Wengen or Murren: Which Is The Best Swiss Village?

wengen or murren

It’s always a good idea to stay for a few days in a mountain village in Switzerland. With stunning views of the Alps, countless hiking trails waiting to be explored, and the opportunity to ride in mountain trains, both Wengen and Murren are top destinations to visit. 

The two resort villages are very close to one another, and both are accessible from Lauterbrunnen. Murren is a smaller village with five times as many hotel beds as permanent residents. Wengen is larger with more things to do but at the foot of a slightly less fabulous mountain.

So, which one should you travel to? Hopefully, you’ll have that figured out by the end of this detailed comparison!

General Information

Elevation1,274 meters1,650 meters
Total Area36.4 km²10.5 km²
Ski Area110 kilometers54 kilometers
AccessibilityMountain train, gondolaMountain trains, gondola
AttractionsJungfraujoch, Mannlichen, Kleine Scheidegg, hiking, skiing, observation decksSchilthorn, Birg, Murrenbachfall, Allmendhubel, Via Ferratas, hiking, skiing
General information about Wengen and Murren

About the Villages


Wengen Village
Wengen village

Wengen is a car-free resort village at the foot of Jungfrau. It’s a popular destination year-round; in the summer because of the abundance of hiking trails (more than 500 kilometers of marked trails), and in the winter it’s for the excellent ski pistes and sledding opportunities.

During peak season, the resort will have more foreigners than locals wandering around. It gets extremely busy, so maybe it’s not the ideal destination for you if you don’t enjoy being in crowded places.

The peak seasons in Wengen are summer and winter; shoulder seasons are not as busy in the village and are a great time to discover the landscapes without bumping elbows with strangers.



At the foot of Schilthorn, Murren is the highest inhabited village in the Bern canton. With 53 kilometers of ski pistes in the Mürren-Schilthorn region, it’s not surprising that the village is buzzing with visitors in the winter months.

The crowds are just as big in the summer when all the hikers and climbers arrive at Murren. With more than 200 kilometers of developed hiking trails and multiple thrilling via Ferratas, the village is truly a playground for adventurers. It also boasts numerous literal playgrounds for children because it’s a popular destination for family vacations.



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Mt. Eiger
Views of Mt. Eiger

Wengen offers views of Jungfrau Eiger, Monch, Mannlichen, and Kleine Scheidegg, while Murren mostly offers views of Birg and Schilthorn. But that’s just in terms of the mountain peaks that are close to each of the villages.

At both Wengen and Murren, you can enjoy idyllic village views. Venture outside the central area, and you’ll notice those picturesque scenes of small mountain cabins against the backdrop of steep mountain slopes.

Murren also has a waterfall while Wengen does not, so it’s got the upper hand in terms of the variety of pretty views. Also, if you climb to a high enough vantage point at either village, you will be able to see all the tall mountain summits in the area.

Getting There

Wengen and Murren are both accessible from Lauterbrunnen

Both Wengen and Murren are easily accessible by public transport from Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. Interlaken has the most connections to other cities and towns in Switzerland, so it is the first stop on your way to Wengen or Murren from anywhere else in Switzerland.

Tip: Wengen and Murren are both car-free villages. Travelers getting around Switzerland in a car can park at Lauterbrunnen and travel to either village by train.

Getting To Wengen

lauterbrunnen wengen train
The train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen

Wengen is serviced by a train station so it’s easily accessible to anyone. Cogwheel trains to Wengen depart from Lauterbrunnen every 30 minutes, and even if you’re traveling from further away it will be necessary to change trains at this stop:

  • Interlaken -Lauterbrunnen- Wengen: 37 minutes, 14.4 CHF
  • Lauterbrunnen – Wengen: 12 minutes, 8.8 CHF

Discounts are available with the Swiss Travel Pass, Interrail/Eurail Pass, and the Half-Fare Card. Also, fight for a window seat if you must because the journey is very picturesque with stunning views of the Alps.

Getting To Murren

Grutschalp to Murren Train
Grutschalp to Murren Train

Murren is accessible from Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, but with more stops and train changes than it would take you to get to Wengen. There’s no direct train from Lauterbrunnen; instead, a cable car takes you to Grütschalp, where you can board a train to Murren on the BLM mountain railway.

The travel times to Murren are:

  • Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Grütschalp – Murren: 53 minutes, 18.8 CHF
  • Lauterbrunnen – Grütschalp – Murren: 23 minutes; 11.2 CHF

Trains and cable cars run every half an hour and anyone with travel passes in Switzerland can get a discount or travel for free.



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Things to Do in Wengen

Wengen village
Wengen village

As a bigger village, Wengen offers more things to do in the central resort area. It also has gondola connections to nearby mountains and other villages, for easy exploration of the Bernese Oberland.

Walk Around The Resort

Church in Wengen
Church in Wengen

Wengen is the larger of the two villages so there are more options for restaurants, shops, accommodation, and even a few tourist attractions. The village has a miniature golf course and a memorial park, so you can easily spend a few hours walking around and exploring the sights.

There’s also a barbecue area in the northern part of Wengen, which is very popular in warm weather. Is there a better day to enjoy a warm summer in the mountains than a family picnic with some delicious grilled meat? Or tofu if you’re a vegetarian!


Royal Walk Männlichen
Royal Walk Männlichen

Männlichen is a mountain summit accessible by a gondola from Wengen. The ride takes only six minutes, and return tickets for the cable car are around 50 CHF. Discounts are available for travelers who have various travel passes valid in Switzerland.

The summit is popular for hiking in the summer but skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There’s always something to do up the mountain, so no matter when you visit the village, it will be a good idea to take the gondola up to Mannlichen.

A scenic observation deck is just a 20-minute walk from the station. It offers splendid views of the Alps, and the hike to the deck is easy with a slight incline.

Kleine Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg
Kleine Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg is another fabulous mountain summit near Wengen, one you must visit if you’re in the area in the summer. The best way of traveling from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg is by hiking the Eiger Ultra Trail, which takes approximately two and a half hours to complete.

This is an easy to medium hike that can be done by almost anyone as long as they’re in good physical condition. There’s nothing too technical about the trail, and the views along the way are out of this world.

Kleine Scheidegg is also accessible by public transport from Mannlichen and Grindelwald. However, traveling by gondolas and trains from Wengen is very expensive and not much faster than walking. Alpine lakes, mountain restaurants, and stunning views of the Alps are some highlights of Kleine Scheidegg.

Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe)

Sphinx Observatory Jungfraujoch
The Sphinx Observatory at Top of Europe, Jungfraujoch

Wengen isn’t the ideal departure point for a visit to Jungfraujoch, but a day trip to the highest train station in Europe is absolutely doable if you don’t mind the two-hour journey with four changes. 

Jungfraujoch is a mountain saddle in the Bernese Oberland. It is home to Europe’s highest train station and post office, accessible by a mountain train from the Eiger Glacier. The visitor’s complex at the mountain saddle features:

  • An ice palace with tunnels under a glacier
  • View of Aletsch Glacier, the longest in Europe
  • The Sphinx observation deck
  • A cinematic exhibit on the Swiss Alps
  • The Snow Fun Park with a zipline and ski pistes

Traveling to Jungfrau from Wengen will be a little tedious and expensive. It will also be the best thing you do while in Switzerland because the mountain saddle is a once-in-a-lifetime destination that will have you picking up your jaw from the floor.

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Eiger view from the Männlichen Panorama Trail
Eiger view from the Männlichen Panorama Trail

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With more than 500 kilometers of well-developed trails in the immediate surroundings of Wengen, the village is the best option for outdoor adventurers in the Alps. Even the Lauterbrunnen valley is easily accessible from Wengen, adding many more kilometers of hiking trails but with waterfalls.

Ride your mountain bike to Grindelwald, or even up to Murren; it’s perfectly possible because there are trails that lead from Wengen. The village is truly a playground for anyone who enjoys exploring and wandering around mountainous landscapes, so consider it for your stay if that sounds like you.

Things to Do in Murren

Murren is a somewhat isolated village up in the mountains but with easy access to the tallest summits in its surroundings. It’s the only village with access to some of the most iconic places in Switzerland, so there are reasons why staying in Murren is a good idea.

Via Ferrata Mürren-Gimmelwald


Murren and Gimmelwald are two villages connected by a cable car. But who wants to ride a gondola when you can hike from one village to the other, or even better, climb a via ferrata!

The via ferrata from Murren to Gimmelwald is a K3 route, so fairly difficult and suitable only for experienced climbers. The route’s starting point is behind the Sportchalet Mürren, and from there it takes about three hours to get to Gimmelwald.

This is a steep and challenging route, but the funny thing is that the path descends to the village of Gimmelwald because Murren is at a higher elevation.

Birg Thrill Walk

Thrill Walk at Birg
Thrill Walk at Birg

The Birg Thrill Walk is a steel walking path accessible from the Birg cable car station. It’s built into the cliffs and well-secured, so even though it’s a little bit scary it’s perfectly safe. I genuinely enjoyed it, but if you have a fear of heights, maybe skip this attraction.

Birg is easily accessible by cable car and walking trails from Murren. In addition to the Thrill Walk, the Birg station also features the Skyline Walk observation platform. The deck is suspended above an abyss with steel and glass floors, so you can quite literally stare into the abyss below. Again, maybe don’t go if this sounds terrifying.

The Bond Experience at Schilthorn

Schilthorn Piz Gloria
Schilthorn Piz Gloria

Mount Schilthorn is a highlight of trips to Murren, especially for anyone who loves James Bond movies. The revolving restaurant Piz Gloria served as Blofeld’s lair in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and nowadays it’s almost a shrine to the movie.

Spy World is a museum at the top of Mt. Schilthorn and it boasts multiple exhibits on this James Bond movie. Visitors can enjoy a variety of interactive exhibits, including helicopter and bobsled simulators.

Visitors can also do the Walk of Fame, a ridge walk with panels featuring the movie cast. There are also 007 burgers at the Piz Gloria restaurants and martinis (shaken, not stirred, obviously).

Hiking at Allmendhubel


The Allmendhubel mountain peak is accessible by funicular railway from Murren and offers dozens of hiking trails. If you’re visiting Murren in the spring or summer, this is one of the top attractions near the village.

The best-known hike here is the Allmendhubel Flower Trail, which takes you on a tour of the Alpine flora staple for this region. It’s an easy trail suitable for children and it takes about an hour to complete it.

Another great thing about Allmendhubel is its vast playground for children, where they can roam around and have fun while breathing in fresh mountain air.


Wengen in the winter
Wengen in the winter

The weather is very similar in Wengen and Murren. The two villages are geographically very close, and the main difference is that Murren is a little higher up in the mountains than Wengen. The temperature difference is rarely more than a couple of degrees (Celsius), and when it rains in one village it pours in the other.

Both Wengen and Murren have a standard mountain climate with mild summers and snowy winters. The summers are pleasantly warm, although it gets a bit chilly in the evenings, while winters are cold, with temperatures below zero Celsius and a lot of snowfall.

Wengen gets more sun in the afternoon than Murren so it is slightly better. But overall, the weather is very similar in the two places and it shouldn’t impact your decision too much.


Murren and Wengen are both fairly small villages, so neither has an abundance of restaurants. There are still options so you won’t have to eat at the same place every night, it’s just that there aren’t as many options are there are in Interlaken or even Grindelwald.

Many of the restaurants are situated inside the hotels, and paying for half or full board is a great way to save money on meals while staying at either village.

Also, because of their location in the Alps, the dominant cuisine in both villages is primarily Swiss. Most restaurants serve staples in the Swiss mountain, so lots of cheese, sausage, and potatoes.

One thing to note upfront is that Wengen has more restaurants than Murren, especially ones not in hotels. Some of the most popular restaurants in Wengen are:

  • Ristorante Da Sina (Italian)
  • Restaurant 1903 in Hotel Schonegg (Mediterranean)
  • Restaurant Bernerhof (Swiss)
  • Judy’s Restaurant in Hotel Bellevue (Swiss and international)
  • Chez Meyer’s (French)

And the top restaurant options in Murren are:

  • Stägerstübli (Swiss)
  • Restaurant Alpenruh (Fusion)
  • Tham Restaurant (Chinese)
  • Jungfrau Restaurant (Swiss)
  • Eiger Restaurant (Swiss)


© 2016 Hotel Edelweiss Wengen
© 2016 Hotel Edelweiss Wengen

Wengen and Murren are both resort villages, meaning lots of hotels and apartments. Wengen is the bigger village with more hotels, and you will be spoiled for choice if you decide to stay in this resort.

The best hotels in Wengen are:

Hotel Alpenruch in Murren
Hotel Alpenruch in Murren

Murren is a tiny village with 450 permanent residents but more than 2,000 hotel beds, which says a lot about its popularity as a resort. There’s absolutely no shortage of hotels in Murren, and the best ones are:

The average nightly rate in Murren is 200 CHF, but it’s more expensive if you want breakfast or half-board service. Wengen has more hotels so it’s cheaper, with an average nightly rate of 160 CHF.

Pros and Cons of Visiting Wengen

Views from Wengen

The pros of staying in Wengen are:

  • Easy access to Kleine Scheidegg and Männlichen
  • Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) is close
  • More hiking trails
  • More ski pistes
  • Wider selection of hotels and restaurants

And the cons are:

  • Crowded in the peak season
  • No car access
  • Expensive hotels and restaurants

Pros and Cons of Visiting Murren

Dramatic views from Murren
Dramatic views from Murren

The pros of visiting Murren are:

  • Easy access to Birg and Schilthorn
  • Excellent hiking and climbing
  • Great skiing
  • Waterfall in the village

And the cons would be:

  • Fewer things to do in the village
  • Fewer hotels and restaurants
  • More difficult (and expensive) to reach

Map of Wengen and Murren Attractions and More

Frequently Asked Questions

Wengen or Murren: Which Is Better? 

Wengen is better for access to Kleine Scheidegg, Mannlichen, and Jungfraujoch. Murren is better for access to Birg and Schilthorn. Wengen offers more trails for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing, but Murren is better for Alpine climbing.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

2 thoughts on “Wengen or Murren: Which Is The Best Swiss Village?

  1. Nice description and review. Is the Jungfrau Pass good for traveling from Lauterbrennen to Wengen and Murren? Staying in Lauterbrennen for 11 days in August.

    1. There are a few restrictions like with that pass – You can get down from Murren via the Train to Grutschalp and the gondola from there.
      the Jungfraujoch is also cheaper but not free. For the rest, you will find everything included.

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