few paragliders in the area. I bet view from the air is spectacular. I met a pilot who does paragliding as a hobby who urge me to consider trying my hands on it. I might, one day but maybe when I wasn't alone in a foreign country when I have zero experience. Don't trust myself to handle it properly. :P

I have initially wanted to do an easy short trail in Mürren but after spending extra time on the train the day before, I was little short on time. Haha. The comment of "difficulty: easy" and duration of 1 h 30 min was quite tempting and definitely feels doable. Well, that was what was listed in the guide pamphlet given to me when I checked in to the hostel.
1. Mürren - Blumental - Allmendhubel
Difficulty: easy
Time: 1 h 30 min., Difference in altitude: +269 m
2. Mürren - Winteregg-Grütschalp
Difficulty: easy
Time: 1 h 30 min., Difference in altitude: -152 m

I did, however, found a little shop that sells some postcards and magnets that are slightly cheaper comparatively to what I saw elsewhere. Note only by comparison because they are still expensive.

If you noticed the reflection on the above photo, that's because I took them from the cable car. A lot of my Lauterbrunnen view were from the cable car. Haha.

Lauterbrunnen is nestled deep in the valley of 72 waterfalls. After getting out of the Lauterbrunnen train station, one would already noticed some of the waterfalls, especially Staubbach Falls.

Side note: Do you know that Bern is the capital city of Switzerland?

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  1. Good timing that you're back from Switzerland! I'm actually investigating the possibility of a Swiss trip, perhaps not next year but sometime within the next several.

    Given how Gimmelwald seems to be somewhat out of the way, would you still recommend it as a home base if I'm more interested in Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald area (First) etc.? Schilthorn sounds cool too, but only if transport is free. How did you hear that it may be free starting next year?

  2. If you are more interested in Jungfraujoch and the Grindelwald area, I think Gimmelwald is a little too far to travel back and forth to be made as a home base. From memory, the cable car is running at about 30 minutes interval as well.

    I actually stumbled upon it when I tried to look up the link for the blog post. I remember it wasn't there when I was googling before my trip.
    It wasn't free as in totally free but included in the Swiss Travel Pass (which I had). Shall update the post to make it clearer.
    Currently, with Swiss Travel Pass I would still need to pay additional fee (to get to Schilthorn) but would get a 50% discount

    For Jungfraujoch, there is only a 25% discount with Swiss Travel Pass but there is a 50% discount for Swiss Half Fare Card holders on the additional fees.

  3. Yes, free with the Swiss Travel Pass was what I meant. The way I understand it usually comes to a choice between the STP and the Half-Fare Card. But if Schilthorn gets included in the STP then that makes it slightly more attractive ... and perhaps more attractive to spend one more day in the Berner Oberland. But lodging cost is something else ... sigh.

    1. It sure does make it more attractive. Ah yes, and food too! That was why I ended up in dorms in Switzerland. :(

    2. I'm prepared to survive on supermarket roast chicken :(